Doubling up!

I have doubled my readership this year! And it’s not even Christmas! We’ve started doing Christmas early, and even have four advent calendars… two bought at great expense from a garden centre we visited to see the Christmas decorations! Seems like Garden centres still are the place to go for startling lighting displays. And the only place on the last weekend of November that actually had advent calendars…

Well, almost. The teenager had an orthodontist appointment in Hitchin today, and I popped into M&S. They had some! So we now have one each! I don’t get to that retailer much now and other retailers had run out, so it’s a Pat on the back rather than a plug. A rather random selection of chocolate advent calendars.

I am still looking for work btw. It would have been nice to end 2020 on a high with employment that makes me sing, but I am sticking to what I have. (My views over this rubbish year are over 2,000! I don’t know how that compares to other word presser but I don’t advertise much…) I am now looking forward to seeing the gardening article published Stateside in March next year, but we’ll get through all that chocolate first. Seasons Greetings!

PS I purchased the calendars I could find. I’m sure others are available if you plan ahead! 🥳 Major supermarkets were out, we did try! Family favourite? Not any left!!!

Indoor pursuits (or, I am struggling)…

Nowhere is there a manual for Just Do Whatever It Is You’re Avoiding… I know I just need a kick up the rear but it’s not that simple. I see pictures of things people do or make and I go, yes I used to do that. It’s cold outside and I have things to plant, mostly bulbs, but I went outside earlier and it took me longer than expected to put sticky numbers on the wheely bins. My fingers weren’t behaving.

I’ve pulled out recipes, both online and my granny’s handwritten fat-stained journal of handwritten go-to favourites with minimal instructions, and nothing appeals. There is a sewing machine set up on the pull-out cabinet in the bedroom. It took me, butter fingers, ages to thread it this morning and then I was easily distracted by other things.

Searching out the Covid detritus!

What does this make me feel about chasing some proper work? Rubbish! I do want to work again but the current climate is, well rubbish, too. I want motivation and faith to tap me on the shoulders and say, Oi, Do This, It’s Guaranteed Income and Job Satisfaction!

And I haven’t found a recipe for the blocks of chocolate, that doesn’t involve ingredients we don’t have. The cupboard is full of the lockdown 1 tins and the Lockdown 2 bulk purchases of pasta, bread flour and tomatoes. So my search for a recipe is limited by the same challenges I’ve set the kids in recent weeks: use only what we have in the house, Korean Kimchi being a lucky find by the oldest!

Granny’s secret clootie dumpling recipe! Shh 🤫

And it’s turned three o’clock just like that. Maybe too late to start baking, or is it classic procrastination? Too late to start sewing and cutting up bit of fabric, or am I scared I am not up to it any more. Unemployable, therefore not a creative bone left in my body? Did I say it was cold outside? Maybe I’ll take the dog out…

Damp but sunny!

Ok I said I’d go out and it was fab out in the sun. A bit soggy underfoot but that’s what wellies are for! I’ve filled the brown bin and pulled down some overgrown Ivy. We’ve been here five years, even if the last (and third, see my earlier blogs) one is a difficult blur, and the Ivy is taking over the pillars on our wall. We were told on our survey that the pillars needed recapping (and I even got prices from the slab guy in February) but again it slipped down the priority list.

Ivy cuttings

Rather worryingly the Ivy (auto capitalising!) has pushed its way through the brickwork. And annoyingly I am a bit too short to reach it without steps… I’ve pulled off a lot if I’ve filled a wheelie bin? But some of that was stuff that’s been sitting around and should have gone in the collection I missed! I know very shoddy on my part, just hoping that wasn’t the last of the year. Then I will be very cross. We pay extra for the brown bin collection but it may not be the full year?

I also have less work now so I am hoping to get either a few more sunny or warm days or get myself up a ladder and finish the kitchen ceiling painting. The only thing stopping that is in my head, and the sudden dizzy spells that make me very much slower on the ladder. Less pleasant than it was in my twenties I can tell you. I could also take the garden rubbish to the tip if I get inclined to go round the garden picking up rubbish, fill the car, separate the types of waste and work out the times the tip is open (if it is under lockdown) and drive over there. That is not so easy either…

Little spiky bundle I left on the grass when I cut back the rose hips…
I can’t reach the top of the ivy 😂😒
Pandemic thoughts

November chills…

And drips…

It’s not been a week for gardening much but I spent this morning repotting some of the seedlings in the greenhouse. The poppies are growing wildly inside. I have high hopes for their transferrance into the garden next year.

I don’t know what this pretty flower is?

I’ve planted blue ones and purple ones and maybe, some copper ones! The seeds went into the little half toilet rolls and some shot up more wildly than others.

It’s cold in the greenhouse and some of the panes we replaced have slipped down after being battered by apples, so there is a small gap at the apex which needs to be blocked or if it snows this year I will lose them all.

Japanese anenome planted last year!

