Friday, 27 May 2022

May

 Well, any day now we shall be saying 'good-bye' to another May.   How quickly the months fly by.

I must say that the Hawthorne blossom (or 'May  Blossom' as we always called it) has been particularly beautiful this year and so lived up to its name.   The blackthorne was beautiful so no doubt we shall have plenty of sloes. I think up here in the Dales we are particularly aware if it because last year we had such a 'cruel' April with very sharp frosts which destroyed much of the early blossom.

In my garden pink is slowly taking over as the predominant colour - pink geranium clumps are all over the garden - don't know its name but it is one of the really common perennial geraniums.   Pink alliums are popping up here  and there, as is London Pride and a pink flower I was given a snippet of and which I have split up several times and which stays out ages once it is ready.   Two large clumps of pink osteo spermum are already out (when the sun is out - if the sun goes in its shows its displeasure).   A new osteospermum I bought and put in a pot on the front doorstep (in full sun)is already fast catching up the pink one and certainly has no intention of hiding its light under a bushel. It has turned out to be orange.

Again it has been too windy for Priscilla and me to walk round the block.   A whole week has passed  and I am trying to do exercises to stop me going backwards, but it isn't the same.   I can feel myself stiffening up and can do little about it.   Tonight is the last Chelsea Flower Show.   I shall miss it although as someone said on here earlier in the week, they do show the same gardens over and over.  Perhaps they show it all for a bit too long.

My friend S has just been with lovely brown eggs from their hens.   Nothing like a fresh brown egg with a yolk of pure gold.  The hens have the run of most of the garden (but not where the veggies are or there would be no fresh veggies.)   Nothing else of interest has happened so I will sign off until tomorrow - see you all then.



I don't know whether to blame it on being retired so that I can't separate week days and week ends in my head or whether it is plain 'old age' but I can rarely name what day it is without a lot of deep though   This morning I woke up thinking it was Saturday.   Now I know it is Friday but in my head it will be Saturday all day.   Now I shall go and read 'Friday's paper' - that is one way to help a bit.   See you later.

Well it is now seven pm (and only an hour to the last programme on the Chelsea Flower Show.) and it is still blowing a howling (and very cold) ga



Thursday, 26 May 2022

The Wind

No, I am not speaking of my digestive system;  I am speaking of the weather,   For almost a fortnight now it has been windy and today it has been the very worst day - gale force and I have been totally unable to go out.   I did venture with Priscilla into the back garden in order to skirt the bungalow and water my tub on the far corner.   And to let you know just how windy it is the tub I watered had the most beautiful bright red Pelargonium just coming into bloom and the wind had snapped it off and I was just in time to see it rolling off across the lawn and down the road.   Verydisheartening.

But it made me get on with a job I have been going to do for ages.   When you get to my age, if you have any thought for those you will leave behind, you leave your affairs in good order.   I do this about every other year and have been going to do it ever since the end of the tax year.   I made a start this afternoon in my filing cabinet.   I tackled the insurances.   It took me a couple of hours but that is one file done and updated.   Only about another ten to go.  And I feel better for doing it.

If like me you are a Chelsea fan you will have enjoyed it this week from the comfort of your armchair.   Tomorrow is the last day.   I am not a fan of formal gardens and I love the informality and haphazard nature of my own garden.   But I do find it annoying now that I can't climb the steps to see what is out in my garden.   I have to wait until my gardener comes to ask him what's what and he doesn't always know the answer.   Until tomorrow friends.

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Beware

 At the top of my garden is a wall - half of it is a typical Yorkshire Dry stone wall. The other half is a neat stone wall with a parapet on the top and above that a hedge.   And in the hedge, as there is most years, is a blackbird's nest.   When Mrs Blackbird was sitting on their eggs Mr Blackbird would spend a large part of each day serenading her from the rooftops.  Now the chicks are hatched and hiding in amongst the plants in my garden waiting to be fed by Mum and Dad, life is a bit more hazardous for them.  When I go out to do my five laps of the patio Mr and Mrs B give their warning signal to tell the chicks to stay hidden.   As soon as I come in the feeding begins again in earnest.   Except that this morning it didn't - danger signals continued and both Mum and Dad fluttered up and down, tails in the air.   Why?   I couldn't work it out until suddenly, what I had taken to be a root in the hedge moved.   It wasn't the hedge at all.   It was a tabby Tom Cat, curled up at the base of the hedge.  They knew he was there and by golly he knew they were around and he was going nowhere(he fancied a meal of nice fat blackbird chick rather than tinned cat food wherever he lived).

