Monday, 29 March 2021

The Distancing Diairies - 28th & 29th March, 2021


 I was stunned to discover that it was almost 9am when I woke on Sunday morning. The previous day's leaf collecting must have wiped me out! I made tea, brought it back to bed and we lay and read for a while. When we got up we caught the end of The Andrew Marr Show and had a couple of slices of toast each for breakfast.

Despite the grey skies, it was dry which meant another day in the garden, Kitty from next door had the same idea. Jon moved the third of the raised beds we'd collected a couple of weeks ago whilst I potted up some of the bamboo & and moved it to beside the pond. Jon moved a couple of clumps to fill the gaps in the hedge - we've no problem if that area gets taken over by the stuff. 


While Jon mulched between the raised beds and filled them with compost I raked over the bed in front of the wood store and the leaves piled up beside the compost bin. 

Jon had planted an array of seeds he'd collected every time we were out last summer and they had all sprouted, we moved these into the cleared bed.

I wonder what they are?

After a break for noodles, we planted sunflowers, dahlias, sweetcorn, mini munch cucumbers, more Greek beans and potted up the tomato seedlings. I then did a litter pick of the avenue (and our hedge). A man waiting for a friend told me how much he loved the craftivism sign hanging from the gate. He lives in a house by the Arboretum, Walsall's largest park, and on just one day last week his wife picked up 13 discarded bags of dog sh*t from their front garden. I realised after he'd gone that I should have given him one of my signs. Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing?


My new-to-me quilted jacket is the perfect gardening attire and I was more than happy to wear it again as part of my Wear:Sleep: Repeat challenge, this time over one of my vintage block printed kaftans (from Old's Cool Traders), a me-made hat and my embroidered polo neck from East. 


The details: My vintage wellies (a permanent fixture of late!), Indian jewelled cuff (charity shop), Kashmiri papier mache bangles, Mum's 1970s pendant, Turkomen earrings.



Whilst Jon worked on his music I made another couple of banners. I can't take the credit for the words, Cozy Cottage in California left me some fantastic anti-littering quotes in her comments last week. If you feel inspired to make your own, I recommend half a square of craft felt (I bought mine from this eBay seller), writing your message in indelible marker pen and then chaining stitch over the top. I then stitch the felt to a strip of fabric which I hem and thread with gardening wire, leaving the ends long enough to tie around railings or lamp posts.


Tea was an aubergine & spinach masala Higgety Pie Tony had bought me, accompanied by with some veg. Later we watched another Walking The Dead and episode two of Line of Duty, as always it was stupendously good.


Gah! It was still dark when I got up on Monday morning, bloody clocks! My first task of the day is always to scrub out the cat bowls and fill them with fresh food & water and yet the lads go straight outside and gobble up the stale cat biscuits left out for the birds. 


After my Wii Fit workout, I wrapped the last of the eBay parcels and joined Jon in the kitchen for breakfast. After the dismally cold weekend, we'd been promised a mini-heatwave for the early part of the week and Jacob was already creaking around the lounge keen to get into the sunshine.


While Jon was doing the post office and supermarket run I sat outside and finished A Woman In Berlin, which was astonishingly good despite the harrowing subject matter. I've never read a war diary like it.


After our lunchtime noodles, we'd planned on an outing to the tip but Jon checked the live feed and the queues were insane so we decided to mulch another pile of branches, yielding four containerfuls which we spread around the garden.



We went for a walk around the block, hung our craftivism banners and were pleased to see that the McD's trash that had blighted Saturday's stroll was being picked up by another litter collector.


I wasn't sure if it would be the polo neck or the kaftan I'd be rewearing today but the forecast was spot on and it was the latter that got given the Wear:Sleep: Repeat treatment. This time worn with a vintage quilted Phool waistcoat & some vintage sunglasses.


The details: Lotts from Stockholm highwood taupe clogs, Phool waistcoat, Afghan earrings, Mum's 1960s turquoise, vintage Tropical sunglasses and copper pendant (Sheila has its twin!)


Tea was halloumi with roasted veg, a glass of wine & lashings of Henderson's Relish which until Allie Jane mentioned it, I'd never been aware of this veggie alternative to Worcester sauce (which contains anchovies). 







It's Liz and Adrian's birthdays! Liz & Al are on their way round as I type (it's legal to have friends visit your garden as of today) and we're visiting Liz & Adrian at the weekend. Must dash!

