Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Long time no see!

A lot of things have happened over the summer. Hopefully I can catch up at some time, but seems best to me just to jump straight back in.

Monday I gave the caravan living room a good clean, Dysoned the floor, tidied up all the papers and general odds and sods and put clothes away. Ended up so tired that I couldn't get outside with the tripod and camera to take photos of the (almost full) moon rising. Ah well, there will be other moonrises, hopefully.

Yesterday morning I re-arranged the computer and the table, so that the room is more of a living area and less of an office and general dumping ground. If I were in Liverpool I would have been at Chris's funeral. But I'm in Abersoch, so decided to at least join in spirit.

About 15 minutes before midday I lit four candles and some Barbados Dunes incense, and had a ciggie - Chris was a smoker, so I think he'd have liked that. I shut down the computer and switched everything off at the mains so that there was no distracting high pitched hum. Opened the door so I could hear the outside, the bird calls and wingbeats.

At midday I stood for 2 minutes in silence, and tried to send my thoughts and love to everyone at the funeral. Then I sat watching the birds feeding through the open door - great tit and sparrows. And the robin came down for some crumbs. After half an hour I broke silence with some music - Buena Vista Social Club. Somehow felt the right one to play of the four CDs I have here with me.

Around tea time I went round the back of the caravan to take the chain off the gas cylinders in case it should be raining when the gas man called. I stepped round the back of the shed to find that the last passion flower of the year had opened. Felt like a sign of hope to me. I watched the mist on the hills, then the summit of Snowden reared up, floating above the low hills on a billowing cloud layer.

Heavy rain drumming on the caravan roof overnight woke me several times. This morning began very still, damp underfoot, but a lovely dawn. I went out in the field in my nightie to take photos of it, despite the chill in the air it wasn't too uncomfortable as the wind was so light.

I'm the only resident in a field with 12 caravans, and there isn't anyone resident on the nearby site either... Mind you, it's a very fetching apple green vintage nightie with a print of bunches of red, pink and blue flowers, was tempted to wear it as a dress in the summer! So not ashamed to be seen in it.

I sat and watched the sea lighten to a milky white, with a single yacht motoring slowly across the bay. Behind Pwllheli the mist rolled down the valleys, the trees rising ghostly from the fields with the white fret around their feet. The cloud base finally rose enough that the summit of Snowdon showed, mist overspilling the valleys below, silhouetting the nearer hills.

Today is one of those days for just sitting and watching the changing cloudscape and the light on the sea. And (3.30pm) the rainbow and heavy squall drenching me when I leaped out the caravan to take photos!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Oops, life just got "interesting" again!

Well, we've had a busy few weeks since I last posted anything here. Work has started on fixing our roof, but then the rain came back, so nothing done for about 10 days. Summer re-arrived today though, so let's hope Herby makes it back next week!

We thought we might barbecue some lamb kebabs this evening, so spent most of the afternoon trying to buy a barbie. We went to B and Q first, but no luck - they seemed to mostly have gas barbies or really cheap and tinny ones. So we went on to our local garden centre, but they suggested the Woolton Garden Centre on Gateacre Road... No luck there either. So finally we thought we'd try Homebase at the Edge Lane Retail Park, and finally got lucky. No online picture, but it's a little cast iron pot-bellied barbie like the ones we have at Abersoch.


We got home to find a large chunk of our kitchen ceiling has fallen down!

John has now taken down the kinda loose stuff around the hole, and hopefully no more will fall down over the next few days. We've been in touch with our Insurance Company, and they will phone on Monday to arrange for an Assessor to come and see things - I took plenty of photos before John brought more of the ceiling down to make it safe. We're both too knackered to do a barbie tonight now - maybe tomorrow!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Friday Night

Sitting here in bed with the window open. Blackbird is singing, can hear even over the intermittent traffic noise.

Yesterday I set the morning glory seeds to soak overnight in luke-warm water. Today I planted them - some of the traditional blue, and some "Black Knight" are more a deep and glowing cerise.

John has gone off to see Flamingo 50 launch their new album, and a US band who's name sadly escapes me. I'm still looking at car websites! Hope can get to sit in some more cars tomorrow, Renault this time.

