Friday 31 July 2020

Long winded journey

We left home to look at a garden gate. Nothing the right size but a quick visit nonetheless. All the main roads were heaving by now, people on their way to beaches?

Anyhow, had garden waste to go to the tip, got there eventually at 09:55. Small queue, one out one in operating. Got out 10:20.

We had a long list of other things to do but traffic was almost at a standstill. Took some back roads home, calling in at FarmFoods. Got 28 Magnum for £14, some spicy chicken breasts, 4 x 1/2lb butter @ 99p each and a 6 pack of tuna on special offer £3.49, great value.

One woman came out with 36 toilet rolls. I really hope that nonsense isn’t starting up again!

Thursday 30 July 2020

Cold to hot!

As ever, our weather is keeping us on our toes.

I have been in and out like a yo-yo, gardening until hot, coming in to cool, then repeating. It is now warm inside so I have given up.

I have severely pruned back two apple trees and stored the prunings. We hope to take them to the compost tip early tomorrow. The final rhubarb has been moved and leek seedlings put in.

Another day the pears will be lightly pruned and the greengage. Most apples have fallen so not much from them this year.

Once the council empty our garden waste bin next week, we shall carry on in the front. I really want to get these jobs done by the end of August.

Looking at the world map covering Covid-19, there are now several hotspots forming. Our government is not making this increase up and some people need to start taking it a bit more seriously.

Tuesday 28 July 2020

Tennis and a change of mask

I have been watching, on and off yesterday, the battle of the brits team tennis. It has been great to watch some of my favourite players having a play and smiling into the bargain. It is on all week and can be found on BBC red button and the LTA website.

The last two masks I made us, mine in particular was not correct. The nose bit kept turning down for some reason so I set to making another one.

The instructions require seams at the top before all the layers are flipped and joined at the bottom and sides. Somewhere in there, the nose clip has to be fitted. This is where I usually go wrong.

Anyhow, this time, I decided to oversew the edges rather than seam and flip - much better. Took me just an hour rather than the two or three I usually take.

How long you might ask!

Well, working out 3 layers and an internal nose clip usually results in one or two layers being the wrong way around, or the nose clip on the outside rather than the inside. Much unpicking and sewing takes place. Not this time. So much easier.

Monday 27 July 2020

Clearing back garden small pond area

This has taken two days but is done for now. Herewith this small area before we cleared it, overgrown with plants and mare's tail:
Cleared and a frog house built. Extra bricks were put in to give them and any creature that falls in, two places to climb out:
Darker soil after the overnight rain. Two rhubarb plants put in from bed two. This area doesn't get as much sunlight as anywhere else, but it does strike the soil where the rhubarb has been put in, for about 5 hours a day. Fingers crossed they adapt:
More easy style plants may be put in early next year but for now, it has to be kept clear. We have a large fence to the right of this bed that needs changing in the winter months. As much as the fence people we use are gardener's themselves, they do occasionally trample things down.

Sunday 26 July 2020

Cook in the bag chicken

Firstly though, what lovely rain we had yesterday afternoon and evening. The garden looks great (if still a mess) and more due tomorrow. The water butts are completely full again.

Whilst away, DDiL cooked us a delicious roast chicken dinner using one of the above. We hadn't tried them and did so the other day.

Instructions on the bag and online were different so we guessed. It took longer than they said and the skin wasn't as crisp but boy, was it moist.

I plated up 4 meals, two for another day, and we still had a cereal bowl of chicken left plus plenty of gravy:
I also cooked my roast potatoes the same way as her and they also worked out great. Never say you can't teach an old dog new tricks!

A roast dinner is a rare treat for us as I get fed up of all the work, to then eat the results so quickly and deal with pots galore afterwards.

Saturday 25 July 2020


Having cut the arch bit off the two plum trees due to them not growing right, the remaining plums are ripening lovely. One variety is Victoria, the other Czar. Victoria is the more prolific and is what is mainly in this bowl. This is our 3rd picking and weighs about 2 1/4lb:
There is probably another 1/2 bowl left to harvest. The weekend we were away visiting family, the birds swooped in and started pecking some. We harvested as many as we could to finish ripening indoors, cutting off the bits they had pecked and cooking what was left for safety.

The wasps have now found them so the last few will also be harvested as soon as possible. Not bad for two 6' column trees!

We started to tackle the front garden yesterday, just the inner circle. I was being quite ruthless but our council gardening bin is now full so we will have to wait for that to be emptied in another week. All the outside edges will be thinned just as much, then next year, thinned again. Hopefully then, although more sparse, it will be more manageable.

Thursday 23 July 2020

My garden is a mess!

Last year, we started the process of reducing the space between plants in the garden to make things easier. A lot more needs to be removed because I am starting to lose my gardening mojo. I ache more, can’t kneel for too long and am getting more fed up with it looking tatty each year.

We have a path of bricks in the back garden that are weed and seedling infested. We thought about lifting them, putting down weed fabric and relaying them. DB suggested weed fabric and carrying our terracotta gravel though and I concur.

