Thursday 30 June 2022


 Today's garden happy.  The planter at the front is looking really lovely now - and I am remembering to water it.  I'm going to have to pinch out some of those heads soon; there are others coming to replace them.  Does anyone know what those little white flowers \t the front are.  I'm just wondering if they are perennials.

Good morning, everyone.  We had rain overnight and more rain again this morning so no need to water.  I've checked the containers and they are fine.  The forecast is not good - cloudy all day.  It was bound to come at some point.

Yesterday didn't go according to plan.  I got some tidying up done, which was nice, but I had a message from Lindsey saying she wasn't feeling great and could we reschedule.  Of course, said I, so now personal training is Friday afternoon.  I looked up the Nuffield gym timetable and saw that there was an aqua class at one thirty but I wasn't interested in that, I wanted to find when the pool was available.  Aqua is good, it's just the the changing rooms are very crowded before and after and the showers, likewise, have queues.  Not my scene.  I find that increasingly I am like my Dad in not having the patience for queues.  So I went straight over, guessing that the pool would be fairly empty before a class and so it was.  I did 1.2k which I was well pleased about, got out when the class started, had five minutes in the spa and then showered, etc.  It was great.  I came home, had lunch and promptly fell asleep!

And that was my day.  I fell asleep again just as Sewing Bee started so decided I would catch up on it today instead.  I'll do that after I've done my morning social mediating.  :-)

Today is a day that has gone from nothing to quite a lot and back to not very much!

On Thursdays, Chris and I meet up and we had hoped to go strawberry picking.  Sadly, Chris can't make it now so I thought I'd go anyway as it is open, although the email did say there wasn't really all that much.  However, seeing as it's been raining and is still a bit drizzly, I don't think I will go, I'll leave it until next Monday - Lathcoats is closed on Sundays so that will give the fruit a chance to ripen.

That being so, I think I will go for another swim.  There's an aqua class from 9:15 to 10:00 so if I turn up around nine forty five, by the time I'm ready, the pool will be empty.  I doubt I will do as much as yesterday but it all mounts up, doesn't it?  I might do a bit of window shopping afterwards.
I want to go because, quite apart from the fact that I enjoy it, my next opportunity will be Monday after circuits.  Tomorrow is personal training which is enough exercise for anyone, Saturday is a walk, weather permitting, and Sunday is always crowded so not much fun for an up and down swimmer.

I got two other messages yesterday.

The first was from Specsavers to say that my replacement aids are there (that was remarkably speedy) and gave me an appointment for this afternoon, if I could make it.  I can, of course, so I'll be in town - again - this afternoon.  More window shopping?  Who knows?

The other was from the egg lady, Anna, I think her name is, to say she had eggs for me; certainly half a dozen and possibly a dozen, depending on the girls (her hens).  I'm going to pick them up this evening and am rapidly adjusting my meal plans to take account of lots and lots of lovely fresh eggs.  So delicious!

What a lovely day!

So that's me today.  How about you?  Do you have rain too or is the sunshine hanging around.  Have a lovely day and stay safe and well.  xx

Wednesday 29 June 2022


 Today's garden happy - because they have started growing up - well, out anyway!

Morning, everyone.  It's cloudy this morning but the clouds are high so I'm hoping whatever it is is just the edge of something.  Beeb doesn't say rain here so fingers crossed.  I'm loving this warm, dry but not too hot weather.

Yesterday started off with the new Groove block, the routines Lindsey recorded in the freebie session last week.  As always, it was good, although there were a few people missing this week, no idea why.

When I got home afterwards, I added lemon juice to the strawberries and jam sugar and made the strawberry jam.  I deliberately didn't make much and now I have two diddy little jars of deliciousness.  Strawberries are notoriously difficult to set but there were no problems this time, it had reached setting point the first time I checked.

There was a tiny bit of jam that I just couldn't squash into either of the jars so I had that under some yogurt for dinner dessert and it was scrummy!
(Thanks for the idea, Cherie)

Later on I also made the strawberry gin.  I've done it two ways, one way with the strawberries chopped as I usually make it, so they will go into the bottle, and the other way by pureeing the berries.
I suspect one will come out as a clear liqueur after straining and the other more cloudy but, possibly, with a more intense flavour.  We will see.
The bottles are now sitting on the side and every time I go past I will give them a shake until all the sugar has dissolved; then they can go into a cupboard for a few months so the gin and sugar can work their magic.

Later on, I headed off into town to Specsavers to pick up a few things and to let the audiologist know there are issues with one of my new aids.  The left one only holds its charge for about twelve hours before dying on me, which is nowhere near long enough.  Given that the same aid shows extreme sensitivity in other ways too, I though it worth mentioning and I'm glad I did because he's ordered some more for me.  I was a bit taken aback by this but fair enough - they are brand new, covered by warrantee, and should not be having any problems so early so the chances are it's a faulty one.  So I have to go back again, probably next week!
He also gave me back my older aids which have now been reconditioned with new batteries, etc, before their warrantee time runs out, plus a remote control I had ordered, some freebie batteries, etc.  So now I am incredibly well off for hearing aids instead of having a little nagging worry inside me all the time.

