Saturday, 12 June 2021

The Distancing Diaries - 11th & 12th June, 2021

As soon as I was up on Friday morning I booked next week's National Trust visit. After my last Wii Fit workout of the week, I wrapped my eBay sales and cleaned the lounge, mopping the floorboards, dusting the surfaces, sweeping the rugs and repotting a couple of houseplants.

By now Jon was up and we had breakfast. Our friendly MyHermes driver turned up with a box containing my latest eBay win, a brand-new fedora handmade by a milliner based down the road in Shropshire. Jon left to do the post office & supermarket run leaving me to tidy the fern bed outside the gates, plant some nasturtiums in amongst the pyracantha and sweep up the debris from the holly tree which seems to be dropping leaves at an alarming rate. I'd just moved on to bindweed patrol when he got back.

After a posh coffee in the sunshine, I decided to crack on with another woodwork project, a windowbox to replace one of my ancient galvanised ones that had rotted away so, after a rummage through the woodpile found a few suitable planks, sawed them to size and nailed them together. Voila, a not too wonky windowbox!


In my excitement over my vintage Annabelinda wool pinafore dress, I never photographed this Indian cotton shirred top I bought for £1 from the same charity shop. It still had the original shop tags on (it was only £5 to start off with) and is perfect with my block printed skirts. I'm loving that the chazzas are full of XS clothes, I can only assume loads of people lamped loads of weight on during lockdown and can't fit into them anymore - great for us little ones!



I joined Jon in the kitchen for a bowl of noodles before painting my woodwork. Meanwhile, Jon tidied the area where we store our Edwardian edgers before planting out the red cabbage & gherkins and thinning out the parsnips. Whilst the paint was drying, I moved the saplings I'd potted up the previous day to the patio and sprinkled some horticultural grit around the top of the pots.

 



Continuing with my wilding of the new lawn, I dug up some clumps of buttercups and fox & cubs and embedded them into the turf. Fox and cubs are part of the daisy family, their proper name is Pilosella Aurntica & they're also called golden mouse ear and devil's paintbrush. They grow prolifically in our garden which is just as well as Jacob loves munching on their pretty orange flowers.

It was Jon's turn to be on watering duty whilst I planted my windowbox with nasturtiums which, going by how all the others I've grown this year are performing, should be enormous by this time next week.


We had an alfresco beer and had a flatbread with salad (homegrown lettuce, coriander, chives and rocket). 

Later we watched Italy Vs Turkey and drank rum.  

On Saturday Jon got up first, made tea and brought it back to bed where we lay and read until just after 8am. While Jon started breakfast I stripped and changed the bed, chucked it in the machine and pegged it out to dry in the sunshine. Breakfast was veggie sausages, mushrooms and a fried egg served on a toasted muffin (Jon had bacon).


It was another gloriously warm and sunny day. Jon mowed the lawn and together we sorted out the woodpile, a mess from our constant raiding it for interesting planks to recycle.


There were loads of evil brambles tangled in the ivy that needed chopping down, too.


The shedding holly tree got a radical pruning, we decided the leaf drop was from the lower branches brushing on the coal house roof.  Once Jon had sawed them off we dragged them into the garden and ran them through the shredder.


You can see the strange shape of our house. Originally three 18th century farm labourers cottages, it's one room deep with each one leading into the next. There are no windows at the back of the house and just the spare bedroom window at the side. 


With its hazy blue fleshy leaves and dainty purple blooms, we're mesmerised by the beauty of this plant, which Jon grew from seeds he'd foraged last Autumn. They're springing up all over the garden. I can't believe they've got such an ugly name, honeywort (and the proper name, Cerinthe Major is such a mouthful!)



Jon adjourned to the kitchen to watch Wales vs Switzerland and I stayed in the garden, not wanting to miss any sunshine. I finished the wonderful Washington Black and started The Last Kashmiri Rose, a gripping detective novel set in 1920s India.

Jon came out to report the match was a one-all draw and joined me on the blanket for a snooze in the sunshine. After we'd watered the garden we went inside for Finland vs Denmark, watching in abject horror as Christian Eriksen collapsed, received CPR on the pitch leading to the match being abandoned. (What a relief - we've just heard the news that he's sitting up in his hospital bed wondering what the hell happened.)

