Sunday 31 July 2022


 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


 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


 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


 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


 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


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


 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. 

Monday 18 July 2022

Everything at a standstill.

 The world seems to have stopped here and everyone has got off.  People who live on this estate seem to have heeded the advice to work from home today if they can avoid going in. I have done more or less nothing today.   This morning my very dear friends S and T called and T put down ant bait in front of my airbricks ;there were ants aplenty scuttling about there yesterday.   Not an ant to be seen today but I feel safe in the knowledge that I have handed the problem over to T.   Some men are reliable to hand over any job to - luckily both of my husbands could turn their hand to anything - and friend T is the same.   I am lucky to have him as a friend.   I am useless.

I was reminded of a school I worked in many many years ago where another teacher and I were left in charge while the Head and the Deputy took most of the school out somewhere -forgotten where.   While they were out something went wrong with some device or other and the electric plug needed changing and neither of us knew how to do it.   The Head's words still echo in my ears all these years later when she returned.  "I don't know - two grown women and neither of them able to change a plug!"

Too late to learn now I think don't you?   See you tomorrow.

Sunday 17 July 2022


Well, sitting in the house this morning chatting to T and S who called in, it was pleasantly cool.   When they went Priscilla and I went round to the tubs to cut off the  heads - we rounded the corner and the heat hit us like a barrage.   I filled the jugs with dead heads and then came in, shutting all doors behind us.  It is quite impossible out there in spite of the breeze.   Far to hot for me to add a post today unless it cools of later so I shall put this on for now and see how the day goes

Saturday 16 July 2022


 Next to the incredible number of tourists in the town the topic of conversation here - and I suspect all over the country (and even Europe) is THE WEATHER. There has been a strong breeze here for the last week, so I have needed a cardigan.   But today the breeze has all but gone and it is warming up - according to the Weatherman (or woman) could be up to forty degrees by Monday (poor Derek - I fear for your garden).   I have one window (the bathroom) wide open but keep the rest closed - I find it keeps cooler that way.

I was out by a quarter past eight this morning giving my tubs a good watering so I can at least forget them until tonight.   At present there is no hose pipe ban but it is only a matter of time before one comes into force - rightly so - agriculture, drinking water - plenty of things have to come first.  As I am watering my tubs I happen to glance up and there quietly gliding across the sky - looking so low that I feel I can almost touch them= are five hot air balloons - my carer tells me they went up at our Rugby Club.   They make a lovely sight as they glide across the sky and I can't help but think back to the days when that was the accepted mode of transport - what would those travellers have thought of air travel today I wonder.    Faster without a doubt but nowhere near as beautiful on a day like today (who would like to be in a queue at Heathrow today?)

It certainly is a lovely day,  slight breeze, pure blue sky, nothing much about to disturb the peace of this Saturday afternoon.   I forgot to put strawberries on my order but hopefully my son will have got some on his for me.   It is only four  o'clock so there is time yet for him to appear with them in time for tea.  I am afraid that I have sunk

into a kind of lethargy where I can think of nothing whatsoever to say.   I have read TheTimes cover-to-cover and that has given me no ideas either.  I see there are still a few people taking their dogs out for their usual afternoon wee walks as I call them - in spite of a vet yesterday on television saying that in this kind of weather we should not contemplate taking a dog out for a walk.   He said that no dog of its own accord would walk in hot weather.

And any day now John (Going Gently) is about to get Roger - his new Welsh Terrier-pup.   As I am too immobile to have another pup myself I need to get a new pup second hand off John's site.   Hope it isn't long coming.


See you tomorrow

Friday 15 July 2022


 My usual day for the hairdresser is on a Thursday but this week it was a Friday - Market Day.    My taxi driver was very harrassed when he collected me this morning because schools in West Yorkshire have broken up and the tourist busses have begun coming through our little town in profusion.    They all stop in our little town because they usually go to Hawes to look round The Wensleydale Creamery factory making cheese and our town is a good stopping off point for morning coffee.   My taxi driver gets irate at the way the tourists hover on the kerb deciding which way to go and which cafe  to choose for their morning coffee

But of course these tourists are the life blood of our town.   Without them our Friday market would mostly die out and many of our small shops would probably close so they are sorely needed.   In winter it can be bleak up here and nobody chooses to come in the bad weather.

