Friday 29 April 2022

Ran out of time -

The days fly by.   I suppose that is a good thing at my age but not always the case.   I am no longer a swift mover (take that in whatever way you choose) and by the time I have cleared away my breakfast dishes and had my walk it is lunch time.   My laps round the garden take up another chunk.   But if you happen to take the Times you will see from the headline today that doctors are now saying that painkillers are no good for arthritis (one of the main reasons for my poor movement- arthritic ankle from an undiscovered broken ankle fifteen years ago when five years later a scan caused the specialist to remark 'God, what a mess!) added to my broken hip a couple of years ago.   Doctors are now being told by the powers that be that the best treatment is exercise.   That is fine in the spring/summer but not so good in winter.    So by the time my walks of the patio had been completed there was no time before bed - so a missed blog day.   Sorry - I don't like to miss -  blogging is one of the things that keeps my mind sharp.

The lack of rain both for farmers and gardeners (to a lesser extent) is really getting desperate.   I see looking at the forecast this morning, we might get a drop of rain on Saturday/Sunday but it is by no means sure (although it is a Bank Holiday week-end so it would be 'par for the course').   All the plants I bought and which my gardener put in for me, must be really suffering.   And there is no way I can get to them so they are having to take their chance.   The only ones I can water are 2 osteospermum in pots on the front step and two more on the side border which I have watered a couple of times and which don't get the sun all day.   We have seen neither hide nor hair of the sun until today having been cloaked in cloud off the North Sea but this morning it is full sunshine and a very sharp frost,

I shall be back later if anything happens of interest during the day.   So good-bye for now.  It is my carer's week end off so C will be here Saturday and Sunday.   See you tomorrow if not before.

I.m back and it is just after seven in the evening.  I went further today on my morning walk.   When I got back I decided I reallu must water the pots on my front steps - two of pansies and two of osteospermum - they were looking decidedky thirsty.   I managed it with difficulty and then took Priscilla round on to the patio to sit in the sun and read my Country Living magazine which came this morning.   I have various ways of getting in and our of my bungalow but mainly using my Zimmer to get into the garage and Priscilla to get outside.   This I did with a degree of difficulty and it was only when I came to think about coming back in that I realised I had forgotten to take the key to my garage door (it is an electronic one).  Today my son has taken his wife to hospital  for various premed tests as she goes in on Wednesday for an operation on her mouth - hopefully as a day patient but we shall not know for sure until the day.  I didn't expect him to be back so visualised me sitting in the front garden for some time.   But when I rang they had just come in the door so he was able to nip round and sort things out for me.   Other than that a trouble free afternoon.   See you tomorrow when there is a faint possibility of a shower of rain.   I think all of us who are gardeners really hope so.

Wednesday 27 April 2022

It has been a dull day with......... sign of the sun - and not a single drop of rain and we really need it on the gardens.

At least I feel my old self again after a couple of days of feeling under the weather.   And today I was able to walk round the block and then this afternoon I did my five laps of the patio. Nothing to tell though otherwise.   No one has called other then my carer of course and I did have a chat with H next door who was gardening as I walked my patio.

Is anyone else 'into' The Sewing Bee'?   Most of my friends are and it starts tonight.   Although until my tremor became too pronounced I did a lot a craft work - quilting, beading and the like, 'ordinary'sewing has never been my thing.   But that does not stop me enjoying and admiring the skills of others.

I also enjoy Master Chef.   Before I began to be shaky I enjoyed cooking.  My mother was a good cook and always enjoyed economising - we never had all that much money but she made very appetising food.   Derek asked yesterday how we could enjoy watching cooking when so many people had very little money to 'play with' when cooking these days.   And I thought back to my mother.   We would have a joint of meat on Sunday.  On Monday we would have slices from the joint cold with the veg left over fried in the pan (bubble and squeak).  What was left she would perhaps mince (she had one of those mincers which screwed onto the kitchen table.  Remember them? and she would make a cottage/shepherd's pie.  We always had fish on Friday so that only left Saturday and Thursday when she had to think of something else.  My father grew masses of veg in our garden so often it would be a vegetarian disn or something made with eggs (we had hens),   My  mouth waters as I type this!

Well dear blog friends I found something to say (as I usually do!) - until tomorrow...... 

Tuesday 26 April 2022

To Listen or not to Listen - that is the question.

 I want to know what is going on in the Ukraine so I turn on the television News.   Then it depresses me to see the devastation, the destruction of buildings, the bodies of young Russian soldiers - many of them look to be not long out of school,  the old Ukrainian ladies with nowhere to go but to stay put.   As is always the case in war - there are no winners or losers just survivors many of whom are scarred for life both mentally and physically.   And because it has now been going for three months many of us are able for much of the time to push it to the back of our minds because we can't do anything.    And really we only get to know what "they" choose to tell us - whoever "they" are.     So this evening, after watching the News I have now pushed it to the back of my mind and shall talk of other things.

