Monday, 13 July 2020

The Distancing Diaries - Day 114 & 115



On Sunday (day 114)  the sunshine streaming through the window woke me early. I got up, let the lads out and sat outside basking in the warmth while the tea brewed. Is it just me or does everything sound different on a glorious morning, even the raucous call of the tailless magpie sounds sweeter? I took our tea back to bed and we read for a while before going downstairs for breakfast.


Jon remembered he'd frozen some crumpets a while ago so after I'd painted my nails we had those while watching the Andrew Marr Show. 

Barry M nail paint of the week - Rock Pool

 After we'd eaten I attempted to catch up with blogland. I was heartbroken to read Tammy's blog, entitled Final Post, as she's been given the devastating news that she has pancreatic cancer. She writes Hugs to all, please stay safe. Life is worth living. I have been blessed with a full and wonderful life, a sweet husband, a family who loves me and a dog who is my constant companion, can anyone really ask for anything more? You'll have read the thoughtful comments she leaves on my blog and may well have popped over and visited her as her blog is in my sidebar. Although we've never met she's been a part of my life for many years and, like many of the women I've met through blogging, consider her a friend.

Please keep Tammy in your thoughts.


I switched off the PC and took myself outside. Jon had to pop round to Tony's to pick something up and I had a few things to occupy myself with in the garden, including setting up the free book pile outside the gates and deadheading the patio plants. I'd only been outside for a while when a chap in a campervan pulled up and told me he'd come to collect the blue bricks listed for sale at our address....eh? I asked him to double check as there's an avenue, drive, close and road all with the same name. After a chat about our VW campervans he continued on his way to the road address and not the avenue.


Next on the list was filling the chimney pots I'd emptied the previous day and had dragged over to the wall of mirrors. As they're hollow I needed to fill them before I added plants so I had a look through the rubbish pile for something suitable coming up with the polystyrene packing our kitchen lamps arrived packed in, broke it up and crammed it in. 


I needed something to line the pots with & to contain the plant roots so I pulled one of the rubble sacks our gravel had been delivered in, cut it into smaller pieces, punched a few holes in for drainage. Keep something for long enough and you'll always find a use for it.


No need to go to the garden centre for plants as I'd already had my fix on Thursday. Instead I used a fuschia I'd bought from a car boot sale a couple of years ago and thought I'd killed in the Spring. Refusing to give up on it I cut it down, repotted it and a month or two later it sprung back into life. 


The Sweet Williams were on the clearance shelf in B&Q last Spring and despite being annuals, have been flowering constantly ever since.


I was just sweeping up when a young women called over to me to ask about the books. I encouraged her to take as many she wanted and we started talking. She was under the impression that our house, which she passes every day wheeling her toddler in a pushchair around the block, was a commune and not a proper house. How bizzare! Not sure if it's the sign outside the front door or the fleet of campervans on the path.


By now Jon was back, we had our lunchime noodles and, as the van's in for an MOT this week, he proceeded to work through the list to check everything was in order. Meanwhile I stripped off to my bikini and prostrated myself on the lawn with Sanctus, which I managed to finish and add to the book pile.


After watering the patio plants and veg patch we cracked open a beer and made the most of the late afternoon sunshine.

WEARING: Vintage India Imports of Rhode Island block printed sun top & 1990s Diesel denim cut-offs (both charity shopped)

After tea (pizza with potato wedges) we watched Sicily: The Wonder of the Mediterranean  and The Lumineries. It's the final episode next week which I'm sad about as I've loved it but all is not lost, A Suitable Boy starts on the BBC in a fortnight, one of my all-time favourite books set in India!

SOURCE
 Monday (day 115) was cloudy and overcast when I got up at 6.30am. After my Wii Fit workout I took a cup of tea up to Jon and scribbled down a list of stuff I needed to get done.

WEARING: 1960s block printed hooded kaftan (Viv's Vintage, Worcester)


After our fruit & yoghurt breakfast I slathered my hair in conditioner & plaited it and pinned it on top of my head, slipped on my hooded kaftan and, ignoring the spots of rain, proceeded to get cracking with my to-do list.


I cut back the bamboo threatening to engulf the bed below the lounge window, replanted the blue grass after I'd sheared off the brown bits, restaked the yukka & tied up the Oriental poppies, the heads of which were still too green to harvest the seeds.


