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Sunday, 9 September 2018

Heaven in Devon

 

 


 

 


 
Blue skies and grey. Green fields and fresh air. Just took the parents away for a week. We rented a cottage in Instow. I’m exhausted as I have looked after people all week. My dad wasn’t very mobile so we did what we could. My mum is a North Devonian so she was happy just to be there. 

 The OH has been a real trooper driving us around and pushing th wheelchair up hills.
The cottage we stayed at had a lovely garden to sit in. Good to be back home. Although it was  a lovely place I am appreciating my home today.

Friday, 31 August 2018

Mellow mornings

Late summer is my favourite time. Not too warm, cool mornings and evenings. I have the energy to get on with tasks. A walk around the garden with a cup of tea. The flowers are hanging on.
  

 

 
All this lovely colour colour came from budget packets of seeds. I thought the sweet peas had given up but the cooler weather has brought them back to life. The asters are the easiest thing to grow from seed. They always put on a good late summer display. The cosmos hasve been flowering the whole summer.
I have had such a glut of these plum tomatoes. I can’t even remember what variety they are.
I picked so many and just froze them in batches for cooking with.

We are still eating runner beans most days. I haven’t frozen
 so many this year.  I feel I want to absorb as much sunshine as I can while it lasts. I took a long walk today but didn’t take a tub for blackberries. They are quite small this year but plenty of them. I freeze them on a tray, then transfer to a pot and use them on my porridge in the winter. We do like a blackberry and apple crumble. My apple tree hasn’t done well. I’m hoping that some apples come my way soon. People are very generous this time of year. We visited Evesham last week. Someone had left bags of Victoria plums on a table outside their garden 
gate. There was an honesty box there for a charity donation. They were the best plums I had tasted for years. I have an elderly neighbour who has a plum tree. They always go to waste. It seems a bit cheeky to ask if I could pick them for him and have some. The wasps are enjoying them at the moment. Looking forward to some more mellow days in the week ahead. Back to work at preschool next week. It will be good to see everyone again and meet new little people.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Bank Holiday Housework

Today I shall be mainly doing housework. Boring but necessary. I have had a week of family staying and it has taken its toll on the house. Toys and baby equipment will be moved and tidied.  Bedding will be washed and dried. A vacuum and dust is due. I love having them but a little piece of me is pleased when they go. Maybe it is an age thing and I’m getting set in my ways.
I like to procrastinate so I have been reading blogs and catching up. My photos from holiday have now uploaded. Or should I say some of them. Technology is such a mystery tome.  It was lovely to relive it. Although just a week has passed, it seems ages ago. My brain is awash with the things I saw and did. A few highlights of County Durham.




 There are so many. I don’t know what I expected really. I had no idea the coastline would be peaceful and remote. I suppose I thought it would be quite industrial in places, which I suppose it is.  The last picture is Easington Colliery. I did not expect a stunning coastal walk. Going through the village there a is decay, but a reminder that this community a few decades ago was a thriving  backbone to our economy. Things change and they have changed with it. Apart from just a solitary mining tower up on the hill,  and a faint smell of coal you would not guess what went on here. I had no idea that the mines went under the sea. A dark job full of danger. Boys left school on the Friday and worked on the Monday. From boy to man in hours. The women were the heart of the place. Their men were consumed by hard work and often health problems. We visited the Beamish museum and saw a row of miners cottages as they would have been lived in. Sparse but homely. Vegetables growing in  the back yard, chickens roaming. They shared what they had between families. Life was hard but they had each other. This holiday made me reflect on many things. 
Some photos of the stunning scenery of Wearedale and Teesdale have not arrived on the iPad  yet. I read a book Daughter of the Dales while I was there. The woman Hannah,  farmed alone hardly seeing anyone. She lived many years without electricity and running water. Her farm was just a few miles from where we stayed. We never managed to find it. The landscape was beautiful but harsh if you had to make a living there. 
No news on our motorhome as yet. The welding person hasn’t been in touch either. I am missing it sitting in the front of the house. Hopefully we can have a little ride around before the weather gets too  wet and cold.
Procrastinating too much now. I need to get my house in order. The sun is trying to come out and I can see little finger marks and stickiness. Souvenirs for grandparents. We will clean up and gather our strength for the next visit. 

