Monday, 18 June 2018

Back On My Feet

I've managed to get downstairs after three days unable to leave my bed after being poleaxed by flu like symptoms. I still feel worn out but my temperature is back to normal and the horrible symptoms have disappeared, so am definitely on the mend. Why is illness so tiring? I've made myself eat some solid food and have been drinking plently of fluids but I think it'll be a few more days before I'm back to normal. I've cancelled diary appointments for the next couple of days, have nothing planned anyway for the other weekdays, so will have a relaxing week to rest. Back soon. 

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Waiting In ...

... for a couple of workmen today. One of the new French doors needs to be adjusted as it isn't closing properly, and I have someone calling in to quote for the cost of decorating once all the improvements are completed. I don't have a firm time for either person so am resigned to waiting in all day.

Yesterday didn't quite go according to plan as I didn't get as much done in the garden as I'd hoped. I've finished the weeding as planned but the planting was hard work as it is clay soil, currently rock solid, and the effort needed was causing pain in my eye so I gave up. The promised rain happened overnight so that may have helped and I'll try again later this morning. If I still can't manage it I'll have to admit defeat and ask for help.

The plant in the photo is a spirea. I think it's 'Little Princess' but am not entirely sure as it's one of the plants I bought from the 'save-me-I'm-dying' selection at the garden centre last year and it wasn't labelled properly. It's currently in a pot but will be replanted in front of one of the climbing roses to add a bright splash of colour to that part of the garden.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Garden, Friends and a Quiet Evening In

The photo has nothing to do with today's waffling but I like it so thought I'd share it with you!

I've slept well but have woken very early (practically the middle of the night) and don't feel much like getting out of bed and starting the day. Weather permitting (the forecast is for some rain) I have an industrious morning in the garden to look forward to. I want to finish weeding the righthand side of the garden, start planting some bulbs, and cover each planting pocket with bark as I go. I'll do another skip run if I have time. It's going to look a bit sparse this year but it's all I can manage for now.

After lunch I'm spending the afternoon with Lauren, mostly for a chat and a catch up but also to read through her final uni assignment before she submits it (I'm her spellchecker!) - the end of an era and it's all change from now on.

As for tonight, I don't know. I haven't planned anything so will see what the day brings and how I feel.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018


I'm too tired to think of a proper title for this post - sleep was elusive last night so I have no energy this morning. I didn't get to sleep before about 4:25 am (the last time I remember looking at the clock) and was wide awake again at 7:00 am. I don't plan on doing too much today although I do have to teach this afternoon.

I've been (trying) to make my final decision on what I want in the bathroom and ensuite. The only certainty is that I want white and I have chosen the replacement bath, which'll be ordered as soon as the sales start. I have an idea of the toilets for both rooms but need to hold off ordering until the work starts. I've narrowed the choice down to two styles but it all depends on whether the pipework, currently boxed in at floor level along two walls, can be hidden either below the floor or in the wall. Hopefully it can and then I'll buy the flat to wall toilet for each room but if not it'll be my second choice which will fit in over the boxed in pipes. The sink in the ensuite isn't being changed but it's the replacement one for the family bathroom which is causing the problems. I keep changing my mind about what I want! I originally wanted a counter-top basin but can't really find one I like in my price range, and most are too shallow to be  practical. There isn't enough room for a basin with vanity unit as the position of the toilet will prevent the doors opening properly. I'll have to take some measurements (again!) and trawl around the local bathroom showrooms looking for ideas.

My must do task for today is to place the adverts for the rest of the furniture I want to sell, and I'll do that when I get back after teaching. I've chosen, but not yet ordered, the new mahogany TV table/unit but still have to decide on the seating for the living room - I still can't decide whether to have leather or fabric but am going to have to make my mind up soon as it needs to be ordered. I also have to decide on the bedroom furniture. There's a new oak furniture showroom in town so that seems as good a place to start as any. It's just the bed and two small bedside tables needed as there are built in cupboards in the room for all my clothes.

Time for coffee, I think. Hope you all have a good day.

Monday, 11 June 2018

A Good Start To The Week

This is the first time I've been able to catch up with myself all day. I overslept, which started the day off with a mad panic (I'm good at those!) as I had an appointment with the optician and I didn't want to have to reschedule. I made it on time ... just, and left with the good news that my right eye is continuing to heal as expected. I'm expecting a hospital appointment for the follow up on my left eye so hopefully that be good news as well.