Yard hasn't changed that much - more flowers on the Mock Orange, and Mystery Flower finally revealed what it was. But here's a picture of the "flower bed" I took this afternoon.

Mystery flower opens!
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Thursday, June 16, 2005

EDM challenge 18, from my window

Am laid up in bed with a rotten snotty cold, so this is from a photo... My garden at the caravan seen through a wet window. Oil pastel on a sheet of A3 paper that dropped through my letter box in a cardboard tube the other day, reverse is a poster. Rather shiny paper, very different to what I usually draw on!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

New Car?

I heard on May 21 that my (re)application for DLA was successful. For the first time I have been awarded an "indefinite award". This means that I am eligible for a Motability car for the first time (this is a simplification of a complex situation). I am finding my Citroen ZX more and more uncomfortable to drive (or rather mostly be driven in!), even a shortish drive leaves me so sore that I have to spend at least a day in bed to recover.

My chiropracter recommended something like the Citroen Berlingo, so a while ago I started reading up on it and looked online to see if I could find a second hand one. After reading some reviews of the Berlingo I realised that the Toyota Yaris Verso would be another possibility. Friday John phoned up to ask Motability dealerships if we could arrange test drives, Toyota people said to arrive after 2.30pm, and Citroen ones said to just turn up any time. So Saturday afternoon we set off to test drive the Verso and the Berlingo.

Took us rather longer than expected to get through town, as the Mersey River Festival was on. Traffic was backed up and very all along the dock road, not helped by all the road works due to the new buildings going up at Chevasse Park for the Grosvenor Estates.

We went to see the Verso first. I really liked the seating - the thing that really impressed hubby was that I didn't even ask for my lumbar roll (which he was carrying). We weren't able to test drive it, as it was sold and being picked up on Monday (guess we were really lucky they had one there!). But we were able to test drive a Yaris as engine, gear box, suspension etc are the same.

The Motability Specialist was very pleasant and helpful. He found us a really bumpy and lumpy bit of road so I could get a sense of if I could take the ride - have back probs so needed to check that out. I didn't drive myself as currently am having rather a bad patch. Hubby loved the car though, and thought it was super to drive. All other folks at the dealership were very pleasant too, offered us drinks while we waited for disability specialist to finish a test drive he was on.

The dealer we went to does home pick up for service, and provides courtesy car. The chap we spoke to we liked and felt we could trust - he kept emphasising that it was really important to be certain that it was the right car for me as we would be stuck with it for 3 years if it wasn't (if you see what I mean!).

Afterwards we hoped to try out a Citroen Berlingo. Hubby had phoned on Friday afternoon to ask for appt for test drive and was told to just turn up any time on Saturday. Chap there only spoke to hubby (and this would be "my" car) and gave his card to him. He tried to get us to have a Picasso instead. Tried seating in both Picasso and Berlingo, while Berlingo seat more comfy feeling to me we thought it might be useful to try both. Asked for test drive but were told to come back Tuesday or Wednesday, despite the fact that we had already tried to arrange an actual DRIVE prior to visit. Everyone seemed very off hand too, not particularly helpful, and didn't seem to have a clue about disabled needs. Needless to say we won't be going back there.

Rather than just rushing into things like a headless chicken, I posted on the Motoring Board at to ask for advice. Two further suggestions that have come from there are the Vauxhall Agila and Renault Modus. Hubby will now try and get an afternoon off work so that we can try and see and maybe test drive them too.

We may seem to be rushing rather, but the prices for Motability cars change the end of June (they are updated quarterly). At the moment my benefit (£42.30 a week for the mobility component of DLA) would cover any of my possible choices, things might change at the end of June. I think it's a good deal - brand new car for 3 years, taxed and insured, and all servicing included. At end of the three years you hand it back, and can choose another, assuming you are still in receipt of the higher rate mobility component of DLA of course.

Monday, June 13, 2005

My mystery plant, taken Friday evening. Definitely looks like an iris to me. Too shattered after visiting car dealers yesterday to even go downstairs today, let alone check out my mystery flower. Hopefully will take new picture tomorrow.
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Thursday, June 09, 2005

Spider Ball!

Took some time out for coffee in the back yard this morning. Lazy bumblies sampled the foxgloves and campanula while the swifts wheeled shrieking overhead. Potted up the broken off hosta stem that finally has begun to grow some roots - will keep it in the house a little longer until the roots have a chance to grow more and mature. Chucked 3 snails over the wall.

