Monday, 15 July 2019


Monday morning.   Up bright and early after a reasonable night's sleep.   Feeling my usual self although hot weather is not kind to arthritis so walking is quite difficult.   Once my cleaning lady had arrived and I had watered my pots on the back patio Tess and I had a stroll round our usual morning round - slow but steady.   Now plenty of time to put on a blog before eating up all yesterday's left-overs for my lunch.

I must say I thought the news about the cricket was absolutely tremendous.   To win on the last ball like that with a 'run out' was just so very exciting and so well-deserved.   I was delighted  for the whole team.   And seeing the last few shots of the 5 set tennis mens' final (the longest in tennis final history I believe) was equally thrilling.   The grace and sheer good humour was so pleasing to see.

We desperately need rain in the garden and most of the plants are looking decidedly thirsty.   The night before last my son tells me he watered all of their garden quite late in the evening and he said that when he looked out just as it began to get dark, all the plants were standing up tall and straight as if in thanks.   Many of the rock plants in the side of the garden I have planted are now finished flowering and need trimming back but I just dare not venture up to the top of the garden so it will have to wait a while until my gardener has the time.   The other side - unplanted - is now waiting for the Mare's Tail weed to be twenty centimetres before he sprays it with special weed killer for the  third time.   After that we have decided to plant it with shrubs come what may and let it take its chance.   In the meantime lovely tall deep pink poppies have colonised it it - and they are thriving.

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Busy Day

My family have been here for a buffet lunch today and I have thoroughly enjoyed their company, but now that they have all gone I am very tired.

Also I want to know how the cricketers fared, who won the tennis - and I hope the ten o'clock news will reveal all.   So sorry everyone, but no more post tonight.   It is ten minutes to ten, the sun is going down (how the nights are beginning to draw in) and I want to settle down and catch up with all the sports news.   See you all tomorrow.

Friday, 12 July 2019


The weather is never right for us gardeners.   It doesn't seem all that long since we were complaining we needed a bit of sun.    Now we are complaining that we desperately need rain and we are watering newly planted plants like mad.   I have fairly recently planted up a new square in the front of my bungalow with a collection of evergreens and one or two plants of Carex grass.  In the Autumn I intend to add a lot of spring bulbs - not an original idea, there is another small plot Tess and I pass on our morning walks that fits this pattern and I admire it greatly.   But newly-planted evergreens need well watering until they are firmly established, so my gardener has fitted me a hosepipe on the outside tap so that I can gently give each plant a drink without carrying cans of water.   We had a tiny shower this evening - at least it made the leaves receptive to taking in water,

My gardener usually comes once a week to mow my largish front lawn but for some reason he has missed a week.   So now I have a lovely lawn of Birds'Foot Trefoil - I shall be quite sad to see it go.

I have enough weed killer specialised for Mares Tail weed left for one more application.   My gardener is going to do that on the first still day (we live in a windy area) and then after that we are going to plant the area with shrubs and just keep hoeing the mares tail as it comes through.   Enough is enough.   All gardeners have their cross to bear and mares tail is mine.   I have just walked round the garden and the midgies are biting!

Thursday, 11 July 2019

It's Nothing Serious

I have just been to the Doctor's.   Nothing serious and I was in all of three minutes.   But sitting in the waiting room and looking round at the others waiting it struck me how 'anything goes' these days on visits to the doctor.  I had a shower, put on clean clothes from skin upwards, had on a jumper which was easy to remove if I needed to do so.   At least I tried to look 'appetising' for want of a better word.   If I put myself in the doctor's shoes for a minute I can only think it is bad enough looking at elderly bodies but it is slightly less so if they are clean and sweet smelling.

There seemed to me to be a lot of very scruffy folk in that waiting room and a lot of young people in very scanty clothes.   Does that matter?   I suppose not in these days of anything goes, but it did make me smile remembering the day I started at University as a Mature Student in 1968.   I had a Lambretta Scooter to get me there and I felt that trousers were the better option.   I had to report myself to Miss Ruff (the Deputy Principal and in charge of women's welfare) and ask her permission to wear trousers.   I have never forgotten her reply - yes, I may wear trousers to arrive on my scooter but I must change immediately into a skirt upon arrival and I must wear the trousers 'with decorum'.   How times have changed.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

New Mattresses

My two new single mattresses for my guest beds came this morning - they are very grand.   The company appointed today as the delivery day and said they would inform me of a two hour slot.   This didn't materialise, but I didn't expect to be awakened at ten past seven by a knock on the door with them - and I was his third call of the day.   My son came round (he has broken up from school) as soon as he was up and about and carried the old ones out into the garage (our tip closes on Wednesdays) and put the new ones on to the beds and when he had gone I remade the beds up and washed the mattress protectors as these ones already come with their own zip-on covers.   By the time I had done all that and cooked
myself a lunch (and had a quarter of an hour ukulele/banjo duet practice with him to boot) I felt as though I had done a full day's work.

