Wednesday, 15 July 2020


Good morning.  We have sun but I doubt it will stay around.  Not a problem although I'd prefer it not to rain - during the day, anyway.

Yesterday was a funny old day.  In the end, after all, I went for a lazy day and ended up watching all the BBC episodes of Pride and Prejudice on Netflix, which was most enjoyable.
And that was about it, really.

It's a more energetic day today.
After an early tuition session, I am booked for a visit to Hyde Hall, getting there at eleven (so leaving around ten thirty) and I will take a portable breakfast with me.  I usually have breakfast around eleven although I suppose it is debatable whether it should be called 'breakfast' at that time.

I expect I will be home by two and have a quick lunch planned, followed by time down the allotment, watering and weeding, before coming home for dinner.

And that's about it.  It should be a very pleasant day, fingers crossed, and I hope yours is good too.  xx

Tuesday, 14 July 2020


Morning, everyone.  To my surprise, it's been raining overnight and is still slightly drizzling now.  That's great - with the current warmth, it should being on the veggies no end.

Yesterday was a beautiful day.  We had loads of sunshine, a gentle breeze and warmth.

On an impulse, I went off to Matalan first thing.  If it had seemed busy, I'd have come straight home again but I'm rarely seen it so empty (or so many parking spaces in the car park) so I grabbed a trolley and had a good trawl round.
Yes, of course I spent!  Firstly, they had some very nice canvas-y/trainer-y type footwear.  I wear a lot of jeans, etc, nowadays and that sort of thing goes really well with jeans/jeggings/etc.
I also got some more trainer socks, another nightie (I needed one) and, to my delight, a plain white rectangular plate that wasn't absolutely ginormous and didn't cost an arm and a leg.  I've been looking for one for ages and might just possibly have drawn a bit of attention to myself by uttering 'oh, great' rather loudly, had the shop been more full.
I can also say with confidence that not only am I a Sainsbury's 10, I am also a Matalan 10 - as far as trousery things are concerned anyway.  Amazingly, they had some 27" trousers (they hardly ever do) so I had a look and found some the same style as some I had in a 16, the first trousers I had bought for decades.  I'd been looking for some smarter style ones so I was very pleased.

Once home, I got going with the tools on the little front strip and now if has that neat, freshly turned over look.  I wish it would stay like that!  There's weeds coming up between the paving slabs and my lovely neighbour invested in a sort of hot air weed burner thing that she said I could borrow.  I think I may very well take her up on that, for the back garden as well.  Very kind indeed of her.

Later on I met up with Beth down the allotment.  We got the weeding done, prepped the ground, built a cane cage and planted the dwarf French beans so fingers crossed for September.

The whole plot has rather lost its neat and tidy appearance as things are getting quite big now, but it's looking promising.
Beth dug up some more potatoes and picked some runners; she shared the potatoes but the beans were her turn as I had the last lot.
We investigated the courgettes and decided that by the weekend they should be ready for a first picking.
A few photos.

I was so tired yesterday evening that after fighting to stay awake for half an hour, I took myself up to bed at eight, was out like a light and didn't wake until nearly six this morning.  I must have needed that sleep!

Today I have a bit of tuition and then the diary is blank.  I might go to the allotment and carry on with the never ending weeding, or I might sort out a few cupboards in my bedroom that sadly need some TLC.  I'll have a think.

Have a lovely day and I hope we all get some sunshine today.  Stay safe and well.  xx

Monday, 13 July 2020


Good morning, everyone.  We had lovely weather yesterday and it looks as if today will be just as good.  Nice.

Yesterday was pleasant but marred by (excuse the TMI) me obviously eating something that shot straight through.  I have no idea what, there was no pain or cramping, I just had to stay close by the loo so the allotment thing was deferred until this afternoon.
I was absolutely fine, just very tired.

I spent some of the day in the kitchen, sorting out meals for both yesterday and today (and tidied up straight away which was amazing!) and the rest of the time was mainly spent watching rubbish on You Tube in between sleeping.  It was all very restful and it was good that I could rest and relax.

I did one gardening thing - I got all the tomato plants' bottom leaves pruned off so now there are none touching the ground and it should improve the air flow around the other leaves.  We've had a few blight warnings recently so I'm on my guard.

I've just taken a few early morning photos - three fruits and a promise!

 A bit early but delicious, all the same
 Plenty of berries to come in the container, although all the others are over now.
The next one . . . with what looks like hundreds waiting in the wings.

