- Finding out that I'd not imagined May as a wet, cold month as there's been only 1 day over 20℃ so far whereas last year there were 21 days over 20℃
- Hearing a hopeful weather forecast at last
- Getting the big curtain pole up and fixed almost by myself.
- Good books to read
Saturday, 29 May 2021
Friday, 28 May 2021
Judith Cutler - Green and Pleasant land. This is an author I had read before but not lately. Newly retired ex-Chief Superintendent Fran Harman and her Husband Mark - also retired from the police force - are asked to assist a police force to look at an old un-resolved crime from twenty years ago. But no one seems willing to help or tell the truth.
Elly Griffiths - The Night Hawks). The most recent in the Dr Ruth Galloway series set on the bleak Norfolk coast and the fictional University of North Norfolk. As usual a really good story, which has jumped on a year or so since the last book and Ruth is now back at the University. The Night Hawks of the story are a group of metal-detectorists who for some reason that isn't really explained go out at night even though they are a legitimate group. When they find a body on the beach as well as a hoard of Bronze Age weapons Ruth is called in to look at the weapons while the police try to find out more about the body. This is followed up by an apparent murder-suicide in a remote farmhouse linked with Black Shuck - the local legend of a Big Hound.
Thursday, 27 May 2021
Sometimes my Brother-in-Law Andrew is willing to help me with odd jobs that I can't manage but being a life long bachelor he's used to doing his own thing all the time and now he's retired he's just as busy as he was when he worked, so I don't like to ask too often.
But sometimes he surprises me by doing things I've not even asked him to do . For instance when I first moved in and he brought the garden stuff round that had been stored at his house for 9 weeks he put the dalek compost bin in the empty storage area behind the garden shed and I said I'm going to get some slabs to stand it on so I can make a bit of compost without rats being able to get in. (The District Council Garden Waste bin is literally only for garden waste so things like vegetable bits from the kitchen or tea bags are Forbidden......with a capital F!)
Then early last year when he was cutting some wood for me he said he wouldn't cut up some large sturdy lengths as they were just what he needed as extra scaffold boards ready for using while painting his house. So when I moved here and was thinking about what to use for the edges for the raised veg. beds I asked him to hang onto the boards when he'd finished painting as they would be ideal for what I needed.
A couple of weeks ago he said as he'd now finished painting his house he would give the boards I wanted a coat of weather proofing ready for me! I said "brilliant thank you, I'll be able to dig some slots for them to stand in and then fill the middle with flattened cardboard boxes and some soil". The next conversation was him asking me what size the veg beds were going to be as he would cut them to the right length and find some angle joints ready to fix them together!
I keep telling him he needn't do all these things and there's no hurry but it's been a real help, and I'd better treat him to Fish and Chips again when he's next over!
Wednesday, 26 May 2021
I've made a start on a picture wall
Tuesday, 25 May 2021
............. the other day when I said downsizing meant I could now afford the dentist bill, an "Anonymous" commented telling me how wrong it was to boast about the size of the house I sold and to mention finances......... at least I think it was what they said. I deleted it so quickly that I can't really remember the gist! As Sue said Anonymous snarky comments get short shrift here and are a real waste of Anon's time.
It dates from the late 90's and The Stepping Stones feature was in one of the Sunday papers that our neighbour used to pass to us for fire lighting. I noticed it as it said they awarded £100 for the "best" one. Someone came out to take the photo - of me with two goats and it appeared in the paper a few weeks later. We never did get any money for it being featured!
There you go Mr/Mrs or Ms Anonymous - how's that for boasting!! Or as my Mum would have said "put that in your pipe and smoke it!!"
(but thank you for giving me an idea for a blog post 😛)
Monday, 24 May 2021
There are all sorts of plants around the border of the back garden, mainly one of each of the larger things, there's also lots of empty spaces which will let weeds in unless I fill them with something. In places there are things that spread like weeds that I'd like to take out - the "foreign" bluebells. And worst of all there is some ground-elder creeping in - horrible stuff.
It's rained at sometime almost everyday since I moved in with no chance of getting out there to do some much needed weeding.
Here's a photo tour
Stepping out of the patio doors from the living room and first on the left is a purple Acer - love this.(Edited in to say this is actually an Elder)
Also in the corner a Spirea and a Camellia and more Helebores and another Hebe and a Rose
A Large Ceanothus is just starting to come into flower
The biggest thing in the garden is a Flowering Cherry, which must be the only thing
more than 7 years old, that's how long the previous owners had been
To the right of the tree are two things I'm not sure of - the yellow thing isn't a Laburnham and the other is possibly a Weigela.
This is a different sort of Magnolia. The removal man plonked my old bird bath here (we found it half buried at the smallholding in 1992), it's all on the huh! but too heavy for me to move. Just noticed another Acer at the back there
The bigger Magnolia is just finishing
All sorts of different perennials and the foreign bluebells spreading too much
A Peony and a few Aquilegia
A large spring flowering Viburnham
Another Buddleia and climbing rose on the trellises around the shed
Below is another Buddleia. I've popped 2 courgette plants in here in the hope they will grow.
