Monday, 26 June 2017


Another new day, another new week.  It's fresh outside and I've just closed the French window.  My toes are cold but I can't be bothered to go up and find my slippers so it can't be all that bad, can it?

I did allotment duty yesterday - 90 minutes of weeding, hoeing and watering and very peaceful and restful it was too.  After that I came home and started sorting out some of the cupboards.  I've made a decision about what to keep.  You see, for various reasons, I have several sets of china/tableware.  There's the main set that I use all the time, there's the set that Gordon and I had for best before the divorce, there's some fine, pretty stuff and then there's a load of chunky white stuff from Matalan that I got so, so cheaply when I knew I was having a load of family round for Christmas and didn't have enough.  Utterly ridiculous to have so much, I know.

Originally I was planning to sell on the old best stuff but you know what, I really love it.  I loved it when I first saw it, coming home from school, in the window of a shop in Lewisham and I've never stopped loving it since.  I haven't used it much because it's in a bit of an awkward-to-get-to cupboard and anyway, you can't get it any more unless you go to those expensive china replacement companies (I was thinking to sell it to them).

On the other hand, part from a few bits of the white stuff that I do use regularly, I wouldn't miss it one little bit.  It's 'cheap', clunky and - well, you get the idea.

So I have decided to donate the white set to the local hospice shop where, I am sure, they will get some use from it one way or another.  And I have resolved to use the Reflections tableware much more often, just as I am now using the Edinburgh crystal and the pretty china!  I love it, it makes me feel good and, although I am not a Kon-Whatsit person, it 'sparks joy'.
And there's that connection to a happy past too!

So, with any luck, I should get all that white stuff out of the house this week.

Later on yesterday I tied up the tomatoes again (inches every day now!) and made a very tasty dinner with sardines!

Today is busy.  The plasterer is coming at eight and, while he works, I will get on with cupboard clearing.  This afternoon, I am in school, Nanny-helping.  In the evening I am off to some Governors' Training all about assessment which, oddly enough, I am quite looking forward to.  No allotment today unless it turns really hot, in which case I will go and water.

There's fragrant smells coming from the kitchen as I have cooked some rhubarb.  I'd better go and deal with that and then I must get going so as to be ready for eight.
Have a great day.

Sunday, 25 June 2017


Cool, cloudy and comfortable.  That's this morning round here!  We also had rain yesterday evening which wasn't much but better than nothing.

First thing, I went shopping.  I didn't have loads to get but I needed to visit several shops so off I went and two hours later I was home and putting it all away.  Very strangely, a cookery book and a couple of magazines seemed to have jumped into my bag so that gave me something to read later on in the day and for the next week too.  After that I didn't really fancy the allotment so I didn't.

I might have given the allotment a miss yesterday but I did catch up with my washing and ironing.  The latter was way too hot for comfort over last week but I'd got to the point of needing to iron something before putting it on so I girded up my loins, as the saying goes, and got stuck in.  I did two loads of washing as it was a great drying day and now the ironing basket is empty, both of old and new ironing.

The tomatoes in the garden are really making progress now.  Every kind now has lots of flowers and mini fruit, even the mystery Italian tomatoes.  They obviously love the heat.

Today I MUST do some weeding and I must also start clearing the cupboards downstairs.  Next Monday (not tomorrow), I am having most of downstairs decorated plus up the stairs and the landing.  So all the cupboards have to be cleared so that they can be moved.  It's going to be very disruptive, but it's a good opportunity to have another sort out and it will be lovely when it's all done.  Tomorrow the plasterer is coming to deal with the artex in the hall and downstairs loo so I guess I will need to do a fair amount of dusting and sweeping afterwards.

Well, sitting here won't get any of the jobs done, will it?  Breakfast first and then bath, after which I must work!  I wonder how much I will get done today.

Saturday, 24 June 2017


Good morning, everyone.  Welcome to another weekend.  It's cool and cloudy here - the first time in many days that the sun has not been shining - and a bit of rain is forecast although I will believe that when I see it!