As my spider plant was getting enormous I removed it from the pot, seperated the roots and divided it up into seven smaller plants which I've split between the kitchen and the utility room. By now the spots of rain had become a full-blown shower so I retreated into the house.


We'd just finished our lunchtime noodles when our neighbour, Florence, knocked the door, bringing with her one of Ray's freshly baked loaves and some poppy seed heads. Talk about good timing, one of Jon's tasks for today was to bake a loaf to take with us when we go on our National Trust visit tomorrow.


The heavy rain had reduced to a light drizzle so we were able to continue working outside, Jon cleaned sanded down the skirting boards he'd rescued from Liz & Al's woodpile on Friday which, once he's treated them for woodworm & painted, will be ready for fitting in the kitchen. I cut back the curry plant, moved a cat mint that was being overshadowed by the montbrecia, potted up a thrift and some camomile Jon had found in his pocket last week (don't ask, I don't know either) and experimented with planting cuttings taken from the rosemary bush.


The border beside the wall of mirrors is known as The Last Chance Patch as, other than the nepeta, I plant things in it that are on their last legs. There's two of the Dusty Millers rescued from the window boxes, a bit of the wild geranium we'd split up months ago, spiky bastard (which has gone from strength to strength), a dried-up thing in a pot which has morphed into quite a pretty climber with tiny pink flowers, a shrub with yellow veined leaves I'd rescued from a crack in a wall on one of my walks around the block and two house ferns from B&Q's clearance shelf last year that are half dead.


I've no idea what these two were up to today but I'm happy to report that they observed social distancing throughout their adventures.






By 3pm, somewhat damp but with all our jobs ticked off the list we retreated to the house. After I'd mopped up the trail of muddy footprints we'd left in the hallway and polished the side table, we rewarded ourselves with a posh coffee.


Stuffed vine leaves, grilled haloumi, spinach and feta parcels, tea was a Mediterranean delight (unlike today's weather, a bit of a washout afer yesterday).


Tonight we'll be watching the second instalment of Sicily: The Wonder of the Mediterranean and a couple more episodes of Mrs America and I'll be reading my 36th book of the year in bed.


Stay safe, stay fabulous & see you soon.

75 comments:

  1. do you have little free libraries in England? In the larger cities over here that's an organization that you can join (or not) that encourages people to have little cupboards outside their houses where free books , or anything else are put so anybody that walks past can take a book or 2. My sister-in-law and I always walk around her town and gets books to read. It's great when I visit her for a vacation, because I don't have to carry books with me. Yes, I still buy books from bookstores.

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    1. I've seen those little free libraries on foreign blogs but the only time I've come across them here is at the End of the Road Festival where you can borrow a book and return it the following year. My free book pile has been really popular so it's something I shall continue with especially as it's looking doubtful that our charity shops will be opening for the foreseeable future. xxx

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  2. Your garden looks great - so much colour - which reflects your hard work. The trailing geraniums have really grown. Love that kaftan!!! Your neighbours are kind to you because you and Jon are kind. You reap what you sow! Nice that you are getting to know them. There are good things to come out of lock down! I still have no flowers on my crocosmia but I know they will bloom following their own agenda, not mine!

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    1. Thanks, Catmac! I'm amazed by those trailing geraniums, I hadn't heard of them until a friend on facebook suggested they'd work in that part of the garden.
      Getting to know our neighbours has definitely been a real benefit of lockdown, Ray's loaf smells wonderful, I'll be eating my sandwiches before we get there this morning!
      I'm eagerly awaiting your crocosmias, I wonder which'll arrive first the ones in your garden or those down by our pond? Keep me posted! xxx

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  3. PS I was serviced today (ooh, er missus!) by the gasman who came for my annual boiler service. He is the first person to be in my house in over four months!!! Quite strange but nice to have a bit of normality. He was great fun and really made me chuckle so it was a good start to socialising again!

