Monday 31 August 2020

Bank Holiday Monday

Good morning!  Yesterday remained a bit chilly but we had no rain and the breeze gradually died down through the day.  I did turn on the heating in the evening because I was tired and felt cold, but I was being a bit wimpish really.
This morning continues dry and it looks as if we will maybe have some sunshine.  I hope so anyway.

Yesterday was a lazy day, one of those where I am struggling to think what I did really.

At half past ten, I popped out to the shops to get a few items, nothing particularly major, and came back with a lovely fruit bowl.  It's one of those where they have taken a slice of tree trunk and hollowed out the bowl, leaving the back on the outside.  I love wooden things and particularly the more natural looking things and this, in a fairly cheapo shop, called out to me.  I think it looks great filled with fruit and maybe, come Christmas, I can fill it with baubles of some other festive tut!

In the afternoon I went down to take a look at the allotment.  Oh, dear, it really is a mess now.  Those weeds have fought back and the rain has just encouraged them.  The row of runner beans is pretty much over, both productively and physically too.  Most of the tomato plants are leaning over which is my fault as I didn't stake them up properly; next year I will plant them in a block with a sort of cage construction, much more supportive and less inclined to topple.
The courgettes have been a bit disappointing, most of the fruit developing a blossom end rot and although the butternut squash leaves have spread everywhere, the are no signs of any squash!

Having said that, I came home with carrots, little courgettes, plenty of tomatoes, some raspberries and loads of apples and pears.  The pears are all wrapped up in kitchen paper and on a tray to ripen and I will need to check them once a week so that I can get them out as they soften.  The apples are now both tangy and sweet, juicy and delicious.  The raspberries are in the freezer and the tomatoes are on the window ledge and I must process some more for the freezer.  I think the next batch can be chopped tomatoes.

This week is quite busy but I do plan to pop down for the odd hour here and there and start tackling the autumn tidy up.  I can take one little section at a time so it won't feel too daunting.

Today, the page in the diary looks totally full but most of it is where I was working out the timetable for tuition - my new term starts properly next Monday.  The only commitment I have today is a swim at ten so after that I will set to and give the car a good and long overdue clear out.  Goodness knows how long that will take but I will be glad to get it all done.  I wonder where I have put the extension cable so I can sweep the carpets?

No bank holiday outings here but then everyday is a bank holiday nowadays!  I hope you enjoy yours.  xx

Sunday 30 August 2020


Good morning, everyone!
What a chilly day it was yesterday.  It wasn't just me - Dad in Herts and John (brother) in the Borders also had their heating on yesterday.  In August!!

After all the shopping I mentioned yesterday, putting it all away, generally getting sorted out, etc, I snuggled down in my recliner chair wrapped in my owl fleece and, as expected, promptly dozed off.  It was much needed after a poor night's sleep.

The curtains were drawn early, I lit a few candles and had a lovely, lazy evening.

This morning I set aside the summer dressing gown and I'm wrapped up in my warm, winter one so there's no need for the heating.  Beeb weather says a maximum of 16C and a moderate breeze which isn't great for summer but I'll keep busy and there should be no need for the heating, fingers crossed.

I don't have a lot of plans.  I'm going to a precinct to get one or two specific things but the rest of the day is for homey things, sorting out piles of clutter, making sure the kitchen stays in an acceptable state and generally preparing for the week to come.  I have a little bit of planning, both tuition and meal so I'll get that done and dusted today.

A bit of a nothing day really but that's OK.  There's always something to do and I found a Kindle copy of Lark Rise to Candleford, an old favourite for decades so I can always immerse myself in the doings of Laura and her family.
Have a good day and be warm, safe and happy.  xx

Saturday 29 August 2020


Good morning, everyone.  The day started off cold, damp and windy but now it's cold, sunny and windy instead.  Well, chillier than one would expect anyway.

Apologies for the lateness.  I decided I would do my weekly shop at Salisbury's and I find it's a lot easier earlier on the morning so I aimed to get there for eight.

I managed to find everything on the list and, me being me and Sainsbury's being Sainsbury's, I managed to find a pair of lighter blue jeans and a blue top to go with it, both size tens (yay!) and then a duffel coat (NOT a ten as I want it to go over my winter jumpers).
The top was an impulse buy bit it was so pretty and so me that I had to.  The other two are items on my clothes list.  I now have enough jeans at the right size so won't be looking for any more.  As for the coat - well, the other day I went through my winder coats, etc, and found that pretty much what I've been wearing over the last two years is now way too big.  I have my lovely long Windsmoor coat that I've had for thirty years and only worn a few times and which is now perfect and I have the jackets and duffel coat I inherited from Mum which are fine but a bit tatty now.  So I've been looking for something warm and coaty-like but not too long.  When I saw this coat, I just knew it was for me.  I love duffel style coats and this one has a furry trim around the hood which I also love.  It wasn't outrageously expensive for what it is either.

I've found a photo on the Tu website so here it is.

Grey Faux Fur Hooded Duffel Coat With Wool

I just love it.  It has to be dry cleaned but - well, you can't have everything, can you?

Yesterday went very well.  Chris was unwell and couldn't come over but I had my afternoon catch up chat and my student came too which was great because now we have an agreement as to what we will do.  It's so much better to get the student onside.

Dave and Anna came round for dinner and we had a lovely time - well, I did anyway - catching up with what's been going on.  When they'd gone, I felt really tired, so went to bed and promptly woke up again.  Very annoying.  I didn't have a very good night's sleep so I'll probably spend the afternoon snuggled up in my owly fleece which is 99% certain to send me off to sleep.

I've just looked out and the sun has gone,. the wind is strong and it just looks chilly.  I'm glad I'm indoors.

Friday 28 August 2020


Morning, everyone.  How are things?
It's still dull and gloomy outside and the forecast is for heavy rain showers and a gentle breeze which doesn't sound all that encouraging really.  Another day for staying inside, I think.

Yesterday worked out well.  It ended up busier than expected but none the worse for that.

The early morning swim was great.  Seven is obviously the time to go - when I got in the pool there were seven of us so loads and loads of room.   After ten minutes I looked round and there were five and by the time I got out there were three of us.  I'm definitely booking that time from now on!

There were various chores to get on with at home and then, after lunch, I drove around to the Peugeot garage to arrange for an MOT and service.  The very pleasant lady booked me in for next Wednesday and the car will be picked up early morning and dropped back in the evening.  I will have to tidy it up - it's very messy after trips to the allotment and, as they do a valet as part of the service, I need to make sure that they can.  I've been meaning to get it sorted out for a couple of weeks so it's good that I have to.  No more procrastination!

I then drove on to a shopping area (what do you call it when it's not indoors - precinct?, mall? - no, retail park, that's the word! and meandered around Dunelm and M&S Food Hall, just for fun really.
There was very little temptation in Dunelm although I do enjoy looking around the kitchen section and in M&S I bought some nice looking grapes and a tray of mixed pizza slices - half tomorrow and half for the freezer.  Yum!

