Monthly Archives: July 2017

Z reaches the end of her tether, so just removes it. Easy.

Whatever that thought was, I didn’t write it down last night and I’ve no idea what I had in mind.  It would have been trivial, as this whole blog is – I’m not damning it, darlings, I rather love the trivial.  It’s a respite from too much worry.

I’ve had it up to here *gestures* with cold callers.  The recorded ones are the worst, but I can’t put up with real people and their set spiel either.  I’m simply not going to answer the phone any longer, unless the person calling me is expected, or announces themselves on the answerphone.  I’ve changed my message to explain that.  I know about caller recognition and all, but I’m doing it my way, with my voice on the message.  And, while I’m about it, I’m only taking business calls when it suits me.  I’ve been without a tenant in my London flat for a few months while depressingly expensive work has been done and the letting agent is clearly anxious not to lose me as a client, so phones every week or two, usually on my mobile.  And I’ve taken to declining the call.  I will contact them, along with other agents, but it’s got to the stage of being counter-productive and i’m actually less likely to use them again because they keep bothering me.

At least I finally managed to open the letter from my accountant today that I’ve been ignoring, except for baleful glances, for several days.  It was a reminder to pay my income tax, the second instalment.  Yup.  Done that.  I did it three weeks early, taking it that the poor wretched country needs the money more than my bank does, it making no difference to me, in practical terms.  I’m out of debt and like it that way.

I’m not really feeling stroppy but I did start to feel nagged and bothered, which is never pleasant.  But doing something about it puts things right, and it’s such a pleasure to listen to the phone ring and feel no obligation to answer the damn thing.  Of course, on the rare occasions a real friend is ringing, then it’s even more of a pleasure to pick up and speak to them.

Changing the subject entirely, it’s my lovely husband’s birthday today.  Five years ago tonight was the second time I met him, when I went to his birthday party which was a few weeks after the blog party.  Gosh.  We’ve all passed a lot of water since then, as someone once said….

All Z wants is loving LT and music, music, music

Lovely Tim keeps on rising to the challenge.  After a weekend and a bit looking after Zerlina and Gus, he spent the next two evenings at school concerts: one being Pugsley’s primary school production of Joseph and the other my (formerly my, that is) school’s summer concert.  And we’ve seen some remarkable talent on show, we’ve both been impressed and entertained.

I called in at the High School this morning to pick up our tickets and, whilst I was there, took the opportunity to say hello to a few people.  It is a lovely place and I miss everyone, though I’m not at all tempted to go back.  Still, I was a governor there for eighteen years and it will always be with me.

We picked the first of the aubergines today and ate about an eighth of it.  This particular variety is enormous – that is, the plants are a regular size but the fruits are at least double the size of a normal aubergine.  I must frisk the cucumber plants tomorrow too, the little beasts hide under a leaf and are suddenly fat and chunky.  *Looks down at herself.  Oh.  Hmmmm.  A bit close to the well-covered bone, there.*

Darlings, I am making no sense.  It’s half past eleven and I must think about going to bed.  The thought might not be acted on for a while, but it must be thunk.  So goodnight, sleep well and I will try to remember the thought I wanted to share with you, tomorrow.


The days of the dog

The term “dog days” comes to mind – I know that’s the hottest days of summer, when you don’t feel like doing anything much, but I don’t believe that I know if it’s given to any particular days or why it’s so called – something to do with Sirius, the dog star, perhaps?  Anyway, I’m taking advantage of the hot weather by taking it easy.  It often happens that this isn’t possible, we’re too busy to enjoy the warmth (which may be fleeting and unreliable in this country) and have to slog on while we bake, but once in a while, sunny weather coincides with nothing vastly important to do, and that’s the case here and now.  So I’ve lain on the lawn and read, and today had a lengthy afternoon nap – which is fairly encouraging as it’s too hot to sleep at night.