I want to move raised bed 3 and join it between beds 1 and 2 to make one long bed. That will have to wait until all vegetables are finished as wooden sides need to be removed and soil dug out, stored temporarily then transferred in.

I feel if we don’t get on with it this year, I will get more cheesed off. We shall see.

Wednesday 22 July 2020

My worst night ever!

I was awake all night, goodness me. By 04:30, the sun was coming in through various chinks in the curtains and the birds were singing. I gave up, got a small glass of milk and returned to bed to read.

By 06:00 I got up, waking poor DB in the process who normally sleeps like a log. Not sure if Ruby realised it was early. We were all having breakfast by 06:30.

Onwards and upwards, no doubt I might be found on the bed later this afternoon having a dose!

Tuesday 21 July 2020

This and that

Gosh, it was quiet food shopping today, school's broken up? Still hardly anyone wearing a mask. It will be interesting to see what happens come Friday!

There has definitely been a decrease in good driving. Travelling to see our family, we had three close shaves and a couple coming back.

We self isolated for 9 days before seeing them, as we didn't want to risk passing anything on to DGD. We all had a good hug I can tell you. They are our main social bubble. Even though we walk with E., we do not come into close contact with her.

DGD is gorgeous but then I would say that. Pictures and videos of her seem to make her look bigger than she actually is. Of course, she has grown tremendously well since we last saw her, and weighs nearly 12lb now. I certainly had to keep shifting her around when holding her.

She has a really good head control and can grasp things in her hands and bring everything to her mouth. She can half roll over, smiles alot and has a wicked laugh.
I changed her nappy, fed her and helped bath her once.

She has now transitioned onto formula and soft food. Mum cooks veg for her, pulps and freezes it in small cubes. As she progresses, she will be fully on home cooked food.

Ruby didn't seem bothered by her, or her crying at all. When she was on her play mat on the floor, all dogs were out the room as we didn't know how they would react with Ruby being there. No-one wanted to play with her, so she was at a bit of a loss but went on the early walks and enjoyed herself running around with them.

My postal Christmas presents are now finished and just need some tissue paper printing to wrap them up.

Now, just the garden to tackle, it has become a mess.

Saturday 18 July 2020


Rain arrived overnight and the air smells lovely. It has scuppered our plans for tackling some garden work at DS’s house. Next thing to think about doing is painting DGD’s bedroom but I’m not sure the light is good enough for that either, we shall see.

Ruby has just come back, very wet, from a walk with the other dogs. She doesn’t understand the house rules here so just occasionally looks sad. The other dogs would normally play with her but don’t want to, so she doesn’t understand that either. Two different packs now I guess.

DGD is a joy. All the pictures and videos make her appear bigger than she actually is. She has grown tremendously since we last saw her, but is still, to us, dinky do. As sad as that must sound, I am glad as it somehow makes her seem new born. Mind you, coming on for 12lb, I can’t hold her over my shoulder for long. I don’t know how women in their 50’s and 60’s who chose to have a baby, do it.

Having not slept well the first night, just 3 hours and too hot, we were all zonked out as we were out walking all afternoon. DGD was also worn out with all the stimulation.

Wednesday 15 July 2020

I am glad

After all the uncertainty and mixed messaging, we will now have to wear masks in shops. We were practically the only ones doing so and I found shopping an uncomfortable experience.

Still haven’t been out eating/drinking just food shopping.  We are self isolating (apart from the socially distanced vet visit) ready for our visit to see DGD and her parents. We can’t wait.

I will be baking and we will take working clothes with us. Just a short visit but hope for a longer one next time. We haven’t seen them since the end of January. Other gran was luckier as she managed a long visit just before lockdown. We were due up after her but couldn’t because of it.

Tuesday 14 July 2020

More masks etc

I realised that we only had one mask each and have been washing them after use and they arn't always dry before another being required again. I have bought so called disposable ones for hairdresser use etc but needed more home made ones which I find more comfortable.

After sewing Ruby some mattress covers for her 'kennel' bed, now in situ:

I had plenty of material left over. This particular material is extremely closely woven and doesn't shed threads once cut like normal cotton so is ideal for masks. One for DB, one for me:
Hopefully that will make a big difference. These new ones are tight but once the elastic gives a little, they become more comfortable.

Monday 13 July 2020

A quick £208!

We had a lovely time catching up with DS, DDiL and DGD. We watched her playing, having a bath and eating baby rice and homemade puréed pear. Once we came off FaceTime, we set to sorting out Ruby and noticed her running with her head cocked over to one side, shaking it vigorously. We thought she was trying to dislodge something in her ear so had a good look.

Luckily I had given her ears a good clean out during the week so knew it wasn’t wax. Couldn’t see anything, gave them a comb and she winced and started licking her lips, a sign of pain.

We deduced a possible grass seed. Managed to get DS back on FaceTime and he thought it possible as well. Phoned the out of hours vet, who also thought the same. He said we could leave it until the morning but it would carry on working it’s way in. As out of hours charge was a whopping £195 plus treatment, it was up to us.

