Tuesday 30 April 2019


Back to normal, whatever that is,but my God-daughter is coming to spend the night tomorrow.   We are not going out for a meal but staying at home and having a 'Yorkshire Platter' and a bottle of decent wine - I shall put this together tomorrow morning.   So when she arrives we can just 'flop' and spend a relaxed evening.

Tess and I have had two walks today and I think she is expecting a th ird as she keeps coming to the door of my computer room and looking expectantly.   The last few days she has developed a habit of barking furiously at every dog we meet when we are out on our walks.   Previously she did it sometimes but at present it is all the time and I am having to make her sit down when I see another dog coming and then encourage her to not bark.   I suspect that if she were off the lead she would be alright but there is too much traffic about.   Does anyone have any ideas?

It is certainly not Summer weather here tonight.  I have just turned the temperature up on the central heating and the forecast is for similar weather.   On Monday The Times suggested something called a Spanish Plume was going to affect our weather and give us another long heat wave - but now after just one day they have changed their minds. So don't pack your winter clothes away just yet.

Monday 29 April 2019

Good-bye visitors

My visitors departed this morning after a pleasant week-end together.   Saturday was an awful day weather wise so we just went on a small sortis to a local garden centre where they bought one or two plants for their garden and where I bought two more conifers for my new plot and some plant supports for the back garden.   As luck would have it my gardener came this afternoon and put my conifers in for me and also the plant supports. 

Sunday was a better day and stayed sunny all day.
We went out to lunch, calling for friend W on the way.   After lunch we sat over a pot of tea in the bar for half an hour.   In the evening we relaxed
 and watched Country File and the Antiques Roadshow.   Finally for the last couple of hours we did various quizzes from our papers - trying to test our brains but really by that time the wine had gone to our heads.

Before they went this morning they kindly took Tess for a walk for me.  I did the washing of bedding and towels because another visitor is coming on Wednesday so speed is of the essence.
Now, late in the afternoon, I am very tired. 

Several people have asked for the recipe I did for Saturday lunch.   Really it is not a recipe at all, just an assembly job.   But it is tasty and does not take a lot of preparation.

Take two slices of good quality cooked ham per person.  I  used 1 leek and 1 celery heart (tinned) per person, cooking the leek be fore hand.
Wrap a slice of ham round the leek, celery heart, chicory or whatever you choose in the way of a wrappable vegetable.   Lay in a dish.   Cover with a pint of cheese sauce and grate parmesan over the top.   Then put in a good hot oven to heat up and maybe finish under the grill to brown the parmesan.   I served mine with  purple sprouting broccoli and baby broad beans.  Delicious and very easy.

Friday 26 April 2019


The plants in my garden seem to have doubled in size overnight after yesterday's thunderstorm and torrential rain.  All the tulips were laid flat when I went out just before dark last night but this morning they were all perky and upright again - and saying thank-you for the welcome rain.   Today has been one of those neither wet nor fine days - just a faint rain in the air all day.   Tess came back from her Petpals walk quite wet and smelling strongly of wet dog - hardly surprising.   A good brush once she was dry and the smell has largely gone - or my nose has got used to it.

I have P and D coming for the week-end, coming for lunch tomorrow and D and K coming round in the evening for 'high tea'.   I look forward greatly to people staying; living alone means that company is good.   I do need to plan meals carefully though to make sure I don't overdo it as walking around in the kitchen soon makes me tired these days.   Tomorrow's lunch of asparagus, pea and mint soup followed by celery hearts wrapped in ham and served in a cheese sauce and with purple sprouting broccoli and baby broad beans should be fairly easy on the legs.   In the evening it will just be everything on the table and 'help yourself'.   The butter bean salad I have made tonight as it is better the next day when the flavours have had a chance to meld together.

John (Going Gently) is having a fine old time with his 'corners'.   If you haven't contributed yet do go over to his blog and put one on - they are coming in thick and fast - I am sure the postman is glad that this time it is photographs via e mail and not postcards via snail mail.

Storm Hannah is waiting in the wings I understand.   Our plan is to go to one or two Garden Centres tomorrow afternoon but if it is wet then it will be a 'no go' - everything is outside and walking round in the pouring rain is not very exciting.   It may well be a sit at home and chat afternoon (although D is very keen on a certain 'walking shop' in our little town and he could easily walk round that without getting wet. 

