Friday, 18 October 2019

Busy day

One of those days when everything happens - pretty shattered by now.  My builder recommended I get a humidifier and put in the bedroom now that the new soakaway is finished, so I did that and as I type this I hear it buzzing away.

My replacement gardener (my usual one is ill) M came (he cut the lawn yesterday) and replanted my pots by the front door with violas, polyanthus and daffodil bulbs for winter and also planted the last forty or so dwarf daffodils in my front shrubbery.
Two jobs which I am pleased to get done. 

Then at tea time my decorator came to look at the damp in the bedroom (my new soakaway is just outside) and was very positive about it all (thus taking the weight off my shoulders).

Now it is almost time for Gardeners' World - just time to go and check on my humidifier.   See you all tomorrow.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

The Camera does not lie!

My friend has just sent me a photograph of me with the Orange Trio so that you can see what it (and I) looks like.   Sadly I can't get it to download - perhaps it is as well.   They say the camera doesn't lie - well all I can say is that I look about a hundred (and I am only eighty seven next week).

My builders have finished, left everywhere neat and tidy and gone away.   Now we wait to see if it will work and if the wall will  dry out.   I am keeping the room well aired during the day and then, when the heating comes on around tea time I am  closing the bedroom door so that the room gets nice and warm.   We shall see, but fingers crossed. 

I have found a replacement gardener to finish the pre-winter jobs as my gardener is laid up with a back injury.   At the moment he is mowing the front lawn and then he is going to plant some bulbs for me.   When I was such a keen gardener it is very irritating not being able to do it myself.   At least we are having a fine day again today - two in a row is almost unheard of for the last month.
More to add later hopefully but busy right now.  I shall return

Wednesday, 16 October 2019


The builders arrived this morning to tackle the issue of the damp wall in my bedroom and the blocked soakaway.   When they dug down through the concrete by the drainpipe from the roof they found that the pipes to the soakaway were all cracked and that water was constantly seeping out.  They have laid new pipes, built a new soakaway and will be back tomorrow to concrete over it.  Then we shall have to wait and see if the wall dries out and the matter is cured.   So fingers crossed.

Friend S very kindly called and took Tess for her Wednesday walk even though I was out lunching with friend G.   The outing did me a lot of good, not least because the journey to Grantley (a village between Ripon and Pateley Bridge) was so beautiful with Autumn colours in the trees and the day  one of bright sunshine.   As we stopped at The Grantley Arms (our venue for lunch) children were frolicking in the playground opposite and the noise of childrens' voices rang through the air.

It is a lovely pub and the lunchtime menu delicious.   G had a piece of roast lamb and a tiny shepherd's pie and I had a fish pie - both served with a variety of vegetables nicely cooked (ie not overcooked).   We both had the same sweet - inventive and certainly one to try at home - an orange trio:  a slim wine glass filled with orange jelly and topped with whipped cream, a scoop of home made orange ice cream and a pavlova filled with cream and fresh pieces of sweet orange.   I intend to try it sometime.  It was delicious. 

Then we had coffee and, as time was getting on, we came home as I wanted to catch the builders before they went.   Tess was pleased to see me.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019


It was the morning for our Strugglers meeting this morning.   We meet once a month - have a period of Silence and then discuss whatever comes up.  This morning our main topic sprang from a Lecture one of our group had heard on radio - a talk about Joy and Happiness.   Of how Joy is a momentary thing - a sudden burst - whereas happiness is a state of being which might last much longer if we are lucky enough. 

We could think of all kind of examples of joy - up here in The Dales it is often something as simple as a sudden burst of sunlight across the Dale, lighting up a beautiful tree or view;  or it might be the first view of a new grandchild;  the list is endless.   Happiness, on the other hand, is more of a state maybe when things go right for us and we are going through a good patch in our lives, or when someone whom we love has been ill and is suddenly much better and we are able to pick up the pieces and resume our lives.    We all have our own interpretations - all I can say is the more we have the luckier we are in these dark days.

