Saturday, 25 May 2019


Morning, everyone.
Some more garden photos - sorry.

The clematis will have its first open flower today or tomorrow, I'm pretty sure.

Thw chives are flowering - I love chive flowers, they are so lovely.

See what I mean?

The irises are all in flower.  They don't last long but they are gorgeous for about a week.
This might do for 'Two colours of the rainbow' in the photo scavenger hunt.

And finally, a week or so ago I splurged in a pot of peas (feeling very naughty) and look - I have some pods!  They are peas, not mange tout and they're not pickable yet, but they will be.  Must remember to feed the pot.

If the birds notice they are there, I shall shove the lot into the little cage with the blueberries.

I got myself into town yesterday on the bus and found a curtain shop.  I now have fabric for replacement linings plus the appropriate tape.  I popped into Franklins, the fabric shop and found buttons and some sylko I needed.  Then I strolled into the high street and bought a skirt in M&S (bad me) and those net bags in Lakeland (which now have veg inside them and are in the fridge.
It was lovely and sunny, warm and happy.  Everyone seemed smiley.

When I got home, I set to with needle and assorted thread and stitched up the hem of some trousers, did a bit of mending and sewed the buttons I bought onto that little Aran jacket so that's now finished!

Today I need to go back to B&Q to get the appropriate curtain runner thingies and I might just possibly take a wee peek at the plants at the same time.  Apart from that I have no plans so I might go for a swim as soon as the pool opens (at 8) first.  Other plans involve getting ahead with my planning for next week for those unfortunates whose parents want them not to miss a week!  And I would like to tackle the front patch as those weeds are fighting back, pesky things!
That should be enough to keep me out of trouble!

Friday, 24 May 2019


Morning, everyone!  It's one of those stupid o'clock days but I don't really mind.  I can just get started earlier and maybe do a bit more decluttering.
It's too early to tell the weather except that it's not raining.  Yesterday was very warm, the warmest this month, I would say, and very sunny too.  Sitting out in my little arbour with coffee and my knitting was really lovely and long may it continue.

I had a nice swim early yesterday.  There are people in the pool (or heading for the pool) as soon as the place opens, but not too many and all fairly intent on swimming rather than chatting which suited me fine.

AFter that I went home for breakfast and then set off for one of the smaller retail parks  - well, I say smaller but it's not tiny, it has just two shops, B&Q and Wyvale, both of which are large with lots of outdoor space for plants, pots, etc.
I tackled B&Q first:  I bought a nemesia and a lupin.  Both are perennial although I think lupins are hardier.  They will fill a few spaces in my middle bed and, together with the delphinium, I rather think that's my middle bed sorted, especially once the runners germinate and take the space up at each end.
I also got a cordeline for a container.
When it came to the last container, I decided to go for some carrots so bought a pack of seeds and will sow the first sowing today.
I also picked up (just - they're heavy, even the smaller ones) a bag of general potting stuff for the bush tomato pots, when they arrive.
Then I went to Wyvale where they have a big pet area and got some straw which is now under the strawberries to protect them from the damp earth.
See . . .

I left the tomato soil un-strawed but I think I will put some there too - it'll protect any tomatoes that fall off.

After a spot of gardening and some lunch, I did yesterday's bit of decluittering by going through all the folders of pupils, past and present, shredding all the old stuff before getting it out for the bin men, just in time for collection.  I'm glad I got that done!

Pottery was, as always, good.  Three coasters are now finished and home, although I don't like the one on the right and will look for a better leaf shape to replace it, I think.  The fourth one is now all smoothed off and ready for firing - in fact, by the time the class was over, it was in and the kiln was on.  Then I worked on the bowl and the individual leaves (I call them leaves but they look more like flames to me!) are now wrapped in cling film to keep them soft until the next session which insn't for a fortnight as next week is half term.

So that was yesterday!
Today, after such an early waking, I think I will do a spot of decluttering before breakfast.  I intend catching the earliest bus I can use my pass on to pop into town where  I need to get some curtain lining fabric and tape and I also want to pop into Lakeland to get some of these.

They're net bags for food storage in the fridge, especially vegetables.
I anticipate getting good use from them, especially at this time of year.

(thank you, Sue, for mentioning them)

Once home again, maybe I will declutter a bit more and I have the weekend meal plans to do, hopefully using what I have in as I really don't fancy more shopping.

