Tuesday 31 May 2022

Bear Had Fun

Cherie - the only other bag I fancied in TK Maxx was £105, and I daresay there were more expensive ones as well. I have no idea what a bag costs these days. I just have a sense of How much?!!!!!

Eileen - I'm not a fan of too many pockets myself. I can see me spending the next few weeks rummaging frantically through zipped partitions while I mutter darkly to myself.

I feel weary to the bone. I have no idea why. Perhaps it's the weather. I also seem to have been hanging around waiting for other stuff to happen, which is never helpful. 

DH had to go in to work today. It's a shock to the system after working from home for over two years. He has a system, and he's used to it. His productivity has gone up amazingly and he is much happy now that his comute is a wander across a room instead of three hours out of his day. It was odd without him here.

Bear met up with a new violin teacher today. We were lucky to get a chance to meet as she has a very packed schedule. He'll be starting full time lessons in September, but he had a great time, and seemed to really blossom. The teacher seemed happy with bear and very much approved of his attitude. I am so proud of him. He was just so assured, playing in front of someone for the first time. He didn't get everything right, of course, but he listened, paid attention, made notes and is happy to work on stuff. The drive there and back, though, was grim. Lots of rush hour traffic, weird parking and awkward turns - and I took the easy route!

I am definitely feeling 'that way out', like a cat with their ears on sideways. I think I'll sit down and get some notes made while I'm in a reflective sort of mood. I need to start living up to bear. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday 30 May 2022

I Shopped.

 Bless - there has been no sign of the rat. I feel like an evening of knitting wouldn't be a bad thing.

Eileen - I'm not sure I can cope with potholing. I find the climbing quite terrifying enough.

I found a hole in my handbag today. It cost £4 from a charity shop, and I got it well before the first lockdown. It's the only bag I use and I think it's worn well. I used it for the Winter Scavenger Hunt Photo Challenge as something I used everyday. And I do! This is it, looking less battered than it has any right to. The hole is in a corner - not yet big enough for my purse to fall out, but a threat to any coins.

Today I called in at Tesco to pick up cheese and on the way back called in at TK Maxx. I couldn't find the new handbag that I had got. My heart wasn't really in it. I ended up getting this. It was £29.99 and is rather over endowed with pockets. It will do, it's about the same size as the old one and will keep me going. 

Bear is near a mental collapse with the dratted revision. I'm encouraging him to practice his music and he went for a walk which helped. There is a new climbing wall opening up soon, and I said that I would take him as often as he liked. The combination of music and exercise will hopefully help. He's making a lot of notes. School are really strict about the revision and bear is taking it very much to heart. 

I'll keep the fuss coming for him. It's all I can do for now.

Writing stuff - today's installment is a little longer than normal, though I hope still a good, snappy length. You can find it here Company for Dinner

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday 28 May 2022

Quietly Quiet

Sharon - that may explain the bird crowds. We are not doing anything fun. I asked for suggestions but bear is stressed to the armpits with exams and DH is shattered. I may go and do something myself!

Cherie - I definitely felt sorry for the poor thing. I don't really have much against rats as long as they keep their distance. I know, however, that there have been issues in neighbouring houses, so I'm keeping up my guard. DH and I were seriously considering calling the RSPCA because the poor thing looked so bewildered. It had wandered off before we came to a decision.

Eileen - I'm glad to hear that it may be a glitch and not just me. It's always reassuring to see evidence that it may not be my fault.

Bear got his Grade One NICAS award this morning and is very happy. I am so proud of him. It isn't a bad sport to follow, he doesn't have to travel too far to get to some really good climbing walls and he is happy. I am, obviously, terrified of him falling, but I would never tell him that.

I don't seem to have done much. I've done some sorting and a lot of writing, but I don't feel like I've done much. It all feels wonderfully quiet. I feel a little unsettled, to be honest, and I think that I need to have a clear out. I hope that I follow through with that feeling. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Friday 27 May 2022

Very Windy Here!

