Sunday, 20 May 2018


Our habit (four of us) of having a permanent booking at the local golf club restaurant for Sunday lunch means my morning is totally free.   And what a morning it is - a Summer's day.

Up with the lark so that I could walk Tess before it was too hot for her.   As I write this she is laid flat out on the patio outside the window in the full sun. After a while she will get up, walk the width of the patio to the shade of the bungalow and throw herself down to cool off.   After five minutes repeat.

How have I spent the morning.   I watered all the pots in the front of the bungalow (faces due South so they soon dry out) completed digging up the bulbs - just the tulips were left and they came up easily.   I shall watch the long range forecast on BBC Country File this evening before deciding whether to plant my geraniums or leave for a good rain.   Yes, I know I can give the plot a good water but it isn't the same.

Now, at 10.38 by my computer, I shall do the bit of ironing that is staring me in the face and then I shall have a leisurely shower and dress for lunch ready to collect friend W at lunch time.   Salmon I think today.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Busy day tatting about

Lovely day here again today.   I took myself down to the Garden Centre early this morning to buy some compost.   I also bought two box trees for either side of my front door.   They look very smart.

I returned home, put on a load of washing and then made my morning coffee and watched a bit of the build-up to the wedding.   I found it a bit boring after ten minutes or so, so I went out into the garden and lifted the bulbs in a plot where I intend to put purple geraniums.  Someone asked why lift the bulbs when they will come again next year.   The reason for lifting them is to put them in a tub of compost and let the foliage die down naturally so that the goodness goes back into the bulb.

I watched the actual ceremony (I thought the dress was beautiful and I also liked the simplicity of the flowers and the lovely children who were bridesmaids and page boys).   I was touched by the bride's mother, who had a job throughout the service to keep her tears at bay (so did I).

After that I did a bit more gardening and also separated three houseplants into individual pots (they were part of an arrangement bought for my birthday back in October).   Now I have to find somewhere indoors to put them!

Tess has just had her evening walk, a friend called in for half an hour with her grandchildren, I shall finish reading my side bar and then maybe have an early night.  Sleep well everyone.


Friday, 18 May 2018


Today is our market day and the Gardening Chap was doing a roaring trade.   It's funny what happens this time of year when there are a few warm days (warm again today) - everyone gets the Gardening Bug; it's out with the fading bulbs and Spring bedding and in with the 'Bedding Plants' and then fingers crossed that there isn't a frost for the next week or so.   I remarked to the Gardenman that he was going to be run off his feet today and his answer was, 'well that's my plan!'

I bought antirrhinums and geraniums (violet coloured flowers - should be interesting).   Now tomorrow morning I shall empty the two beds I can reach of their Spring bulbs, which have almost finished, and put in the new plants.    I can reach these two beds easily, so I shall enjoy doing them.
So far all I have done is to put the new plants up against the wall of the bungalow and water them well.

Twice today I have scraped my leg.   This morning I opened a kitchen cabinet door on to my shin and cut the skin.   It bled profusely for about half an hour before stopping and beginning to crust over. This afternoon I scraped the back of the same leg as I stepped down the patio door step on to the patio - as I write it has not quite stopped bleeding.    I spoke to our chemist about the damage - at my age, with thin skin on my shins, there is always the possibility of leg ulcers and I don't wish to go down that road.    To that end I have rolled my jeans up to the knee.   It doesn't look very elegant but the fresh air is getting to the wounds and that way I stand the best chance of avoiding trouble.  (Can't remember who said ' I am old, I shall wear the bottom of my trousers rolled!') 

Friend W and I had our normal Friday lunch out today at our local Auction House restaurant.   As usual it was delicious.   My starter of Chicken liver parfait with toast and house chutney was so good - I really would almost have liked to have it again instead of my main course - lamb on a bed of baby broad beans and new potatoes, although that too was delicious.