Seven minutes past ten and bed with a hot water bottle calls.   On wintry nights bed is always welcome.   Strange to think that only a week ago it was summery - certainly not so tonight.   Sleep well.

Thursday 25 April 2019


All I need to say about the weather today is that it is downright cold.   Any tender plant which has popped its shoots above ground must be seriously thinking of popping back down again.   But we have had several downpours, which has meant I have not had to water my new plants.   And still on the garden front I have a great pile of rockery stones I don't want and which are heaped up at the end of the garden.   This morning my hairdresser happened to mention that they are building a rockery in their new garden.  Problem solved.

The Mares tail weed which grows rampant in my garden has not yet appeared but I am sure it will.   My gardener has one more application of the specialised weedkiller left and will put it on when the time is right (when the shoots are a certain length).   The label says it will take five years to kill it all and that perhaps it is best to cover the whole area with ground cover and live with the wretched weed.   I am still thinking on that one.   But at present that corner of the garden is left clear and empty.

Must away to check my market shopping list for morning.   See you tomorrow. 

Update at seven in the evening.   We have had a massive thunderstorm with downpour.   Plants flattened, but now the sun is out again they are beginning to recover.    Still plenty of black clouds around though.

Wednesday 24 April 2019


As I look out of the window at 7.15pm it is raining heavily outside - how we need it and how perky the gardens look already, although it has only been raining for about half an hour.  A couple of days non stop would do a lot of good but too much to hope for I expect.

Poetry this afternoon was, as usual, an afternoon of beautiful, varied poems.   Everyone seems to take time to choose their contribution and we always get a lovely selection. 

Tess was very lucky.   Friend S called yesterday instead of today to take her on her walk, but I took Tess to poetry and no sooner had I got there than S and T took her off on a lovely extra walk along the river.  She came in, ate her tea and is now fast asleep in her bed. I rather feel like going off myself but would probably wake around three in the morning, so must control my urges until at least 10pm.

Tuesday 23 April 2019


Friend S came a day early this week to take Tess for her walk because the forecast for tomorrow is not too good and Tess can come to our Poetry with me and so will get to go out anyway.   Needless to say Tess was ecstatic at the idea of a walk regardless of what day of the week it was and, because there were beast in the field she usually walks through, they went on an extra long walk.  It is good to have friends who are so thoughtful and so good to me and Tess.

I have been busy all day doing various little jobs which have wanted doing for a long time.   Each one has proved satisfying and now, as I settle down for the evening, I feel a glow from all the little things I have done that I no longer have to think about.  Dishwasher and Washing machine have both had a thorough cleanse with special stuff and as a result smell fresh and lemony.   The knife drawer is clean and tidy, the fridge has been emptied and washed out, as has the microwave.   The dog beds have been aired and are ready to be put back in the two beds (one daytime and one nighttime), pots in the garden have been watered.

As I write the sky is beginning to cloud over with high cloud.   The barometer has gone back steadily every day since Saturday and I really hope that some of that forecast rain falls on our gardens here.   Sorry for those on holiday up here in the Dales but the gardens are desperate.

I shall go now and watch The Yorkshire Vet and then Ben Fogle with somebody who has opted out of modern life and is living in some remote place somewhere.   Some times, when the news gets as awful  as it is at present there is something rather attractive about the prospect don't you think?

Monday 22 April 2019

Easter week end.

It has been a lovely week end here - both weather wise and visitor wise.  Lunch with lovely company at friend W's on Saturday, yesterday lunch out with son and daughter in law.   Today catching up with washing, ironing and the like ready for the week end when friends are coming to stay.

I am not as fast (in the nicest possible way) as I used to be and I have to make lists before I begin , so I sat down this morning, wrote out what I was going to feed them on and made lists for shopping.
That done I now have all week to think about it and decide whether or not I have forgotten anything.

How easy it is to have people to stay these days and how lucky we are to have such a huge supply of goods to choose from.   Here in our little town we have a really good deli, the best Co-op I have ever been in, a super Friday market for fish and fruit and vegetables and several really good bread and cake shops where the goods are baked on the premises so that tempting smells waft down the street.

When I was a child we did have people to stay sometimes - aunts and uncles or honorary aunts and uncles- but the whole thing was a major operation.   No cars involved as far as my family were concerned; no such luxury.   It was train  (steam and stopping at every station) and the bus.
Food for their stay was carefully planned but as my mother baked her own bread and currant bread (plum bread as it was called in Lincolnshire) and my father grew all our salads and vegetables there was nothing fancy - just good, plain food.