We went to the supermarket for some odds and ends and decided we didn’t need to visit the butcher too, except that we hadn’t got anything for tonight.  I suggested the Gressingham duck legs we buy occasionally and we found they’d been moved, from the red meat section to the poultry section.  And then we noted a slight difference in the packaging.  They’ve been, for a very long time, £4 for three legs, which we tend to make absolutely brilliantly witty jokes about, or else £4 for two breasts, which there isn’t anything very funny to say about – but, while the quantity and price of the breasts was the same, there were only two legs in the pack.  So the price increase was, fairly eye-wateringly, from £1.33 to £2.00 each leg, which wasn’t really on.  I know the cost of living has increased markedly over the past year, mostly because the value of the pound has decreased so much, but really…

Over the next few days, we’ll be seeing grandchildren quite a lot, which will be good.  Not the youngest, but we’ll be with Zerlina and Gus for a couple of days and then see Pugsley’s school play after that.  Though a very reticent child, he is quite willing to audition for these things because he enjoys acting, which seems remarkable to me.  I absolutely applaud him for it, I was a terribly shy child who was brought out of my shell by acting, but I’d never have offered, I had to be pushed into doing it, even though I wanted to.  Too many commas there for clarity, but I daresay you can understand what I’m saying.

Back to relaxing, darlings.  But in a comfy armchair this time.

We might as well live … with ants

Those ants I told you about the other day.  We’re still finding a few of them.  We finally worked out how they probably got in the house – napkins and a tablecloth, used for the blog party and then brought into the dining room, not for long but enough.  And they then just hid – even as I write, knowing how carefully I cleaned and wiped and sprayed, it seems a bit far-fetched, but the fact is that ants kept turning up, just a few at a time.  And we’ve decided to let them win.  I just haven’t the heart to kill any more – there’s no point in taking them outside, their nest-mates will have forgotten them and they’ll be chased away.  And, after a fairly brief discussion on the subject, it wouldn’t really make any sense at all to end it all ourselves, even if we could think of an acceptable way,  And we don’t want to, obvs.  Having left four to make merry on the dining table when we left it last night, only one joined us for dinner and it scurried away when I greeted it (I can hardly blame it) and it’s somewhere in the lace of the tablecloth.

We’d been out for lunch, somewhere we hadn’t tried before in the nearby town.  We had a lovely lunch a few months ago in the restaurant attached to the Spanish deli and we might have gone there, but decided to check the other place that had been undergoing renovation last time we looked.  And it started to rain as we were reading the menu, so that convinced us.  It’s another Spanish restaurant, which is slightly surprising in such a small town, but this one specialises in fish.  But we were having fish tonight, so shared a meat and salad platter, which was very good. There are plenty of really good places to have lunch around here – we never go out in the evening for dinner, as it happens, but aim to have lunch out at least once a week, just for the pleasure of it.

I\m looking out of the window right now (yes, darlings, I touch-type) and the creeper is climbing across the glass rather prettily.  It evidently needs to be cut back soon.  I was looking at it climbing towards the guttering, the other day.  I don’t mind going up the ladder, but I can’t put a double ladder in place.  I’m too weak and feeble a woman, it seems.  But I can live with that.

Good day!

Hah, I was frazzled and it showed, the other night.  Thank goodness that Tim was able to print out the paperwork.  I sat going through it all while he was talking to the dentist – it was an assessment for future work – and made sure it was all okay before paying another huge bill (all relating to the London flat: all I can say is that it’s a good job I was frugal after Russell died because half of what I saved has now gone on the work and loss of income) and okaying the quote for repainting.

Then we went on into Norwich and chose his birthday present with remarkably little fuss and no stress.  And I looked at flowers on the market and didn’t find anything I wanted – maybe it’s not a great time of the year.  I didn’t want florist roses, the lilies were in tight bud, it’s not a time of the year I’d fancy chrysanthemums and irises just don’t last more than a day.  So I left it.  And we called in at a very nice butchery on the way home, that my late mother used to like but I rarely have visited in the last fifteen years.

It was decided to buy pork and I suggested that LT might cook his particularly delicious slow-cooked Chinese-style belly pork dish, which he agreed to do.  And we bought a couple of quiches from the deli counter for lunch.  The friendly assistant, i was surprised to see, was the same one who used to be there years ago, I’d thought she was near retirement age when we first started going there and yet she looks almost exactly the same.  So either she looked sixty when she was forty or else looks sixty five and is well into her seventies.  When we got home, we looked again at the quiches and decided one was enough to share – we also decided, eating it, it was more of a pie than a quiche but it was jolly good and excellent value.  We’ll have the second one today.