I was tempted to go into town after my hair was done and before I rang for my taxi but it is a fair walk and even the temptation of strawberries and peaches was not enough to persuade me.

Very hot weather is forecast for this weekend but today there has been a sharp wind and a cardigan has been needed - so we shall see.    Until tomorrow dear friends........

Thursday 14 July 2022


This morning it is difficult to type on my computer and easier to look at my garden out of the window - a garden that has been transformed by an afternoon's gardening by my gardeners yesterday.   The mare's tail has been cut back to ground level again,  the poppies have been pulled up before they go to seed (the gardener has been asking to be allowed to do this for years but I love them and have resisted until this year when this hot spell has meant that each bloom has lasted a day at the longest and their remains are a nuisance). Everywhere is tidy and all the plants growing at a low level - two new white osteospermum, several new herbaceous geraniums ,are in full bloom and now easy to see.  He really should not have watered the lawn because unless there is rain we shall soon be short of water, so I must tell him next time he comes not to get his hose pipe out.

There has been a pause because my Lifeline Carer called to see how I was doing.   The service, which is excellent, means that if I am suddenly ill or have a fall I can press the button and I am immediately in touch with help.   She stays about a quarter of an hour, tests that my button is working and then goes.  We always have a lovely chat.

There is now going to be another pause  it is time to put my salmon in parsley sauce with  new potatoes and green beans into the microwave for my lunch.   I have a schedule to stick to today because my order from Tesco is being delivered at two o.clock and there is still the fridge to wipe out.  Back soon.

Lunch was delicious, fridge wiped out, nice chat with the Tesco delivery man about the old days when we had Heinz sandwich Spread sandwiches for tea or else "Mock Crab" sandwich  filling made with the tomatoes left, a chopped up onion, all the old bits of cheese grated and the ingredients cooked in a pan on the top of the stove and then, at the last minute a beaten egg beatcn in the mixture off the heat until the egg cooked and bound the ingredients together. (No fridges in those days and nothing wasted).

Here, dare I say, there is a cool breeze blowing this evening and I have just put on a cardigan!!  Until tomorrow.


Wednesday 13 July 2022


 I am almost too tired to type this tonight.   I watered all my plants this morning - tiring enough -and then just as I was sitting down to my salad lunch my gardeners urned up.   They have been here three hours and have done a marvellous job - cut the lawns and edged them, cut off all the dead flower heads, tidied up the  herbaceous borders, cutting back where necssary. given everywhere a good water - including the lawns and swept up after themselves.   I sat on the patio on Priscilla to watch them and to chat to J, the best friend of J my carer so I have had a lovely afternoon.   They have gone now and I intend to sit down and w atch Today at The Great Yorkshire Show - a reminder of the days when my farmer and I used to go,   Those were the days..

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday 12 July 2022


 One of those days- no sunshine, cloudy, hot and every now and then a few drops of useless rain.  It dampens the patio but the patio is so hot that you blink and it has dried again - useless in fact.  The sun finally came out at around four oclock but there is a pleasant breeze today -set to get really hot by the week end.

For the next couple of months attendance at our Book Group is going to be a bit thin on the ground - just two of us can attend both meetings and then a smattering at one or the other.   So we had a chat and I remarked that we had had several books lately which had been a bit hard going - could we perhaps have something a bit easier.  "Like a Barbara Pym" I said.   At this the other lady who is going to be there murmured "Excellent Women", so that is what we are reading.   I used to be a great Barbara Pym fan and the book came today (thank you to M who walked round with it).   I have had a lazy day reading it.   It has been like a meeting with an old, dear friend.   All about the goings on of the ladies of a church group who organise the bazaars etc.  And the flats in London where they live and the goings on.   Perfect hot weather reading - brilliant writing, brilliant humour and fantastic observation.  It has been like spending a day with an old friend.

I spent an hour in the garden where I can reach, cutting back aquelegia which have finished flowering and are going to seed.   Some are lovely colours- I am leaving them to drop their seed but others I am cutting back before they get a chance to seed otherwise the garden becomes overrun with them.

