Monday 24 May 2021

The ice-cream habit

The wildlife pond is filling up nicely in all this wild weather, but the beans are on their last legs. The eldest has taken to the roads with a first driving lesson. He went to a nearby village and it was bin day. The bins were in the road because there aren't pavements, and apparently he nearly took one out as he flew by. In fact it all sounded fairly eventful, with pedestrians in the road and oncoming cars and torrential rain and overtaking and kerbs and all sorts. I wonder if driving instructors ever wake up with a huge intake of breath in the middle of the night imagining they are being driven off of a cliff or something. It makes me nervous just thinking about it. 

Within two days of the urchins not having to wear face masks to school any more, the littlest boy managed to catch a cold. This has morphed into a hacking cough, so I am wondering if he will be sent home. With only five days until half term, I could really do with some peace and quiet. We are at loggerheads quite a bit these days, mostly over screen time. Honestly, it's a battle. The other two often give me helpful parenting advice over it all, which is marvellous, as you can imagine. 

Work has been busy, which is good and I am very grateful for it, but it hasn't left me much time for fiction writing lately. Plus, I fear I have been a bit slack. I tend to work every day, including weekends and bank holidays, and I think that it's left me a bit drained. Must try harder. The weekend working started over the past year, partly because I've been busy and partly because there hasn't been much else on. And somehow it's become a habit. 

Having ice-cream in the house has become a habit as well. It used to be a birthday treat, but there must have been a point during the pandemic when I suddenly thought we deserved to have ice-cream all of the time. Of course, there will be complete outrage if I cut off their supply now. I fear it is a bullet I will have to bite. Just as soon as I am feeling up to it. Pick your battles and all that.

Any new habits at your end? I am sure lots of people have taken up very good things like exercise and painting and learning a language and I am definitely going to do that next time instead.

Saturday 8 May 2021

A sad goodbye

Photo by Mircea Ploscar at Pixabay

I was so sad to hear of the death of my blogging friend Teresa Kasner. She was such a kind, generous person and she'll be sorely missed by so many. Her posts were always so warm and welcoming, I felt as if I was sitting down with her for a chat, having a wander round her beautiful garden, spending a moment by the fire, admiring her lovely home. And I always felt a bit better after a while spent in her company, she had such warmth and open friendliness.

I looked at several beautiful flower photos for this post, but the sunflower seemed the right one. Teresa was sunshine to me, always welcome, always warm. I will miss her. CJ xx

Saturday 1 May 2021

At the bottom of the pond


It's all drama in the garden. The fencing chap (not the £1,800 one) did a lovely job, except that he cut off my wisteria that I'd been carefully nurturing for a couple of years. It was just starting to get nicely established. There is a sad stump left behind. I am checking it daily in the hopes that it will sprout.

The blackbirds have had their nest plundered twice by a magpie. They yelled and yelled, but to no avail. It flew off with a very sizeable chick. I fear they have none left now and have had to start again from scratch.

This afternoon I emptied the wildlife pond. It tends to get leaves and apples and pears dropping in it from time to time and it had gone a bit green and sludgy. There were LOTS of frogs in there, as well as newts, so it was a bit of a trick to relocate them temporarily. The liner is all nice and clean now, the golf balls have been removed, the pebbles washed and replaced and the waterlily and the newts are back in the bottom. I just need a substantial amount of rain to fill it back up now. With a bank holiday coming up I might be in luck.

The pond really is such a good thing in the garden. Back when we had a bit of a freeze I was taking the top layer of ice off, mostly to remove the duckweed in a nice handy sheet. I was amazed how many birds came down to drink afterwards, I think they were happy to find water that wasn't frozen. And the frogs love it, and they're good for the garden, eating slugs, so it's beneficial all round. A little plug for ponds, in case you were contemplating one. 

Mine is very simple. A hole lined with some free offcuts of carpet from the Sort-It Centre, then a stout pond liner (not a rigid one), then filled with rainwater and a small waterlily. I'll get some oxygenating weed next time I'm at the garden centre. I've had other plants in the past. The iris was lovely, but the dog took a liking to it, and after a protracted battle, he won. I'll probably get one or two plants for the shallower water at the side too.

In other news, I have it on good authority (the chap on the check-out at the Co-op) that there was a punch-up at the barbers after lockdown ended. The urchins went to the other one and managed to have a nice trim without having to resort to violence, as far as I know.

Otherwise, life has been fairly free of drama and mostly all about work, which is no bad thing, although I could do with some more time. Twas ever thus. All clear at your end?