I have three small hellebores, look what John found on one of them yesterday! I had gone early to bed after rather ovedoing the shifting plants around yesterday morning, and he insisted on bringing it in to show me! EEEEEEEK!!! Tiny and cute and yellow they may be, but they are still spiders!

This is what happens if you blow gently on the spider ball...

Some of the campanulas have taken up residence on the top of our wall.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The beans are growing! Can't wait for them to begin to flower. Red flowers with sweet scent, and attractive to bees. Hoping they flower before I head to Abersoch for the summer (not for a while yet as have too many dentist and doc appointments coming up).
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Saturday, June 04, 2005

Trees against a thundery sky
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Thursday, May 05, 2005

A Gardening Disappointment

Did a bit of a scout around the back yard in the 12 minutes it took for my lunch to heat through in the microwave. The first flower on my "Gold Lace" primula has opened today. But it isn't a "Gold Lace" primula. It's a boring purple one with a yellow middle, nice enough I'm sure, but not what I purchased. This is what it should look like, and here is what it actually does look like. I am not a happy bunny.

Here's a side view.

But the rest of the yard is full of greenery and a few blooms, so guess I shouldn't complain. These pots will get moved again once the re-pointing and painting get done, but they seem happy enough here for now. The foxgloves have tall flower spikes on them now, and the fuschia has buds forming. The bamboo always looks rather bedraggled - I think it dried out completely over the winter, hence the tatty looks of the leaves... It did the winter before too. I think that once the first part of the deck is done the bamboo will go close to the kitchen door - that way John might remember to water it occasionally!

I'm not sure what this shrub is, a gift from the birds we presume, but the leaves look a little like lilac leaves to me. Guess I'll have to pot it on and grow it on to find out what it is! Or maybe we'll plant it out behind the shed at the caravan.

The scillas are beginning to come into flower. I'm not sure I'll keep them, think I'd rather have the proper English bluebells. I have some seed, but it's a couple of years old now so may not be viable. I think it needs treating in the freezer once it's sown, will have to try and check out the details.

We still have to re-organise the big pot by the front door. This variegated lemon thyme and the cottage pinks are both to go there, I'll take out the rather strange heather and the chrysanthemums to make space. The

Monday, May 02, 2005

View down the gardens down the road - guess this is why the swifts wheel overhead here. In the distance the trees are on the edge of Sefton Park. Another shot from the bathroom window (where else!).
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My garden table - hopefully the snails won't reach these plants! The sooner we get the longed for deck installed across at least part of the yard the happier I'll be. It'll be wonderful to step out into the open air without having to do anything more than step over the lip to the kitchen door. John built me steps to get into the yard, but I still find them difficult to use. For some reason I find it harder to go down steps than up, at least from the dizzyness point of view. Even the short flight of four from the kitchen is difficult. Going *up* a short flight is OK, but up the stairs in the house is a problem.
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Today's yard picture - more paint achieved, but the variable weather means the repointing can't get done as the mortar takes too long to dry. You can see the yard is wet!
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May day and beyond

I was all set to post an entry earlier when there was a flash followed by a rumble of thunder, so I shut the computer down and read a book for a while. I'm reading "The Blood Doctor" by Barbara Vine. Fair to middling interesting, not one that I will keep on my bookshelves when I've finished it though. The thing I find strange is that she also writes as Ruth Rendel, and I can't stand those books, but I quite like her Barbara Vine books.

Best news of May Day is that the swifts are back! We were sitting outside and planning which plants to put where when we heard the familiar screeching, and looked up to see them flying high over our rooftop. So I went to the Springwatch website and entered my data. I love to see the swifts wheeling overhead, the gardens down the road must generate a lot of insects as most evenings in the summer you see them flying over.

The plants are all growing away really well. Four of my six Gold Lace primulas are showing buds! I'm really quite excited about this - they arrived as teeny tiny little plants, only about 2" high, and here they are producing flowers! At least they will if the snails don't get them.