Bless - no sign of the rat. The garden is now too exposed and there is too much activity for most rats.

Just Jane - DH's biggest fear is that the rat passes away somewhere in a corner of the garden and we have to rummage for the remains! I am not up to seeing a crow having a rat dinner just now.

There have been no further rat sightings, and I am happy about that. Instead there have been a lot of birds. I suspect that the weather has had a lot to do with it as the wind has been intense and the bird feeder is an easy place to get food. The wind has been bad enough that it was affecting the car on the school run, so I thought it might put some of the birds off coming around. Instead, every time I looked out the window I saw something small and feathered whizz past at mach 2. Any time I went near to the window or porch, there was a cloud of birds. The sparrow squadron was well represented, there were far too many pigeons and the robin showed up, of course. There were also quite a few blackbirds around, which I don't usually see. 

Checking back, I don't think that all of my comments on blogs have been saved. I will go back again and see what I have missed. You are all awesome.

I've spent most of the day on writing stuff. I know I won't have much chance over the next week as bear is on holiday and DH has Thursday and Friday off. I haven't taken any pics for a while, so I thought that, instead of leaving the post without a pic, I'd go back and find a favourite pic from Batley Park

Hugs and good health to all.

Thursday 26 May 2022

Bewildered as Normal

Eileen - sorry to hear about your kindle. I hope you can get a replacement soon. I haven't used a kindle in years, as I use the app on my phone, so that may tide you over if you feel the need.

Kate - there is a main sewer down the middle of our street, a beck nearby, lots of untrimmed bushes and a gazillion and four takeaways near us. I also accept rats as a fact of life. I would prefer to deter them from too near the house, though. 

Bless - It was like the creature didn't even notice us!

Sharon - the plug in thingies have kept the rats and mice out of the house, despite the times when the neighbouring houses were empty. I recommend them. I don't recommend the noise ones for the garden. When I tried that last year, the rats were quite indifferent.

Cherie - we haven't seen them around apart from this time since we reorganised the garden, and the change to deter the rats was one of the reasons. There are quite a few pots around there. I shall have to keep moving them around.

After I posted yesterday, DH noticed that the rat seemed to have fallen asleep under the bird feeder. He went out, shouted and stamped next to it, and the rat barely reacted. I think it was either very old or perhaps had been poisoned. It ambled off eventually and we've all been watching for it ever since. I hope it has been okay (and not in our garden). I am going with age, and that it was a visit from one of the youngsters that visited last year.

Today has been a waiting game. Bear had a Schrodinger's rehearsal - it was both on and not on and I should be prepared to pick him up at both 3.30 and 5.30 until half of his dratted group worked out whether or not they were going to show up. As it was, bear had a late rehearsal and I got a lot of writing stuff done.

I've also been trying to catch up with blog posts. I suspect I have missed some, and I apologise. I always feel encouraged and energised by awesome bloggers. I'll try and make time to go back and have a really good browse. 

At the moment, I am so tired from the writing that I'm not exactly sure which way is up. I'll come back tomorrow and hopefully talk more sense. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday 25 May 2022

Four Footed Sparrow

Bless - thank you. I'm definitely leaving the wheat there - it looks so militantly straight compared to the crooked apple tree. I love the wildflowers and it's great to see them so close.

Eileen - the books are on Kindle Plus, and I found myself racing through them while waiting for bear at the school run. I'm happy that I found them.

Cherie - I love seeing elderblossom and the wild flowers that are around, even in our quite urban street. There's a patch of clover a little way away and lots of what I think is garlic mustard, but I'm not risking tasting it as I'm not sure. I'll take a pic later.

Sharon - thank you. I love the unexpected flowers. Mind you, with my gardening skills, I have to take what I can get. And speaking of wildlife...

Yesterday DH shouted out that he had seen a rat. I thought we had got rid of them when we moved everything around. In fact, that was the point of moving everything around. He said that it didn't seem too bothered and wandered behind some honeysuckle. Apparently it had been eating the seeds knocked down by birds from the feeder like a four footed sparrow.