It's the waiting time now.  I wonder when the first fruits will ripen.  Dad's already had a few from his.

Today there's just one thing in the diary and that's allotment this afternoon when we will get those dwarf French beans planted, fingers crossed.

I also need to do a bit of planning and just tidy up a bit.  Maybe I'll change the bedding too, I'll see how I feel. 

Time for a second coffee so I will stop.  Thanks for reading, have a great day and stay safe.  xx

Sunday, 12 July 2020


Good morning, everyone.  This morning I have woken up happy after a Saturday that was so good and a brilliant night's sleep.

It's chilly outside and there's a bit of a mist.  The sun is shining, the mist will burn away and it's going to be such a beautiful day.
(I live in hope - feeling really positive this morning)

I shall be sitting out here later on, enjoying the green-ness of my little domain!

(Eileen, I grossly over estimated the height of the grass - it's closer to a metre tall; being in the raised bed makes it look taller than it really is.)

I mentioned the little chilli plant I brought back from Dad's.  Here it is.  You see what I mean although, in fact, it's looking much healthier now than at the start of the week.  It's greened up and thrown out a few leaves at the tip so I reckon it will be fine although it would be nice if it bushed out a bit more.  I have absolutely no idea what 'heat' the fruit will be so the first taste will be an adventure!

Yesterday morning I set off for Sainsbury's with the aim of getting there by eight.  A few months ago, that would probably have been a bit rash, risking queues and hold-ups to get in but things have normalised for now and there were very few there comparatively speaking.  Lots of masks!

I had two main aims and a few less significant ones.  The biggies were to get some Worcestershire sauce and to 'look at jeans' as it said on my shopping list.

So I looked and I saw and I selected and into the trolley went two pairs of jeans and some knee length denim shorts - ALL SIZE TEN!!
(not shouting)
If you've always been a slender type, you may not understand but a large part of my adult life has been spent yo-yo-ing between sizes twenty and twenty eight (really) so ten feels totally unreal, out of this world, an impossible dream.
And, yes, they fit.

Somehow, a top, some trainer socks and some canvas shoes also jumped in to keep the jeans company.  How unfortunate!

I didn't find any Worcestershire sauce (is this the latest hard-to-get thing?) but I did get some Hendersons sauce which is better really as it's the vegetarian equivalent so I can use it without worrying about Beth having any.

Then I went on to B&Q and got, as Diane suggested, some French dwarf bean seeds, having discussed it with Beth (she was having a wakeful early morning too) and getting a delighted reaction from her.

I managed four loads of washing after I got home, three dried on the line, one in the dryer and all ironed and put away.  My get up and go really has returned!

Today I will be meeting Beth down the allotment this afternoon and we will be prepping the ground where the potatoes were and getting those beans planted.  It's pretty much the latest we could do it so fingers will be crossed for a frost free autumn, but I'm glad we are using the space and not just letting it lie.

At home, I think I will be taking off the bottom leaves of the tomatoes which is a task in itself, given how many plants there are!  Also, weeding at the front seems to be the new elephant in the room so I must settle to that.  It won't take long, it just needs doing!

It's going to be a super day - for us all, I hope.  Stay safe and be happy.  xx

Saturday, 11 July 2020


Good morning, everyone.  It's too early to tell but BBC weather tells me that today will be nice and sunny although not necessarily all that warm.   OK by me!

Yesterday was a day of two halves.
In the morning the lovely Sharon arrived, mask on, to sort out my and Beth's hair.  Oh, it was lovely!  Because it had grown longer than I'm used to, I was able to slightly change the style and I'm very, very happy with it.  We're back to six weekly appointments now, assuming all remains well.
Poor Sharon has been working her socks off and she said it's lovely to keep being greeted with delighted faces and welcoming words.  She's everyone's favourite person right now and I can understand why.

As Beth left afterwards, in came my students.  It was another assessment session, this week focusing on verbal reasoning and writing and now I know exactly what we need to start on.  They've very useful, these assessments.

It was a dear friend's birthday today.  Because she is shielding (and will be doing so for the foreseeable future, for health reasons), I wasn't able to see her, but I dropped a clean, wiped-over-with-anti-bac-stuff gift and card from me and Beth before stopping off at the allotment nearby to check it and pick some broad beans.

