Thursday, 18 July 2019

Thursday

. . . and a very early good morning to you.  It's been one of those sleepless nights and I ended up coming downstairs and doing stuff rather than things going endlessly round and round in my mind.

In the end I got a reasonable amount of stuff done yesterday.  I went to Aldi fairly early which was good because it was comparatively empty and I didn't have to queue for long at the checkout.  I managed to get everything on my list, which was good.
Then I wandered along to look at floor coverings and saw a couple of definite possibilities that, I think, will go nicely in the downstairs loo.  I won't get anything actioned until the middle of August anyway so there's time to just ponder.
After putting everything away, I did some housework and a spot of gardening before Beth turned up to work.  Then, later on, I did some mending/turning up clothes so I'm glad that's done.

Today, Beth and I are going to 'And Sew On' to choose fabrics for the bed covers and the bunting she is going to make for me.  We had planned to go about three weeks ago but other stuff got in the way.  It should be fun - expensive but fun!

Then, this evening, it's SW group.  Now that pottery has finished for the term, I'm back to my Thursday group and I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone again.  I'm not looking forward to the weigh in results quite as much after a holiday but what will be, will be.  Ho hum!

I'm starting to feel tired now so I think I will try for some sleep.  At least I don't have to worry about getting to work after a sleepless night nowadays.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Wednesday

Good morning, everyone.  The sun is shining and the forecast for today is very promising so fingers crossed for a good day, like yesterday.

I now have a new electricity meter after the chap came, as expected, to instal it.  So that's off my list.
The letter came about the boob squash.  All's fine, next one in three years after which time I will have to organise my own - as if breast cancer stops at the age of 71!!!
Beth came round to work here.  She said Indigo hasn't ventured out since her little adventure!
I sorted out the messy pile of magazines, recycling most of them and replacing them with the most recent mags that I bought to take on holiday and hardly read.
I did the tuition session.
The biggest excitement was probably spraying the blackfly on the new dahlia at the front.  I've just been out to take the photo below and it seems clear now so that's good as it's definitely one I want to keep.  I'm not sure if the multi-colour will continue or if it's just an accident of nature and it will revert - I hope it's the former!  There are plenty of buds so I will find out soon.



Apart from that, I can't really remember anything much - it must have just been one of those 'nothing' days.  I suspect today will be the same.

I need to go to Aldi as I suddenly find myself out of things like loo rolls, frozen salmon, etc.  The result of running down your supplies before going away is that you have to run them back up again afterwards!  I need to make some more yogurt and have no long life milk and I am getting through salad veg like there's no tommorrow.

I'm also thinking of replacing the lino in the downstairs loo.  The flip side is that there's nothing wrong with it so doesn't actually NEED replacing but it was a hand on off cut from Mum and Dad, it's dark and makes an already small-windowed and gloomy room a bit gloomier.  I think a nice, light replacement would make such a difference.  There's a couple of flooring places near to Aldi's so I will take a look and see what's there.  I'll have to get them to lay it too but that's OK.  It's a tiny room with some awkward bits so better for the pros to do the job.

The garden is looking so exciting right now - apart from the runner beans which have plenty of flowers but none are setting yet, they just drop.  It shouldn't be long though and then I will be swamping the neighbours with offerings!

The ready cucumber does need cutting as you can see below but I will leave it until Friday so it's fresh to take to Dad's with me.  There are loads more baby ones so I hope the neighbours like cucumbers as much as runner beans.


Still no sign of ripening tomatoes but it can't be long now, surely.  They are definitely lightening up.  Dad has already picked a few so he's won that particular race - yet again!  Grrrrr . . .


Well, it's nearly seven, more than time I started the day off with a tidy and clean around the kitchen so, as Diane sometimes says, I will love you and loave you!  Have a splendid day and I hope everything goes well for you!  xx

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Tuesday

Good morning!  Yesterday was such a happy day because of Indigo's return.  Thank you for all your lovely comments sharing in our happiness - and if that sounds soppy, that's because I feel soppy!  :-)
I went round to Beth's to take some shopping and found an atmosphere of euphoric bliss there - and that was just the cats!!  Inds kept snuggling up to Beth whenever she sat down and followed her around if she was up.  She's never done that much before so I guess she had been thoroughly scared, poor puss-cat. 

