Saturday, 24 September 2022

Almost back to normal.

But not quite.   Do be warned if you have not yet had your Covid jab.   In a lot of cases it is not nice.   I had mine on Wednesday afternoon at theChemists in Hawes.    And I was warned.     As he gave me the jab (totally painless) the chemist warned me that the after effects might be unpleasant and he was right.  For the next two days I have slept heavily  for most of the   day waking up now and again.   Bed has been early and I have slept like a log   all night too.. 

Many of the folk I blog with had the same side effects too,   But life has gone on just the same.   I more or less slept through the Equinox and now we are truly into Autumn.

Are you a 'Strictly Come Dancing' fan?   Each year I say I won't watch it again because I don't know any of the 'so called' celebrities.   It started again last evening - put off a week beca use  of the death  of H M the Queen and again - apart from the girl with Olympic medals for swimming I knew no-one.  So I shall give it a go this evening - what's the betting I get hooked. I find it odd who is a 'celebrity' these days - I never seem to know any of them.

So I really will make an effort tomorrow - that's a solemn promise.   Have a good evening.


Thursday, 22 September 2022

Tired

Actually my day yesterday was my top up covid jab in Hawes - a journey through lovely countryside in sunshine and a more or less painless 'jab' but today I am so very tired I can hardly put one foot in front of the other, so this is just an apology - hopefully I will be back to normal tomorrow - in the meantime - have a good day.

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Wednesday

Beautifully sunny day - perfect for the drive through Wensleydale for my Covid top up jab.   .My taxi driver contacted my carer yesterday to say that his taxi had broken down and to ask if I could manage to get into his minibus.   The answer to that is no - there is no way I can climb steps that deep so he is 'borrowing' his wife's car.   I hope the sun stays out because it is such a lovely journey to Hawes.

It is pleasing to see from The Times this morning that King Charles and the Queen Consort are already in Balmoral where they intend to spend a week in Private Mourning before taking up any royal duties. 

"Mourning" is such a strange thing isn't it - Matthew Paris discusses it in his weekly comment column in today's newspaper and I largely agree with him.    Certainly as far as our late Queen is concerned - the   death was by no means unexpected.  The signs of seriously deteriorating health have been there for some time in fact for a less determined character it would have meant total retirement from public life at a much earler date.  The fact that she 'invited' our new Prime Minister to form a Government only a couple of days before she died shewed the sort of person she was.   But although we can all feel sadness at her passing I am not sure any of us can 'mourn' in that sense - rather feel a sense of profound admiration that she kept on to the bitter end.   And so up there in Balmoral I hope the King and his Consort get out on the moors they so love and walk and just relax with their dogs (do they have dogs - if not then I am sure there are plenty around that they can 'borrow').

To those of you who suggested I turn the heating up a notch - thank you - I have done so.   I have no intention of being cold - it just seems so early to turn the heating up.   My carer who is a  what my dear old dad would have called a 'dab hand' on Facebook has found a shawl which fastens cleverly (I have several. all wool and very warm but all suffering from the same fault - they have no fastening other than tieing round the shoulders) with a buckle and she has sent for one for me (I will report back with details if it is as good as it looks).

In the meantime breeze is increasing and some rather big black clouds are appearing.

See you tomorrow.

 

Tuesday, 20 September 2022

Chilly

 Autumn is here in NorthYorkshire with a vengeance and I had forgotten just how much I feel the cold th   ese days.   I set the heating to come on at eighteen yesterday and it never came on once but I was cold all day.   I have layers as though it was mid winter and have just ordered a fleecy body-warmer to see if that helps.   I shall have to break the news to my carer in the morning.   She thinks I have enough warm clothes to clothe the whole road.   Fortuitously an organisation came round with bags asking for clean, wearable clothes and we have been able to fill it read to put out early in the morning.  (with clothes which no longer fit).

Well its all over, everyone is on their way home and the Royal Family are now having a week of private mourning.   The King looks absolutely exhausted - what a job to take on at his age.   I hope he and his Consort spend a few days this week at Highgrove, which they love.  Do they have dogs?   I wonder what will happen to all the dogs.   I heard that Her Majesty has had seventy corgis in her lifetime and that Prince Andrew is taking over some of the ones living now.

Its funny how we all like different breeds isn't it?   The estate where I live is awash with dogs - almost all are pedigrees - lots of shid-zues, lots of Labradors/ Retrievers, a fair number of Spaniels and three or four Pugs.   One Red Setter I always notice when he goes past -a beautiful dog and a breed my father always loved (my mother hated dogs and refused to have one).   A large number are Cocker Poos or Labradoodles or some such.   There are also a fair number of retired Greyhounds which, apparently need little exercise and two or three Whippets.   And - I have to say - very little dog poo around - most people are exceedingly good at picking it up and putting it in the appropriate  containers for collection.

My garden is  providing me with a new crop of Autumn blooms - antirrhinums  in assorted colours continue to spring up everywhere as do osteospermums and michaelmas daisies.  crocosmias are continuing to flower.   I must say that rain now and again has continued to keep us damp too, unlike poor Derek who has suffered greatly until the past fortnight.

Well friends - plenty to look at on TV this evening which is nothing connected with the Royal Family - let them have the rest they deserve.   I think the BBC's anchorman -I'm not good on names but think it might have been Huw Edwards (I'm sure someone will correct me if I am wrong)- deserves some kind of award for his stalwart coverage don't you?

See you tomorrow.   Covid jab for me.


Monday, 19 September 2022

Brilliant

 I must say that I have been glued to the television screen all day today to watch Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's funeral.   And I have to say that the organisation, the spectacle, the way the BBC have presented it - all have been excellent in my opinion.   Hardly a hiccup and then only a small one here and there..   And one tiny touch I  found so pleasing - the new Prince of Wales had his son, Prince George who I think is nine, standing next to him during the service.   Surely at that age a very awe-inspiring and slightly scary experience.  At one point during the service he looked up at his father and the Prince of Wales put his hand down, took hold of his small son's hand and gave it a squeeze. What a loving gesture I thought.

I think all the family - and especially His Majesty King Charles III- look exhausted and drained - please let them have a few days break  now to grieve.

Meanwhile life has gone on. Now her late majesty has I believe been laid to rest by her beloved husband and I can get round to thinking about what to write to you about each day.

A free easy day tomorrow and then on Wednesday a trip twenty miles or so to have my next Covid jab.Thursday is my hair day and then everything back to normal.

My Covid jab means a journey through Wensleydale to the little market town of Hawes - about twenty miles through lovely scenery - the road follows the River Ure the whole way.   The last time I was there was  in the Spring with plenty of lambs frolicking - this time the leaves will be beginning  to turn.   How quickly the seasons pass.   See you tomorrow.


Saturday, 17 September 2022

And still they come.

The queues get slightly longer  - last time I looked it was fourteen hours - I do wonder how they are going to control it.   Still luckily it is not my worry and as it all seems so very well organised I am sure 'they' have that worked out too.

It has been so warm in the sun again today and the wind has been a little less strong.   But now that dark has fallen again it is very cold - but set to turn a little warmer next week.

I will try to get my son to take some photographs of my garden and post them for me.   I can no longer take photographs because I have this annoying Benign Essential Tremor which means 'camera shake'.

Yes it was indeed moving to see Her Majesty's  Grandchildren standing vigil.   I do think it has made us all see her in a different light.   After seeing that lovely Paddington Bear sketch where she keeps her marmalade sandwich in her handbag she really does come across as having a much lighter side - lovely to see her like that as well as serious regarding 'affairs of state'.   Her children and grandchildren all seem so very fond of her.

Now before I go to bed I am going on to Amazon - I fancy a heated blanket or a hot water bottle (hopefully the former) and some lavender bags to deter clothes moth. My carer has now also cleaned out my trouser and winter coat wardrobe (she did my jumper one last week.   One new pair of trousers will suffice for now I think.   One very best pair which I rarely wear (because I rarely go out now and will go out even less in the coming months) and four everyday ones which I will for now increase to five.   As for jumpers - I definitely have not room for a single jumper more in my wardrobe.

See you tomorrow.....

 

Friday, 16 September 2022

Brrr!

Golly, how Autumn has suddenly set in with a North wind blowing today at about forty miles an hour.   Yes it is sunny and clear.   My gardeners arrived with a view to cutting my hedges but it is too breezy and hedge cuttings would blow everywhere.   So instead they are top-dressing for Autumn so at least my plants will all have warm feet.