I finally split up the hostas and got 8 plants from the one pot. Three I have put in the flower bed, the rest I'm going to grow in in pots for now. John informs me that something nibbled the ones in the flowerbed overnight despite the hosta haloes I put round them, so we'll probably move the pots onto the table for now. At least it makes it more difficult for the slugs and snails to get at them. I've ordered some more nemaslug, had hoped it would come this weekend (they only dispatch once a week) but it didn't, so hopefully next Friday. In the meantime John is applying garlic granules from the same people (you'll need to scroll down to read about them).

My foxgloves are getting huge. Not sure if I'll get to see them flower, as may be in Abersoch by then. But John will enjoy them I'm sure. I just wish I'd found the red campion seeds that I saved last year sooner, will just have to toss them into some pots and see what happens.

Work on the yard is coming along slowly. John has been raking out the old crumbly mortar from the walls, and repointing them. Not a huge amount achieved today because of the thunder and rain, but he did manage a bit more painting (in fact he was out there painting already when I woke up at 6.30 this morning!!!). Already the yard looks so much brighter! Here's yesterday's picture from the bathroom window.

I seem to have strained my right wrist, probably hacking up the hostas. Or maybe I just lay on it awkwardly last night. Typing is being a bit awkward, so I think I'll wrap this up for now, hopefully it will have improved by tomorrow.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Whatever happened to this week?

There I was on Monday being happy that my form was done and sent off, and even received in time (just!), and suddenly it's Saturday and the week has got away from me again!

I've really got hooked on taking photos of the yard from the bathroom window. It's a nice way to see how things are moving on in the yard. And because I'm short (only 5'2") I think that I don't get to look down on much! I love satellite shots of the earth too.

I have actually managed to do a small amount of gardening this week. I planted out half of the pansies on Tuesday, and the rest on Thurday. I love pansies, and they do OK in shade, which is good news for the yard.

I split a strawberry plant that had got too big for its pot, thinking to get two plants, but ended up with three. I split one off and potted it on Tuesday before I ran out of steam. I thought I'd taken pictures, but if I did I can't find 'em. But here's a shot from the bathroom window looking up our terrace to make up for lack of strawberry plant pics!

Yesterday, in the 10 minutes it took while my cottage pie from Wiltshire Farm Foods was heating up in the microwave, I managed to split strawberries 2 and 3 and pot the smaller one up. And pot up the violets into a pot of spent compost - will take them to the caravan when we go, I don't think you can ever have too many violets!

Had a trip to see my GP yesterday. I put her down as the (professional) person to tell about my disability on the dreaded form, and thought it might be a good idea to let her know just what my life is like at the moment. It took me most of the day to make notes and condense it to two pages, but she will scan it into my notes and refer to it if DWP (Department of Work and Pensions - sounds positively Orwellian don't it!) contact her.

I said that I didn't know if they would bother. She waved her hand at a large pile of papers, "They usually do". She wished me luck with my application. Which was nice of her, but it comes to something when disability claims are so difficult to get that even doctors who know you wish you luck.

This afternoon John has been working on rooting out old mortar on the yard walls so that he can re-point them before painting with the Ecos Organic Paints masonry paint in Alabaster. It will reflect so much more light around the yard (and into the kitchen too). So to finish off this entry, here's a picture of the yard as it was about half an hour ago.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Amaryllis, yet again. It's almost over today, so I thought I'd do one final picture of it.
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Sunny Morning

The sun is shining, so I just flung on my purple seersucker pants and a T-shirt and headed for the back yard. Took a few photos, and then made coffee and took it out. I sat in the sun for a few minutes, but it was too hot! So moved into the shade and enjoyed my coffee while planning some gentle gardening.

These strawberries have really pretty pink flowers, but are very cramped in this pot. I've been hoping to split them and move them to bigger pots with fresh compost, maybe later on today if the rain holds off.

But my first job was to put the scilla into a large pot. This had a large wallflower in it last year, but it hasn't survived the winter. So it was only the job of a few minutes to dig the compost over, pop in the scillas and water them in. The tag that came with them said they "will thrive in moist but well-drained soil and partial shade if sited where bulbs will enjoy a minimum of disturbance." So I reckon they may do OK in the backyard.

The yard is thick with violets. When I originally begged them from my Mum she said they'd spread like weeds. And they do, but for a short time in the spring the yard is a riot of their flowers. And it's easy enough to pull up a few if you want to plant something else. The teeny tiny flowers are ivy leaved toadflax. I love it, it'll grow in the tiniest of nooks and crannies, and is getting established on top of the walls around our yard.

