Monday, August 12, 2019

Rolling Olga

Yesterday morning I was out in the garden when I realized I was hearing a lengthy muslim prayer. It was sung, sort of like the calls to prayer I used to hear regularly when I lived in Morocco, but this was much longer and kept returning to "Allah akbar, Allah akbar." It sounded like it was coming over a loudspeaker somewhere in the neighborhood, which mystified me, because as far as I know we don't have a mosque anywhere nearby. The closest one I know of is in Kilburn.

I got out and walked around to see if I could pinpoint the source, but I couldn't. Our flat is on a hill in West Hampstead and the wind was blowing pretty well yesterday morning, so the maybe the sound was simply being carried farther than it seemed. Mysterious!*

I took Olga to the Heath around 10:30, and a few blocks from home we found a bouquet of sunflowers stuffed into a public trash can. They were still in their wrapper and looked pretty fresh to me, so I retrieved them -- and not wanting to carry them around the Heath, I took them back home and put them in water before resuming our walk. Olga was very patient with these shenanigans.

As usual, Olga rolled in the high Heath grass and it finally occurred to me to make a video.

Despite -- or maybe because of -- her energetic rolling, she seemed tired out by our walk. We didn't even circumnavigate the entire Heath, as we would have even a few months ago, and she still trudged behind me on the way home as if she could barely take another step. She slept all afternoon, snoring on her bed. Poor late-middle-aged dog.

Yesterday's haul of found pottery chips. I especially like the bird at lower left and the basket pattern at the bottom.

I also found the remains of a large jar. You can't quite read it in the photo, but it says "John Kilner, 902, Wakefield." Apparently this was a Kilner Jar, which (similar to the Mason Jar) was used in home canning. I'm not sure what the 902 refers to -- some kind of production number, maybe? The Kilner factory was in Wakefield, in Yorkshire. It's a cool piece of glass, green and ripply with lots of interesting air bubbles, probably from the 1800s.

Finally, I'm sure you're sick to death of hearing about our garden caterpillars, but I thought this was a cool shot. They're definitely dwindling in number. I think they may be preparing to pupate, falling to the ground and wrapping themselves in a hard shell underground for the winter before emerging as moths next spring. I hope that's what's happening, anyway, and they're not just dropping dead or being eaten. But who knows.

Dave comes home today! In fact, he just texted me that his flight has landed at Heathrow. Yay!

*I have belatedly realized that yesterday was the beginning of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday. Hence the prayers. Still curious about where they were coming from, though.


  1. When Dave gets home you should say that you bought the sunflowers specially for him. Who knows? He might even believe you!

  2. your piece of jar is quite old as John Kilner and Sons,was in Wakefield, Yorkshire, 1847–57.
    The number could refer to the neck fastening,either fliptop or ball, which also had clip

  3. Love the pure abandoned joy of rolling Olga (and her kong). Our part Staffie/part Boxer, part G.Shepherd, Sammy, came in the other night from rolling around in....well, who knows what. Let's just say he had to be rubbed down with wet cloths before he stepped too far into the house.

  4. Love Olga's enthusiasm and the found flowers...

  5. Olga seems very happy rolling around in the grass. I have a set of cards that are to be like self care, inspiration and one of my favorite shows a corgi and it says Learn to play. Animals and children play with such energy and enthusiasm and abandon themselves into the joy of the moment while in play.
    Olga reminded me of that while I watched her play. Such a sweet dog. How old is she?

    Ohhh I think the pottery is awesome. I bet that it was a pretty dish at one time. Too sad that it is broken now. I love pottery. I use to have these awesome broken pots in my garden a few years ago but I moved from Nevada to California to Arkansas and I gave them to a friend of mine.

    Your jar is really a great find. It is sad that it was broken as well. But it would be interesting to know it's history and age. The number could be identification number on where the jar was actually made for what district.
    Here in America they use to put numbers on their products and if they needed to find where the shipment went they could reference the number on the bottom of the bottle or jar. Great find!

    I will never get tired of hearing about and looking at your sweet caterpillar. He or she is too sweet. I have already forgotten the name tho. I apologize!

    Have a great day. Beth Reed

  6. I wonder what the story is behind sunflowers still wrapped up and dumped in the trash. It does not sound like there was a happy ending there. Well, except for the fact that they now grace your house!
    Welcome home, Dave!
    Lovely finds from your walk and lovely Olga, scratching her back and loving life.

  7. Love that you found those sunflowers and rescued them. I also love seeing the caterpillar and hoping that it will move on to the next stage of life. Sending a big welcome home to Dave!

  8. looks like somebody's apology wasn't accepted re the sunflowers and I love the pottery shards you collect.

