Busywork

Finding work for idle hands: making, baking and more.

Bird choreography February 26, 2013

Filed under: Nature and wildlife — lauravw @ 9:53 am

murmurationJust before dusk falls, the local starlings have been getting together and dancing in the skies.

It’s a murmuration – albeit on a very small scale. Like most areas of the UK, our starling population has dropped dramatically in my lifetime, but we’re lucky enough to still get quite a few, and it has been very cheering to watch them assemble and dance around in the sky.

On one level it makes me sad that the numbers are so few that they can’t form the giant flocks of the past, but at the same time I think it’s wonderful that they still pursue this hobby, just as a small group. The other evening I spotted a few of them doing laps of the sky above our house, and gradually more joined in. I wonder how they let each other know what their plans are?

I stayed outside and watched them for some time, and they flew right over my head several times – I could hear their wings as they went.

If you’d like to see what a murmuration looks like on a bigger scale, this lovely video is the next best thing to being there.

 

Light Night February 12, 2013

Filed under: Food — lauravw @ 1:31 pm

milkshakeFriday was Light Night in Nottingham – an annual event to encourage people to make the most of the city in the depths of winter.

This year the official focal point was a show at the Castle – a very large animation was projected on the castle walls, accompanied by music and fireworks. There were also fire-based installation pieces all round the castle grounds – it’s surprising to see so many flames at a public event, in these days of health and safety and caution.

For me, the real highlight of the night was this milkshake from Homemade, which hosted a 50s diner night. The light show was good, but this was better. It’s brownie, amaretto and chocolate ice cream. No amount of fireworks can compete with that.

 

Meanwhile, on Fashionably Pale February 11, 2013

Filed under: Fashion — lauravw @ 2:15 pm

Just a reminder that I am posting regularly over at my other blog, Fashionably Pale. Recently I’ve been looking at new foundations for pale complexions, swooning over red clothes, and confessing to owning too many things with stripes on.

 

Extravagance

Filed under: Places to go — lauravw @ 1:20 pm

cocktailsWe had a particularly extravagant Saturday afternoon this weekend. For some time now we’ve had a £100 voucher for a very fancy Nottingham restaurant burning a hole in our pockets, and this was the day we decided to spend some of it.

We’d been given the voucher as a thank you for looking after our friend’s two cats after she died last year – we cared for them for just over six months, and then found a new home for them. Her family gave us the voucher to thank us for our help, which was a lovely surprise. And I’m happy to report that the cats are very happy in their new home – we get fairly regular updates, and have been to visit them.

The restaurant, World Service, doesn’t offer a great deal for vegetarians – there’s only ever one vegetarian option on the menu, and I prefer to go to places where I have a choice about what I eat. But then we had a very bright idea: we would spend the entire voucher in the bar.

And so on Saturday afternoon I went with Andy and my mum to sit around drinking for a few hours. We raised a glass to our friend, and to her cats, and we had a wonderful time. It felt decadent being able to order anything off the extensive cocktail menu, without having to give a thought to the price – something we would never do under normal circumstances. We giggled and drank, enjoying the log fire and the luxurious surroundings – something I could really get used to.

We didn’t even manage to spend the whole £100 – which gives us the perfect excuse to go back and do it all over again in the near future.