As bear and I got home this evening, bear was not keen on getting out of the car as a rather large rat was wandering towards the gate. He took a pic.

He wasn't getting any closer to what was a fairly decent sized rat.

I watched in disbelief as the rat completely ignored the car, the car horn, bear and I, and ambled gently into our garden and disappeared behind the yellow bin. It reminded me of those elderly people who have done everything, seen everything and move at their own pace while knowing exactly where to go and what to do when they got there. I didn't see where it went after that, but was completely unintimidated by me. 

I've thought about this. Last year, when we had the whole rat thing going on, it started off as youngsters coming in around lunchtime or afternoon, and then they grew older and bigger and finally we moved the garden around to make it less appealing. I've just checked and rats in the wild usually only live a year. This may have been one of the youngsters from last year that were, to be honest, cute and sometimes winsome, but now it was old and perhaps affected by the poison put down by local businesses, and come back to the happy place of its youth.

I'm not going to encourage rats and I will probably go out later with peppermint oil (again), but I'm not sure that my heart will be in it. 

In other news, I'm behind with reading blogs. I keep dipping in and getting distracted by stuff. I hope to catch up soon, but I want to say that you are all awesome and I'm looking forward to finding out what has been happening. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday 24 May 2022

In Haste

You are all awesome.

I have the writing bug with deadline, will be back soon.

Writing stuff from yesterday here.

Hugs and good health to all 

Also - lovely flowers on street

I think it could be herb robert and it looks like the ancestor of geraniums. 

Friday 20 May 2022

Books That I Wish I Had Written

Deborah - to be honest, I'm feeling a little creaky today. I don't feel bad enough to visit A&E, but I do feel grumpy enough to take pain killers. Thank you.

Eileen - My French is extremely rusty, but I could pick up enough that they were giving the sense rather than a proper translation, which niggled a little. I have seen the Olivier version, but a long time ago, and I think I remember how well they did Captain Jamie and Captain McMorris (sorry about mistakes in spellings). The Oliver version was definitely better than Tuesday.

And I am sort of pleased with myself as I came home via the roundabout where I had the bump on both school runs. I won't always do that, as it doesn't work if I go to the big Tesco, but I'll make a point of it for a few weeks. 

I am feeling grumpy and out of sorts. I've done the school run, some writing stuff and a little knitting. I failed to get a pic of the walking magpie.

There is a magpie who seems to belong to the street that never seems to fly. I've seen it waddle around near the birdfeeder and bully a few sparrows. This morning it was investigating something near the gutter, but when I trundled down the road it wandered across the road without any undue hurry. It also had a patch of blue colour on its wing - not the iridescence that you can get but a matt navy blue. One day I'll get a pic. It's quite distinctive and DH and I both recognise it.

I did get a pic of the first elderflower I saw on the street. It looks like ice cream

And we have wheat growing in the apple tree tub. I think it came from the bird food.

I ought to pull it up as a weed, but it looks so splendid. I'll have to get a better pic, but it's in a funny corner.

I've been reading The Vampire Knitting Club by Nancy Warren. It's about a knitting shop in Oxford and I wish that I had written it. It's so much fun. If you like Tales from the White Hart, then this is very like it, but better. There is a series and I expect I shall work my way through it. 

Thursday 19 May 2022

Talking About Roundabouts

Bless - I think you should absolutely do things for the joy of it, like roundabouts. When bear was tiny, I remember taking him up an escalator and then straight down the other one because we didn't want to go up, he just liked the escalator. And when I see strange translations I remind myself that really I only speak English, so I have no room to complain about anyone else's language skills. I also enjoy the wonderful strangeness that can come out. It adds colour to the world. And Magic Braised Burning Pot is now definitely its name!