That was yesterday - today is a wet morning and so far no sign of him so Mum and Dad are presumably making up for lost time and stuffing grubs, flies, worms and anything else that appears on the menu down little cheeping throats as fast as possible.   Strike while the iron's hot as they say.

Now my gardeners have arrived to mow the lawns and dead head the daffodils and tulips - oh dear poor old blackbirds - what a tough time they are having.

Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Chelsea

 My father died in 1971.   He left school at the earliest possible age - when you realise that he was born in around 1890 only 20 odd years after the first Education Act bringing in Compulsory Education then I don't expect he had all that much education.   If any amongst you care to look how much - feel free - but when I started looking it became too complicated.

He came from a very working class background but his saving grace was that although he was one of eight his father was a lay preacher Methodist and education was taken seriously and they were home schooled as much as it was possible when his parents were not educated either.    But he valued it and one thing he did was to teach himself Latin in as much as was possible.   He loved gardening (we had a big garden, he grew lots of veg and flowers) and he loved their names.  He trotted them out at every opportunity throughout.( Latin is an easy language to learn on the surface because you say it as it reads).   He 'rose through the ranks' to have a reasonably good job and made sure the three of us would not fare badly education wise.   I was lucky being born last (1932) and passing the scholarship and 'staying on' at school a little longer.

And so we were away Dad and I - we searched for wild flowers and could trot out their Latin names and those of the garden plants in our garden.   How he would have loved Chelsea.

I have always watched the offerings we are given on the television.   And - one year - what excitement- a friend who was a member of the RHS couldn't go on members day and she gave me her membership entrance card!

I lived in Wolverhampton at the time.   I caught the six o'clock train to London, changed to the tube and was more or less there at opening time.   The tent with all the exhibits, the show gardens, the atmosphere, the famous faces.   I was totally and completely overwhelmed.   Be lunchtime, when I had intended to get lunch (bear in mind that by this time I had gone through University, gone through the ranks of teaching and travelled extensively abroad so was used to crowds)I just wanted to get home.   I left Chelsea and made for the train like a frightened rabbit.

How I love it on television.   I never miss a programme, I gobble it all up, I hear the latin names and remember my Dad, I jot down the names of plants I fancy adding to my garden.   But invite me to go again???   No thanks - I looked at HM in her buggy seemingly interested in what she was being told and I marvelled at how she could keep up and how she could make polite conversation and (if I had been wearing one I would have taken my hat off to her).

 

Monday, 23 May 2022

A wet Monday evening.

 Half past seven - half an hour before tonight;s Chelsea- and so far it is a wet evening.    These last few weeks there have been plenty of wet evenings - trouble is that it is only light rain and it doesn't rain for long.   It is better than nothing but couldn't we do with a real good downpour.   My whole garden looks as though it is waiting.

When you get to my age sometimes you seem tired for no reason and today is one of those days.   I slept perfectly well washed and dressed (helped by my carer) and then using my indoor trolley as soon as I had had my breakfast and she had gone I watered and fed my five tubs by the front door.   They are looking good.   I am pleased I followed the advice of Joe Swift and planted them up in a more haphazard way.   So far so good.

After my lunch I fell asleep again and awoke to the sound of friend W tapping on the window with some magazines for me.   We sat and chatted for an hour.   I have just had a cup of tea and am now hoping I can stay awake through Chelsea.

So really there is nothing of any any import to report today, so I will sign off and see you all tomorrow.   Take care.

Sunday, 22 May 2022

Plenty to think about.

 Well I must say, most days your welcome comments to my posts leave me with plenty to think about.   But yesterday it was my Saturday magazine with The Times that provided food for thought and also plenty to chat about, both with H, my neighbour who came round for a cup of tea in the afternoon and also several times with friends who rang.

There was an article about Emma Thompson and her new film, "Good Luck to you Leo Grande".   In it Thompson plays the role of a woman, widowed and a teacher, who has never had an orgasm and wonders what she has been missing.   So she books a young, high class, male escort.   In spite of having had 2 children she plays a repressed, dutiful wife who wants an adventure.

