Yesterday’s rain seems to have moved on

June 5th, 2024

Yesterday’s rain seems to have moved on. This morning Peel is bathed in bright sunshine. Blue skies up above, everyone in love.

Popped out to the Spar shop before breakfast for a few essentials: sausages, milk and butter. Now set up for the day. Survived listening to politics on radio four but when the conversation moved on to global warming opted to bury my head in the sand and switch off.

Now just savouring a cup of tea in the dining room. Noises from the kitchen suggest ongoing tidying.

Today we head east out of Purt ny h-Inshey, dropping THG off in Doolish before turning the car north to Laksaa. Driving not tramming to Laksaa but there is a suggestion that we will hop on the MER before we head back across the water in a week’s time. The objective in Laksaa is King Orry’s Grave. Homage to Manx royalty. A somewhat contradictory position as I would be extremely unlikely to pay homage to the current lot.

I hear the noise of bikes massing to head out to the course. Should be good for racing today with rain not forecast before this evening. The disadvantage of TT watching in the Isle of Man is that you need to be in place a good three hours before a race starts in order to ensure a decent spot on a hedge. This is very much an act of faith considering the propensity of the weather here to turn on a threppeny bit. That three hour investment could turn out to be a total waste if rain comes and the race is subsequently postponed.

Moreover once in place you are effectively there for the day. Those positions on walls and hedges are like gold dust and once there don’t want to be squandered by leaving early. Although the watching of any individual bike is a very fleeting occurrence, they sometimes race by at over two hundred miles an hour, the overall experience is great. You listen to the commentary on the wireless and can compare the gap between different riders with their official position in the race to see their progress from section to section on the course.

Won’t be watching today though. Praps saving meself for the Senior on Saturday. It’s the biggie.

The real big news of the moment is the eightieth anniversary of the DDay landings. I still find it very poignant and THG and I are visiting the area ourselves in July and August. My own father was too young to take part in WW2 but did National Service in the RAF. I remember him telling me how he spent a month in the caves in Gibraltar during Operation Mariner in 1953. He was one of the wireless operators. That’s close enough to WW2.

I was born a mere sixteen years after the end of the hostilities. V close in the great scheme of things really.

A good day out on the east side of the island today. After dropping THG in Doolish we hit marine drive. The occasional boat to be seen and Ben my Chree anchored in Doolish bay.

Down into the Old Town at Laksaa and a cawfee on the seafront there in front of The Shed caff. Nice spot. We sat watching gannets plunging after fish. Then a fishing smack appeared and slowly made its way across to the other side of the bay. At the same time a kayak floated across and into the harbour making very quick and seemingly effortless progress. Finally a small rib followed the kayak completing the flotilla line up for the moment.

A man walked two dogs along the stone beach. One of them, a spaniel, carried a huge stick in its mouth. Woman with two grandchildren made her way. The little girl kept running ahead, stopping occasionally to throw stones into the sea. If she kept it up she would eventually fill the sea. Grandma stopped and demonstrated how to throw a stone to the toddler. It didn’t go very far.

We made our way to “King Orry’s Grave”, a five thousand year old prehistoric brutal spot. Quite impressive fair play although not in a particularly grand spot at the side of the road. Presumably there would have been a good view from there before they built the surrounding cottages.

Stopped at the caff by the big Wheel at Laksaa for a cheese sandwich and was thrilled to be approached by Wendy Lambert who used to live over the road from us at Ballagarey Road and whose mum used to give me a lift to school. Was really great to see her after 44 years!!!

Finally left Laksaa and made our way down south. Derby Haven, Derby Fort and Scarlett. The old Castletown Golf Links Hotel has long since closed. My sister Ann had her wedding reception there.

Back now in Peel having had a jolly day out. This afternoon’s racing cancelled due to wet weather on the mountain. It’s been beautiful wherever we have been!

Amlyn ac Amig

May 27th, 2024

Bettany Hughes was entertaining enough but not so much that I felt I wanted to spend twenty five quid on her seven Wonders book. I did however blow a wodge on a variety of books in the Oxfam bookshop including the Saunders Lewis comedy play Amlyn ac Amig first broadcast on Christmas Day nineteen thirty nine and subsequently published in nineteen forty. It cost two and six when new but Oxfam were asking a fiver. I didn’t have two and six on me anyway.