I take the new battery ones with me in my handbag in a neat little carrying box so that if there's problems, I can switch over.  Overkill, perhaps, but it's very scary and isolating without hearing support in public so better safe than sorry any day of the week.
And I am incredibly thankful and grateful for modern technology and the wherewithal to be able to afford this level of security.
(Sorry for going on - I'll stop now!)

Anyway, I then popped into M&S and got a few more things than planned, but I was very controlled and said no to a nice pair of white trainers that were calling to me because I DON'T NEED THEM (shouting to myself here).

That was the busy part of the day over and done.  I came home and pretty much chilled and pottered for the rest of the day and very pleasant it was too.

Today there is nothing in the diary but my personal training this afternoon.  I thought I might go raspberry picking at Lathcoats but I don't think I will, I still have raspberries in the freezer from last year.

So today is going to be housework day, I think.  Time to do a bit of work!  Has to be done from time to time, after all.  There's not a big mess but there are thing to put away and things to sort and, maybe, gift on.  I need to put my emotional foot down a bit.
Do you stack things up until you're falling over them and then tidy them in one fell swoop, or are you much more organised than I and put them away straight away?

The only other thing is that we're hoping to get some dates regarding Dad's house today so fingers are metaphorically crossed.

All the best, have a great day and, as always, stay safe, well and happy.  xx

Tuesday 28 June 2022


 Tuesday's happy has nothing to do with my garden.  Thousands upon thousands of gorgeously ripe strawberries, just waiting to be picked.  The new banner photo is another happy.

Here's another one - two for the price of one today.

Morning, everyone.

I really did have a lovely time at Lathcoats.  I do take joy (no pun intended) in the smaller things of life and just walking along the rows, in the fresh sunshine, warm but not hot, with the aroma of strawberries filling the air and the birds singing their little heads off was just wonderful.  It didn't take me long to fill my container and, on my way back to pay, I saw a gentleman with a punnet filled with luscious looking raspberries so I think I will go again on Wednesday morning (assuming it is open) and pick raspberries.

What are they all for?  Well, I must make my strawberry gin/vodka again for starters.  Also, there's 250gs-worth macerating in jam sugar as I type.  I don't use much jam nowadays and, of course, no longer do I have Mum and Dad to offload jars of jam onto, so  I'm making just a little bit and see what that looks like - how much it makes, I mean.  I have more jam sugar and I have lemon juice so I'll be making that first batch later on this morning. 
Then some are for the freezer and quite a lot are for just eating and enjoying now.  Lovely.

Then I went to the shop and picked up some apricots, some chestnut mushrooms, some tomatoes and a dozen locally laid eggs.  That means that, apart from the gin or vodka, I really don't need much else in the way of shopping for now.  Yes, I need a cucumber but I have one coming along.  (yay)

Circuits was good and swimming was good.  At circuits, I love it when I achieved something that I have found impossible before and yesterday that was the dreaded plank.  I did it for the 45 seconds not just once, but four times!  How's that, eh!  A bit of a killer but I did it!  Now to practise at home and make sure I can do it again next time it comes up!
I did 500m at swimming - which doesn't sound a lot but it's 25 lengths.  That's now ticked off on my swimming record for the sponsored swim.
I'll do another plug for it again soon and many thanks to all of you who have already donated - I'm very grateful.

I slept very well.

Today starts with Groove - a dance aerobic type thing.  Then it's home for breakfast before going into town for another visit to the audiologist.  I think I might take the opportunity to wander around the shops a bit while I'm at it.  Why not?

I have that strawberry jam to make and some strawberry gin to start off (must remember to get the gin in M&S when in town) and I have a dining table to sort out - it is piled high with things to put away.  I've been treating it as a sort of half way house and it looks dire.
That should all keep me going.

Do you like strawberries?  What do you make with them?  xx

Monday 27 June 2022


 Today's garden happy from the front this time, a campanula (I am fairly sure) but I don't recall planting it so goodness knows where it came from.  It's in the wrong place - it should be at the back as it's so tall.  Once it finished flowering, I'll move it and hope it survive.

Good morning, everyone.  It's another lovely start to the day although rain showers are forecast later on in the day.  No complaints - it will be good for the garden.

Thank you so much for your lovely comments under my 'remembering' post yesterday.  They were so kind and understanding and helped so much.  I won't do my usual individual replies this time but thank you, thank you, thank you.

The drive over to Letchworth was lovely - a perfect Sunday summer morning with little traffic and only one hold up for road works.  I really couldn't have wanted better.
I arrived at Central Methodist with about half an hour spare with plenty of room in the car park so I ate my banana (didn't want tummy rumbles during the service!) and read for a while before going in.
The service was a typical Methodist hymn sandwich of, basically, hymn, reading or prayer, light a couple of candles and name two people, repeat.  The hymns were great - a mix of modern by the likes of Kendrick and Redman and some golden oldies, all requests from the families.  Dad would have approved - he loved a good old singsong and nothing better than hymns with a fine tune and a bass line he could get his vocal teeth into.
It was . . . satisfying.

