Sunday, 27 May 2018

Sunday morning early

My visitors went yesterday after taking me out for lunch and calling at The Garden Centre for us both to buy a few plants.   It was lovely having them stay and very little work.   I cooked for the first evening for friend W and the three of us - Butternut squash soup, Sausage, New potato, Chantenay carrot and Asparagus roast and Strawberries and Cream.   Friday the four of us went to lunch at W and I's usual Friday lunch spot
and yesterday my friends took me out for lunch before they set off for home.   Today is our four friends lunch - the usual Sunday fare, so you will see that there has been minimal effort on my part.
The friends are the friends who W and I often meet in Kirby Lonsdale and friend P has been a friend since he was in his early twenties and he is now getting near to seventy - and has always seemed like my second son - so no hassle really.

After they had gone I stripped the beds, washed the sheets , dried them on the clothes line, brought them in and ironed them - now they are aired and sometime today I can make up the beds again.

Mare's Tail is growing well.   I have decided it is best to ignore it, try to lighten the soil where it is growing worst, plant up as close as possible with plants which grow higher than it does and enjoy my garden.   To that end I bought three plants, all of which are quite tall - a thistle, a euphorbia and one other which I can#t remember the name of (and as I am sitting here in my nightie typing this I shall not go outside to look).   It is alright for Cro lolling about there in France and for those of you who live in the South of England where the weather is balmy - but I can assure you that here in North Yorkshire the sun may be out but the wind is mighty chilly.

I am enjoying the gardening bug and now never travel without my plastic bag in case I see a handy shrub (I like trying cuttings!).   Have a nice week-end.

Friday, 25 May 2018


Visitors staying.  Back on Saturday.

Miss Wensleydale.

Friend S, who almost always takes Tess for a  walk on Wednesday afternoons, took this
lovely photograph when they were out this afternoon.   The 'cheeses' were put in the fields for when the Tour de Yorkshire went through a couple of weeks ago.   Thank you S - delightful photograph.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018


Only one word to describe today's weather here in North Yorkshire, East of the Pennines - cold.   There is a haar coming in off the North Sea (Poor Thelma must be suffering more than we are here - North Stoke on my sidebar).   It is set to get better this afternoon although I doubt it will at the moment as there is a sharp cold wind blowing and the sky is cloudy.   As children we used to argue about whether 'Ne'er cast a clout 'til May be out' referred to the end of the month or the arrival of the May blossom.   Well I have seen some May blossom out today at the end of my neighbours garden but there is still a week to go to the end of the month, so I shall hedge my bets and keep my thermal vest on (sorry if that is too much information - although small fry by today's standards).

I was up with the lark this morning and into town before nine o'clock to do my last minute shopping for friends coming to stay tomorrow morning.  Back home by ten I had run out of steam so sat down for an hour with The Times and a Bounty Bar I had bought myself. Nothing like being a bit self-indulgent is there?

I took Tess for her morning walk very early and friend S usually takes her this afternoon and has said she will be here just before two,  and how Tess enjoys that.   She jumps for joy when she sees S arrive.   My cleaning lady is also coming this afternoon so I shall be pretty superfluous.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018


There is nothing like the prospect of visitors to make one look in the corners for the gathering of dust, check on the store cupboard to make sure essentials are  to hand, wash the dusters - this last one was prompted by my cleaning lady who suggested she wash them the other week!

The fact is that when one lives alone it is easy to let all these things slip as there is usually only yourself likely to see.  (well the dog too of course but I don't suppose she cares for an instant as long as Pedigree chum in Jelly and Bakers complete arrive in her bowl at 4pm exactly (and yes, I am certain she can tell the time). 

Morning coffee with the girls and a nice long chat over a cafatiere of Italian each.   Then it was home home for lunch and today - in a fit of enthusiasm - I put on the oven and cooked myself scampi and a collection of veg (petit pois, carrot batons, baby sweet corn and broccoli).   Now I am about to boil myself a couple of eggs for my tea.   The amount of work I have done today - plus a nice long walk down the farm lane with Tess - means I have earned it - and in any case I am hungry.   So I shall away to boil the eggs and have them ready to put on a tray so that I can watch 'Antiques Road Trip' in comfort.   Have a nice evening.

Monday, 21 May 2018


One of the things about living alone is that, certainly as far as I am concerned, it is difficult to bother with cooking for oneself.   Jacket potatoes are my staple lunch food when I am not eating out.  They cook in my Remoska so don't use much electricity and come out crisp-skinned, not soft as they do from the microwave.   I split them in half, add a knob of butter and then some kind of filling - often cheese, or any kind of tinned bean, or tuna and sweetcorn mixed - there are plenty of choices.
I am not much of a meat eater so never think of cooking meat for myself.   Fish sometimes - maybe a piece of salmon with veg or a sea bass with veg (both pan-fried).

Tea usually consists of something like a sandwich, a salad with cheese or hard-boiled egg.   Breakfast is always weetabix and a banana - never varies really.

  • So it is good that I have visitors coming for a few days later this week and shall have to make an effort to cook something a bit more complicated.   Friend W is coming to supper with them (they are the friends we often meet in Kirby Lonsdale).  We shall of course all go out together for a meal too - !

Sunday, 20 May 2018


Our habit (four of us) of having a permanent booking at the local golf club restaurant for Sunday lunch means my morning is totally free.   And what a morning it is - a Summer's day.

Up with the lark so that I could walk Tess before it was too hot for her.   As I write this she is laid flat out on the patio outside the window in the full sun. After a while she will get up, walk the width of the patio to the shade of the bungalow and throw herself down to cool off.   After five minutes repeat.

