Tuesday 13 June 2017


Yesterday was the very best day in a long, long while for the simple reason that Beth heard that not only had she done extremely well in her last degree course, she has now been offered her degree.

BA (hons) humanities with literature, First Class.   Ooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Studying with the Open University has some advantages but it does require huge amounts of commitment, persistence and determination and an awful lot of very hard work over a long time.  It's not been easy, in fact most of the time it has been a real uphill struggle in many different ways.  She stuck at it, however, and she has discovered (or re-discovered) her love of literature and, especially, poetry along the way.
I am so, so, so proud of her.  I am anyway but I am sure you know what I mean.

Moving from the sublime to the - er - less sublime, I solved a slight mystery yesterday.  For a while, there's been a funny pong in my car.  At first I put it down to damp grass from the mower or strimmer and told myself I must clean out the back at some point.  However, the last few days have been really stinky and I got quite worried so yesterday I cleared out the boot.  Nothing.  I investigated the inside of shopping bags in case there was a stray carrot or apple that had escaped.  Nope.
Last of all I took everything out of the allotment bag and right at the bottom was a poly bag (fortunately) with some old veg peelings I had intended to take to the allotment and forgot about.  Urgh . . .
So that's now in the bin and I soaked my car freshener hanging thingy in some essential oil and my hopes are that the pong will have gone by this morning now that the source has been removed and that any aroma will be pleasantly acceptable!  I will find out soon.

It was nice down the allotment.  Not too hot and with a refreshing breeze.  I tidied up the rhubarb patch which had got rather weedy, strimmed more of the plot next door that is unmanned right now and looked as if it was taking over if we didn't do something about it and then settled to more clearing of that last patch.  Then I watered before coming home (worrying about the smell!).
You have to look carefully to see things growing but they are - no, not weeds, real things to eat!

The potatoes have flowers
A weed free rhubarb patch
The lemon cucumber
One of the yellow courgettes
Baby corn
Little apples
Mange tout - half time score:  Pigeons 1: Clarks 20 (at least)!
The sugar snaps are also looking pretty healthy now.

After doing my duty at school, I got out the ironing board and now several loads of washing are nicely smooth and stored where they should be.  Gotta love an empty ironing basket.

Nearly forgot to say - at home, the second planting of runner beans started showing too - three to start with although one seems to be a bit alternative as the roots are growing up!  Three is enough to fill the gaps (a few more would be better) and any others will go down to the allotment rather than be wasted.  The harvest will be a bit later but will go on longer so that's OK.

So yesterday had one huge, great, big, enormous happy thing and lots of other small pleasures.  A lovely day.

Today I don't have any commitments until tuition after school.  I shall do my stint at the allotment again, after which I will come home and check through the planning and then set to and make some strawberry, rhubarb and cranberry jam.

Doesn't that all sound nice and homey!


  1. The allotment is looking great. Congratulations to Beth. She's done so well. Proud mama xx

  2. Congratulations to Beth. How long did it take her to complete the degree?

  3. It's awesome and the girl's done well! Congratulations!

    Hope the pong has evaporated now, it's horrible when you can't find where it's coming from and imagination starts playing. I once had an awful smell in the kitchen, searched high and low, couldn't figure where from, eventually found it in the top oven, forgot to clean the grill pan; I know, terrible housekeeping but out of sight out of mind!!

  4. Rachel: very definitely proud mama here. It's wonderful. Thanks for the allotment comment. I'm quite chuffed with it too, and it's getting easier now all the stuff has been cleared and disposed of.
    Eileen: She started her first OU course in about 1998-ish, then there was quite a gap after her foundation course (I think) (and lots of 'life' stuff' and over the last four or five years she has slogged at it. Thank you for your kind comments and I will ask her if I got it right here.
    Annabeth ; it was truly dreadful. I worried about dead animals somewhere! I will find out if it's gone soon, when I go to t'allotment. Fingers crossed.
    Yes, she's done so very well- thank you very much.

    J x

  5. Congratulations Beth!!! I really admire anyone who can work that hard and stay so dedicated even when real life has to be handled too - truly impressive!

  6. Thanks, Chrissie - yes, it's a real achievement and I'm so proud of her.
    J x