Welcome to family, friends and visitors. Here you will find interesting (hopefully) pictures of my part of the world, news of our household and probably, long ramblings about anything that catches my interest.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017


It's been a grey day with light drizzle for most of it and some slight brightening up later in the afternoon. I was able to use my reclaimed pots from yesterday to plant up some more plants 'to go'. I had to dig up a double hardy geranium from the  flower bed as its position behind a miniature rose bush had made it hard to get to when I was digging up plants for the propagation beds. When it eventually flowered amongst a great mass of various h. geraniums I thought I'd have no difficulty in identifying it later on and didn't even put a cane next to it. Big mistake, apart from the scrambling geranium spreading everywhere I wasn't too sure which plant I should be digging up. I think I got the right one but possibly not. It would be a shame if I didn't as that particular variety came from a big plant show and isn't available at ordinary garden centres or nurseries though I know I've got the lighter purple one.
Peter went to town this morning and when he came back I was bemoaning the fact that I'd got to the front door just as a delivery van was driving off. The front door had been wide open and I would have heard if the bell had been rung or the man had called out. I had to stop my rant when Peter pointed out the parcel tucked neatly into the corner of the porch. 
For the last 2 years or so I've been keeping the packaging from any delicate stuff, mostly TVs and IT stuff. Today I began putting the boxes in the same room as the relevant items so that I can have a final clear out of the room I've been using for storage. Some more paperwork came today for us to sign but as nothing is fixed until the final day we can't get excited. Judging by the way our buyer acted over accepting our final price we fully expect him to pull out of the deal in the last few days to try and get us to drop the price. At least expecting the worst will make it easier to handle whichever way it goes. 

Tuesday, 17 October 2017


It's been nice and sunny for most of the day. Right now there was a pretty pink and blue sunset sky which intensified briefly and is now fading away. I found out that yesterday's weird yellow light (and red sun when not covered by clouds) was due to the air being full of dust from the Sahara and smoke from forest fires in Spain filtering out the blue spectrum in the light.
This afternoon I filled up my car with more stuff for the dump including almost all of the old plaster. I also had a small box filled with unused white tiles. I was about to take them over to the resale area when I was told that not only did they not want them but there would be a charge if I wanted to dispose of them. Back in the car they went along with some large plastic plant pots I  helped myself to from the large plastics area. 
I called in at the Tesco's there and left a box of SF paperbacks at their 'Buy a second hand book for charity' shelf. I realised I hadn't picked the best time to do some shopping as the shop was full of parents and children dropping in after school. I noticed many children eating a piece of fruit from the free for children fruit selection which was nice to see. There were also a lot of people taking advantage of the highly reduced frozen items, mainly ice creams and lollies at about 80% off. I bought some boxes of peanut butter Magnums as a treat and some cheese, rice and bean Burritos for Peter. The bakery section also yielded up more reductions so it was a successful shopping trip. 

Monday, 16 October 2017


I woke up very early this morning. It was one of those times that I needed to get up and stretch my back but even by the time I had done my whole exercise routine it was still dark. If there had been any signs of a proper sunrise I may well have gone out for an early morning walk but sky simply went from black to dark grey and then mid-grey. I took the above photo at 11.00 when the sky was still grey with that peculiar yellow light I think of as storm light. Hurricane now down graded to Storm Ophelia seems to have hit the country north of us. It was fairly windy early in the day but then the wind died down and we had a couple of hours of sun. The sky began to darken later in the afternoon and right now it's getting windier with sudden gusts making the trees dance. We checked the surf-cam this morning but the wind was in the wrong direction for spectacular waves. One of these days we'll make it down to the beach when the big waves come blowing in.
Today I packed away the rest of the books from both sets of shelves in the sitting room and gave the shelves and the wall behind a good wash. The shelves were put up before the walls were plastered smoothly so behind the shelves is a reminder of how horrible the textured walls were. I've done my best to wipe them down but it's not an easy surface to clean. I hope the new people have lots of books or DVDs. No date set yet as their upcountry solicitors are still fussing about things that are perfectly normal to us country folk.  
I spotted this Red Admiral butterfly during the sunny spell. it was only when I looked closely at the photo that I noticed it only had one antenna.

Sunday, 15 October 2017


They were right about it being warm today. In the sun it was a pleasant 22C/ 71.5F. While I was trying hard to think of something worthwhile to do outside I did some hoeing of the propagation bed. It was then I realised that after all that digging up of plants to pot up, there was sufficient space for a small bonfire. Being one of those people who keep all their paper records I had a massive folder of bank statements going back to 2005. I'm not sure why I might need them in this technological era though we won't bank on-line for security reasons but I thought it was time to get rid of most of them. They're not the sort of thing you can put in with the household rubbish and I thought that burning would be easier and much more fun than putting them through the shredder. Just to be on the safe side I have kept my statements for the last five years. It was quite satisfying to crumple up each page and feed the fire. After that I swept up the large piles of leaves that have accumulated in the corners of the front patio. No doubt more will fall especially in the winds forecast for tomorrow but I will try and keep the garden as reasonably tidy as I can without straining my back.
Each morning as I play my guitar I have a lovely view of the stream through the full height window. I've found that I can rest my 'How to play' book on top of the basket of music books and use the front bar of the chair the basket sits on to rest my foot as I perch on the stool I use when I'm playing the piano.
'Scuse the fuzzy photo but I wasn't sure how close I could get before the bees got annoyed by my presence. Judging by the bright yellow on their legs they were finding plenty of pollen to build up their winter stocks.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Mainly Overcast.