In my garden, standing on the patio and loo king up into the garden I think I can see some alliums - don't bank on it - but live in hopes.  The tulips, which have been lovely, are in their last throes until next year.   Will I be here to see them?   At my age it is always a question to be asked.   Also will the new plants my gardener planted live without a watering?  The day after he planted them all we did have a wet day but not a drop since and they have had to take their chance as there is no way I can get up to them.

I have not felt 100% today.  I think I twisted my back yesterday - I felt something 'go' and today I have not been for a walk or done my laps of the patio.   I have not been entirely idle though because it was the day for my Tesco delivery so I like to wash out the door and the shelves in my fridge before my delivery comes so that I can put it into a nice clean fridge.

There is one shelf in one cupboard - where I keep my cake tin and my bread bin - which gets crumbs  and I can't get down to reach them.   I must  remember before I go to bed to leave a note prominently in the kitchen to remind me to ask my carer to wipe it for me.   It will only take her a minute and she will be happy to do it for me.  I have bought on my Tesco order two packs of Lincolnshire Sausage to give her in the morning - Tesco Lincolnshire Finest is a delight to me coming, as I do, from Lincolnshire.   It is quite highly seasoned with herbs - you either like it or you don''t.  I have bought twelve sausages - enough for her family and the two people she cooks lunches for..   We shall see - I will report back.   If you haven't tried it do.

Almost time for Master Chef - we are up to the semi finals and I enjoy watching it, so I shall go and pour myself a glass of apple juice, put my feet up and relax.   Take care dear readers.   see you all tomorrow metaphorically speaking.

Monday 25 April 2022

Weather and other topics

Suddenly it is very cold again.   The sun has more or less disappeared and there is a sharp easterly wind blowing.   The folk passing my window - most of them elderly like me - are swathed in hats and scarves - and they need them.  It is a bit disheartening after the spell of warmer weather but we do have to remind ourselves it was ever thus in our capricious Spring.

My computer had somehow got itself in a mess   - no -correction - I had somehow got my com puter in a mess.   My saviours S and T arrived today just after lunch to save me.   T to walk into town to do a bit of shopping for me and S to tame my computer and make it do as it was told.   So now, thanks to them,I am back in business again and for that I owe them my sincere thanks.    T also brought me a cheese scone to eat with a bowl of soup for my tea.

I was reading the Times when they came and somehow it took me a while to get my mind out of the Times and into computers but all's well that ends well thanks to S's patience. 

I have not been for my walk today - I have not really felt up to it and it is really quite cold.   I shall view the  situation after tea and decide whether to walk the laps of the patio.

Still no alliums to be seen Derek but I shall send up a rocket in your direction if any appear.   Otherwise the naughty mice have eaten them.   I do know I have one hole in the wall where a family of fieldmice live in the winter - I am rather fond of them but if it is a case of mice versus alliums I shall have to make a decision.

I shall go and heat up a tin of soup to eat with my cheese scone.   Looking forward to it.   See you all tomorrow. 

Sunday 24 April 2022


 When my first husband and I were 'courting' - we met in 1950 when I was 17 and we married in 1952 - he had a motor bike.   I was forbidden to go on it - and as most of us did in those days we did as we were told.  When we married we lived at home with my parents for a year and saved up hard.   We both worked and the first thing he did was to sell his motor bike and put the money into his savings account - and I can remember he got £50 for it.   My father, who had just retired, gave him his bike and for quite a number of years he went to work on his bike.

Then we bought our first house ( an old school which with the help of a grant we had converted into a cottage).   It was twelve miles from Lincoln where he worked so he had to decide what vehicle he would buy.   Because he already had a motor bike licence he could drive a three-wheeled vehicle on it if you blocked out the reverse gear which he did and for quite a few years he drove Reliant three wheelers - the last one being a new one.   We thought we were in clover.

Then came the really big decision.   Did he take a four-wheel test and move up the ladder.   He didn't like the idea at all.   Finally we all worked on him and he took the plunge but had a few sleepless nights before he took it - and passed first time.   From then on he always bought Ford Fiestas and updated them every three years when the warranty on the new car ran out.

As far as he and driving were concerned that was as far as he wished to go.   We had many holidays abroad but did he ever drive abroad.   You have to be joking.

I thought of him this morning when - because it is Election Day in France- there was a commentator standing by L'Arc de Triomphe.   The traffic all seemed to be going every which way.   It was horrendous.

Then my carer came and was chatting as she busied about doing various jobs.   She had seen a programme about how it wouldn't be all that long before cars were driving themselves and the "driver" needn't even look where he was going.   "Well, said my carer, "you won't catch me driving one of those."

But we can't stand in the way of progress.   Or can we?

Saturday 23 April 2022


 Well after a few days of my new regime I was quite hopeful that there was a slight improvement in my mobility.   That hope has gone today.   There is a strong wind blowing from the East and it is very cold in the wind although the sun is shining.   Although I have walked round the block I can't say I enjoyed  it and I found it quite a struggle to get back home.   I am not going to attempt my laps of the patio after tea - best to leave it at that and hope for the wind to die down a bit tomorrow.