Yesterday really was a lovely day.  It was fine and sunny, but fresh and breezy and that oppressive heat had disappeared overnight.  I met Beth down the allotment and we pottered around gently.  I weeded and watered and she strimmed and then tackled the table and benches at the back.  It had been uncovered for a while and was coated in bird poo!  She had a strong scrubbing brush, loads of water and some antibacterial spray and before she got going with that, she tightened all the screws and nuts and bolts.  I forgot to take a photo of the finished table/chairs - they now needs painting anyway - but we had bought a fairly substantial cover so I took a photo of them covered.

On top are a couple of broken slabs, to keep it on until we get round to drawing up the strings round the bottom.
Well done, Beth.

This summer we are going to re-paint the shed using Cuprinol Garden Shades and we will do the table and benches at the same time, either in the same colour or a toning colour.  We've got a lot of choice.
I quite like the sage and seagrass but am also rather taken with the blue and violet shades.  I don't think Beth will let me though!

I wasn't home long before the cleaner turned up and an hour later I had a nice, clean downstairs.  I sat outside and read for a while, then came in and just generally pottered sleepily.  I shouldn't be sleepy, I slept really well Thursday night, but maybe the previous restless nights had caught up.  Anyway, I was in bed before nine and had another lovely, cool, cosy night waking after five.  That's a lie in!

Today I am going shopping, then allotmenting (finishing weeding round the potatoes and then watering, weather permitting) and after that it is probably going to be yet another very lazy day!  I could get used to this, you know!

I'll finish off with two flower photos.  The green beans are starting to flower and the cucumber has five flowers (or it did yesterday).  A promise of good things to come.

Friday, 23 June 2017


Morning, everyone.  What a lovely night's sleep.  It has cooled down considerably and it was bliss to be able to snuggle down under the quilt again after having to sleep on top for so long.  I opened both French windows earlier and have closed one again!  It was so, so hot yesterday lunch time and afternoon, or maybe I mean humid, rather than hot.  Uncomfortable, anyway.  It is lovely now.

It's been a very busy old week and I am so glad that today is an empty day - nothing in the diary at all.  OK, the cleaners are coming to do downstairs so I have a bit of tidying up to do and I'm going down the allotment this morning but that's not the same.  I'm feeling footloose and fancy free - no teaching, no meetings, nothing but things I choose to do.  Splendid.

Beth and I worked on weed attack yesterday.  It took a while because we removed the netting from the peas, gently cleared the weeds from around them (we had to be so, so careful), tied them up against the canes, creating a sort of trellis so they climb up against that rather than up the netting, and then replaced the netting.  I know the weeds will be back - it is now the bindweed rather than the ground elder that's the big problem, but patience is a virtue and we have plenty of that.  While we were doing that, there were a few drops of rain and while we were having coffee it intensified so we cleared and left.  Sadly, it didn't come to anything so it's still watering cans at the ready!

Today we are planting on the four runner bean plants I have left, making a sort of wigwam for them to grow up.  We won't get much from them, I know, but it's better than throwing away the little plants (and it will look as if we know what we are doing!)

We've been taking regular full view photos of the allotment so here's some showing progress, to bore you!  :-)

The beginning of April - oh, dear!  No wonder the chap next door (to the left) wasn't happy.

Starting to attack the weeds.  We did the front first to make the whole thing look better!

Some of the cage has gone, the weeds at the front are being held back, and we've started attacking behind the cage.

We have planting!

Taken on Wednesday.  Everything is coming up well (including those pesky weeds) and it's full of hope!

Better stop - I have a living room to tidy before I have my bath and get dressed and then an allotment to tend!  Strimmer day today!

Edited to add one I took an hour ago.  Different angle.

Thursday, 22 June 2017


Hi, everyone!