We had a look round the items in tomorrow's Auction Sale.   I always find it rather sad - most of the items are from good house clearances and are things which I presume the owners in the past have treasured.   There were half a dozen samplers - worked by children maybe between the ages of around eight and teenage years.   All the love and work that goes into them and now they are passing into the hands of people who have never known the family at all.

Perhaps this is a good time to say that a very dear friend, who passed away some years ago, embroidered a sampler for the farmer and I.   I treasure it greatly and look at it every single day.
The friend was the mother of my God-daughter, so if A is looking at this now I do hope it reminds her of the happy times we all had in the past when her parents were still with us.

Well, the countdown to tomorrow's bit event is on. And Prince Charles will be walking the Bride down the last bit of the chapel to the High Altar.  I like Prince Charles.   I think his heart is in the right place.   After a strict upbringing at a school he didn't like, I think he has done his very best to lighten things up to the best of his ability.   And the way his two sons behave and the way they show their real affection for him is surely testament of how hard he has tried.

So, gardening, eating lunch, watch that wedding now and again to see how things are going and keeping my trouser legs rolled up to let the air get to those wounds - that is the order of the day here in my little abode.   Enjoy your day too.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

A Hard Day

Today has been a hard day.   This morning was the AGM of our local U3A.   Our ukulele group were playing to start the proceedings so had to be there just after nine thirty.    I got back home at mid-day and had to be out again at 1-15pm.   I had taken Tess for a walk early in the morning and, luckily, it is a Pet Pals day so Jean took her at lunch time.

All afternoon friend W and I have been playing ukuleles for the local Alzheimer's and Dementia Group.   Sufferers and their carers come along and we hand out song books holding a collection of the songs they used to sing when they were young - and they sing along as we play and sing.   It is a joy to see how well they sing and to see just how much they 'perk up' during the hour and a half.

Now I am home again - and tired.   Tonight I am due to have a Chinese with my son and his wife - so I think I shall put my feet up for half an hour.

Are you intending to watch the Royal Wedding on Saturday or not?   I would be interested to know.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Winter had returned.

Walking round with Tess this morning I had on my thermal vest, jumper and fleece and was still chilly.   I met a man in shorts and a short-sleeved shirt (!) and when I remarked that he must be hardy he said he was rushing to get home before he froze to death.   Later in town I met friend W and we nipped into our local cafe for a quick cafetiere to thaw out before I went for my weekly hair do.    Yes, it is our usual contrary May weather - every day a surprise, pleasant or otherwise.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018


With that all important wedding coming up at the week-end I got to thinking about how weddings have changed for the likes of you and me.   We can only ignore the cost of the forthcoming wedding on Saturday - that is a different thing altogether.    But I look back on my first marriage in 1952 - a long and happy marriage of thirty nine years- and I think of the lack of money (it wasn't long after the war and some things were still rationed) - a real make do and mend affair, paid for entirely by my parents, who didn#t have a lot of spare cash.

I played the organ in the Methodist Chapel in the village in Lincolnshire where we lived.   The Minister therefore conducted the ceremony without a fee - and the organist played because he was a friend. 

I borrowed a white dress (and yes, I was a virgin) from my sister's friend who had married a few weeks earlier, bought a veil and head dress and carried a bouquet of white carnations and blue iris.
My two little nieces were bridesmaids in dresses made by a lady in the village.   They carried posies of anemones from my father's garden, each posy wrapped round with a silver doyley.

My mother and my Aunt Kate did the catering in the Methodist Hall next to the chapel.   We had our own pig so there was plenty of home cured ham and plenty of salad from the garden.

The lady who lived opposite made the wedding cake.

We spent the first night of our honeymoon in a hotel in Sheffield (the first time I had ever stayed in a hotel) - quite daunting for a nineteen year old, as I was at the time (my new husband was twenty seven and had been abroad as a prisoner of war, so was much more sophisticated).   Then we spent a few days at my Aunt's house in Yorkshire.   And that was it - and it was all bliss.