Took in a couple more gigs after Bettany. A live recording of the Radio 4 show Sliced Bread where they discussed the relative merits of in-ear noise reduction gizmos and then, after lunch the Poetry Pharmacy with special Guest Tim Rice.

Chucked it down on and off all day but there is plenty of cover at the Hay Festival and didn’t really have to call on the services of my coat.

Our jaunt to the Hay on Wye literary festival has been a success. All we need to do now is visit the Old Cinema Bookshop and the stall in the square selling sheepskins for fifteen notes. The Old Cinema is a big bookshop apaz. I am particularly interested in historical books about West Wales. Hay on Wye isn’t really the best place to get that kind of material and I sense that one day we will need to arrange a visit to the Antiquarian Bookshop in Caerfyrddin.

We also need to hand some stuff over to Rhys and Eirian wot we brought down in the car. Water bottles and tees left over from the festival.

On da way home stopped at Hopwood Park services for a sandwich and for THG to take over the driving. Frees me up to do stuff. Had a bit of a snooze. Then checked the cctv and spotted a couple of muntjac deer meandering around the back garden at around dawn. Saw where they came in from next door but didn’t see them leave. Not seen deer there before. Foxes yes.

The holiday spirit very much continues. I have a few days to prepare for one night in Manchester and then another eleven on the Isle of Man. TT Week.

A good day out

May 26th, 2024

A good day out at Gwyl Gelli Gandryll. Started the day with a meander through town and procured a couple of books including the Stephen Ambrose D-Day tome for four quid which was a bargain and Laurie Lee’s As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning for a fiver which wasn’t. It was a price I was prepared to pay.

Spotted a stall selling sheepskins in the market square. Fifteen quid for a largeish one and a tenner for a small. Lamb presumably. I’m going to go back and purchayse a large one tomorrow morning before we head off. It will serve as a general purpose “throw” for the shed.

Skipped the Lenny Henry session in favour of watching the FA Cup Final with Rhys et al but did make it back for Huw Stephens who was very good fair play. Bought his book which he signed “i Tref, cofion cynness, Huw x”. I couldn’t be arsed to queue and instead went to the bar. However @Carys did the business for me tvm.

Was a longish day yesterday and after consuming a mediocre supper in the food hall THG and I hit the hill, by shuttle bus, and returned to the Kilverts Inn for an early night.

This morning I am up at the the crack of dawn, well six thirty, refreshed and ready for another day of culture. First up is Bettany Hughes at ten and then a long, long gap until The Poetry Pharmacy with William Sieghart at five thirty. THG has something at one and then we have a long lunch arranged at Cotto, a restaurant onsite at the festival.

In between I daresay I’ll find something to watch/listen to. The BBC has a good tent. Festival goers here are of the BBC Radio 4 demographic. I imagine.

wake up and smell the hay

May 25th, 2024

Woke up in Hay on Wye. Our first floor bedroom looks out onto the whitewashed stone walls of Haywain Antiques. An emporium of old second hand goods that might once have been new but long since discarded by their original owners who are quite probably dead by now.

The shop window visible from our room in Kilverts Inn is full of porcelain dogs that would once have sat either side of a fireplace or on the mantelpiece. My grandmother had some. One of the girls now has them I imagine.

We are shortly off down to breakfast and thereafter plan to stroll independently around the village. Separately because our interests are not compatible. I will happily meander through the maze of bookshelves that characterise this place as the literary centre of the universe or simlar. This is not for THG.

The bookshops are fine if you are looking for a specific volume and are prepared to pay at least the going rate. You will not find a bargain in Hay on Wye. These booksellers know their market pricing.

It is Saturday morning. Most mornings are henceforth a Saturday morning except for Monday mornings which remain Monday mornings. This is because I’ve cut down my hours and expressly elected to only work one morning a week, largely to be available for any administrative activities that might be thrown my way. Monday is that morning. I can change it to suit.