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    1. Oh my word, the first person in the house for four months!! How lovely that your first visitor was a lovely chap that made you smile. I love how so many of us have become even more chatty since lockdown, in the past I'd say hello to passers-by if I was out sorting the bit by the gates now we wend up chatting about everything for ages. xxx

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  4. Hello lovely lady! Boy what a jammed packed post! I typed a rambling comment then lost it boo. Anyway so much to say I am so sorry about your friend, big hug. Now, I must get that beautiful nail colour! I related to so many things in this post. "If you keep something long enough you will find a use for it" yep bits of the old bunk beds come in handy for shelving in son's room. "Refuse to give up on plants" yep and I also have a name for every garden. One of my favourite bits here is the "catch can " garden alias it's got two chances " garden. "The Aussie garden (with fully grown gum tree) the cow gate garden and my birthday garden that became Dad's garden as a memorial to him, even though he never tepped foot on English soil. I reckon you must have a full nursery of spider babies now! You look fab as usual and speaking of fab clothes finally stopped being shy with Sheila too and dropped a comment for her. I love that the boys are socially distanced you made me giggle (got more sense than some humans) Boy that mediterranian tea looked good I could live on food like thatx Anyway Vix loved both the suntop and the kaftan. Have a great couple of days. Oh yeah thanks for all the tv recommendations Lumenaries and am loving Scotlands home of the year they come across lovely don't they? not like some snooty interior designers. Love Shaz xx

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    1. Hello, Shaz! God I hate it when a comment disappears into the ether, I've started left clicking on my mouse when I've written a long comment and copying it, just in case Google misbehaves and loses it.
      Rock Pool is a great colour, it matches my current reading glasses!
      I'm delighted that we're on the same wavelength, Jon & I see potential in most things so we have a bit of a holding cell tucked away in the garden where we can ponder on things before they're consigned to the council tip (which hasn't happened in 2020)!
      I love your differently named gardens, you're like Monty Don. How lovely to have a memorial garden for your Dad and fancy having a gum tree!
      I loved my enormous spider plant but she was getting so big I was scared she'd bring the bathroom ceiling down, hopefull she'll have millions more babies soon!
      I'm delighted that you've commented on Sheila's blog. Ever since I'll reinstated my "blogs I follow" side bar I've loved visiting my regular blogs and seen comments from my lovely friends who've seen the link and decided to visit, it makes for such a lovely, inclusive community!
      It seems bizarre that i was wearing a suntop two days ago, I've got a cardi on now!
      I loved the designers on Scotland's Home of the Year, such genuine lovely people. Take care. xxx

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  5. Reading Tammy's post broke my heart. It doesn't matter (to me) if you know the person or not, the finality of it all is incredibly poignant. I am a cancer survivor and had an opportunity to correct course.

    The feeling that you have accomplished what is/was most important to you is comforting, and having no regrets is perhaps the greatest gift life can give. Much love.

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    1. Hello, Mei! I'm delighted that you're a cancer survivor, thank you so much for sharing that, it gives us all hope.
      I found Tammy's comment about how wonderful her life has been and that she's loved devastatingly beautiful. That's all anyone can wish for, isn't it?
      Much love to you. xxx

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    2. Hello Vix! Yes, I came out the other side! I am thankful for every day. The experience changed me. My mother was diagnosed after me, and she is also a survivor!

      Enough sadness, have you seen these little dollhouse "books nooks"? They are perfect for the winter months! https://www.boredpanda.com/book-nook-shelf-inserts/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic

      A faithful reader,

      Mei

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    3. Dear Mei, for both you and your mother to survive cancer is absolutely wonderful, proof that there is hope.
      I've followed that link and I'm totally inspired! How utterly magical and you're right, it's the perfect winter project, thank you.
      I'm so glad that you've started commenting, it's been a real pleasure getting to know you. xxx

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  6. I read Tammy's post with shock. I know the surgery ahead of her, I've the unit that does them here in my city. I know where she lives and she may have to travel for her surgery.

    Good vibes fron blogland to her.

    Phillip Kerr? He's on my bedside table.

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    1. It was such a shock, I'm not surprised Tammy feels numb, it was so unexpected, wasn't it?
      She's in safe hands, from what I've heard that Canadian healthcare system is excellent.
      I'm enjoying Phillip Kerr's writing, there's plenty of humour despite the murder and violence. xxx

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    2. The husband enjoys Phillip Kerr as well, so I try and take something on holiday. It's really the only time he settles in with books.