My second marriage in 1993 to the farmer was in the village where the farm was.   I paid for the wedding myself.   I spent more on the dress than I have ever spent on a dress - just because I liked it. My Grand daughter (aged 7) was bridesmaid and we both carried posies of yellow roses.
Two ladies in the village  catered for a reception for the family in the village hall and the next Saturday the farmer and I gave a big party in the farm house for all our friends.  The farmer's sister,
who is a professional cake baker, made our cake for us.  There was no honeymoon - there were cows to milk.    That wedding too was bliss.

I have just been very lucky to have had two such happy marriages.   Let's hope the Royal  couple's turns out well too.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Mares tails!

Yes - sadly my garden has one section governed by Marestail - and I use the word 'governed' advisedly.   Last week my gardener was rather pleased with himself when he said he had removed every piece.   I went into the garden this morning and removed at least a hundred 'tails' which had appeared since then - and that is just in the bit I can manage to weed.

It is actually a rather pretty weed (I believe one of the professional gardeners on the radio called it a 'prehistoric weed, impossible to eradicate'), so I am learning to live with it and embrace it.   I keep telling myself that it is no worse than ground elder or couch grass - but not sure I believe it.

It is possible to clear the area and get a licensed gardener to spray the  spot with glyphosphate (you need a licence to use it) but it comes back again the next year - it is indestructible.

Other than that my garden is coming along nicely.  My gardener planted half a dozen evergreen shrubs for me last week and a friend left a bucket load of bits from her garden yesterday.   At present they are sitting in the shade, waiting for my gardener to call.   Most need to go in at the top of the plot, where I dare not venture:   I am not sure-footed enough.

Beautiful wall to wall sunshine here today and warm with it.   Washing dry on the line outside - next job is to iron it. (Yes I am one of those ancients who still knows how to wield an iron).

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Young Musician of the Year.

I have been watching the Young musician of the Year final on the television this evening.   The standard of music from the three finalists, each one playing with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, was staggering and I personally found the performance of Lauren, the pianist, who played Prokofiev, quite overwhelming.    At sixteen she was able to put such an adult interpretation on to what is recognised as one of the most difficult pieces to play and I was so pleased when she won.

I don't think there was a dry eye in the house - there certainly wasn't in this one.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

For Sue (The Cottage at the end of the lane)

Be strong my dear - for his sake and the sake of your children and grandchildren.   My heart goes out to you on this very sad day.   I send you my love - I shall remember Col from the short time we spent together over coffee three years ago.

Thursday, 10 May 2018


Today is the Thursday in the month when we play ukuleles at the retirement home in the village of Bainbridge in Wensleydale.   The residents gather in their lounge and we play tunes at their request and we all sing.   Everyone seems to enjoy it and it passes a lovely afternoon.

Going up the dale again after yesterday was yet another joy.   The 'candles' on the horse chestnut trees are in full bloom, the leaves on the other trees are almost all out and are still in pristine condition.   They are a joy to behold. 

Back (fingers crossed) to a corrected television as the engineer came this morning and fitted a new piece to my aerial.   Time will tell. 

Now a question for you.   Watching programmes like Breakfast, where folk are interviewed, something struck me this morning.   The language seems to be changing.   Previously ordinary folk like you and me seemed to start almost every sentence with the word 'well'.   Suddenly I noticed that this is changing.   This morning people seemed to start every sentence with the word 'so'.
Has anyone else noticed this - is it a trend or what? 

It is easy to criticise but I suspect that if most of us were suddenly thrown into the limelight over some issue we might forget syntax, grammar and the like and just try to struggle through what we wanted to say.   But you might all watch out for a day or two and then  let me know if I am imagining it.  It might also be interesting to know whether there is a commonly used expression, or word even, which irritates you in the English language and which is in common usage.

Beautifully sunny here today but a very cold wind
blowing - thermals have been looked out again.   How about you?