Then I went back to the house (it's not quite the last time, I will be going once more, the day before completion, to do a final check over with Gail and leave a welcome pack) where I managed to make some sense of the tangle of wires and plugs behind the telly, bringing the actual TV back for Alex.  I also got the rest of the everyday china in boxes and that's all now in the garage, again for Alex should the time come when he has his own place.
Annoyingly, when I got home I remembered that there are little bits and bobs we left for when John and Gina stayed over and I didn't even look in that cupboard and there might also be two saucepans in a drawer.  Oh, well, next time will do for them - it's only a bit.

The drive home was just as good as the drive over.  I was glad for an efficient air con though, it was warm.
I popped round to Beth's for a quick chat and to drop off the telly - and realised I hadn't brought the remote back.  Drat.  Alex wasn't fazed - he said he'd either reprogram an old one (how???  Oh, well . . . ) or get a universal one from Amazon.  So that was OK and, anyway, it's on the list for the last visit, whenever that will be.

I spent the evening in the garden, in my newly created space where the compost bin was.  I cooked, ate, read, watched YouTube on my phone and generally had a peaceful and contented time.

Oh, I also brought that lower table back - I thought John and Gina had taken it but obviously not so I have it.  It will be perfect for outside cooking - there's room for the Cobb (I love that Cobb), food and all the tools needed and it folds up nice and thin.  

It was a lovely, contented evening and I think the morning service had its part to play in the feeling of peace and contentment.

Today looks busy but isn't really!
Lathcoats was closed yesterday so there should be plenty of strawberries for picking today so guess where I am going for 9:00 this morning.  It's 'pensioners time' and, much as I dislike the term and the mental pictures it conjures up, there's no getting away from it.  I am a pensioner and I'm going to take advantage of that fact whenever I can.

Middle of the day is circuits with Lindsey and after that I'm going to go to the gym for a swim.  I haven't been able to go for a while so it is about time.  I thought I'd start counting today towards my sponsored swim distance; after all, it is July on Friday, ridiculous as that sounds.

When I get home from that, I will probably crash and chill.

So that's me - how about you.  Did you have a good weekend and do you have some exciting or enjoyable plans for today?  xx

Sunday 26 June 2022


 This  day, June 26th, mid morning, one year ago, my lovely Dad breathed his last.

Today I am remembering what a truly lovely chap he was and thinking how lucky we were to have such wonderful parents.

(I don't have many photos of him and me together so please forgive the indulgence of the second photo.)


 Today's garden happy - more babies.  They look healthier than peppers ever have done before in my garden, even at about a centimetre long.

Good morning, everyone.  Another variable day yesterday, never wet, but intermittently cloudy and sunny.  Very pleasant really.

The park walk was really pleasant.  There were five of us and we meandered from Tower Gardens, through Admirals Park and into Central Park, round the lake and back again, taking half an hour off for coffee.
I took a few photos.

We came across this little chap - I mean big chap - hiding behind a tree in one of the beds.  Very cute.
Jusr a view of the lake
The flowers were lovely.  These roses smelled fantastic and they remind me of old Victorian chintzy wallpaper or fabric.

Once home, I hung up the second load of washing and, later on, got it all ironed so that was good.  I sorted through some clothes (very little to discard, they'd just got muddled) and I just chilled.  It was all very pleasant.

Today is a bit special.  Central Methodist in Letchworth is holding a special service - this is what it says on their web site.
" To mark our Church Anniversary we are having a special Memorial Service remembering those who died since the start of the Pandemic. It’s a chance to meet together and celebrate the lives of those who have died since March 2020 and whose passing we couldn’t mark properly at the time. "
Dad is one of those so I'm representing the family there.

While I've made the journey, I may as well pop into the old home and take a look around.  There's some china and some telly stuff to remove so I'll do that, plus anything else that needs dealing with before coming home again.
(Note to self:  remember a spare hanky)

Later on, I might pop over to Beth's or we might chat online.  We will see.

So that is today.  Probably a bit emotional but it will be OK, probably more than OK, in fact.
Hoping your Sunday will be good too.  xx

Saturday 25 June 2022


 Today's garden happy  I was spoilt for choice but, as I've done a garden update for the back, this is from the front.

The first Crocosmia Lucifer, a tall, startlingly red crocosmia that was totally out of place at the back where I first put it so I replanted some of it (it's quite invasive) round the front where it seems happy enough.  This one has sort of fallen over so it's over the concrete but the others are more upright under the kitchen window.  There's loads of flower heads coming so it will look great!
(By the way, I am still pulling shoots up from the back bed, several years after moving it - definitely a survivor, even in my garden)

Good morning, one and all.  We seem to have had some rain overnight but it's looking promising for today.  The sun is starting to make itself known and it feels lovely and mild.

Yesterday was a funny old mixture of sun, cloud and, at one point, even a few drops of rain.  They made us afternoon cakers move hurriedly under the big canopy but they didn't amount to anything much.

