Monday, 18 May 2015

Inspirational Great Tits

We have a family of Great Tits in our bird box. As I'm writing, the window open next to me, I can hear the chicks cheeping noisily. They must be hungry again. It is unbelievable the amount of times the parents come and go to nourish them. They are tireless in their efforts to guarantee their babes survival and it is really inspiring. I mean I thought I spent my entire life feeding a brood but this takes it all to another level. 

I've always found birds inspiring, their song, their freedom, flight and now their tender care of their young. Now I know it doesn't perhaps do to assign to much of our own range of emotions to what can easily be labelled survival behavior in a bird but I honestly feel that in their tireless devotion to nourishment these little friends show as much loving care as we do in a lifetime for all out fine words and lofty ideals. At the end of the day nourishing our children is probably one of our most important jobs as parents, be it physically, emotionally, intellectually or otherwise. And these little birds, well these little birds remind me of that daily.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles

For a long time we've been planning to make a sauce and blow us some giant bubbles. We all love bubbles, many a time I've used them to distract from an angry moment or soothe a tired and sad little soul. And so what could be better than giant bubbles? 

I mixed the soup up one evening so it could sit overnight as I'd read it worked better when it was left alone for a while. The first day we tried was a blustery, coldish day with quite a bit of humidity in the air. I'd heard damp days were better but we found out that wind is a disaster, we couldn't blow a single bubble! The kids quickly got disappointed and as it was a week of single parenting I forgot all about it and left the bowl of liquid out there for a few days festering.

Well festering can't have been too bad because several days later we decided to have another go and what joy, giant bubbles floating across the garden, up and away into the sunny skies. The weather was a lot drier and their was little to no wind. 

Since then the mix has stayed outside and is slowly being used up as and when anybody gets a feeling they'd like to blow a bubble.

Here's the mix I used more or less, we did have to tweak it a bit.
  • 1 cup Dreft washing up liquid (Dreft is Belgian, I heard it worked well for this so picked it up last year when we were in Brussels but I'm sure other brands work well too). 
  • 4 tablespoons glycerin 
  • 4 tablespoons cornflour
  • 4 cups water
A word about wands, we began by making wands out of string and plastic drinking straws as described in many places. They did not work at all, the mix completely failed to adhere to them. When we tried again I fashioned some largish wands out of pipe cleaners attached to sticks and these were perfect. They were much more rigid than the string and I think that's what meant they worked better.

I hope you enjoy it too if you give it a try. There really is something magical about bubbles.