This is not a hard and fast rule as I am prepared to go on the occasional excursion to London and beyond for the purpose of luncheon and dinner. In the meantime I expect the long awaited garage and potting shed clear outs to commence along with the work to reduce my waistline. Fitness levels will increase. My book project can begin in earnest.

Breakfast was pretty ordinary. Standard pub breakfast fare. No marmalade! Apricot jam was offered as a mediocre alternative. I stood in line behind a young girl at the toaster. Her toast came out perfectly browned. Amazing for a hotel toaster. I put my single slice of bread in and along came another guest looking for the two slices he had previously started. Turns out the young girl had whipped them 🙂

In the meantime THG are spending time in the resident’s lounge, one of the few places we can get online. The walls to our room must be at least two feet thick and therefore a barrier to both 802.11 and GSM. I have a book with me which mitigates the problem but in order to post this I had to come downstairs.

Ok that’s it for now. Bookshops beckon. Matters for the mind.

pole position at the front of the grid

May 23rd, 2024

Sat in pole position at the front of the grid ready to make a speedy exit from the Pride of Hull. The car deck has lots of bikes. Motorbikes. Mostly off to the Isle of Man for TT Week one assumes. We will see them there 🙂 

I booked a club stateroom. Double bed, fully stocked minibar, bathroom with bath and shower, TV. The TV is supposedly relevant because the other room types don’t have one but I only watched it for a couple of mins and switched off. 

The other thing that comes with the room is a concierge who collects your luggage from the car and shows you to your room and does the same in return on departure. He also picks up your duty free. And you get priority disembarkation, hence my front of grid position. When we landed in Rotterdam I did not have any of this and it took an hour to get through passport control. We shall see how different the experience might be today.

Amazing how many car alarms are going off. This is despite multiple warnings to switch off your alarms. I have to admit I’m not sure I know how to even switch it on. My key is one of those old fashioned car keys that opens the door by inserting it into the lock and turning and ditto for switching on the ignition. This being THG’s car she has possession of the remote control key fob that also sets the alarm. Hey I know my place…

Punters are now streaming onto the car deck. They must have broadcast a message. Being on the front of the grid they got me here early, presumably to make sure I was there when the doors opened and didn’t block the smooth disembarkation of the ferry.

It being notionally a seven ey em arrival time I didn’t bother with breakfast on board. I need to stop off at Waitrose en route home so I’ll either get some nosh there or include some breakfast items in the shopping. At seven sixteen we have arrived but the door before me has not yet been opened. I can hear some activity outside. The odd whirr and clang.

I would definitely book this type of service again. We are off to Caen in July and I checked. We have it going to France but not coming back. No availability. I’ll keep my eye on it for cancellations. The Caen trip is a combo of rugby sevens at the Olympics and following in the footsteps of Dick Winters and Easy Company around Normandy.

The getaway from the ferry worked like clockwork. I was first off, through passport control in no time and back home almost before I’d be just leaving the port had I not had priority disembarkation.

Duty free gin was proper duty free prices on the boat. Fifteen pounds fifty nine pence or simlar for a litre of Tanqueray. In front of me in the queue some bloke bought five hundred quids worth of ciggies. Paid cash. The cashier alerted him to the fact that the amount was over the duty free allowance but that didn’t phase the guy. P&O seemed happy to sell cigarettes in pre-pack sizes that would automatically be over the limit. Woteva.

Back home I am happy to report that my peas are poking through and the wildflower meadow seems to be coming along nicely.

The big news of the day (yesterday in fact but I was busy travelling), and it won’t be news to any of you, is that old Dishi has called a General Election for the 4th of July. This is both good and bad. You can make your own mind up what is good about it. People will have different opinions. The bad bit is the fact that we are now going to be overwhelmed by election coverage for the next six weeks. I’ll be ignoring the news even more than I normally do. Bores the tits off me. In fact it annoys me. 