I have ordered my Tesco order for tomorrow evening between six and seven - as good a time as any I suppose.   Usually if I only want one or two things I add them to my son's order but this week I needed more, so I have had an order of my own.

More activities today for the Royal family.   King Charles has been in Wales and had to travel there by helicopter because he has to stand vigil with his siblings this evening and would not have time to get back by road,   How exhausted they all must be. 

The queue to pass the Queen's coffin at her lying in State now stretches back so far with a wait of twenty four hours.   That is such a very long wait and the weather is unseasonably cold - I fear many of the queuers (is there such a word or have I just coined it?) will return home with chest colds.

I do so wish I could post photographs of my garden for you to see - now my gardeners have top dressed (if you don't do this do consider this it makes such a difference).

I shall now work out a way of keeping warm without switching the heating on.  I tried to order a hot water bottle on my Tesco order but no luck - I shall have to pop over to Amazon I fear.

Until tomorrow blog friends....

Thursday, 15 September 2022

We'll have to get used to it.

 Yes, it's here - Autumn I mean.   Sunny today but the wind is in the North and out of the sun it is chilly.  Thinking  of the price of electricity and gas I - like most of you I suppose - am keeping my heating off as long as possible and resorting to  a blanket.

This morning I did three laps of the patio quite easily and after lunch (fish with new potatoes and salad  - delicious) put my order for Tesco on line just before M came along with our next months book for Book Group.    We had a nice hour's chat and now I am chatting to you all before having my tea.

The queue seems to grow longer to file past HM the Queen's catafalque - so impressive and the people so respectful.   And I was pleased to read in The Times that HM the King is having a day at his residence - Highgrove - relaxing apart from reading the despatch box.

Enjoy your evening - keep warm and I'll be back tomorrow.

Wednesday, 14 September 2022

Tired

I have been making lists and trying to complete at least two tasks each day because lately quite a few 'problems' have cropped up which needed sorting out.   Yesterday I managed to complete three out of four problems - the only one I ignored was ringing the Gas Board when they told me the approximate waiting time.  I didn't want to speak to them that badly!

Today I had two problems = the first was a problem with an insurance renewal - and they told me it was their mistake - the second one  about a service for my hearing aid - e mail  of f, awaiting a reply.  But when one lives alone there is no-one to do these jobs for you.   The answer I think is to do jobs like this early in the morning when my brain is fully in gear.

I watched H M's coffin carried on the gun carriage go up The Mall this afternoon and round to Westminster Hall for the Lying in State.   The thousands of people queuing to pay their respects as they file past the coffin is very impresive particularly when you can see so much more by watching it on television.  I must say I have been so much more moved by it all than I expected to be.

Suddenly today the weather has turned much cooler here  and a lot of the warmth seem to have gone out of the sun today.  I need my gardener to come now and cut my hedge for winter.  Then - with the exception of a few more lawn mowings the garden is put to bed.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, 12 September 2022

It goes on.

 The grieving for our Queen goes on and on, day after day.   Poor King Charles III must be exhausted - today he started in London and then flew up to Edinburgh and then almost immediately with less than an hour to rest (and in that hour he had to change into Scots regalia, kilt and all) he and his brothers walked the Royal Mile behind their mother's coffin to S Giles Cathedral for a service.   Next time I put the TV on he was sitting in the Scottish Parliament listening to speeches again.   He is in his seventies and he is grieving - please give him a break.

Well what have I done today?  Well I have managed to book my Covid jab for the 21st of this month so that is one thing achieved.   In addition I have endured half an hour's chiropody (hate it).   The two merino jumpers I sent for came - they fit and I managed to put them on hangars and hang them in my wardrobe.

Most of the day the sun has shone but there has been a strong, cool breeze,   Now, as the sun goes down the breeze has stilled and the sky is a clear blue.    I  think we are all hoping for a warm Autumn to save on our electriccity and heating bills aren't we?

Until tomorrow......

Sunday, 11 September 2022

Interesting day

There have been plenty of repeats again today but it was interesting to see the Queen's cortege leave Balmoral and travel through the beautiful scenery of Deeside and finally into Edinburgh where it will rest in the Palace of Holyrood House overnight before a short service in St Giles's Cathedral and a flight to London.   I am sure it has been planned for weeks but that can only be a good thing.

It has been a better day - warmer but Autumnal.   I have had two or three walks out in the sunshine one to chat to M, my neighbour, who was busy weeding dandelions out of her drive and one to her neighbour whose name I don't know but we often have a chat - today about pruning holly.

Between times watched a bit of television about the funeral and the journey down.   Now it is time for a bit of tea - maybe a couple crumpets with honey I think - I am not very hungry.

See you all tomorrow. 

Saturday, 10 September 2022

This and that

 The first sign that Autumn is fast approaching this morning four Daddy Long Legs (Crane flies)  on the outside of the window.   Not keen on those thin, dangly legs but as long as they remain on the outside of the window that's fine.

The other, more pleasing sign is that in the rare moments of sunshine this week it has been quite warm and all the perennials that D my gardener cut back are well on the way to flowering again which does tend to emphasise that Summer is not quite over yet.

Today is just a very grey day - a kind of 'nothing' day weather-wise.  I am wearing a vest, a pure wool jumper, a cardigan and a shawl. My carer breezed in in a T-shirt and complained of being hot.

Each time I switched on BBC 1 without thinking yesterday . - all I got was repeated shots - many of which I had seen earlier in the day.  I do agree we should have a period of mourning but I do hope it doesn't go on too long (for King Charles's sake as much as anything).   I did watch a Prom concerto which was highly impressive and when I finish this I shall try to find out what it was .   I presume it was probably from last night's prom.   If anyone out there watched it and knows - please do let me know.   It was a violin concerto in which the soloist walked amongst the orchestra in the last movement.

Lunch calls.   I watched the Official proclamation from St James's Palace.   Our new King looked so cut up about his mother (understandable when he has had no time at all after her passing  when he could afford a few minutes to grieve).   This morning's official proclamation was so interesting in that never before has it been seen by members of the public.  To see the Guardsmen in full dress take off their Bear skins so that they could ' do' 3 cheers and to see them kneel in obeissance to their new Head of State was very touching.  (his mother would have been proud of him).

Friday, 9 September 2022

A Strange Feeling.

 It is indeed a strange feeling that after all those years suddenly our Queen is not with us any more.   I am not particularly a Royalist - in fact  I have no feelings either way but She has been our Head of State for such a long time that  She had really become a Permanent Fixture and now suddenly She is gone.   There is a disorientated feeling there which I hope will go in a day or two.   Life feels so very strange without Her.

I watched King Charles III land and drive to Buckingham Palace around lunchtime - how very strange it must seem to him to walk along the crowd of well-wishers, all eager  to shake his hand.   By tomorrow he will have a sore hand I guess.   He must have wanted to just go inside and put his feet up  and have a quiet time but no such luck.   Now meeting the Prime Minister  and then addressing the nation.   The state of things to come I guess. 

Good to read that Derek has had a good downpour - it has not rained so much here today although still several heavy showers and a rather cheerless day - as befits the news about HM the Queen I suppose,

No Last Night of the Proms - it has been postponed - I shall miss that but we must have a period of National Mourning I suppose although I don't know what our Beloved Monarch herself would have to say about it

I'll be back tomorrow friends.

Thursday, 8 September 2022

An eventful day

 One way or another this was a day to remember.  I had promised to take friends T and S out for a meal and S had booked us into the CB Inn i n Arkengarthdale.   Today was the day when it decided to rain and when I say rain I mean RAIN!!!   It wasn't just the "gentle rain from heaven" sort of stuff, it was gigantic claps of thunder flashes of lightning and the real, heavy,  pouring stuff.   Here in The Dales it never really stopped until we came back to a lower level and it was tea time.   And Priscilla and I don't do rush so it is easy to get wet.

But the meal was excellent.   The Landlord was most welcoming.   Hehad only two tables booked but people arrived in a steady stream and his excellent chef was very busy.   We all three had fish and chips with peas and excellent  it was too (especially with a glass of Sauvignon).   And we couldn't resist ice cream and really good coffee.

We came home still through pouring rain.   No way could I eat any tea so I made myself a pot of tea, sat down to drink it and switched on the TV only to learn the very sad news that H M The Queen had died.An elderly lady with a long and happy life and a long and happy marriage.    Loved and admired by so many all over the world.   It was sad to see her family arriving - most of them too late - and all to be so noticeably upset.   Now we have to adjust to HM King Charles III but I am sure he will do her proud.