Pizza from Ocado: Shop
Yesterday was the second Slimming World back-to-group meeting.  It all went much more smoothly and Jennifer had time to do a proper talk after the weigh ins, partly because she started proceedings a bit earlier, as soon as she was ready.  As last week, it was lovely to see people again.
I was very pleased and very surprised by my weigh in - details in t'other blog.

Once home again, I was in the middle of cooking my dinner when Dave and Anna turned up.  As it wasn't that convenient, we fixed that they are coming over this evening for dinner and a good old chat and catch up!  I'm looking forward to that very much.

Today Chris is coming round this morning and this afternoon one of my students' mums is coming round to put me up to date on the support they have been giving/receiving during lockdown.  It should be very helpful indeed.
In between these two the cleaners should come and make my downstairs all lovely and shiny clean so I don't have to do it before Dave and Anna get here.
I really ought to change the bedding today as well but that may slip back until tomorrow and I had got it in the diary to spend a couple of hours at the allotment but that's not happening now.

Well, I'd better get going.  I have a load of tomatoes cooking in Thermione to make a sauce for what I'm making for dinner and it needs dealing with.
Have a great day, whatever you have planned.  xx

Thursday 27 August 2020


Good morning, everyone.  The strong winds finally died down and the sun came out yesterday to make it a very pleasant late afternoon/evening.  Today it says light rain showers and a gentle breeze and the rain isn't expected until later so here's hoping.

Yesterday ended up as quite a busy day.  I did the early tuition which was most enjoyable before getting the washing out on the line to dry in the brisk breeze.
I decided to pop out to one of the local shopping precincts to have a trawl around Home Sense if it wasn't too busy.  It wasn't so in I went and spent a most enjoyable half hour or so wandering round.  Of course, I spent.  I got some animal bag clip - the clips were woodland animal shapes, I mean, and I'm always running short of bag clips so this was useful.  There were a huge selection of scented candles in pots.  Did I need any - of course now, but that didn't stop me.  I also found a basket for the bedroom and some skinny syrups for my breakfast waffles, pancakes, buns and porridge.
Then I popped over the car park to Matalan and came out with three very simple and plain T shirts and a nightie.

Kikkerland ABS Steel Spring Woodlands Bag Clip, Set of 6, Multi-Colour
The bag clips.  Cute!

After lunch, I carried on with the washing and got another load on the line before leaving for a later than usual PT session with Lindsey (great fun) before detouring to the allotment on the way home again.  The ironing got finished in the evening.

To my great relief, there was very little damage.  The sunflowers that hadn't already fallen over were still standing, nearly all the tomatoes are now down or listing but they will still grow and will be out in a month or so anyway and as for the runner beans - yes, they had taken a battering but the end that would have gone was supported by a branch from the plum tree so it was still upright.  If it had fallen, it would have landed on the baby corn and that's over anyway.
It all looks a bit tatty but I'm not fussed.  The Autumn tidy up really isn't too far away and it will all get sorted then.

Today is a much easier day.  No tuition, for a start.  I have a swim booked for seven this morning and it's the Slimming World meeting this evening but between is an empty page.  I did have a friend coming round midday but she had to pull out later on yesterday.  I think I might do a bit more shopping and I do need to book the car in for its MOT so I'll stop off at the garage on the way.

I'm looking forward to a good rest today after three comparatively busy days.  I'm getting old!  :-)

Wednesday 26 August 2020


Morning, everyone.  It's a fine but blustery morning but we don't seem to have had strong enough winds to cause any damage round here.  It might be a different matter down the allotment, mind you, where I expect the sunflowers will have been flattened.  Note to self - stake them up better next year!  I ought to make a detour down there after personal training to check.

Yesterday was nice, despite some heavy rain at times morning and evening.  Tuition went well, as did aquarobics, after which I had lunch and then decided it really was time to sort out all my old tuition papers.  I had filed away the students' previous work in plastic folders and there was a great stack of them in the cupboard, all perfectly useless now, not needed gain and a waste of space.
It took a good couple of hours to go through everything, shredding anything in the least bit personal (not very much) and tearing up the rest into bits to go in the paper sack which will be collected tomorrow so it's a good time to get that all done.

I also replaced my current students' rather battered and re-used plastic folders with new ones, sorted all the old stuff out of them and took note of un-started work sheets, etc.  Most of them now have their planning for the next session done and dusted which I will appreciate in the next fortnight or so.

Finally, I went through my pencil case, chucked out old and battered pens, sharpened all my pencils and generally got it all in good order again.

There's now room in my cupboard so today I will get all the study books, etc, into proper order again and make a note of any gaps there may be.

Doing that felt great!

I didn't bother to wash my hair after aquarobics as it didn;t get soaked and I wasn't going out again so it dried any old way with all the natural waves.  Walking past the mirror later, I did a bit of a double take and when Beth arrived to pick up her allotment haul, she thought, for just a split second, that she saw Mum.  It helped that I was wearing a warm turtle neck jumper, very like the ones she often wore.
There's no getting away from it - now the weight is off, instead of looking like my Dad and brothers, I look significantly more like my Mum, especially with my hair all wavy.
It'll be properly dried this morning; it was more than a bit disconcerting yesterday.  Nice, but not entirely comfortable, if you see what I mean.

Today I have an early tuition session and then not much until personal training later than usual.  In between, I will finish off sorting out all my tuition stuff ready for the new school year and do some washing.  Providing there's no rain, everything should dry really quickly which will be good.  Hopefully, I can get the ironing done this evening too.

So that's today.  It should be a good 'un.    Stay safe, everyone, and I hope this strong wind hasn't done any damage your way.  xx

Tuesday 25 August 2020


Good morning
It's nearly five and it is pitch black out there - the days are getting noticeably shorter now and I've started drawing the curtains around eight o'clock to shut out the night.  It's raining too - I'm glad I didn't do much yesterday - it would have been wasted effort.

After my garden tomato haul yesterday, I decided I really ought to go to harvest at the allotment, especially as today's forecast wasn't all that encouraging.
So I did and came back with . . .

. . . all of this and
some raspberries (which I forgot to include in the original photo).

So I spent the afternoon dealing with it all.

Some of it is bagged up ready for Beth to pick it up this morning.

I now have four pots of passata and two pots of peeled whole tomatoes in the freezer, gave a bagful to my next door neighbour and have plenty for salads, etc.  And there will be more in a few days, of course.

My share of the runner beans and carrots formed my dinner veg.  The runners are slowing down now and there aren't many flowers, either on the garden plants or down the allotment.  There aren't many carrots left either - I want to plant more next year, start them earlier and do several sowings.

The pears are now wrapped in kitchen towel and laid on a tray.  I will check them once a week and use them as they soften.  Several years ago we forgot to check and, when we did finally look, every single pear was well beyond the point of no return.  Very sad.
There's plenty more to pick too.

The apples, which will need cutting up before eating, will provide snacks and desserts for a week or so and the raspberries will probably go into the freezer.  There's loads more apples but they can stay on the tree for now - they won't hurt.

Today, as already mentioned, the weather forecast isn't great with high winds expected to join the heavy rain so I expect the afternoon will be spend indoors.  Before then, I have a tuition sessions and then aquarobics down the gym.  That'll keep me out of trouble!