My very dear friend from childhood - six months older than me and with very bad cellulitis- has just rung and we had ten minutes comparing aches and pains and agreeing that old age is not particularly fun.   I can't say that that has cheered me up so I have come on line to say hello and of course I am more cheerful already - how 'you lot' do cheer me up every day.   Do keep it up - and thank you all most sincerely.

I met a lovely Lakeland Terrier on my walk round.  I thought it was a Welsh Terrier (like John's Mary) but no - there is a slight difference in height I believe.   I also met two Cockapoos - black and full of life.   They were not very old.   I don't really think I approve of all these Labradoodles, Cockapoos and the like, but the deed is done now and they are usually very friendly dogs.

Sitting here looking out on to my very  pretty back garden with its tulips in red and yellow I am still waiting for an allium.    Last year I had fifty or so - this year none so far.   I am beginning to wonder if the mice have got them all.    Has anybody out there got alliums and if so have they put in an appearance yet please?

I shall go and make myself tomatoes on toast for my tea - I just fancy them.   Pop a handful of cherry tomatoes and sugar in a pan and gently warm them while toast does in the toaster.   Once the tomatoes become 'sloppy' butter the toast and pour over the tomatoes and eat while piping hot.   Yum!

See you tomorrow.

Friday 22 April 2022


 Today is a pleasant sunny day but there is a stronger, cooler wind blowing.   As with most Aprils here in the UK, we could do with some rain now.   Everywhere is looking very dry and the plants my gardener put in for me are really looking for a drink.

I have kept up my fitness regime today and am finding everything that little bit easier on the old muscles.

Friend M, who lives within walking distance, rang and said should she come round for a chat this afternoon.   Of course I said yes - all visitors are always welcome and we had a lovely afternoon chatting about when we were children and how things have changed - particularly in what we eat and how much cooking our mothers did compared with now.

When she had gone I had a quick tea and then did my five laps of the patio before coming in, locking up everywhere and now I shall settle down to watch Master Chef and then Gardener's World and Have I got News for you.   What did we do before we had television?   See you tomorrow.

Thursday 21 April 2022

The Roar of the Greasepaint

and the smell of the crowd - and above them both the s mell of newly mown grass in the early spring.   Is there anything in this world more guaranteed to raise the spirits?   I doubt it.   It is everywhere this morning because there are several patches of grass around here which belong to the council and yesterday they were mown.   And the dandelions disappeared with the mowing but already today they are making a comeback - you can't keep a good dandelion down.   Oddly enough I specifically looked for bees - both bumble and honey on my walk round and I didn't see one.   I am not sure what that means.   I do have friends who keep bees and they say that there are hardly any hives around here which might account for a lack of honey bees but not sure how that works out for bumble bees.

There is a very chilly breeze today but a cloudless sky and a pure bright sun.   So sheltered from that wind it is lovely.   This morning I visited the hairdresser - and if any man amongst  you  is reading this I hope how you all realise how good this makes a woman feel. 

I still have my five laps of the patio to do but my walk round the estate was done immediately after my son brought me home from the hair appointment (my usual taxi driver was having a day out at the races).   As I got on the home straight of my walk I saw a friend and neighbour J chatting to another friend and neighbour M.   I stopped to chat with them and because I can't stand for long I sat down on Priscilla's seat.   All was well until I came to stand up and walk the last few yards home.   My confidence failed and I dare not stand up although Priscilla's brakes were on.   J is also more or less wheelchair bound we were in a bit of a pickle.   I hoped a Tesco van might come along as most of the drivers know me.   But no such luck.Eventually I managed it and arrived home safely.   I shall remember in future not to sit down to chat.

Well, I think I can chance going round the back of the bungalow and doing my five laps now.   Might add to this later if anything momentous turns up - otherwise see you all tomorrow, 

Wednesday 20 April 2022


 Not sure how or why but after a day of feeling tired yesterday, today I have felt completely invigorated.   It has been without doubt the warmest day of the year so far and wall to wall sunshine.   After doing the Mind Games in The Times I went round the block with Priscilla - the easiest I have done it since falling.   On coming back home I was able to get the washing into the tumble drier and set if off before making my morning coffee, drinking my coffee and also reading a bit more of my Times.

After lunch friend D rang to see if she could visit and duly arrived half an hour later.   We had a super chatty afternoon - they had recently been to Turkey on holiday and enjoyed it greatly.   It is many    years since my first husband and I had three weeks there - Istanbul, then across the top of the Sea of Marmara,  to Gallipoli, across the Dardanelles and then down the coastal area to all the ancient sites - Troy, Ephesus, Didyma and the like.   We finally had a few days to recuperate in Alanya before flying home as it had been such a hectic holiday.   The farmer and I also had a brief trip to Ephesus from the Greek Islands.