Wednesday, 7 September 2022

Rain

Just as I thought- in the time it has taken me to answer all your answers from yesterday, what threatened has arrived - it is now a cold, wet day.  I refuse to put the central heating   so it is a cardigan instead.   As usual my carer arrived in a very skimpy top and quickly complained of being hot.

It is only a week since my gardener did all the cutting back and tidied in the garden and already many of the clumps of herbaceous plants are in bloom again.

I am looking forward to this afternoon.   My friends P and D who often come over and meet W and I for lunch, went over from Grange over Sands yesterday to a village near Scarborough.   They stayed there with friends overnight and go back this morning.   They will eat lunch somewhere en route on the way back and then call here mid afternoon for a stop and a cup of coffee - they intend to stay around an hour.

The sun is out, the rain has stopped and it is marginally warmer outside.   I see my lunch is on the kitchen table - a ready-cooked salmon steak with new potatoes and a salad.   My favourite.

 

See you tomorrow. 

Tuesday, 6 September 2022

Our new member.

We have always been worried about getting any new members in case they didn't fit in but we have a new member L and she fits in perfectly.   And what better time could she join us than when we discussed The Canterbury Tales because she is a Medievalist.   Her contribution this morning was invaluable.

It was a lively meeting and I think we all enjoyed it.   I was very tired when it was over so I had my lunch and then followed Rachel's suggestion and had a sleep.   When I awoke it was absolutely teeming with rain and from the state of the road outside I would guess it been raining at least an hour.   I just hope the rain had passed directly overhead at Derek's and thus alleviated some of his worry about the state of the land.

I think I rather fancy some tea now maybe a toasted tea cake with cheese and a nice cup of tea.   I don't think i shall watch TV tonight - it seems to have been taken over by politics today.   See you tomorrow.

Monday, 5 September 2022

A busy week

For me at any rate.   Tomorrow is Book Group and we are discussing The Canterbury Tales and hopefully we have a new member joining us.   I have concentrated on The Prologue and have found that by making a short precis of each character I have really a clear picture in my mind of them all.   These days at my age I do find recall quite difficult.     I have also read Part 1 of The Knight's Tale - interesting how women are treated as possessions to be handed over to the victors and married to their captors.   In some societies not much has changed I fear.

As for The Miller's Tale - the less said about that the better methinks!

Then on Wednesday friends P and D who live in Grange over Sands but have been to Scarborough to friends for the night ar calling for an hour on their way home.

Thursday I am taking friends T and S out for lunch.   They do such a lot for me so I am taking them - well they are taking me car-wise but I am paying as a thank you-.   I have decided if fish and chips is on the menu I shall have it (I say this and then read the menu and change my mind).

As with yesterday the sun is shining, it is warm with a gentle breeze and the garden is full of butterflies.  It was raining heavily as dawn broke but as the sun rose so it stopped raining.

My son has just been and taken my garden rubbish to the tip so the patio is nice and clear.   We have a new P M.   Will it make any difference?   Time will tell.

Sunday, 4 September 2022

Weather

 Poor Derek on the Isle of Sheppey - rain just seems to keep missing them and everywhere is absolutely arid and the ground is cracked - all quite worrying.  Here most days we get a shower at some point; the lawns are green and nothing looks seriously short of water.   Now that my gardener has been and cut everything back already many of the herbaceous plants like the geraniums and the gallardias are coming into flower again.  Now all that remains is for me to get rid of all the bags of rubbish.   It is green bin collection on Wednesday morning.   My son has promised to take my excess up to the tip tomorrow and once the green bin has been emptied it can be filled again so hopefully the patio will soon be clear again.  There is definitely an  Autumnal nip in the air morning and evening but T and S have just called with some damsons and a couple of cooking apples and they say the temperature is twenty one outside.

As I sit here typing a sleek black cat I haven't seen before has travelled through my garden along the top of the wall.   I haven't seen this one before - is it new to the area or (more likely) is it swift-moving and hard to see?

Every time I see a 'new' one I am envious but then I remind myself  I do live on a busy road and I would hate to own a cat only for it to get run over.   (In any case does one ever own a cat or do they just choose to live with you - the latter I rather think.)

A new series of Antiques Road Show begins this evening and before that an hour of Country File.   Just about time for tea before it is time to get all locked up and settled down, so see you again tomorrow.


Saturday, 3 September 2022

Autumn draws on!!

 Half past five on a Saturday evening and I have to say it is like dusk already.   H from next door came round with a dish of grapes and a yoghourt  and we had a cup of tea and a chat - made the afternoon pass quickly.   I was hoping my son was going to call on his way to the tip with his lawn mowings and relieve me of some of my garden rubbish but presumably he hasn't been yet because the extra bags still sit by my bin.   In the meantime my garden looks so much tidier I have to keep going and having a look at it.

Herbacous geraniums are such good value for money in a mixed herbaceous border.   The several new ones I bought earlier this year have done me proud, especially the Blue Johnson one which hopefully will seed to places it chooses where I would never have chosen to put it but which are just right.

It is time I started thinking about what to have for my tea as it is a quarter to six.   Super salad from my carer at lunchtime strips of beef on a bed including crunchy lettuce, grapes, cocktail tomatoes, cucumber, baby beets, potato salad and cole slaw and then scattered with cubed blue stilton cheese.

See you all tomorrow.

Friday, 2 September 2022

Autumn

 Suddenly, with the onset of September  has come the onset of Autumn.   This morning there was a distinct chill - by lunch time the sun was really hot and I sat out -but now at half past seven that chill is back with a vengeance.

My book group meeting is on Tuesday  this coming week and we have been reading the 'modern' version of Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales'.   We are all reading The Prologue and then each choosing one more tale to read.   I have read my choices earlier in the month but my brain is such these days that it is not brilliant at keeping information.   So on my Tesco order yesterday I bought a new notebook and today I have re-read The Prologue making a list of the pilgrims in the order they follow The Knight and with a little bit of information about each one.   I feel much happier about reading about them now.

Now tomorrow I shall re-read The Miller's Tale and make notes.   Have you read it?   Golly the whole lot is sexy to say the least.   I certainly never read it at school but as I went to a single-sex Christ's Hospital Girls' High School in the days when all women teachers had to remain unmarried that could have had something to do with it because there is an awful lot of sex in it and virtually nothing is left to the imagination'.

My son said last night that some scholars think T S Eliot based the way he started 'The Waste Land' on the start of The Prologue.   Anyone out there heard that?

Thursday, 1 September 2022

Holidays in a dying USSR

 It all seems such a long time ago.  My last holiday with Malcolm, my first husband, was on the Trans-Siberian Express  and was I think in 1989.  We got on the train in Khabarovsk (Vladivostok was a closed city - you couldn't get on it there ) and were on it for four or five nights, going through the Taiga and along the side of Lake Baikal and getting off in Irkutsk.It was quite an experience - the old ladies on the platforms where we stopped, selling hot jacket potatoes, the terrible food on the train (you no like chick on the very skinny chicken wings dished up for dinner) and the long walk down the sleeper carriages from our very comfortable cabins through the 'locals' who kept their pyjamas and dressing gowns on for the whole journey and bought their meals on the platforms or brought it with them.  They slept in bunks on either side of the aisle.

We had some really wonderful experiences - Registan Square in Samarkand, the Ancient city of Bukhara where a little lad sitting on the steps to his front door indicated that he would like us to take his photograph and where we were chased off by his mother with a stick.

Most of our USSR holidays if not all were in Gorbachev's days - they needed our currency and the holidays were all controlled - I think by Intourist.

Once I married the farmer in 1993 our holidays were mostly in the US or Canada with a foray up the Norwegian coast and round to Kirkenes on the Russian border.  I would advise anyone never to turn down the chance to see the world.The memories last forever.

On the Home Front - it is a lovely sunny day - it threatens to change at the week-end and become much more unsettled.   In the meantime I can look out on my lovely garden,all tidy and sunny and - as it was yesterday- full of butterflies.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, 31 August 2022

Improvements

 Well all i can say about today is that  it has brought about improvements.   My gardeners D and J have had a bit of a rough ride which entailed a   few visits to hospital but now at the end of it all the news is good and yesterday they arrived to catch up and today to finish off.   Now, after lunch they have finished and everywhere looks neat and tidy - dead-headed giving time for gallardias and scabious to flower again, and all my numerous herbaceous geraniums (which being cut back to make nice clumps)to promise a good show in Autumn.  In addition the lawns are short and nice and green.  As I sit here at my computer the sun is shining on the garden and it seems to be full of orange-tip butterflies.