There was no way we could leave her so went in. Unfortunately Sunday traffic was almost back to normal, delaying us and we missed our slot:( The couple after us was there (their dog had a potential broken leg poor thing), so we had to wait outside (not allowed in due to Covid 19).

After an hour or so the vet came out and we had no choice but to listen to their distress and cost of treatment for their dog - wow! Eventually their doped up dog was given back to them to be brought in for treatment the next day.

He double checked with us and took Ruby off, who promptly wet herself and was not over happy to go. After 20 minutes or so, he phoned us. Yes, it was a grass seed, pressed up against her ear drum and already causing damage and pain. She had been as good as gold he said, and brought her back outside, with said seed and 3 painkillers.

He told us, despite the expense, it was the right choice as by the next morning it would probably  have gone through her ear drum, resulting in a middle ear operation!

Saturday 11 July 2020

More sewing

Whilst the machine was out, I also created two mattress covers for the 'kennel' that Ruby sleeps in at night. The current mattress has brown fur type material and is an absolute beggar to hoover and wash without putting hair into our machine. I do have a large special dog wash bag but it won't fit into it.

I used two different scrap pieces of material and my new popper machine (KAM Snaps) to allow the end to close. They are basically two giant pillowcases:

Should look far nicer than the brown thing and I can change them every week to keep her sleeping area clean.

Friday 10 July 2020

DGD another dress

Herewith another dress for her, probably the last summer one for now. I shall look up some trousers for winter when she will be crawling and maybe winter dresses once she is walking. No point wearing dresses when she is crawling as she will trip herself up. On the yoke is a simple heart applique:

It and the hem has "heartbeat" decorative stitches:
Here it is in full. I have dropped the front neckline down, and brought the armholes in to get rid of the 1980's shoulders they formed with her still being quite small:

Wednesday 8 July 2020

Nose clip

When I made my face mask, I inserted a padded thin metal clip to hold the mask tightly against my nose. Shopping this week and wearing it was unusually uncomfortable. It had decided to wind itself into a loop with a sharp bit of one end sticking out.

Whilst in a shop, I purchased a ready made (cheap) pair and wore one to finish off shopping in another shop. Utter rubbish. It kept falling down, was generally too slack around my ears, leaving gaps at both edges. I shall keep it for when I have my hair done, and will then throw it away as it will be covered in hair. The other one will stay in the car for an emergency.

I am sewing this week so shall prepare another nose bit and attach to my home made mask. I shall make myself a new one sometime as well. Plans are also afoot to make DGD another dress and Ruby two new covers for the cushion in her bed.

Monday 6 July 2020

Cor blimey guv!

I came across an expensive face mask the other day, given as a present from DDiL. It had slipped down inside something and lost.

I opened and applied it. It felt and smelled great, kiwi and strawberry. I got DB to take a picture of it on my face. Unfortunately tied back hair that needed washing, a face mask and too long, no style hair made me look and feel about 80. Not a great look.

DB will be tackling my hair tomorrow. If it wasn’t so thin on top, I would get it cut short with clippers.

Sunday 5 July 2020

A nice but windy day

After a gusty night and morning, we have an increased wind 40-50mph, but lovely sunny intervals. I have watered where necessary, fed what needs feeding and tied things in.

We have had belly pork slices, roast potatoes, carrots, and a few beans from the garden.

Online crafting orders have been placed and DB has started the next lot of ironing. Being ex military, it has always been his job although I do it on occasions.

Should have a lovely FaceTime meeting with DS, DDiL and DGD this afternoon. We have been invited up! Yah!!! Just need to hope we stay well, they stay well and no local lockdowns occur.

Saturday 4 July 2020

Another thing....

I assumed, wrongly, that when my mobile hairdresser was starting up again, I would get a phone call, but no.

Anyway, due to being mobile, she doesn’t feel happy going from house to house, with the potential of bringing infection in and out. She may start doing that again the end of August!

“No matter says I, I will get DB to trim more off”. “No, I can fit you in, end of July, if you come to me”. She has her own salon with its own door, at her house. She says she is working 6 days a week, 10 hours a day, trying to catch up. Then more on top of that as the months go by, to keep caught up.

I have to wait in the car until called. She allows 20 minutes to thoroughly clean, chair, sink, floor and anywhere else that has been touched. Towels and gown go in a bag, instruments cleaned. Poor woman, she sounded tired and stressed.

On a different note, DGD was 6 months old this week, nearly 4 months old from her due date. She is a bonny girl and to me, seems to be doing everything almost to the time she should. She now weighs just over 11lbs.

Thursday 2 July 2020

At last

It is now 6 months since we had chiropractic treatment and are knotty to say the least. Had to take two bath towels to cover the bench plus wear masks and clean our hands. Finally back home and we both feel so much better.

I have a dental checkup this afternoon but missed their phone call yesterday so am not sure what I need to do when I arrive.