Friday, 17 August 2018

County Durham

As the van is out of action we rented a last minute cottage. There was hardly anything left for our modest budget but we found one just outside Barnard Castle. I have never been to this area before and I have been amazed. I knew Yorkshire was beautiful but County Durham is stunning. A county of stunning landscapes. We have been all over the county. It has been a fabulous break. The cottage had been reduced by a hundred pounds. The owner said that the new air b n b movement has meant less bookings for them. A lovely cottage with a beautiful view.




On the way home we decided to swing over to the East and stopped for a coffee by the Humber Bridge.


Impressive bridge. The Country Park viewing place was a welcome break. A nice cuppa, clean loos and a walk to view the bridge.
I have appreciated being cooler in the North this week. It was lovely to see green grass too.








Monday, 6 August 2018

Faking it.

Days of high temperatures have left me no option. I can’t keep up with the flowers at Steve’s memorial place. In the churchyard it looks barren. Dried yellow grass and sunbaked tributes. I went to one of those “ Plastic Fantastic” outlets on Saturday and bought 2 sprigs of flowers at 2.99 each. There is actually little plastic in them. The wire is covered by a thin green plastic coating and the petals feel like a woven fabric, probably polyester based. I cut the sprig and separated the flowers. They were then stuck in some dry oasis. If you don’t look too closely they look fresh and pretty. I will take them over later. No watering required for these.


We have been seriously grounded. I think the van would have been uncomfortably hot to travel in at the weekend anyway. We decided to try out my Dads new toy. A folding wheelchair. I bought it for his birthday. He is getting less mobile now with his Parkinson’s disease. We took them to breathe in some sea air. We went to Clevedon where it was a lovely 26 degrees instead of the 30 plus we have been having here.

The wheelchair worked well as the seafront is quite smooth and flat concrete paths. The pier was interesting. We had to travel zigzag with it to stop the wheels getting stuck between the planks. I took a picnic and we ate it in a shady seating area by the bandstand. They really enjoyed being able to roam around. I was conscious that He and Mum have been really restricted to what they can enjoy. I hope the chair will help them get out and about a bit more.

My son and daughter in law are staying with us until their house sale completion on Wednesday. They had been away camping at Gatcombe Park for a horse event. There was a cheese stall there and son bought me my favourite black bomber cheese.
I shall enjoy this in moderation of course, over the next few days. Nothing much going on here really. Just keeping cool and comfortable is enough for me this week. The heats saps me of every ounce of energy. I thought my body would have acclimatised by now. 

Saturday, 28 July 2018

My lunch today

These beauties will be my lunch today accompanied by some left over St Agur  cheese and crackers. (From my Dads 92nd Birthday lunch.) When I planted this vine last year, the label staid a white dessert grape, but I will enjoy the



red. They have pips unlike the shop bought grapes these days. I think finding the pips is good fun. It reminds me of grapes in my youth. No seedless in those days.
I had a stroll around the garden this morning in the cool breeze. What a treat this is. I think short lived. I am so much more productive in cooler climes. I planted some “Munchkin Pumpkins” just for fun. I thought the children would enjoy them. They are bigger than the seed pack suggests so my homemade compost must be working.
The tiny Christmas tree seems to have doubled in size. It came in a pot from Waitrose. Bought by my son, it ended up being planted because I can’t bear waste. The hot weather doesn’t seem to have affected it.

My post is cut short as someone has woken up from his morning nap and needs a nappy change.
Nanny duties mean no gardening today:0



Tuesday, 24 July 2018

The icing on the cake

BT have finally provided me with broadband. I have missed blogland and have had a good catch up  tonight. The good thing is, because it is the BT summer sale, it is now cheaper than when I first requested their services. This is a very good thing as it has been a sad week. Vera the van didn’t pass her MOT. Some welding is needed. The garage was puzzled why there was not an advisory on the last MOT. Corrosion doesn't happen that quickly. When they investigated who did the last one, it seems they are no longer in business. This is no surprise to us as when we bought it, within 3 weeks of its MOT, the exhaust fell to pieces. I think the sellers saw us coming. We are grounded for now. We must enjoy, or do I mean endure, the Mediterranean temperatures of our staycation. Welcome to new followers. I am now back in the room with my new superfast, fibre optic broadband. So far so good, but it is only day one.