  9. From the owner of another aging dog, how hard it is to watch them slow down. My girl is still active but not nearly so and the limping a day later reminds me when I asked her to do too much. There was a day I could not throw the ball enough. I always stopped before she did. No more, 5 or 6 throws and she is done. Ah well, I will supply her a good life in her old age.

  10. The sunflowers - one person's trash is another person's gain.
    The big fat caterpillar. Time for it make its cocoon underground and hopefully appear in your garden next year. What a long time to spend underground. It must be frozen through winter!

  11. Why would someone throw away a perfectly good bouquet of sunflowers?? Strange. I'm glad you rescued them. They are gorgeous. I love that video of Olga. She looks so happy rolling around on the ground. Tell Dave I said 'welcome home".

  12. You always keep your eyes open and come up with many things that others may never see. I think your caterpillars are going to sleep.

  13. Welcome home to Dave. I bet Olga will be overjoyed to have her pack complete once again.

  14. Yesterday was eidh al something, a Muslim holy day, that may explain the prayer call or whatever it was.
    Welcome back to Dave!

  15. I love the caterpillar pictures, they're such cheerful creatures with their bright colors. Olga pretty much defines joy when she's rolling.

  16. Given that it was Eid al-Adha on Saturday, maybe the sound was from a recording coming from someone's home.

  17. The title today made me smile and picture you rolling Olga, not her rolling herself - lol. What a wonderful video. Like Briony, I admire Olga's spotted tummy.

    Nice flowers for free! One man's trash, etc. . . .

    Dave just left! How time flies. Hope he had a good trip.

  18. Olga is beautiful and looks to be really enjoying that roll in the grass. My little guy does this type of rolling whenever he thinks we're going out. We call it his happy dance. Those sunflowers are gorgeous. Good thing you rescued them. Your bits of plates and glass are quite interesting. Do you make a mosaic or something with them? You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  19. No wonder she slept all afternoon. After watching that video I feel like a nap. Nice picture of that colorful caterpillar.

  20. I love sunflowers! Serendipitous find! I wish I could roll around on the heath...

  21. I would have Salvaged the discarded Sunflowers too, they are Lovely and worth of display! And those Pottery Shards are also a Fun find!

  22. YP: He did comment on them when he came in -- so he may have assumed I bought them to brighten up the place for his arrival. But I did confess the rubbish bin angle eventually!

    Briony: Me too!

    GZ: Wow! I wouldn't have guessed it was THAT old. Excellent!

    Jennifer: He usually doesn't but you never know. :)

    Mary: Yeah, rolling can definitely be problematic! In Olga's case she usually just rolls in grass, but we've had a few episodes where she's found something stinky and then we have to bathe her.

    E: Olga's enthusiasm is infectious, isn't it?!

    Beth: Those chips aren't from just one dish, but many -- the Heath is full of old pottery and glass shards. I think some of them came in loads of river pebbles that have been used to firm up muddy paths, and some are the remnants of old dumped rubbish from hundreds of years ago.

    Ms Moon: I know! Who would throw away a fresh bouquet? Unless there were bad feelings attached.

    Robin: My fingers are crossed for the caterpillars!

    Ellen: Yeah, there must be some backstory to those flowers. It's probably just as well I don't know it.

    Linda: Olga also requires far fewer throws of a ball these days! I guess slowing down is inevitable for all of us, right?

    Alphie: I know! Pupating all winter sounds like a long time. But that's what I read online. Who knows.

    Sharon: The flowers probably didn't get the desired result from whoever received them! Re. Dave, I will!

    Red: I hope you're right about the caterpillars. I would like at least a few of them to survive to adulthood.

    Vivian: Yeah, I know Olga missed him just as much as I did. She does seem happy to have him back!

    Sabine: Yes! I figured that out right after I posted. So that's no doubt WHY someone was praying, but I'd still love to know WHERE.

    Allison: They are pretty caterpillars. Olga ALWAYS defines joy. We call her "hundred percent dog," because she always gives it her all, no matter what she's doing.

    37P: It could have been from a house, but it sounded louder than that. Hard to say, though, the wind was so weird that morning.

    Jenny-O: I feel like he's been gone for ages. I'm glad he's home!

    Edna: I haven't made any mosaics yet, but I have such a collection I'm thinking I should do SOMETHING with them. Stay tuned!

    Catalyst: Right?! It takes a lot of energy to wiggle around so much!

    Bug: I bet you've got some roll-worthy places there in NC! Maybe even your front yard! What are you waiting for?!

    Bohemian: There's always interesting old stuff on the Heath. Pretty much anywhere in London, in fact!