Neither Chris or I can make our chat today so it's been scheduled for Friday instead.

So that's today - I'm looking forward to it.  Have a lovey day too and stay safe and well.  xx

Monday 24 August 2020


Good morning, everyone.  I'm home after a very easy drive across country.  The first thing I did after unloading the luggage was to pick tomatoes - I was only away three days!!

. . . and there's more that will be ready tomorrow.
I shall definitely have to start processing some for the freezer and the winter months, won't I?

Today I will sort out the washing, etc, generally unpack and then deal with the tomatoes.  That will take a while.  I'll peel some and freeze them whole and some will make passata.  It's a lovely feeling, being able to set produce aside for the wintry months.

Not a long post today.  ( hope you all have a very pleasant and safe day.  xx

Sunday 23 August 2020


Good morning, everyone.  It's back to the usual time this morning as light is dawning.  It feels quite chilly so it is a slippers and dressing gown start to the day with a comforting coffee beside me.
I have this early morning routine at Dad's.  I wake up, go downstairs, turn on the kettle and, while it's heating, I empty the dishwasher from the overnight wash and set the table for breakfast, then make my coffee and come back up to the office to use the PC.
Dad usually wakes around nine so we have breakfast when he's up, washed, dressed, shaved and has watched the news highlights from the early morning which he records.

As I said yesterday, yesterday morning involved a trip first to Bob the Butcher - Bob Chapman's in Baldock, arguably the best butcher in the area - to stock up on a bit of meat for Dad's freezer and then on down the road to Tesco.  I like to take a look around now and again as Tesco has things that Morrison's doesn't.  Yesterday I came back with a few items for Dad plus magazine, sparkly pens (sparkly on the outside, not the ink), one of the most sensibly designed spiralisers I have seen (easy to clean) and some food items to take home.  Well worth going.

The rest of the day was very peaceful and homey.  While Dad do his Saturday clothes washing, I sorted out the meat and got the individual portions into the freezer before going down the garden to get some veg.  There were loads of tomatoes as Dad finds it tiring to get down to the end (it's a big garden) so doesn't pick every day, a good number of runner beans some of which were too old so they fed the compost heap and there was what turned out to be a cucumber, not a courgette, and a couple of leeks which were just about big enough to pull up.  A very nice haul.

In the afternoon, I prepped for dinner and then read my magazine and kindle.

Chris asked what I do with all the tomatoes. 
I use them in various ways - they are an all time favourite veg (fruit?) and I eat them like sweets, especially the sungolds which are so delicious.  I also use them in these ways:
Fried on toast or as a side for breakfast, lunch or dinner
Softened in a pan and then pushed through a sieve to make passata for use straight away or for the freezer.  This goes in all sorts of dishes.  It also makes the base for a sauce for things like pizza and hunter's chicken.
As a sub for a can of chopped tomatoes - better with skin removed, see below.
In salads, sliced and mixed in various ways
Finely chopped as an element of a salsa
They're really nice roasted with other Med veg and some garlic and herbs or in ratatouille
I peel them and freeze them whole for winter use.  Twenty seconds in a bowl with boiling water and the skins just slip off.  Much longer and the flesh starts coming off too so I do just a few at a time - it doesn't take long at all.
You can stuff the bigger ones - bit of cooked mince with some grated cheese on top - lovely!
Sliced, they make a nice layer in a lasagne-style main.  Layer of mince, layer of tomatoes, layer of courgette, layer of cheese, repeat . . .
I give some away to friends although more are now growing their own.  I took a bag of the Slimming World raffle tomatoes (I won the seeds in the raffle just before lockdown) to Jennifer, the group leader, last Thursday.
They make a wonderfully fresh tomato soup!
I'm sure there's other things too but the above is what comes straight to mind.

Today will be much the same as yesterday.  Gentle and restful.
I hope you have a good one too.  xx

Saturday 22 August 2020


It's nearly good afternoon, everyone.  Better late than never, I suppose!

Yesterday went pretty much according to plan.  Hair is now neat and tidy again, the house is clean, the ironing done and it was a good journey over to Dad's in the afternoon.

Apart from some early morning shopping for Dad, there are no particular plans for today.  I've been down the garden and picked what seemed like thousands of tomatoes (certainly more than a hundred), some runner beans, a courgette and a leek so that's the vegetables sorted for a few days.  This afternoon, I expect I will read my magazines and just chill.  It's a nice feeling.

I hope you're having a pleasant day too.  xx

Friday 21 August 2020


Good morning, everyone.  Yesterday turned out lovely after some initial cloudiness and today looks like being the same which is cheering. 

My student's mum cancelled the tuition session because she wanted to take the family to the beach (we're not a million miles away from places like Southend, Maldon, etc, here.  I didn't mind; I offer holiday sessions but don't expect attendance and the planning will hold until the next one.  We've agreed to wait now until the term starts as there's such a lot for mums to do leading up to the start of the new school year.  Luckily, the last remaining slot I have suits her very well indeed so that's my timetable all done and dusted for next term.  Excellent.

Jackie turned up for lunch and we had a grand old time talking about this, that and the other.  She has recently been away to Norfolk with one of her daughters and two granddaughters and has had a whale of a time there so we talked about that and then about my planned holiday.
We've often said about going away together.  At one point Italy was mentioned but that's out of sight now.  If I enjoy my holiday in Nottinghamshire at the Warner's Hotel, we would like to go back there together, get side by side rooms and generally have a fab time.  That would be super so fingers crossed for this.

The first back to real life Slimming World group was - er - different.  The numbers are limited to thirty and there's a new weighing routine that involves juggling membership card and contactless paying card, doing their own weigh and so on, so it all took much longer that anticipated and there wasn't much time for general talk which is usually the main part of the meeting.
However, I came out with a fistful of certificates and shiny stickers, earned during lockdown, and it should all get faster and more efficient as people get used to how it all works now.
My main problem was that with masks, I could hardly make out what people were saying which was quite frustrating.  Never mind, the atmosphere is great and it's all very welcoming and encouraging.  And free, now I'm at target!  :-)

Today, as you may have gathered by the time of writing and publishing, I've not gone swimming.  When I thought about it, I realised that I just didn't need the extra complication so cancelled.  I think I said yesterday, I'm aware that there's a 'danger' of taking on more things and cluttering up my days and I have really enjoyed and appreciated the calmer, less busy times during lockdown.  I need to be careful here.

Sharon comes at nine thirty to work her magic on my hair and then it's packing and off to Dad's.  That's enough for one day.

I'll try to keep this up over the weekend but if I don't, I'll be back on Monday.

Thursday 20 August 2020


Good morning, everyone.  After some rain yesterday, it seems to have cleared up now so fingers crossed for a nicer day today.  The Beeb is optimistic.

Yesterday passed quietly enough.  I had a lovely chat with Chris and personal training was great fun.  My shoulder seems to have settled properly now; I did wonder if the swimming would set it off but no, after an initial ache it seems to have helped.  Lindsey and I agreed that I'd do one more forty five minute session and then resume full hours again.  That, with two swims and an aqua class should give me my two and a half hours of moderate exercise that one is supposed to have each week and anything else is a plus,

Beth couldn't come over after all which was disappointing.