Slimming World was, as almost always, a very enjoyable time.  We're a lively bunch and, with my new hearing aids, I'm picking up loads more so able to join in more.  It's great!

Then I finished off the two cakes but I'm so sorry, I totally forgot to take any photos so you will just have to imagine a coffee and walnut sponge and a fairly classic Victoria sponge, both looking absolutely delicious.  There's just something about the look of a home made cake, isn't there . . .

I had booked myself a holiday at the Potters resort in Hopton (where I went in March) but would much rather go to the nearer one at Five Lakes, now it is open.  I decided nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I got into an online 'chat' with someone there and managed to change my reservation from November at Hopton to the beginning of February next year at Five Lakes.  It's a bit more expensive but that's OK.
I have to say, the person I 'spoke' to, James, couldn't have been more helpful.  He bent over backward to be accommodating and to explain everything.  I was very impressed and gave 5* feedback afterwards.
I was relieved to have got that done.

Then I rushed off to Faith's for the Macmillan cake-fest and had a really lovely afternoon.  Faith taught with me for a number of years and she was my 'cover' when I had my coordinator time, my PPA and my management time and we got on very well.
A couple of other ex-colleagues were there too - there should have been three but one has Covid, poor lady - and we had a glorious time reminiscing about this, that and the other as well as getting to know others.
I had very Good Intentions which didn't quite hold up but, none the less, I was better than I could have been.  Faith had made a big jug of not-Pimms and everyone was raving about it, amazed at how like Pimms it is - so it's not just me that thinks that.

By the time I get home, I was shattered!  Such a pleasant day, one way and another, with a bit of achievement thrown into the mix.

Thankfully, today is quieter.  I'm meeting some others from the group for a walk from Tower Gardens to Central Park and back again this morning while this afternoon is really just chilling and enjoying the fine weather (fingers crossed).  I have books and magazines to read, meals to plan, telly and YouTube to catch up on and some washing, drying and ironing to get done - oh, and a new recipe to try.
It's going to be a good day.
How about you?  What are your plans for the weekend?  Have a good'un, whatever they are and be happy.  xx

Garden update

 Mostly taken a few minutes ago so the light isn't great bit it gives you an idea.

I don't usually rate Aldi's plants when they have them.  They are uncared for and weedy (mostly) but they had a trolley of these - some were peppers (red or yellow) ands chillies which looked in great condition and reasonably priced too.
Now, I never have any luck with peppers but I just had to so I had a good nosey and picked out this red pepper.
Those of you who are good at this - is the pot large enough?  I have a bigger one ready but I'm not sure, given my success rates with peppers is 0% at the moment.

I've grown chillies before very successfully but still have plenty of chillies, both in the freezer and dried, to last a year!
The sweet corn is doing nicely.  It's just a shame about the two that didn't make it and I have no idea why.  I just hope they are grouped enough for pollination now.

I've not grown sweet corn before so my fingers are crossed.
One of Julia's plants, the only bush one from her.  She said it should be prolific and early.  Certainly there are hundreds of flowers but, as yet, no babies that I can see.

And one of mine - or, rather, one from the garden centre.  I think one could call these children rather than babies now.  They are the Shirley variety.
Still growing very, very slowly at present but the plant is sending out plenty of leafage and looks happy (fingers crossed).

I decided not to pinch them off and leave it to the plant.  That may be wrong . . .  :-)
And here's the first cucumber, probably as long as it will be and starting to plump out.   I should think I'll be eating it later next week.
There's plenty of babies but none snapping at its heels.  Gluts come later and I find once you actually pick one, the plant seems to accelerate some of the others.  The drive to reproduce, I guess.

(That enterprising snail has been removed!)
One of five little Braeburns.  The sixth fell off, sadly.
And some Flamencos.  The fruit looks good but the leaves and, in fact, the whole tree don't.  I'm sure it has got something but I have no idea what.  Oh, well, time will tell and I will do a bit of reading up.
This is the only ornamental grass I have; the garden really isn't big enough but once the flower heads emerge, as they are now, it looks so very pretty and adds a bit of height.

Yes, that's tomato food on the left - Saturday is food day!
This was one of the bedding flowers Val gave me and they're doing nicely, given that I didn't plant them out for ages, poor things.
The pinks are pinking nicely.
Now, this is my other lupin, bought a few weeks ago.  It was sold as one plant so I was surprised to see that the two flower heads are different colours and, when I looked carefully at the bottom, it's two plants very close together.   I'll let them be for this season but when they stop flowering, I will see if I can separate them and, perhaps, one can go round the front - I'll think about that.

Two for the price of one can't be bad.

So that's the back garden on 25-06-22.  It's at the time when it looks its nicest, all fresh and green and happy.  It's not bad for a small patch, I think.  Certainly, it's making me happy.  xx

Friday 24 June 2022


 Today's happy is not a garden one, it's a phew, thank goodness one.  Taken yesterday and I know the edges are ragged but butter icing covers a multitude of ragged edges, not to mention making them look so much higher and substantial!  I'm just thankful they didn't flop.