In addition the plumber came and put me a new tap on the bathroom wash basin  and that is another plus.   It no longer drips, wasting water.

Also my doctor rang for a chat and to say that after talking it over with another G P in the practice they have decided not to increase my medication at the moment but to see how things go over the next few weeks.   So we shall see.

So it is back to The Miller's Tale and The Knight's Tale and The Prologue in The Canterbury Tales ready for Book Group next week - and how easy it is to read in verse.

RIP Mikhail Gorbachev - that was the era when my first husband and I spent all our holidays in          the last days of the U S S R.   Moscow, Leningrad, The Trans Siberian Express, Alma Ata, Samarkand, Tashkent, Lake Baikal, Irkutsk.   It all seems so long ago now.

Tuesday, 30 August 2022

A Pleasant Day

What started out as a possible boring day seeing nobody has turned out quite well because my gardeners arrived at lunch time and as I write this are both beavering away in my back garden - weeding, cutting back, pruning - - both on their knees.   They have just been in for a cup of tea and a toasted tea cake and as I look out of the window they have just started again.

Soon will no doubt be their last big garden job before the winter but now it is just good to admire their handiwork.

It was good to see University  Challenge new series last evening and what a cliff hanger it was too.   It has been running for such a long time and it is always exciting.   My son and I always have a contest to see who can answer the most questions - he always wins- I rarely get to ten and usually get most if it is anything easy like birds or wild flowers

Already my garden is looking so much tidier and given a good rain this week-end when it is forecast and then a couple of weeks of warm weather and - hopefully more flowers will appear.   Until tomorrow dear friends..... 

Monday, 29 August 2022

A New Week.

 Yes, a new topic and let's all settle down.   It has been another of those week-ends when I have wished we were all together in my sitting-room, a glass or a cup in hand and could chat about the topic and  'throw' ideas back and forth across the room.   But the whole thing all becomes a bit sterile when all you can do is have your say and that's that.

So what to chat about today?   Well, it is positively Septembral today - cloudy, a slight breeze from the North and no sunshine.   I did a couple of laps of the patio and then, just as I was coming back in the phone rang and it was M from Book Group to ask if she could walk across for a cup of tea.   I was delighted as usual and we have had a lovely, chatty afternoon.

We talked about central heating because of course here the talk is all about whether or not we shall be able to afford to use it through this coming winter.  We could both remember the days before we had central heating; when we had open fires; when we sat as close as we could to the fire and the fronts of our legs were bright red from almost burning and the backs of our legs and heels were so cold we got chilblains.   Ah those were the days!

Hopefully we will have a few more weeks of warm weather to come - fingers crossed.   See you tomorrow.

Sunday, 28 August 2022

Pigeons and Cats spring to mind!

 Well, well I have done it again!   Stirring the pot is so good for my ageing mind - so thank-you to all those who contributed to my yesterday's post.   Here is a follow-up after a great deal of thought.

First of all I have had "disagreements" with Derek over the years and he knows he can say what he feels without fear of offending me.   He has said more or less what I expected him to say.

All this "free love" seems to hav e arrived in what is now called "the swinging sixties" along with the advent of the pill and therefore a degree of liberation from the fear (for girls of course) of quite a lot of babies growing up thinking their grannies were their mothers (sitting here I can think of half a dozen in my village).

I predate all that - I married in 1952 and my son was born when I chose to try for a child - 1958.  It is a choice for everyone - nobody is under any obligation to anyone else - or to put it bluntly using Caitlin Moran's language - every girl's morals and  how she treats her  vagina are her choice and hers alone.  But a serious point I was making is that here in the little town where I live many of the children seem to be living with step dads and step-step dads and whether or not that is ideal is open to debate - and I speak here as a teacher.

And to put Derek straight (he often puts me straight don't you Derek?!) and to enlarge on the Caitlin Moran theme without going into the 'sex at the pop  festival detail' there are more ways of enjoying sex without 'going the whole hog' and after having one happy marriage of 39 years I can vouch for that.   My second marriage of 23 years - just as happy although totally different - was of course totally different - no fear of pregnancy at that age for a start.

There we are - got that off my chest.

Lovely Autumn day here = blue sky, no breeze.   Time I went out and watered my tubs.   We have a hosepipe ban here now so nothing for it to take Priscilla round the tubs.   See you tomorrow.  Enjoy your Sunday.

Saturday, 27 August 2022

How times have changed.

 I had a smile to myself on reading Caitlin Moran in today's Times.   She is writing about teenage years. I never had a daughter and of course it is a long time since I was a teenager - she writes about having 'sex with a stranger at a festival 30 years ago' (when she was 17).   I looked back to when I was 17 were there festivals then?   And if there were then I most certainly would not have been permitted to go.  Those were the days when I had to see the end of the film before the beginning in order to catch the 10.15pm bus home and my father would be waiting at the gate to see me get off the bus.

There was no pill in those days and like most of my friends and most of the girls in the village I suspect, I went to the altar a virgin.   Goodness me, I  don't think many girls can say that these days.   Does that make things better or worse?   Does it matter?  In this small town where I live now it seems that many young people change partners quite a few times and have very complicated family lives.   As Caitlin says - you have to let your young people turn from being a caterpillar into a butterfly at their own pace,  she says there's time to get excited about things like "the Lakeland Catalogue" once their "vagina has atrophied and they need to wear special shoes".   Goodness me - my dear mother will be turning in her grave.

How do you feel about the whole thing?

Friday, 26 August 2022

What day is it?

Indeed I have to ask myself what day it is.   Friday indeed which means Gardeners' World this evening - I can relax, put my feet up and watch.   And what a  strange gardening year it has been here in the UK.

I wish I had the energy to push Priscilla round the Wensleydale Show tomorrow, particularly round the Produce Tents to see the Marrows, the Bramley Cooking Apples, the Home-Grown Tomatoes, the Home-made Jams and Pickles, the Swiss Rolls, the Victoria Sandwich Cakes.   How seriously the local ladies take it all.   My dear Farmer's mother used to enter and win not just here at the local show but also at The Great Yorkshire Show.

Speaking of such things makes me wonder whether my dear friends S and T are entering their honey.   They always bring me some to have on my morning toast.   In today's Times Ann Treneman talks of bees and going to a "Bee Day" with her grandson and watching as a wasp accidentally gets into a beehive whereupon the bees block its exit and literally pull it limb from limb.

And in her column she gets on to her word for the week - a word from our American friends:  "buttinski" - as she says - exactly what that intruder wasp could be called - pretty self-explanatory too - shall try and remember to use it.

See you tomorrow.....

Thursday, 25 August 2022

Thursday

As the day has progressed today so the weather has improved.   Now, at tea-time, the sky is blue, the sky has puffy white clouds and it is very warm - a lovely end to the day.   I think everyone is now hoping the weather is set fair for Saturday and a good day for The Wensleydale Show.   Looking at the weather map it seems as though at long last - the South East-has had a long, heavy fall of rain - Derek's corner of the country might have made up a bit of lost ground.

I woke up this morning to a wet morning - a necklace of raindrops on the washing-line and a wet patio - so we had a good rain overnight.   Since then the day here has got steadily better.

I believe A Level results are out now.   It is so good to see photographs of A Level students heading for Oxford on the front of our local paper - all those years of hard study have paid off.   Such wonderful opportunities these days for our young people providing they are willing to work hard.

And for those not destined for University  there are interesting jobs in our little town for young people willing to work hard.   Those were the days I think, viewed from the other end of the spectrum.

Enjoy these last few lazy, hazydays of Summer while they last - they are fast drawing in and Autumn - in the shape of September - arrives next week.   See you tomorrow, 

Wednesday, 24 August 2022

Wednesday

 I waited in all day today because my doctor had said he would ring me after discussing things with another doctor.   But he hasn't rung so really I have had no exercise other than walking up and down in the house.   But D, who cleans through for me once a month, came this morning for a couple of hours so that means three hours with somebody here to chat to which was nice.   And now, as evening is drawing in, here I am thinking what have I got to say today.

Well first of all of course there is the tragic story of the nine year old girl shot and killed in her own home by a seemingly unknown gunman.   I am sure we are all more concerned tonight with keeping all our doors firmly locked.  We all hope that incidents like this keep firmly away from our area.  How can one ever hope to explain this sort of happening to a child of that age as they go back to school next week and a classmate has gone?