My miniature iris isn't looking very happy. For some reason its petals haven't unfurled very evenly. Maybe something chewed on them as they were growing. Or it's possible the pot dried out - with last week's form filling I haven't been keeping much of an eye on the yard. John is very good about watering the plants, but only if I remind him. He would never think to check if they need water or not.

Better get off for another coffee now, maybe I'll get to those strawberry plants later. And if it turns wet I'll start my germination trials.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Oh Joy!

This morning John set off for work at about 6.40am, bearing the fruits of my (and his!) labour. Yes, we finally finished the dreaded DLA form! Was up till 1.25 am trying to get it as well written up as I could, and staggered up to bed leaving John transcribing my illegible scribbles to the actual form. I don't know when he got to bed, but at 6am the alarm went off as he had to be in work for 7am today. All I had to do then was sign and date Section 2 and it's off to be photocopied and then sent Special Delivery. My prior claim ends on Monday and I want to be able to track it and know that it's arrived safely.

Despite being horribly tired I feel quite euphoric! Suddenly I have time again! The form took me 16 hours over 10 days to fill in, and that's just the time I remembered to log. This website is a mine of useful information, though I'm afraid I didn't have the time and energy to take it all up.

I found the last Disability Living Allowance Medical Report that I had done back in 2000. I disagree with quite a lot that the doctor said, but he did state that "According to her statement and I have no reason to disagree 3 or 4 times a week she does not get dressed and walks only a few paces to toilet". But best of all (from the point of view of having my claim allowed, hardly something to be happy about to be this disabled!) for the question "To what extent is the person's disability, as desribed throughout this report, due to physical factors?":

"She is suffering from a post viral fatigue syndrome since 92. The condition is variable but even when she is 'well' she cannot walk for more than 20 metres.

There is no evidence in her case that it is not 100% physical"

So now I'm expecting to get another medical, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I'm looking forward to having more time to draw and declutter. And maybe do some reading and catch up on the backlog of books and magazines that's built up while trying to work on the form. Yay, freedom!

Not everything has been doom and gloom though. My Dad gave John his telescope (strictly speaking an Adlerscope) and tripod. My camera fits on the tripod, so on Tuesday I took some time lapse photos of my Amaryllis while one of the buds began to open. I haven't worked out yet quite how to convert it into a short "movie", but hopefully I'll be able to. Here's a picture taken the following day when the bud had opened fully.

This morning I stepped out into the yard briefly to see how things are growing. It looks as if something has been nibbling the primroses and primula flowers. I wonder if the wren is visiting the yard again. My iris flowers are showing a hint of blue. I am so happy they are flowering again this year, last year they didn't. Once the flowers are over split and re-pot the plant, the current plastic pot is disintegrating!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Life is difficult sometimes

Trying to fill in my DLA form (Disability Living Allowance). I always hate doing this, as it requires you to concentrate on everything that you can't do, rather than the things you can. My current claim finishes on 25 April. I've had the forms since last November. but my Dad's hopitalisation and illness and the repercussions on my own life have prevented me filling in this long and complex form sooner. This is a site I've had bookmarked for a while now, very helpful.

We went plant shopping last Sunday, and now have more gardening to do! Got a really nice looking hosta. It's too big to fit in the slug collars, so I may split it into 3 plants.

We also got a load more plants - Scylla, lobelia (Queen Victoria), variegated lemon thyme and prob more I forgot just now. Some pansies, I planted one up yesterday into that huge shell planter.

John went clubbing on Friday. He was waiting at the bus stop with several other folks, and asked if anyone would be interested in sharing the cab fare into town. Just one of around four replied, so they hailed a cab. Turns out this chap is a "people's poet" and was on his way into town to try make some money off the Irish folks over for the Grand National. He offered to write a poem for John on a subject of his choice instead of paying his share of the fare - John, needless to say, took him up on it. Subject the Sea.

Poem John "commissioned"
Wanted to write more but am too knackered. Soon I hope!

Monday, April 04, 2005

And another trip to the dentist!