Tea was pizza with potato lattices and an ice-cold Corona to settle our nerves. Later we'll be watching Belgium vs Russia, cheering on Belgium, our friends, Ann & Jos's national team. Needless to say, we'll be joined by a bottle of rum.

England are playing tomorrow & we're already on tenterhooks. Hopefully, a trip to the clearance chazza first thing in the morning will be a welcome distraction. 

See you soon and come on, Eng-er-land!

41 comments:

  1. Evening there Vix, yes I got a shock we had just got back from hubster getting his 2nd jab and my eldest was saying I've never seen that happen before only to find out he was talking about the poor young lad on the Denmark team. So glad he pulled through. Now to you. Your garden just gets better and better! Jon looks suitably proud in his pic and so he should. And you never cease to amaze me - you turn your hand to anything - now woodwork! I have had several relli-in-laws complain of being bored lately grr they should take a leaf out of your book. There is always something to do isn't there? The purple "foraged "flowers are lovly. I love purple flowers of any kine. Enjoy your rummage tomorrow and enjoy the football. Shazxx

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    1. Hello Shaz! Very pleased to hear that the hubster's joined the two-jab club and that Christian Eriksen is okay. it was a dreadful thing to watch.
      This is such an exciting time for gardening, isn't it? I've just been outside and spotted loads of nasturtiums about to bloom as well as some rather juicy strawberries.
      I don't get the "bored" thing and I know you don't! xxx

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  2. Great video before my ham lettuce and tomato sandwiches for breakfast. What a really fascinating house. How long have you lived there ? What a great find with its fabulous garden. I do love your garden, full of pots and interesting places and always something to do. Nasterstions here are like a weed. Plant one and they are everywhere. Like gorse. The early settlers brought it over from England and it is the curse of farmers. It is an enormous prickly weed that comes up everywhere. Mind you I love it. It has such a lovely scent. Are there no end to your talents. I have never nailed two bits of wood together in my life. Your window box looks great. As does your shirted top. I had one as a child in the 50s. Is that the age of yours or are they being made again. I too had pizza yesterday. Have discovered a lovely gluten free base. My cook served the first one raw last week . That was a no tea night. It’s not always that great not being able to cook for oneself. I used to love cooking. Still I had to laugh. đŸ€Ł

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    1. Hello Sally! Ham and tomato sandwiches for breakfast? Very continental!
      We've lived at Stonecroft since 2005. Originally we were going to take our time restoring it while we waited to sell the house we were living in but we sold it to a cash buyer within 24 hours of it going on the market so had to move in and live in one room while we worked on it! We've never caught up!
      I love gorse, too. The nature reserve Liz & Al live on is full of it and it smells amazing.
      I wish my school had taught useful skills like woodwork, I'm amazed at how easy it is to nail a few bits of wood together ad make something useful. Of course Jon would make me something if I asked but it's far more empowering to do it myself! xxx

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  3. Bad spelling , meant to write shirred.

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  4. I really like your house and of course the yard and gardens too. I'm still amazed at how green your thumbs are! Sounds busy there as always. Enjoy the rest of the weekend my friend. xxx

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  5. You are very brave to go barefoot in the garden while working with holly leaves!

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  6. Devil's paintbrush are considered a noxious week here in BC, so we are supposed to pull them out. I personally don't mind them and let them grow...hopefully it will not come back to bite me. Love how your yard it coming along. \
    Barb

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    1. Hello Barb! Isn't that interesting that devil's paintbrush is considered a weed in BC? The RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) recommend planting it to attract bees to the garden and it's widely avaialable to buy in garden centres! I love those cheerful orange flowers! xx

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  7. The honeywort may have an ugly name but it is a beautiful, colourful plant. Your garden is looking amazing and so productive. We have been busy in ours this week giving it a good tidy up. Hoping to potter in it today if it doesn't get too hot.