      Strangely enough, I've worked in Tammy's local hospital. That's why I'm pretty certain she will have to travel. This year, we've had two pancreatic patients from Vancouver Island travel to my hospital for surgery. One of our surgeon's is THE man for the procedure.

      I'm wishing her all the best. Pancreatic Cancer is a beast.

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    3. Jon's very similar to your husband, he loves reading by only really realxes with a book when we're on holiday.
      I lost my mum to pancreatic cancer in 2010, it's an utter bastard. xxx

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  7. eerytime a read that someone had grilled haloumi for a meal I get so envious. I cannot find it anywhere-though to be fair, if I was actually going tot he big city, I might find in a specialty shop. IS a plait and a braind the same thing? My hair has gotten so long in the stay at home, I have been just either pulling back or braiing it as well. I love when people tke whimsy as literal-the hippy sign! So what is the difference between a hipy house commune and a proper house anyway?

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    1. I'm sorry for flaunting the halloumi! Don't they stock it in Trader Joe's? Here it's become pretty much a staple in the British diet, you can even get it in corner shops. I wish I could mail you some!
      Plaits and braids are one and the same, they're become big over lockdown.
      Wasn't that girl's comment peculiar? Some people do have strange ideas. xxx

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    2. Sadly, no haloumi at Trader Joe's. I actuallyhave to go inot the city tomorrow-I'm actully nervous, but I will be stopping at an Inidan resturant and shop and hope I can find some.

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  8. Oh gosh, I feel so bad for Tammy! I saw that she lives on Vancouver Island too, although I'm not sure where, it's a big island. She will get good care here, though - we have a solid medical system. Such a heartbreaker - I am sending all my best good vibes to her.

    Look at all those plants! I'm so proud of you for using all the scraps and bits of things you have around for your potting. Good for the lads, practicing their physical distancing. I am in love with that white spot on Stephen's tail tip.

    That is so weird that your neighbour thought you were a commune! Goodness knows what the rest of your 'hood thinks.

    Take care and hope you have a good week, Vix.

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    1. Poor Tammy, I feel so helpless, all I can do is send my love and think of her. Yes, she is on Vancouver island, she often writes about how much she loves where she lives and the photos she posts of the beach and the wildlife are wonderful.
      I hate wasting stuff, I always feel like I failing at life if I have to send something to landfill especially when I'm so passionate about recycling clothes!
      Much love to you, Sheila. xxx

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  9. Very sad about your friend. This I know as a clairvoyant and as a person_ people live forever in our hearts, and we in theirs. XXXXXXXXXX

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    1. What a lovely comment. After my Mum died I found comfort in Rabindranath Tagore's poem, Farewell My Friends. Where you live in the hearts of those you love, remember then you never die." xxx

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  10. I need to look up crumpets, and possible make them some day. Actual for this time year we had a fair amount of rain.
    Coffee is on

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    1. I'm pretty sure there're the same as sour dough bread, they are delicious and very British slathered in butter for breakfast! xxx

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  11. One of the best things about my return to civilization, will be catching up with your blog. I love that kaftan and am also inspired by your continued good will in isolation. I will also keep Tammy in my thoughts and send positive thoughts out to the universe for her. It was kind of you to mention.

    I am thinking of scaling back on my ventures into society. Our camp is over-run with visitors from infection hot spots that do not social distance. Friends I have there are looking forward to having relatives visit who will be required to quarantine, but plan not to -- even though it is now mandated.

    I would rather avoid risk and keep our little world happy. And of course, I'd be home with wifi more and able to keep current with your blog!

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    1. Yes, the area where I live is getting more and more visitors, many of whom to my mind are behaving very irresponsibly, and I am actually more anxious and stressed than during confinement. Think I shall go back into voluntary lockdown!