My friend and her husband had a week in Antalya with lovely weather.   She always suffers in Winter without the sun so it really did her good.

After D had gone I managed my five 'laps' of the patio before I had my tea.    It took very little effort today - I could hardly manage it yesterday but found it pleasant today.   The after watching Michael Portillo's rail journey from Berlin through Germany I have come into the bedroom to 'pen' this.   Hope it finds you all well and happy.   See you tomorrow.

Tuesday 19 April 2022


 Today seems to have been a day and a half and although it is only half past nine I am well ready for bed.   My carer has her day off on a Tuesday so I take care of myself and it shows.   Waking up late and so getting up late, getting my own breakfast, washing and dressing myself, making my own bed, dealing with my commode, tidying round, washing up and running the duster round - jobs which J, my carer, does in an hour each morning- take me all morning and thus make me running late all day.   I had no callers today until tea time when my neighbour came round with the local paper which she passes on to me each week.

I was hoping my gardener would call in today to mow my lawn as I have a magnificent crop of dandelions, but he hasn't been and I try not to chivvy him as he is very busy so I leave it to him.  My taxi driver the other day says that if he sprayed them with a weed killer called 'round up' it would kill them without killing the surrounding grass so I shall discuss it with him when he comes.

I managed my five laps of the patio again today but with difficulty so I didn't add the  walk round the block - I don't wish to overdo it.   Now I feel very tired so I shall sign off.   Until tomorrow dear friends......

Monday 18 April 2022

Busy day.

 I had nothing planned for today and was expecting it to be a very quiet day.   Instead far from it.   I walked early and I did arrive home feeling a little more energetic than usual.   I decided to have a quick coffee and then make a start on cleaning out my coat and trouser wardrobe.   No soon had I sat down with a coffee than the door bell rang and there was my step grandson with his partner and their two children aged four and six.   What a lovely surprise.  Because of covid it is more than two years since I saw them although they actually live quite near.   We had a lovely morning together with lots of laughs and the children were pure delight - so well-behaved and such lovely children - a credit to their mum and dad.

They had a coffee  and stayed to chat for quite a long time.   By the time they went and I had heated up my lunch it was almost two in the afternoon.   And I decided to do the five walks of my patio - I did them although I didn't find it easy.   My neighbour M has her daughter staying with her Bull Mastiff dog, Theo.   We had a long chat through the gate and by the time I went in from that it was time for my cup of tea.

My friend W arrived reminding me that it was our evening for Zoom with our friends P and D in The Lakes at 5.30pm!  That over - lots of laughs and chat about various things as usual- it was time for my tea - just a toasted tea cake and a cup of tea - a wash up of today's pots and now - at a quarter past seven - here I am opening up my computer for the first time today.

Phew!   Busy day, lots to do.   No coathanger tidied today although I vowed to take one hanger out of the wardrobe each day.  Many of the trousers in the wardrobe either no longer fit (yes, I admit my hips have spread rather over the past couple of years) or are well past their sell-by date.   I can really only do this job a bit at a time as I can't stand longer unaided.

So 'tomorrow is another day' as they say.   See you all then.

Sunday 17 April 2022

Too tired to post

 I don't really know why I was tired but I read all your posts and then it was time for my son and his wife to come round.   We had decided to have a Pizza evening and I have to say the pizzas and the company were both very enjoyable.   But when they had gone I was just too tired to put on a post.

So here we are on Easter Day wishing you all  a Happy Easter.   It has been a pleasant day here weather wise but not all that warm.   I had a short walk this morning and just now, after my tea I decided to walk my patio five times.   It is flat and in the evening it is sunny.   I am going to try and keep it up all week if I can in addition to my short daily walk.   My friend and neighbour H, both the same age, have decided we have got to work at our core strength in order to get any better.   So see how it goes.

As a child, living in a staunch Methodist village, the tradition was that all the little girls had a new dress for Easter day.  I don't know whether it is still the case now.   But on Thursday morning I sat thinking about the past and I suddenly decided I needed something new to wear.   No I can't justify it.   No I do not need any new clothes.   I have several 'tops' which I have not worn yet.   But I wanted to cheer myself up.   So I searched the internet and finally found a 'sweater' called 'Patchwork' which was nice and colourful and I actually found that it was stocked by the ladies outfitters in our little town and they had it in my size.   It is now sitting there, paid for, in a bag with my name on it - my Easter present to myself.  All I have to do is find somebody to collect it for me.

Easter Monday tomorrow and then it will be back to normal - I rather think our schools here may start back to school on Tuesday.   Enjoy the sun while we have it.   And see you all again tomorrow.

