Sunday, 30 December 2018


Well, that is that done, just the New Year now the we can get on with enjoying 2019 - Brexit, Trump, shifting manure onto the veg beds, intolerance, global warming, M6 traffic, paying for our upsizing, avoiding onions, losing weight, getting fitter, Brexit, Trump, etc etc.
Oh! Yes, and a golden wedding - has R really put up with me for all that time? (Well, some of it.) If I haven't had my other knee done we will probably be in Pembrokeshire watching the sunset over St Bride's Bay.

Most mornings are dull and drab though Christmas Eve was special - we walked in the Winster Valley in mist and sunshine -

In our downstairs WC, a foot along beyond the sink where the skirting board down not quite meet the floor, there lives a small black spider. When I come in he (though more probably she so I will call him/her it) will nip out a tiny bit to see what's up. Then as I move around it retreats almost out of site. It has been there for over three years and I have no idea what its feeds on.

The view from the house, like this from the living room is a bit depressing - a load of wet plastic, but, when there is sun, despite the building works, the garden has some highlights- a rose here, the beech hedge in full leaf colour - 

and one or two premature snowdrops showing their white flowers. In fact there are flowers on one of the wallflowers, on the odd bramble in the hedgerow and the mild weather (fingers crossed) seems to be deceiving many plants. As usual managed to pick a small vase of flowers for the table from the garden - I mean the table is not from the garden but . . . . well . . . 

New Year's Ever tomorrow and an early bed for me - to be woken by people launching rockets and such at midnight - just hope they are not North Korean nor Putin's new whizzers.

The light of the old year is fading and colour dissipating. Let us hope next year is not a monochrome year.

Here is hoping for a garden full of flowers, fruit and vegetables, body that will let me shovel horse manure and less argy-bargy in the political world. 
A happy and hopefully good New Year to everyone.

Now, where's my drink.

What do you mean the kettle's on?

(Pinched the title from Brenda Lee.)

Fed up with jargon -


I am liking Pam Ayres more and more
After reading the latest editions
Of Poetry and PN Review.
Good verse does not have to be obscure
And I wonder if those who profess
To understand the contortions
Of language manifest in their pages
Really know what is being said.
Modern verse takes a delight
In inaccessability, poetry-speak.
It is not surprising it is disappearing
Up its own niche, one so narrow
As to exclude so many readers.
A spade is a spade not a wrought
Implement with design for the transfer
Of materials from one place to another
Or the excavation of earthy material.
Well, it is the latter, but why not

Just say it is a spade?

Sunday, 23 December 2018


If you date it from the winter equinox

4 different shots from the kitchen, of dawn on the same day

and one two days earlier.

I have potted up the rest of the bulbs that have been sitting in the shed. Many are small but we will see how they do. 
House plants are being fed where appropriate, or left alone to have a rest.
I would shift manure (?) but the builders are blocking my way down the garden - 😕😉 so limited myself to picking up windfall sticks to dry and use as kindling for the log burner.

Next day the builders have moved so it is out with the wheel barrow and muck spreading the back bed. Noticed a problem with the extension - the wall upstairs will come right in the middle of the window! Will have to have a smaller window as dressing room no good if we have to crouch!

In the garden the white birches are going green with, I think, algae on the bark with all the dismal dark wet weather - they might need a wash? 

So to some images to give you an idea of what is happening and finishing with the delightful view from my computer desk.

Sunday, 16 December 2018


Well, not really but with the festive 😟 season ahead gardening takes second place.
The garden is not completely asleep, there are some flowers -

We live up a field, up a track and someone left a non biodegradable black plastic bag of dog poo beside the track - in a field full of sheep droppings next to a paddock full of horse manure. So why wrap it, get a stick and flick it if you must or take it home and put it in the bin. 🤔🙄

Actually it was only thirty yards from our heap of garden manure! Mind boggles.

Back to the garden - I know it is only December but some daffodils think otherwise - 

The raft is still a raft as we wait for steel beams and the timber frame.
The leaf is submerged in the water providing us with a reflection in an infinity pool two inches deep (5cm for the rest of the EU) (Yes we are still members, for now. The whole thing is a farce brought about by a small number of Conservatives putting pressure on David Cameron before an election.)

Anyway. one thing we do have at this time of year are spectacular skies over the bay.

Down in the veg beds the ghost of fleece has still stopped the imminent death of sweet peas but the other beds are well composted in preparation for next year. I will give them another dose in the spring.

It is Friday and the timber frame has begun to go up - now I can picture our downstairs room. 
Went to a specialist in Preston - "Don't do any heavy lifting" - like manure, paving stones or the sit on mower when I get it stuck in the stream? The old body is a bit moth-eaten.