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    2. It's lovely to have you back, I've missed your posts.
      I'm sorry to hear that both you & Julia are surrounded by irresponsible & selfish people and I think you're both very wise to stay put and impose your own lockdown.
      I was quite surprised at how many people in my town last week wearing masks and observing social distancing. The government has finally - after months of deliberation -decided masks should be mandatory in shops although not for another 11 days. Like both of you, I think I'm safer at home. xxx

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  12. Hello!! The addition to the brood, I have an appointment next week at Kyoto women and children’s hospital to see if I can add to the family, I am not looking forward to the 3 hour train journey, but it is the best hospital in the country for women of my age. So there you go!
    It’s amazing how you think plants that are done for suddenly spring back to life, I love Mother Nature. Our bamboo is huge. It covers the back wall!! But it is a lovely shelter from the sun. We often have people knocking on the door asking if the noodle shop is still open! It hasn’t been open for 10 years!! It’s so bizarre. It’s chop off tomorrow and I cannot wait.
    I felt much pain about your friend. As I know from personal experience the pain cancer causes. It’s awful. I just hope she stays strong. Take care and sending my love

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    1. Hello, Allie! Oh, how exciting, I'm keeping everything crossed for a happy outcome (don't envy you that journey but at least your fellow citizens wear masks!)
      Plants are amazing, just when I'd given up hope with a dead looking plant a green shoot will pop up. I do wish we hadn't planted bamboo when we moved in now, the big stuff is great but the smaller plants are invading the borders and hiding my pretties.
      I'm excited about your hair, I'm looking forward to hearing if you experiences with the Covid measures were as rigorous as mine were.
      Much love to you. xxx

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  13. Love that rock pool varnish, am taking your advice with my nails, thanks. Sad to read of your blogging friend, I think we do get to know some folk better than the people around them here on blogland, it's another dimension. I will certainly keep her in my thoughts. In these uncertain times I am all the more aware that none of us should take anything for granted, there's a church song 'this is the day that the lord has made - let's all rejoice and be glad in it' that comes to mind. I love seeing your daily routine and am really curious to see more of your kitchen - we are looking for a house move, a big kitchen that everyone can get into with room for a squashy sofa and loads of plants is top of the list.

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    1. I hope the Sally hanson stuff works as well as it does for me, mine were really brittle anfd now I have to file them down as I struggle to get dressed with them being too long! My Mum would ahve been so happy, her nails were like talons and mine were a constant source of disapointment to her - she wasn't sure what had gone wrong, my brother has really good nails, too.
      What a lovely line from that church song, it's so true. We really do need to live in the here and now and make the best of every moment. None of us know what is around the corner.
      There's still a few jobs that need doing in the kitchen - skirting boards, a built-in cupboard & some open shelving. The end is in sight, though. Loving the sound of your dream kitchen it sounds exactly like one I had in a shared student house back in the 1980s with a settee and loads of plants! xxx

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  14. 2 loves on your blog for me today. The boys social distancing was a highlight, and you always make me smile for enjoying a gerkin.

    Julie

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    1. Thanks, Julie! The lads were acting very strangely yesterday, I don't know what gets into them sometimes. I think we might have a gherkin with our tea later! xxx

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  15. Lots of fabulousness to comment!. Love this 'Rock Pool' nail color (I have more than enough nail colors, but your Barry M. collection is really tempting me!).
    You know I love your hooded kaftan, it's one of my favourite ones ever!. And your accessories are so cute!, you look particularly fab in this!
    Glad to see your garden looking so gorgeous!, your 'last chance patch' made me smile!. I almost gave up on geraniums after the last plague, but still keeping them in their 'last chance pots'.
    Also love the photos of the lads keeping their social distancing!, so amusing!
    Love to see your food photos too, and your recommendations on interesting documentaries or books, these things really inspire me!. Philip Kerr is one of Mr.A.'s favourite reads!.
    Very sad about Tammy, and sending you hugs!
    besos

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    1. Thanks, Monica! I really like the Rock Pool colour, it's neither green or blue and goes with everything.
      Every time I get that kaftan out of the wardrobe and wear it and wonder why i don't wear it more - far too many clothes!
      I love geraniums, I negelected mine over winter last year and bought more to compendate but the neglected ones are back and I seem to have hundreds. The more the better in my opinion.
      Mr A and I have the same taste in books, don't we? xxx

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  16. Thank you for the spider plant advice. I'm going to let the babies get a little bigger before I plant them.
    Those crumpets are making me hungry. X

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    1. My pleasure! I sometimes leave them ages when I've run out of compost.
      Crumpets are the best, aren't they? xxx