Real warm sunshine on and off today -not all day but now and then.   Out for lunch to our group lunch at The Old School House (where our U3A meetings are held) - held every fortnight.   Today it was Toad in the Hole with mash and peas, followed by rice pudding - and a nice chat (we never run out of things to talk about).

Time now to take Tess for her last walk - she has been on a long walk with her dog-walker today so will only need a short walk now.   See you tomorrow.

Monday, 14 October 2019

Wettish Monday

The day began with pale sunshine and only a gentle breeze - it was quite warm.   Then the fog descended, disappeared and it began to rain - again.   Really Otober is getting so depressing that it is really getting me down.   The damp is slowly spreading along the wall in my bedroom, which is not helping - hopefully the builders are coming to try and deal with the problem later this week.   I find myself really 'on edge' today - something to do with age and with living alone and having no-one with whom to share one's problems I suppose.
But I am not alone in that I know. 

 In a brief interval I managed to plant thirty dwarf daffodil bulbs - I still have a lot more to plant.   My gardener is not well and will not come again this year, so the lawn will miss its last cut and I shall have to plant my bulbs myself.   I can only manage around thirty at a time without hurting my back, so I plough on a few at a time.   Hopefully just poking them into a swiftly dug hole will result in a fine show in the Spring - no time for any fancy planting I'm afraid.

Because it was a dismal day  ,like Tom I watched the State Opening of Parliament this morning.   I don't apologise for enjoying the Pomp and Ceremony - I love the split second organisation - if anything ever does go wrong it is never noticeable - everything seems to go like clockwork and men seem to stand for ages holding swords up in the air or balancing for a good half hour when they are not young by any means (five minutes would be my limit for standing up).   I was pleased to see that the Queen had a helping hand from Prince Charles - that heavy brocade dress and train at her age defies the imagination.    At least the Imperial State Crown is now carried on a cushion.

I was reflecting earlier this evening on how, when one lives alone, it is important to chat to people every day rather than shut oneself away.   I worked out my 'speaking' today:   my cleaning lady here for an hour and a half;  two people I know from my dog-walking - first J with Sammy with whom Tess is madly in love (10 minute chat) then A and S who were married last Saturday and were just about to set out on a 5 day 'minimoon' to Wales when I saw them.   I chatted long enough to see a photograph of the bride and groom with their two labradors who had a starring role in the marriage ceremony in that they were the 'ring bearers'.  Later, when I was planting my bulbs, I chatted with my neighbour M and finally late afternoon the Chiropodist came - so now I am walking on air.   Busy(ish) day tomorrow so hopefully I shall be a bit more cheerful.   See you then.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Life on hold.

Everything stopped this morning - I sat in my dressing gown, I had quick rounds of toast so that I could sit down quickly with my toast and coffee, and all because of Eliud Kipchoge - the fantastic Kenyan who this morning ran the marathon in Vienna in just under two hours (1.59.40).   If you go to Gwil's site you will see that as it was in Vienna he was able to be there and to witness it.  Kipchoge didn't even look tired at the end of the race.   It was good to be able to witness it - not as good as being there but the next best thing.

Friday, 11 October 2019

A Lovely Day Out

To Kirby Lonsdale today with friend W to meet our friends P and D in Avanti, the super Italian restaurant which takes dogs too, so happily Tess can come with us - lots of lovely new smells and experiences for her.

The weather was changeable but the heavy overnight rain seemed to have totally cleansed the air so that there was a clarity and brightness which made the hills so very beautiful.   The river (Ure) was in flood and many of the fields were flooded so we went the 'top way' missing the flooded roads and able to look down on the scene from the safety of the high up road. 

Going over the tops, past the Three Peaks which were hidden in angry cloud, and then down into the valley of the River Lune and along to the little town for lunch - altogether different scenery but equally beautiful.  As usual we came back round by Sedbergh - an altogether different road but equally beautiful.   This time, as we neared Hawes, the water had been over the road.   Luckily, by the time we arrived it had receded  and only the fields were flooded.   It was altogether a very enjoyable day - as it always is.   Meeting 
P and D and getting up to date with all their news - good lunch - lovely journey - what's not to enjoy.