Eileen - We saw it, and it was good, but the scenes with French characters were in French with subtitles, not just the scene with Katherine and her maid. This didn't help. Bear, with no background, managed to follow most of it, which was good. I think it was worth seeing. I think I will always prefer the Kenneth Brannagh production, though, with Brian Blessed being awesomely stalwart.

Cherie - I agree about things growing in strange places. This is next to our kitchen door, which is a cellar kitchen, and at the bottom of the steps. Please excuse the mess. 

I haven't the heart to get rid of them. In fact, I think they look a little Victorian and I like that.

As for roundabouts...

On Friday, it was ironic that I got stuck at Chain Bar Roundabout. You see, earlier that afternoon, when I was whizzing home for bear to get changed before going to Bradford, there were road works which meant that we used that roundabout. It's huge, and it's where the M62, the M606, the A58 and the A650 meet, and they are all quite busy. I told bear that while it looked quite scary, it was actually not too bad, as all the lanes were clearly marked, the field of vision was great and it was traffic light controlled. I said that it was far harder than the small roundabout near the Fire Service headquarters, which wasn't nearly so clear and was horrendous when busy. I was less than impressed when I was stuck on that lovely, clearly marked roundabout for half an hour, inching across lanes and squeezing in. 

Yesterday I had a sick headache. I have eaten something that hates me, and I didn't even get to watch the Great British Sewing Bee. I crawled off to bed really early and suffered. I was feeling a little better this morning when I dragged myself out of bed, dropped bear off at school, called in at Tesco and then headed home as I knew there was a loooong list of things that I needed to do once I'd taken some painkillers. 

As luck would have it, I was stationary at the roundabout near the Fire Service headquarters - where the A58 meets the A651, if you're interested, when someone going around two miles per hour went into the back of my car. It was incredibly minor, but the bang was scary. I made my way across the roundabout, pulled over and the driver behind also pulled over. They were lovely, and, to be honest, I was worried about them as they looked shocked. Mind you, I was shaky as well. There isn't a scratch on my car, and I think that they had a tiny chip on their bumper. I feel stupid, but still a little shaky. I'm not sure if I am feeling any after effects, or it's the same headache from yesterday, or even if I'm imagining myself into a state - I have an awesome imagination! DH has checked the car (after fussing over me) and there isn't a scratch, and he took the car along the road, and it drove fine. 

So that is me and roundabouts. Apparently they are statistically the safest form of junction. I plan to follow that same route as often as possible for the next few days and I'm going to start a new knitting project which will cheer me up. 

And I'm typing this at 1.30pm and I don't know if I'm picking bear up at 3.30 or 5.30. This is partly the excuse for a new knitting project. Once that is done, DH has something already set up for dinner, bear rarely wants anything and I can't be bothered so I will have a nice hot shower and an early night

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday 16 May 2022

Where Was I?

Sharon - thank you. I'm taking your comment as an encouragement to walk tomorrow.

Cherie - the back is doing a lot better, with only the occasional spasm. I think moving more and eating less is the way to go, with possible ibuprofen. The Magic Braised Burning Pot cost £21.99 and, if I can cook stuff like pasta and quinoa in it, will probably pay for itself quite quickly, with the prices of today's energy. I'll share when I use it.

Bless - Bear's motivation continues. He's really working hard at it. I'm just glad he has a distraction from his studies.

Eileen - I can't wait for bear to see Henry V. It's one of my favourite plays. I'm totally calling it 'Magic' all the time.

It's been a few days since I posted and I still haven't caught up properly with the blogs. I've been in a sort of haze. I am not sure whether it's that time of life, my general lack of focus or whether I've been thinking too much about the writing. 

We never got to see Henry V at the City Varieties last week as it was cancelled due to projection failure. It was heartbreaking, but at least I checked my emails before I set off so we didn't have a wasted journey. There was only about an hour to go before the start, and I'm sure that the poor box office had to do a lot of explaining to people who hadn't checked their emails and had come a distance. I managed to book tickets to see it at Vue Cinema tomorrow. It's the same production, being shown at a different place. It was slightly less expensive as well. Not only that, but the drive to the cinema will be a lot less fraught and the parking is soooooo much easier. Bear's drama course continues with extra drama. I'm not sure of the exact nature of what's going on, but I think that it's very teenage. 

