Thursday, 24 December 2009

Giraffe Greetings of the Season!

Giraffe Greetings of the Season!
To all my dear bloggy friends, may you have a nextra special holiday! Thank you so much for your treasured friendship throughout the year and your wonderful blogs.
Much love from Raph, Maureen and all of us at Necky Knoll House!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Where's the best place for our fabulous photo?

Some time ago, at the Secret Portal behind the Intergalactic Cacti, a beautiful shell photograph arrived for me from Country Girl!
The whole family fell in love with its subtle colours and entrancing spiral shape receding softly into the background.
After having it framed, we have nexperimented with hanging it in various rooms. As usual, the family all want to hang it in different places ... I'm calling on you, dear bloggy friends, to help us in the nexciting task of deciding!

I rather like it by the fireplace, near Derrick's Melrose photos, so I can gaze at it in comfort from my rocking chair ...


Uncle Girth thinks it should be in the hall by the front door, so it's the first thing people see on entering Necky Knoll House.

Our toddler son, Littl' Nicky says that as his neck is not yet as long as ours, he cannot see it when it's too high - so how about just above the work surface in the kitchen?

Both Nexi and Nektareeni think that a shell is a good subject to have in the bathroom. But Maureen pointed out that it may get spoiled by all the steam and condensation.

She suggested hanging it just outside the bathroom on the landing. We tried it there just as Necky Becky was climbing the ladder up to her attic bedroom.

"Ooh!" she yelled, "I want it! In my secret attic room!"
Sounds familiar! But it wouldn't benefit the rest of us, as she doesn't allow anyone in her room ...
Over to you! Where would you hang the lovely shell photo if you lived in our house?
And of course, a big giraffy Thank You to Country Girl for our wonderful present! Do visit her blog, Chronicles of a Country Girl, and see all her beautiful photographs.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

A Tree of Gold

A few days ago I dreamed about a tree of gold.
Dee of 'A Desert Observer' had asked if anyone knew the identity of a lovely tree in her neighbour's garden, and I must have been thinking about the yellow leaves as I went to sleep that night. When I awoke I had the above image very vividly in my mind.
Feeling that there could be some neckouragement in this for my bloggy-friends, I thought I would share it. Maybe it will have different meanings for each of you.

Monday, 9 November 2009

November Dream-digging

Giraffes Raph G Neckmann & Littl' Nicky digging the garden - Raph's Ramblings by Ingrid Sylvestre UK artist & author
November is very special in Giraffe World. It is dream-digging time!

As you know, dear bloggy-friends, our gleeful motto is 'Stick your neck out for your dreams!' During the year, our dreams often become a little clouded. We use this time of new beginning to review and re-energize our aspirations.

First of all, we take special leaves from the garden, and write onto them our cherished dreams for the year to come.

Then as a whole family, we busily dig over our vegetable plots ready for winter. Even youngest child Littl' Nicky loves to help, and is very nexcited about our dream-digging!

As the moon rises, we all go out to the Forest to collect fallen leaves from among the pale dappled tree-trunks.

The drive at Necky Knoll House is soon piled high with beautiful leaves.
They are dug deep into our vegetable and flower gardens. For us, this is both a solemn and gleeful occasion, during which we review the past year, and look ahead to the year to come.
At the first signs of dawn, we take our special 'dream-leaves' and dig them deep into the tilled earth. Along with all the other leaves, they will be transformed over winter, and take part in the magical rebirth of spring. Through all the seasons, whenever we look at our lovely garden, we will be reminded to stick our necks out for our dreams!

What helps you to follow your dreams, dear human bloggy-friends?

Friday, 30 October 2009

Happy Birthday Weaver of Grass, and Happy Hallowe'en Everyone!

Happy Birthday to our dear bloggy-friend the Weaver of Grass!

(Did you know, Weaver, that you were the first human to comment on my blog!)

Here Maureen and I and Littl' Nicky are strolling down one of our favourite lanes past the tall barn at the edge of the Wood. There's a lovely Autumn feel in the air, and the breeze is swishing through the trees. The Wood beckons and we lift our necks in glee knowing we have a lovely walk ahead of us.

And Happy Hallowe'en to everyone!

Here's a special 'spooky' picture, taken in our Forest. (Necky Becky wanted to be on this one!) Our trees like to dance before the moon, and we'll soon be having our Hallowe'en party! (We haven't a clue what Hallowe'en is about, but all you dear bloggy friends seem to enjoy it, so we thought we'd stick our necks out and celebrate it too!).