Friday 15 April 2022

This and that. Regrets

Do you have any regrets?   This month's Saga magazine seems to suggest in an article that we all have regrets.   So I sat down and asked myself whether I had any.   Yes - a few - maybe we all do.   My biggest regret and one about which I can really do nothing, is sending my son away to Boarding School when he was eight years old.   The school was only abour thirty miles away and he never said he hated it.   He spent his first term there, came home for the holidays, went back and two days later he ran away.   Luckily he and the boy who had gone with him were found after one day.   He came home and we never sent him back.   He went to a school literally round the corner from where we lived until he was thirteen and then we moved house to a town where there was a school he could attend.   At the time I was training to be a teacher.   I did not know what I know now and it was not a sensible thing to do but both my husband and I thought he would like it.   We were wrong.   I have spoken to him at length about it - all he has said is that he has 'got over it' and so should I.   I don't often think of it - but when I do I regret it.

No regrets in either marriage.   Yes, I would have liked to stay on at school until I was eighteen and then gone on to university - but I didn't come from that kind of background and it never it entered my head that I could stay on over sixteen and I am sure it never entered my parents' heads either.   Do I regret it?  No - I went in my late twenties, enjoyed it hugely and just saw myself as a late developer.

I have had an interesting and fulfilling life, two very happy marriages - 39 years and 23 years.   What has there been to regret,   Perhaps I have been lucky.   Perhaps I can't think of anything.   Perhaps I belong to an age where you just got on with whatever hand life dealt you.   One thing is certain, we didn't give our parents the tough times that many do now,   I really can't remember my son giving either my husband or me a single moment of worry after the boarding school episode. And I can remember so many happy times,

Now the local kids here seem to be in constant trouble.   I live in a small town - between two and three thousand inhabitants and the local weekly paper is always full of 'crimes' committeed by local young.?      Were there drugs in our day?  If there  were I never heard of such things.   Did the young marry 'in haste'?  Only a few that I remember.   And divorces were few - couldn't afford such things - you stuck at it and made it work.  No alternative.

Perhaps it has always been thus/   Each generation looks back on their young days and then thinks 'what is the world coming to?'

Any other thoughts today? well, there is certainly a smattering of blue sky showing so perhaps it is time for a walk.   In Ukraine a battleshiphas been sunk - where will it all end?   How many more brave men on both sides have to die before some uneasy cease fire is sruck leaving thousands of buildings to be rebuilt,  thousands of young and old lives to be rebuilt, certainly much hatred left behind.

Thursday 14 April 2022

A Good Day

 Today has been a bit like the curate's egg - good in parts.    But even the 'not so good' parts have been weathered surprisingly well and I actually felt like having a short walk - a very short walk really- but it is a start to getting back to relative 'normality'.

Dead on 9.30 my son turned up to assist me down the drive.   He needn't have come because the taxi was closely following behind him and backed right to the top of the drive.   I hadn't used that taxi before but he  was charming and chatted all the twenty odd miles to Hawes.   The hawthorne hedges were greening up,  the fields were full of gamboling lambs, the trees were coming into leaf, almost every village had been planted with golden daffodils and the sun was shining.   The road follows the River Ure the whole way - Wensleydale was at its best.   It is a long time since I was out and about - not over the Winter at all - so I really enjoyed every second of it both there and back.

The taxi driver found a parking spot right outside the chemist and went in to see him.   He sent out a piece of paper for me to write my name, telephone number and date of birth on and while I was busy slipping my arm out of my jumper the chemist emerged from the shop and put the syringe into my arm.  We had to sit and wait for ten minutes before driving off.   Hawes really is a pleasant little town.  There did not seem to be any unoccupied shops, there was plenty of activity and already a lot of folk about.   I so enjoyed just sitting there and watching the world go by.

The return was just as pleasant and the sun was still shining when I got home in time for my salad lunch before the chiropodist arrived to give my feet the 'once over' so I am also walking on air.   Then I suddenly realised that my pendant which  I ring in an emergency was not round my neck.   I knew it had been on yesterday - so where was it?   I searched everywhere but there was no sign of it.   I rang Lifeline headquarters and they told me the procedure until I found it or a new one arrived.   I rang my carer.   She had visitors but as soon as they had gone she came up and she found it quickly - it had slipped down between the beds.   So then I had to go through whole procedure in reverse telling them I found found it and things could go back to normal.

Then I had my short walk - not far but it is a start and the sun was still shining.   As I go home my neighbour saw me  and came out for a chat and a quick visit to my garden.  Then a five minutes sit down.   I don't know about anyone else - maybe it is something to do with old age - but some days I sail through the Mind Games in The Times and other days it is a struggle and I think I am 'losing it' but today was a good day and my mind was fully alert and I sailed through them all.   That did me good too.

Now at half past six in the evening I am winding down.  There are several programmes I feel like watching, everywhere is clean and tidy (my cleaner came on Tuesday), I have had my latest jab, the lady who does a bit of shopping for me mid-week has just brought it (which means toasted crumpets for tea) and I am not short of tulips in the back garden - all nodding their red or yellow heads in the breeze,

Take care - see you tomorrow.