And going back to school after the long Summer holiday - that brings back such memories.   There was a time - a lifetime ago - when I so looked forward to returning to school and seeing all the staff and all the pupils again.    Now (I retired in 1983) it seems another life altogether and pupils I taught will some of them be  retiring .   The march of time - becomes very real as 90 looms.

Tuesday, 23 August 2022

Weather

 No sooner do I say it is Autumnal than the next day is very warm indeed.   But somehow it still feels like the tail end of Summer.   I should have gone to the doctor's yesterday for a report  on my short spell in hospital but something went wrong with the plans and I went today instead.   The doctor is going to ring me in the morning for a chat.   He was a charming young man, all six feet four inches of him, and very reassuring about my recent 'episodes'.

Back home to find that my lawn has been cut - the first time in at least three if not four weeks.   In that time we have been lucky enough to have quite a lot of sharp, heavy showers and now my lawn is beautifully green and lush (sorry Derek).  My green bin is full to the brim and tomorrow is green bin day so it couldn't have all fitted in better.

See you all in the morning:::::

Monday, 22 August 2022

Autumnal

 Say what you will, there is a nip in the air and it will not go away.   We might get the odd warm spell - we often get one or two lovely days even as late as October, but those really unbearably hot days won't be back (I may live to eat my words).

My gardeners have just rung the door bell to say they really will be here shortly to do a really good 'going-over' of my lawns and gardens - they have not been for three weeks.   The front lawn is fine but the one up the side of the bungalow which is in the shade for a large part of the day -wow -the grass is a good six inches high.

My friends T and S called yesterday with a large tub of blackberries they had picked.   Then this morning they called with two large green cooking apples.   I have cooked them in the microwave and they smell delicious.   I shall have a large bowl of them with some ice cream for my lunch tomorrow - another smell and taste of Autumn.

I seem to have had a very hectic day today so I shall now go and have a nice quiet evening.   Nothing much  to suit my viewing on the TV this evening so I shall have a quiet hour or so doing a Sudoku if I can get my brain in gear.  See you tomorrow.

Sunday, 21 August 2022

Sunday

 Friends have just called - T and S with a lovely tub of wild blackberries - they have plenty of apples so next time they are passing they are going to call in with a couple of cooking apples.   I already have a couple of jars of their honey so that sees me set up for delicious puds this week.    They are such good friends.

Just one week to go before there is a hose pipe ban here and we will not be able to water our tubs outside with the hosepipe.   Then I think I shall have to a sk my gardener to empty all but two of my tubs and move those two on to the front door step for a few weeks.   Sad to face up to I know but there comes a time to face up to the fact that Winter watering has to stop.

Next week-end will be the Wensleydale Show which takes place at the bottom of my garden - just over my dry stone wall is the Car Park and beyond that the Show Field.   There there will be tents (they are going up as I write) with  Shows for flowers, Cakes, Handicrafts - all manner of things - all kinds of garden produce.   People take it all very seriously up here.   In the middle the Show Ring and at the far end tents and enclosures for cattle and sheep and heavy horses.   It  was one of the highlights of my dear farmer's farming year and when I was a bit more mobile I used to enjoy going with him and going into our Feed Merchant's tent for 'goodies' - always the same - a little pork pie, two sandwiches and a fairycake.   And lots of good old Yorkshire tea of course.

That's it for today.    Back tomorrow friends.  ' Til then.....


Saturday, 20 August 2022

Nearly back to normal.

But not quite - I am still left with a slight feeling of disorientation.   Maybe in a couple more days that feeling will have gone too - I certainly hope so.   It is usual I understand to feel like this.

My son has been round and watered my tubs for me (he turned the outside tap off too tight and I couldn't turn it on this morning.)

I must say it is looking, and feeling, very Autumnal here.   The poor gardens have suffered so much that I doubt they will  recover this year however much rain we might get now - it is too late.

I have not heard a News Bulletin since last Sunday .  I have read today's Times avidly and it seems the same old stuff.   Ukraine seems to be fading from the news - isn't it always the same?   For a few weeks after a conflict breaks out somewhere it is headline news and then it seems to fade as though it has gone away. Which I am sure it hasn't.

As I hopefully get back into the swim I shall have more to say .  As to whether I can continue to live alone time will tell.   I have my carer, my son only lives a mile away and Lifeline are on the end of a button - is that enough?   We shall see.   Fingers crossed.   See you tomorrow.

Friday, 19 August 2022

Home again!

 Well I am home again after a spell in hospital again.   I seem to have developed Epilepsy.   I had a spell about eighteen years ago when when I had quite a severe fit and was in hospital for a few days.  Since then nothing until about six weeks ago when I had a fit which put me in hospital for two days  and now another one on Monday morning.   I came home from hospital at tea time yesterday.    I am very stiff from the inactivity but gradually slackening off as the day progresses today and I am moving about a bit more.

In Institutions one tends to quickly become institutionalised and I feel a bit like that today   But  as I stagger about with one or other of my trollerys normality is gradually returning - I hope.During the four days I have been away there doesn't seem to have been a lot  of rain and we look to be in real need of a heavy downpour.

I will try and do a proper informative post tomorrow.   Until then take care,   I have missed you all.

Monday, 15 August 2022

Ominous

 We are desperate for rain here.   But for a good rain - even a downpour.   But nothing torrential so we are keeping our fingers crossed.  We have two rivers - the Swale running through Swaledale and the Ure running through Wensleydale.  Both can rise twenty feet in an hour if the water runs off the fells as it does if the ground is very dry so there is always a period after  a long dry spell when everyone is a bit apprehensive.   There have been a couple of catastrophic floods in the time that I have lived here.

I have  probably got a new addition to the family - still  taking my time thinking about it but am almost sure the answer is "yes please."   A neighbour and a friend of T and S, my friends, has offered to lend me (and if I like it sell me ) her mother's Shoprider invalid carriage.   Yesterday T brought it up and put it on charge.   After a coffee I got in it and I loved it.   I expected to be scared but not a bit of it.  S walked with me to the end of the road and back and we left it on charge.  Now they have promised to walk with me into town and back.   At present it is just a matter of which button is for which operation,

So here is a job for you.   Priscilla will have a gentleman-friend.   What shall I call him?   Any ideas?

I am waiting with baited breath for the arrival of Roger to live at John's with Dorothy, Mary and Albert.  She should have arrived by now.   I hope the gang have taken her under their collective wing and she is feeling at home don't you?

Saturday, 13 August 2022

Too hot to think

 My brain seems to have totally shut down bit by bit over the last few days so that I can   really not think straight.   A light breeze has 'broken out' as the afternoon has worn on and there  appears to be a subtle change somewhere - oh I do hope so because I find this  weather quite distressing.   There appear to be a few sun-worshippers around considering the number of folk 'of a certain age' passing by in knee-length shorts ;and a variety of sun hats have cropped up.some of which I guess have not seen the light of day for a fair number of years.

I love watching them pass by.   My father had an expression - 'when to the age of forty they come, men go to belly and women to bum'.   There is a  section of the very fit, who pass at a rate of knots, wearing the shortest of shorts, light vests and trainers or 'safe' sandals and all I would guess under forty.  Then  the belly v bum begins to slide into the scene and on the whole gets worse with age.  And of course there are the folk who have always looked after their bodies and continue to do so.   I wish I fell into the latter category.   My weight stays more or less the same and my dress size too but there do seem to be bits of me which have sunk south.

My carer's salad for my lunch today was absolutely delicious - it was a salad of sliced pre-cooked sausage (chorizo would have been equally good), cubed new potatoes  boiled and then crisped up. cubed cucumber, cocktail tomatoes, halved green grapes, sweet corn, an eating apple (red-skinned for colour) diced, and diced blue stilton.   I dressed it with yoghourt with mint dressing.   I could eat it every day in this weather.

A new programme begins this evening on Channel Four of Griff Rees-Jones travelling across Canada..  The farmer and I did just that over the years for our annual holiday -the only one left we intended to do was up the coast to Alaska - but it was not to be.   It should bring back some happy memories even though they will be tinged with sadness...

See you tomorrow.

Friday, 12 August 2022

The heat, the heat!!

 So long  as I sit decoratively in the shade (or indoors) and do absolutely nothing I am fine.   Any 'risk' of movement of any kind and I am immediately a trembling heap.   I was never designed to endure this weather.

I look at (mostly) men and women in the Middle east in their flowing white djellabas, somehow cleverly designed not to flap open or fly above one's head in a desert storm and (rather like Scotsmen and kilts) wonder what one would wear underneath.   In Summer surely the answer would be very little.   Here folk of a certain age ( mine) might leave off a layer, or not bother with a cardi but that is about it.