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Our Nextra Day Nexcursion from September 31st

Hooray, dear bloggy friends - I have time to blog again! We've been having a nextremely busy autumn, and I've missed you all. I've been longing to tell you about our special nexcursion!
Here in Giraffe World we have what are known as Nextra Days. These are special days which some other planets do not have, and one of them is September 31st. We giraffes do so love to visit Planet Earth, and the best time to do so en masse is when we cannot be seen by humans! So it was with great nexcitement that we all piled into the Tours Bus at dawn for our journey through the Secret Portal behind the Intergalactic Cacti. ... We'd decided to visit a city in the UK called Durham. What a charming historical location! We had the Market Place all to ourselves, and our presence energized a giraphic transformation of some of the features.
Later, we wandered down to the River below the spectacular Cathedral. Some of our party enjoyed rowing giraffe-style while the rest of us watched from the banks.

At the end of a lovely day we squeezed back through the secret portal, singing and laughing all the way home.

Ah - but not all of us! With typical rebellious neck, our middle child, Necky Becky decided she'd like to spend another day in Durham, without thinking that the 1st of October was not a Nextra Day, and the place would be full of humans! She sneaked off the bus as it slowed down by the Cacti and made her way back through the portal.
As soon as we got home Maureen and I noticed her absence. I spent a long night travelling back to Planet Earth, and searched everywhere for Necky Becky, taking care not to be seen by humans. At last I spotted her - she had got into the Town Hall, and was standing defiantly in the window behind some famous Durham County cricketers who were being photographed. (She does like to be in the limelight!)

I managed to take this photo of her, and persuaded her to come back to the bus immediately by promising her she could learn to play cricket. Ah, the trials of giraffe parent-hood ...

(c) Durham Artist Ingrid Sylvestre - Artist, Designer, Illustrator, Author, Songwriter, Speaker and Giraffe Lady.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

An intergalactic surprise from Bindu!

It was with great nexcitement that I went looking for our Tours bus the other day ... I had heard from the keeper of the Secret Intergalactic Cacti that there was a package from Bindu awaiting me at the Portal!

After locating the bus in our vegetable patch, (I'd forgotten I was supposed to load it up with sprouts for the Gleeful & Greedy Restaurant), I set off along the mountain road. The Secret Intergalactic Cacti are hidden deep in the gardens of the Cave of Beginning in the mountains. The journey is via a beautiful scenic route, steeped in our history - and the Cave itself - breathtaking! I will give you a guided tour one day.

As I approached, I could see an envelope hidden among the huge cacti, right next to the entrance to the Secret Portal ...

The ancient giraffe carving on the boulder above looked to be guarding the envelope, and I bowed my neck in thanks as I carefully picked up my gift. I almost ran back to the bus, and eagerly opened the envelope.

Oh how lovely! Three beautiful bookmarks created by Bindu herself in these gorgeous glowing colours! I particularly love the one with the sunflower-like patterns, I could gaze at it for hours. Thank you so much Bindu - I shall treasure them! They will go in my Journal, my current new read and my favourite book The Wind in the Willows, which I read on a continuous loop, so I will enjoy looking at them every day.
Dear bloggy friends, do visit Bindu's lovely blog, Transient Lives. It is one of my favourites, with beautiful photographs of Bindu's travels and a fascinating range of topics.

Monday, 14 September 2009

The Giraffaway Winners!

Littl' Nicky was full of anticipation as we made our way to the kitchen at noon yesterday for the Giraffaway draw!

Our eldest daughter Nexi had neatly written all the entrants' names on pieces of paper and dropped them into our favourite teapot. Littl' Nicky was bouncing around with nexcitement as Maureen placed the teapot on a little stool so he could reach into it to draw the first winning name.

Closing his eyes he picked a piece of paper out of the teapot. "Oooooh - Nummy One!" he squealed.

"Here!" called Nexi, "I'll read it out - Number One - BT The Crafty Gardener!"

There was a round of applause, and Maureen and I did a little dance.

Maureen gave the teapot a vigorous shake, and Littl' Nicky reached into the pot. "Nummy Two!"

There was a loud shriek from Nexi as something wet and soggy landed in her hand. It was a teabag!

"Oh, Necky Becky, you were supposed to empty and dry the teapot!" chided Maureen.

Necky Becky glared and looked sulky.

Littl' Nicky put his hand into the pot again, and this time pulled out another slip of paper. "This is Nummy Two and I can read it, Mummy," he called delightedly, "It says 'Janet'!"

We all cheered again.

"This next one is the last one!" called Maureen.

"Nummy Three" said Littl' Nicky, pulling another slip out of the teapot.

Nexi peeled open the soggy paper.

"Dad, there are two slips here - stuck together with the wet!"

"A nextra prize, a nextra prize!" chanted Littl' Nicky joyfully.

Maureen looked at the pieces of paper. "This is thanks to Necky Becky not emptying the tea - we have four lucky winners instead of three!"

Necky Becky's sulky face lit up with a big smile.

"Number Three, Barbara Martin!" she yelled, "And Number Four, Heather!"


So here we are - congratulations to the four lucky winners of our first Giraffaway! I will be contacting you to organize the intergalactic dispatch of the giraffe cards you have chosen.