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    1. Thanks so much! It's a horrible name, isn't it? I bet you've been busy with all your Morrisons' plant bargains, hope they're flourishing in all this sunshine. xxxx

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  8. Love how the garden is coming on even Kate commented on it. Then turned to look at her garden full of kids toys and run over plants. I love a fedora I wear one in winter. Paul watched that match were the player collapsed he said it happened so fast. He is just glad he is okay.
    I am not an avid football supporter Paul isn’t really but he was hot and the TV was on so them were sat in the living room with the boys watching it. But I do hope they do well. Take care and keep safe love and huggs

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    1. Thanks Allie (and Kate!) I bet it's hard work keeping a garden tidy with all those children.
      I love a fedora, this one's even got an adjustable band inside so it fits better.
      Watching Christian Eriksen collapse was just awful and those poor plyers having to stand and watch it all unfold, I'm glad he's stable and they're getting some counselling. It makes you appreciate just how precious life is. xxx

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  9. Very upsetting to watch that incident but glad he's rallied. I scored some tools yesterday at my Zero Waste warehouse, after I'd dropped some stuff off there. The nice man who gave me the saw, hammer and hacksaw was delighted to hand them to me and I was eyeing up the Black and Decker drill he was just about to deposit in the donations box but the lady who worked in the shop gave me a very black look so I desisted (I wouldn't normally ask for things for nothing but I'm a bit annoyed with the Zero Waste place because their prices have become very arbitrary plus they get first dibs on any real good stuff going at the council skips and then proceed to charge the earth to Joe Public for it! You'd love their place in Edinburgh though because they've just started a book warehouse with the premise that you pay as much as you can afford for however many books you want). My sister bought a house with no windows at the back and I loved its coziness. Good Sunday to you and good raking, in the garden and in the chazza!xxx

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    1. Wasn't it awful? I'm so glad that he's stable and being looked after, Jon and I were staring at the screen in horror while the medics worked on him.
      The zero waste place sounds brilliant but I'm with you on prices and workers getting first dibs on stuff. One of the charity shops we used to visit had a rule that everything had to be on the shop floor for 48 hours before volunteers could buy it (with staff discount) which I thought was very fair.
      I'm liking the policy with the books! xxx

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  10. I know what you mean about the sizes at the charity shop, we have lots of extra small, lots of 18+ (very rare) and lots of exercise gear!

    Like everyone I am so, so relieved to hear the positive news about Christian Eriksen, you're quite right - horror was the word.

    Happy Sunday!

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    1. Lovely to hear from you and so relieved to hear the news about Christian Eriksen although I agree with Gary Linekar and both teams should have been awarded a point each rather than having to play the rest of the match, both sides were far too traumatised.
      You're right about the exercise equipment, our big shop has got several really decent exercise bikes as well as a rowing machine and a cross trainer! xxx

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  11. How cute is that top! Your gardening outfits are fabulous. I love the top and skirt combo and the denim shorts look great on you as well. The Last Kashmiri Rose sounds like an interesting read.

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  12. Isn't that fedora magnificent? And made in Shropshire as well, as you know that's always a plus for me! Well done on completing another window box. There really seems to be no end to your talents. Clumsy me would probably have half-sawed-off one or more fingers in the process :-)
    Thank you for showing us the enigma that is Stonecroft. Of course, I never suspected it to be just ordinary, knowing you two.
    I've loved Cerinthe Major ever since I first clapped eyes on it at Hever Castle many years ago. I've never been able to find it here, although I do admit I'd forgotten all about it until your post. Will have to scour the seeds at the garden centre next time we go!
    Oh, and thank you for cheering the Belgian team, apparently it helped them win the match! xxx

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    1. I know! I loved that it was handmade in Shropshire, made it all the more special!
      Jon worries about me with the saw so I wait until he's out before I use it. I'm having so much fun nailing things together and seeing what happens!
      I shall collect some Cerinthe Major seeds for you after it flowers, it's beautiful, isn't it? I think we've got at least 8 more popping up around the garden.
      Belgium deserve their status as one of the best teams in the world, they're brilliant! xxx

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  13. That top looks so pretty and fresh. I'd look like Betty Boop in it but you look fab girl.