Wednesday 13 April 2022

Thank you

Can I just say a huge thank you to you all.   When you get to 90 next October it is not always easy to keep cheerful.   Some days, especially at the moment when my dearest friends have covid and are not calling in for coffee and my mobility has taken a beating with a couple of falls, some days it has been very hard to keep positive.   But you help me a lot.   Please do keep it up.   You remind me that we all have our troubles and that many people are in a much worse situation than I am.   Also, because I like to 'chat' to you every day if I can it gives me a purpose.   Alright, so I am not meeting you face to face but I feel I know you all very well now, having 'spoken' to most of you for years.   I look forward to Tom's dry wit, to John's great stories, to Cro's chat about food,  to Rachel's words of wisdom,  to John's wonderful photography, to Sue.s talk of country life, and to so many of my American friends who talk about life in the US, so different in many ways to life over here.  And that is just the ones I can remember off the top of my head - and all those I have left out.   It's not that I don't appreciate you, it's just I shall remember you when I have switched off.

I think we have probably had the nicest day so far this Spring - warm and sunny as long as you keep out of the wind.   I sat in the front garden for an hour - that way I get to chat to folk going past. Then I walked round that back to look at the garden, had a chat to a neighbour and then went in to get my stuff ready for my early start through Wensleydale for my Covid jab in the morning.  My taxi is coming for me just after half past nine and my son is coming round just to help me down my steep drive as I have not yet been down it since coming out of hospital.

The breeze has dropped - Mr Winkle will be pleased  - he always looks quite chilly standing there.   I'll be back for a chat tomorrow on my return from Hawes,   My chiropodist rang to say she will call just before one - I should be back by then.   So see you all tomorrow dear frriends. 

Tuesday 12 April 2022

A Good Day

 As I said yesterday. a jolly day all round with plenty of activity and plenty of chat.   Just how I like it.   I had to  keep going and looking at my garden to admire it - I do so wish I could show it to you but nobody who calls can put photographs on my blog.   But I will keep trying.    But D my gardener put in the osteospermum and moved several other plants around and also top-dressed.   Monty Don in his garden programme the other week said that really perennial plants in herbaceous borders do not need feeding but they really do benefit from a top-dress each year with a good compost.   Do not dig it in, leave it on the top, the worms will pull it down and distribute it far better than you can.

And just to add to my pleasure it is slightly warmer today and after a dry start by about ten this morning it was raining steadily. It is now twenty past two and it is still raining steadily.   That much 'natural' rain does far more good to my plants than I can ever do.   They all look settled and happy already.

A, the young lady who cleans for me once a month, going round with the vaccuum and the polishing cloth and the damp cloth, has been, gone through the bungalow in an hour and a half and has now gone off home.   Young folk have such interesting jobs these days, they all seem so versatile.   She comes from a farming background but her parents split when she was a teenager and the farm was sold.  Now, after a degree in agriculture, she works on a huge farm in the area - at present they are lambing so she takes her turn at days/nights; in     addition she does her shifts at milking and really is gettting a good all-round training.   Her live in boy friend has done ten years in finance after his degree and has now also gone into agriculture.  He too is from a farming background and has done the ten years in finance in London.   Now he works two days a week on line at his old job and the rest on a farm up here.   How versatile is that?   I understand them when they say London living is just too expensive to save anything.  I really do wish them every success - they really do deserve it.

What opportunities there are for young people now providing they are prepared to work at it.  See you again tomorrow.

Monday 11 April 2022

No shortage of visitors torday.

Well certainly no shortage of visitors today.   Friend  W r ang to say she would call for a couple of hours this morning.   No sooner had she rung off than D and J called to get my garden sorted.   So I had a really pleasant morning.   All five osteospermum are planted - two in blue pots by the front door and the other three in the beds round the back.    A plant which was  in one of  the pots by the door and loves full sun has now been transplanted to a sunny spot round the back and then the whole garden has been top dressed with a layer of compost.   All I need now is a good morning of rain - the plants were all watered in well but it is not the same as a good shower of rain.

After lunch I managed to empty and polish the welsh dresser.   My cleaner comes in the morning and I like to do that job myself.   I had just sat down for a rest when friend H from next door came round for an hour.  So this is the first time (5.04pm) I have managed to sit down at my computer.  Friend P also rang from The Lakes.   H and a neighbour were preparing to saw down a dead tree which has been strangled by ivy so they will have had an adventurous afternoon.

No sign of the pair of partridges today.   They really are the most beautiful birds - not  particularly highly coloured but with the most precise and beautiful markings.   It would by lovely to welcome their nest to my garden but really no chance of that.   There is nowhere concealed enough and there is a field of grass just over the wall - although early silage always makes that a danger.   One year we had a pheasants' nest in the middle of a field destined to be made into silage and the farmer put bamboo canes and green string round the nest to remind him it was there.  He has also done the same thing several times with curlews' nests.

