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 This weekend is a bank holiday weekend, which means 3 days off. It is also traditional for the weather to be terrible!

It's been very hot over the last couple of days (you know, the days we've been spending in the office) so of course at around 3 a.m. on Saturday morning there was a massive thunderstorm, with torrential rain, and lots of very loud thunder. 

I'm sure that the rain will be good for the garden and fields, but I could have done without being woken at that time of night!

The forecast suggested that we were likely to get more rain over the weekend, but other than a very brief shower, Saturday was dry (although very warm and muggy a lot of the time) so I was able to cut the grass both at the front and back.  

I had turf laid at the back, when I had the gravel removed last year. The front, where I had tarmac removed, was just replaced with topsoil, and I wasn't quick enough to plant it so have an awful lot of docks and nettles and other things I don't really want,but am gradually working on getting rid of the weeds, and getting grass to grow. 

I also planted some young hydrangeas (grown from cuttings from my parents' garden) earlier in the year, which seem to be doing reasonably well. I hope, eventually, that I will have a selection of bushes and flowers - and maybe even a vegetable patch.

The clematis I planted last year is thriving, and has just started to flower, and my tomato plants (in pots and grow bags) and peas (also in pots and grow bags) seem to be doing well; the tomatoes are starting to flower, and the peas have both flowers and little baby mange-tout pods. 

Given that my track record on growing things to eat hasn't been great, and mostly seems to consist of growing things to be eaten by slugs, or to die for no apparent reason, it is very gratifying! I'm really hoping that this year I will get a reasonable crop of tomatoes. The last few years I've grown them, the fruit has't had time to ripen before it gets too cold, but I started the seedlings off earlier this year, and I'm keeping some of them in pots indoors, so hopefully those will ripen, even if the outdoors ones don't!

So, I've been pottering around, doing a bit of weeding and pruning and re-potting, and I also did various bits of housework, because sometimes you run out of excuses not to! 


Apr. 10th, 2017 06:04 pm
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 This weekend, the weather has been lovely, warm sunshine, blue skies - what more could one ask?

I have primroses blooming in the garden, the tulips appear to be on the brink of bursting into flower, and further afield, trees are covered in blossom (and my baby apple tree is going to have blossom any minute now!) 


I cut the grass for the first time this year, on Sunday, and have planted out some of my tomato and pea seedlings, so shall have to hope that the nice weather continues and they all survive!

Oh, and I bought a new washing line and now need to make a deeper whole to put it in, because it turns out the new lie is bigger than the old one, and needs a deeper hole to put the stalk in..!


Apr. 12th, 2012 07:21 pm
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After all our shopping, we headed down to Devon, to my parents home, for the Easter weekend. Both my sisters were there, plus K's fiance. On Saturday evening, we decided to support local enterprise by visiting the local pub (One of the many good things about my parents' home is that the pub is within easy walking distance. And it has good beer)

Sunday morning involved ringing for some of us: my parents have been teaching a group of people to ring, as there was no local band in the village when they moved there. The church has been having some building works done, as a result of which the bells have not been available since just after Christmas, and Easter Day was the first service (other than a wedding the previous afternoon) for which the bells were rung.
I had got up early-ish, so decided to join my mum and dad and have a quick ring, then I left them to it, bought a Sunday paper or two and wandered back to the house. The field opposite their house is currently full of sheep and lambs, and I enjoyed hearing the bells and the bleating of the lambs.

As they were predicting rain, for later, we decided to head out to the seaside for a walk after breakfast, and we went to Baggy Point.
It was a greyish day, but didn't actually rain on us while we were walking. There were lots of people there, but also lots of wild flowers - I spotted primroses, violets, thrift, bladder campion, and a few others whose names I didn't know. There were skylarks, singing their best, and black-blacked gulls, looking sinister. In the sea were many surfers, inspired more by hope than reality, as the sea was flat as a pancake.

We then divided the party, with the more energetic half going on for a longer walk (and later, I heard, ending up in a pub) and the more decrepit half of the party walking back, via a small National Trust cafe with some of the slowest service I have met with for some considerable time! (The cake was nice, but it wasn't nice enough to justify the wait!)

And later, it being Easter, we ate roast lamb, with all the trimmings.

