I haven't been online much lately. Partially because my parents are travelling (safely) and that leaves me in charge of our garden-with-delusions-of-Kew and the small zoo, which is bordering on a day-job. And partially because that also leaves me full custody of the TV and I have a backlog of dozens of things to watch.

But I have one project lined up that I really want to finish before my parents return. My dad had a tiny pond in the veranda, with a stone toad for water sprout. Him, my sis and I painted it when we were young. Now the pond has been dismantled because the wooden outer frame pretty much rotted away but dad had plans to build a smaller new one. Now the paint job on the toad was not great quality, as I said, we were young. Enthousiastic, certainly; and creative too; but skilled, somewhat less. And with age and all the water some of the paint flaked way.

So I want to repaint it. Which is why I have been researching green-eyed toads for a while. Back then we painted it like the common European toad, which was about the only toad we knew. The trouble is the common toad has very distinct golden eyes, the stone toad water-sprout had inlaid bright green eyes, and so the combination rather left it looking weird. The trouble is there seemingly very few toads out there with bright green eyes that have the typical toad-build. This was rather surprising. So I compromised and decided to go for natterjack toad, which, while not bright green, has green-ish eyes and hey is even a native toad.

Quote Originally Posted by GailD View Post
Congrats on finishing the project! Maybe the different colors in the mortar give it an interesting look - like the Japanese art of Kintsugi (repairing broken pottery with gold*). I love the idea of embracing flaws and imperfections, rather than trying to hide them.
Ha, yes, it has some of that. But mostly, any look is better than the mess it was before. And with each bit finished it really motivated me to tackle the next bit. The last bit of joining is now done, I had to wait out first the rain, and then the short heat-wave because it was too hot to work with the mortar, and finally finished it just in time to set before another down-pour. Which leaves, if you want to be really picky, just the flaky-paint gutter pipe to be sorted and then really nothing can be improved.

Now that it is finished I wonder how we could have lived with it in utter shambles as long as we did. It's nice to get things fixed but it is hard to get started. So many repair projects demands your attention that sometimes you can't seem to give it to anything. I may not have done this one without the COVID lock-down. But I'm very pleased I persevered. Now I get a warm glow of satisfaction every time I pass the front entrance of the house, which is rare because mostly when something gets finally repaired around here we quickly forget it had been broken because there are like still a dozen other things that need fixing that immedately take your focus. I really should dwell on the joy of having something fixed longer than I normally do. It's nice to feel the accomplishment.

Quote Originally Posted by shakeysix View Post
I am going to put Gail's poem on the buzz saw blade. With Gail's permission, of course. I will have to consult with a couple of crafter friends to get the right medium (did I use that correctly?) and then I will find someone with a neater hand than I have. Maybe with an edge of sunflowers and poppies.
Oooh, that's a cool idea. Lovely to see people inspire each other on AW.

Quote Originally Posted by GailD View Post
Winter is starting to bite here. I really should get my slow cooker out of the cupboard, dust it off and start making some soup.
It took me so long to understand even Africa gets winter. Just because that imagine of the sun-beaten savannah is so powerful. (I have fortunately since then learned that Africa is a far more diverse continent than that.) But pretty much the only thing that convinced younger me that Africa could get cold was that it had penguins. Penguins as my all-time favourite animal when I was young, were pretty much the only thing with enough authority to make me accept the idea of cold in Africa.