Like others amongst you I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of Roger, John*Going Gently's new puppy.  Not as good as having one of my own - but the next best thing and one thing is for sure - he will have a jolly good home - of that we can be sure.

See you tomorrow.

Monday 11 July 2022


 Phew indeed.   We are not just not used to it here in the UK.   But it gives us something to talk about and it does look as though it might get just a little bit cooler after tomorrow (before getting hotter again at the week-end).

My pots - all eight of them - seem to need almost constant water but again it is good for me to keep on the move (don't want to sieze up).

Lots in the papers about the tennis final of course and a new bad boy, Nick Kyrgios (remember John McEnroe with his "You cannot be    serious)?   I find histrionics tedious but I really think some of the audience find it livens things up.  And a whole fortnight's Wimbledon without any rain - almost unheard of.   Poor old grass on Centre Court almost non-existent but with the top class treatment it gets it will be back to 'normal' in no time.  I rather wish I had a close relative to come and give my lawn the same treatment- but then that would mean saying good-bye to my Birds' Foot Trefoil and I am partial to that.   I don't expect a single petal dares to show  itself on that Hallowed Turf.

I am afraid that in this weather I more or less grind to a halt.   Nothing seems to function - nobody is walking their dog past in this heat, even the traffic seems at a standstill, nobody is about.  Nothing much is afoot - a torpor has settled over the land.  I hope they have started harvesting the barley round you Rachel.   Once in farming and the farming year is ingrained in your soul I think.   We never did much in the way of harvest - just three (hopefully) crops of silage for winter feed.   But my farmer did sometimes do a bit of contract harvesting for other farmers but, again for winter feed.   Now the silage fields come right up to my garden wall and the lovely fresh grass smell brings back the memories.  Only two crops so far this year but it is early days yet and a really good rain would soon make the grass grow again (and the weeds).

John (By Stargoose) put a shot on his post yesterday amongst random shots of the countryside (beautiful) of chicory growing.   It reminded me that one year - maybe ten years ago - a farmer in the farm below us on the lane grew a couple of fields of chicory - such a beautiful blue.   He didn't grow it again.   Anybody out there know what he would be growing it for.   I am sure I would have asked him at the time but I have forgotten and that glorious shade of blue reminded me.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday 9 July 2022

Another worry.

 My Grand daughter and her family who came down for the day last Saturday have rung up today to tell us that J, the Daddy, has gone down  this morning with Covid.  Our first worry of course is baby Hewie who is only seven months old and has just recovered from chicken pox, and then the rest of the little family and finally of course us down here.    It is now a week since they went home and when they were here we kept everywhere well-ventilated, so we are keeping our fingers crossed.

I watched the Ladies' Singles Final from Wimbledon this afternoon.   1 set all so fairly evenly matched but the the girl from Khazakstan seemed to get her opponents measure in the final set and romped home.   Now the Mens' Final tomorrow - 5 sets and my hero Nadal out of the final because of an abdominal injury.

I have to say a whole day sans Boris has been a blessed relief!

Friday 8 July 2022

Another day

 Another day of wall-to-wall sunshine.   The trouble is that my six tubs along the front of the bungalow (South-facing!) do get very thirsty and it is very tiring watering them.   I do have a tap with a hose pipe attached that makes it much less stressful but I do not always feel confident to use it because I have to walk with Priscilla along the edge of the lawn while at the same time turn ing on the tap (lefty loosy, righty tighty as my friend W taught me) and pulling it along.   It is best done at night so that the plants get a good long drink without the sun on them but by night time I am too tired to do this.   Yesterday friends T and S called and T did it for me in about five minutes (thank you T).   My new Joie de Vivre rose which had been covered in beautiful blooms needs regular watering too and it is up one level in the garden and I can't climb the steps.   I left the watering can on the draining board to remind me to ask my carer to do it for me while I got my own breakfast.   I started to ask her and before I got the sentence out she said - "done the rose and your tubs!"   J you are one in a million!

I shall now store this and go and make myself a coffee and a couple of rounds of toast - back later.