I got an email from Warners, inviting me to book my meal times for my holiday at Thoresby Hall in October.  It used to be that one could just turn up but they are having to be much more strict with numbers now so breakfasts and dinners are at specific times.  The evening entertainments are back on again now although masks are expected in many areas of the hotel.  It should be fine and I'm looking forward to it after my other two holidays (oh, first world problems with a vengeance here!!!) were cancelled.  No grumbles, it is what it is, but I'm looking forward to this one very much.

Today is much more organised.  I originally had a swim booked for this morning but, when I looked at my diary, I realised that while three organised things in a day were manageable, four was verging on too much so I cancelled it and re-booked for tomorrow, which works well for more than one reason.

So the first thing today is a tuition session.

Later on, Jackie is coming over for lunch and a good chat, much of it outside if today's forecast is to be believed.  That will be very pleasant indeed.

There will be a time gap in the afternoon when I can do all the clearing up and finish packing my case for tomorrow.
Then it is the first back to reality Slimming World meeting.  I shall be helping out and I think Jen would like me to man the 'shop'.   Usually I used to do the weighing but this first time back Jen wants to do that herself, which is very wise, I think.
I also think the shop will be quite busy as people will be stocking up on HiFi bars which are incredibly popular.
It should be fun, even with masks on!

Another nice day, I think.
Stay safe, well and happy.  xx

Wednesday 19 August 2020


Good morning.  There's a slightly ominous look to the sun this morning (if you know what I mean) but it is sunny so let's hope for the best and ignore what the Beeb says about heavy rain before midday!

Yesterday really was a very pleasant say indeed.
The first tuition session went really well with an articulate and analytical student.  I think we will do well together.

Then I went off for aquarobics.  Led by a different person from last week, I didn't feel it was so carefully thought through and the one way system fall apart as the way was blocked by the equipment trolley.  I managed to avoid the crowds and, as I showered at home, was able to get a cubicle to change in (which I wiped down afterwards).

I had lunch and then popped down to the allotment, coming back with . . .

. . . plus some raspberries that I forgot to include in the photo!

Lovely stuff although I now feel guilty because Beth says she can go down today and I picked what was there really.  I've said come to mine and I can hand a lot of it over to her.

The rest of the day passed doing the usual, daily stuff.

Today I have a chat with Chris, possibly online as the forecast is none too promising, followed by personal training with Lindsey which I am looking forward to very much.

Hopefully, Beth will be round some time in the afternoon.

That's it as far as organised things are concerned but I shall start popping things in my case for Friday as tomorrow looks to be quite busy.
That's it!  A very normal day and a nice one too.  You have a good'un as well.  xx

Tuesday 18 August 2020


Good morning, everyone.  It's a lovely, cheerful start to the day today with tomatoes and runner beans to pick and bright early sunshine.  Hopefully, it will stay around longer than yesterday's bit of sun did but, even if it doesn't, a bit is a lot better than none at all.

Yesterday, I managed to get the ironing done and I dodged raindrops down at the allotment to pick up some more windfalls.  They are definitely very tasty now, much juicier and wholly good to eat - well, not wholly, it is essential to cut them up and get rid of any manky bits first, but once that's done, they are delicious.

This is what the inside of a redlove apple looks like.

Isn't it pretty?  It stays pink if you cook it too - it's one of those apples that can be used raw or cooked, being sweetish-sharp.
They're not very big yet but should grow through the rest of this month and September.
I came back with about nine, a mixture of  redloves and coxes, all damaged in some way, leaving the ones on the tree to ripen more.

When Jeff turned up, he took a look at the drain, dug out as much sludge as he could manage (a nasty, filthy task, bless him, but at least it was just mud, nothing worse) and said see how it goes.  I will follow that advice but if we get that flooding again I will need to get the professionals in as they have the right equipment.
I was very grateful and tipped him extra.

The evening chat was lovely.  It took a while for us all to get on board but once we'd sorted out screen views, etc, we were well away and it was such fun.  We're missing our meals together but aren't we lucky to have this as a substitute?  I think so.

Today, I have a new student.  I know them, they are the sibling of a former student, and I'm looking forward to the sessions.  After that, it is aquarobics and I'm looking forward to that as well.  The chat with Chris has changed from Tuesday to Wednesday mornings.

I also need to go back to the allotment.  I had left produce for Beth to pick but she's not going to be able to get down there so waste not, want not!
All in all, it should be a very productive day, I think.

Stay safe and well.  xx

Monday 17 August 2020


Good morning!  It was a damp and misty start to the morning and when I went out to pick some tomatoes it smelled almost autumnal - that slightly smoky, misty, a-little-bit-chilly sort of tang that is peculiar to that time of year!  I guess it is almost autumn when you think about it.

The mist has now gone and it looked as if the sun was coming out but it's still a little bit dull.  Maybe, later on . . .

Swimming yesterday featured the Return of the Gossip Girls, bless them.  You have to imagine my affectionate tones here because I think they are very friendly people.  Anyway, some were there but the were thwarted as they had to swim in a row rather than side by side and one of them was moved to another lane.
It was a nice swim but comparatively busy - I still felt safe although maybe I won't go on Sundays any more.
I'm wondering about trying Saturdays, first session, instead; maybe there will be fewer as people enjoy a Saturday lie-in.  It would have to be once a fortnight, of course.  Or perhaps there's aquarobics on Saturday - must check.

Once home, I wrapped myself around a lovely fresh mug of coffee, caffeine and all.  It was lovely - it's easy to forget how great a hot drink feels after a swim.

It was a funny old day - dull, some drizzle, a bit of heavy rain (but nothing like Saturday) and it felt a bit humid as well.  I've had several blight warnings now so am keeping a sharp eye on the tomatoes and giving them a shake now and again to get rid of some excess moisture.  Fingers crossed!

Today is another quiet day.
I have a basket of ironing and there are some cheeky weeds in the flower bed so I will sort them out.
I'll probably take a trip to the allotment, not to water (heaven forbid!) but because I tried the windfall apples yesterday (picked up on Friday) and they were really tasty.  I had to cut them up, of course, but that's not a problem and they were delicious so waste not, want not - I'm getting some more!
This afternoon, Jeff is coming to work wonders on the garden (weather permitting) and I will consult him about the drain.  It might be that he can clear it - he's a general handyman type person, very useful to know) or at least advise.
Then, this evening, Beth's organising a Zoom chat between her, me, Julia and Linda (we used to eat out together once a month) and I am looking forward to this very much.

Should be a good day, I think, and I hope yours is too.  Be safe.  xx

Sunday 16 August 2020


Good morning!
Well, what a day.  It rained on and off for most of the day but in the afternoon we had the heaviest downpour I can remember in a very long while.  Quite dramatic, it was, accompanied by just a few flashes and claps that never developed into anything.

I was mighty thankful that this is not a floody sort of cul de sac - all the water runs off  and even this was nothing more than a large puddle caused because the drain right in the middle of it wasn't doing its job properly.  I shall ask Jeff tomorrow if he does drains and, if not, can he recommend someone.  I don't think it is actually my responsibility but better safe than sorry.

