Sunday, 20 June 2021

The Distancing Diaries - 19th & 20th June, 2021

 

Jon made tea on Saturday morning, brought it back to bed where we lay and read until 8am when the lads demanded our attention. Leaving Jon to sort out breakfast, I stripped & changed the bed sheet & pillowcases, loaded the washing machine and pegged the laundry out on the line noticing that the clematis beside the front door had burst into flower overnight,

As had our second Philadelphus.

The sky was grey but we'd been promised a dry day. After a sausage sandwich, we scribbled a gardening to-do list and got stuck in. I'd slept in my French plaits and they hadn't budged, no wonder it's the hairstyle of choice for so many festival going girls & backpackers, no faffing about with hair when there are better things to do.

Vintage dip-dyed Indian cotton blouse (eBay), Organic cotton, block-printed wraparound skirt (Cotton Cottage, India, 2018), Nepali choker (the infamous Anjuna market, Goa, 2001)

After he'd staked the honeysuckle and lavatera and nailed a vintage enamel sign to the wall, Jon weeded the veg patch, sowed some of the nigella seeds Kezzie had sent and planted out lettuce, curled parsely and French dwarf beans. 


Watering the red cabbage, gherkins, cucumbers, cauliflowers and a few of the tomatoes.



Spelling pedants...look away now!

I trimmed the front lawn with shears, mindful of my wildflowers, and dug up more Fox & Cubs, transplanting them into the turf. I pulled the leaves from the Oriental poppies to give the other plants in the bed a bit more room and did my thrice-weekly bindweed and bramble check.



While Jon tinkered with Gilbert's timing  I stripped down to my bikini, lay on the lawn with the radio tuned to Hungary vs France and finished The Good Liar. Wow! What an excellent read, I had no idea that was coming.


We had a beer in the late afternoon sunshine before watering the garden & sampling some of the delicious Shiraz peas plucked straight from the vine. Tea was homemade curry, paneer & mushroom for me & chicken for Jon, eaten whilst watching Germany vs Portugal - what a match! Later we caught up with the previous evening's Gardeners World before watching Spain vs Poland (another thriller), accompanied by rum.

It had rained heavily throughout the night and my Sunday morning garden inspection revealed several casualties, including my Dusky Maiden delphinium, which I staked up before taking mugs of tea back to bed and reading till just gone 8am.


And a wonderfully absorbing read it is. (Lynn, I'll be sending it your way when I've finished).

We had eggs on toast for breakfast, I painted my nails with Barry M's Passionfruit and we watched The Andrew Marr Show.


At a feeble 12°C, it was back to a long-sleeved dress (a 1970s Phool midi bought from Second to None in 2018) along with some orange nubuck Lottas (website flash sale), a vintage tooled leather bag and a me-made mask). I'd washed my hair the previous evening so the plaits were gone.


Jon'll be in shorts until November. The brown corduroy chores jacket was a charity shop find last week but he'd chucked it in the washing machine before I had a chance to photograph it. He's not as grumpy as he looks...honest! 


As is now our new normal, we popped down to the clearance charity shop at the top of town, donating a maxi dress from festival stock, some costume jewellery surplus to requirements, a couple of paperbacks, a Kindle and a couple of tablets (all old tech but working and hopefully of some use).


We came back with a vintage Lister Minquella fake fur coat; a 1970s Lerose Mod jacket; a 1960s vinyl handbag; a 1970s Norfolk jacket by Aquatite; three books and a gorgeous pair of unworn Jones the Bootmaker green suede boots, which Jon's already put in his wardrobe.

After a bowl of noodles, Jon took Gilbert out for a test run and was happy with his performance after Saturday's tinkering. Afterwards, we got stuck into another woodworking project. 


As a self-confessed maximalist, an empty wall like the one above is an affront.


Thankfully we have a never-ending pile of interesting bits of wood so a couple of hours later the space was filled with a Victorian skirting board planter, lined with an old tarpaulin and filled with dwarf Goldcrests, nasturtiums and a honeywort transplanted from elsewhere in the garden. Even the compost is homemade!