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    1. Thanks, Cherie! Looking like Betty Boop isn't a bad thing! xxx

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  14. I am all for people donating the stuff they've grown out of or shrunk out of during the pandemic - there is so much stuff in the shops right now too from people clearing out their homes! I love the new shirred top - so pretty with your wrap skirt - and love your new turquoise nail polish on your toes. I'm in heaven with your lovely garden, and how interesting the layout of your house is!

    I hope the games go well - we heard about the collapse of the young man over here in Canada too!

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    1. It's brilliant - the rails are full to bursting! The donated furniture & homeware is really good at the moment, all that lockdown decluttering and redecorating.xxx

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  15. I love your Green Man. I have a tiny one, but he gets overgrown this time of year, so no one sees him. Yours has a kindly face.
    I don't follow football but it was impossible to miss that news. I'm so glad he's going to be OK-absolutely terrifying.

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    1. I do love a Green Man! Some do look a bit scary but mine's got rather a kindly face.
      I was absolutely awful watching Eriksen collapse on the pitch, thank goodness they were able to bring him back. I suppose it was fortunate it happened there surrounded by medical professionals and not out on a run somewhere remote. xxx

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  16. something broke on Blogger so poss duplicate comment ...
    And didn't England do well! I'm not a footie fan but I do know that when we win the atmosphere in the house is buzzing with the men! Your little top is so pretty, you must have such good chazzas as ours just don't change their stock and it's always synthetic high street labels that nobody wants. I donated some stuff recently and haven't seen it on the rails so suspect it goes to a central warehouse for distribution. I have those little orange flowers in the lawn, as you have a tortoise to keep the weed flower population under control you should be ok but mine gets out of control. I try to avoid chemicals and just dig up the worst offender :)

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    1. I love the air of excitement when England play, we were all floating on air for the first few weeks of the World Cup!
      I know what you mean about cheap and nasty high street stuff in the chazzas and some of it has been on the rails since the shops reopened a couple of months ago. I bet the things you donated were snapped up by the volunteers or sold immediately.
      We've got huge swathes of fox and cubs in the borders but I love them. I might dig a few more up and put them in the new lawn. xxx

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  17. i had a few of this cotton shirred tops in the late 70s..... you look gorgeous in yours!!
    the homemade window box turned out great - and your whole garden looks so lush and green. never saw honeywort around here. must have a look out for.
    xxxx

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    1. Thanks so much, Beate! Shirring seems to be making a comebcak, I've seen it featured on a few bodices on dresses lately.
      I'll have to see if I can collect some honeywort seed for you and send it over to you. It's such a beautiful plant. xxx

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  18. I used to have a couple of those shirred tops when I was a teenager but haven't worn them since. I had heard about the Danish player collapsing during the game - glad to hear he's okay. I don't watch any sports so I'm surprised I even knew about this!

    Your garden is simply wonderful, and it's been a learning experience reading your posts about the different kinds of plants and the amount of work involved in tending them.

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    1. Shirring seems to be very "in" at the moment, I do know how to do it myself but it's a right faff!
      Me - and I think the entire football watching world - are so relieved that Christian Eriksen is stable. I can't see how the Euros could possibly have gone ahead otherwise. I'm not into any other sport but football. xxx

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  19. Your garden looks like a lush Paradise, I'm loving your front garden with its lovely (and practical) fence! and all the flowers!
    Lovely that you're making the most of the XS sized Ă­tems at charities, I've noticed that there are lots of them, and not so much bigger stuff that I could wear!, mwhahaha, sizing is always a problem, so I'm glad that you're being lucky!
    This top is really cute!
    besos

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  20. Oooh, that detective book looks good!
    The Cerinth major is lovely!
    Your new cotton shirred top is really good with that Anokhi skirt! I had a lilac floral one like that. V comfy and flattering.
    The wood work is v impressive! Love all the planters you and Jon have been making.

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  21. Poor football chap, very scary. I don't do football but I did see it on the news. Now, I do love a green man. Cerinthe major 'Purpurascens' (thanks for the latin practice Vix) is one of my favourite plants. Always comes back. Makes a gorgeous cut flower too. Lulu x

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  22. Don't talk to me about lockdown weight gain. I can't bear to see photos of myself right now. Good to know you're able to find lots of lovely things, though – at least it's all good for someone!

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Lots of love, Vix