Happy birthday to Freya, Noah and Zerlina

Zerlina has had a lovely birthday. Her parents gave her a trampoline and she was thrilled. Weeza said that when she saw it this morning (her father spent three hours yesterday evening putting it together)she couldn’t stop saying how much she loved it and thanking them. Dilly, the children and I went over mid-morning and the three children spent ages on it. When they had finally had enough, z opened her other presents and was duly very pleased with them – we had got her a jigsaw, a glove puppet and lots of painting and craft stuff. She loves colouring, drawing, sticking and cutting out and was particularly excited to receive some proper scissors. Child’s ones of course, but they work well, unlike some. Also, fortunately, they work whether used right- or left-handed. We have the feeling that, like her father, she may end up being left-handed.

Weeza’s bump is now so large that she has only one dress she can fit into. She slept poorly last night and can’t lie comfortably. On the other hand, she is well and her ankles aren’t swollen, all she can do is wait. Tomorrow is Phil and Weeza’s sixth wedding anniversary – under the circumstances, they have made no plans, I will see if they would like me to babysit so they go out for supper, if she feels like it. If Phil goes to work, I’ll probably go over at some time during the day to lend a hand.

Back here, they’re getting on very well. I’ve taken a lot of rather dull photos, there’s not a lot you can do with kerbs and Tarmac. There’s a short stretch of privet hedge that had grown very tall, at least 15 feet, but all the leaves were at the top. I suggested cutting it right down to about 3 feet, so it will thicken up and put on a lot of new growth at the bottom. They have done that and also taken down more dead elm saplings. They grow for a few years, die and new ones grow from the roots, but a proper size elm tree has never grown since Dutch Elm Disease struck some 40(?) years ago. It’s such a shame. I love elm and there used to be so many of them in this area that several local villages are named after them – Elmham, pronounced Ellum (as the tree is pronounced here), is part of their names.

14 comments on “Happy birthday to Freya, Noah and Zerlina

  1. Jane and Lance Hattatt

    Happy birthday to Z. It sounds as if she had a whale of a time with the trampoline. Clearly she seems to be both a sporty and creative type.

    A good idea to cut back the privet hedge. It is tough stuff and so should respond to hard pruning, but be sure to batter the sides in order to give sufficient light to the bottom of the hedge and thereby encourage new growth.

  2. Z

    She’s very energetic. Her father is a keen cyclist and she also loves swimming – we think that those are good ways to channel her energies rather than more jarring exercise, in case she has inherited my hips!

    We had a similarly poor hedge, though not so tall, which we cut right down to the ground a few years ago – it’s now a lovely thick hedge. We haven’t been so drastic this time, although I wonder if we should have been. It’s in a very dry site, overshadowed by trees, we can’t expect much from it. Thank you for your advice – I feel rather privileged to receive gardening tips from such an expert!

    Hope she’s had a lovely day, Zig x

  3. DUTA

    I like the names Zerlina and Weeza; they sound special to me.
    Happy Birthday to Zerlina! May she enjoy the lovely presents she has received!

    Happy sixth Wedding Anniversary to Phil And Weeza! May they have many more such anniversaries!

  4. Dandelion

    A trampo! Excellent! Is it big enough for three, or did they take turns? Hours of fun.

    As my memory serves me, Dutch elm disease was 31 years ago, give or take. At least it was in the South. Not long after the mixie epidemic, I think…Happy memories…

  5. Dave

    It was longer ago than that, Dandy. I’d have agreed with Z at about 40. I remember the Elm trees at the Grammar School being cut down while I was a pupil there (1965-1972). Wikki says it arrived in Britain in 1967 and gradually moved north.

  6. Z

    Duta, I gave each of my grandchildren completely made-up names (Zerlina is from Don Giovanni, of course) and just abbreviated my children’s names. Weeza is actually Eloise.

    Thanks, Savannah – August used to be a quiet month around here, but now there are two wedding anniversaries and two birthdays, all in the same week – well, I hope so, if this baby arrives in the next six days!

    Myxomatosis keeps recurring, it originally blew over here from France, where it was deliberately introduced, in the early 50s. We’ve had a really bad outbreak here in the last 20 years. The reason I have some idea when Dutch elm disease arrived is that the Sage’s parents’ elm hedge had already died and been cut down before we were married, so it has to be 40 or so years ago.

  7. Christopher

    I suppose there are certain advantages, for the memory if not for the purse, in having an August come-all-ye job lot of birthdays and anniversaries, provided that one’s own birthday/anniversary is at a completely different time of year, though preferably not at Christmas time.

    (Old Howes’ Book of Wise Saws and Moral Instances, 1895)

  8. Mike and Ann

    ‘Ellum hateth man and waiteth.’ Always thought that was a piece of ancient folklore, but in fact it’s from Puck of Pook’s Hill (Kipling).

    P.s. If someone like Rog asks if you like Kipling, always remember that the correct answer is:- “I don’t know. I’ve never Kippled.”

  9. Z

    I forgot to answer your question, Dand – it’s big enough for three young children, they were all fine together and didn’t clash once.

    September is even busier, Chris, and includes my own birthday.

    Thanks, Roses.

    And who wrote “when the Rudyards cease from Kipling, and the Haggards ride no more,” Mike?

  10. Mike and Ann

    Good morning Z. It’s in the concluding lines of a poem called to R.K., published in 1891, in a collection of poems – Lapsus Calami- by J.K.Stephens.

    When there stands a muzzled stripling
    mute, beside a muzzled bore,
    when the Rudyards cease from Kipling,
    and the Haggards ride no more.


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