After a lovely early morning yesterday it got hotter and, by the afternoon it was baking!  Doing the allotment work wasn't too bad as there was some shade and plenty of breeze so I stayed for two hours, weeding and watering mostly.  I hoed around the baby corn and tackled the French bean area which now looks better although I am sure some of those weeds are still lurking, ready to pounce when we're not looking!  Today it is the turn of the mange tout to get the weed treatment!  I am determined not to let the whole place get into such a state again.

We may not have much fruit on the redlove, the pear and the plum trees but the other apple tree makes up for that.  If the June drop has happened, then we should get a good harvest here, fingers crossed.

I weeded after taking this photo - it is better now.  The baby corn is growing strongly in this heat.

. . . as are the courgettes.  We'll be eating some soon, I hope!

We have a flower on the sugar snaps.  Yay!

And a flower on the lemon cucumber.

The French beans are happy.  Even the ones we moved to fill gaps are now coming on.

After giving everything a good watering, I went home and did a bit of stuff in the garden after which I showered and cooled off a bit.  Tuition was, as always, good fun and then it was straight off to school for two meetings.

I enjoy these governors' meetings and last night we were back in the hall with the air con on which was bliss.

Today is quite busy but in a fairly undemanding way.  It's allotment first, then school followed by tuition.  I now have three students on Thursdays so it goes on later.  I'm really hoping today will be cooler and more comfortable although there's a weather warning out for storms this morning which means high humidity!

One good thing - whatever causes my hay fever is on the way out for this year.  Yesterday I didn't take a tablet and it was fine.  Today is a bit sneezy but nothing too bad.  A great relief.

Have a lovely day and stay cool.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Wednesday and garden update

Good morning.  Another delightfully cool start to the day, great for watering, although it will hot up soon, I am sure.  The garden is loving the weather though.

The montellos are coming along . . . 
And have babies!
The mystery Italian tomatoes are reveling in the hot weather and growing almost visibly . . .

. . . and so are the sungolds

We have potatoes (I hope).  The other two bags are the same!  Charlottes and maybe King Edwards!
Finally, the Ruby Anns are taking off from where the others stopped.  Not many but they are beautiful fruit.
Must remember to take my camera to the allotment soon.

Yesterday was busy but I survived (!)  It was a very long day as the evening meeting went on until 10:30 and we are continuing it before the Full Governors meeting this evening.  However, we were comfortable!  The staff room was so hot that we decamped into the hall which has air con.

Today is easier.  I have to get paint from B&Q and then to water the allotment plants but after that I just have planning and jamming and cosy, comfortable, homey things to do until tuition and the evening meeting.

Thank goodness for fans!

Tuesday, 20 June 2017


Hello, everyone.  Wasn't it a scorcher yesterday.  Jolly uncomfortable inside, even with fans on, and not nice outside even in the shade.

As mentioned yesterday, I arrived home from my parents' and got going with stuff.  I managed two loads of washing before setting out for school where the FS classroom was, as I had suspected, hot and the children were sitting quietly with their water in front of them, watching something suitable on the screen.  As we said, it was too hot for anything else.

It's coming up to the end of the school year now - just four weeks to go - so after doing my usual thing, I started preparing stuff for the new year and the new class.  It's those little things that can be a real pain so the more of it I can do, the easier for everyone else.

Then it was home for a cool down in front of the fan, some watering and an early night.  It wasn't a good night - I did sleep but it was restless.

Today is busy.  I'm going to water the allotment early and may very well go back this evening to give it all another watering.  I have a meeting with the mum of a potential summer pupil, a workman is turning up at some point to do some 'stuff', I have the usual two tuition sessions and then there's a 'strategy' meeting at school.  No, I have no idea either, but I will know better afterwards.  I won't be talking about it here though!  :-)

I wonder if it will be any more comfortable here today.  Fingers are crossed and I'm very grateful for a consistent supply of clean, cold water, something I guess most of us just take for granted.
Not me thought, not today!  Maybe not you either.