I'll try and remember to take a photo once I've iced them.

Good morning, one and all.  It's a dull start to the day today and Beeb seems to think it's going to stay that way with some sunny intervals.  A bit like yesterday, in fact.  It's still warm though and looks to be continuing warm for some days to come.

As you can see above, I made my cakes and they both came out fine.  I've also mixed up the icing and it's ready to meet its cake although that won't be until after Slimming World.
I had to get some more icing sugar, annoyingly, and I met Faith outside Morrisons.  She said no need to bring the cakes early, just bring them when I show up so that's what I will do.  It makes the morning a lot simpler.

The freebie groove class was fin.  I like the new routines - she's taken out a couple of things I didn't really like (not that I said anything) and I felt I'd had a good workout by the end.

Later on, Lindsey sent a message round to all her groups that she's 'negotiated' a fun and fitness long weekend at Potters Five Lakes at the end of April/beginning of May.  Guess who is top of the 'I'm going' list.   So that's one holiday/short break sorted for next year.

Today is simple.  Slimming World, cake icing and a Macmillan get together.  It should be really pleasant and I'm very much looking forward to it.

Have a really good day, everyone, and take care.  xx

Thursday 23 June 2022


 Today's garden happy - the cucumber that didn't drop off.  This was the titchy little cucumber that was on the plant when I bought it and I expected it to fall off while the plant was recovering.  However, as you can see, it didn't.  I wonder if I might be picking my first cucumber of the year next week?

The photo makes it look bigger than it really is, mind you.

Good morning, everyone.  Yesterday was, again, absolutely gorgeous but today is more of a mixture with sun, sunny intervals and rain all expected and a yellow warning of storms.  What will be, will be, so I'll see how it all develops.  My biggest decision is whether to leave the covered egg chair out or bring it in!

I did a very silly thing yesterday.  I drove over to the Clock Tower precinct to do my shopping in M&S and Aldi.  At the checkout, I packed away my shopping, looked in my purse for my card and - ah!  Not there.  No panic, I knew where it was, thank goodness, but it was rather embarrassing although, in true M&S style, they brushed it under the carpet, explained the procedure quickly, gave me a slip with a code and said my shopping would be at the service desk when I got back with my card, don't worry, it happens a lot, it's fine . . . etc.  
Because I felt a bit flustered, as one does, it wasn't until I got home that I remembered I actually had enough cash in my purse to pay for that plus anything I wanted from Aldi too.  So I wasted petrol on an unnecessary journey home and back, darn it!
I felt very silly!

I know I said just one garden photo a day, but I've moved the egg chair into the space where the compost bin was, just for now, with a pot of bamboo beside it.  It looks a bit sparse in the photo but it's in a lovely, shady spot under next door's overhanging birch branches and will be a very pleasant place to chill.
(It would look better if I'd taken the cover off, I know!)

Apart from that, I got the ironing done and I enjoyed a chatty personal training session with lovely Lindsey.  It was quite hot so I did a fair bit of resting and relaxing to stay cool.  I got the ironing done though.

Today was going to be rather busy but now it isn't.
Chris and I were going to go to Lathcoats to pick strawberries but Chris had to pull out as her mum is under the weather.  I thought I would go on my own but received the daily email from Lathcoats saying that they were closing PYO to allow more fruit to ripen.  Fair enough but a bit disappointing because I can't go tomorrow and the weekend is busy so it's next Monday at the earliest and what's the betting next Monday will be closed again after heavy weekend picking. 
Oh, well, that's life.

Later on, I have a freebie Groove session.  Lindsey is recording her new routines and finds it easier to do it with a 'class' there - more natural and less of a performance - so she asks for volunteers and I always offer.  I love a free session!

But the biggie today is making some cakes.  I can make a reasonable cake but don't do so all that often nowadays, it only being me here and - you know, Slimming World, etc.
However, my friend, Faith, is having a MacMillan tea/coffee afternoon tomorrow so I offered to provide some cake.  As I think I've already said, I am making a coffee and walnut cake and I thought I would make a classic Victoria sponge with strawberry jam and butter icing too.  
Must dig out my cake tins.

Well, time to stop and get my kitchen into some sort of order before baking.  Have a wonderful day, stay cool, stay safe and keeeeeeep smiling!  xx

Wednesday 22 June 2022


 Today's garden happy (but taken on Monday)

Monday morning I got out early and sorted out the compost bin.  You can see where it was in the first photo - it looks a lot better now it's dried up and been re-swept.  Now the bin is t'other side of the gate and, when the time comes and I have dealt with the remaining clutter, there's room for a second bin so I can have one on the go and one to fill, just like proper gardeners!
I might take a look and see if I can maybe find some slightly smaller ones.  We will see.  
Anyway, the clematis can stay there and will fulfil its original purpose which is to take the eye away from the bins.
I also have four good pots filled with compost (maybe for the fuchsia cuttings?) and various existing plantings have been thoroughly mulched.
Why move it?  Because the garden room will use up about two thirds of that space, otherwise I wouldn't have bothered.