Thank you to all dear bloggy friends who entered, it's been great fun and I'm sure this will be the first of many Giraffaways at Necky Knoll House!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Giveaways for me - Giveaways for you!

I'm really nexcited! I've won two giveaways: beautiful bookmarks by Bindu and a lovely shell photograph by Country Girl, and eagerly await their appearance at the Secret Portal behind the Cacti! I will feature them on my blog when they arrive.

And another cause for nexcitement at Necky Knoll House is that Maureen and I have launched an Interneck shop for our giraffe cards, which we have called Giraffe Greetings!

Our IT nexpert, Nekky Tekky, has set up a special intergalactic portal, which means we are not limited to serving giraffes in our Camelopardalis constellation, but can nextend our services to planet Earth.

Inspired by the giveaways of my fellow bloggers, we thought it would be fun to celebrate in bloggyland with a special greeting card giraffaway - a gift of four giraffe cards each to three bloggy friends!

If you'd like the chance to win four of our giraffy cards, here's how: decide which four cards from our Giraffe Greetings shop you like best, and leave me a comment with their titles. On Sunday at noon GWT, (Giraffe World Time), I will put your names on folded bits of paper into my favourite teapot, and let Littl' Nicky pick out three.

The three winners will be published on the blog, so you can then let me know where to send your cards!

Whoopee - I think this is a reason for another party!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

A party to remember - and still rockin'!

Thank you, all my dear human bloggy friends, for your lovely birthday wishes! We've had a party long even by giraffe standards ... The culmination was a necktacular performance by the Stiffnex band at dawn on Tuesday. Have you ever seen about a hundred giraffes doing air guitar? We danced, we sang, we celebrated until the morning mists lifted.

Now I'm resting, but still rocking!

Allow me to show you my wonderful birthday present from Maureen and the kids - a beautiful new rocking chair! It's just the right height for my neck, and makes a lovely creaking noise.

Our eldest daughter Nexi made the cushion, with giraffes and ice-creams stamped all over it with rainbow coloured fabric dyes.

She also stamped a special design on the headrest, featuring me with our youngest child Littl' Nicky. I am depicted sitting on my old rocking chair, (the one I left outside in the rain too often!!).

Ah, dear bloggy friends, wouldn't it be marvellous if my new rocker was a magic chair which could fly up to a secret portal between our Giraffe World and your planet Earth, and ferry you through the clouds to Necky Knoll House to help us eat the rest of the cakes!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

It's my birthday!

Today is my birthday! I feel quite bashful about posting this, but Necky Becky is insisting ...
I had a nice cup of tea in bed this morning, (literally, because Hals jumped up and knocked it over), and lots of giraffe cards and presents and gleefulness. We're all having the day off, and tonight ... a big party at Necky Knoll House!
Dear bloggy friends, I hope that you will all indulge in a large piece of cake with us across the intergalactic miles. I wish I could transport you all through a secret portal so you could join in the party celebrations!
Time to go - I'm being summoned by Girth about the menu!

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Spotlight on Nukkle the Drummer!

On my previous post, (oh, my neck - was it really so long ago?!), many of you commented how you loved Nukkle. I thought I'd treat you to a special post about him! (He's all embarrassed and gruff about it, muttering "Mmmvhhhhhhhhh!", but is really rather pleased ...)

So ... Nukkle is the drummer with the Stiffnex band. He isn't terribly tall, but he is big: big hands, big feet, wide neck, and a big heart!

By day he works as apprentice plumber and fitter at the AFF Gas plant, (Anatomically Friendly Flatulence), which powers Neckelchester village. He loves his job! (The picture above shows him with the gas plant's own special band, the AFF Gas Trumpeters).

Nukkle wears his work dungarees wherever he goes, even on stage with the Stiffnex, and keeps his tools in the pockets with his drumsticks.

This means he often gets his drumsticks and spanners mixed up, which doesn't do the drumkit much good at all ...

(You can see a video of him performing with the Stiffnex by clicking here to go to an earlier post).

Nukkle is altogether rather clumsy, and gets terribly teased by his friends. For instance, when carrying his kit down into our cellar, he slipped on some soup which Girth had slopped on the floor.

Down he went, to rise covered in Parsneck Soup!

The drums went bouncing down into the cellar, and are now rather mis-shapen!

Both Nukkle and Necky Becky are good at looking grumpy.

However, Nukkle sweats out any grumpiness when he's playing his beloved drums.

The other great love in his life is his food. Nukkle's idea of bliss is to sit on his favourite bench in the village park and eat his lunch - usually a monster sandwich called the 'Giroffimo'. This is a huge triple-decker made with both white and brown bread. Filled with toasted peppers, onions, garlic, stir-fried bananas, and three different kinds of cheese, it oozes spicy relish and mayonnaise...

One day, I'll tell you the story, 'Nukkle's Sandwich' !