I looked up info about footpaths around here and got side tracked into a site that informs about regular organised walks in and around town between 30 mins and about 90 mins which I might get a little bit involved in.  There's a local one on Thursday morning although I think I have something else on then.  Never mind, they happen once a week so another week will do.  This is the site.  Has anyone heard of Walking for Life?
https://www.walkingforhealth.org.uk/walkfinder/chelmsford-heart-and-sole

I got my act together and have resumed my early morning swims.  It was lovely, well worth the effort and I was home by half past eight so it really doesn't cut into the day at all.  I can't go today but may well go again tomorrow.

The other happy is that I cut the first cucumber yesterday and, oh, my word!  SO delicious.  Cool, fresh, crisp and juicy, it was lovely, so much nicer than bought ones.  It will see me through the week and there's another one ready which I will cut and take to Dad's with me on Friday.

Today they are changing the electric meter any time between eight and twelve so I have to stay in.  The power will be off for about thirty minutes so I will then have to go round resetting a few clocks afterwards.

Apart from the above and a tuition session (the last this week), that's all the planned stuff for today.  There's a few messy corners in the living room so today's task is to get them sorted out.  It shouldn't take long and will look so much the better for it.

Well, better stop and get going with the day.  May it be a great day for us all.  xx


Monday, 15 July 2019

Monday

Good morning.  I have woken to some very, very happy news.
For the last four and a half days, my daughter's beloved cat (one of them, anyway) has been missing, AWOL, causing some extreme anxiety and deep unhappiness for Beth and Alex.  For longer term readers, Indie was the mother of those lovely litters of Tonkinese kittens I posted about in the past, although she is neutered now and getting elderly.
When that happens, you imagine all the worst things, don't you, and the chances of ever knowing what happened are quite remote.  Beth and Alex had started leaflet dropping in the neighbourhood, done the Facebook publicity thing, etc, and I was going to print out another load of leaflets for rather wider distribution today.

However, overnight Inds came home again, very stressed, starving hungry and glad to be home.  She's eaten a shedload of catfood, hidden under Beth's bed for a while and is now, I gather, out and accepting love and fuss.
Obviously, I was worried about Indie, but even more worried for Beth and Alex.  There's nothing you can say or do that makes things any better in a situation like that and I am just so glad and happy that she is home again and seems none the worse for the experience, physically anyway.

Such a good start to a new week.

Back to yesterday.  After finishing off the ironing, etc,  I went for a walk, just an hour around the local coutry roads.  It was very pleasant and I took a few photos.  It's just a shame it's so very flat around here - a few hills and dips would make it very attractive.  There's plenty of  brambles flowering so guess who will be back, punnet in hand, later on in the year!






When I arrived home, nestling at the bottom of my front door, was this.


From next door's garden and very, very delicious.  She's top of the list for a cucumber in a few days' time - I have two almost ready to pick, not just one - the other was doing an Indie and hiding!

I have also noticed that the chilli plants is peppered (excuse the pun) with little chillis  which should be pickable in three or four week's time.  I must start looking up ways of preserving them.


Today starts off with joy, of course.  I intend going for an early morning swim before the usual daily stuff - tidying, bit of cleaning, sorting out the kitchen for the day and so on.  Later on, Beth is round and I have tuition this evening - definitely back into the daily round now.

There were, I noticed, a number of footpaths marked on yesterday's walk so I must look them up.  It's a bit shameful that I've lived here over thirty years and don't know the footpaths but it's never too late to start, is it?

So that's today.  Nice and ordinary with, hopefully, no hidden traps along the way.  Have a good one too, all of you!  xx

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Sunday

Good morning, everyone.  It is home sweet home for me after a really excellent journey home yesterday.  Driving on the A12 is a whole lot better on Saturday than it is on Friday and I had absolutely no holdups whatsoever apart from the occasional roundabout.  It was busy around Ipswich but not slow and round Colchester was a doddle!

I stopped off at Sainsbury's on the way home for provisions and had intended to get one of the car washing men to do my car but they weren't there.  I've never known them not there on a Saturday before.  D'you think they knew I was coming?  Grumble, grumble!

Once home. I unloaded the car and got going.  Most of the stuff is now away again, all the washing has been done and half the ironing.  It all took longer than I expected and I was then glad to sit down and catch up with some of my telly recordings.

So that was yesterday.  Today, I will finish off the tidying up, type up my meal plans, get the ironing finished, prep for a bit of tuition and go for a walk.  It won't be a beach walk, sadly, but it will be a country walk.