Friday was interesting. I dropped bear off in the centre of Bradford during rush hour without incident. But the place I stopped was 'pay and display' and I didn't want to pay, so bear rushed out of the car and I drove off without setting my satnav to get home. I wasn't too worried about that as no matter which way I came out of Bradford, I knew enough about the surrounding roads and road numbers to know that I would eventually be able to find my way. And it was true. I missed one exit because a tree had grown over the sign for Leeds, but soon enough I got to a road that led to the A58 and I knew that once I was on that then I would have no problem working out a direction. 

Unfortunately I got stuck at Chain Bar Roundabout. It's one of those huge roundabouts that links two motorways and a couple of main roads. I was half an hour - thirty two minutes - stuck on the roundabout. It was absolutely gridlocked. I don't know if it's like that every rush hour, but I needed to cross a few lanes or I would end up in Hull. At one point, when it looked like I would never get past an obnoxious Audi, I considered it. I kept putting the clutch in neutral, the handbrake on and just working my legs as I was getting incredibly stiff. Pick up at 11pm was fine, although I didn't end up dropping off any other teen. Apparently something something something something changed mind. I was glad that I would be able to get home earlier. 

And all my pics seem to have vanished. I'm sure that I took a few over the last day or so, but here is the one thing I can find - some toadflax that is growing in a crack in the wall. I always think it looks sweet, so I think I will leave it alone. 

Writing stuff - today's flash fiction is here

Hugs and good health to all. 

Sunday 15 May 2022

Magic Braised Burning Pot

Passing through in haste and will respond to comments and posts tomorrow. All is well here. I thought, however, I thought I would share something that made us all smile here.

An Amazon parcel was delivered and I let bear unpack it as his nails are less likely to break than mine. I was paying attention to a piece of writing and bear asked me, 'Why have you bought a Magic Braised Burning Pot?' 

I want to be clear, who ever translated the title speaks better English than I speak Mandarin, but the title is misleading. What I had actually ordered and expected to recieve was a wide mouth one litre thermos flask. 

Which has apparently come from China via Franfurt in Germany. This bit of kit has travelled wider than I have!

I found this site, plus a few bits on YouTube (which has got me in trouble before) and I thought I would have a go at thermos cooking. I quite like a little pasta with some pesto as a lunch, and if I can get into it, it should pay for itself in electric costs quite quickly. 

'Magic Braised Burning Pot' sounds much better than 'flask'. I think I may call it 'Magic' for short. Bear thought it was weird and DH couldn't stop laughing. He's been watching some manga lately and he was coming out with less and less plausible plots that involve Magic Burning Pots. It all got quite silly.

I'll let you know how it comes out. I have also seen ideas for rice and lentils, and perhaps a good way of soaking dried beans. I don't think it would work on potatoes, but I may give it a go with something like frozen peas. I'll share what I find out.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday 10 May 2022

I Didn't Make a List

 Sharon - I love the flowers coming out. It really means spring to me.

Eileen - the whole of the (quite small) park is on the side of a steep hill, so lots of steps and slopes. At least there is a handrail on these steps, which is quite a luxury. The park isn't near my home, but it works like this - bear's school is eight miles away. There is a huge Tesco very near bear's school. The park is between the school and Tesco. I really ought to walk there every day.

Yesterday I decided that I was going to get myself straight and make a list. I didn't make a list. However, I am feeling that things have been achieved, in spite of myself. It just means that stuff gets missed if I don't keep lists, so I am a little worried.

I dropped bear off at school, then had a walk. I've been avoiding them, but it's the only way that I'm going to loosen up my joints. I only had a small walk, and admired the rhododendrons. 