And here's Brad Pitt (who else?) arriving at his latest film wearing a brown linen jacket and matching skirt.   Will it catch on?   I sincerely hope not.   Certainly amongst my aquaintances I can-t think of anyone who would be seen dead in a skirt but then that is not a very wide sample,   Bit by bit the sexes have grown nearer - jeans have even made it as a garment for everyone; tattoos are widespread these days.

Wardrobe Liberation?  We shall see,   Anybody out there brave enough to start the trend?   If so publish a photograph.   But don't expect me to let on that I know you.

 

Thursday, 11 August 2022

Horses for courses.'Could he cal

 Priscilla has been unwell.   So much so that I had to stop using her.   She would not cooperate at all   I live at the top of quite a steep drive and I need her brakes to work perfectly, which they weren't doing.  Various friends have had her out at the top of the drive and looked wisely at her, twiddled a few  wheels and said  there was nothing to be done - she needed to go back for repair.   So yesterday I rang the Rollator Repair Doctor.   I spoke to his Receptionist who listened carefully and then remarked that she needed a Home Visit.   Could he call this morning?

Could he call this morning?   I'll say! I immediately cancelled my hair appointment.   I steeled myself for the worst possible news - she would have to go away for an operation.

He turned up on time, twiddled a few wires and handed her over to me.   'Here you are - try her now' (I had told him her name was Priscilla) - Perfect.   What had he done?  ' Adjusted her brakes'- 'happens to them all as they get older' he said. (Doesn't it happen to us all?)   How would he know to do that?   "I used to be a car mechanic"!!

Priscilla's chest swelled with pride.   She always knew she was special but 'a Car'?  Not sure I dare take her out again.


Wednesday, 10 August 2022

When we are not around

 I wrote after Matthew Parris's comment in last week's Times about the dog and the urban fox meeting and communicating in the night in the urban churchyard.   I was reminded of it this morningwhen H, my neighbour, came round.

Yesterday she had taken the netting off the  pond and when she had finished gardening she had forgotten to put it back on.   When she went to the pond today  there was a dead fieldmouse at the bottom of the pond and as she fished it out she saw there was also a  half-grown hedgehog drowned in the pond too.  Two little creatures needlessly gone - what a shame.

But I had always thought that because of the steps in my garden it would be impossible for me to have hedgehogs but obviously not - our gardens are equally steep and inaccessible.  So now I am wondering what wanders around in my garden when I am asleep.

And there has been a strange squawking noise - very loud and very invasive, over the garden wall so to speak.  We think we have solved the mystery of that too, this morning.   There are two two half grown pigeons in the hedge.   They are making enough noise  for  twenty two.

See you on another hot day tomorrow

Monday, 8 August 2022

Heat

 It is very hot - up in the high twenties and destined to hit the low thirties tomorrow.   I am pretty useless in this kind of weather - always have been.   I watered my tubs and will do it again after tea but other than that my Chiropodist has been and for a day or two I shall feel I am walking on air.

The Commonwealth Games are over; it is the closing ceremony tonight then the City of Birmingham will return to normal and life will go on.   But it has been good to see the Stadium almost full every day and to see the encouragement the crowd had given to the athletes.

My tubs will all be thirsty again by now.   M, my neighbour, kindly watered my tub nearest to her this morning which helped me a lot.

Nothing more to tell today, too hot to think.   What I would do if I lived permanently in a very hot climate I can't imagine!!   See you tomorrow.

Sunday, 7 August 2022

A Good Philosophy!

 My friend T has a philosophy very much like that of both of my husbands;  it consists of one line, "Never throw anything away; it might come in useful"!

Of course it does help if you have more or less unlimited space.   With my farmer this was of course true.   With M, my first husband, it was not so true but he still tried to stand by it.This did mean that on occasions he came unstuck like the famous time when friends called to see my husband's instruments he made (he made early musical instruments) and when the friend asked to see in his shed he opened the door and my ironing board fell out.

But to return to friend T.   I have a drawer in my bedroom which has been irritating me because the bottom has been falling out of it.  As you know I have been tidying and  reviewing my files and had only one drawer left to do.   This I could not do so this morning, when friends T and S called, I asked T for his opinion on the drawer.   After close inspection he said something to the effect that, "I might have a piece of wood that might fit that - and after coffee off they went home."

He has just returned having found "just the piece" which has now been fitted in the bottom of the drawer, strengthened and all put together again perfectly.   Everything is back in the drawer, done, dusted and back to normal and when I tried to thank T he said that it was just the kind of thing he liked to spend his time doing.   That's the kind of friend one loves isn't it?   So thank you dear friend!!!

Saturday, 6 August 2022

Watering tubs.

I read an article in The Times at 'Tub Planting Time'suggesting we branched out a bit and took a wider view rather than planting the same old things like pelargoniums, alyssum. lobelia and the like.   So I did just that, adding just a few Pelargoniums, grey leaved foliage plants - the same old things I put in every year.  Now, as they begin to go into August , if I do a serious survey I have to admit (and this is   a suggestion remember) as they are coming to the end of their tub planting time that the old favourites are doing far, far better than my new suggested ones.   Yes, I know that the Summer has been exceptional, I know I am a year older and watering is not so easy to do, but the tubs  planted with grey foliage and Pelargoniums are a beautiful sight whereas those planted with dahlias (not too bad) and various bedding plants and frequently dead headed are telling me each time I dead head them that they have 'had it'.

Although my road was not built as a road for retired people, many of the inhabitants have lived here for  thirty or more years and so it is now most people well retired (several in their nineties) and only a very few bother with tubs - (too much watering and it will be even worse if a hosepipe ban comes in)

Off now to put today's lunch (minced beef pie with a variety of vegetables and good gravy) in the microwave and watch The Commonwealth Games.  See you tomorrow. 

P S    Good that John got to Sitges this time isn't it? 

Friday, 5 August 2022

Hello

Lovely evening here.   There has been a lot of cloud all day  but now in the evening there is sunshine and the wind has dropped a lot so it is pleasant.   I have been tired all day - it is always the same if I have a jolly day with a lot going on I  am tired for a day or two afterwards.

Still nothing special to do over the next day or two so I can relax.   There will still be tubs to water.   Sad but I shall not do them again after this year - it is getting too much for me to do  especially if we get a hosepipe ban and I have to carry cans of water.   When P and D came over the Pennines yesterday they remarked on how the rivers were fairly full and we had already noticed our local river, The Ure was nowhere near empty so maybe we shall escape the worst of it.

It is a sad situation really because yes, the reservoirs are quite low but the Water Companies are guilty of wasting a huge amount of water through water leakage so it is hard to know where to lay the blame isn;t it?   What do you think?

That;s it for today friends - almost time for my    Pinup (Monty Don of course).  An hour of him and I am sure I shall feel quite perky again and my tiredness will have faded into insignificance.

Goodnight dear friends.

Thursday, 4 August 2022

A busy day

Yes, a busy day but such an enjoyable one.  When you have led a busy and interesting life old age can be frustrating but one really has to try and make the best of things and get on with it.

My friends from Grange over Sands arrived at half past eleven (it is about   a two hour journey through beautiful countryside across The Pennines and it has been a glorious   day so  the journey would be lovely.)

We had to meet friend W at the restaurant for twelve so it was ten minutes sit down and then on the ten minute journey to Middlemoor.  Lovely gardens, brilliant disabled access, nice wide spaces between tables  and very welcoming staff -perfect for a Summer's day.

Friend D says I must not repeat the menu as it is boring and I am sure he is right.   So sufficient to say we had a super meal - lovely food, nice company, excellent service.    When I explained to the young man waiting at our table that I couldn't hold my coffee cup because of my shake, he  went away and returned with my coffee in a lovely mug with hens on it.

There was also a gift shop and I was able to top up with super cards for all purposes.   No matter how many cards I buy when I am out and about there always comes a time when I have a birthday (or in this case a silver wedding) coming up and no suitable card to send.   And I always think cards are too personal a thing to get someone else to buy.

Now, at half past nine, I am more than ready for  an early night so shall sign off.   This day of doing something different - whilst it has been very tiring= it has done me a huge boost and when I get up in the morning I shall be greeted by a vase of golden sunflowers - another boost.


 

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Visitors tomorrow.

Friends coming tomorrow four of us are going out to lunch - not far - only as far as Middlemoor, a couple of miles from home but with lovely food, so no effort on my part.   Then my dear Carer is making me one of her splendid salads for tea and this will just be a case of adding things like mashed avocado, green olives   with feta, cheeses, chorizo,   pate and Danish Pastries; that won't take a lot of effort either.