Stay safe & enjoy the sunshine!

49 comments:

  1. I really like the grey cat from next door. A day in a garden sounds like a wonderful idea. He or she is such a charming cat. From the shape of his head, I'd say he's a tomcat but hard to tell for sure. Is he the same cat that made friends with your cats? I think I remember you saying that Frank had a new cat friend. It is always nice to see what you're up to in your garden and what you're planting. Happy birthday to your friends Adrian and Liz. I hope you will enjoy chilling in the garden together.

    Your crafted anti-litter signs always make me laugh. You come up with the best phrases and your banners are so pretty, they also serve as decorations for the street. I'm sure people enjoy seeing them.

    Your outfits are always so fabulous. Your purple vintage dresses are so beautiful! I love the new to your jacket...and the outfit with the waistcoat is just as fabulous.

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    1. Hello Ivana! Next door's cat is actually a girl, she's an unusual shape and I thought she was a boy when i first met her, I think she might have some wildcat genes!
      We had a lovely time sitting outside in the garden, it's been months since we were able to do that. If anything the last 12 months have taught us to appreciate the smallest things we used to take for granted. xxx

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  2. I thought the jacket might get an early appearance. I hope folks are heeding the anti litter signs.

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    1. The avenue's certainly looking cleaner, lets see what happens now the schools have broken up for Easter! x

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  3. Ok let's talk about L.O.D.!It was fantastic. Lots to think about and did you spot that Kate had Ryan's profile up on her computer screen when AC-12 burst in??!!Do you think she's undercover at The Hill? Ok on to other stuff. Do you plant out your tomato seedlings when they're tiny? Not sure what to do with mine now that they're sprouting. How great for you to have meet-ups. Not our turn yet but soon. Your new banners are ace. Have a great week @ Vintage Towers. xxx

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    1. Yes! I saw that. He's a wrong 'un, that Ryan! I think Kate is definitely on the side of good.
      We usually wait until the tomato seedlings are about 6" tall before getting them outside. A few had a growth spurt after their day in the sun yesterday but I think we'll plant a few more this week just in case. xxx

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  4. Gosh, Kitty is rather beautiful, isn't she? No wonder Frank is in love with her 😻
    You didn't wake up late on Sunday - the clocks were wrong. Grr, wish we could stop this time shifting every six months, I really cannot see what benefit it brings these days.

    Your Lads really know no shame when it comes to bird food, do they? 😉
    Lucky you with sunglasses and your beautiful kaftan - yesterday I resorted to full outdoor gear just to take the rubbish down to the dustbin!

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    1. Kitty's a beauty! Her eyes are mesmerising.
      I'm woth you on the time shifting, it's all so unnecessary. Most of the time we can't enjoy the lighter evenings as the weather is far too cold anyway.
      Our boys have no shame. Goodness knows what any passer-by thinks if they see them grazing on that table! xxx

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  5. I love both outfits so much Vix! I love all the kitties and of course Jacob too. Your garden is coming along so nicely. I really can't wait to see it a month or two from now. Have a great visit and keep those great signs coming! :)

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  6. thank you! I am so glad you mentioned the Henderson's relish! Off to see if I can get some locally 🤍 I have missed that punchy flavour of Worcestershire sauce since I gave up fish (many years ago) and can still 'taste' it in my memory :)

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    1. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! It looks so similar to Worcester sauce I'd never noticed it until Allie told me that her Mum sends her bottles from the Uk over to her in Japan. xxx

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  7. always entertaining to read your posts, Vix. I was wondering - very nosily I must admit - does Jon sell his music; or write music by request for other musos?

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    1. Thank you! These days Jon makes music for pleasure although he's always very happy when the royalities roll in from his past efforts! xxx

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  8. Hooray for all the cat pictures! Your neighbour cat is very photogenic, but I did giggle at both Stephen and Frank reaching for the stale kitty kibble! Silly boys!

    Love your new signs, Vix! "Give a Hoot, Don't Pollute" sign, but of course, it led me to the earworm of a TV commercial from the 70s, which I shall share with you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZB7gSQRIuM - heh, you're welcome.

    Your pictures are getting tiny! How long are you going to do your Wear: Sleep: Repeat?

    Hello, there's "our" necklace - thank you for the shout-out, my dear! Happy week to you!