The garden has come on.
The runner beans are not at the top of the archways and there are more flowers, although no baby beans yet.  There are loads of little tomatoes, loads of baby cucumbers and one nearly ready to cut, a few baby chillis, some unripe blueberries and some ripening fruit from the tayberry-that-refused- to-die at long, long last.  Not loads but enough to keep the hope for future crops up.  Finally, the autumn fruiting raspberries are starting to bud.

Cucumbers . . .


(Not so) Blueberries

The tayberry-that-refused-to-die - the darkest one, out of focus, at the back is the ripe one.

Tomatoes - barring accidents and blight, it should be a good crop


Raspberries

Better give them all a good feed today!

It's dull at the moment because it's early, but the sky looks pretty clear so we may get some sunshine, fingers crossed.  Have a lovely day.  xx

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Saturday

Good morning, everyone.  I wasn't going to do an entry until I got home but, for the first time here, I didn't sleep all that well and am up very early so I thought I may as well . . .

I think the bad night was from two causes.  There's a few things going on back home that concern me (personally but not directly, if that makes sense) and - well, I did have a big dinner last night!

Yesterday morning it was raining but by mid-morning it had all cleared up and the sun was shining so off I went, down to the beach, walking shoes and back pack on.  Both have been a real blessing this week.  The shoes (just Karrimor ones, nothing special) have given my feet great support and the back pack (just a small one) holds money, roll up mac, sun cream, book, etc, very comfortably.  The tide was out and, I think, pretty much on the turn so I strolled right by the edge down to the estuary and back.  On the way back someone caught up with me and, lo and behold, it was my friend, Faith!  She and her husband have a cottage a bit further down the coast and they had come to Southwold for the day with a couple of friends.  What are the chances, eh?  If it had just been her and hubby, I'd have suggested a coffee together, but as she had friend with her, I didn't like to.  Maybe next time.

I carried on after a refreshing chat, putting on my mac as it started to rain lightly, but that lasted something like five minutes before the sun came out again - the worst was out at sea where it looked very black and you could see the rain falling.

After lunch, I wandered up and down the high street and just bought some Southwold rock to take back.  I gave the item I was thinking about a miss because I liked it but I didn't really love it.  Then it was back to the shed to watch some Wimbledon.

As expected, the fish and chips was so delicious.  Freshly cooked in beef dripping, the flavour was wonderful.  No wonder it is a popular place and, as they fry to order, there was quite a group waiting but fifteen minutes or so later, I had my order and ten minutes after that I was tucking in.

Another coincidence - when I went on Facebook in the evening, there was a photo of an ex colleague who retired the same time as I did (but who is back teaching on and off) leaning against one of the beach huts by the pier.  She was here for the day with an aunt who lives not too far away.  Three of us, all from the same mid Essex primary school in the same holiday town on the same day!

The packing is pretty much done now with just a few bits and bobs left out.  When I'm dressed, I'll get it all into the car and then lock up the shed and take the key back to Suffolk Secrets before coming back (maybe the long way) to collect the car and leave.

And that will be my holiday over.  It's been fantastic but it will also be fantastic to get home again too.  In three and a half weeks I will be off again, this time to France on my Unexpected Holiday.  What a gadabout!

I know the house will be nice and clean because the cleaners were in yesterday and the garden will be fine as people between them have kept it watered.  There will be some weeding but that won't take too long.  There will be some washing too - I have a big bag of clothes to deal with so fingers crossed it is nice and warm this afternoon so it all dries well.

Friday, 12 July 2019

Friday

Good morning.  Long entry alert!  Text and photo heavy!

On my last day here at Southwold, I realise I haven't said much about where I'm staying.
When I booked it, it was called the Garden House but somewhere since then the name changed to Garden Studio.  A sensible change as it certainly isn't a house, more like a glorified shed.  No, that's not at all fair, it's really pleasant, very comfortable, well laid out with just a few personal niggles and the bed is just about the most comfy holiday cottage bed I have ever slept in.

However - garden?  No way (although I suppose the whole area was probably a garden long ago)!  It's actually sited up a narrow gravel road off between the High Street and Victoria Street so perfectly placed for everything.  One or two minutes to the shops, three or four to the coast but, because of where it is, pretty private and away from any madding crowds.  Not lovely though as it's behind the shops and you know what back of shops can be like.  However, it is perfectly safe, the other cottages are a mix of holiday and residential and, huge, great, enormous plus, it has its own off road parking.  A bit tight but absolutely fine!