How have I spent the morning.   I watered all the pots in the front of the bungalow (faces due South so they soon dry out) completed digging up the bulbs - just the tulips were left and they came up easily.   I shall watch the long range forecast on BBC Country File this evening before deciding whether to plant my geraniums or leave for a good rain.   Yes, I know I can give the plot a good water but it isn't the same.

Now, at 10.38 by my computer, I shall do the bit of ironing that is staring me in the face and then I shall have a leisurely shower and dress for lunch ready to collect friend W at lunch time.   Salmon I think today.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Busy day tatting about

Lovely day here again today.   I took myself down to the Garden Centre early this morning to buy some compost.   I also bought two box trees for either side of my front door.   They look very smart.

I returned home, put on a load of washing and then made my morning coffee and watched a bit of the build-up to the wedding.   I found it a bit boring after ten minutes or so, so I went out into the garden and lifted the bulbs in a plot where I intend to put purple geraniums.  Someone asked why lift the bulbs when they will come again next year.   The reason for lifting them is to put them in a tub of compost and let the foliage die down naturally so that the goodness goes back into the bulb.

I watched the actual ceremony (I thought the dress was beautiful and I also liked the simplicity of the flowers and the lovely children who were bridesmaids and page boys).   I was touched by the bride's mother, who had a job throughout the service to keep her tears at bay (so did I).

After that I did a bit more gardening and also separated three houseplants into individual pots (they were part of an arrangement bought for my birthday back in October).   Now I have to find somewhere indoors to put them!

Tess has just had her evening walk, a friend called in for half an hour with her grandchildren, I shall finish reading my side bar and then maybe have an early night.  Sleep well everyone.


Friday, 18 May 2018


Today is our market day and the Gardening Chap was doing a roaring trade.   It's funny what happens this time of year when there are a few warm days (warm again today) - everyone gets the Gardening Bug; it's out with the fading bulbs and Spring bedding and in with the 'Bedding Plants' and then fingers crossed that there isn't a frost for the next week or so.   I remarked to the Gardenman that he was going to be run off his feet today and his answer was, 'well that's my plan!'

I bought antirrhinums and geraniums (violet coloured flowers - should be interesting).   Now tomorrow morning I shall empty the two beds I can reach of their Spring bulbs, which have almost finished, and put in the new plants.    I can reach these two beds easily, so I shall enjoy doing them.
So far all I have done is to put the new plants up against the wall of the bungalow and water them well.

Twice today I have scraped my leg.   This morning I opened a kitchen cabinet door on to my shin and cut the skin.   It bled profusely for about half an hour before stopping and beginning to crust over. This afternoon I scraped the back of the same leg as I stepped down the patio door step on to the patio - as I write it has not quite stopped bleeding.    I spoke to our chemist about the damage - at my age, with thin skin on my shins, there is always the possibility of leg ulcers and I don't wish to go down that road.    To that end I have rolled my jeans up to the knee.   It doesn't look very elegant but the fresh air is getting to the wounds and that way I stand the best chance of avoiding trouble.  (Can't remember who said ' I am old, I shall wear the bottom of my trousers rolled!') 

Friend W and I had our normal Friday lunch out today at our local Auction House restaurant.   As usual it was delicious.   My starter of Chicken liver parfait with toast and house chutney was so good - I really would almost have liked to have it again instead of my main course - lamb on a bed of baby broad beans and new potatoes, although that too was delicious.

We had a look round the items in tomorrow's Auction Sale.   I always find it rather sad - most of the items are from good house clearances and are things which I presume the owners in the past have treasured.   There were half a dozen samplers - worked by children maybe between the ages of around eight and teenage years.   All the love and work that goes into them and now they are passing into the hands of people who have never known the family at all.

Perhaps this is a good time to say that a very dear friend, who passed away some years ago, embroidered a sampler for the farmer and I.   I treasure it greatly and look at it every single day.
The friend was the mother of my God-daughter, so if A is looking at this now I do hope it reminds her of the happy times we all had in the past when her parents were still with us.

Well, the countdown to tomorrow's bit event is on. And Prince Charles will be walking the Bride down the last bit of the chapel to the High Altar.  I like Prince Charles.   I think his heart is in the right place.   After a strict upbringing at a school he didn't like, I think he has done his very best to lighten things up to the best of his ability.   And the way his two sons behave and the way they show their real affection for him is surely testament of how hard he has tried.

So, gardening, eating lunch, watch that wedding now and again to see how things are going and keeping my trouser legs rolled up to let the air get to those wounds - that is the order of the day here in my little abode.   Enjoy your day too.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

A Hard Day

Today has been a hard day.   This morning was the AGM of our local U3A.   Our ukulele group were playing to start the proceedings so had to be there just after nine thirty.    I got back home at mid-day and had to be out again at 1-15pm.   I had taken Tess for a walk early in the morning and, luckily, it is a Pet Pals day so Jean took her at lunch time.

All afternoon friend W and I have been playing ukuleles for the local Alzheimer's and Dementia Group.   Sufferers and their carers come along and we hand out song books holding a collection of the songs they used to sing when they were young - and they sing along as we play and sing.   It is a joy to see how well they sing and to see just how much they 'perk up' during the hour and a half.

Now I am home again - and tired.   Tonight I am due to have a Chinese with my son and his wife - so I think I shall put my feet up for half an hour.

Are you intending to watch the Royal Wedding on Saturday or not?   I would be interested to know.