Leaving Jon positioning his railway sleepers (and replacing the step he cracked in two in the process), I did some deadheading and staked some of the nasturtiums which have grown at an alarming rate after last night's rain.

Right now there's pizza in the oven and Wales Vs Italy on the TV. Come on, Wales!

See you soon!

37 comments:

  1. Well, I'm inside taking a break from yardwork myself and here you are with you usual flair! Stumbled across this band this week - maybe you already know them? Happy Gardening! https://youtu.be/U509hZ_JLUQ

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    1. I don't know that band but I'm wishing I did! Aren't they fab? The Black Country is the home of heavy metal, we have the best bands. Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth. It's lovely to hear from you! xxx

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  2. Glad to hear Gilbert is well, our 74 Bug is resting in our son's garage.

    The husband is waging warfare against a Woodpecker that has decided our railway ties are his favourite snack. He's a big boy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pileated_woodpecker this is the beast in question

    Lotta should give you a referral code, lol. I've bought two pairs because of you

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    1. Do you ever use your Big? I still rue the day Jon sold ours!
      Wow, that woodpecker is gorgeous, what an exotic looking creature. Very unsporting of him to feast on your sleepers, though.
      I'd love Lotta would sponsor me and feed my addiction. I love that you're obsessed with them, too! xxx

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  3. a friend has a garden like yours, using bits and pieces to grow plants in, and, like yours, it looks amazing. Am so impressed at the way that you both accepted what was happening with that virus, and turned your attention to your home and garden. You two handled the whole lockdowns so wonderfully. xxxx

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    1. Thanks, Ratnamurti! I love creating stuff from things we already have, it keeps the old brain active!
      I never thought I'd handle the lockdowns as well as I did. One of the charity shop ladys was asking Jon if I was climbing the walls not able to get out and have a rummage for months and was amazed when he told her that I was more accepting of it all than he was! xxx

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  4. I'm not surprised to see everything coming along beautifully. Jon does look a bit grumpy in the one photo, but we all know he's never really grumpy and of course you never are either - right? ;)

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    1. It was a case of "hurry up, woman, I need to take Gilbert out!" He's hardly ever that grumpy (I've got to say that, he reads my blog!) xxx

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  5. Your garden gets moe sumptuous by the minute. You have such beautiful greenery and flowering.plants. I have your clematis at the back door and several others around the front porch. I love your skiing board planters. Your frontage is a miracle. Can’t wait for the wild flowers to bloom. I’ve always wanted a wild flower area. What can you tell me about that wonderful concrete mushroom with the mossy top. I’ve seen them a lot in England. Just love them but you don’t get them in NewZealand- at least I’ve never seen one . Would love to know how old they are and what they were used for. ❤️

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    1. Hello Sally! Thanks for your kind words. I can't wait for the wildflowers to bloom!
      The "mushrooms" are staddle stones, originally used to support bases for hayricks, granaries and game larders from vermin. I think only the UK, Norway and Northern Spain used them hence them not being in New Zealand. Most of the ones you see are usually late 18th or 19th century. xxx

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  6. Your garden looks lovely. And all those veggie sound yummy. I hear the people in Western Part of United States is in for a heat have. I think it will hit where I live toward next weekend.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

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    1. Thanks, Dora! I'd love a heatwave here, it never gets too hot for me! xxx

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  7. That tooled bag of yours is so lovely, Vix! How nice to be able to go out to the thrift stores again and start stocking up - you'll sell that faux fur coat in a heartbeat!

    Good to see the lads! Sounds like it was a lovely weekend!