What's this below? Purple flowers with yellow middles like a potato flower - making it look poisonous -it probably isn't. It's not something I've had before another thing that was caught by late frosts.
The rhubarb that was here hasn't got much room to spread
To the other side of the patio the trellises have more climbing roses.
The things I brought with me including 2 tubs of strawberries, Monkey Puzzle, Yew tree ,my Bay tree and very young Fig with the tomato and pepper plants under the cloche thing.
Well done if you got to the end of that tour!
Saturday, 22 May 2021
They say time flies when you're having fun but I reckon time flies whatever I'm doing. This week it's been mainly unpacking boxes, then flattening them ready for the removal company man to come and pick them up. I'm giving him some of the 15 I bought and will keep the tattiest of the ones of his to use for the start of the new vegetable beds. The beds will have wooden edges (made from old scaffold boards that BiL has finished with) then the cardboard will be covered with soil, the theory is the cardboard kills the grass underneath and rots down over winter.....that's the plan although not exactly sure when it will happen.
Getting back in the swimming pool was good, only 4 people in the slow half of the pool so it was easy swimming round and round, I'm about a mile or 2 further away from Stradbroke Pool than I was before and actually nearer to the bigger pool at Stowmarket which is also run by the Everyone Active company, but it's much busier and I don't fancy trying it out.
Several people said they liked the bookshelves. I bought them not long after we moved to Clay Cottage as we had left fitted shelves at the smallholding. It took me ages to decide as they were a big expense from the Cotswold Company but with Colin in and out of hospital I choose some made of solid wood that came ready built. I've not regretted them. More recently I got a long chest of drawers in the same colours.....navy blue with oak tops.
Tonight it's The Eurovision Song contest - I shall half watch - like I've half watched for the last umpteen years since the UK have had no chance of winning. I'm sure we used to watch properly when Our Song actually got Douze Points occasionally.
Great excitement being able to walk round to the doctors to pick up my meds! Maybe Great Excitement is exaggerating a bit but it is the first time (not counting the year in Ipswich - which I don't count at all for anything) since 1992 that the doctors has been withing walking distance - instead of a car journey.
(Don't look at the weeds under the Silver Birch - it's just been too wet and cold to get out there)
This week I've been grateful for
- Seeing 3 out of 4 Grandchildren for a hour or two
- Getting the unpacking done
- Working out the pull out linen line - although the only thing I hung out was my swimming costume
- Making scones for the first time in 10 weeks
Hope you all have a lovely weekend. I'm going to treat myself to my first coffee and cake out since sometime last year
Friday, 21 May 2021
The thing about downsizing from a Large 4 bed house with nearly an acre of land and a big workshop and double garage to a smaller 3 bed bungalow with a small garden is that the bungalow cost much less than what I got for the house. Which means I have some spare cash and after my dentist visit I will certainly need it!
I used to visit the dentist in a small converted house in the village of Debenham only a few miles from home which he staffed 2 days a week but his main Much Bigger practice is in Ipswich and due to Covid he's shut Debenham and doing everything in Town. Back in March 2020 I was all set to have a crown on a dodgy tooth - then everything came to a pandemic halt and not long later another bit broke off the tooth.
When another tooth fractured last week I thought I'd better actually make an appointment in Ipswich. Regular readers will know I dread going to the dentists - childhood trauma I reckon!!....it's true - my Mum took me screaming out of the dentist when I was about 8 when they tried to make me keep my mouth open with a big smelly rubber block! After that Mum sent me to the school dentist instead - they used to bring a little caravan round to school twice a year and she Never went to a dentist again!
Anyway, after X-rays he found not only that I need the tooth crowned and the broken tooth rebuilt, I also need 2 other fillings replaced, Eeek - can you imagine how much that lot will cost! (No NHS Dentists around anywhere to get it cheaper- sadly) and then he came through to tell the receptionist that it would need 3 appointments with the first one for 75 minutes ......... 75 MINUTES - oh my!
I have until the 14th June to prepare myself but at least I don't have to worry about paying the bill although when I downsized this wasn't quite what I had in mind for my windfall!
Thursday, 20 May 2021
.......................for me to feel like I'm living a normal life again. 9 weeks in holiday lets with nothing much to do has upset my rhythm.
Also holding me up is not having a decent sized freezer. The one that came here was the small one I had in the back porch and my fridge is the teeny one we had during our year in Ipswich so I need to order a bigger fridge-freezer sooner rather than later. I've had chest freezers since even before we got married so I'm used to batch baking and cooking.
Wednesday, 19 May 2021
This photo of a huge Yew tree was taken on one of my cycle rides around my previous village last Autumn.
The little Yew was something I picked up a couple of years ago from a stall during a village art event. The idea was to keep it in a pot until it was big enough to add to the trees on the meadow - I had no plans to move back then. It's grown quite a lot since but still less than a foot tall and has just spent 9 weeks stored at BiL's garden before he brought it here. Now I'm not sure what to do with it. It's not really suitable for a small garden that will have children playing. All parts of Yew trees are poisonous and the garden here is too small
for something that gets quite big and can live for 100's of years, so it
will need a new home.