It's a good thing I set my alarm to wake me this morning though possibly as a result I've felt sleepy all day long. Not that I had to be out that early but I've slipped easily into a living pattern tuned to the state of my body rather than the need to be in set places at set times. 
This morning I made a brief visit to the new house to check some measurements and was very pleasantly surprised to find that the living room really is 15ft x 11ft which at a pinch will fit both the sofas until we decide which one will suit better. I have already offered the large sofa to somebody so if it goes then that will be the decision taken out of my hands which I don't mind. There's quite a bit of level space outside in the back garden next to the cat flap so I shall start looking for a really large dog crate to put there.
Now that it's been getting colder at night I've been thinking about putting a couple of boxes in the conservatory so that the cats can be a bit warmer. As shown by Speedy above the cats will jump into any empty box. Before when I made them some closed boxes with their blankets inside and a hole at the front Patch tried sleeping on top of the box and fell right through. After my quick visit to the house I went over to BJ's, a general goods and garden store which sometimes has bargains. After passing by the twinkling Christmas decoration aisles I came across these soft cat houses. At just under £6 each I thought they were a good bargain and exactly the sort of thing I wanted. The soft cushion inside doesn't have a removable cover so when I got home I washed the cats' fleece blankets and after drying used them to make removable covers which can be popped in the washing machine. The cat houses are now in the conservatory and though Patch was a bit cautious at first he eventually tucked himself inside. I also think it will be good for the cats to have something familiar to retreat to when we move.
Later on Jack came over on his quad bike for the umbrella tree. He thought he might need to get the little trailer to put the tree in but as the pot itself is quite small we were able to lie it flat with the pot secured to the rack in front of the handlebars and the top of the tree to the rack at the back. I'm glad it's gone to a good home.

Friday, 13 October 2017


Today has been overcast but very mild. It's set to get even warmer over the next two days with London and the South-East possibly reaching 24C/ 75F. Then it's all change as Hurricane Ophelia swings towards Ireland and the UK where the strong winds will hit the west coasts. So far it looks as if it will affect the North more than down here. 
I did some more cleaning up in the outbuildings in the morning before retiring indoors. The old exercise book in which I have been writing down all the contents of the packed boxes and details of the art work is starting to fall apart so I have begun writing everything out again, neatly this time, in a more sturdy notebook.
Later in the afternoon I went over to the stables. Last night I had been given the sad news that another of our neighbours had passed away on Wednesday. The friend who rang asked me if I would go over and tell Paul and Sarah. Being a rural community although we might not be in each other's pockets people do look out for each other and help whenever we are asked. When I walked over to the stables Paul was hammering some metal roofing panels on to the barn which is almost repaired. To reach the top of the barn he was in/on a platform that was raised up by the fork lift truck operated by his son. While I was there I offered them this rather tall dwarf umbrella tree which is trying to escape from the conservatory as their club house has a high ceiling and I think their house has a 2 storey hall. (I always go in through the kitchen door.) They accepted so I guess Jack will be round sometime with the quad bike and trailer. I only bought the tree to cover up the back of the tv when people came to view. A delivery van drove up to the stables when I was there, he had a parcel for Paul and one for us so I was able to save him the extra time to go down to our place.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Sunny Afternoon.

The day started off grey and gloomy but drier than yesterday with an occasional tinge of blue between the clouds. I went out again late in the afternoon and there was hardly a cloud to be seen in the blue sky though by that time the garden was mostly in shade.
Peter went into town in my car as I had noticed an alarming clunk when I set off on my travels yesterday. Luckily it was just the handbrake cable sticking and Alec at the garage squirted some stuff into it and now it's fine. Knowing what a worrier I am Peter got him to check out the main brakes as well and they are fine too. One reason Peter went into town was to collect this 5L bottle of genuine first press olive oil. One of his friends has family in Spain who have olive trees, (is that orchard, grove or farm?) and brings this oil back when he goes to visit them. As I have salad almost every day with my own made vinaigrette I get through a fair amount of olive oil and this will be tastier than the shop bought olive oil.
This afternoon I went through my mother's art folders making sure they are in a suitable state to be moved and stored. A whole lot of sketches were in an open wooden tray like a drawer for which I made a cardboard carton using a large box and lots of packing tape.
It was still warm enough outside for the bumble bees to be out collecting pollen and looking out of the kitchen window I caught sight of a large dragonfly patrolling his patch.