No swimming today but I think I will be very active, all the same.  It should be a good day - I hope yours is too.  xx

Edited to add - thanks for all the lovely comments about Beth's cushions.  The customer was so pleased, they ordered two more asap and some more for Beth to make next month.  I guess if anyone is interested, please do get in touch with me and I can pass you on.

Thursday, 23 May 2019


Good morning, everyone.

Beth finished a couple of cushions she was making for a neighbour yesterday.  I think they're lovely so I'm showing them off! 

Yesterday went well.  I had a great old natter to my friend over some good coffee before heading off home to do a bit of gardening and get the runner beans in.  I also fed the soil where the seeds are planted with some garden compost and some slow release granules so, fingers crossed, they will be good and prolific this year.  And I reckon I will be picking and eating two strawberries at some point today!

After lunch, L came round and I had another good gossip with her over a cuppa.  All very sociable.

And then, later on, after umming and ahing, I went off to SW group.  I was going to dodge it after some horrendous scoffing over the weekend as I was absolutely sure I would show a big gain but, guess what - half a pound off.  I'm really not sure how I managed that bit I'll take it with gratitude and I'm glad I went!

Today starts off with a swim, followed by some more gardening, scraping weeds out from around the paving slabs.  All that bending and squatting is great exercise!  I shall walk round to vote at some point and this evening it is pottery.  I have one coaster to glaze, two that should be finished, fingers crossed, one to smooth off before firing and a leaf bowl to start on, having sorted out the leafy shapes last week.  That should keep me busy.

I have tuition too, so I have a bit of planning to do and I shall tackle a bit more clutter.  Doing a little bit everyday seems to be working at the moment; it's never too daunting.

Well, the gym opens at half past six and I have my SW blog to write before I go so I'd better stop rambling.  Have a super day with lots of good things.  xx

Wednesday, 22 May 2019


Good morning, everyone.  It's a jolly chilly morning but there's no frost, thank goodness.  It's sunny but I'm not sure how long the sun will last, unlike yesterday when it shone brightly and warmly pretty much all day.

Well, the big news is that I have my home back again now.  For the first time in a fortnight, I don't have to be dressed by eight o'clock.  Everything is back in the bathroom, behind closed doors, and I can't tell you how pleased I am with the way it looked.  I couldn't have my bath though - Matt said to let the sealant harden (or whatever the term is) around the bath so it's todays treat instead.  I was allowed to use the loo though!
I think it's a great use of a very small space so let's see if I can keep it looking so shiny/new!

Photos are sort of scanning round from left to right.

The other big news is . . .

(taken this morning)
Once they get going, they don't take long to ripen.  I'm really not sure why they are so ahead as all the others are like the others in the photo - small and green.
No complaining though!

I had a list of things to do yesterday and it all went pretty well.
It was a perfect drying day and I got four loads washed, three dried and two ironed, aired and away.  One load needs getting out of the machine and, as it's mostly knits, needs careful drying.  I'll iron the rest today.

I sorted out the bathroom stuff, obviously.  It was surprising how much I had in those baskets and I certainly don't need to buy any soaps or hair products for some time to come.  Not having baskets on the high window ledge makes the whole space seem airy and bright, something I hadn't thought of.

I planted out the delphinium (blue) next to a geranium (red) - although neither are showing colour yet, just buds.  However, I didn't get the beans planted so that's a small task for today.  I got sidetracked into scraping some of those everlasting weeds from between the paving slabs instead.
Still garden related, I was ever so naughty.  Realising I didn't have any bush tomatoes (I like to have a bush tomato, they are so prolific), I went online and bought a couple of Tumbling Toms.  It's just as well I love tomatoes, isn't it, and I do like to have loads to give away as well.
I can't wait for the clematis buds to open . . .

. . . but I will have to!

Today is a social sort of day.  I'm meeting a dear friend/old colleague for coffee down at the Tiptree Tea Rooms opposite the Writtle Ag this morning.  Then home for some housework (a bit more clearing and creating space for myself) before a friend comes over for a cuppa this afternoon.  I might also do a fair bit of peeping through the bathroom door to enjoy the view as well!

Have a lovely day, whatever your plans are.  xx

Tuesday, 21 May 2019


Good morning, everyone.  It looks like being a lovely day!