Easter Monday, being a bank holiday, was naturally soaking wet. I don't think it stopped raining at all, so we were forced to stay indoors, reading and eating chocolate and other good things. It was most restful.

And while my sisters both then departed, to drive home in the rain, I had booked Tuesday as a day off, so was able to stay on, and drove home in sunshine (and occasional hail) on Tuesday afternoon. It was a nice weekend.
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I have a week off work, which is very nice, and having been insufficiently organised to have made any other plans, I decided to travel down to Devon to spend some time with my parents.

The journey down was horrendous - pouring rain, very heavey traffic and queues on the motorway, so the journey took about an hour and a half longer than normal. However, once I arrived, all was well.

On Friday night, after a very tasty supper (cooked by someone else, which is always a treat for me!) my Dad and I were able to go out into the garden to look for meteors - happily, there is very little light pollution here, and  saw 6 or 7 shooting stars, which was a lovely end to the evening.

As Sunday came a nice day, we decided to go to Rosemoor, which is owned by the Royal Horticultural Society - there are several formal gardens - a rose garden, cottage garden, mediterranean garden, a herb/sensory garden, plus woodland and vegetable gardens.

There were thousands of bees everywhere - both honey bees and bumble bees, and there were also lots of butterflies - small Toirtoiseshells and Cabbage Whites, which one gets everywhere, but also Red Admirals, Peacock Butterflies and Painted Ladies, which are less common.

The colours were beautiful, and although I know very little about gardening, and have difficulty in recognising all but the most common flowers or trees, wandering around beautiful gardens in the sunshine, amid the bees and butterflies, is very pleasant indeed.
More photos on my flickr stream
marjorie73: (Default)
This week seems to have gone on for a very long time, and I have been sleeping poorly, so I have been tired and cranky. I was, therefore, most annoyed to wake up at 5 a.m. this morning.

And then when I finally got back to sleep, the alarm went off as I had to get up and take my little car to have its MOT. On the plus side, it passed first time, which is nice (and cheap).

But it meant I had very little energy to do anything else, so today I have mostly been sitting about, reading, and watching Tybalt being photogenic.

I also found that my baby clematis, which I planted last year, has beaten the bindwind and managed not only to survive, but to blossom.

It's pretty.


It appears that there is some football going on at the moment. I have absolutely no interest in this, but as long as they refrain from cancelling or moving Doctor Who, or anything else important, I am happy for people to enjoy it.

I do find the flags a little annoying, however. My opposite neighbours have two big flags, both wth the cross of St George and with 'England' written across them, plus bunting. It is a pity that they didn't think to iron out the fold creases before they put the flags up. And I have to wonder, why print "England" on the flag? Do they think people won't know what they stand for without?

For myself, I have my copy of 'Stories' I am pacing myself, reading just one story a day (well, Ok. Maybe two) So I will continue to have new stories for a while.
I have also been watching some random TV. Today, I came across the Trooping of the Colours, for the Queen's official birthday. It's very, very strange. We have a real army, then they come back from Afghanistan or Iraq, dress up in 18th Century clothing and prance around on horseback. Most odd. I also learned that the horses which carry the kettle-drums hold the rank of Major. Sadly no explanation was given as to why this might be, or how they get around the issues of military etiquette which must, surely, arise when you have junior officers riding around on the back of senior ones....

I wonder if they get saluted much. Or, indeed, paid. Still, handy to know we staill have cavalry, in case we decide we need to fight some new wars after all the oil runs out.
(Originally posted at - please comment there or here)

marjorie73: (Default)
(This was origianlly posted over at and I just realised today that I didn't cross-post it here. It was last Sat

 I had been feeling a little disappointed, as I'd thought I might go to the Bristol Comic Con & Small Press Expo which is on this weekend, which would have meant the opportunity to but it turns out that having thought "I really should buy a ticket" doesn't have the same effect as actually buying a ticket, and by the time I got around to the whole buying a ticket part it was too late, and they were all sold out.

Which was sad, as lots of interesting people, such as Paul Cornell, Tony Lee, Jason Arnopp and others, many of whom I follow on Twitter. (plus, you know, comics and books and stuff!)

Still, when I woke up, it turned out it was a glorious sunny day, so I was reconciled to the idea of not having to get up early, and get a no-doubt hot and crowded train into Bristol to hang around inside a hotel...