Then I headed to Aldi. I bought another ball of yarn for the blanket, the one that I was supposed to finish by the end of Lent. I've knitted two 200g balls, but it just doesn't look like it will be long enough, especially as it's turning out quite wide. I'm stopping at five balls, however, as there has to be a limit. If I have the energy tomorrow, I'll take a pic of the progress. Anyway, I picked up a few bits there and headed into Tesco. 

I pay for the Extra Clubcard. This means I pay £7.99 per month, but I can save 10% on two shops per month. All I need to do is spend two lots of £40 and I get my money back. I saved £7.69 today, but I got less than you would think. Fortunately we don't need much. On a sort of bright side, I wandered up and down like a lost soul trying to remember everything that I got my steps in for the day.

When I got home, I emptied the fridge of out of date stuff, washed out a load of the old jars, like the four jars of elderly mustard that had been lurking at the back of the fridge, finished off writing the flash fiction that should have been posted yesterday (here, if you're interested), did some washing, and I even ate reasonable food for lunch instead of a snack (corn fritters and baked beans). In fact, I've been remarkably healthy today. I dropped two large bags of jars and bottles at the bottle bank when I picked up bear, did some knitting, brought bear home, got more washing on, ironed one (1) shirt, made dinner, and then my back went. I'm not moving again tonight. 

Bear has been practising the piano and violin again. I can't complain, though the neighbours might. I'm just glad that he's finding it relaxing.

I'm not sure how much I'll be posting or when over the next few days. Tomorrow we are going to see a streamed version of Henry V. It's a production of the National Theatre, and they sometimes send performances to theatres to share. We'll be seeing it at the City Varieties in Leeds. Then Thursday is a late pick up for bear, as he has a drama rehearsal so I won't get him home until around 7pm. Friday bear has been invited to go ice skating. This involves him being picked up by me and coming home, then getting a bus, another bus, getting a burger, ice skating, getting a bus and then getting picked up by me around 10.30pm. It is being organised by teenagers, so I will wait and see. I can see me getting some miles in.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday 9 May 2022

I Moved About a Bit

Cherie - I'm going to have to suggest that!

Sharon - I can absolutely 100% guarantee that my house is in a worse state than your house. It's a work in progress.

Eileen - the teacher didn't have any slots until September, and then she could only manage every other Monday. But I asked her to call us for ad hoc sessions and where there were cancellations, and hopefully we'll get some time then. I don't know how the practising will go then, but bear is still carrying on now.

First of all - DH's work on the bed under the window. 

He has been utterly awesome!

This morning I went for a walk. My back wasn't so bad, until it went half way along the walk. I may have said some rude words. 

First of all there were lovely bluebells. The scent was amazing.

Then there were swathes of wild garlic, which was just as fragrant in its own way.

At one point I had the choice of walking this way...

Or this way...

I chose the path rather than the stairs where I would absolutely get garlic scent all over me and my clothes. You can't get it off, either.

I don't seem to have done much today. I am still struggling with the Monday Flash Fiction. I'll no doubt share the result tomorrow. 

I think I'll take a risk and write what I plan to do tomorrow. Tomorrow I need to finish the flash fiction and then get my folders and notebooks out and start making lists. I'll let you know how I do.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Sunday 8 May 2022

Still Ouch

Eileen - garden continues awesome, but DH was exhausted and I can't move, so bear did most of what was done and I'll have to sort out the havoc left behind later.

Bless - I suppose that it's important to me to do at least something. I'm useless at giving things up for Lent as I have the willpower of well-washed tissue paper, so I feel that at least I can do something that helps others. 

Cherie - it's all in the muscle. If I could lose weight and move more, I'd have far less problems, so I need to get myself sorted. It's been worse than usual, though. 

I hope that we've found someone for bear. I spoke to them yesterday and she seemed lovely and very understanding. She also seems incredibly busy, so we have a meeting at half term and then we will be fitting in via cancellations and gaps until September.