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    1. Isn't it fab? I don't know why I've got any other bags, I seem to use this one all the time!
      Those vintage pale coloured fake fur coats fly off the rails - fingers crossed our September festival happens and it finds a new home. xxx

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  8. Thanks for saving the book for me Vix. I’m looking forward to reading that one. I’ll send the Grayson Perry one down to you as you’ll get through it quicker than Maria. I’ve promised Liz a read of it as well after you.
    I like your me made mask, gorgeous material and hasn’t the new front grassed area bedding in well. Looks like it’s always been there.
    I’m chuckling at how ours lives have changed, you and Jon with your joinery and gardening skills, me on zoom meetings and Philip turning into Mr Repair Shop man. All good. I’m beginning to like the new direction of things.
    Hope you’ve got some good weather today, ours is a bit dull looking just yet xxx

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    1. My pleasure, Lynn. I should have it finished in a couple of days, I'm waiting for some warm sunshine to speed up my reading!
      I'm amazed at how well that grass has taken. It's such a vibrant shade of green, a few of the wildflowers are starting to bloom, too!
      I love how lockdown has made us reassess our lives and to learn new things. Thanks goodness for Google, you can type in "How do I.....?" and you're always find a tutorial! xxx

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  9. 12°C? i wish it was that cold the last nights - instead it was 20°C..... outdoors. the house has heated up after a week of heatwave, under the roof, where i sleep, it might be 40° in the evenings.
    lovely glittery blouse with the blockprint skirt - and pretty dress too. and yes - plaits are the best - they were my to go hairdo back in the days of mountaineering and foldboat wandering........
    the veggies looking great!!
    xxxxx

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    1. Good old British weather....not! Mind you, we've got sunshine and predicted temperatures of 22°C for today. No wonder we all go mad when the weather is good, we don't know how long it'll last! xxx

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  10. Oooh I LOVE those green suede boots, what a find!!

    I'm madly dashing around blogland trying to have a catch up while I can sit at the computer, it's like catching up with old friends but whilst sitting down with an icepack on my back ... brrrr. Yes my world is very strange at the moment ... haha!!

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    1. Aren't they a gorgeous colour? He was really pleased to find them sitting on the shelf, charity shop karma from donating his old tech, I reckon!
      It's lovely to hear from you. xxx

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  11. That pretty ebay blouse is earning its keep - looks great with the skirt and Jon's green boots - what a find! Plaits look great on you - my hair is too fine to get much of a plait from although I do like the style :) Your garden is just beautiful and the front is looking so neat now. So cold here I don't want to go in my garden!

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    1. Thanks Betty, I used to come across those blouses quite often, now they're selling on eBay for £50, utter madness!
      You ought to have a look at a French/Dutch braid tutorial on YouTube, I think the style would really suit you - it's perfect for the beach! xxx

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  12. Good afternoon gardener and thrifter extroidinaire! the garden is looking beautiful and just love the colour of your clematis. Before all that though I must say thank you for your reply the other day! boy did you make my day. I had just come back from seeing my ol pals at the cafe I used to work at(brave aren't I - all safe though) they kept saying they miss me and full of compliments then back to see what you had written. You brought a tear to my eye missus. It is your can do attitude and positivity that we all love. Now back to this sumptious garden of yours - the front looks fab and I love the new wooden planter box. I reckon you scored at the chazza and I am so liking your new Sunday routine - hmm might copy that one. Love both outfits. My nasturtiams have at last come out in the "rustic" garden. Have fun Shazxx

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    1. Good morning, Shaz! What a beautiful day it is, too - sunshine and kind words from you.
      What a lovely compliment from the pals at the cafe, definitely worth being brave and popping in to hear that.
      I'm loving this time of the year in the garden normally I'd be at Glastonbury and come back to dead windowboxes and a feral lawn, it's wonderful being able to keep on top of things (although I miss festivals desperately!)
      I'm happy your nasturtiums are out, I get more appearing each day and absolutely love them! xxx

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  13. Gosh, the French plait looks lovely! Love the skirt and top. Your new front garden bit is looking fab; there's a mini lawn! The new planter boxes are great and all your plants are doing so well. Some of ours got a bit battered by the rain we had all day Friday and Saturday. Let's hope the warm weather returns soon...

    I love Jon's green suede boots - what fab finds!