Then it was over to Bradford on Avon for a few games of Rummikub. We played four games and I won three of them so left feeling quite chuffed with myself! I didn't have to concentrate as much on the new rules this week, so had more time to think about the game play. 

Back home and I loaded the car with rubbish for the skip. This was all things from the house and garage rather than the garden waste. I must have looked pathetic or something because one of the men who works at the skip unloaded and disposed of the entire car load for me. Brilliant service! I'm leaving the garden waste until Wednesday.

Lunch today was a pasta bake - too filling on a hot day like today and left me feeling very lethargic. I'd planned to go to Bath in the afternoon to take some more photos for the SPSH but decided against it and ended up out in the garden instead. I've cleared another big bag of weeds, including some of the thistles and nettles which were much easier to get out than I thought they'd be - I'm going to buy some much thicker gardening gloves before I tackle the rest though! I tidied the rest of the pots, tied up one of the roses, and encouraged the clematis to spread out over its trellis. As I'm making space with all the weeding it's becoming clear that there are way too many crocosmia so will move some to the front garden after they've flowered, along with the hydrangea (currently in a pot but not happy in the back garden, so will see if it feels more at home at the front of the house - it'll have to take a chance on being moved) and will take the heathers from the front garden and move them to the back of the house.

As soon as I finish this post I'll grab my book and a coffee and put my feet up for a while and I may go for a walk along the canal later on if it cools down. Tomorrow is shopping, teaching and a 'bring and share' meal with friends.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

A Quiet Sunday

It will have to be an easy day today. I've woken with a bad headache and it's painful to move at all. I don't think it's the start of a migraine (thank goodness), it feels more like a pressure headache - as if there is going to be a thunderstorm, although there's no mention that we're due one on any of the forecasts. I've taken some tablets in the hope they will get rid of it.

Yesterday evening was spent quietly at home and, for a change, the Saturday TV was good and there were things on I wanted to watch. My first choice was the film 'Maleficent', which I'd missed when it was originally released in the cinema. An interesting twist to the tale of Sleeping Beauty and I enjoyed it, although it hasn't made the list of films I'd want to watch again. One home cooked chicken curry from the freezer later, and I settled down to watch the highlights of the Trooping the Colour ceremony. I love all of our traditions and would have watched the entire event in the morning if I hadn't had band practice. This was followed by the first episode of a detective series called Hidden. So far so good, and I wasn't put off by the occasional conversations in the Welsh language and the need for subtitles, but whether I'll actually remember to watch the rest of the series is another question completely - my past record shows that I won't! My final choice of the evening was 'Thor: The Dark World', just a bit of mindless superhero fantasy to finish off the day!

This morning so far, in addition to feeling a bit sorry for myself (headache, see first paragraph) I've finished reading the chosen book for the next book group meeting, 'This is Going To Hurt: Diaries of a Junior Doctor' by Adam Kay, which was very funny but also a worrying insight to the state of the NHS. I think there will be some lively discussions about it.

Despite how I feel today, I'm starting to see some payoffs from my efforts to improve my fitness. In the past week my daily steps have gradually increased and I'm averaging about 5,500 steps every day. It doesn't sound much but the good news is that there is still no severe pain from the knee injury and the constant pain from the arthritis is easing off a little. That in itself makes the effort worthwhile. I was contacted by the local coordinator about the referral for reduced gym membership and was delighted to be told that the reduced rate applies for a year, not the six weeks I'd previously been told. I'm booked in for my initial assessment on the 20th and, as I want to use the gym rather than the pool, will be given a bespoke exercise programme to follow, which will be reviewed after six and twelve weeks. 

I thankfully don't have any plans for today. I was going to take the garden waste to the skip but that can wait until tomorrow, so I'm going to go back to bed to see if some more sleep will shift the headache.  Hope you all have a good day. 

Saturday, 9 June 2018

A Sunny Saturday

Not that I saw much of the sun this morning as it was the first session for the youth band after the half term break, but it was lovely to see them all again. We're now working to combine the bands, so promoting the beginners I've been teaching all year into the junior band, and promoting the juniors into the main band. It's a big learning curve and sometimes children can struggle at this stage, but so far this year we haven't had any issues.