What a world we live in.   Away for a couple of hours and when I return Japan's Prime Minister has been assassinated.   Japan - one of the countries with the safest and strictest gun laws yet a highly respected man has been shot and killed.   Why is it that life is so poorly valued, so valueless to people?   And the people who commit such a crime- do they just not value a life at all, do they have a grudge against society, are they mentally unstable?  We can make excuses for them - and we usually do -  but apart from the crime they commit they are also often fathers, mothers, children.   I do despair at times like these and wonder whether the perpetrators ever regret it afterwards when it is too late.

On a lighter note I see Nadal has pulled out of Wimbledon semifinal this afternoon with  a torn 7mm long wound on his abdominal muscle.  It was obvious when he was playing last that his service was suffering and its speed had slowed down from well over 100mph to around 90.   I think i can say with certainty that never would I have been able to return a service shot from Nadal.   How about you?

H next door rang the doorbell and came in for a cup of tea - she stayed for an hour.   I have just returned to my computer to sign off for today and to say - see you all tomorrow.  Another pleasant day forecast - no rain on the horizon.

Thursday 7 July 2022

New problem.

Oh dear I thought all my problems had disappeared but now Cro and Tom's sites I just can't get a comment to stay on - .computer just keeps telling me an error has occured.   Also I don't think my question to John (by Stargoose) has gone on either.   But it is a hot night and pretty airless so I will try again tomorrow.   After strong winds for days there is just a faint breze today - not enough to cool down what has been a very hot day - I would guess the hottest of the Summer so  far here.

And a day that has been dominated entirely by Boris.   He is the only man I know who can stand up and speak for about a quarter of an hour without once mentioning any of the things he has done wrong at all.  What is wrong with the man?   Answers on a postcard please.

Wednesday 6 July 2022

A mystery

It never ceases to amaze me how computers have a mind of their own.   For the last fortnight I have been able to get on some blogs and not on others.   And never once have I been able to get on to my own blog  to leave a post in the usual way.   Until that is five minutes ago when on pressing the usual button up it all came as though it had never been away.   Still, 'ours not to reason why' I suppose'.

The day here has deteriorated  - sunny this morning but a strong wind blowing.   I walked to the end of the road and back with Priscilla and called at the Postbox.   When the post came five minutes later there were two letters which needed answering so it is back to the drawing board - letters typed, printed off (if you saw my handwriting now that my tremor is really bad you wouldn' t ask), stamped and back round by the post box again.  My lunch of a salmon steak with fresh vegetables followed and then a kit kat with my coffee.   After a snooze of half an hour I came to put on my blog and read yours, dear blog friends.   I have to say poor old Boris gets             some stick from you all today - deservedly so  of course.   Politics is a dirty business.

I can't believe he will survive much longer - he might even have gone by now it is a couple of hours since I viewed the small screen.   But I shall soon be putting it on to see how the tennis has fared so that is soon enough.   The sky is now the same dark grey dismal colour all over.   Will it rain?   I do hope so otherwise I shall have to water later.  I wish you could see my pots along the front of my garden under the windows.   They are worth the trouble watering.

If you are reading this Debs thank you for your snail mail this morning = I have enjoyed reading you and will reply shortly.   All ofyou who communicate either by snail or computer have my sincere thanks - your missives give me pleasure every single day. 

I'll be back tomorrow.  Or see you later as they say around here. 

Monday 4 July 2022

A Resident.

 I have a resident blackbird in my garden.   Well perhaps it is Mr and Mrs Blackbird - but if so then Mrs is busy (or bored) sitting on a second clutch while Mr wanders between the foliage looking for the odd worm or other tasty morsel.   But should another feathered worm eater dare to set foot...... At this point he shoots out from between the foliage at full speed and chases off the intruder in no uncertain terms.   They really are quite agressive birds given half a chance.

Book Group this morning - only three of us able to make it but it was an interesting and enjoyable morning neverthless. Our book was 'The Nickel Boys' by Colson Whitehead.   Not an easy read - quite a painful book to read but plenty to talk about.

It is a nice sunny day here but very windy, far too windy for  Priscilla and I to venture out this afternoon.   I am looking out on the garden and  can see that there are Gallardias desperate for dead heding and many of them within my reach so I shall venture out with the secateurs  right now.See you tomorrow. 