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    1. How cool is Woodsy owl? We need to adpt him over here!
      Those collages are making me go blind, time to stop! xxx

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  9. that Kitty looks so chunky and cuddly. Your kaftan is beautiful and went really well with both the jacket and waistcoat. Your signs are fun. I took a peak behind the fence yesterday and between the thicket of bramble that is the beginning of the woods I can see a couple of discarded blue paper masks - yuk - they must have blown there and it will be impossible to get them out without getting cut to pieces - I am going to tip some old soil over them. I haven't had a higgidy pie - it looks yummy - their feta and red pepper rolls are really tasty though. You have so much Wear: Sleep: Repeat you could paper a wall with your picture collage!

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    1. Thank you! Kitty is gorgeous but she's so wild, you can only touch her for a minute and then she'll go beserk, I don't know how Frank manages to cuddle up to her in next-door's bed!
      The discarded fase masks make me feel quite queasy. I think trying to bury them is the safest option.
      The pies are gorgeous, I like the sound of the Feta and red pepper rolls, I shall have to put an order in with Tony! xxx

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  10. Your garden is really looking good - hope you had a great time in it with your friends yesterday.

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  11. happy celebrations with liz & al and birthday greetings to them!
    garden work is the best medicine for sleeping well - is´t it?! and the smug feeling the next morning when seeing the achievments :)
    how can you give away their food to the birds! bad mama! its still good - see! but eating out the bowls is so - ehm - "common" . cats.
    xxxx

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    1. Thanks, Beate!
      I agree, gardening ensures a good night's sleep. These past few days I'm struggling to stay awake later than 10pm, there's something about manual labour and fresh air.
      Those boys of ours are so naughty, they demand fesh water and biscuits in the house and outside they drink out of the pond and forage for scraps! xxx

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  12. You've really started something in me with these ruddy banners. I can't stop thinking up little ditties. I'm trying to keep them clean as I don't want them to offend anyone. Just sparky enough to raise an eyebrow.

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    1. They're rather addictive, aren't they? It's funny, the ruder ones are the most popular. A really posh chap actually requested a "shitter" one for outside his house, i was happy to oblige! xxx

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  13. Did you wake up at nine or was it really eight? This time shifting confuses me and the animals for a few days every time it goes forward, somehow going back in the Autumn is much easier to cope with :-)

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    1. It was actually 8 in old money although it took me ages to get my head round it. I agree, the Fall back thing is a lot easier! xxx

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  14. Lovey photos as always.
    Isn't it funny how we celebrate those little things that we used to take for granted like a chat with friends in the garden.
    Have a great week. X

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  15. It's in the mid 20's here today, had to say that! It's probably the same where you are ? I'm loving it. Perfect for friends in the garden, so I hope you're having a good time.
    We love higgidy pie we had one last night!
    Lockdown has encouraged people to be more creative I think. Your craftism banners for example and Grayson, hasn't he been brilliant too.xxx

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    1. Hasn't it been a glorious couple of days? I can't believe I'm back in thermals, boots and tights today!
      I've loved Grayson, he ane Phil have been a lockdown highlight especially when Johnny Vegas guested! xxx

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  16. Hope you had a lovely get together! Kitty is a very cool cat; but aren't cats weird? Preferring stale cat biscuits to fresh food. I bet if you put stale cat biscuits in their freshly cleaned dishes they'd turn their noses up! Fancy Jacob 'dashing' to get out in the sunshine; loved your description of him creaking.

    Love the banners and the messages. I'm very impressed by all the gardening activity and looking forward to seeing your plants bloom.

    What a lovely kaftan that is and the second waistcoat blended in so beautifully.

    Hope the weather lasts longer than what's been predicted.
    xxxx

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    1. Cats are so strange. Stephen will sit by his water bowl for ages if I haven't refreshed the contents that morning yet he has no qualms about drinking out of the pond! Jacob doesn't half creak, hence his name! He's loved the last couple of days! xxx

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  17. Have fun with your friends! We just went into more restrictions yesterday, we have been able to eat in (restricted #of people) restaurants since last June but now for the next 3 weeks takeout only. We don't go to restaurants though as I can catch infections super easy. Mom got a vaccine shot date for next week so we are all happy about that. Blue still looks fabulous on you!

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    1. Oh no! I'm sorry you're restrictions have been stepped up It was lovely to see Liz & Al rather than shout at them from a distance. Our restaurants have been shut since November, I probably wouldn't know how to eat in polite company these days! xxx

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    2. PS I'm delighted to hear that your Mum's got her jab booked!