Very cold today (for us) - not above 2C and ice not gone on pond, frost in the shade. Forecast snow tomorrow morning then warmer with gales and MORE rain.

But no snow just RAIN.

To finish this week a load of pigeons and their hunter in the night -

Saturday, 8 December 2018


We are dissolving - it never seems to stop raining. One low pressure after another, one band of rain after another - keep off the lawns.

So stay inside and get a few of the windfall apples that are still edible and bake them - core them, stuff with a mixture of chopped dates, honey and cinnamon, cut a line through the skin 2/3 of the way up, sprinkle with Demerara sugar and place in a baking dish with a little water. Bake 45' to and hour at 180C, serve with cream or custard.

Of course it helps if the Aga does not go off which it has done. It is something to do with a change in the nature of the fuel, carbons it up.

I have bought some garden fleece to try and protect the sweet peas (that did not flower) through the winter though a hard frost will probably bump them off. The broccoli, however looks fine, not too nibbled either.

Only three and a half weeks till 2019 and then all this festive palaver will be done - and only a couple of weeks to the shortest day.

One day rain, the next morning a frost followed by fog and then more rain.

These are the dark days, dismal and dreary, December until the end of the second week in January and the world is waiting.
(Just thought I would cheer you all up a bit 💦💦💧.)

I look out of the window into the gloom and all I can see i  the garden is the white beacon that are the sweet peas wrapped in horticultural fleece. R thinks I am bonkers - probably am, probably always have been. I don't think I have dome much of a job but it might scare a burglar in the night?
And I bet your rose bed looks better than ours. And there are still some surprises in the twilight like this euphorbia - and there seem to be several calendulas that have decided this is the time to flower - bonkers plants here too.

Meantime, in town the Christmas lights are on and Laurel and Hardy have a seasonal visitor. A local firm, J.F. Hornby & Co, accountants, have used the Stan and Ollie photo as their Christmas Card and I did their calendar too. They made a big donation to the local Hospice. 

Sunday, 2 December 2018


Delivered this week outside the cattle grid, well rotted, fine stuff. We have already started spreading the good news - well, good for the starving plants. Cow is better and not so full of weed seed but this is well gone so we hope for the best. Anyway we should have good rhubarb next year.

R is forking away like mad, wielding the wheelbarrow with a will.
Doc does not seem to mind the new covering on the poppy bed.

So photos of the garden in all its glory, well, not quite, to the right before they poured the raft and below after and after the rain came with water on the top of the concrete slab. My old rose bed does not look too good now and the path around the front of the house is somewhat chewed up despite sheets of plywood on top of it.

The weather has turned wild with storm Diana hunting us down on Thursday. 

Cannot go out in the garden for fear of the cock pheasant coming over and begging for sunflower seed.

We have our own infinity pool on top of the concrete and the pond is redolent with reflections now the water lilies have sunk from sight. There still are a few flowers in the garden if one searches - roses, the fatsias and this feverfew.

 In the house the gerbera, Transvaal daisy,  I forgot to put in the garden, is flowering in the kitchen window but the rest are hunkering down for winter - though the good old orchid has sprung a new flowering stem.

I have picked up sticks from the wood - R will not do it - "There's no need and anyway more will come down" - but if left the whole place will become a tangle and a mess. In heaps they can be havens for wildlife - like hedgehogs (if we had any).

Small birds are eating us out of house and home. Counted 9 tits on the feeders and 8 chaffinches, two sparrows and a dunnock on the ground beneath this morning.

So I sip my tea, eat a ginger biscuit and gawp at the mess the world is getting itself into - is Trump real? What does Putin have over him that Trump never criticises him? After all the Brexit stress and cost are we going to end up still in the EU? David Miliband for PM? Personally anyone but Corbyn and anyone in the Tory Party, SNP, DUP, etc - far too many TLAs (three letter abbreviations in use.)

It will be a relief to get back to little stuff - like global warming and the end of the world as we know it.

Let's end with a poem that has nothing to do with anything but the underlying essence of the universe - 


about the
mystery of the
magic Fibonacci numbers.
Can they be thought of as originating from God
or are they something fundamental underpinning the structure of the universe?

to see
a world in
a grain of sand and
a heaven in a wild flower,
where the whorls of sepals, petals in the perianth
all perpetuate the series, so begin - one, two, three, five, eight, thirteen, twenty-one . . .

on and
on and on - 
symmetry symbolising what?
Thirty-four, fifty-five, eighty-nine - get the series?
We did adding-up like this at the end of my junior school education - sums.

someone will 
summon the thought that 
somewhere there’s a fundamental
truth in Fibon
acci num