Monthly Archives: May 2017

Z is being gentle

The view across the field is delightful, now that the fences have gone – not that the fences themselves were the problem, it was the brambles, nettles and tall grass that grew between the fence and the beck that were in the way.  No need to be concerned about the lack of cover for wildlife, there is plenty of that still.

The garden is drying out rapidly – it has been a dry winter with hardly any snow and not much more rain and the soil is light and sandy – we were supposed to get overnight rain but it didn’t amount to much at all.  The small area we sowed with grass seed has done well, but I put the sprinkler on for a while yesterday – I have never watered the lawn: grass is resilient and recovers from drought once it has established, but this is too young and I’ll help it along this year.  I’m all heart…

I arrived home to a pile of post that I haven’t got around to opening yet.  That is, we opened anything that looked like an actual letter or something nice, but letters from the Inland Revenue, my accountant and my solicitor, as well as a few other things, have been put aside for another day or two.  I could do it, but I don’t see why I should.  Apparently, I heard on the radio this morning, the word “adulting,” as used by young people semi-ironically – but not really, I suspect – has officially entered the language.  I became adult at a young age.  But now, I allow myself to acknowledge when I feel fragile, for one reason or another, and I am giving myself an extra day to not have to deal with anything I can avoid.   Just the one day, of course.  That’s plenty for a self-control fanatic like wot I am.

Home and catching up

We’ve been away in Devon, staying with my in-laws and meeting LT’s nephew, nieces and their family.  It’s been lovely and they’ve been as welcoming to me as my family has been to him – which is very welcoming indeed.

Although I’ve driven through Devon, I’ve never stayed there for more than a night and it’s beautiful, as many of you will know.

I’m in London again tomorrow and abandoning LT in the evening too, to have dinner with girlfriends, so will have to catch up with you all over the weekend.  I’m very glad of having had such a lovely holiday because there are various other things that are horrid.  Not for me or my or LT’s families, but I’m writing more letters of condolence than anyone wants to and there are more to come.

It was lovely to get home to a warn welcome from Eloise cat, who jumped straight in the car and snuggled up, purring.  And five barn cats were waiting to be fed this evening (not the mother, she only comes occasionally now and I suspect she’s found the loving home she deserves) and the little chickens are well and happy, though Roses has got them expecting mealworms in the evenings.  Hmm…

I have a padlock to be ordered.  Everything here is looking wonderful.  See you soon.

Z thinks about parties

I have looked up the guest list from the first blog party.  Very supportively, all my own family came along, and so did Dave, Mike and Ann, Chris and Jo, Rog and Mrs Rine, with Lily and Oz and their Mini-Mes, Bill and his missus, Sarah, and Sir Bruin and the Small Bear with Errol the Sheep.  I’d only met Dave – obviously, as he was wall-builder in chief, and, briefly, Rog, previously … that isn’t quite correct as I’d met Bill a time or two, when we were in our teens, as my parents were friends of his though we youngsters never got to know each other.

The weather today has been slightly better than on that occasion – chilly and windy, but not so windy as it was then.  Blog parties have been a bit later in the year since then.

This year, we’re going to have a party two weekends running, which is my idea of fun.  It’ll be young Rusty Rufus the Red’s first birthday the week before and Ro phoned this afternoon to ask if they could hold his family party here.  It’ll just be a tea party and there will be a time limit as LT and I are off to the Aldeburgh Festival in the evening, but it should be fun.  I haven’t seen Dora’s siblings for quite some time.

Since I’m talking about the blog party, I’d like to start to firm up the guest list (sorry, what an awful expression) before too long, especially in regard to people who will be staying over.  So far, I’ve a bedroom definitely booked and another probably, with a bit of doubt whether it’ll be for one or two.  Two more rooms to go, then it’ll be the sofa or a camp bed somewhere, or else a tent in the garden.  So I’ll start to ask in the next couple of weeks, because I like to give at least a month to the question of the menu.  I do love planning a party.


Fresh fields

I’ve been talking again to Jonny the farmer and we’ve agreed that the wire each side of the beck will not be replaced – that is, it has to be put back along the length by the garden, but the two fields will not be separated any more.  The main advantage of this will be to make it possible to cut back brambles and nettles – it looks a mess and it’s not especially friendly to wildlife, except possibly to rabbits.  There is plenty of other cover for animals, nothing is ever sprayed so it’s bee and butterfly friendly and it will encourage less rampant wild plants: or so we hope.  It will certainly look prettier and save the cost of the extra posts and wire.  The cattle will probably still cross through the ford, but they can make their way into the beck if they want to.

I discovered this morning, checking my Facebook feed (where they remind you what you posted on that day in previous years) that this is the sixth anniversary of the first blog party – the Wall Party, as it was called that time.  At least four people have come along every year since, and expect to come again this year – I should look up the guest list from that time.  Tim and I hadn’t started reading each other’s blogs at that time, though we did quite soon afterwards, and he came to the second party.  We still look at each other in amazement at the change in our lives.

The bantams gossip

I’ve let the chickens out of their coops into their greenhouse, so they’re learning to get on together.  They are all enjoying exploring the new area – the new ones, that is, as Mona, the single remainer from the flock, knows it already and clearly remembers her way about.  I’d meant to leave it a few more days but they were so obviously feeling some stress at not having enough room.  Mona and the three Seramas are roosting together but clearly there is still some tension – it’s been three and one so far and I think it’ll take a few more days for them to relax.  This afternoon, I was out in my greenhouse and heard some loud clucking.  You really wouldn’t have thought it was only three small bantams and I went to investigate.  As soon as they saw me, they fell silent.  I went in, scattered some corn, which they started to eat, and watched them for a few minutes.  There was silence apart from a little appreciative crooning.  So I went out again.  Before the door was shut, the noise started up again.  A little while later, LT went out and, on his return, reported that the same thing had happened.  As soon as he was spotted approaching the chickens’ greenhouse, they were silent until he turned to leave.  I suspect they’re talking about us behind our backs.

Mona has laid two eggs and one of the little ones, I suspect Jet, as it was a tiny egg, has laid one.  The Seramas’ eggs (Compostwoman gave us half a dozen to eat as well as some to set for hatching) are small but have lovely, rich, deep yellowy-orange yolks.

I asked Jonny the farmer if he could spare a couple of loads of muck – it needs to rot down over the summer but that’s all right – and he said yes, certainly, but remind him.  I said I would, but didn’t generally remind more than twice as that’s nagging.  Nag, he said.  Last person had to ask about eight times.  So I mentioned it to Lewis this afternoon; so that’s twice.  Fingers crossed.  i also sent a reminder that I could do with some extra fence posts.  By first thing Wednesday, preferably.  Evidently, I’m becoming less meek … we’re buying them of course, not asking for favours.

Eloise cat clearly adores LT.  As I write, she is lying behind his head on the top of the sofa, to be as near him as possible.  We both feed her but I tend to do it more and to give out treats.  And she does come and sit on me and purr, but I think she loves him best.  That’s all right.  So do I.