Thursday, 10 October 2019


Yes, I will admit it.   Where anything practical is concerned I am absolutely useless.   One marriage of   thirty nine years and one of  twenty three - in both cases to wonderful and very practical men - has left me entirely hopeless at any practical job which needs attention.

Now a situation has occurred where I need to apply some thinking at least - and it is beyond me.
The damp patch on my bedroom wall is spreading along the top of the skirting board and has now surrounded the electric socket.   Until an hour ago, in spite of frantic phone calls, I had been unable to rouse a builder or an electrician.   At last the builder has contacted me and is going to try to get over to look at things later today.   I spoke to the electrician on the telephone and he says unplug the plugs and switch the whole thing off and it should be alright.   (OK he did suggest trying the trip switches in the fuse box to see if I can isolate this particular socket - but - see above - quite beyond my capabilities) 

The builder has been, isolated the problem (which  involves digging up part of the concrete patio) and put me on his list of jobs.   He has drained off the excess water and says the wall should begin to dry out.   My saviour.
Tess has returned from her walk with her dog walker - she watched another of the dogs have her treatment in the Hydro Therapy Pool but kept her distance.   Henry (the airedale) got too close and fell in which I think put Tess off for ever.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Will he won't he?

Is it just me or is more or less everyone fed up with the whole Brexit thing?    Unless we are a top financial brain do we any of us really understand what effect it will have on our lives?   And after all these months or wrangling, of neglecting the serious issues in our society, of promising the earth if and/or when all this is behind us, can any of us really understand what is going on?   I doubt it.    In fact (and I am ashamed to say it) I don't really care any more - I have almost lost the will to live and have certainly lost the will to even try to understand the machinations let loose in Whitehall and Brussels.

I look out of the window as I sit here typing.   There are still a few flowers giving their best in the garden - the Achillea has been out for months and is still glowing its golden flowers which tower over the border;    the white Cosmos shows here and there and brightens things up no end;  the Michaelmas Daisies - some tall and stately and some quite small and tidy - shout out that this is their season and they will enjoy it come what may in Brussels.   It would be rather nice to be a plant, or an animal or any kind of inanimate object at the moment rather than live through this period in our history  which others in the future will look back on with astonishment at our politicians (they really don't deserve a capital letter either singly or collectively).

Right, that has got that off my chest.   It is a lovely breezy day - the odd quick shower  but that's all.
I inadvertently mentioned to Tess that friend S would be here shortly (it is the day she often takes Tess for a walk) and now she is sitting by the front door waiting and there is still an hour to go.

I have just eaten a lunch of Turkey Lasagne made by a Church lady and sold on the first Saturday of each month at the Church Coffee Morning (and delicious it is too), followed by a delicious ripe pear.   Shall now endeavour to not think about B***** again today.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

a Fine Day!

So far, here in North Yorkshire, it has been a completely fine day - the first for what seems like a very long time.   There is a strong wind blowing, so strong that I had to ask for assistance from the shop where I do my Tuesday morning shop in crossing the road to my car.   When the wind is in a certain direction it is nigh on impossible to stand up crossing the road in the market square.

I was here in time to see my dog return from her  walk with the Dog-walker and to see how she returns in utter bliss.   The lady is a real dog lover, returns the dog to its home and spends ten minutes making a fuss of it and talking to it.   Tess already idolises her and I have no qualms at all about entrusting Tess to her.   That is a relief.

The afternoon has been spent catching up on jobs like preparing the recycling 'rubbish' for collection, emptying and folding and putting away stuff from the tumble drier, little, fiddly jobs which somehow stretch to the whole afternoon.   Now it is almost time for tea.  These days I do seem to spend an awful lot of time thinking about doing a job before I actually get round to getting up and doing it.   Then, when it takes only a few minutes, thinking why didn't I do it at once and get it over with.

I am now going to go over to one or two shopping outlets to have a look at Winter jumpers.   How easy it is to do this from the comfort of one's arm chair - and ultimately how easy it is to type one's credit card number on to a site and buy something - something you would not otherwise have bought if it had meant going to the nearest town (in my case twenty five miles away) and trailing round the shops looking for it.   Oh dear, the wonders of modern living.