All's well there.  The yellow courgettes aren't big enough to cut yet but give them four or five days and some warmth and they will be.  Cheesy courgette fritters - mmmmmmm.  The beetroots are coming on, the corn isn't quite as high as an elephant's eye but it's doing its best to get there and there are flowers on the runners. 
We're leaving the rhubarb now.
As for the apples and pears - wow!

It's all going well at home too.
I've cleared the strawberries now, apart from the ones I bought this spring, and will get new plants come the autumn.  The ones I put in the pot are doing extra well - they are long fruiting and also trailers, which I didn't realise when I got them.  There's definitely some fruit still to come here - even the runners are flowering!

In the meanwhile, I finally got round to planting the chilli plants out a short time ago (way too late but better than not at all, I guess), inspired by a rather lanky and feeble looking one that Dad's gardener, Colin, left in his greenhouse.  If it comes to nothing, no problem, but I think a bit of TLC will work wonders and there are three others, much smaller but looking healthy and starting to flower. 

The runners are starting to flower and as for the mini cucumber, I cut one and the next day there's another to take its place.  The skin can be quite tough but the actual insides are lovely, fresh and crisp.

I think I need to give everything a liquid feed today.  They can't run on empty, after all.

First thing, though, I'm off to Sainsburys because earlier in the week my jeans nearly fell down so I need to see if the next size down is a possibility and I like the jeans Sainsbury's sells.  A few other items may jump in the trolley as well, you never know!

I might stop off at B&Q and see if it's not too crowded.  One row of allotment potatoes has now been dug up and I was wondering if there's any available 'bedding' veg that could go in there.  There's room for a couple of rows of something.  It's worth a look, anyway, don't you think?

This afternoon, I need to tackle the front strip as it is very weedy again.

So it looks as if today will be very pleasant and, hopefully, I will sleep a bit better tonight.  Fingers crossed.

Be safe and stay well, everyone.  xx

Friday, 10 July 2020


Good morning, everyone.  A very happy Friday to us all!
We've had more rain overnight and right now it's dismal but Beeb tells me that it will brighten up and we should get sunshine this afternoon.  Fingers crossed.

Yesterday didn't start all that well.  I drove over to Jackie's (about half an hour's journey but some of that is going through town, which always takes time) to be greeted by a carless drive and no answer to my knock. 
Then I got a text from Jackie saying she was at my house, where was I?
So I drove back, Jackie waited in her car and all was well.  It gave us a right old giggle!

Once J had left, I walked round to Morrisons for just a few items and, amazingly, came home with just a few items.  It was a bit annoying that the main thing I went for - Worcestershire sauce - wasn't available, all sold out.  Drat and drabbit; I use my Lea and Perrins (or equivalent) quite a lot so it's top of the new list.

I spent the rest of the day doing the usual daily stuff.

Today is exciting because it is HAIR DAY!!! 
Then my new eleven plussers come for their distanced tuition.
Finally it's the turn of the cleaners.

Lindsey has heard that she can resume personal training in her little gym in the attic under certain restrictions which she already follows anyway so that will be great.  I have no fears about this whatsoever, unlike going back to the gym for a swim where I will need to hear from the gym what safety things they will have set in place before making up my mind.  Having said that, I have missed my swims very much indeed.  Fingers crossed.

Stay safe, everyone, and wishing us all some sunshine today.  xx

Thursday, 9 July 2020


Good morning!
It's still raining here!  We've had quite a lot, not always heavy and not continuous but enough to soak everywhere and it doesn't appear to be going anywhere today.  The garden looks very happy and I bet the allotment does too;  I'm so glad I got the grass cut!

Yesterday went well.  Resumed tuition was fine, hedged around with hand gel and wipes.  PT was delivered online and my shoulder is much better, so much so that we are going to up the time a bit from now on.  We'd cut it to half an hour but I think it's ready to increase again.  I'll be careful!

I also had a good old chat with Chris later on in the afternoon.  Beth was supposed to come round earlier but she wasn't able to come.  Maybe today instead or, definitely, tomorrow morning as, bliss of blisses, Sharon is coming round to do our hair.  Fantastic!

That's tomorrow.  Today I'm off round to Jackie's for a chat this morning and it is the SW online Zoom meeting at five.
Between those times I want to tidy up the house because I won't have time tomorrow morning before the cleaners come and I still have that perishing ironing which is now assuming elephant in the room significance!  Given that there's a pile that needs washing soon, I really need to clear the basket.

So that's today.  It should be very pleasant, despite the unpromising weather forecast.  Sat safe and well, everyone.  xx