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  18. Hope you have enjoyed the sun and the newly allowed birthday garden get togethers Vix. I think I can spy some beetroot and brassica seedlings in the mystery patch (?)The new banners with the Cosy Cottage in California slogans look great! I have just started reading another Michael Morpurgo book to the kids - 'Elephant in the Garden' - set in wartime Dresden , just before its bombing... tears already! Kitty is a chunky honey. Lulu xXx

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    1. What a week it's been, sunshine and friends in the garden! Jon's pretty sure those seedlings were flowers but goodness knows, something coming up looks a bit like cat mint, it's all very exciting!
      The Elephant in the Garden would probably have me in tears, I still haven't read Watership Down as I worry about the animals! xxx

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  19. I'm not surprised you slept late after all that back-breaking work in the garden!
    Isn't Kitty funny, look at that face? In fact, aren't all cats a bit funny? Phoebe used to eat the bread we left out for the birds in Winter, just to spite them. At least, that's what we thought. The new banners are fab - I did see Cozy Cottage's suggestions. I've been in two minds about buying some Dahlia tubers at the garden centre, but decided against it. I think they're gorgeous, but so does our garden's population of earwigs, who love to nibble holes in them. I love your quilted jacket worn over the Old's Cool Traders kaftan. It's such a stunning piece, and looks equally fabulous with the quilted Phool waistcoat.
    Have a wonderful time with your friends, it must be so lovely to be able to catch up in real life! xxx

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    1. It's most unlike me to sleep late, I must have needed it!
      Kitty has such an expressive face, I'm sure she's got some Scottish wildcat in her, she's got a slightly different shape to a domestic cat. She decided to join in with the stale biscuit buffet, too!
      I loathe earwigs, I hope they stay away from our dahlias. Hopefully Monty's got a few tips for keeping the evil blighters at bay! xxx

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  20. I am sure you had a wonderful catch up with your friends. Not at all surprised you overslept , my you have been busy in the garden. I always enjoy seeing what is coming along in your veg garden , hopefully it will be a good season. We had a cooler than usual Summer not at all good for my tomatoes. Your signs are brilliant , hope they are doing the trick. xx

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  21. You're looking so lovely in this kaftan (one of my favourite ones ever! such a fab colour!). And love both the jacket and waistcoat, and your stunning jewellery!. Your copper pendant (and Sheila's twin) is so cool.
    Glad that the weather is warmer so you can enjoy it outdoors. Your gardening is making me feel that spring is here to stay and so lovely to see these Little plants growing!
    Love your photos of Kitty, and the lads, so cute faces!
    So delightful that you're going to see some Friends and celebrate!, wish you lots of fun!
    besos

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    1. Thank, Monica! I'd not thought of putting the kaftan and waistcoat together and loved the combination when I tried it!
      We've had two gorgeously hot and sunny days and I couldn't have been happier pottering around in the garden. it's so exciting to see green shoots!
      Kitty is such a sweet looking girl, I just wish we could stroke her without her trying to tear our hands off! xxx

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  22. Aha, a bed of surprise plants sprouting from souvenir seeds! Well snagged, Jon! When visiting historic gardens, my mother and her sister would daintily cup a bloom in gloved hand -- and tip the seeds into the palm of the glove. Peel off the glove, inside out, and ta dah. What they coveted, but could not buy, were seeds for giant coxcombs.

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    1. Google "Giant Red Celosia Cockscomb Monticello" to see what the fuss was about.

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    2. Wow! That is an amazing thing! I'd love it if one of Jon's filched seeds turned out to be something amazingly exotic! xxx

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  23. I love the new signs. They look really effective! The bamboo relocation is a great idea. We are gutted our neighbours have dug out their bamboo and are going to replace it with a boring fence as Lolly, their little dig keeps escaping. I'm so sad! CBC says it looks awful (he's at home). The purple Kaftan is such a beauty. I really do love kaftans- so pretty.
    I need to plant some flowers now!!!

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    1. Oh no, a fence is so rigid looking and dull. Maybe you can persuade them to stick a trellis on top and grow something pretty to hide it. xxx

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  24. It's always nice to see Kitty from next door (and Stephen and Frank too!). There is so much garbage blowing around in our neighbourhood - people seem to have become very careless with disposing of trash, especially masks. I love the idea of your banners, but I know they wouldn't do any good around here where a lot of trash is generated by the homeless in our hood.

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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