We didn’t do a great deal for the rest of the day.  I’ve wrapped LT’s other present – I know, darlings!  It’s not his birthday until Friday week and there will be no last-minute panic!  And he cooked his dish and everything was just so, and there’s enough left over for tonight, with the addition of a few vegetables and some rice.  And I weeded most of the squash bed and he hoicked out the pea plants, which are finished.  Oh, and I paid my tax bill, which isn’t due until the end of the month, but might as well be got out of the way.  The country’s finances seem to be so wretched that I reckon it needs the money more than I do.

Today, I see from Facebook, is the second anniversary of Eloise cat coming to live here.  I’ve never lived with a cat before and she brings me much joy.  I love her dearly.

Wi – fie!

I arranged a new phone and broadband contract a few weeks ago, and was sent a new hub.  And then, of course, we had to reset everything.  The computers and mobile phones were fine, the music system was a real pain – I finally did it with my computer while Tim was away and then he couldn’t manage it when he got back, turned everything off and left it and it magically worked after all the next day.  I set up the Netflix etc tv box,  and all that was left was the printer, which really didn’t want to connect.  But it did in the end, though I never have managed to connect it with my phone again, which is a minor nuisance.

This evening, I needed to print out some documents – it’s one of those occasions when i simply can’t manage with looking at numbers on several different documents on a screen, but must have them on paper.  And the computer can’t connect with the printer.  Each is connected with the internet, Tim’s computer is connected with the printer, but mine tells me I’ve done something wrong, the beast; because I haven’t.

In the end, I emailed the documents to Tim and he’s printed them for me.  But by this time, i was quite ratty and tired and it was dinnertime, so I wanted him to entertain me with cheery chit-chat and take my mind off the whole thing.  And we seem to have spent a couple of hours in this manner, so I’m jolly well not going to do my paperwork and spoil the whole evening and it can just wait until the morning.

I’ll take it with me, because Tim has an appointment with the dentist and then we’re going shopping, because it’ll soon be his birthday.  i’ve got one present for him, but he’ll choose another.

Growing things

More weeding.  But we steered clear of the lunchtime beer today.  How sensible we are.

I’ve been looking at the three Serama bantam chicks, that are now a little over six weeks old.  It’s too early to be sure whether they’re male or female, but sometimes you can tell, or at least have an indication.  I’m fairly sure one, at least, is a girl and none of them is obviously a boy, so that’s a good start.  Roses and Boy moved their coop, to their great pleasure, as they immediately started scratching in the new soil for insects, encouraged by their foster mother.  Seramas are cuter than chicks usually are, simply because of their diminutive size.  I suppose they will go through the scraggy teenage stage, but they’re not approaching it yet.

When weeding, we discovered a number of french beans that had been hiding close to the ground.  We’re doing rather well for beans at present, though fortunately we like them.  But we had a french/runner/broad bean trio with dinner tonight.  I’ll be weeding the swiss chard and spinach tomorrow.  I wonder what we’ll eat in the evening?  Hmmm.  We’re also eating home-grown tomatoes, including the first outdoor ones, and potatoes – the peas are finished, I only grew one sowing as the ground tends to get too dry for a later batch.  And we had our first green pepper the other day.  Lovely.

Once you have found him, never let him go. To misquote slightly.

We’ve started on another marathon weed-clearing exercise.  This was done a month ago, but they’ve grown back, as weeds do, over the last couple of weeks.  And we’ve cleared three beds in the kitchen garden, but there are a few more to go.  The beds are 4 feet wide and 30-something feet long, which is very practical for growing vegetables but quite a lot to keep in trim.

Having worked assiduously for a couple of hours this morning, we thought we’d go to the pub for a beer.  And we swept up Roses to take with us, which was both a brilliant idea and a bit of a boo-boo, because it meant we had three drinks instead of one and then we arrived home and went on to wine.  And then we sang.  And danced.  And, I should have said at the start, we played music throughout.

It could well be that we don’t let go enough.  I remember Lovely Tim’s birthday party, the second time I met him (after the blog party) when I reckoned I’d never meet any of those people again, except possibly Tim himself, and put on the persona of the life and soul of the party.  It was a front: I don’t usually enter into the spirit of an occasion quite that much.  That doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t – but prolly (as the young people said a year or two ago) it isn’t a good idea every day.  Anyway, Roses and Tim and I have laughed and let go of all our tensions – and then were sensible and fed animals.  Seems okay.