Inside is just one room with a separate (tiny) loo/shower room.  The cooking area has enough in the way of tools/equipment, although personally I would prefer a little more working space, more than two rings in a small hob, and one empty cupboard for my own food would have been welcomed.
See what I mean!

As I said, the bed (a pull down bed that I just left down all week) is great

. . . but the lack of clothes space is the weakest point in the whole place.  I found it was not quite enough and it's supposed to accommodate two!
The living area is great.  Roomy and comfortable.  No complaints there whatsoever.  Oh, yes, one.  A little coffee table would have been nice.

Looking down from the front door:

And back up again:

Then, through a French window (that sticks at the bottom when you try to open it), a little courtyard for sitting out.  I didn't, it wasn't that sort of weather at the right times, but it was nice to have the door open to let the fresh air in.

I've described Southwold as 'sleepy' and so it is early mornings and evenings too.  During the day, the High Street and the shops are bustling but you don't have to go too far away to lose most of the crowds.  I'm sure it is more crowded once schools are out but right now it is perfect and I guess (at risk of sounding a bit snobby which I don't mean to) the lack of 'popular' amenities wouldn't attract those out for a noisy night life.  It doesn't have much (if any) in the way of  the usual seaside stuff - night clubs, amusement arcades, funfairs, marinas, etc, and you have to search for ice cream/seaside rock/bucket and spade kiosks or shops and, for me, that all suits me down to the ground.

So I've seen young families happily doing seasidy things with buckets and spades, people walking dogs which have to be kept on a lead in certain parts of the shore (great), people enjoying their beach huts (which you can hire by the day - might do that next time) and people of a 'certain age', retired and enjoying life, strolling around in sensible shoes and clothing looking, like me, perfectly happy with their lot.

The beach is beautiful, a mixture of sand and pebbly patches (but hardly any shells).  Most of it is well washed by the tide twice a day, there's a beach cleaning scheme going on and there are designated 'safe places' for swimming with a lifeguard on duty whenever people are swimming in the sea between the flags.



I know Southwold has taken some stick for fighting to stay as it is now but I wish them all power in their fight.  There aren't enough places like this and those who want the livelier type of break have plenty of places to choose from.

Yesterday we had some rain here so the day started slowly as I stayed in, pottering about, doing a bit of cooking, sorting, tidying up, etc.  I went for a sand stroll again (lovely) before coming home for lunch.  I hadn't taken lunch with me because it hadn't looked promising but the sun came out and it was gorgeous so I could have!  Never mind.
The market was up again and I saw some garden chairs that I truly coveted and, if I had been at home, I'd have bought at least one, stuff the price.  For what they are, they're not shockingly expensive anyway.  But I'd have had no way of getting it/them home.
Aren't they gorgeous?





In the afternoon I spent some time looking around the Church of St Edmund, Southwold. 


I started having a good nosey round and then saw a notice saying that there would be a free tour of the church every Thursday afternoon, starting at two thirty.  What luck.  So I waited and joined the group and it was well worth it; the guide pointed out lots of things I would never have noticed or seen the significance of by myself.  I took photos and will do a separate post about it.  Here's just a few photos.



Sue (from The Cottage at the End of a Lane), have you ever visited it?

As it is last day, I'm just going to do all my favourite stuff from this week.  A stroll along the beach to the Blyth estuary (while I am there I will have an ice cream and look round the RNLI thingies) and back again right along to the pier and back to the middle (depending on the weather - it's raining as I type).  Then I will do a bit of shopping for little gifts for folks and maybe for me as well.  I did catch sight of something in the amber shop that wasn't really exhorbitant but I'm not sure.

Then I have to pack and I'd like to load up the car with as much as possible to make for an easy morning tomorrow .  Packing to go home is always so much easier and quicker than packing to come, isn't it?  I also ought to just give the place a quick wipe around and sweep the floor.  I know they properly clean places between tenants but I always like to clear the worst evidence!

And I will finish off with fish and chips from the Little Fish Shop and a free beer from the Adnams shop (we were all given a voucher after the tour).

Tomorrow, I may not post until I get home later in the day.  I should be home by early afternoon.  All's well with the house and garden, I gather, and I'm looking forward to seeing how much things have grown (except the weeds - I'm not looking forward to them at all).
And now it's time for coffee.  Enjoy your day, everyone; I am sure I will.