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  17. I don't know Tammy but I would like to send her my very best to her. I felt so sorry to read the beginning of your blog and wish good things for her.
    We were discussing crumpets only yesterday, they are on my shopping list, what a coincidence, they are the perfect comfort food.
    I read a Suitable Boy back in the day and I loved it too, I've never seen an adaptation, I'll have to look it up.
    Have a lovely day out today. xxx

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    1. Thanks, Sally! Hopefully she'll read some of lovely words people have left at some point, I'm sure such kindness will give her a little comfort.
      Crumpets are gorgeous, aren't they? They used to be something we only ever bought in the winter but that seems daft, they taste just as good when it's warm outside.
      I'm excited about A Suitable Boy, it's directed by Mira Nair who also directed Monsoon Wedding, one of favourite ever films. the reviews I've read are excellent. xxx

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  18. So sorry read about Tammy , wishing her all the very best.
    Your last chance garden bed is doing brilliantly , must be that Green Thumb of yours. Glad the sun has returned . Take care . xx

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    1. Thanks so much, Jill.
      It's so rewarding when you rescue a plant from the brink of disaster! xxx

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  19. Do you ever wonder who you found the time to do anything before lockdown? Your home and garden seem to keep you so busy!
    You've been inspiring my iPlayer watchlist for weeks now. I'm just about to start The Lumineries, then it's on to Mrs America.
    xx

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    1. I do wonder how I filled my time, I seem to get much more done these days and the house abd garden have never been cleaner or tidier, shame we hardly ever get visitors!
      The Lumineries is magical, Jon was confused at first (I'd read the book) but got into it and is enjoying it as much as I am. I was tempted to binge watch but it's such a feast for the eyes it's better to take your time. xxx

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  20. Your post reminded me of my father's morning routine feeding the critters inhabiting the old buildings of our farmyard. He would begin the parade with one elderly coyote-dog and a fuzzy step-cat or two, and finish with the dog, all our barn cats and their visiting relatives, odd chickens and ducks, two fat ponies, one goose and a very tall horse. They all trailed along singly like your two toms, or in pairs like the figures in a Noah's Ark set. Those buildings were packed with "resources" he found useful...sooner or later, sometimes much later. He was a master mechanic and would have loved spending hours with Jon working on your fleet!
    I, too, was shocked by Tammy's post. Thanks for repeating it here, reminding us that a wise woman counts her blessings, including her family, friends and furry constant companions.

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    1. Your father's menagerie sounds like Jon's dream, I've just read your comment out to him and he's green with envy! They sound like they'd have got along really well, he doesn't have many mechanically minded friends and it makes his day to chat to a fellow engine enthusiast.
      Our on-line friends have become evern more important over the last few months, haven't they? Like you, I was knocked for six by tammy's diagnosis and reduced to tears by her counting hre blessings. xxx

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  21. a commune! haha! this happens when one wafts around in long braided hair and faboulous kaftans instead of "propper" fast fashion leisure wear and a hair spray clad bob ;-D
    your flower border looks very neat, mine is on the way to a wilderness.... but the veggies and herbs are more important at the moment. just harvestet a bucket full of mint, now it dries for tea the the BW´s mint sauce.
    the cats are funny - what they are doing? sometimes i wish i could have a look into a cats thoughts.
    i´m very sorry to hear the bad news about tammy. no one should face that.
    xxxx

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    1. I know! People are so quick to judge when you don't fit in with the conventional norm, aren't they?
      It's a real novelty having a neat border, normally we're between festivals and everything has gone feral! I must harvest some mint, mine has appeared after going awol for a year or so and I do enjoy mint tea. xxx

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  22. Your garden keeps you so busy! What a diligent gardner you are; it repays your hard work by looking gorgeous. I deadhead and prune and rearrange flower pots and leave the rest to OH...

    I love your hooded kaftan.

    Take care
    xxx

    A commune? Hilarious. No doubt it's the way you dress; people make assumptions don't they? Fools! I knew you'd have the bikini out by the weekend...

    I'm so sorry to hear about Tammy. It is a fast moving cancer and I can only admire her spirit as quoted here. Life can be so unfair and cruel at times.