That’s all folks. Cue Looney Tunes music…

wearing my old specs

May 18th, 2024

Currently wearing my old specs. This is because I left the shed yesterday wearing my reading specs and couldn’t be arsed to go back and swap them. Had an offer of a lift off THG so time was of the essence. Instead I keep my old Oakleys in the kitchen for when I go swimming and wore them to meet the boys in the Strugglers. 

Excellent pint of Landlord in the Strugs. Unfortunately it ran out and we had “Evolve” for the last pint which clashed a bit with the taste of the Landlord. First world problems. THG also gave me a lift back. What’s not to like? And she cooked a curry!!

Although today is a Saturday I have some work to do. This afternoon I am headed to Hull to catch the Rotterdam ferry and have a few bits and bobs of prep left. Looking forward to my sea journey. Seemed to be less of a faff than the train which involves LNER, Eurostar and a local Belgian service with connection time in between. 

The boat is an hour or so drive from Lincoln, a sleep and then ninety minutes at the other end. There is also the bracing sea air to look forward to 🙂 Plus the onboard brasserie though I can’t imagine the nosh is anything special. 

THG was coming with me on the boat but instead has elected to go by Eurostar with Tom so that she can go to Olivia Ford’s book launch in Lincoln on Sunday. I’ve used up all my Eurostar points on the two of them for this trip. That’s what they are for. Tom and Hannah are speaking at the same conference. I wonder who arranged that? 🤔They are good 🙂

So now I’m just sat in the kitchen waiting for the right moment to stick the bacon on. There is no science to choosing the right moment. This being a weekend there is no urgency involved. There are no sausages this morning but bacon, egg, mushrooms and tomaytoes will be fine. Accompanied by some sourdough toast and a pot of char.

Got home from the pub last night to some good news. They have fixed our solar powered irrigation unit. I sent it off for repair on Thursday and it’s already been sorted. Result. Thirty quid! A new unit would have been ninety five.

This is important as we will be off to the Isle of Man at the end of the month and need a working irrigation system in the greenhouse. Don’t want the precious tomato crop shrivelling from thirst do we? It is quite satisfying to hear the irrigation pump kick in every now and again. With the doors of the shed wide open in the summer I hear it starting up.

Five forty six

May 17th, 2024

Five forty six. Early morning mist but doesn’t look as if it has been raining. I awoke before five wondering why it was so light but of course that’s what it is at this time of year. I heard the milkman at eleven minutes past four. It was still dark at that time.

As I lay there listening to him open the porch door and deposit his bottles of milk a thought entered my mind. He comes in all weathers. Rain or shine. Not sure about snow but I don’t ever recall noting the non arrival of milk due to the weather.

As if the light just changed to green, at six ey em the traffic has started outside. The noise has already died down. It is intermittent and governed by the lights down the road near Tesco. Although it is a main road out front it is always easy to get in and out of the drive as the traffic only comes by in short bursts. 

Except that is when the treadmill trudgers are released from the shackles attached to their desks and allowed home. At that point the various sets of lights on Wragby Road result in long queues of frustrated commuters desperate to get home, into a pair of shorts and crack open a tinnie. Depending on the weather obvs.

Quite excited with the progress of my flower meadow, now quickly growing. I’m sure I could spot the progress during the day yesterday even though it was chucking it down for most of the day. 

Fortunately by the time Will arrived to borrow the trailer the rain had stopped. Took a while to get it operational. Looking at the numberpate it hadn’t been used for at least eight years. When he has finished with it we are going to sell it. Daxara 158 with an Erde hard top and roof bars if anyone is interested. Perfectly good trailer and served us well. They go for around £1,250 new without the spare wheel but we would be willing to listen to offers.

death on the golf course

May 16th, 2024

Ankles bitten to death on the golf course yesterday evening. That hasn’t happened before. Either it’s because of all the rain we’ve had or perhaps I haven’t worn trainer liners before when playing golf. Will have to get the Avon Skin So Soft going next time. Anyway a good time was had by all and we ended up in the Frenny (Friendship Inn) for the traditional pie and chips. I lost a quid. Not too bad. I took the money last time 🙂

I’m supposed to be emptying the trailer today in anticipation of Will picking it up this evening but the weather forecast ain’t good. Gotta be done. It’s full of old camping rubbish that mostly needs taking to the tip anyway. The garden is looking very lush with all the rain of the past few days. A far cry from the perfect weather of last week and the weekend.