Well friends - a much more 'with it' day today I am glad to say - my cleaning lady tomorrow so plenty of chat in the morning.   See you tomorrow.

Sunday 10 April 2022

New arrivals

The most beautiful partridge seem to have taken up residence in my back garden.  My back garden has a dry stone wall at the back and then a large field and even as I type this I see them going over into the field.   Maybe it is a bit early for them to start nesting but they do seem to be a pair.   But even if they are occasional visitors it is good to see their beautiful markings at close quarters.

Since I am brilliant at falling and then ending up in hospital, I have been advised that perhaps one 'episode' a week is plenty - I am sure the doctor is right.   This week's outing is to have my booster jab.   This will entail going by taxi through Wensleydale (the friend who intended to take me has herself got covid) so I intend to enjoy it.   There will be lambs about by now (we are not early to lamb up here) and so plenty to look at.   On the run up to the Easter week-end there promises to be a bit of an improvement in the weather.

I am finding my mobility much impaired at present, which is annoying.   But I am keeping going in the hopes that that is the best way to improve things. So see you again tomorrow - hope there is more news by then - at present there is nothing to write about.

Saturday 9 April 2022


 Gosh I do wish it would warm up a bit.   It is half past seven in the evening and it feels like winter outside.   As has been the case all week, now that night is coming on, the sky has cleared to a pale, icy blue and the frost has come down.   My gardener promised yesterday to call round and plant my five new plants - but he hasn't been.   I presume he has forgotten - fingers crossed he remembers and pops round in the morning.   He only lives a short distance away.

From your kind and thoughtful comments yesterday I thought it would be a good idea to outline my circumstances to you today.   I shall be 90 in October.   I have lived alone since my farmer husband died in 2017 but I do live amongst friends. My friend H lives one side of me and she lives alone and is actually slightly older than me.  Friend M, also living alone, lives the other side.   She is younger but is a great help and always cheerful.  I live on an estate on the edge of town - a small town with under three thousand inhabitants and having lived here for more than thirty years I know many people.   I have a Carer who comes in six mornings out of seven for an hour - she gets my breakfast, helps me wash/shower and dress, does my washing and puts it into the tumble drier and then takes anything which needs ironing home to iron.   In addition she cooks me a lunch daily - bringing  it to put into the microwave (apart from days when she brings one of her salads - I would happily have one every day she makes such good ones.)

In addition I have a lady who comes in to clean once a month - she cleans right through.   I have Lifeline, an organisation which keeps an eye on elderly folk.   I have a pendant round my neck which I keep on twenty four hoursa day.   If I need help or if I fall then I press the pendant and help arrives.   For that I pay thirty pounds a month - an excellent investment as I can fall at the drop of a hat.

My son lives in a nearby village.   He has an invalid wife so can be of limited help but it is still a great comfort to know he is here.   Someone yesterday asked if I could ever get taken out by car.   Yes I have friends who do various jobs for me such as bits of shopping.   They also call often for a coffee but yesterday one of them went down with Covid. Once a fortnight I go to the hairdresser - then I have a taxi as I do for longer journeys - for example this week I have to go for my booster covid job - the friend with covid was intending to take me - now I have booked a taxi.

So you see I am nicely organised and have plenty of company.   Under normal circumstances I have a speak to six people a day rule you may remember.   Over the last few weeks this rule has not been working but I am sure normal service will resume when the weather warms up and I can sit outside.

So I am sure you will appreciate that I  really do hope to keep out of care and live as I am doing at present.   There may come a time when I have to go into care - falling is my greatest hazard at present.  So long may I remain upright.

Friday 8 April 2022

Quiet Days

 Oh dear!   How my life has changed over the past month or so.   Since my first short spell in hospital my walking has been very poor indeed.   Now, after another spell in hospital it is even worse and I dare not even go down my drive at the moment.   Added to that the fact that it is bitterly cold here - we had a snowstorm today, and you can imagine I dare not venture out.   My friends S and T, who usually call once a week for coffee, have both had very bad colds so have not been near.   Yesterday I did have two welcome callers - and very welcome they  were indeed.  Today, once my carer, J,  went, I have not spoken to a single person until about five minutes ago when I rang my gardener to speak about his putting in five osteospermum plants I ordered.

When I think back to my days with Tess and the walks round the estate with her - and the chats with other doggie owners - I feel sad that it is all over.  I am more or less sure I shall not get back to that state again.   Once the warmer weather comes at least I can sit out in the front garden and chat to folk going past - in the meantime I shall just have to grin and bear in.   Until tomorrow folks....

Thursday 7 April 2022


 All appointments cancelled for this week on the advice of the doctor I have nothing to do today, tomorrow or over the week-end.   This is not usual for me and to tell the truth I don't like it - long days stretch endlessly in front of me.   I am not ready to venture forth - not sure my legs would carry me - but I musy keep moving.   I have my Covid booster next week when friend S is taking me to Hawes - must be ready for that.   But at least the chemist has said he will come out to the car to give me the injection if necessary.