But look what's between my front garden and next doors - a Huge thick Yew hedge. I would like to find out if it's mine, theirs or belongs to both of us. I need to get all the paperwork back from the solicitor........... as I only ever saw the downloads on emails...... to find out.
If it's mine it may well go to be replaced by something that isn't quite so overpowering.
Tuesday, 18 May 2021
Twice I've done a "sort-of" challenge of eating just local food for a week at a time.
Look at these that I found last Tuesday..............
I was quite excited!
These come from the giant greenhouses near Ipswich that use heat from the waste incinerator and collect water and condensation to use too.
And as I won't be growing many of my own this year this is almost as good.
Monday, 17 May 2021
................and before the rain too
Saturday, 15 May 2021
- Getting all my books unpacked and shelved
- Finding all my possessions again
- A speedy dentist appointment to start sorting out all the problems that have appeared in the year.
Wednesday, 12 May 2021
Last Thursday afternoon I just strolled 5 minutes up the road to the Mobile Library stop - what a treat! and picked up my 4 reservations. Pleased to find there were several other people using the mobile here as I was often the only person in my previous village.(Although with only one person allowed on at a time due to Covid there was a bit of a wait! )
I've also got to pick up two books from Debenham library as they were on the way there before I knew my moving date to change the pick up point to the mobile. One is 'The Night Hawks' by Elly Griffiths - finally got to the top of the waiting list.......very much looking forward to that.
Probably taking a few days off now as writing about unpacking boxes everyday makes for Very Dull blog posts.
Back in a few days
Tuesday, 11 May 2021
Yes, it really is 3 years since Colin went into hospital and unlike all the times in the 5 years before,
he didn't come home again. Sometimes it seems like just a month ago and other times it feels like forever. I've got through the 3 years on my own because that's what you have to do, but I still miss him every day.
I hope he would have approved of my move to the bungalow and it dawned on me that the day I got the keys for here - May 5th - was exactly the same date as we moved to the smallholding in 1992, I remembered the date as it would have been Col's Dad's birthday, so maybe all that waiting was some sort of "sign"! as we had 23 happy years there.
Back to the reality of now and I'm still unpacking boxes interspersed with trying to change umpteen addresses for officialdom and hoping to find someone to quickly lay a concrete slab for the greenhouse as the children were absolutely horrified that I was planning to put the greenhouse on the patio which they reckon, and I agree really, that it would ruin the lovely patio area.
There are also several things here that I didn't know about and have to work out and get my head round - like the induction hob - which I find I only have a couple of saucepans I can use on it and the fact that the en-suite loo is a Saniflo macerating thing - not a problem - but it would have been good to know! The pull out washing line is a puzzle as I can't find anything to hook it onto without it sagging to the ground and I still have to read and understand the instructions for the remote wireless thermostat for the oil boiler which two people have tried to explain! 😕
No worries.........I'll get there eventually......no rush.
Apologies if I don't answer comments or leave many anywhere for a while - just a tad busy and I will get back to normal in a week or two...........or more.
Monday, 10 May 2021
My sister L and her husband J offered to come and help with anything that needed doing on Saturday which was wonderful, especially as I'd discovered the washing machine connection was drip drip dripping. The WM is in a special big cupboard in the bathroom which sounds odd but a perfect solution when the kitchen isn't huge. I had turned off the water behind the machine but J was soon able to cure the problem.
We were just stopping for a coffee when the doorbell went and there was BiL Andrew who had brought some more of my gardening stuff over to put in the shed and garage. I wasn't expecting him as he's in the middle of repairing and painting the barge- boards and end walls of his house but had been rained off.
The doorbell went again later and this time it was the postman with a long parcel and what a lovely surprise when I opened it - a yellow rose bush along with a plastic lined fabric pot from blog friend Ang.
Thank you so much and what a lovely surprise present and how clever is a flat-pack rose! - (think that green stake was to stop the rose sliding in the parcel and meant to be taken out!) I guess it could be planted out in the garden later.
And then much later blow-me-down when the doorbell rang again and there was Son who had come over to see if there was anything he could help with.
So during the course of the day many more jobs were done.
Thank Goodness for friends and family.
Have lost internet now!
Edited in this morning to say ....now t'internet is back again ....as today is the day is was due to start so heavens knows how it was working between Friday and yesterday afternoon?
Saturday, 8 May 2021
I wasn't expecting to be organised enough to write a post for publishing today but thanks to Son who in no time at all got the new hub going (have to say well done to BT in this case who got the hub here 5 days before it was expected) and he managed to sort out some fiddly fixing on the back of the TV to get that attached to the dish.
So TV, Internet, My own Bed and help from family - what more could a woman want! Apart from a magic wand for unpacking umpteen boxes 😉
Youngest Granddaughter and Grandson approve of my new home and while son was sorting the technology they were in the small bedroom and with the help of DiL unpacked lots of toys..... they certainly have their priorities right 😀