As soon as band finished it was back home for lunch (boiled egg and soldiers) and then an hour out in the garden. I've cleared out a couple of pots and tidied another one, and also removed the weeds from one of the planting areas. It was too hot to be outside any longer, so I decided that I'd done enough for today and came back inside.

Here's some photos of what's happening in the garden now. This clematis is growing against the trellis on the back wall of the house. I don't know what it's called as it was planted by the previous owners, but I love the colour. It had to be moved when the hard landscaping was done last year and is now in a pot, but it seems to be happy in its new home and has recovered well.

This is one of the climbing roses I planted last year. The label assured me it was white but the rose doesn't seem to know that. It goes through several colour changes, starting out a bright apricot and fading through pinks to end with white petals.  

Another clematis, this one with big blooms - they're about 5 inches across. I planted it last year and after a slow start, has loads of flowers this year.

The crab apple tree is coming on well and will have some fruit this year. The fruit will stay very small and it isn't considered to be any good for cooking, but it is liked by the birds which is the main reason I chose this one.

These roses actually belong to my neighbour and have grown tall enough to see over the fence. This is a possibility for the SPSH, No 20 | mellow yellow

Friday, 8 June 2018

A Garden Update

The garden is a mess! Unavoidable as I couldn't do anything once the problem with my eyes reared it's ugly head, but things are improving on that front so it's time to tackle the weeds. And the nettles. And the thistles. 

This is what it looked like a few days ago.

I've set myself a mini project to encourage me to work on this - by the end of June my aim is to have cleared the planting pockets you can see in the first photo and put down some bark or membrane to restrict the regrowth of weeds until I feel able to do the rest. I also want to tidy the rest of the pots and get them moved to their new positions (once I can persuade someone to do the heavy work!).

Since these photos were taken the roses have started flowering, as has the clematis and the other climber whose name I can't remember, and the crocosmia foliage is putting on a good show although no sign of the flower spikes yet! 

Now a bit of a quiz ... do any of you clever gardeners recognise these plants please? I don't remember planting them but did throw some seeds down last year, or are they weeds and so need to go?

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Take Three Thursday (and SPSH)

For the first time in ages I am sharing three photographs for Mary-Lou's 'Take Three Thursday', where we are asked to share three photos that are linked in some way.

I am sharing three more photos from yesterday's trip to Avebury. I asked for good weather and was lucky to have bright sunlight but I was in the wrong place at the wrong time for these and, if I'd had enough time, would have waited for the sun to move round.

Here's three photos of the wishing tree at Avebury. The first one is a possibility for the SPSH, No 16 | something that could be from a favourite book/movie. Every time I sees these trees with their amazing roots I think of the enchanted trees in Prince Caspian, part of the Narnia series of books by CS Lewis.

Edited to add - or part of the forbidden forest in Harry Potter. Maybe, as it is a wishing tree it could be the tree in the book 'The Wishing Tree' by Ruth Chew, or the wishing tree that Winnie the Pooh and friends went searching for in the TV series.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Summertime Photo Scavenger Hunt

I'm a bit late with this post as the hunt, organised by Mary-Lou over at Patio Postcards ,  started on June 1st and will run until September 30th. As usual, the hunt is open to everyone so please feel free to join in.

Here's the list:

  1. The Rosiness Of Red
  2. Stripes
  3. A Framed View
  4. Wings
  5. Pedal Power
  6. Glorious Green
  7. An Unexpected Reflection 
  8. A Pile Of
  9. Looks Smaller Than You
  10. A Field of Plenty
  11. Pretty In Pink
  12. Bell(s)
  13. Equal Portions
  14. A Trilogy Of Three
  15. Out Of The Blue 
  16. Something That Could Be From A Favourite Book/Movie
  17. Re-purposed
  18. Currency; Coinage or Paper (the odd, the different, the beautiful)
  19. Picture Postcard Perfect
  20. Mellow Yellow
Alternate A: a shopping bag (not the store's plastic)

Alternate B: a coupon to use

I started my search for photos today. I went to Avebury and Silbury Hill, and whilst I didn't manage to get the photo I'd gone for, I did take four other possibles.

No 2 | stripes. This was a lucky find - I parked in a lay-by to the side of the Beckhampton roundabout and just glanced to my left!

No 3 | a framed view. I took quite a lot for this particular prompt but didn't really like them when I viewed them on the laptop. This is the best so far ...

and finally (for now!) No 6 | Glorious Green - a view of Silbury Hill followed by a closer shot of the long grass.