I have just been out into the garden to do a bit of dead-heading where I can reach and to water my tubs.   In spite of quite a lot of rain this week the tubs were desperate for a drink.  Now at a quarter to nine in the evening it is already feeling Autumnal - breezy and needing a cardigan.   How quickly Autumn has come round this year.

I am still feeling lacking in News but at least tomorrow I shall be able to tell you what we all had to eat.   See you then.

 

Sunday, 31 July 2022

Warmer

 After a pouring wet start it is now a warm and pleasant start to the day.  Friends P and D have rung to say their new car has requested a jolly run out and they are coming over to lunch on Thursday,   We are still juggling various lunch places and menus but the very idea - whatever the form it takes of an outing in a car, a new venue, a nice menu and jolly company is attractive.  When one is more or less housebound and reliant on others for seeing the outside world, any trip out is welcome and is much appreciated.

Well England won the Ladies. Football Championship this evening - I am so pleased for them, they have worked so hard for it.   I have also watched the Commonwealth Games - especially swimming and gymnastics - both have been spectacular and have shown just how much dedication the sportsmen and women have to put into it.

Off to bed now.   See you tomorrow.










Saturday, 30 July 2022

Marbles?

 Am I losing them or am I losing them?   Last evening my son called by quite late with more covid test kits.   I have run out of them because I have been testing every other day since my neighbour went down with it.  I was preparing for bed.when he called -  I was taking my hearing aids out in fact,

This morning as usual I rose early ready to greet my carer when she arrived at seven.   In fact I had a tablet to take half an hour before breakfast so I was early to rise.

As with most folk I suspect I have a routine each morning -sit in my chair, switch on Breakfast TV for the News, put in my Hearing Aids so that I know I have them in correctly and  I can hear what the news reader is saying and can adjust the TV accordingly

I put in the right one, felt on the table for the left one - - - it wasn't there.   Where was it?   Panic button got louder and louder in my imagination as I searched.  I went through the house, running my hand across all flat surfaces.   No sign of it.   I took my slippers off in case I had dropped it on the carpet.  The nearer it got to my carer's time the more I panicked.   By the time she came through the door I was in tears.

She never panics.   She made me sit down and tell her the tale.   "Right," she said.  "Let's start with the obvious place.   Is it in your ear?"   You have guessed it.   I had slept with it in my ear.   Since breaking my hip I can only sleep on my back so once my head is on the pillow I don't move it.   So there it was all the time - still in my left ear.

I have told you before what a brilliant carer she is, how she solves every problem for me.   Well dear readers, she has done it again.

Friday, 29 July 2022

Friday again.

And how quickly days speed by.   And while we are at it - how quickly the nights draw in.   Last night I closed the blinds at half past seven.   Helped of course by the fact, contrary to everywhere else in the country it seems, that we are having cloudy skies and very heavy downpours (have just looked out of the window and the sun has momentarily come out and there are a couple of orange tips fluttering around the antirrhinums.)

Opposite my bungalow is a building plot kept by the man who built the estate - presumably to build somewhere for himself sometime in the future.   Quite often there is a black cat who sits there on the edge of the long grass coming in and out of it - on the constant lookout - as cats usually are. All around us are wood pigeons and the two are not friendly with one another.   This morning as I walked down my drive with Priscilla to meet my taxi for the hairdresser, I noticed that the road outside my bungalow is littered with pigeon feathers.   Oh dear.   Has one of the pigeons come to a sad end?   And oh dear -why can't I feel sad?

Do the Powers that be in your area appear to conspire against you?   Friday is Market Day here today and we are one of the places where there is a thriving market with a variety of stalls = two really good greengrocers with excellent quality fruit and veg; a really good cheese counter with cheese from all over Europe, a free range egg stall, a nursery stand selling all kinds of garden plants and giving really good planting advice, a fish stand with fresh Whitby fish, a tool stall with everything from tiny nails to big long nails and  the right size hammers to knock them in.    In addition to that it is also Cattle Market Day and the Cattle market is right in the middle of the town and does a thriving trade in the buying and selling of calves and larger cattle.

We get a lot of tourist trade here in Summer, much of it passing through into Wensleydale and stopping off here in Leyburn and dropping off their busloads of tourists here for a coffee on their way to the Wensleydale Creamery to tour the Cheese Factory. On every day but Friday - market day - the tourist busses can park up in the Auction Mart but not today of course.   Imagine the scene.   What do the powers that be choose to do when they want to do some kind of repair to the kerb or a street light or whatever?   Which day of the week do they choose?  A ni ce quiet  Monday when there is nobody much about apart from tourists sitting in cafes around the market place enjoying their coffee whilst their busses are parked up at the auction mart?   Of course not.   They choose a Friday of course!  They put up their traffic lights nice and early so that this are choked from the word go.

Just typing this has tired me out so can't  imagine what it has done to anybody driving a bus through here.   I am off to make a cuppa.

Thursday, 28 July 2022

Disaster

 I really do hope that nobody has been seriously injured but when my Times had not arrived by nine this morning I rang the Newsagents only to discover that owing to an accident on the M62 the papers are held up.   It is now after one o'clock and still no sign of them which makes me think it must be a very bad accident - hope things are alright.   Compared with a bad road accident my missing my morning paper is mere chicken feed.   Lives and bad injuries are far more serious.   So I am now going to resort to a Wordle or two to satisfy my need to brain exercise before my evening stagnation sets in.

 

So far it has been a wet morning with a very grey sky.   It has just stopped raining and the patio has dried up so I may have to go out and water my tubs soon.   I found out when watering my tubs last that in spite of heavy rain my tubs were very dry and one particular grey leaved plant was beginning to die.   Hope I have caught it in time.   I'll be back soon with something to say I hope (even if it is only to give you my wordle score.)

Hardly had I started when my Times popped through the letter box and soon after I started  reading it then friend M rang to say she would come over for a chat.    When you live alone there is nothing better than a friend popping over for a chat.   And together we had a lovely afternoon chatting about this and that.    

I had intended to watch the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games but sad to say I switched off after half an hour as I just wasn't in the mood and was not enjoying it at all.    Now, at just after nine o'clock I feel more than ready for bed, so wash up the tea things and put them away and then off to bed for me.

Until tomorrow:

Wednesday, 27 July 2022

Whispering and other tales

 I decided to do half an hour of dead-heading after lunch.   As I have said before - my garden is steep and has several flights of steps which I can no longer negotiate, so I can only manage to dead from the bottom patio.   There are two large clumps of very colourful Gallardia desperately in need of dead-heading but I could only manage those dead heads right at the front.   Plenty of Osteospermum to dead head right back to the bottom of the stalk and a few other bits and bobs - pinks and the like.   As I was quietly doing this I was suddenly aware of a noise like whispering.   I looked around and soon found out what it was!  The farmer who owns the field behind my garden has obviously decided to cut his losses and do a third silage cut, although I have no doubt the grass would be poor as we have had so little rain.   Now that the grass has been collected and carted away from the field, the heifers have been put in to "pike".  (this is a local dialect word for clearing up all the patches of grass in the hedge bottom - nothing is ever wasted by a good farmer).   A heifer was watching me over the stone wall and chewing her cud at the same time.   We had a conversation - well it was a bit one-sided - more of an I talked and she listened sort of thing.

Another lovely animal story out of today's Times - Matthew Parris's Comment article - always one of the first things I turn to on a Wednesday morning.  One night last week he was walking late at night from Stepney Green tube station to Limehouse through the quiet of St Dunstan's churchyard in the silence.   Then he noticed a man on a late-night walk with his dog.   As he watched a fox noticed too and the two animals met in the silence.  They had a good look at each other, a good 'doggy' sniff around each other then 'backed off' and went their separate ways.  All in the silence of the night.Who knows what goes on in the night around us when we are asleep.

See you on the morrow,


Tuesday, 26 July 2022

Tuesday = covid free.

So far so good, I am only testing every other day but  I was alright yesterday.   This morning, after my carer had gone, I went to sleep and slept all morning in my chair.   I have no symptoms - no throat, no headache, nothing - just very tired.   I have made myself be a bit more active this afternoon.

It seems as though we might have had a very wet night because there  were great puddles of water in the road this morning and everywhere looked wet - we can certainly do with it - as much as anything to wet the ground enough to discourage wild fires breaking out.   Plants and lawns desperately needing water is one thing but farmers needs and wild fires are in an altogether different league.