    Your two cats are both very handsome boys indeed.
    xxx

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    1. Thanks, Vronni! I'm loving my French plaits and waking up with my hair in the same style, so liberating!
      We've got a glorious day forecast for today and it certainly looks and feels a lot warmer, long may it last! xxx
      PS The boys say thank you!

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  14. Oh my, hasn't the weather changed for the worse all of a sudden? I'm not cut out for hot weather, but back to cold, grey and wet weather isn't my cup of tea at all. I think I've got the same Clematis and although it hasn't burst into flower yet, I've just noticed some are on their way.
    I'm loving Saturday's skirt and blouse combo, and Sunday's Phool midi worn with your orange Lottas and tooled leather bag.
    How gorgeous is that enamel sign, spelling mistake and all.
    Your front lawn is getting better and better, and so do your woodworking skills: that Victorian skirting board planter is another triumph.
    My Nasturtiums have gone wild too, the one's I've grown from seed have now been joined by last year's self-seeded ones, which seem to have appeared out of nowhere almost overnight. xxx

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    1. It's so miserable. When you get a few nice days you get lulled into thinking it'll last forever, it's such a pain not to be able to dry stuff on the line and have to do housework as it's too wet to play outside!
      Nasturtiums are a miracle plant, I can't believe how many I've grown from that tiny pot I bought from the garden centre last year. I think we'll be eating Poor Man's Capers for months when the season's over. xxx

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  15. What is it with English weather ? i am back in a jumper!! The garden is looking lovely. I am helping mum with hers but wow it is hard work. She loves it but she always overwaters and I have to stop her.
    Leeds was erm interesting, you couldn’t try anything on, ques were a mile long to get in anywhere. My sister passed out from wearing her mask so long. I am used to it she isn’t. She bought a dress that shows her boobs and she has none! It was a nightmare.
    I had to cancel the contract with blue rinse as he couldn’t care less. My boss was furious. But my boss did send me a me a gift card as an a sorry for dealing with an idiot. But I had a good day and her cats decided they wanted to be the color of the garage wall which was funny! Take care and keep safe love and huggs

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    1. The joys of living in th UK, four seasons in one day. Anyone would be crazy to have seperate wardrobes for each season!
      We always check the ground first before we water, the pots and planters need doing most days but the rest we try and get away with not doing if we can help it, it's exhausting.
      That's why I'm reluctant to do any vintage events just yet, nobody can try anything on unless we remove it from sale for 48 hours. I never bother but I know I'm in the minority.
      I know a lot of former vintage traders who have gone into selling wholesale. If I wanted to sell rubbish I'd get a job in Primark!
      You can always rely on cats to make you laugh, crazy beasts! xxx

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  16. That vintage blouse is such a great pairing with that block print maxi skirt. The French braids look amazing on you. Yes, they are a very practical hairstyle so I choose them often myself.
    The long sleeve midi dress you've worn for the fresh weather (I envy those 12 C, it's been so hot in Mostar lately) is very chic too. Have a great day!

    P.S. The Herbalist seems like a wonderful novel. I think I heard good things about it.

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    1. I'm really enjoying The Herbalist, lots of interesting twists, turns and secretive characters.
      I can see why French plaits are so popular at festivals, no wind blowing your hair or getting in your drink! xxx

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  17. Your lives are so busy and productive, I love reading your diaries.

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    1. Thanks, Jane! So lovely to hear from you! x

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  18. What size are Jon's feet? Might Have to burgle you for those green, suede boots! I WISH I could do French plants! I just am so bad at hair that it'll never happen!
    The garden really is looking marvellous! When I pull my remaining garlic up, I might plant peas as I'm wishing I'd planted some now@

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  19. That's uncanny, Jon and grumpy moggy are sharing the same look in those pictures :0 ;) :) :0 Do the doll's eyes follow you??? Love the paint colour on those Victorian skirting boards. Lulu x

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  20. So lovely Phool dress, and always lovely clogs (they even match your bag and cute face mask!, so fabulous!)
    Your garden is bringing so much joy to my sore eyes!, lots of colour and fun!
    besos

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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