After all that - a very good morning to you all.  We're having such gorgeous weather this week; wall-to-wall sunshine and temperatures between 20 and 25C which is perfect for us in the UK.  Perfect for me, anyway!

Yesterday was another good day.  I went to Groove just after nine and am definitely building up my stamina a bit as the weeks have progressed.  I'm not as bouncy as some but comparing is silly; I can see personal progress and that is what matters.   I have a nice variety of different activity now.  Monday is circuits which is a sort of HIIT thing, Tuesday is aerobic based and Wednesday is specifically targeted to my individual needs.  Then there's the swimming too.  
Anyway - Groove was good.  It's the end of the five week block so there will be new routines and music next Tuesday.  Lindsey records each new block in her own studio for people who can't make the class and has started asking for volunteers to be a 'class' because her delivery is more natural in a class context so I've volunteered again - I'm always up for a freebie!

Then the lovely Sharon arrived and worked magic with my hair again, bless her.  I'm so lucky to have her as my hairdresser; she's so good and so lovely and friendly.  It looked great when she'd finished which is the reason why I decided not to go swimming and spoil it all!
And talking of swimming, although it is supposed to be July, this sponsored swim, people have already started so I think I will too.  I won't count the distance I have already done but from now on . . .

I did a bit of gardening, a bit of housework and two loads of washing that dried beautifully in the sunshine.  No ironing though - I'll do that today.

My new neighbours seem really nice.  Yesterday, K was pressure washing his front and he did mine at the same time.  So very kind.

Apart from ironing today, I need to do a shop because I'm making cakes for a Macmillan Coffee Day on Friday so need some ingredients.  Apart from a coffee and walnut cake, I am not sure what else to make so must have a think before I make my list.
I didn't do any clothes sorting so I'll do that and I only managed half an hour of last night's Back in Time before giving up and going to bed so will finish watching that today.
Finally, there's personal training later in the afternoon.
All in all, a nice, normal day.  Normal is great!

Have a lovely, normal, pleasant day today.  Take care and be safe.  xx

Tuesday 21 June 2022


 Today's garden happy.

I love lupins.  So pretty and, if you remember to dead head them, they just keep coming.

Good morning.  After a gorgeous day yesterday, we have another gorgeous day expected today although at the moment it is quite cool and very refreshing.  Luvverly!

I started the day off with some garden stuff and now the compost bin has been moved, I have plenty of good compost in pots and an empty (more or less) bin to refill.  I'll post the photos tomorrow.
It took a fair old time but now it's done and I'm glad it's one.

I sorted through a whole load of photos yesterday and found lots of family stuff, of course, including this - Mum and Dad on their wedding day.  Typical of the time and how lovely.

Circuits was good, as usual.  Afterwards, I had planned to go for a swim but, when it came to it, I was so weary I didn't go.  I came home, did some housework and continued sorting out photos.  There were also some cardboard filing cases packed with visitors' booklets of various places around the UK - posh ones of Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, slightly less posh ones of places like Chatsworth and Beauleigh, and so on.  I went through them but have kept most of them for more detailed reading; they look interesting.

The weariness continued; I was hoping to watch the new Back In Time series which started last night, but by half past seven I was losing the fight to stay awake so I went to bed and didn't wake again until past six this morning.  I've recorded the programme so can catch up later.

Today is more of the same really.  Bit of garden, bit of housework, Groove aerobics . . . that sort of thing.  One different thing - Sharon is round to sort out my hair, bless her.
What I really need to start doing is sorting through some of my clothes.  What with the weather being up and dawn and ditto for my weight, everything's got rather muddled up and needs re-sorting.  There's very little, if anything, to discard but it's all in a right old muddle.  
As I didn't go swimming yesterday, I'm rather hoping to go this afternoon although it seems a shame to mess up my newly done hair.  Oh, well, a bit of a blo-dry and an iron will get it back to shape again, I am sure.

I've already done the watering and nipped out some side shoots.  They are so easy to miss unless you look for them and then, suddenly, you find half your plants have two fruiting stems rather than just the one!

Hopefully, you are having the same fine weather as we are here.  Have a wonderful day and stay safe - there's still a lot of Covid around.  xx

Monday 20 June 2022


 Today's garden happy - well, happies as you're getting two for the price of one today.

Pretty Sweet Williams.  They always remind me of Mum and Dad who loved them and I always loved that Kate had Sweet Williams in her bouquet when she married Prince William.
The two-for-one.
Following on from yesterday, yes, they are definitely females so proper courgettes - actually three of them, not two.  You can see a male front left and, I think, another front going right - quite different.

Wonder if they will drop off, being the first fruits.  Time will tell.  But how lovely to have three coming along.  Happy!

Good morning, everyone. 
It's Monday.  One day away from the longest day of the year.  I find that hard to realise - it only seems a few days ago that we were grumbling about the dark and gloomy mornings and evenings!  It is quite chilly at the moment - comparatively chilly, anyway - but is forecast to warm up and brighten up into quite a nice day.  Hope so!