Caitlin Moran, who does the interview,  says Thompson seems to have waited until she had 'enough power and confidence to do sex and nudity in a way that matters'.   Moran says 'it is the first time we have ever seen on film an older naked woman look at herself (in the mirror after the orgasm) with such joy.

We shall have to wait for a full crit of the film until either John (Going Gently) or Rachel Phillips go and see it.    I can assure you that both of them give criticism of films as good as any you will see in the papers.

But it set me thinking - not about orgasms - that is an entirely personal thing and not, in my thinking, something to be discussed here  amongst bloggers; but about nudity in general.   I know that I never, ever saw either of my parents naked.   In spite of the fact that when I was small our bath was a zinc one in front of the fire on a Friday night, I was always first in, out and dried and powdered and sent off to bed.   What happened after that I have no idea, and don't think I thought about.   By the time I reached  teenage years my sister and her husband had had a house built nearby with a bathroom and we went there for baths whenever we felt like it.

Things were slightly different when I married.   My first husband (and father of my only son) was a painter in watercolours and oils and pastel and once we married - and before if my parents were away and the house was empty and we would not be discovered, I would pose for him.   Occasionally I would pose for his friends and once or twice - when the Art School model was unable to attend- I would pose for  a class.  (my parents never knew and would have been horrified. ) So what I am asking is this.   As I now have a carer - a woman who is almost forty years younger than me and who is brilliant to me in every way and who, as she dashes around doing various jobs chats away so that I know so much about the way of life up here - I hear of people she has always known, who went to school with her, or with her brother or sister and who have children from three or four different relationships - are we saying that nudity and sexual relationships have little to do with one another?  Because her attitude - and that of her peers - does not seem all that different from that of my generation.   I said this to her this morning and her reply seemed to suggest that nothing much had changed.


















Friday, 20 May 2022

Friday

 And another week bites the dust.   When you hopefully haven't all that long left on this earth I can tell you that the weeks fly by.   I say 'hopefully' please don't think I am down hearted or depressed - not a bit of it but believe me there comes a time - and I have reached it - when everything takes a lot of doing,  you know what you want to do but it is never easy.   Either it is too far to walk, you can't remember exactly what it was you intended to do, you would like to pull up that enormous weed in the garden but know the effort might lead you to fall over, you get half way through writing an e mail and at the click of something inside your computer the whole thing disappears as if by magic.   Need I go on?   If you have not reached that point yet then it is only a matter of time.   Luckily it is Monty Don's Gardener's World tonight so I shall be back on form again tomorrow.   (I might be 90 in October but some feelings never altogether disappear believe me!)   I will say no more except to say I am pretty near the back of a very long queue I suspect.

Yesterday on my  order I bought my first bunch of British Asparagus so melted butter to the fore and nice bread and butter cut thinly, asparagus steamed lightly and there's my tea for tonight.   I love it.   You can't beat it if you are a fan and it needs nothing more than brown bread and butter to make it a feast fit for a king - or so near to H M's Platignum Jubilee - a Queen either.****The asparagus was delightful - particularly as it was from Tesco and was labelled 'British Asparagus' and was grown in Lincolnshire (the county of my birth) by one Chris Kitchen - thanks Chris - I enjoyed it tremendously'.

I have spent a long time this afternoon typing out a scone recipe for Jackie.   If you are reading this Jackie I do hope you receive it and it makes sense.   I have Benign Essential Tremor which makes my hands shake so that when they hover over the keys of the computer when you look up at the screen they have often landed in the wrong place.   If this has happened I do hope it still makes sense.   If it doesn't then please get back to me and tell me where you can't understand it.

Well asparagus calls in all its greenery,   See you tomorrow.

Thursday, 19 May 2022

One thing a day.

  I am trying hard to stick to only one major thing a day because sadly more than one and I seem to be good for nothing for the rest of the day.   Today's 'thing' was a Cut and Blow Dry and I have come home, had my lunch and dozed most of the afternoon.   But as most women will agree I feel so much better after my hair do.

It has been quite a pleasant day and now that it is early evening, as with the last few days, the clouds have cleared and the sky is beautifully blue.   Perfect silaging weather as any farmer (or farmer's wife) out there will tell you.   The field at the back of my bungalow is being silaged today and the grass smells delightful.   I feel sad for my farmer, no longer here to judge when to cut.   The town (only a small town of maybe three thousand inhabitants) is so very busy because every farmer is silaging and the road outside the hairdressers is a constant stream of tractors and silage trailers back and forth.