I was hoping to post about my weekend's gardening, but I had another dental mishap yesterday. Thought I had a bit of bacon stuck between my teeth, tried to scrape it out, and my capped tooth fell out. John rang about an hour ago to say he's managed to get me an appointment at 2.40 today, so had to rush to the bath so that the poor dentist won't pass out at the smell! I hope he can glue the thing back in, it looks kinda gungy to me, but maybe he can clean that off and repair it. Meanwhile I have a very strange looking smile! But vanity prevents me posting a picture, I'm sure you'll understand.

Here's Saturday's coffee break in the yard. If I survive the dentist I'll try and write some more later.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Throwing stones into the sea

I had some very nice feedback about my drawing of my bed from folks on the Everyday Matters Group. Feeling quite swollen headed this morning!

I only just noticed that Robyn has a Category for oil pastels on her blog. I really love this picture. It reminds me of a photo I took back in 2002 of two children playing on the beach at Bwlchtocyn. There's something really joyful about coloured wellies isn't there! Strange to think that those children will be so much bigger now. Strangers, they are forever small children in my memory.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Die you slugs!

John has watered the nematodes in this evening. Tomorrow I think we are supposed to water the ground (and pots) again, and then the forecaste for Sunday is rain, so I think we'll leave it to nature after that. Die you slugs!

I better not say what John caught some snails at recently (I like to think this is a U-rated blog!)... Needless to say they got chucked over the yard wall into the alley, to be joined by some of their single friends from my few recent explorations in the yard. I know that they have homing instinct and will try to get back... But they will have to scale a 7 foot or so wall to get back into the yard. It all takes time, and who knows, they might get splatted en route.

Two summers ago at the caravan I tried an experiment. My normal practise has always been to just chuck slugs (I toss these using a trowel - eeeuuuggghhh couldn't stand to touch them aaaaggggghhhh!!!) and snails into the next field. I'm just a bit "thing" about stomping on them, even slugs (stomping is too messy and can carry in onto the carpet - secateurs are good, or just slice 'em with your trowel). So I marked snail shells with Snopaque before chucking them over the hedge. Took between 1 and 2 weeks (if I recall correctly), but at least one snail made it back.

Aaah molluscs, can't live with them (seriously allergic to shellfish), can definitely live without them. Just wish I had the chance, and so do my plants!

I expect tomorrow I'll be moaning about greenfly. At least it'll be a change!

Bed drawing for the Everyday Matters challenge

I finally finished the drawing of my bed! I guess I worked on it for a couple more hours. Hopefully I'll get going on the next challenge (which I think was the toyland one) tomorrow.

But I will be working on a different challenge too. My DLA finishes on 25 April, so I really MUST get the awful form filled in and sent off. I reckon it will take me at least 10 hours to finish it off, and then John will write it out for me as my handwriting becomes totally illegible after about 5 mins of writing by hand. So that's going to take a large chunk out of the weekend.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Trying to be lazy

I'm trying to rest up a bit, honest I am, but life just keeps getting in the way. Yesterday the surveyor came to inspect the void under our doorstep, so I had to get up by midday in case he came a bit early, before John got home. Needless to say he was a bit late, but not too much so.

He had a good look, and poked and prodded a bit with a broom handle, and then took photos. He thinks that probably the area under the step wasn't consolidated properly when we had the underpinning done, but since that was 18 years ago now it's too late to go back to the contractor. He suggest we just pack the void with sand and cement mix, but first we have to get United Utilities to come in to check for leaks in our water main in case the movement has caused some seepage from tiny fractures - we're pretty certain the pipe is the original lead pipe, so that may be quite likely.

This afternoon Ray is coming over to replace the rear brakes on the car - at least I think it's the rear brakes. We also need a new rear tyre - it's just non stop!

I did manage some gentle colouring in yesterday, another in The Return of Spring collaborative colouring book. I find that on days when I'm just a bit too shattered to draw for myself it can be relaxing to play with a colouring book.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Teeth and sycamores - two of my unfavourite things

Had a visit to the Dental Hygienist today, who sandblasted my teeth. At least that's what it felt like. I found it difficult to "just open your mouth a bit wider for me, please". I find holding my jaw wide open makes it ache quite fast, and after a certain length of time feels as if it's going to go into spasm. Have to go back in 3 months, oh joy.