The end is nigh!  The bathroom is nearly mine again and I think the first thing I shall do when Matt leaves is have a bath!  I can't say 'relax in the bath' because it's not big enough for that, but I have to christen it, don't I.  The next thing will be to put bathroom things in the new storage and the plant I bought for the purpose (just an ivy) on the shelf that used to hold a basket with bathroom bits and bobs in it.

I'm getting ahead of myself . . .
Yesterday, once home, I unloaded and then went out into the garden with the little tomato plants that Dad was so kind as to get for me from Bickerdikes.  I also took out the few plants I had and now all twelve plants are out in their forever bed/pots, encouraged by some slow release food and a good watering in.  It's now a question of watching and watering and telling them what good little tomato plants they are!
I have a few different kinds this year.  Sungolds, of course.  They are so sweet and juicy and wonderful for just picking and scoffing.  Gardeners' delight, an old favourite.  Then three I've not tried before.  Supersweet which, according to Google, produces slightly larger than usual cherry tomatoes with thin skins (good) on long trusses; Sweet Million, another cherry tomato and Sparta which is a medium sized variety.  They're all cordons so I will be busy tying up and pinching out once they get going.
I know they don't look much - yet - but they will.

As I planted, I was delighted to notice something else.
Yes, the first strawberries have started to ripen.  I need to get some straw/hay to lift them off the damp earth but give it a fortnight or so and I will be picking my own breakfast fruit!

After all that, I rushed off to school to do my bit for the youngest generation before coming back for tuition.

Today there's nothing in the diary until late afternoon.  However, there's plenty to do.
Change the sheets
Sort out the bathroom
Plant the runner beans
Plant out the delpinium (blue)
Deal with a pile of 'stuff'
Washing, drying (outside - yay) and ironing,
A bit of planning
Have a think about if I need bedding plants and, if so, what
And time to sit, knit and read out in the garden, weather permitting.

Oh, it's such a hard life, being retired!

Monday, 20 May 2019


Good morning, everyone.  It's dull and gloomy out there but we don't appear to have had any rain (yet).

Sorry about yesterday.  I drove up to dad's and forgot to do this blog.  There's no problems; this is the weekend to visit but I couldn't get up until yesterday because of Saturday's theatre thing.

Oliver was excellent.  Great singing and some surprisingly good acting.  We had a very good time.

Yesterday, after a most frustrating journey over (every single traffic light was red and the only thing that worked for me was the level crossing at Sawbridgeworth which is where I usually have to stop), it was nice to sit and chat with Dad.

I will be leaving for home in a couple of hours and by the time I get there, Matt will have arrived and started on the last two days of work.  I should have a working upstairs loo by the end of today.  Three cheers - no more having to go downstairs in the middle of the night!

Apart from that, it is normal stuff - helping at school and tuition. 
Have a good day!  xx

Saturday, 18 May 2019


Morning, everyone.  Well, the good weather had to break and yesterday it did.  Instead of brightening up, as I hoped, it got gloomier and then it started to rain.  It was nothing heavy, just a pretty persistent drizzle that dampened everything.  Good for the plants!

After Thursday's lazy day, yesterday felt very busy.  A bit like the hokey cokey, in, out, in out!  I was again very thankful for the car.
I had my swim first, followed by a shower and a visit to Home Bargains, before going home for breakfast.  Then I went out and about, here and there, getting this, that and the other.  I found a couple of half decent tomato plants, a delphinium (blue*) to replace the one that doesn't seem to have come up this year, a plant and a container for the bathroom and all sorts of other necessary bits and bobs.  I wernt home to drop all that stuff off before setting off to Beth's to take a present for a young friend.  On the way back, just round the corner from Beth, as the rain eased off a bit, I popped into the flooring place and picked up my 2x2m roll of bathroom 'lino' which, to my great relief, goes very well with the tiles.  Phew.

After all that, late-ish afternoon, I went home and that was that for the day.  I spent the evening knitting and watching saved funny programmes.

Today is also busy but different.  The tiler is coming to grout the tiles and think she will be done by ten.  At twelve I have a couple of friends coming for lunch and then we're taking the bus (we all have passes) into town to see a local operatic/dramatic society doing 'Oliver' which should be huge fun.  One of us then has to go home but the other two will possibly have an early meal in town before getting the bus back.  Today should be fun!

I hope you have a good day too. xx

* does anyone else think this - 'geraniums (red) and delphiniums (blue).  I can't think of either without recalling that old AA Milne poem, The Dormouse and the Doctor.