Wednesday, March 24, 2010

WoYWW

Three cheers for me! I've managed to hit the Wednesday deadline for 'What's on your Workbench Wednesday'. Better hurry to get this written up - Thursday approaches.

The eggs in the incubator to my right are now in their 11th day; 13 Maran eggs and one 'mongrel' to make up the numbers to a lucky 14. I candled them last evening - Maran eggs are notoriously difficult because the shells are such a dark brown, but I think I saw a dark patch which would indicate they are fertile and developing. The little machine continues to buzz and hum, tilting this way and then that so the eggs are partially turned. A little motorised pump periodically pumps a squirt of water into a sponge to keep the humidity at 45%. All very clever stuff - to think a mere hen can do the same thing without having read the instruction book - and for free.
Behind me, on the drawing board, I've started knocking out a couple of drawings for a large country garden. I offered my design services at a charity auction, confident that I'd get an easy-peasy small suburban space. Hah! No way. I've a big flat area, dominated by an enormous indoor school but otherwise featureless. (Perhaps a blank canvas is a good thing.) Ideas are taking shape - we're going for big and bold and creating some private areas where my 'clients' can get away from the busy equestrian business they run 200 yards from the back door. At present the site is an unprepossessing sea of mud with the odd brickbat island so I feel anything I propose and actually becomes a reality will be an improvement.

I like doing the drawings very much. In fact I'm very fond of gardening on paper - no weeds, slugs or bugs and everything is always just so - that sometimes I think I might prefer it to the slog and grind of actual gardening. A world where climbers always climb to exactly 3m, shrubs fill the spaces allotted, colour schemes are harmonious and there is year-round interest - effortlessly.  I use paper and old-fashioned drawing pens (remember the Rotring?) and have never tried to find a computer programme to do it for me. For someone who adopts an relaxed laissez-faire attitude to most things in life I'm remarkably precise with my scale rule, set square and pen.

Tucked out of sight but also on the workbench is some paperwork from that bĂȘte noir  in my life - the WI. It's a recruitment drive. It takes the form of an invitation I've devised. We're inviting potential mugs hopefuls to a cookery demonstration.  Basically is says 'Come along. Join us. Or Else.' No, it doesn't really but perhaps a more direct approach would actually increase our numbers. The sad fact is if we don't increase our membership then a) we fold, or b) the President and I have to President and Secretary forever. FOREVER -for heaven's sake - that's a long time. We need new blood, new ideas and an injection of oomph! Are you free on the first Wednesday of the month? Come and join us. Drink tea. Eat cake. Interesting speakers.......

Finally on the edge of my picture, most enticingly is Monty Don's 'The Ivington Diaries'. Here's a man who perhaps relishes getting down and dirty with a spade in the garden and then writes so eloquently about it. No fiddling about on bits of A2 paper with a scratchy pen for him. It's my book of the moment and I'm going to lift it off the workbench and go and read it. Now.

(If you manage to wade through the bits and pieces here hop over to Julia's blog and see what the real craftspeople get up to.)

18 comments:

Pondside said...

I dare not show my workbench - if it's about works in progress then my whole house is a messy workbench!
I'll be over for the next WI meeting if there's food and drink!

bayou said...

How exciting this incubator is! I am really curious about the outcome. Can one join also virtually to the WI? Then count me in. Happy Thursday!

her at home said...

Remember Rotring I use them all the time and long ago realised, after several abortive attemtps at online kitchen planning on computer programmes, that my brain can not understand does paper aan pen better than screnn play!

ps does your WI do outshoot members Id love ot join but think perhaps I couldnt get to the meetings!

Chris Stovell said...

Very impressed with your design skills - clever girl... I did laugh at your comment about the hens!

Wipso said...

Oh wow. Thanks for joining in the WOYWW madness. Do pop over to Julia's and add your name to Mr Linky because I'm sure many would like to drop in on you. Good luck with the eggs. Hope to see regular updates :-)
A x

rachel said...

I'll join your WI branch! I've never managed to find one here, and I long to do it! Even though I hate the idea of singing 'Jerusalem'. Maybe at such a distance you wouldn't hear me... though, sadly, maybe you would...

What about setting a webcam onto the incubator for us? You know we'd watch, entranced, as the hours sipped by.

rachel said...

Oops, slipped by. With sips of tea, perhaps.

Friko said...

all that and time to blog about it?
thanks for the invitation to the WI, but no thanks for now.

Julia Dunnit said...

Oh this is real craftspeopling for sure! Am still using Rotring here..DH particularly fond of the thin and scratchy! I stagger in fear at the size of a garden sized blank canvas..a 12" square of paper is about the limit of my comfort zone. Fascinating to see your WOYWW!

Angie said...

What a great blog ...it was a wonderful read....nearly missed you as I thought I'd visited everyone.

Cant wait to find out if all the chicks hatch ...will follow with interest.

Good Luck with the garden plan ...hope they love it.

Vicki said...

i'm excited to see your babies when they hatch, how fun!!!!

butlersabroad said...

There's nothing to beat a wonderful hand drawn garden plan. Hope the new owners like it and good luck with the eggs.

Brenda

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I'd love to join in the flower arranging in an egg cup afternoons but it's rather a long way away .
But I'll be there in spirit , "Jerusalem" and all .
Now waiting with baited breath for the egg hatching and lots of fluffy photos .

Cardarian said...

Like the inkubatur - "artificial nature",your blog is very interesting, it was fun snooping around your desk, oops.. sorry bench!
Cardarian

Spyder said...

oho fabulous and very interesting. Remember the Rotring? yes!! mine would get clogged up, the ink would need to be cleared out often, but they were good pens...I'm looking at them now...wonder if it's worth being them back to life?! A nice warm heat lamp might work!

Pam said...

I'm hoping you'll keep us all informed of the chicks progress. Good luck with the garden design and the WI event. As a lot of women have said here - I too would join if I could do so via the internet!

Twiglet said...

A great WoYWW - that garden plan sounds like my idea of a nightmare! I am sure you will do a wonderful job.

elizabethm said...

Hope you get some new recruits for your WI - I hear the determination in your voice. Eggs are so exciting. I'm still hoping to let a hen do the hard work but no sign of a broody just yet.