My last job  for the day has been to wash both dog beds.   I always fear that the bungalow smells of dog - I think one can get used to such a smell, although speaking to my neighbour earlier when she saw the beds on the line, she assured me she had never smelt dog round here - slightly reassuring.

The last day of perfect weather I believe.   Already there is a much stronger breeze than there has been and the weather is set to go downhill from here onwards.  New plants in my new border will be delighted.


Sunday 21 April 2019

Easter Day

Easter Day here has been unbroken sunshine again - a lovely day and set to be similar tomorrow before it all begins to slip away and colder weather returns.   At least Summer clothes have had an airing today even if they have to go back to their wardrobe tomorrow.

Today my son and his wife came out to Easter lunch with me - there were lots of families enjoying lunch together - a real holiday occasion.   Good food, good company. 

My neighbour, M, has spent the whole day from early this morning in her garden working hard.   As I drew my curtains ten minutes ago she was still out there working in the almost dark.   I was envious of her - there was a day when I could have done that.   Now, an hour and I have to go inside and make a cup of tea and sit down. 

The bad news today is from Sri Lanka - it is always somewhere.   Somewhere in the    world there seems always to be killing, hunger, something catastrophic of some kind or another.  And it seems to be getting worse rather than better.   We might have made huge strides forward in science and medicine and the like but we certainly have made no strides forward at all in humanity to man.

Saturday 20 April 2019

Easter Saturday

It's official - The Warmest Easter Saturday on Record' - unbroken sunshine and such a lovely day. 

Tess and I had been invited out to lunch at friend W's.   She has friends staying who are now, after meeting them at W's for so many years, good friends of mine too (and Tess's).   W's cooking is superb and I am ashamed to say that I did absolutely nothing - just sat and chatted.  Roast ham, many different vegetables, new potatoes, chips,followed by fresh fruit salad, sticky toffee pud, chocolate cake, coffee, plenty of good wine - we ended up replete.   Nothing more needed today - so thank you W for cooking the food and N, K and S for the great pleasure of your company.

Coming home to News bulletins and seeing the protesters in central London protesting about Climate Change, holding up traffic and thus creating fumes, putting police on to the streets rather than giving a grossly overworked police force some time off, leaving behind huge quantities of rubbish - plastics included.   I do agree with free speech, the right to protest - but I do also wonder whether it was done in an appropriate manner.   I am open to being convinced should anyone have a view which might convince me - not of the need to do something about climate change - that is indeed a world problem and a serious one at that; but is this kind of protest at this time of year - when the tourist trade is just beginning and people's livelihoods are being affected -  the right way to go about it?   Is there a better way?   I have a feeling that if I was young 20 instead of 86 then I might well be down there with them because I am appalled by the whole thing around climate change and the way the world seems to be going helter skelter towards annihilation, but now at my age I do question the method of protest more.


Friday 19 April 2019


However quickly I sweep up the moss from the patio at the back of my bungalow it still appears again as if by magic.   No magic involved.   I find it is the blackbirds pecking and scratching at the clumps of moss which have formed on the roof's North side over the Winter.   They fall off and then the birds scratch them apart - presumably looking for anything that moves that is eatable.   Tess wanders in through the patio doors and paddles bits of moss into the house and then I have to start again.   Ah well, it keeps me busy.

Another really beautiful day here today and we went for a stroll round after tea tonight, stopping here and there to chat to folk gardening  or  just enjoying the remains of the day. Now we are back and shortly my favourite gardening programme will be on the television.   Monty Don, accompanied by his two Labrador Retrievers ,
will be giving all sorts of tips for the week ahead. 
These days there is so little I can do in the garden but I often list a few jobs when I have watched his programme. I do know that we urgently need rain but let's hope it keeps off until after the Easter holiday; it is so good today to see everyone wandering around our little market in their shirt-sleeves.   Enjoy your holiday.

Thursday 18 April 2019

A Happy Day

Once each month I go with a group of ukulele players to play for a group of Alzheimer's patients and their carers.  Today was such a day.  We play old songs - really old ones like Pack up your Troubles, traditional ones like Daisy Bell - some which were sung by Elvis, the Beatles and such like.   In other words, songs which might jog the memories of people who have very limited areas of memory left.   I wish you could see how much they enjoy the singing (most of them sing), the laughing, the sense of togetherness, the cup of tea and biscuit, in fact everything about the afternoon.   It is a privilege to be part of it.  And it is humbling too.