Yesterday was a most pleasant day.  I was pretty tired after Saturday's clearing, sorting and making decisions so took things very easy most of the day.
I went out for lunch so wore my new blue dress (with appropriate - er - support underneath) and felt great!  We went to the Hare and I enjoyed a superfoods salad.  I'd asked for a smaller plate one but the bigger one came so now I have two more portions, brought home in a doggy bag, in containers in the freezer which will give me two good lunches during the week.  Nice.
And that was about it really.  I looked through some photos, got the mess in the kitchen cleared up and just chilled.

Today there's more clearing and going through stuff, I have circuits and then I'm going for a swim.  It was so nice doing that last week so it may become a regular thing which I now can do as I don't have tuition any more.  Here is some washing but I think I might leave that until tomorrow.
And that's about it.

No, just thought of one more thing - I want to get the compost bin moved as mentioned in yesterday's garden update.  That shouldn't take long.

Well, have a great day, everyone.  Enjoy the hopefully fine weather and be good!  xx

Sunday 19 June 2022

Garden update


Let's start with the tomatoes.
I'm so glad I got the sungolds potted on early Saturday morning.  They haven't wilted in the least and seem very happy.  They're not as far on as the others but they will catch up, I am sure
The first fruits from the first tomatoes I got from the garden centre.  This is a Black Opal so it should look interesting.  I'm looking forward to my tomato bowl with red, yellow, orange, black and 'shimmer', all different shapes and sizes.  Salads should look great!
Two of the plants from Julia, looking very happy.  There's loads of flowers so fingers crossed.

Must feed the plants that have babies today - no, Cherie, NOT with babies!

Can you see the baby yellow courgettes?  It's a bit hard to tell but they do look like females, rather than the males you usually get first, but I should know for sure in a few days.  Again, it's looking very happy at the moment.

The first cucumber.  It's not around four inches long and growing fast.  There are also plenty of smaller ones starting too.  It will be so nice to cut my cucumbers rather than buying them.  They last so much longer and taste so much nicer.

Sadly, two of the ten corns didn't make it - you can see them front centre and left.  The others look jolly sturdy though and eight plants should be enough for one with a few for the freezer, fingers crossed.

Now the fruit.

A few more raspberries . . .
. . . and one of the Braeburns.

I took a photo of the Flamencos but it turned out all blurry.

And the flowers.

Looking lovely and just starting to trail.
The middle bed is looking far more as I want it to be now.  Once the Japanese anemones start flowering, it will look great.
The flowers on the clematis look lovely but the leaves are poor.  I'm going to use some of what's al the bottom of the compost bin to feed the soil a bit - I reckon it's starving, poor thing.

I looked at Dad's.  Apparently, it was lovely but, as it hadn't been tied up. it had trailed all over the patio so Gail cut it back.  The bit that is left looks healthy though, so fingers crossed for next year and the new owners.

There's a few flowers showing on one of the fuchsias.  The other is always a bit later.

I forgot to mention in my blog but I took some cuttings from Dad's fuchsias.  Ever since he and mum started living there (in 1970), there have been fuchsias at the front, under the kitchen window.
I took the cuttings and, hopefully, one of them will go in the space at the front of my house - not quite the same spot as there's no room under my kitchen window but just a bit further along.  If more survive, they can go in pots for now.

And finally, the inside of the compost bin - aren't you lucky!!
You can see that it is pretty much empty now so I can lift it up, get all the remaining well rotted compost into pots or on top of older soil (like the clematis), etc, move the polythene to where it is going to have to go, pop the bin over and start off a new load of potential goodness with the little bit that's not rotted yet.
It has to move for the same reason as the clematis - because of the planned garden room.
The grey, by the way, is charcoal ashes.

I've gone from despair at the way it all looked to satisfaction in three weeks.  Amazing what a bit of hard work and a bit of spending can do!


 Morning, everyone.  I don't have a garden photo as I wasn't at home yesterday but here's a blast from my past - a double blast, in fact.

Here's me, cute as anything, wearing a little dress my Mum made and smocked.  She made pretty much all my clothes, both sewn and knitted (not undies or socks though), including coats and little mittens and gloves.

In the first photo, I was copying Dad -  as soon as I was able to sit up, he used to sit me on his knee at the piano and let me 'help' while he played.  

In the second photo, I gather I would NOT hold the toy dog the right way and every time they turned it round, I turned it back again!  I reckon that's my early 'You can't make me' look.  Little show off!

After the heat of Friday, yesterday was quite a turn around.  As I drove over around eight, the sunshine went, the clouds gathered and there were a few spots of rain which stopped almost as soon as they started.  If I hadn't been driving so saw them on the windscreen, I'd probably not have noticed.
However, the rain started in earnest after a while and continued on and off all day.   It was noticeably cooler too, between 15 and 20 degrees cooler.