Bear cleared an appropriate space, brought the piano back down, set up a music stand and has spent most of the day practising the violin and the piano. He was even using two hands for the piano after not playing for ages. I'm not saying that he was playing complicated stuff, but he was going for it. When I think of how I struggled to get him to practice a few years ago, I'm stunned. I hadn't mentioned music at all to him. It's all coming from him. He has been an absolute sweetie this weekend and has been wonderful helping me out.

Lots of muscles are complaining at the moment. I suspect that it's because I slept funny and there's back issues and such. I'm working on the principle that I need to pull myself together. 

Friday 6 May 2022

Tomorrow is Going to be a Long Week

Passing through in haste.

Cherie - the hard work was all DH and bear. I am so impressed with them.

Eileen - bear is planning on just getting violin lessons, but I think that he will occasionally practice the piano. I'm good as long as it's a break from schoolwork. I hope our garden can turn out almost as good as yours.

Bless - My back goes now and again. I tore some muscles there around thirty years ago and the combination of lack of exercise, being grossly overweight and being top heavy means that now and again it goes. Unfortunately I pushed it a bit the last few weekends and it's complaining. Too many bits of me hurt! The beds are lovely and neat because the men were in charge - they have worked so hard and I am so grateful. I feel the cold as well, so I quite often have a blanket, sweater, shawl combination while the men are quite comfortable. And thank you for the compliments for bear. I don't feel I can take credit, as I think that he managed it mainly by himself, but I adore him completely, and that has to count for something.

I forgot all about the blog yesterday, and I have just remembered it now, so I thought that I would whizz in and catch up. 

I'm half way through the blanket I planned to knit during Lent. Lent may have finished some time ago, but the blanket carries on. I suspect that it will turn long and narrow. I plan to donate it to the Salvation Army when it is finally finished, as I know that they have been taking aid to Ukraine, and that they also help the homeless and the disadvantaged. Whatever they do, I'm fairly confident that the result of the blanket will be that someone gets help. 

I've found some iron trellis. I can't remember buying it. I'll worry about it later.

The men want to rearrange various rooms to allow for piano practice, music practice and generally less stuff. They also want to put down the cardboard and compost and plant the beds. This means that I will be dashing around finding stuff for them and my back will be completely finished by the end of the day. It will be absolutely worth it, though. 

I've also emailed a violin teacher for bear, so fingers crossed he gets a tutor. 

I'll catch up properly probably on Sunday. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday 4 May 2022


Cherie - thank you! I'm going to look up the 'no dig' videos. I think bear is becoming a wonderful young man, but I really only boast about it on here. There was an unfortunate incident when bear was very little and just starting primary and another mum picked up a book bear dropped and had a fit that bear was more advanced than her (really lovely) son. 

I had a shocking night, and now both hips hurt. I've sort of bumbled through today. Everything hurts! I'm taking ibuprofen and hoping that things settle down. Pretty soon, I'm going to settle down to watch the Great British Sewing Bee while knitting. I took another pic of the garden. I swear that the bedding plants are growing. 

Hugs and good health to all.

Tuesday 3 May 2022

Catching Up

Cherie - you are a lifesaver with that advice about putting cardboard over weeds. Even DH couldn't get a fork into the ground and we were wondering what to do! Thank you!!!

Bless - heating bills have gone crazy here, in fact all power bills. Some bills have doubled or tripled overnight. We fixed our rate last September, so we haven't faced the worst of it yet, but we're being careful. Bear has been incredibly helpful in the garden, but I think his interest is in fixing the trellis in place and painting. I suspect that there may be a handyman streak in him - he always insists on putting furniture together for us. The trellis is really sturdy stuff, so was expensive, at least for me, but I think it will last for years.

Eileen - I had to look up mizuna as well, but DH likes it and it's fun to try stuff. Bear is just being so good and helping out. I don't know where we went right with him sometimes. I'm looking forward to trying the May challenge, thank you for setting them.

Patio - I'm still not sure how I resisted the bunny baskets. It was very close. 

