Thinking out loud…

This blog has been very cathartic for me this year. I can have random garden-related decisions and in writing them down enable conclusions to be made or persuade myself I’ve had the awkward conversations. I had set out to find work just as we entered into the pandemic as it was the thing that I always felt I lost when I was diagnosed with MS almost fourteen years ago when my daughter was only a few months old. But I’m not sure I’ve been successfully applying for jobs I have the ability for?

Have employers also recognised the same characteristics which my now teenage daughter has inherited from me when she was diagnosed on the autistic spectrum? Perhaps I’ve been running from understanding my own place on that diaspora. Perhaps this is what makes me difficult to employ (or is it my age?) in the 2020s when subtle misunderstandings make me think it should be easy to fit me into a complex working environment and actually make me wholly unsure where I fit into a hugely nuanced contemporary workplace?

Maybe I need work to be set out in black and white and the shades of grey complicate it for me? I’ve failed online applications in the past (although I can play online scrabble till the letters start to blur) because they are set up to find people who have certain round personalities and who fit into certain similarly circular holes. That the questions can categorise my online abilities so precisely is somewhat bewildering to my almost fifty-year-old self.

But unlike MS, it is believed the autistic spectrum placement runs through generations whereas MS is not conclusively felt to be inherited but certainly occupies a similar slot in the human genome, as yet undetermined. Do I need to chase this up and put myself on the already stretched NHS waiting lists? Or can I make a self-diagnosis? MS was devastating to my ‘new mum’ world and an ASD confirmation could well be a step too far. Although it’s just a sign that I work well on my own so blogging is fine! It’s a conundrum waiting to be discovered, or is it?

Plastic everywhere in the front garden. Need to get out in my PPE to tidy it up!

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.


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.

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

Blown in by the wind!

We used to get lots of empty drink cans in our front garden (we are on a busyish road) but the wind also deposits other detritus which in Covid times appears to mean the clear plastic gloves… Joys! But seriously who is taking care to wear the damn things and then letting them blow in the wind!

The black sheet is to keep weeds down.

My garden is meant to be my safe space (dog deposits are the other bugbear) and I didn’t expect to have to get gloves on to pick up this random unsafe material and distract me from the other maintenance the garden so obviously requires.

Have I ranted enough? Shall I do passwords or PC/Apple incompatiblity? Or messy family members or finally getting 2-years-suspended jobs finished? Another post, another day!

Grass needs cut/dug up? Tended. As this is an area we will keep!
A teeny tiny rose still out today.

Should I make plans?

A relative sent me these photos of their garden in Spain and it does make me want to travel again. Although the rules on quarantine being so arbitrary it does put me off. Being shut up in a tin can above the ocean with possible Covid transmitters makes me anxious but what if I already had it in March? Lots of people say they have been tested now so maybe it’s worth asking the questions.

However my passport ran out in February and I need to change my name in a new one, so methinks it won’t be quick to get a replacement.

I’m itching to go and see some gardens but will make do with a beach… Summer holidays are on!

Feeling like you are there?


There has been a bit of hard work today! Given a 430 wake up from our intrepid scout who was brought inside by the smell of a dead rat… found by the side of a shed (we have a few, take your pick!) she had managed a good few hours of sleep! My bags, however, are deepest purple today!

The grass has been cut, brambles and spiky things excised, and several discussions about shed renovations and purchases and repositioning have been had.

White cosmos- think courgettes will be exchanged with next door!

It’s thirsty work all this gardening and friends exchanging photos from the socially distanced pub make me want to find said secluded spot. But the media has been full of bad behaviour which makes me less inclined to think it a good idea.

I’m still finding my happy medium however as yesterday’s family reunion took it out of me, as it became a longer day than anticipated and then we had the scout overnighter going on simultaneously by zoom.

Hence my editing of areas of the garden needing weeding- a job for another day…

Buddleia in bud.

Much needed Rain!

The hottest days have cooled down again. Today is fresh and I feel quite good about the weeds! Shock horror!

Actually I lied! But I have discovered another horror! And we identified this new terror after it had chewed it’s way through lots of buddleiha… and I spotted the leaves first, then the huge beetle which was identified as a cockchafer beetle or a May bug. They will eat trees, bushes and flowers! The larvae grow underground and eat roots then the bugs emerge round about now. Eek! Not what I wanted to hear. I honestly don’t want the adult eating my garden but I am not going to go out and exterminate them… catch 22!

Chewed leaves..
Vine Weevil AKA cockchafer beetle AKA May bug native to Europe.

I went back to work this morning to a very different college/exam setup. I was wiping everything multiple times. Think I will take gloves tomorrow! Afternoon to relax methinks.

Clematis atop the apple tree.

Father’s Day! We didn’t Forget!

Early start with a cooked breakfast then a drive with a walk round Weston. We’ve never done this one and according to Samsung it was 1.8 miles. (Apple had it at over 4,000 steps…) Walking through fields I didn’t spot the electric fence corralling the large cows and I’ve realised I get anxious which I never used to. The dog doesn’t seem interested but it is a sheepdog and although very obedient, still a fairly new thing to worry about. I’m going to have to meditate later.

Big baker?

But we also had a tip off! Hubby and I drove to a Stevenage garden centre where they had tipper carts less than half price so less even than the wheelbarrows I saw in my favourite Woolworths (sic) which remain out of stock (when I was looking before).

First babies…
DIY assemblage…
Are mahonia berries poisonous?
Are these bramble blossoms?

And after a lot of bad words, it is assembled and in use. Not quite needed for picking our first potatoes but we have some of those for dinner tonight. And those were grown using potatoes that went to seed in the cupboard earlier this year. Little one spotted a big one (nearly a baker!) but we’ll see what we make to work out whether it just gets boiled. Something well worth growing.

Instructions were poor…

Halfterm in Lockdown!

Not coping very well with this new reality. Arguing with people about paying in advance for my hair appointment (May to July is a long time!) when hairdressers are not on the list to open yet! What if we have another spike of Covid cases after Cumminggate? The advisor who wrote the rules only to hold himself above the rules…

We have no sympathy when we have self isolated for the longest time. Kids haven’t been out much and we get our once daily exercise (they have changed it to unlimited) but you know what, it’s never going to be easy! Driving even ten miles seems too far, but we are only slightly vulnerable now. Kids won’t be in the tranche to go back. September hopefully?

But who knows? Britain is no longer Great. We have the highest number of deaths, we still don’t know where it came from and the rules only apply to? Who? Better get back to gardening before I get too enraged.

Stripy roses are blooming.

We can hear it’s busy outside. More cars about and people chatting. Has the danger passed? Well the rules don’t apply anymore (she says tongue-in- cheek, in cheek) and Vitamin D may protect me from Covid? That’s the latest theory anyway so I will sit in the sun!

Caster Oil plants only took months to appear…
Need a spinach recipe…
Time for multicoloured roses.