All the extra water ran off, right along my front strip of soil and then over my grass.  No harm done and at least everything has now been thoroughly watered!

I've just gone out with a torch and the puddle has now all drained away, thankfully.

 Earlier, I dodged two heavy showers to go and pick at the allotment because Beth wasn't going.  I got damp but no more and I was lucky because just as I got back in the car, the heavens opened!
I was glad I went because I came back with a nice haul of veg and I picked up some fallen apples to try (they need cutting) and the redlove that I tried was really most acceptable.  A little dry still but very flavoursome.  I might go down later on today, rain permitting, and pick up a few more.

The afternoon was taken up in part with stringing and slicing all the runner beans and I have a nice supply in the freezer now.  I'd already got today's meals sorted but tomorrow I have courgettes, beetroot, baby corn and the ever present tomatoes to use up.

By the evening, I was worn out, went to bed before eight and slept the clock round until nearly four.

This morning I have a swim booked at eight o'clock and then I must do some washing, rain or no rain.  I will dig out the clothes dryer and make use of the tumble dryer for towels, etc.  I need to sort out the kitchen which I left in a bit of a mess yesterday and I have some older veg to use up so I will make my spicy bean and veg soup which is filling and warming.  That's lunches sorted for the first half of next week.

Well, I'd better get the washing started - I can get a load done before I need to leave for my swim and sort out the kitchen as well.  Have a good day and I hope the heavy rain hasn't caused too much trouble for you.

Saturday 15 August 2020


Good morning, everyone.
Yesterday's weather was a right mix of cool and humid, rain and dry.  No sun though.  We've had more rain overnight so everything is nice and damp and, although I will check the pots under the tree, there's probably no need to water either at home or allotment.  It's raining steadily now and I guess there will be a blight warning in my mailbox as the conditions are right.

Definitely a dull and wet old start to the day!!

After swimming yesterday, I settled to tidying up ready for both A and the cleaners.
A and I had a pleasant time - well, I did and I expect she did too.  After she had gone, I popped to Morrisons to get the few things I need for the coming week and then I just chilled, catching up with things like Homes Under the Hammer and Escape to the Country.  Escapist stiff in a fairly mundane way!

Today there isn't anything in the diary so I need to make work for myself!  I think I need to go through my wardrobe to see if anything needs sorting out and also I do need to bag up the pile of clothes already sorted ready for either the recycling point or charity shops (are they accepting stuff yet, I wonder?).  I got some more bin bags in readiness.
I'm loathe to change the sheets as there's absolutely no chance of them going on the line at the moment and the forecast is not great either.
Maybe I will research some recipes and I do have the new Slimming World magazine to go through.
I don't think there's even anything to pick in the garden.  The tomatoes have slowed down now the sun isn't showing, there might be a very few runners and there are baby cucumbers but none to cut yet.

Not a very exciting day today but it should be pleasant and it will be safe.  I hope yours is too.

Friday 14 August 2020


Good morning, everyone.  I'm a bit later this morning and am just home from my first early morning swim in a very long while.  It was absolutely lovely!

There were only five of us there, all lane swimming, no chance for any gossip girls (it is always the women, I'm afraid) to hog half the pool as they saunter up and down, side by side, chatting their heads off.  The water was gorgeous and the safety arrangements were, I think, very good and reassuring.  I have another swim booked for Sunday and an aqua class booked for Tuesday.  You can book up to a week in advance so I much have a think about next Thursday (can't do Friday).

Tuition nearly didn't happen yesterday.  Mum messaged to say that O was refusing to come.  Now, I'm a great believer in the child actually wanting to come to my sessions, being motivated, etc, so I wasn't fussed and said no problem, no point forcing them, whereupon O decided to come after all and we had a good time together.  Something learnt about this particular student, I think!

Coffee and chat at Mel's was great.  We met up once when restrictions were lifted and gardens plus distancing was allowed but not since so there was plenty to talk about.  She let me borrow her Slimming World booklet for target members so I've been reading through that.  There's nothing rocket-sciency in it but there's a lot of helpful advice.

Late afternoon we had the last online Zoom SW meeting.  It will be nice to see people face to face again but the Zoom meetings have been good and I will miss them.  The one I will be going to is fully booked (max of 30, and includes the group leader) but I wonder how many will stay for the rest of the meeting after the weigh-in.

After some stormy weather overnight, this morning is fresh and comfortable.  It's also dull and damp but I'm not complaining.  No need to water the allotment today, although I may pop down to pick some veg at some point.  This afternoon another old friend is coming round.  A was my TA in Y1 for many years so I'm looking forward to it very much.

Have a great day, whatever the weather does, and stay safe.  xx

Thursday 13 August 2020


Good morning.  Phew (again), it was hot yesterday although the evening seemed a bit cooler than the last few days.  We are predicted thundery showers and some sunshine today.  It's looking a bit gloomy right now but - well, we will see!

Random photo of tomatoes in the garden, just to add colour!  :-)

I had a pleasant surprise yesterday.  Recently I took out a subscription to Weightloss Resources for checking calories, advice, recipes, forums, oh - lots of helpful stuff.
Yesterday I got an email from them to say that because I had logged in daily, they were sending me a gift voucher as a reward.  I thought it would be one of those 'use it in our shop' things with a small amount, thus encouraging you to buy from their (small) shop but no - it was an Amazon voucher which has been added to my Amazon account and it was for £10.  Very nice!

Then, later on, Dad asked me to order something for him so I went online, paid, they took off the tenner and Dad will refund me the full amount so it is now in my bank account and I can spend it anywhere - have spent it, in fact, see next paragraph!

First thing yesterday, I drove over to Matalan.  No, no swimming costumes, but they had nice, loose fit, plain white T shirts and some bras that actually fit so I got some, plus a nice, light, cotton nightie, good for this hot weather.  I was pleased I went.

Thank you, Amanda from Crafty in the Med, for your very helpful link.  I had a look and saw some so I will wait and see if the one I ordered is OK and if not, I'll be back there, card in hand!

As expected, I cancelled PT yesterday.  It was just too hot and I suspect Lindsey was quite relieved too.  I have a swim booked for tomorrow and another for Sunday so I won't be too short on exercise.

Today, I have one tuition session, just a short one, some time over at a friend's for a good old natter and the SW zoom meeting at five.  It's the last online meeting for now as face to face resumes next week and I'm quite sorry as I've enjoyed them.  I'm not the only one and I wonder if it is a way to go, on top of their online membership and the 'real' meetings for the future.

The floral part of the garden is starting to look a bit tatty but the two fuchsias in containers are looking lovely.

Better get the day started and the day's food organised.  Have a good day and be save and happy.  xx

Edit at 7:40 am:  It's chucking it down and it's so much cooler.  A great relief.  No storm, just blessed rain.

Wednesday 12 August 2020


Good morning, everyone.  It's early morning and I have both French windows wide open as well as the stair window to get the lovely cool air into the house as much as possible before the heat returns with the sunrise.