Eighteen  degrees this afternoon and really for the first time up here in the North, a lovely Spring day.   This morning after my morning walk with Tess I did a few gardening jobs -mainly watering and sweeping up moss which has fallen from the roof of the bungalow, but physical exercise.   I need to keep this up as it is so important. Yesterday's exercise class told me this quite clearly so I have my sheet of notes out on the kitchen unit where it will stay for now - certainly until I can balance more easily and get up from my kitchen chair without a struggle.

I read from John's blog (Going Gently) that he has fallen.   I too fell at the week-end.   These things usually go in threes so be careful all readers out there.

Wednesday 17 April 2019

This and that.

Because friend S is away for a few days she was unable to take Tess for her Wednesday walk this week.   I took her round the estate before I went out and again when I got back - I went to a special exercise class for the over sixties.   It was very good indeed.   I have come back and have already stiffened up - but I have learned a lot of new exercises to do to help my mobility and the teacher also gave me a sheet of exercises designed to help with balance, which is exactly what I need.

I wasn't sure what stage had been reached with Mr and Mrs Blackbird - but now there is little doubt.   Of Mrs Blackbird there is no sign and all day today Mr Blackbird has been sitting in the hawthorn tree singing his beak off.   The weather has been nigh on perfect - warm and sunny at last,although now - almost seven o'clock in the evening, it is quite cold and I have switched on the heating. 

 I have a large clump of daisy-like flowers in my garden and they will soon be out.   I climbed the steps to look at them this morning and found them absolutely covered in ladybirds -presumably emerging from their winter sleep.   There must have been fifty at least - yes - things are really waking up at last.

Tuesday 16 April 2019


One of the things I admire about plants - and one of the things I love about gardening - is that however much you try to tame them, if they wish to move elsewhere then they will do so.   When I lived in the Midlands we used to visit a National Trust property (can't remember which one) where a tiny, daisy-like flower had taken over almost every gap between paving flags all over the garden.   They flowered for almost the whole Summer and people came from miles around just to see them.   And, of course,  they had never actually been planted there.   Vita Sackville west said in one of her books  that plants always seemed to choose better places to put on a display than the place you had chosen for them (she was talking about violets, which also have that disposition to choose a different spot.

At the moment the patches of grass on our estate
 (and their are many.  It is a very well laid out estate) are peppered with dandelions.   What a pity they are viewed as weeds - with a name like 'lion's teeth' they would be such a popular choice if they were in pots in garden centres.   Alas, within the next week the council lawn mowers will be round to cut the grass and they will have gone before they have time to seed - not that the council will ever win.   They will be back in profusion next year with all those thousands of seeds on their heads many will take root however hard we try to stop them.    I looked out of the window this afternoon and D, my gardener, was carefully watering my front lawn with weed-killer (or should I say dandelion killer because that is mostly what they are).

The other popular plant round here that 'does its own thing' is the grape hyacinth.   Oh yes, they start off as neat little blue patches of flowers this time of year - next year they have double in size and the year after that they have started waltzing away down the road to colonise any spare bit of ground.    One of the plants we love to hate but we can't bring ourselves to pull them up as they are such a beautiful blue.  Yes, I am afraid we are just big softies at heart where gardening is concerned.

Monday 15 April 2019


The news has just reported that Notre Dame in Paris is on fire.   No more news as I write this and we must hope that it was got under control before too much damage was done.  No doubt we shall know more in the morning.

Other news of course is of Tiger Woods's comeback after a few years in the wilderness.   You have to admire a man who can get himself back to that level of performance don't you?

I don't watch the News all that often because it is too depressing at the moment, but after my fall yesterday and three walks with Tess today and an hour playing ukuleles with friends I just felt like a sit down after tea.

I returned from ukuleles to find my gardener D was here removing a small area of lawn which I intend to have as an area of garden with small shrubs.   I did ask for suggestions from my readers but nothing much came forth.   At present there are two small box trees of conical shape waiting to go in. Tomorrow afternoon I intend to trawl a couple of local garden centres on the look out for something else to fill the space.   Never a dull moment.   Sleep well - I did in spite of my fall.


