Saturday, 8 August 2020

The Distancing Diaries - Day 140 & 141

On Friday, as we were due at the vets for 8.30 am, I attempted to let the lads out before feeding them hoping they'd do their business and their empty bellies would make them come back quickly. Of course not! They refused to leave the house until breakfast had been served so, not wanting them to disappear on an adventure and not find them again for hours, I fed them and made them stay inside. My Wii Fit session was interrupted by constant wailing.

We got to the vets just before it opened. The relaxation in rules meant that an owner can now accompany their pet into the clinic for a consultation so Jon was able to take both lads inside while I read my book in the van. Both had their annual boosters, Frank was checked and the vet said that she suspected that his illness earlier this week was a mild bout of cat flu but was nothing to worry about. Stephen's always been slightly deranged but since lockdown he's been even more vocal and crazy than usual and we'd suspected an over-active thyroid. The vet said that it felt slightly enlarged, took a blood test and said she'd call later with the result but overall thought he was in brilliant shape for a 15 year-old cat. Needless to say Jon's wallet was a lot lighter when he left the surgery.

Back at home we had a late fruit & yogurt breakfast and, while I watered the plants (and Jon), he planted beetroot, mixed salad lettuce leaves, radicchio and basil. As forecast, it was a gloriously hot morning and the lads, sleepy from their jabs, took refuge in the undergrowth.

The postman delivered an amazing pair of vintage 1970s Christian Dior sunglasses for me, Jon had spotted them on eBay last week and had managed to win for a bargain price. I am spoilt! 
Wearing: Vintage Indian block printed sundress with quilted bodice, Lotta from Stockholm clogs & 1970s Christian Dior sunglasses (all eBay)

Liz & Al popped round with Jon's birthday presents and we lay on the lawn, Liz & I drinking cans of G&T and Al & Jon on the Peaky Blinders ale. We ate rustic wholemeal bread with olives and extra virgin olive oil from Crete (one of the birthday presents I'd bought Jon). Al & Jon manhandled the old washing machine into the back of the car ready for depositing at the council tip some time next week while Liz and I braved the Kinky shed as she'd seen a 1960s olive green hat in there months ago and decided that she couldn't live without it.

Birthday gifts! A vintage metal box file filled with craft ale & Al's home brew, masses of sweets (and, if you know Jon, you won't be surprised to learn that several packets have already been demolished) and a vintage tobacco tin - snaffled & in use.

After they'd left we stripped off and prostrated ourselves on the lawn for the rest of the day, indulging in an ice cold citrus birthday beer at sundown. The vets called to say that Stephen's thyroid was in need of treatment and that a month's supply of tablets would be ready for collection at the surgery from 8.30am the following morning. He'd be reassessed in a month.

We ate pizza and salad (with homegrown basil and Oriental mixed leaves from the garden). Later we drank rum, watched Gardener's World and the first part of a documentary on Fidel Castro on the BBC i-player. Before bed I immersed half the houseplants in the bath to soak overnight.

We were woken at 6.30am by a phone call from the Argos delivery driver, letting us know that the washing machine would be with us within the next ten or so minutes. Jon got up and, true to their word, the delivery arrived shortly afterwards. After the washing machine was safely deposited in the kitchen, Jon made mugs of tea, brought them back to bed where we read until 8am. I finished the book I'd started on Thursday.

I stripped & changed the bed and swapped the houseplants over while Jon made coffee. After he was dressed he drove to the vet's surgery to collect Stephen's prescription whilst I caught up with blogland. We ate breakfast on when he got back.

It was another lovely hot and mostly sunny day.

Following Monty's advice on the previous evening's Gardener's World I deadheaded the buddleia whilst Jon plumbed in the washing machine and ran an empty spin cycle as the instruction manual suggested.

WEARING: Vintage Indian block-printed skirt by Interlinks, 1970s Slix bikini, Afghan Kuchi earrings (all eBay)

While I loaded the machine with the bed linen to try out the daily 40°C wash, Jon mulched the buddleia trimmings and added them to Jacob's enclosure.

I'm impressed by the machine's performance so far, the spin cycle is brilliant and its so quiet compared to our last one, I did an eco-wash after I'd pegged the first load out on the line. Despite the machine being a slightly smaller capacity to our previous one six tee shirts, a pair of shorts, a kaftan, my exercise leggings, twelve pairs of pants and three pairs of socks easily fitted in the drum.

The weekly liquid seaweed feed was a couple of days overdue so Jon cracked on with it and I finished the rest.

What's new? Calendula and cornflowers grown from seed, sproutings from the French dwarf beans I'd planted in pots last week, lots more tomatoes and a cucumber as well as masses of ripening blackberries, cooking apples and damsons. The pansies & hydrangeas are still going strong, the house leeks are reproducing and the delphinium I cut back after flowering looks like it's about to bloom again (thanks, Monty!)

The rest of the day was spent lounging on the lawn with my latest read. Eurgh! Naked nails. I'll paint them later.

As we'd not eaten since breakfast, we demolished tea in minutes - a buffet of spelt bread, cheeses, pickles, olive oil and crisps. Afterwards we sat outside drinking tea before giving the patio plants another watering, removing the remaining houseplants for their long soak in the bath and bringing in the laundry from the line. Later we'll be watching La Dernière Vague accompanied by a cheeky rum or two. 

Stay safe & see you soon!