Yesterday was not a good day to be so busy but I enjoyed it very much, all the same.  It started off with tuition and for that I found a mathematical 'mystery' from Twinkl (a brilliant site for teachers everywhere).  I know my student enjoys these mystery challenges as we had a grand old time with it.  On the way home (they live just up the road) I saw another ex TA and arranged for her to come round Friday afternoon so that's something to very much look forward to.

At ten, Chris came around and we had our weekly natter about this, that and t'other, after which I got my swimming bag ready and changed.  I have managed to find another swim costume online but not the one I had in mind as they had more or less sold out.  I went onto one site to be greeted with priced of £80 plus.  Goodness, who pays that much for a costume?  Or am I just an out of touch skinflint?

Aqua was brilliant.  Just getting into the water was sheer bliss and the arrangements were pretty good.  A bit regimented, as they have to be, but all designed with safety as the priority so I can't complain at all.
I did what I had planned, kept my costume on afterwards and wrapped a towel round.  By the time I had towel dried my hair (no hair dryers available now, of course), I was dry enough to put on the dress I came in, brush my hair and head back to the car, pretty much before anyone came out of the showers.
Worked for me!
The actual class was half an hour (it used to be three quarters) and I think that worked a lot better.  There used to be quite a lot of 'padding' in the muddle, just sort of galloping round and round the pool - that's been cut and we all stayed in our space all through the session.
What was also nice was that I was able to thank the lady who phoned the techy people to sort out my logging on problem..

Once home, I sorted myself out, put some washing on the line and more in to wash, had lunch and then drove down to the allotment to water.  There were a few more things to harvest too and I came back with raspberries, a courgette, baby corn and runner beans.

That was it, apart from sorting out the washing (I now have a full ironing basket!) and doing the usual homey things.

And it got hotter and hotter and hotter.  Phew!

Today is predicted to be as hot, if not more so, and I am very thankful that the diary is more or less blank.  Beth is doing the allotment.
Tomorrow's forecast looks 'interesting', doesn't it?

I might pop down to Matalan early to see if they have any appropriate swimming costumes.  The main trouble, I found yesterday while searching, is that so much swimwear is actually beachwear, not really designed for proper swimming or exercise and some hardly covers the bare essentials.  No thanks!

I will need to do the ironing, of course, and there are bits of housework but I think I will cancel personal training.  Lindsey contacted me yesterday to suggest this as it was so hot and I said let's wait and see.  However, it doesn't look as if today will be any better so I have decided to cancel.  Exercising in a cool swimming pool is quite different to in a hot attic gym, however beautiful that gym might be.

I seem to have rabbited on about nothing in particular so I will stop now and give the garden its early morning drink.  Whatever you are doing today, have a good one and stay chilled.  xx

Tuesday 11 August 2020


Good morning, everyone.
Phew, yesterday really was hot!  Maybe it felt hotter because my home isn't as cool as Dad's.  It was OK through the night with fan on and duvet off.
Today will be similar, 'they' say.

Random photo of the tomatoes I picked at Dad's.  Delicious!

I had a very easy drive home from Dad's, not much traffic and precious few hold-ups anywhere.  Once home, I hustled and bustled around, getting things sorted.  I decided not to do any washing as I had Lisa round for lunch and didn't want the washing up on the line so that is on today's list of Things To Do!

Beth had done a great job of watering the plants and, great excitements, there were runner beans to pick.  Not so many tomatoes as I had told her to pick them for herself but she had left a few for me which was nice.

Lisa arrived and we had a great time hearing each other's news.  We worked for a number of years together so there are a lot of shared memories, lots of funny things, children to remember with affection, etc, not to mention generally catching up.  It was really lovely.

After she had gone, I cleared up and chilled before making tracks to the allotment to water.  Again, Beth (and Alex) had done sterling service and it was actually still damp under the courgettes, despite the heat.
Beth had done a big picking on Sunday but there were still more things to pick - runner beans, baby corn, courgettes, one tomato, one potato (exposed by a random wild creature while digging, I expect), cucumber and raspberries.  Wonderful.

The trug I made just after retirement on the weaving course is coming into use again now!

Watering wasn't as unpleasant as I thought it might be.  The allotment is very open but with trees around the perimeter and there was a lovely breeze blowing.
When I got home I picked the first runners plus some tomatoes and then got the runners topped, tailed, sided and sliced and they are now in a big in the fridge for use today and tomorrow.

Today looks to be quite busy.
I have an early tuition session before Chris comes round for our weekly get together.  Then, very exciting, at midday I have an aquarobics class books down at the gym.  Part of me is rather apprehensive but the arrangements look very safe and to actually be in the pool again will be simply wonderful.  I had a bit of a panic yesterday evening trying on my swimming costumes but one of them just fits so that's OK for today and I will get onto Cotton Traders to get another one (assuming they still have some).  They have a nice, simple style that works for me!  I like to have one spare.
Later on, I will be doing the allotment again as Beth is busy today.

I should sleep well tonight!

Have a great day, stay as cool as you can and remember to drink plenty of fluids!

Monday 10 August 2020


Good morning, everyone.  It was another warm day yesterday; not as hot or as humid as expected though and there was a breeze which helped.  I've had another good night's sleep, thank goodness.  Two out of three isn't bad!

Beth and Alex made it over for lunch (salad!!!) and it was a lovely afternoon.  Alex has finally heard about accommodation at Uni for next year and we're all most relieved.  Usually they get it all sorted in May but, of course, this year isn't usual.  The A level results are out next week so they would have to have sorted the current students out before then but it was getting worryingly late.  So great relief all round!
He has another month and a week here and leaves for Norwich on the 18th Sept.

Apart from that, the day passed gently as these weekends at Dad's always do.

Today, I leave just after nine and, once home, there will be a few chores waiting - a dishwasher to unload, washing to get in and a lunch to make because I have an old friend coming round.  When I say 'old' I mean that I've known her for a long time; she was my TA for two years when I took year 4 and was a fantastic TA.  She left for another post and we kept in touch via Facebook but since I retired we've not met up so there's a lot to catch up on.

The rest of the day will be spent in getting sorted out, watering down the allotment, etc.  It will be my turn to water for several days because Beth has covered over the weekends I am away, both at the allotment and in my garden too.

That's about it, really.  Today is supposed to remain hot although maybe not quite as hot as the weekend.  Take care, stay hydrated and be safe.  xx

Sunday 9 August 2020


Morning, everyone.
Yesterday was supposed to be a scorcher, even more so than Friday, but it wasn't.
Yes, it was pretty warm, but there was a gentle breeze most of the time and it never felt humid or uncomfortable in any way, not around here.  As for the expected 'hot and humid' night, it was cool and pleasant and I stayed under the quilt and slept like a log.

I spent some time yesterday sorting out my tuition timetable for the new term (fingers crossed there's no covid interruptions)  and I think it is more or less sorted - I'm just hoping the last time matches the last student.  I have absolutely no spaces left whatsoever now, I'm not going to take on any more.  As it's all after school, it doesn't interfere with daytime activities which is good.

Picking runner beans is always a pleasant activity and there were loads.  The row is just a bit too high for me to reach the top ones so Dad is going to do that this morning.  Plenty for dinner and some for the freezer.  I expect Beth has been picking back at the allotment too and mine will start next weekend, judging by their size.  They, and the tomatoes, are loving this hot weather.
It's just as well we all love runner beans, isn't it?