Sunday 14 April 2019


Today didn't begin auspiciously because as I was tidying round prior to having my shower I noticed a vase of Mothering Sunday flowers had almost died so I took it into the kitchen and sorted out the few blooms which were salvageable and put them into a smaller container.   As I was carrying them back to their place in the sitting room I tripped over a chair leg where I had left my breakfast chair pulled out from the table.   I fell heavily on my left side into the hall, throwing flowers and water everywhere.  I lay there for a couple of minutes and then sat up to make sure I hadn't broken anything.  Then, shuffling on my bottom to the chair I had fallen over (anyone my age will verify that getting up from the floor is nigh on impossible), I finally twisted over on to my knees and pulled myself up into a sitting position - and then sat there for five minutes to 'come to'.  I dressed and took Tess round the block for her morning walk, reasoning that it would do me good to move gently for a quarter of an hour rather than sit.

It is now quarter past ten at night and, although I am sore in a few places, I am alright and am able to move around.   It didn't stop me going out to lunch as usual.  Dare I say that that is four times this week?  Smoked trout, scampi, quiche and salmon in that order.   This week, coming up to Easter, will be much more controlled! 

Our weather forecasters speak of it getting warmer as the week goes on and letting the dog out just now for her last wee I must say that that sharp frosty feeling has gone - so perhaps the warmer spell has already started.   I do hope so.


Saturday 13 April 2019


Can it really get any colder for April?   Sharp east winds by day,sharp frosts by night, central heating full on.   Maybe my blood is getting thin.   Whatever the reason, it is jolly cold in spite of a bright sun shining directly into the sitting room window.

Strangely enough everything in the garden progresses as it normally does.   The daffodils are fading just in time for the tulips to come out and the perennials I planted last year grow daily and will soon fill in the spaces of soil at the rate they are going. 

After a busy, useful week I had intended to do all kind of jobs today but somehow have never really got going.   Friend H came round for coffee this morning.   After she had gone I cooked myself some lunch, read The Guardian (why do I take it instead of my usual Times on a Saturday - I really must change it - there is nothing like the content in it).   The only thing I have done since then is to walk Tess again and to wash and peg on the line two cashmere jumpers which are now flapping nicely in the wind. 

There is an excellent series on the television at present about Italy so I am looking forward to that tonight.   I have watched the ones on Naples and Venice.   Tonight's is on Florence so I am sure I shall enjoy that too.

Friday 12 April 2019

Freezing Friday

Any suggestion that it is already Spring up here in Yorkshire is greatly misplaced.   It is a very cold day;  there was a sharp frost this morning and after a sunny start it is now grey, cloudy and with a sharp easterly wind whipping down the road at a cracking pace.  In the space of the last half hour my gardener has been and mowed the lawn and gone before I could pay him, the window cleaner has been and washed all my windows (what I would give for the 'old' way of washing windows - these days it is a brush on a long hose and it leaves drops of water all over the window, never producing as satisfactory a result).

Lunch out at The Three Horseshoes was, as usual, delicious - and as usual I had Quiche, salad, cole slaw and crispy salty chips - delicious.   Now I shall have nothing more to eat today other than a bowl of mixed blueberries and strawberries (Dutch and very good) with yoghourt. 

My plants which I had ordered were on my doorstep when I got home and although I didn't feel like it I put them in immediately and watered them in.   Then in a fit of enthusiasm I took all my boxes, tins etc. up to the tip (I forgot to put them out in the week).   Now it is time to settle down and watch 'The Repair Shop'.   A busy day.   Tess has had her PetPals walk and came back just as I came back from town.   She walked today with Mitzi, a rough-haired rescue Pointer - such a delightful dog but apparently a real 'scamp.   I just hope Tess doesn't pick up any tricks.

Thursday 11 April 2019


Not a lot warmer here but lovely sunny days - and dry too, although we could actually do with a good rain to green up the lawns.   After my usual hair appointment this morning, in a fit of enthusiasm I changed the bed - sheets, pillow cases and duvet cover.    Washing them all I took them outside to peg them on the washing line and looking along the line of back gardens I saw that almost every garden had a line of washing flapping in the breeze.   The difficult thing for me now is not stripping the bed but remaking it.  Sheets and pillow cases I can manage but the physical effort needed to put on a new duvet I find almost beyond me (and yes, I do know the trick of keeping hold of the corner until I reach the far corner).

It was only when I collapsed onto the sofa with a reviving cup of tea that I realised I should have driven to Bainbridge in Wensleydale to play at the Residential Home there, as we do once a month for the elderly residents.   So that is two of us missing this afternoon.