No other news really except to say that about a dozen of my alliums are out - lovely to see that some have come (there was more than this last year and I suspect mice.Also my tubs, only planted up on Tuesday, seem to have flourished already.   I love to see them fill in their space.   I have mixed up the plants in them rather than pot them the conventional way - so I am waiting eagerly to see how they develop!

See you all tomorrow.

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Wednesday

Sorry no post yesterday - I was just too tired.   I find at the moment that anything different that I do tends to make me very tired.   But I soldier on.   It was my day for going up to Ripon to have my  hearing aids  serviced.  I should have gone a month ago but I was in hospital after a fall and by the time I could go my hearing aid specialist had caught covid.

I rarely go out these days unless friends S and T take me or I have a taxi.   J, my taxi driver, and I have known one another for many years and we always enjoy the drive together.   Yesterday was exceptional- the countrside was so beautiful,   On the way between here and Ripon there are some very pretty villages and every village seemed to be full of Horse Chestnut trees and I really don't think I have ever seen so much blossom - each tree was laden with 'candles' - mostly the creamy white ones but here and there a pink one.   The creamy ones are without doubt the stronger ones but a pink one here and there is pretty.

We always find plenty to chat about.   She has lived in the village where she lives now all her life. She knows everyone so we can always catch up on any village gossip.   Coming back we talked food all the way and she made me quite sad not to be making meals now because she told me some very tasty meals to eat on toast for tea.

But I got home and I was so tired I had a sleep before attempting food.  I was aw akened by the door bell,   My gardeners had arrived to pot up my pots for Summer.  Together we put the plants in the two pots by the front door and two more pots to be put in the back garden.   Very good jobs done.   In the evening I watched Rick Stein driving round France, looking at the scenery (vineyards!) sampling the food both in restaurants and with friends and then cooking recipes (and to some extent adapting them to English food).   He is one of my favourite cooks on TV and although I have seen this series before I am enjoying it just as much second time round.

Dropped off in front of TV,dragged myself off to bed and slept like a log.   So here I am at 1pm putting on a blog.   A rather tasty beef pie sits in the fridge for my lunch, courtesy of my cleaner but as I had a Tesco order which included a Maple and Pecan slice I am not ready for my lunch yet .   See you tomorrow.

 

 


   

Monday, 16 May 2022

This and that.''

 First a laugh to start off your day.   I put a thank you comment on yesterdays replies box.   Meant to put 'plants' but instead I put 'pants' - luckily I saw it and deleted it before Tom's eyes lighted on it - can't imagine what joke he would have made of that!!! Good old Tom - you can always rely on him to make me laugh.

Now regarding the tutu skirt - my grand daughter has said she will open the parcel and inspect it - she says she will know whether it will fit or not - and then she will post it back to me so that I can hide it when they come.   Lovely idea don't you agree?

How well all my family look after me and try to keep me cheerful - as do all of you thank you.   It is not always easy to keep cheerful but I do try and little things like this and funny comments indeed any kind of comment from you, brightens my day.  So thank you all.

Well over the week-end we have had every kind of weather.   Saturday was undoubtedly the best day this year up here in The Dales - warm, sunny, cloudless and with very little wind.   A perfect day for a walk and plenty of folk (and dogs) around for passing chats.   Yesterday the sun never broke through all  day and there was a strongish breeze.   As no possibility of frost was forecast I left the plants waiting to be potted up for by my front door out all night and I was awakened by the sound of them doing a song and dance act round the front lawn in the pouring rain (only kidding).  As I write this at twenty past eleven (am) it is still raining quite heavily and already everything in the garden is showing how much they are enjoying it.   I have left a message on the phones of both my gardeners saying if they want a job do feel free to come round (I am in all day) and do my pots in the garage (I want to be there when they are done as I am trying a new planting scheme this year.)  So far no reply.

I seem to have a permanently residential pair of Jackdaws around - mostly on the lawns (did think they were crows but now realise they are not big enough.)   I can't imagine where they are nesting - I have no chimneys - as yet have seen no young.   I think the crow family are much maligned so I am quite happy to welcome them but I would like to know where they are.  In fact I have as yet seen no this year's baby birds around -I usually have young robins in the garden but no sign so far.

Well

tthat is today's chat over so see you tomorrow.