Today's plans are pretty much more of the same except for Beth and Alex driving over for lunch.  It's expected to be hot but if it is hot like yesterday was hot, I will be a happy bunny!
Have a lovely day and stay well.  xx

Saturday 8 August 2020


Good morning, everyone.
Around here it was very hot yesterday.  I could tell it was going to be a scorcher when I left the house before nine to do a Sainsbury's shop; already it was as hot as I would choose a day to be.

It was fine in Sainsbury's.  All these big stores have very efficient air conditioning, thank goodness, because the masks are hot enough to wear without summer temperatures making them more uncomfortable.  The pollen must have been very high because I had an itchy nose, unusual for me this far into the summer.  Itchy and drippy noses don't go all that well with a face mask!

I managed to spend a fortune but I did get another pair of jeans this time - I should be OK now with three pairs, not that jeans figure much right now.  I've brought summer skirts, T shirts and a dress with me this weekend!  While packing on Thursday, I realised that I am short of just one basic essential - a plain white T shirt - and to my delight, Sainsbury's had some.  Excellent!  It's not too bright a white and perfect for what I wanted.

Once home and shopping sorted out, I trundled to the allotment and did a good watering.  There were more runner, more courgettes and a few raspberries but I left them for Beth as I don't need them over the weekend.

The journey here was fine once the car air con got going and for the first time in several years, there was no road works hold ups on the way.

Dad's tomatoes are further on than mine and I picked loads, cooking some as our veg with some steak and a hash brown.  I halved them, added some garlic puree and a few shavings of butter and just popped it all in the oven for half an hour or so.  Simple and utterly delicious!

Today is an easy day which is just as well as I have slept very badly and will need to catch up.  The meals are all planned and won't be any trouble at all and I'm well into a re-read of 'To Serve Them All My Days' on Kindle, which is a great favourite and has been ever since I saw the TV adaptation decades ago.

I also have runner beans and more tomatoes to pick and the Saturday paper to browse through, a real treat as I don't take any papers at home.
It should be a good day.  Hoping yours is too.  xx

Friday 7 August 2020


Good morning!  The sun is up and shining brightly, I've picked five tomatoes and scoffed a raspberry and life is great!  :-)

The latest garden excitement is that the tiger stripe tomatoes are starting to ripen.  I think they're going to look most attractive on the plate, they are so pretty!  I'm not sure if the stripes will end up a blackish sort of colour or yellow - I will find out, won't I?  I've never grown this type before but, if they taste as nice as they look, it won't be the last time.

Another big excitement is that yesterday I hit my Slimming World target.  If you follow my other blog as well, apologies for the repetition. but this is a huge, major thing for me.  I'd given up four years ago but, since the time after my gall bladder 'crash' I have gradually wobbled my way to a loss of two pounds shy of seven stone.  Nearly a whole person.  So I am so happy.

And the third excitement is that the techy people at my local Nuffield Gym have sorted out my booking online problems and I have been able to book a swimming session and an aquarobics session next week.  I'm really looking forward to them but need to check that my costume still fits - don't want it falling off!
Four years ago, whoever would have predicted that I would have counted the above as an excitement, eh?   How things change.

All this excitement more than made up for the fact that my student wasn't able to come for the tuition session and suddenly the morning seemed quite empty.  I got the shopping list done and will be going to Sainsburys in an hour or so.

I always plan the menus at Dad's and I want to make hunter's chicken on Saturday; Dad's never had it and I think he will like it a lot.  As the sauce has rather a lot of bits and bobs in it, I made it up yesterday and will take it with me.  If Saturday is as hot as they say it's going to be, I will appreciate less time over a hot stove!

Once home and with the shopping away, I will trundle down the allotment to do a morning water before Beth takes over for the weekend.  Then I'm back and will just do a quick tidy up for the cleaners and finish the packing.

I'll probably be able to post on here over the weekend but, if there are no posts, don't worry.  I'll be back on Monday.
Have a lovely day and stay hydrated, cool and safe.  xx

Thursday 6 August 2020


Good morning!

Yesterday turned out fine and sunny after a really gloomy start.  In fact, it was quite hot in the afternoon but with a lovely breeze that kept things fresh and comfortable.
I did the early morning tuition and I was wrong, there's another session next week before we have a break, which is absolutely fine; there's still enough in the folder to fill the time without any need for more planning/finding resources.

I've been asked to take on a younger sibling of a former student so I must be getting something right.  Mum said some very nice things which was lovely of her.

After tuition, I set to with washing machine and clothes line and now two loads have been ironed and put away again and the basket was empty.  No now, of course, with yesterday's discards in it!

After lunch I did allotment duty but didn't get any digging done as I was shattered after personal training.  Lindsey and I decided that an aim should be to improve stamina and she's doing her darndest to help me achieve that.  Definitely hard work!
I will be meeting Beth there this afternoon though and I can continue the digging while she weeds or something.

All in all, it was a really super day.

Today is fairly busy.
It starts off with a short tuition session, moves on to starting to pack for the weekend and after lunch it's allotment.  I have to be home by five for the Zoom SW meeting which should be fun.
I also need to make a shopping list for the weekend.  I always cook at Dad's and, as he doesn't always have everything I need, I get it and he refunds me.  Works for us.

Better get started then, hadn't I?
Stay safe, everyone.  xx

Wednesday 5 August 2020


Good morning, everyone.   How are you today?

Yesterday was another lovely day.  Cool in the morning but sunny and warm in the afternoon although I gather parts of the country had quite a lot of rain on and off.

Tuition went well.  It's the last for those students for three weeks or so because of their holidays so I will be able to make an early trip to the allotment now because, when they come back, it will be term time and will have to be after school (always assuming they want to continue, that is).

I was going to the allotment before lunch but, as things worked out, I didn't go until around two thirty and spent a nice long time watering, digging over and trying to knock some of the clods into loose soil.  It's not as clay-ish as it was but nevertheless, has a tendency to stick.  I've done about half of that little patch now and will probably do the same thing again today, weather permitting.

I also harvested and came home with this.

Some of it will provide my evening meal today with some chicken and a new potato dug up last week.

Today starts with another tuition session and moved on to personal training at around midday.  Then, after lunch, I will pootle off to the allotment again for more digging, etc (grand exercise) before coming home and chilling in front of the telly.  In between these activities I will be doing two loads of washing, drying and, possibly ironing as well, although the last may be deferred until tomorrow.
It should be a good day.

Take care and be safe.  xx

I've just come back in to edit and say how much I like today's Google Doodle.  Wear your mask!

Tuesday 4 August 2020


Morning, everyone.  It's quite cool outside right at the moment but the forecast is for sunny and warm weather with a gentle breeze which sounds just about perfect to me, it really does.