But there is something good about climbing into a completely clean bed on that first night after changing it.   Later on this evening I shall try to whip up the energy to iron the bedding and put it to air.   I don't wish to leave it until tomorrow -I find the longer one leaves the ironing the harder it is to do and Friday is a going out to lunch day.

Is anyone watching 'The Repair Shop' on BBC 1?
I am enthralled by the workmanship, the nimble fingers, the sharp eyes and the absolute perfect workmanship each evening.   If you haven't watched it, do catch up on iplayer.

Now at ten minutes to go before it starts - time to feed Tess, make a cup of tea and a sandwich and sit down in comfort - so until tomorrow -


Wednesday 10 April 2019

A Good Day

This morning I drew back the curtains to find the sun shining and two absolutely beautiful male partridges strolling along the terraces in my garden.  I stood very still and they were almost near enough to touch.   Their markings were so exotic that they just didn't look like any ordinary 'field' bird.    When they caught sight of me they strolled up to the top of the garden, flew on to the stone wall and then disappeared into the field beyond.   They are in short supply around here, unlike pheasants (which are bred for the shooting season and released for just that purpose sadly) but  I suspect just as likely to be shot once the shooting season opens.   This, of course, is why there are so few of them about.  I had three or four minutes in which to enjoy them and they started my day off well.

Out to lunch with friend D (scampi, chips and peas if you wish to know) and then home in time for friend S's call to take Tess for her walk.    I am so lucky to have so many good friends and I really appreciate it.

Now, as the sun begins to set, there is a clear blue sky and a sharpish wind blowing.   I suspect that, like last night, there will probably be a frost.  I planted four lupin plants over the weekend - I just hope they can stand it.

Tuesday 9 April 2019


A very haphazard e mail connection means that sometimes I can get on to my e mail page and sometimes I can't.   Just as I was about to get on the phone to my computer engineer up comes a message on the screen from BT to say it is all their fault and they are trying to deal with it today.   So far no improvement.

In the garden plants are growing apace in spite of the fact that the temperature here in North Yorkshire is only seven degrees - and that is when the sun is out.   Mr and Mrs Blackbird are both searching my front lawn for food, which surely points to babies wouldn't you think? 

Yesterday Tess and I had a pleasant ride out over the Pennines to Sedbergh, around thirty miles away, to meet my God-daughter, A, for a pub lunch.   (ham, leek and potato soup with a smoked trout sandwich on sourdough).   It was six degrees when I left here and twelve degrees in Sedbergh - and bright sunshine with it.   A nice hour's chat and then back again (temperatures still the same on my return and sunshine in the West, mist and cloud here). 

Today I am determined to do various administrative jobs - so far done one or two and after tea I intend to do one or two more.   My 'in tray' is so full I need to move a few things on and clear some space, both in that tray and in my brain.

Saturday 6 April 2019

Coffee Mornings.

It was our village coffee morning this morning and it struck me just what a useful and good occasion it really is.   Because I have not lived in the village for some years - on the farm I lived just outside the village boundary and now I live in the neighbouring town about a mile away - there are many folk there I don't know.   But that doesn't matter in the least - everyone is friendly,everyone chats to you, all kinds of subjects crop up in the conversation and it passes an hour and a half on a Saturday morning once a month.   And in addition A always makes her turkey and red lentil lasagnes, I always buy two, eat one for my lunch and freeze the other one.   Today was no exception.

Now, as an experiment, I have a Ratatouille in my slow cooker.   I don't know what it will taste like but it certainly smells good.   As I am out to lunch tomorrow and again on Monday I shall probably just have a taste and then freeze the rest because the recipe tells me it freezes well and tastes even better when reheated.   We shall see.   But P, if you are reading this, this may well appear on the menu when you both come to stay in three weeks time.

Today has really been a 'proper' Spring Day.   The sun has shone all day, there has not been a breath of wind and I still have not put the central heating on at 7pm.   Tess has had three walks, one of them down the fields and she also came to the Coffee morning with me (she likes that because somebody always gives her a biscuit) (you know who you are). A few days of this weather and I think we will all feel better for it.

Friday 5 April 2019


At last, today, there is a very faint hint of Spring in the air.   In the Market Place of our little town, when the wind is in a certain direction (as it was today ) it is almost impossible to weave an even course.   But as the day has gone on the wind has eased and when Tess and I went on our evening walk it was actually quite warm.   When I went a moment ago to turn down the central heating thermostat before getting ready for bed I found I had never turned it up in the first place and I haven't been cold this evening - so that is a good sign too.