Kate - cellulitis can be painful, but it can be dangerous. The first time I had it, back in 2014, I was visiting father in hospital and my leg had swollen up so much that I couldn't bend it to go up the hospital stairs. I ended up in A&E and then on IV antibiotics. I get it because I get eczema when I eat gluten, and then I scratch the eczema and then, if I'm not careful, it gets infected. I'd spent the previous months going to a GP who just kept giving me ineffective antibiotics and telling the nurses to keep changing my dressings. It was grim but that was eight years ago, and it's never been quite that bad since.

Sharon - It's great seeing everything come alive. Bear is definitely enjoying helping out.

And I wear my glasses far too much, but fortunately I'm sitting at a computer most of the day, so it could be worse.

Now to catch up. DH and bear put up the fan trellis on the other side of the garden (and did an amazing job)

I planted runner bean seedlings at the base. I wasn't impressed when they came, as they looked battered, as did the coriander seedlings. I suspect that if I had the time and the pots, I could have perhaps separated the seedlings into more plants. I will have to see how things go. 

And DH put in the bedding plants from B&M and tied the rose to the trellis. There aren't any obvious buds on it yet, but it's really prolific when it gets going and it carries through to December most years. I must remember to feed it.

And the garden is flourishing in general.

I'm going to have to prune back the fuchsia again soon and the sparrows will be livid. It's growing out over the paving stones which is a nuisance. 

My back has gone good and proper. I'm just trying to move around a little at regular intervals but then the muscles go into spasm. 

Bear has been practising the violin most of the weekend. He hadn't touched it for ages, and then he had a really good play. He's enjoying it so much and I'm so proud of him. We are talking about getting lessons for him again, but I'm worried about it fitting in with schoolwork. They are under such pressure. Mind you, I told bear that perhaps music would be a good break for him, and that, together with climbing, it would be a good way to relax among all the revision and exams. Bear is thinking about it. He is fifteen now. He has to have the biggest say in this. 

I am regularly reminded that DH and I made a choice with bear's school. It's outside the normal catchment area and in a different Local Authority. It is crazily academic, with lots of pressure for exams and they have people from Cambridge University visiting, among others, to promote further education. It's not an easy place if you struggle with schoolbook learning. On the other hand, bear is showing a lot of assurance and confidence that I am sure the school has fostered. Today he was asked to show some of the teachers interviewing for positions around the school. When we first went there, before he even passed the entrance exam, we were impressed by the maturity and composure of the kids who were showing parents around and giving directions. Now bear is one of them. We are lucky on all sorts of levels. All schools should be like this.

I sometimes look at him and wonder where it all came from. He went through some horrific times during his primary school, and then he had all the physical issues and hospital visits as he transistioned to high school. Now he's doing fine. I am so proud of him. I'm sure that all parents reading will understand - that moment when you look at your child and wonder how it all happened. I'm thinking of a few bloggers that I follow who have amazing, wonderful, incredible kids and I hope that bear will one day be like them. What ever happens, I'm sure that he will be very much himself. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday 2 May 2022

In Haste

I'm quickly passing through to say 'hi' and will pick up properly tomorrow. It's been a lovely weekend, with lots of chilling out with bear and DH. The garden is coming on beautifully and bear has painted the gate and hand rail (well, DH did quite a bit, but bear did a lot).

DH fancied up the birdfeeder as well. The robin is becoming particularly bold!

Writing stuff - I thought I had better put the link in now, as I was certain to forget if I did it later. Today's flash fiction is here

Hugs and good health to all. 

Photo Challenge - Spring

Eileen sets awesome photo challenges and here is my response to 'Spring'. It is somewhat limp, as I have had a rather rocky month, and I don't feel that I have risen to the awesomeness of Eileen's challenge. I failed to find a mechanical spring or walk up to the hill where there is usually a spring of water. The first pic is the one taken on the 1st of April and is, to my mind, quite typical of a British Spring.

As you can tell, for me, Spring is about mainly about flowers, with the occasional bunny and wedding thrown in. I can't wait to see the next challenge.