If it hadn’t been raining I would have been filling the brown bin with some of the choppings which we haven’t recycled yet. I was too busy this week at exams to get out when it was sunny. Oh well, I want to be working, but it seems like 2020 was not my year to find alternative employment. I shall have to rethink, as methinks my MS is a block to finding work in the general way. I have been trying for a while now and the length of time I have been trying to get something different is now going against me. Heyho…

Some replanted poppies,

Ouch!

Smallest is home after throwing up and she had her earphones on. Husband is in the shed, and ditto, so no one heard me… I had decided to clamber over the piles of logs (was it wise?) and investigate the space behind the shed.

These chunks are too heavy for me…

Which was weedy and filled with firewood in waiting. I pulled out a few weeds and was trying to clamber back. It would have been fine if I had not stepped down too hard on a pile of very soft sawdust. My foot went down and down and was close to my ankle snapping (I think) and me being stuck behind the shed for quite a long time.

Some bindweed coming over from next door.

As you can guess I did manage to put some weight back on it and fumble my way out of the space I no longer want to explore. I think I may be stuck to the house for a bit. Again not helping the grand scheme of things. I feel I may grapple with leg pain for the next few days. I said I’d work tomorrow as well. I don’t need to be hobbling round exam rooms. Ouch!

Needs cutting back but I didn’t take my snips on my clamber!

Another post? For another day?

As it is spitting (Scottish term for light rain, in fact it could be called drizzling) intermittently, and I don’t like getting wet, I have time to write but actually I want to be planting! I purchased a couple of cheap plants in my favourite Woolworths replacement store. I have to plant the grasses too and bulbs. Next spring needs to have an explosion of colour! So there are more bulbs to plant too.

Rose haw

Lunch had been forgotten and I went for a packet to be quick. Bad move when something called Piri-something is left. Yuk! But the outside is calling. The Ivy has sprouted buds and I wasn’t going to cut it when it was sunny and covered in bees, but it’s wet now and I need to discourage bees like the monster that came inside yesterday. Seriously huge, like a bird buzzing furiously, I was scared for us all. I am not a naturephobe, more appreciate such beautiful creatures on the other side of the window.

We asked for it in chunks…
Don’t look to hard at this one?!?

Can I carry any of the tree chunks I need to pile up? Good question and I have new gloves so maybe I can try? These are coming recommended and I think will be good for all the prickly stuff.

These are flowering again…
I hope the striped rose survives trunks landing on it…

Still gardening!

It’s lovely out today and I’ve done some of the stuff I had been putting off. I’ve replanted the heuchera that was in the rotten garden box. It is beyond saving that one but I’ve popped the heuchera into the bed I cleared yesterday. I was visited by my friendly robin. Well I would be as I uncovered snails and all sorts.

Sun on the gladioli…

I’ve also done some digging but hey the sun is now too high and it’s my least favoured job. But I replanted the heuchera and was rewarded by a visit from Red. I buried the bulbs I put in on Saturday with a layer of compost from the rotten box so I’ve mulched the bed I cleared.

I’ve also ordered some super tough garden gloves as I am tired of fishing out thorns in the evening! And the tree boys come tomorrow. There is lots happening, like the snails it will happen, slow and sure.

Red.
Transplanted heuchera.

Shearing laurel…

I did some more digging but I also did some pruning of the laurel. The brown bin is filling. We have lots to get rid of and the pegs are in to start our shed layout.

Spider!

Lots of digging is going to be happening apparently, despite my claim that I’m too old? I think the slabs require a lot more digging until the slabs slope away from the house. We have too many flooding the garden experiences to have the slabs slope toward the house…

But it’s hard work and the grass area in front of the bedroom is obviously full of couch grass, so I am very reluctant for that to be our grass area. It’s going to need some taming!

So much weeding needed!

I have the idea of using the gravel I bought randomly the other week to form the path but I am being told by hubby that it also needs digging… lalala I am not listening! It won’t need much now we have a tamper! I picked it and the crowbar up from the post office.

Gladioli
We moved this piece of concrete to make a sloping path from the side gate…
Very dusty pale mauve penstemon.

Rearranging stuff!

I may have overdone it today! I moved things around and set up a border for the flowerbed in the front. I also cut down some spiky bits and stabbed myself in the process; maybe I need to invest in armour?

In progress…

But it’s not possible to add to the garden waste for collection as it’s full, full, full! And I am trying to avoid further digging cos as I said last time, it wipes me out, fatigue like I have any number of autoimmune conditions all at the same time.

This rose bush needed cutting.

But I moved the little slabs to the front and almost made a circular ring round the bed I have ignored for a while. It needs compost I think and I will use some of the bags I bought on the last trip to the garden shop, which I haven’t visited in a while. I’m not sure whether we checked the ph there but the weeds are rampant…

Trolley was one of my best bargains this year!

I feel a bit more positive after achieving the circle and cutting back the rose which had regrown and I thought I had killed when I dug over that bed. I’ve added a few bulbs (it felt like a lot!) that I hope are not found by squirrels.

Washing off the pea gravel was taking too much water. It will go under the slabs. Hubby got a very heavy crow bar and an even heavier tamper which l had to pick up from the Post Office.
From a distance it looks almost circular?