As usual, friend W and I went out for lunch - and we changed our venue - going instead to a pub called The Three Horseshoes, where they make the most delicious quiches - deep and served warm with beautiful chips and a salad.  

Four lupin plants which I bought from the garden man after lunch have been placed in my border - it is filling up nicely and the forget me nots at the front are coming into bloom, and rather than being the pale blue most of them are, these are a very deep blue - which is a real treat. Really, the herbaceous plants in the whole garden seem to be growing now at such a pace that each morning when I draw back the curtains the plants have got bigger and filled in more space.

It is no longer just the robins that are singing it is every single bird around.  And, judging by the number of blackbirds singing when Tess and I go on our early morning walk, we must have a blackbird every sixty yards or so with a mate, so they are all nesting somewhere.   I think I might have a pair nesting in my back garden hedge.   I thought I had a pair last year and this year they are back and seem to spend all day scratching about in the garden for food so I wonder if they already have young.   Isn't Spring wonderful?

It is the monthly Coffee morning in the morning at The Village Hall and I almost always go.   And if all goes according to plan (that is if A makes her usual turkey lasagnes to sell) I shall be having that for my lunch and later in the day ratatouille which I intend to make in my slow cooker as an experiment.   Watch this space.


Thursday 4 April 2019

Busy day....

....as life returns more or less to normal, whatever that is.

I have a permanent standing appointment for my hair at nine thirty each Thursday morning (then I don't have to bother about it all week).   Then at twelve thirty I had a forty minute appointment with my Physiotherapist - as I do every six weeks.   It keeps me mobile and without her help I wouldn't be able to keep going.   I am sure I would just seize up.   Then at four this afternoon I had an appointment with my doctor to discuss updating my Advanced Decision document - that went well and I was home again by a quarter past five.  Thank goodness I still drive my car as all three appointments would have been impossible without it.

Over the past few days we have had wet snow, hail, sunshine, thick black cloud, strong North Easterly winds and an altogether wintry feeling to the weather.   All the blackthorn is out on the hedges and we are having what we always call 'A blackthorn winter'.   It is set to gradually get a bit milder over the next few days - but not enough for me to remove my thermal vest (sorry to mention secrets of the boudoir).

Friday again tomorrow - how quickly they come round.   Out to lunch as usual so at least I don't have to think about what to eat !   Keep warm.

Wednesday 3 April 2019

An easy day.

I have almost got my energy level back by today but have had another quiet day, mainly because the weather has been so very cold and wet.  The gardens on the estate - all coming into flower nicely - look very vulnerable today and have certainly stopped growing to wait for a warm sun (promised by the end of the week I believe).  I suppose we can say it is typical April weather but it would be nice to have typical Spring weather instead.

The fields around here are now full of young lambs - many of them Swaledale lambs (the local breed) - but once they get plenty of mother's milk inside them they seem able to withstand a wintry spell like this.   The top of East Witton Fell and the top of Penn Hill, both of which are visible from my window, are both covered in snow as I write this.

Tomorrow my busy life resumes - I am just about ready for it.

Tuesday 2 April 2019

Back again!

No posting for a few days because having a two year old with her mum and dad and then her grand parents for some meals makes posting drop to the very bottom of the list.   My great-grand-daughter is really interested in family relationships at the moment and kept asking repeatedly who we all were.   I showed her this photograph of me at around her age - she was fascinated but perhaps not really able yet to
take it all in.   The photograph is not all that unlike her - there is obviously a family likeness as there is in us all.

Such a pleasure to see them for a couple of days - I don't see them all that often - but how tiring.   I am only just getting my legs back to working at all.

To anyone interested I made a delicious Butter bean salad (my grand daughter is vegan) and it suited us all.   The recipe is a Guardian Feast recipe and easily available on the internet.

Other things to report - well first of all the weather.   Tess and I have just been for our afternoon walk and it is really bitter cold.   There was a sleet shower as we walked and I think we were both pleased to reach home again.   Tess was immediately sick on the hall carpet - not surprising as she had been eating grass all the way on our walk.   My  plants have been holding a summit to discuss going back into the earth - they can't seem to agree (the usual outcome dare I say) and are staying put, but they do not look happy today in the cold North wind.

Warmer weather again by the week-end we are promised.   Meantime, ignoring my gas bill (which came this morning), I shall turn the central heating up a tad, sit back and put my feet up.