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    1. I'm forever rearranging flower pots, dead heading and pruning, I think I need to start wearing shears around my neck!
      The commune comment did make me laugh, what a strange thing to say. She seemed such a nice young woman, mind you if we'd chatted for longer she'd probably have told me about the Obama sex ring like the hairdresser and the postman!
      Poor Tammy, the news was so unexpected.xxxx

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  23. I don't know Tammy but was so very sorry to hear that. I obviously got off lightly, and it really has made me even more grateful for life. A friend of mine is going through treatment at the moment, and it's such a worry.

    On a happier note, your garden is looking fantastic. "Staking the crocosmia" - go on, rub it in. Mine are still puny :)

    I was astonsihed to walk past my tiny local charity shop yesterday and to find it open. They're only allowing 2 in at a time, and the door was propped open for air circulation. It all looked fine to be honest, but I wasn't tempted in. I'll give it another week and see how I feel.

    It looks as though my hairdresser has re-opened. Hallelujah!

    Take care xxx

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    1. Like Mei, you're another survivor and it's wonderful. Cancer is a bastard.
      I'm sorry, I'm not sure what the secret is to my crocosmia but it's massive. Sending growing vibes to yours!
      How exciting about the charity shop, ours were all closed up when I went to the hairdressers last week. I might pop up to the massive clearance shop at the top of town in the next day or so to see if it's reopened - it's the size of TK Maxx and huge so I reckon it mght be okay safety-wise. xxx

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  24. So terribly sorry to hear about your friend, Tammy. Sending virtual Celtic blessings. Happened to my bestie too.
    I see you've discovered the wonders of the fabulous Professor Scott in the Sicily progs. I lived and worked there for a year in my then father-in-law's (Sicilian) new ice cream factory called 'Tartan Gelati'. It was lovely to be in the chill of the factory while the North African heat blazed outdoors! Too hot for my Viking blood but I loved the lifestyle (and the Cannoli!).
    Prof. Scott also did some great progs on Greece.
    That kaftan is stonking!
    Can't wait for 'A Suitable Boy' to start. Loved the book.
    xxx

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    1. I'm so sorry your bestie suffered, too.
      I'm loving Professor Scott, such a lovely, enthusiastic and engaging chap. We watched his Ancient Invisible Cities in Cairo & Athens last night.
      I'm fascinated about your time in Sicily, we've wanted to visit for years and Montalbano made the island look even more desirable. Tartan Gelati made me giggle. I'll have to see if we can track down the Greek programmes. I'm still not sure if we'll be visiting in September but I'm more than happy to get a TV travel fix.
      A Suitable Boy looks so good, I saw it advertised before we went to India and have been eagerly awaiting the start date ever since! xxx

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    2. I watched the Prof's Greek progs on PBS America (channel 91 on my telly but not sure what yours would be) recently but would probs get them on Iplayer as well. xxx

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  25. Your garden and home both look fantastic. They are benefiting from the extra care. We will be travelling to our 'real' home soon, it's been months since I've been there, I'm sure that cleaning the house will take up a good portion of my three week leave. Hopefully, they don't close the borders. I'm also planning to do some gardening on my balcony. I'm full of plans.
    Funny how the lady thought your home was a commune. If one doesn't dress conventionally, people always make assumptions. At my first job at the airport as ground personnel when I was 18, everyone thought I was Hare Krishna because I didn't wear make up and had long hair. I was wearing an uniform but it seems that not wearing make up was enough for people to make assumptions. People have made so many assumptions over the years and my style isn't even that unique.
    You look lovely in your vintage top and denim cut outs. That 1960s kaftan is gorgeous.I love the big flowers in that pattern. Your blue manicure is very pretty and looks great with your rings.
    I'm so sorry to hear about Tammy, if her words are any judge, she is being incredibly brave. I hope she will get some quality time with her family before she has to leave. It just isn't fair.

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    1. You must be so excited about returning to your real home, even cleaning must be more enjoyable when it's your property you are cleaning. Enjoy every minute of your three week leave.
      Aren't people tiresome with their assumptions? We all make assumptions about strangers but most of us keep our thoughts to ourselves. xxx

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    2. True, but I guess not everyone has the manners to keep some things to themselves.