England's Ladies are playing Sweden in the Football semi-final tonight.   I shalln't watch it.   That kind of tension is too much these days for my fragile frame to bear. I shall watch for the result on the ten o'clock News bulletin.

I have never planted Antirrhinums in my garden.   From somewhere they have seeded themselves.   Now they do it every Summer and they are haphazardly dotted about all over the garden.   At first they were all yellow.   Then they were yellow and a few dark red.   This year there are also some pale salmon pink ones as though the colours have mixed on a palette.   And    I welcome them freely and wonder what colour will emerge next.   Thought I might run a sweepstake on it!  (if I am still here next summer!)

Also in the garden the crocosmia (montbretia as was) are out.   I have four different ones - three red and one yellow - the yellow one nothing like as rampant.   They remind me of my childhood - it grew like a weed in our garden.   Talk about being a reliable plant. 

Until tomorrow friends.

Monday, 25 July 2022

Variable

 The first thing to happen today was that my neighbour, who I last saw on Friday, rang to say she had tested positive for Covid.   Because today is the day my monthly cleaner comes I immediately tested and luckily so far I am clear.

Yesterday I worked - for me- extremely hard and so it is hardly surprising that I am very tired today and have taken it easy.   Tonight I have a headache so don't feel I am in the clear yet as far as covid is concerned - so fingers crossed.

I went out at lunchtime to water my tubs.   When it is showery it is easy to think tubs are getting watered - sadly  it is rarely the case and mine were extremely dry and between us my cleaner and I gave them all a good watering.   The sun is very hot but there is a strong wind blowing.   Half way through the afternoon the heavens opened and there was a downpour.  Judging from which windows the rain poured down the wind seems to have gone round to the North and boy did it rain.   It is raining still, two hours later  no doubt the garden is delighted.

I have enjoyed the athletics from the States this afternoon - an amazingpole vault - a new world record.   The dedication of all these athletes - they are on T V all the time at this time of the year in one sport or another - just fills me with admiration.

I shall now go and concoct something for tea - can't say I fancy anything (ominous sign?) maybe a poached egg will fit the bill.  This reminds me of a bit I read yesterday in "Excellent Women" our Book Club book for this month where the narrator - speaking of poached eggs says she always finds that the white ends up floating about like a sea anemone.  (Lovely book - maybe a bit dated but so beautifully written -a smile on every line almost).

Until tomorrow.

Sunday, 24 July 2022

Relax

 Well I am here almost in a state of relaxation - I certainly will be by the time the final day of Le Tour begins in an hour or so.   I have cleaned out my business drawer and filed everything in a clean, new file.   You may think it extravagant, but packs of 5 "Document Wallets" from Tesco have neatened my drawer up no end and I  feel ready to drop dead tonight knowing my affairs are all in order.   It does make me conscious however of how much less able my brain is to cope with things I took in my stride last year and the year before that.   How much of that is lack of use and how much deterioration of brain cells is hard to tell of course because it is so easy to keep putting things off.   So no more negative thoughts - too much negativity in the world at present - so I am determind to be cheerful.

For the last few days I have found it chilly (it has been breezy and dull here and we have had some good showers. )   Today as the morning has progressed the sun has got more and more in charge.

I am now going off to watch the final stage ofLe Tour de France.   The stamina and the wonderful sportsmanship of the competitors has been a joy to watch.   Hopefully I will be back later - see you then.

Saturday, 23 July 2022

My latest dream

Do you dream?   I think we all do apparently but we mostly forget the dream before we wake up.   Sometimes I remember, sometimes I recall them in the middle of the night, but this morning I remembered my dream when I awoke.   I got up at four for a drink of water, having already emptied my glass during the night.   I got back into bed around twenty past four, not really expecting to go back to sleep but I did and when I woke at a quarter past six I woke with a beautiful feeling of enjoyment.   I am going to try to prolong that feeling by telling you my dream.   I hope I succeed, at least until the end of my post.

It was a lovely Autumn day - no wind, not too hot, not too cold.  The sun was low in the sky and the birds were singing.  There was a smell of fresh grass in the air.   There was a knock on the door.   I opened it and E, my neighbour from many years ago when I first moved up here (and still a near neighbour because we have both moved), stood there with a plastic box in her hand.

'Fancy coming blackberrying?' she said.   Did I indeed.    Off we went down Mill Lane.   The Hawthorne (May) blossom was out on the hedges of the lane and the air will full of the heady scent of the blossom.  Blackberries were hanging from the hedges (yes I know May blossom blooms in May, blackberries are on the hedges in September and early October but remember this is a dream).    We opened the gate and went into one of E and A's fields - a grass field which was yellow over with buttercups - and in no time our boxes were full of ripe fruit.   We sat in the grass among the buttercups and chatted for a while and then we got up and walked home (remember I can no longer walk without a walking aid - I had no such difficulty in my dream) and in no time at all I was standing by my preserving pan full of bubbling blackberries and sugar and, as I woke up I was filling jars with jam.

Have a nice day.

 

 

Friday, 22 July 2022

Busy

Is it just me or does everyone have days when they can be relatively busy all day and days when they are in no mood to do anything?   This week, in spite of the weather, I have felt 'in the mood' to do one major job which has eluded me for weeks almost every day.  The one which I thought would be the biggest chore I left until today and then, as I sat to have my coffee after lunch I thought I would do it and get it over with - it only took me a quarter of an hour.

All were what I would call 'office jobs' and jobs which some would call unnecessary but I have a determination that should I 'pop my clogs' I do want all my affairs to be in tip top order.  This does mean updating every year as hardly anything stays the same.   Insurance being the case in point.   The terrible fires over the past week or so - when so many houses have succumbed to flash fires- must have made almost everyone think of reviewing whether or not they are adequately insured.

I have watched some of Le Tour de France this week - my son is a fan and I have tried to watch the hour's resume at 7pm on 26 each night. I must say I am staggered by the stamina of the competitors and their sportsman-like behaviour.

I hardly dare say it but last week end it was  so unbearably hot that all I wanted to do was to sit in a darkened room - today, after a damp morning it is now a chilly afternoon and I have just put on a body warmer.   Enjoy the rest of your day bloggy friends.

Thursday, 21 July 2022

Cool, Dull and Still.

 The three words summed up the weather today.   Had we not had any 'real' summer days we might finding today boring.   As it is it is as I say - cool, dull and still - and bliss

My garden is looking decidedly weather-beaten.   Many of the flowers appear to be finished for the year.   I am just hoping that once the withering flower heads of some of the perennials like osteospermum, hellenium, scabious and the like will reward me with a second 'flush' if  the weather is kind to them.   A very wet day would  do them (and me) a power of good but them seems to be none on the horizon.

Haven't we had a sudden rush of good results on the sport front?   The 1500 metres and Jake Wightman, the Ladies Football team last night and if he can hold on to it maybe Geraint Thomas in Le Tour on Sunday just might manage third place in what must be one of the most gruelling sport feats in the world

I am slowly getting back to normal after feeling decidedly under the weather during this hot spell.  Another couple of days of 'normal summer' and I should hopefully be back on form.   See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, 20 July 2022

Cooler

 It is ten degrees cooler this morning and very dull.   Apparently it is in the lap of the gods whether or not we catch a thunderstorm today.   Certainly the garden is saying 'yes please'.  The sky is leaden.   My heart goes out to the families in part of London where something like ten homes went up in smoke - we are just not used to things like this happening here but with climate change maybe we shall have to get used to it.

I am feeling more like myself today and did at least go out and trim the dead heads  off my tubs by the front door.

Wasn't it good to see JakeWightman win the World 1500metres championship while his Dad was commentating.   And to see the sportsmanship when the man he beat so unexpectedly    congratulated him the second the race was over. And then to see the pleasure on Steve Cram's face (the last Brit to hold the title all those years ago).

Well it is now half past seven = still super dull but not a single spot of rain = we can but hope.   See you tomorrow,

Tuesday, 19 July 2022

Weather again

I fell asleep after my lunch and woke up half way through the News which was still about the weather and how it had reached over forty degrees at Heathrow.   I was very thirsty and didn't feel at all well.           Now, at three o.clock and several glasses of water later I am almost back to normal and a strong hot wind has got up.

It is now bed time and I feel more or less alright although there is no doubt that the very hot weather (forty degrees) has really taken it out of me today.  Our Falls at Aysgarth on the  River Swale in Swaledale have dried up completely - something which doesn't happen often.

I'll be back on form tomorrow - slightly cooler this evening.