This afternoon, much to Tess's joy, friend S called and took her for a walk.   Tess goes crazy when anyone comes to walk her - and it makes me feel guilty that I can't walk her further myself.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Open gardens.

The village where my son lives had an Open Garden Day on Sunday and a Scarecrow competition.   He and his wife always enter.   His wife is very several handicapped by advancing osteoarthritis and finds walking possible only with two sticks but she has a real flair for garden design and also enjoys potting design, so there are lots of pots around the garden too.   It is a garden with lots of nooks and crannies and really is a most attractive garden to look round.   Here are a few pictures.

Now, today, friend W and I decided to go out for a bit of lunch to the bar at the Golf Club where we go every Sunday.   W had a prawn salad.   I had a Ploughman's and I have to say that when it came I can only say there was enough for at least two if not three ploughmen.    I didn't finish all that cheese but had a Doggy Bag.   I can't find the photo in my files but if it appears later I will add it.

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Morning route

Cats are strange, unfathomable creatures aren't they?   I think that is why I like them so much.  If it weren't for a combination of Tess and quite a busy road I would probably get one.   As I sit here a very large tabby tom has just walked along the wall top across my garden as he does every morning more or less at the same time.   Often he catches my eye but he takes little notice - just continues on his way as though to say 'you may think this is your garden - I know different'.   I love him for it.

Down South they seem to have had showers yesterday - wish we had had some up here as the ground is very dry which means much watering of tubs and newly planted plants - all a bit of a chore.
I understand that more unsettled weather should arrive midweek so I shall probably be complaining then.   That's the trouble with gardening, things are never perfect.   A day of nice gentle rain non-stop would suit me fine.

I do not feel 'back to normal' (whatever that is) yet health-wise but better than I was so I shall go with my friends out to lunch.   Week-ends are never easy as anyone who lives alone will agree.   I suppose it is different if one has always lived alone, but after many years of partnership  when week ends were time to be spent together (not always the case on the farm of course but at times like haymaking a picnic lunch in the field was always an option and a jolly good one on a nice day.   The smell of cut grass always reminds me of such things. 

Are you a tennis fan?   I certainly couldn't just sit hour after hour watching it all but seeing the joy on the face of the fifteen year old as she gets into the last sixteen was a pivotal moment, as was the Red Arrow flypast when Andy and Serena came out on court for the mixed doubles yesterday.   As a nation we are pretty good at pulling all the stops out for a special occasion. 

And what about little Archie at his christening?  My goodness isn't he a miniature image of his dad?   Privileged many would say - superfluous too but as somebody pointed out the other day in The Times - Royalty bring millions into this country in revenue at times like weddings and special events so it is not all one way.

Well I must sign off.   This is really displacement therapy and with Tess sitting here looking at me, me still in my dressing gown and the clock showing a quarter to ten, I must move.   Have a good day.


Saturday, 6 July 2019


I have not felt brilliant for the last couple of days but will put a post on tomorrow.   Lovely day today - the best all week.

Friday, 5 July 2019

Telling it how it is.

Home truths, sometimes not easy to take.   But yesterday, as we met our friends in our favourite Italian in Kirby Lonsdale, one of them said he had something he wanted to say but was rather embarrassed to say it.   I have known him for forty five years and he is one of my dearest friends - I told him that of course he had to say it.  What it amounted to was to tell me that when they came to stay (and they do quite often and I really look forward to their coming) the single beds in the spare room were no longer comfortable as the mattresses had lost their strength.   He always went home with a bad back.

He is quite right.   I can't remember when the beds were bought but it is at least thirty five years ago.  Alright, so they have always been 'spare beds' but we have always been people to have folk staying and on the one occasion (when our bedroom was being decorated) I tried to sleep on one I had to go back to our double bed because I found the bed uncomfortable.   So point taken. 

So this morning, neighbour (friend H), who is very good at researching things on her computer and also takes 'Which' magazine spent time looking into the whole idea and then after lunch (Derek - our usual Friday lunch out - Salmon, braised fennel and saute potatoes) came round with details.   The upshot is that two single mattresses are ordered and will arrive some time next Wednesday.   So it you are reading this P you can't say I haven't acted on your advice!

Thursday, 4 July 2019


Although this post is headed Thursday and it is indeed Thursday, in my head it has been Friday all day.  Do you have days like that?
Friend W and I have been over the Pennines to Kirby Lonsdale today to meet friends P and D for lunch.  We took Tess and also Meg, another Border Terrier staying with W for a few days.  As usual we had a lovely day and - as usual - admired the wonderful scenery and said just how lucky we are to live in such a very beautiful area.   In the fields farmers were silaging everywhere and the air was full of the scent of newly cut grass.   Contented cows and calves lay in the fields chewing the cud and here and there half grown lambs had escaped on to the road and were frantically trying to get back through the wire to mum in the field.   They are clever at getting out but not so clever at getting back in

A tiring day.   I am going now to watch Serengeti on the television - I just hope I can stay awake through it.