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  26. Tammy I'm sure makes the most of her days and has love in her life and as devastating as it is (not to make light of it) none of us knows what's around the corner and it is so lovely of her to remind us-Sending my love xx

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    1. Thanks, Flis. Her words are an example to us all. xxx

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  27. I was so sorry to read Tammy's news. What a shock for her. I am not a religious person so can only keep her in my thoughts. I do wish her well.

    Your garden is glorious, you could open it to the public. The woman who thought your house was a commune is hilarious, what a strange idea. Funny but very odd.

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    1. Thanks very kind of you, Carole.
      The longer I spend in the garden, the more ideas that keep popping up in my head. I actually went to a NT garden yesterday and thought ours looked more cared for than theirs! xxx

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  28. I wonder if your boys have had words Vix and isn't it funny how people imagine things if you step outside the boring.Some think I have a dogs home or am a dog walker because I have 4 dogs.One man said to me last week "what do you do with 4 dogs?"-I didn't know how to reply and then " how do you afford it?"-he seemed irritated.I just said"well feeding them isn't too expensive"-I do find vets bills expensive but cut back other places to afford it but I didn't tell him that x

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    1. We all make assumptions about people but most of us keep our thoughts to ourselves, don't we? What business is it of that man's to ask how you afford to look after the dogs (although I suppose he must have thought they looked well cared for to ask how you mananged it). xxx

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  29. The weather is rather a mixed bag lately, isn't it? I'm glad to hear that you were able to enjoy some sunshine on Sunday at least. Sorry to hear about Tammy. Even if you don't know someone in real life, news like this can really knock you for six. That woman thinking you were living in a commune made me chuckle. The fleet of camper vans, and your Indian block printed attire might have something to do with it, I guess. Funny how some people's minds seem to work. That hooded kaftan is delightful and I love how you persevered in spite of the drizzle to tick all the jobs off your list. We too have an area for things that aren't doing well or are on their last legs. It's more of a naughty corner than a last chance patch and, as they're all in pots, plants can be promoted if they start doing well again! The lads social distancing made me chuckle too. Did they have a tiff, perhaps? xxx

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    1. Hasn't it just? As we spend so much of our normal summers outside at festivals its usually next week that goes downhill and other than a few sunny days here and there, stays miserable until the end of August. Today is so gloomy I kep having to check I haven't inadvertently got up three hours too early.
      Our online friends have become more important than ever over these strange times, haven't they?
      We've got a naughty corner for houseplants, too! xxx

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  30. End of a blog that you love, is always like losing and old friend. But when it ends in a IRL tragedy, that is beyond heartbreaking. Lots of strenght to your friend, and thanks to you of these colourful posts with full of life and love for it 🧡

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    1. Thank you so much for these lovely words. xxx

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  31. The Lads are Socially Distancing, how hilarious... did you teach them that or did they come up with it on their lonesome whilst bored at looking at Humans doing it? I'm so sorry to hear of the tragic News your Blog Friend Tammy got, may Healing Energies and Comfort come her way as she goes thru this difficult Journey of Health Crisis.

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    1. They've spent a long time sitting on the stepping stones and staring out on the street lately, I think they must have laernt it themselves. It'll be masks next!
      Lovely to hear from you. xxx

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  32. The pleasure in coming on to read your blog tempered so sadly by the news about Tammy. What a joyous world it would be if we could all say "I have been blessed with a full and wonderful life..." She is full of grace.

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    1. Hello, Ruth. I felt that even though there may be visitors who aren't familiar with Tammy her words would resonate with all of us, you summed it perfectly with "She is full of grace". Thank you so much for your kind comment. xxx

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  33. I don't know Tammy, but that is a terrible diagnosis for anyone to receive and I'm sorry she has to go through this.

    That is rather odd that the woman thought you were living in a commune, although I suppose to some people, the sight of a woman in a colourful maxi dress and a lane full of camper vans might plant that idea in their heads. You look ravishing in those photos of you wearing that hooded caftan - the colours are marvelous!

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    1. Thanks, Shelley! It was an odd thing to say, especially as she was young, inked and pretty alternative looking! xxx

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  34. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend - pancreatic cancer is such an awful ilness.

    You look gorgeous in that hooded caftan. If you were running a commune, it'd be the most glamorous one in the world.

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Thank you for leaving a comment. If you have a blog I'll pop over and return the favour.

Lots of love, Vix