Sunday 3 July 2022

Just a shortie

 I have been incredibly tired today - but I would not have missed a second of yesterday = perfect in every way.  My grand-daughter and her family set off home early this  morning but I have been more or less good for nothing all day.   Luckily my carer brought quiche and salad for my lunch and I fried up the new potatoes which were left and had a lovely lunch.   I needed to dead-head the annuals in my tubs and they also needed a feed and water.   That took me about an hour and as I finished H from next door came round so we sat down and had a cup of tea.

Tomorrow morning is Book Group so I tidied round this evening and all I have to do for their arrival at 10.30 is to lay the cups and saucers and the plate of biscuits out on the trolley.   So tomorrow should be a nice, relaxing day.   See you then.

Saturday 2 July 2022

Ready and waiting.

 I am all ready and waiting for my Grand daughter and her husband with Ula (5) and Hewie (7  months) tea all laid out in the kitchen, cling-filmed salads and strawberried..   I have been all morning as I go so slowly these days but it is almost three years since I saw them other than on Zoom.   The dining room is laid ready once they have chosen what to eat.   One thing I am not short of is trolleys to wheel the plates through - folk with handicaps are well catered for in that department in Richmondshire.,

After a wet start the sun is out and there is a brisk wind blowing.   The presents are hidden (she doesn't know about them.   For Ula - a ballet rainbow tutu dressing up skirt, a pencil case holding a set of different 'strength' pencils and a set of pencil crayons, a good quality sketch book and a face cloth embroidered by a loyal follower (thank you again dear follower if only I could remember your name.)   For Hewie a Teddy I have knitted which  friend S has sewn up and finished off (nose!). a bib again embroidered by loyalfollower - thank you) and a cheque to make up the amount spent to the same for each of them.  All waiting - the food took me so long to prepare.

Now I can go and watch the tennis again - I watched a lot of it yesterday and it was  a real treat to see.   I might be around lter in the day to tell you how it all went if I am not too tired,

Well at half past seven they have just gone.   They were intending to stay at a nearby hotel but instead are staying at The Jonas Centre a nearby Christian Centre with log cabins for guests.   They stayed there last evening - only around five miles from here.   We have had a lovely day - the presents were a great success especially the tutu and the sketch - book    she has spent the whole day sketching (while wearing the tutu),   The new baby is a good natured chap in spite of suffering from excema and also teething.  I spent the whole morning getting the meal ready, covering it in clingfilm and then covering the whole lot with a cloth.   I had just sat down with a cup of tea when they arrived.   But it was a joy to see them all and I have enjoyed it immensely.   Now I shall make myself a cuppa and sit down to watch Montelbano.

Friday 1 July 2022

Well I am managing to get in mostly.......

There are still a few blogs I can't get on to and there are still one or two where I can only comment as Anonymous but rest assured that I am reading them all.

Well I have just watched a couple of hours of Wimbledon and I would have watched the start of the Tour de France except I couldn't find the channel - I think it is ITV4 - if so perhaps somebody can tell me the number please (Rachel?).   I watched the Djokovitch match and as usual it was quite exciting.

Also I have been getting ready for my Grand Daughter and her husband visiting tomorrow along with my Great-Grand daughter Ula and my new Great-Grandson Hewie.   My shaking hands are very bad at present (Benign Essential Tremor) and I had been planning a few wrapped surprises for them as it is so long since I saw them (pre Covid) but my dear friend S stepped in at the last minute and did it for me (a thousand thanks S).   All I have to do now is to hide them around the sitting room for Ula to find (Hewie at 7 months is too young to understand so she will do it all.)

The other thing which has happened today is that I have had an e mail with an attachment to down load - a form to fill in to join U3A which stopped during Covid but is about to start up again.   I have totally forgotten how to do this simple operation so if anyone out there can tell me how to download a form which has come as an e mail attachment to print off and send in I would be very grateful.

One of the side effects of reaching ninety is that if one doesn't do things regularly on the computer one totally forgets how!

I shall now go out and walk up and down the patio a few times before it is time for Gardeners' World.   I dare not walk up the road with Priscilla with two black eyes - I don't want to frighten the natives .