THG has brought me a pot of tea as she sets off on her rounds of the estate. Checking up on the plants yanow. It looks as if we will be in for a bumper apple crop this year. Last year’s was not particularly good, especially the cooking apples but this year they were later flowering and are looking good. On the other hand it looks as if we may only have six apricots. That tree was an early blossom job.

I’m told we have one dead slug next to the beer trap behind the raised beds. It is a start. It died happy. Need to get a supply of cheap lager in as the stuff I put in has now been heavily diluted in the rain. We do have a load Strongbow cider in the garage fridge (orrible stuff left over from various parties) but I’m not so sure that cider works against slugs and snails. Will give it a go. Cyberdoyle advised that I need to bury the containers down to ground level which I will do.

the creeping dawn

May 15th, 2024

Dawn creeps steadily forward as we hurtle towards the longest day. Only five weeks away now wot! The purpose of the opening remark was to allow me to say that when I awoke, shortly after five, I didn’t hear the dawn chorus. Either dawn was earlier or the boids had gone somewhere else. Now, at shortly before six, I can hear avian activity but it is not nearly as intense as at dawn.

The milkman came at three twenty one, fair play. Well before dawn. I expect he has to get back before daylight as he turns into a yo’ gurt, or something like that. I wonder what flavour.

Sat in the conservatoire. Grass needs cutting again, I note, and it is fairly dull out. I’m playing golf this evening and I think the rain will stay away. We are fairweather golfers nowadays. When I were a lad I’d play in all weathers with me dad. We would only not go if the course was closed.

At my desk by nine twenty five. What’s the rush. I did do an hour’s worth of toil in the conservatory but that does seem like a long time ago now 🙂. THG has gone hunter gathering and I have two conference calls before lunch. The shed doors are shut today. Not so warm and I am wearing a fleece.

The wildflower meadow is emerging nicely. I expect a carpet of greenery by the time I get back from Antwerp next Thursday.

Il pisseth down d’aujourd’hui

May 14th, 2024

Il pisseth down d’aujourd’hui on the empire of Tref. No need to water the new strip of flowers in front of the shed or my newly planted peas. This is fine, no pun intended. This is the UK. Ironically we are off swimming at nine thirty where it will also be very wet. Sfine. Sgood 🙂 In the shed the rain thunders down on the roof causing a shiver to run down my spine and bringing a smile to my face.

I wore my Tilley hat for the journey from the house to the shed. Just to keep the rain off my specs. It is perhaps a little understood side effect of my disability. The fact that poor eyesight gets worse in the rain. When we did the Coast to Coast walk on the first day there was a raging gale. Horizontal driving rain. I took my specs off because I could see better without them. Put them in my waterproof coat breast pocket. 

Unfortunately by the end of the day they were lost. I had kept putting a map or similar in that pocket and the continual act had dislodged the glasses somewhere along the route. Fortunately I had a spare pair. We got lost on the final leg of that first day. I got my phone out to use GPS but the rain rendered it unusable. Every time I looked at it the raindrops on the screen made the phone think I was touching something on the screen and it went haywire. Fortunately we made it thanks to navigator Tom.

My first meeting today is not until noon so I have some time to read after the swim.

The shed is a v relaxing place in the rain. Doors are wide open. It is not cold.

The rain has moved on and the birds sound quite chatty. “Glad that’s done dickie, innit”. Shed doors still wide open but without socks my feet are a little on the cold side. I’m not ‘ard enough obvs. Off out in a bit, on shanks’ pony so will need to don socks. One of the dividends of living in warm countries, which this ain’t, is the ability to wear sandals or flip flops. For me today is a flip flop day. You have to grab the opportunity whilst you can. However I’m not going for a walk in flip flops.

Swung by to see Wildthing this afternoon. St Barnabas Hospice. He is in there to stabilise his medication and fortunately is coming out on Thursday. When people go into a hospice it is normally a one way trip.