Had hoped to do some gardening when I got back, but found myself too shattered to want to attempt the steps into the yard. So I came up to check on email, and felt so cold I had to get into bed. So not much done today, though I suppose getting my teeth scraped is probably a good thing.

John had a call at work this afternoon to say that someone is coming from our insurance company to inspect the void under our doorstep tomorrow at 1pm. So he will come home lunchtime to deal with it. Tonight he's wiped down the last bit of re-pointing he did. It's actually called bagging, as it used to be that you used the bags the sand or cement came in - bit hazy about the detail here, but I think they used to be in double paper bags rather than the polythene they come in now - to wipe off the excess mortar mix. John just used an old towel I think.

He's also done more sweeping up in the yard. Given it's such a small yard it's amazing how long it takes to sweep up! The sycamores across the side road are the main reason why we always have so many dead leaves. I hate the sycamores - they obscure the sun from our yard (some years ago the trees were cut back, and we had sunshine in the yard, mostly gone come evening now), and they also drip crud over my car that is extremely hard to remove. Grrrrrr!

Bear in mind that most of my outside photography in Liverpool is through the car windscreen, crud all over it is a pain. Plus they spin their little helicopter seeds into our tiny yard and hundreds of baby sycamores spring up. We'd have a forest in our backyard if the sycamores had anything to say about it. To me they are the plant equivalent of slugs - die slugs!!! Still not done the nematodes, maybe tomorrow. If we don't get a move on they will be past using. Definitely tomorrow!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Whatever happened to the week?

Gosh, I can't believe it's nearly a week since I posted on here!

Not had a very good week I'm afraid. John decided to forego his trip to the Norfolk Broads as I was feeling so fragile over last weekend. Monday the weather was nice, so foolishly I swept up some stuff in the yard. I've been paying for that most of the week. But the yard is moving along, John disposed of some old and shattering plastic planters and swept up around the (ghastly purple!) wheelie bin. We just need to move some of the pots around a bit and finish sweeping up, then John can water the nematodes that are sitting in the fridge at the moment into the tiny border and the various pots. Die slugs!

I managed to pot on one houseplant - a sort of bamboo-ish plant that came in a beautiful arrangement of growing plants from some friends as a memorial when John's Dad died.

I also finished potting up the 6 Gold Lace Primulas that I had as plugs from Thompson and Morgan. They were beginning to need watering twice a day, so I figured it was time to move them on as I just don't have the energy for that right now. Seeing as the weather was so mild I put them on the new steps to begin hardening off. Needless to say I forgot to bring them in on the first night, so I've left them out ever since. I think they look reasonably healthy.

Some of the dwarf irises that I finally finished planting a couple of weeks ago are just beginning to show. They arrived before Christmas, but with one thing and another I didn't get around to potting them, so was worried they would all be dead. I hope that more than the 3 or 4 that are showing in a couple of pots get around to growing.

Still haven't progressed my Bed drawing for the Everyday Matters Group any further, maybe later today. Just had lead legs so badly all week that I've mostly stayed in bed upstairs, with forays downstairs for food (and coffee!) of course! Am trying out Wiltshire Farm Foods, just need micro-waving, or can cook in conventional oven too. They're OK, but not as nice as proper home cooking! Still, very useful to have in the freezer so that I can have more regular meals than I have done for ages.

John has spent most of the week finishing off the re-pointing on the side of the house, started in about 1997 I think! Plus replaced a broken cast iron air vent to under the floor with the air brick that Herby took out of the bathroom wall to install the extractor fan. He's also been in touch with the Insurance Company about the void that has opened up under our front step. Jeesh, there's always something with houses! The roof has some slipped tiles too, been waiting for attention for nearly 2 years now. Hence damp in the corner of what was Helen's room and is now supposed to be my work room, but it's currently a total junk room.

And yesterday he went over to West Kirby to complete the sale of Dad's car. I'm glad that's done and dusted, and I'm sure my parents are too. We are having lunch with them tomorrow, so I'm trying to rest up a bit today. Plus Sarah is arriving from the Broads early this evening, John plans to cook a roast chicken with stuffing. Mmmmm, onion, garlic, bacon, mushrooms, lemon juice and breadcrumbs, maybe an egg to bind it... My mouth is watering already!