Plants came late yesterday evening and need putting into their places in the garden.   I left a message on my gardener's phone and will ring him in the morning.   In the meantime  I have given them a good watering.

Just feeling a bit flat after lunch when friend M turned up for a chat.   It was so good to see her - we had such interesting chat and suddenly friend H from next door arrived too and the three of us chatted all afternoon. What a difference another human being makes.   I feel much better and much more more my old self this evening thanks to them both.

It has been another cold day - neither wet nor fine for a lot of it.   I have not yet been outside - it has to get a bit warmer and my legs a bit stronger before I venture out.   Thank you to all of you who told me the correct name for that pernnial wallflower and also gave me instructions for cuttings.   Now all I want is a bit of warmer weather.

What to write about today?   Not a lot really.  Looking at the world from the comfort of my armchair gives me a limited view - a dog's view really as plenty of them go past - and I must say with world events as they are it is as good a view as any wouldn't you say ?   See you tomorrow.

Wednesday 6 April 2022


 We are in the middle of a typical English Spring I would say -wouldn't you?   Gale blowing, strong very cold wind and showers now and again.   Heating just turned on for the evening,  black clouds scudding over.   I have forgotten who said April is the cruellest month but by golly he was right.

But the signs are there aren't they?   The red dwarf tulips dotted around my garden - bulbs which came from very dear relatives (thank you J and J wish you could see them)- are in full bloom regardless of whether the weather is clement or inclement.   And today - the silver birch tree which stands about 150 yards outside my sitting room window, has a faint tinge of green all over it.   Yes, it is coming into leaf - I watch for it every year.

I was touched to get all your good wishes yesterday - thank you so much; they meant a lot to me.   I have cancelled all my appointments this week (hairdresser, taxi, Ripon to have my ears and hearing aids checked) so I am at home all day.   I am finding it rather dull in many ways I must say but I have to be sensible and take it easy don't I?

Does anyone out there have a perennial wallflower?  I have never known mine flower so early - it is a mass of early bloom.   They are not a long-lived perennial.   I had a yellow/pink variety which flowered for two years but the second year was its swansong.   This is the second year for my purple one - I begin to fear it may be the same.   Any gardener out there (Derek?) who knows whether I can take cuttings before it dies without telling me?   It might be called Epimidium - not sure.   One of the annoying things about getting old is forgetting names of things like plants.   I used to be a crack-hand at remembering but not any more.  My father, also a keen gardener in his young days, used to complain about it.   Perhaps it runs in families.

As it is almost time for Master Chef I shall away now to watch it.   Take care until tomorrow when it promises to be windier still

Tuesday 5 April 2022

Home again.

Back home again.   Very annnoying but my poor old legs are wearing out and the doctor  thinks that if I have an infection  the first place it attacks is often my weakest point which in my case is undoubtedly my legs.   I suddenly seized up on my way to bed and could not take a step thus falling over in the hall. Action stations and within an hour I was snug in bed in our nearest hospital - The Friarage in Northallerton.   Hospitals are such busy places but I have to stay I slept well, the food was delicious and I really had a good rest and saw some interesting 'goings on'.

Today I am fragile and not walking well but I am at least walking - with aid of course - and more or less back to square one with my improvement over those few warm Spring days.   Looking  out of the window it looks cold and damp but the lovely dwarf tulips  are nodding their heads as though it is the most lovely Spring day.   And the blackbird is singing his head off which makes me suspect Mrs Blackbird has eggs - at least they will be snug and warm.

Hopefully if all goes according to plan and I stay upright I will be back to   form tomorrow.   In the meantime I shall pop over and see what you have all been up to .

Saturday 2 April 2022

Friday 1 April 2022

Geraniums and other things

I am a sucker for perennial geraniums (and if you are reading this Derek, Claire Austin sent a replacement for Anne Folkard as she has run out sadly.)   Claire Austin's catalogue had several I haven't got and they are such value for money - they flower for  a long period, they make neat, tidy clumps, and they are such attractive plants.   I ordered some I didn't have and also Helenium Red Jewel.   The box of plants came this morning and I was rather worried about planting them as we had had such snow yesterday and although it has all gone it is still cold.   So I rang the Nursery and was told that they had never been indoors so would be fine.   As luck would have it my gardener arrived this afternoon and as I write this he is planting them in my garden.   More colour for the summer including a blue geranium and Red Jewel helenium.   I can't wait.

It is frustrating that I can no longer garden but he is such a kindred spirit that my gardener and I are usually on the same wavelength. 

It is a marginally better day in that there is no snow and the forecaster tells us that there is going to be quite a dramatic change tomorrow - which can only mean it is going to get warmer I hope.

The last couple of days has brought out my dwarf tulips - all red they are springing up everywhere and they are all red.   I am grateful for every single one the mice have left for me.- perhaps the mice don't care for the red ones..

Off now as my gardener is calling for me.   See you tomorrow.