Now watching the Spurs v Man City game in the shed. Bloody boring.

Back in the conservatory

May 13th, 2024

Back in the conservatory for my pre tea making diary session for the first time this season. Another day ahead with a southerly wind so the warm weather continues.

It is a monday morning. Unusually I am quite busy this morning with three conference calls. This afternoon I am going to put more peas in the ground. I added compost to the raised bed yesterday afternoon and today will put it to work. Shouldn’t take long to plant a few rows peas. It’s the putting up the anti pigeon netting that takes time. Will also put down some beer traps for the slug population to fill its boots. I’ve got one or two cans of some weird beer that will never get drunk so it will be a good use for it.

This afternoon I am going to empty the trailer in readiness to take most of the content to the tip sometime this week. We are going to sell the trailer. It served its purpose when our family holidays involved four offspring and campsites and there was no room left for anything in the car. 

Now that those holidays are distant memories it makes sense to free up some space in the front drive. Not that we lack space in the drive considering we only have THG’s little Peugeot. We could probably fit eight of them in the drive as it is. 

This is a continuation of the urge to purge. The garage is still in desperate need of purging. It’ll appen 🙂

Planted about 60 peas just after lunch. Suspect there are too many for the space but sod it I like peas and I’m going to risk it. Next job is to put down the beer traps. Wouldn’t normally consider using good beer for such a purpose but there are a couple of bots/cans I have where I don’t like the contents so feels reasonable to use for them.

Lunch btw was a very excellent roasted tomato soup prepared by that very excellent chef THG. Now listening to  an electro house EP with influences from the Berlin and London underground scenes. As one does.

What’s your fave cocktail. I know it is a long way away but I’m looking at how to make the last trefbash an even more special one than usual. Bearing in mind the theme is tropical trefbash we need to think of some tropical cocktails. Ideas? Remember it is on the 12th December, trefbash 15. Probs needs to be not too hard to make in large batches.

idyllic morning on the deck

May 12th, 2024

We are talking idyllic morning on the deck in front of the shed. When I say idyllic I mean totes idyllic from which the sound of the traffic on the road in front of the house does not detract. 

The birds are in an ecstatic mood with the robin and the wren in full voice, joined just now by a sparrow. Then a dunnock. A small long tailed bird flitted silently in one of the apple trees, jumping from branch to branch. I couldn’t quite make out what it was. Got the camera out to zoom in but it chose that moment to fly at me and settled in the branches of the beech above the shed. A noisy crow has just flown out of the sycamore. Good. Go and crow elsewhere.

THG is getting ready for church. I am not. She picked up some more compost yesterday so I need to spend  time digging some of that into the raised bed where the peas are going but twill not occupy much of the day.

It is without a doubt the best time of the year. I need to put some effort into finding my sandals. A long period of hibernation means I’ve forgotten where they went. I may not even know where they went if they were tidied up by another. The rest of the household has been questioned regarding this without success and no offer of assistance. Fair enough.

Just caught my tea before it went cold. Today is a day for wearing silk shirts made whilst were in Thailand. I chose the silk from a factory outlet in Chiang Mai and got the tailor in the hotel basement to make me five or so. It is time we went back to south east asia to stock up with more togs. Not been to Singapore for quite a few years. A paradise in that part of the world. We shall see. Not rushing into it.

The shed doors are open as wide as they will go and Spotify is calming me with classical. My desk is in the standing position. This is partly because I shut down my mac mini on Friday as something had frozen and it is easier to switch back on from the raised position. I have left it in place for now (didn’t last long).

It is Sunday the twelfth of May. Twenty twenty four. Remember this. Each day is important 🙂 Enjoy all of it, to the full. Tell that special him or her how special they are.

I feel as if I could get on with a job or two. The trailer needs emptying, the garage and potting shed need tidying. The latter is almost impossible to get into such is the amount of gardening junk chucked in randomly. It all belongs there. Just needs a bit of order. We haven’t used it as a potting shed this season as the shelves in the greenhouse do the job.