Yesterday went well - we've decided to put down a raised bed where the strawberries were.  They didn't do all that well;  we had covered the ground and cut holes for the strawberries but the invasive weeds came up through the holes as well.  It was also hard watering effectively and the ground had settled very bumpy.
So what we're doing (or I'm doing) is uncovering the strawberry area, digging it all over (removing any stones/weeds as I do so), tilling it over and getting it as smooth and flat as possible and then re-covering it and putting a raised bed there for the strawberries.  I have to get now plants for my bed at home too so I'll just order extra.  They don't requite deep soil so it should work fairly well as long as we keep the soil fed with organic matter now and again.
Fingers crossed.

So yesterday, I started uncovering that small area and digging it over.  It was as hard as nails and dry as a bone so I gave it a good watering, which helped, and then managed to dig over a small patch.  It didn't look as if I achieved much but, to be fair, it took ages to get the staples out that were fastening it all down and I had to break up huge clods by hand.  On the plus side, apart from where the holes were, the area was weed free.
The edge of the existing cover will be turned under and pegged down again and the new cover will overlap it slightly.  It should make a much better strawberry area, once done, and also look an awful lot nicer..

Jeff came in the afternoon and sorted out my front.  He also tackled the rosemary bush which is almost treelike now.  One branch had completely died off so he had that out and another branch that was crowding the end of the bed.  To be honest, the whole thing needs removing and replacing and I shall take several cuttings to grow on so that I can do just that - or Jeff can do it for me.  He used his heavy duty loppers and garden saw,  tools I don't possess.

Today starts with tuition so no early allotment visit.  I've got the table all set up and ready so no last minute things to do.  That's the last session for a while as first one student, then the other, will be on holiday.  We will resume in September.  It's the same for D, my Wednesday student.  They aren't going away but they're having a Holiday at Home.

Then I have a chat with Chris and, hopefully, it will be fine enough to make it face to face in the garden.

After that I will be heading out allotment way to water, weed and get on with that digging.  I'm hoping the soaking I gave it will have softened things slightly so I can break it all up more easily.

So that's today!  Enjoy your day too and stay safe, especially as things start getting more difficult again.  xx

Monday 3 August 2020


Morning, everyone.
To my dismay, when I looked out at five, it was raining and had been for a while, judging by the puddles and the fact that it was wet under the tree.
However, it has now stopped, it is brightening up, the skies are clearing and the forecast is for another lovely day.  Just what the gardener ordered, in fact. 

Yesterday was one of those days that was simply a delight from start to finish.
I got to the allotment at around half eight.  It was warm, quiet, peaceful, the birds were singing their sock off and I felt totally at easy and content with my lot.  I got quite a lot of weeding done, especially the bed containing the corn, runners, potatoes and the dwarf French beans.

When the dwarf beans started emerging, I was disappointed as quite a lot haven't germinated.  However, after digging up and replanting three that had somehow escaped to the side of the bed (how???), it's not too bad.  Yes, there are gaps, but we will get a crop.  By a couple of the canes, two plants are coming up and we can divert one to the nearby empty cane, I guess.  They're growing very quickly now and should crop early September so, Diane, thank you again for the idea.

I came home, made breakfast and enjoyed it outside.

It was an energetic day - I mean I felt energetic so I was.  I changed my sheets, got them washed and on the line (I love the sight of fresh, white bedding drying in the sun), got then in when they had dried (very quickly) and got the ironed straight away.  By bedtime they were back in the bed so I slept in sunshine fresh bedding - another delight.

In the afternoon I set to in my own garden.
The herbs are rather overgrown so I dealt with that.  I chopped the oregano right back to the roots as much as I can.  It's very resilient and already there's new growth.  I cut the chives right down too as it was getting old and tough - that will also grow back quickly.  Finally I pruned the sage where it was crowding the thyme. 
By the end, both the bin and I smelled very aromatic!
The rosemary also needs attention as one of the branches has died but Jeff is coming this afternoon so I will ask him if he can deal with it for me.

I was disappointed in the chillis I planted this year - they are still very small although good and bushy.  Then I noticed that they might be tiny but they are producing.  Weird!  The diddy peppers are yellow at the moment - I wonder what colour they will end up as.

The rest of the day was spent making meals and generally chilling and I slept like a log.

The sunflowers down the allotment are really lovely now.  I must look up how to harvest sunflower seeds.  Anyone know?

Today I shall be at the allotment early again as the rain has stopped and the sun is out.  Earlier in Lockdown, I used to go early and got a lot done that way but then I fell out of the habit.  However, it is a great start to the day so I want to resume the habit as much as I can.  There's more weeding to be done but I think it will be a bit too wet for mowing today - and a bit too early as there are houses around the perimeter.  Maybe tomorrow as I can't go early.

This afternoon, Jeff is coming round to weave his magic on the garden.  The front needs a good tidy up.
Beth is doing the afternoon watering, so that's OK.

It should be another satisfying day - you have a good one too and be safe.  xx

Sunday 2 August 2020


Good morning, everyone.  Yesterday was much more moderate in temperature, wasn't it?  Still warm, just not baking hot, thank goodness.  It's a good start this morning too - the sun is up and it's delightfully cool outside.

Now for the good news.  Finally we have baby beans here on the 'estate' and here's the proof.

So cute!

I took a lovely courgette around to my next door neighbour and in return she gave me a raspberry cutting she's been bringing on for me during lockdown.  It's in a beautiful condition and I have just the pot for it when I get some compost.  I use a mix of potting compost and organic matter from the bottom of the compost bit and the plants seem to like that very much.  The pot I'm using has some soil in but I will take out the top half, feed that with slow release pellets and top it up with the new stuff.
Here it is.  What a lovely neighbour.

Yesterday early morning I drove into town (I'm not using the buses yet) to pick up my prescription and to deposit a cheque from inland revenue, bless them!  There was a queue for the bank but I was let in ahead because I could do it on the machine.

Then I braved Primark and M&S.  In the latter, I bought some new, smaller bras (I'm falling out of some of the older ones when I bend over and it's not a pretty sight!) and treated myself to some nice looking green beans.  No jeans though - I've decided to use the bigger ones a bit longer and use a belt!
In Primark, I got some T shirts and they had basic flip flops at 90p so I got some, the reason being that went we go back to 'real' weigh-ins at Slimming World, the word is that we won't be allowed to take off our shoes and flip flops are light!
On the way back to the car, I went into Lakeland but was very restrained.  All I wanted was some silicone cup-cake moulds, nothing else.

Although there were plenty of people in town, it was nothing like a pre-Covid Saturday morning and it was easy to distance, we were clicked in and out of shops and there was sanitiser dotted all around the place.  What with that and the masks, it felt pretty safe.

Once home, I popped my new clothes in the washing machine with bits from the washing basket and they dried very quickly in the sun.  I got all the ironing done too so the basket is empty.

When I went to water at the allotment, I came back with seven runner beans - just a couple of mouthfuls!  Oh, the weeds!  I'm going to spend some time early morning today, while it is still nice and cool.

The other scheduled thing is to meet Beth there at five and we can do some more then as well as water.  There will be courgettes too.

Apart from that, I'm looking forward to reading the new foodie magazines in the garden and doing a bit of home weeding as well.  Oh, and some planning.  There's not much to do and it won't take long.
Have a lovely Sunday, whatever you do.  xx