We worked hard and, as there really wasn't much more to do, we had time to sit and chat too.  I've come home with a car load of stuff.  Rather a lot of photos to go through and sort out at my leisure (John took the other half to do ditto), a few kitchen items - little sieves, a baking dish, some opened packets and jars such as soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, etc, and rather a lot of poly bags, etc, enough to see me out, I expect!  Also a nice stiff garden broom (I was going to buy one so that's very useful).  All stuff that we left deliberately for Gail and Colin to use or for when we visited.  We only needed to make one trip to the tip and the general waste bin is full plus two bags that Ann next door let us put in her bin, bless her.  I was glad to hear that this will be collected this week - I'd hate to leave a full bin for our buyers.

John and Gina are likewise going back today with a load of stuff including Mum and Dad's beloved bird bath that Mum was presented with when she left Guiding (apart from her Trefoil Guild group which they called HOG - Herfordshire Occasional Guild) and various tools, etc.

I was all emoted out when I got home so just shoved everything inside and left it.  This morning, I've sorted out the kitchen stuff and will start looking through the photos later on.  I was going for an early morning swim but I'm feeling weary so I think I'll leave it till tomorrow and get the house sorted out.  It looks a mess at the moment.  I'm going out for lunch - a belated birthday treat from a friend - so that will be nice and the rest of the time I can sort, tidy, organise and chill.  Phew.

I doubt I will be sitting out much, if at all.  The forecast is for early showers (it's pretty cloudy at the moment) and maybe a bit of sun.  Time will tell on that one!
What was the weather like for you - did you get rain like us?  Take care and have a great Sunday.  xx

Saturday 18 June 2022


 Today's garden happy:

I have babies!  However, I can take no credit for them - they were there when I got the plants from Julia.  They just haven't dropped off.
Note to self - start feeding the plants with babies.

Good morning.  It really was a very, very hot day yesterday and the night started off pretty hot too  Thankfully, today looks like being much more moderate and tomorrow might not reach 20 - and we'll all be complaining that it's too cold!!  
According to the Beeb, that is.

SW was rather lethargic!  The hall was OK, not all that hot first thing although I bet it warmed up later.  I got my swim in the afternoon and it was absolutely lovely, cool and refreshing.  Then, in the evening, I did myself a mini-barbecue and by then the fierce heat had gone, the garden was shady and it was a very happy experience.

Poor old John and Gina travelled down from Scotland yesterday and said it was pretty uncomfortable, even with the air con in the van.  I'm going up to Dad's to meet them there and we will finish the clearing as we are now very, very close to exchanging on the house so we need to do a final clearing.  D and K, the people buying the house, want us to leave quite a lot for them which has made our job a lot easier, and they are coming round later in the afternoon to let us know if there's anything else they want us to remove.  Other than that, there's an awful lot of photos to look through and sort out which isn't going to be happy but it has to be done.
First thing, though, before I leave for Letchworth, I have sungolds to pot on.  I wasn't expecting the collars until Tuesday but they arrived yesterday.  Cheers.

I don't have any exercise planned for today but I guess I will get plenty, all the same.
And that's today.  What do you have planned?  Whatever it is, have a good one and be happy.  xx

Friday 17 June 2022


Morning, everyone.

First of all, an apology.  After something Sue C said on her blog, I searched for the spam folder and found lots of your messages there.  I have no idea why and  I've worked through the the last few weeks and put them up and done my best to find and reply to them.  I won't go further back than that but thank you for your comments, whenever you sent them.

I thought I was being lucky not have problems sending comments but obviously, I have had problems receiving them and I do apologise for not realising earlier.  From not on I will regularly go through the spam folder so if your comment hasn't landed, it will do. 

Thanks, Sue, for alerting me to this.

Having got that off my chest . . .
. . . today's garden happy.

I've moved the two lavenders to the front beside the planter and it looks quite nice although taking the photo makes me realise how much it needs a weed and a sweep.  Oh, well . . . it still looks pretty and welcoming and should smell nice too!
A lot nicer than the two bins that used to be there anyway!

After yesterday, the boiler is services and there were no issues.  And I know that if I keep up the annual services, it is covered for several years to come.

The mattress arrived in the last minutes of the time slot I was given so I didn't get my swim but I do have a lovely, supportive mattress now.  I slept quite well, despite the heat, and have no aches this morning, thank goodness.
Before all that, Chris and I had a lovely chat out in my garden, sitting in the shade, and before that I had a quick whizz round and planted out the Sweet Williams and the Salvia and gave the house a bit of a tidy.

Today I plan to take things easy.  It is Slimming World first thing and then I will chill (hopefully) at home until I leave for my swim.  Dinner this evening will probably be a little bbq in the garden.  Just me and my Kindle.  

Do take care if  it's hot where you are today.  Beeb says that round here it could get up to about 32C although there will be a 'moderate breeze' which might make things a bit more comfortable.  I have thrown open the windows and will close the blinds once the sun moves round to the back.  The fans are out and ready for service.
I am SO glad I'm not still teaching and feel for my ex colleagues, especially those in the demountable rooms today.  They used to feel like an oven in the hot weather.

I'm rambling!  I'll shut up now and get on with the day.  So take care, drink plenty of water and take it as easy as you can.  Stay cool.  xx