Tuesday has been identified as the day to sort out the trailer. It’s a team effort, particularly as we need THG’s wheels to get the stuff to the tip. It’s all crappy old camping gear. The good stuff was removed to the garage years ago. Not that we go camping nowadays. We prefer nice hotels and cottages. Call me a wimp. Renting a MoHo for the Nile Rodgers and Sting gigs in June.

Saw a blackbird eating a worm

May 10th, 2024

Saw a blackbird eating a worm this morning. Nature in action. It is similar to the time that Hannah and I saw a pride of lions eating a buffalo but completely different obvs 🙂. The    avian varmints have been pecking away at my newly seeded strip of flowers but it doesn’t look to be a major problem. Most seeds are hidden/buried and there are a lot of them.

It is such a lovely morning I’ve been sat outside on the deck reading a book and listening to birdsong. The usual members of the choir although we did have a blue tit today which isn’t always on the list. Best time of year.

I have a fairly relaxing day ahead. Couple of conf calls, a stroll to a local shop to purchayse some salad for lunch. WIll also fire up the bbq later as we have some keebabs to consume. It will only be the second or third time this season but I sense we will start using the bbq more often from now on.

I’ve started wearing the safari hat I bought in Cape Town. Perfect for this weather. A mix of cotton canvas with some leather. I have to wear a hat in the sunshine. It’s a killer yanow, the sun. The deck is nicely shaded but still warm and a perfect place to relax.

The milkman came at four seventeen this morning. I was asleep but apaz THG heard him.

called the dairy to cancel Friday’s milk

May 9th, 2024

THG called the dairy to cancel Friday’s milk delivery to be told that they were planning on bringing double the usual amount due to there being no deliveries on Monday. Odd. It isn’t a bank holiday. Maybe Sunday is the annual milkman’s picnic and none of them would be in any state to drive their floats in the wee small hours of Monday morning.

I once rocked up at some provincial airport in the USA one Sunday evening only to find it was the annual taxi drivers’ picnic. There was just the one van working who made a killing. He would charge everyone the going rate even if there were three of you going to the same destination. Billy no mates probs otherwise he’d have been at the picnic. Either that or by now a multi millionaire.

Looks like another beeootiful day in prospect. Am out and about this morning but a bit of gardening on the cards this pm. Most of northern Europe is on holiday so communication channels will be quiet.

was awake when the milkman came

May 8th, 2024

I was awake when the milkman came at four twenty seven. Soon dropped off again but was roused by the dawn chorus half an hour later. Opened a front window to identify the choir: blackbird, wood pigeon, wren, sparrow, crow and robin. Am thinking I might nip into the allotments behind our house this morning to record the diversity of birdlife that must frequent the place (later I did and added goldfinch to the record).

Will need to cancel Friday’s milk delivery as we have loads in the fridge. We go from famine to feast when it comes to milk. Depends if there is bacon or sausage involved for breakfast. I like a glass of milk with my bacon sarnie. This uses up a pint quite quickly otherwise it’s just consumed in tea.

There is news. I’ve been after planting a wildflower meadow at the shed end of the garden and a pond. Well THG has permitted a 1m wide strip of flowers and I’ve dug in a dustbin lid to serve as a pond. Twill be enough. Not sure it will attract frogs but it might be a place for hedgehogs to come and have a refreshing drink. Mind you the water is currently very muddy brown. I’m sure it will settle. Probs.

Bought the floral mix from the National Trust last year: yarrow, pheasant’s eye, red army, shrubby hare’s ear, pot marigold, china aster, safflower, cornflower, chrysanthemum, cosmos, dragon’s head, california poppy, gypsophila, basil, candy tuft, heavenly blue, stocks, 4 o’clock lily, common poppy, soapwort, catchflies, dill, borage, coriander & buckwheat. If that lot all come up it will be a real result. 

How about that eh? The bees and butterflies will think they’ve gone to heaven.

Also dug up the raised beds in preparation for pea planting but figured I’d leave the planting itself until tomorrow afternoon as I’ll need to put some netting up and can’t be arsed at the mo.

And mowed the lawn! This is more gardening than I’ve ever done! Almost.