Instead, I've been doing lots of chores -it's so nice to be able to get washing dried outside, for a change, and my clematis has come out in a riot of flowers and my tomato, lettuce and cauliflower plants all seem to be thriving, which is all most pleasing.

I went over to Bradford on Avon where my favourite picture-framer is based, to take him my 'Desert Wind' print, from Neverwear to frame.

When I got there, and was walking along by the river, I saw a couple of mute swans fighting.

videoGiven the third swan which was swanning around watching enthusiastically I'm guessing this was some sort of sordid sex and violence thing - although I suppose it could simply be a territorial thing.

It made me very aware of just how BIG these birds are. It was clear that each was trying to get the other's head under water, and by the end the winner was allowing the loser to have his head above the water, but was holding the rest of his body under the water.

They must have considerable stamina - I must have watched for at least 10 minutes, and the fight had started before I got there.

After that excitement I did get to the framers , and had a discussion about how the print is to be framed, and then, inevitably, I ended up in the bookshop. . . . although I was very good, and only bought one book (and that, second hand)
I then spent some time admiring the more picturesque bits of the town, before heading home where I did lots of housekeeping, as a result of which I now have clean floors, lots of clean laundry, much less dust, some freshly potted put tomato and aubergine seedlings, some newly planted squash and courgette seeds and lots of portions of bolognese in the freezer. And some different library books.

I also got time to go and queue up in the Post Office in order to post my engagement gift to my sister K and her fiance C. I will do another post about that later, with pictures (the gift, I mean. The queueing was uneventful, and doesn't deserve its own post), but I will wait, just on the off-chance that K or C stumble across this blog in the next few days, before the parcel arrives, and it spoils the surprise.

I bought a lot of stamps, too. Probably I should write to people in order to make use of them. The Post Office recently issued stamps for the Acession of King George V. This took place in 1910. It's good to know that they are so on the ball.

All in all, it was a good day.

marjorie73: (Default)
I guess that after last weekend’s excitement, the rest of the week was always going to be a bit of a anticlimax. It was mostly spent working, and trying to catch up on lost sleep.

There was time, however, to help Cheryl move, on Monday evening, and to enjoy the signs of spring – I drive past woodland on my way to work, and over the past week the bluebells have all come out, as has the wild garlic, although that has not yet reached full strength as you cannot yet smell it as you drive past! The horse-chestnuts are in full flower, and on all the residential streets there are ornamental cherry trees covered with pink or white blossom.

It was wet and windy this morning, so the blossom was falling like snow.

In my own garden, the kingcups in my miniature pond are out in force, the clematis plant I bought last year seems to have woken up and is galloping at speed up the trellis, and the aquilegia is our, although oddly, all of those seem to be purple this year (I’m sure at least one was white, last year…) The rock geraniums are flowering busily (They are a bit pink for me, but seem to be VERY hardy, so I think I shall have them around for a while)

I shall also have an excellent crop of Herb Robert, although as that’s technically a weed, I probably shouldn’t boast about it – it is quite pretty, however, and grows in the cracks of the paving I haven’t been able to take up, yet.

And the lettuce, tomato, cauliflower and herb seedlings which I planted out all seem still to be alive, and growing, and not yet completely devoured by slugs and snails.

Once it stops raining, I shall go out and do a bit of weeding, and meanwhile, as it is a weekend, I think I shall do some baking – I think I feel a poppy seed cake coming on..
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Yesterday was bright and sunshiny - in fact, for the first time this year it was warm and sunny enough that I was able to put my washing outside on the line. A small thing, but enough to show that Spring is on it's way.

I walked into town, where I found crocuses (Crocii??) blooming outside the library, and snowdrops in the park, as well as the beginnings of various buds on the trees and bushes, and some daffodils which are not quite out, but which will be in another day or two.

No primroses yet, but I'm sure there will be, soon.

I'm sure that this isn't 'it', that we will have more cold weather (even in the last few days, we've had frost) but this does feel as though winter is, finally, coming to an end.

And about time too!

Today also turned out to be bright and sunny - a bit chilly outside, but there are mornings when having an east-facing bedroom window, a book, a cup of coffee, and a cat is enough for happiness....

I also have a housemate for the next week or so - unexpected, but welcome. Tybalt, after all, is good company, but short on conversation!


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