Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Just knuckle down and get on with it

Despite appearances to the contrary, the last month or so I have been cruising along, and not really getting on with stuff which needs doing.  So with a bright weekend ahead of us and a couple of decent night's sleep behind, I decided that on Saturday and Sunday I would just "get on with it" and work through jobs which have been waiting for far too long.  Management took the opportunity to get out on one of his bikes, and after an energetic game of rugby in the garden with Daisy, I made a start.

Small willow fedge next to the pavement; first chop of the year and a bit of weeding now that the daffodils have died down.  Management wants to remove the black netting which was shielding the laurel hedge, a job we will probably leave until the autumn.  Once the laurel is free to grow towards the sun I expect it to do so with great enthusiasm, which means that the willow fedge might just be in the way ... I won't be sorry to see it go, like the one near the Top Pond it has probably outlived its usefulness, and having to keep cutting it back is a pain.

Although it never made it to the white board, one of the jobs on my mental list for weeks has been to give the bird food area a little makeover.   The willow screen should stop the sparrow hawk barrelling through from behind and the grow-bag tray is to catch all the seed which falls out of the hangers.

The birds took to the new breakfast bar instantly, although it was mildly disconcerting to be working away whilst an angry blackbird is sitting a couple of feet away swearing loudly at you because "things aren't where they should be"!   Whilst I am not fluent in blackbird it was clear there were many expletives being thrown in my direction.

Never gets on the whiteboard . . . cutting all the grass.

Daisy's skin is still a problem from Spring until Autumn.  We don't know exactly what she is allergic to but anti-histamines have never worked.  I hate using them but steroids have been effective until very recently, however they are no longer controlling the allergic reaction, so a trip to the vet is scheduled because the poor little girl is scratching herself so hard she's damaging the skin.  Until then, keeping the grass short does seem to help a bit.

It took a surprisingly short time to fit the fruit cage roof net (thank you Management!) and although I did a bit more weeding, I fear this is the year when I never really get those beds under control.

The last of the plants which have been waiting in the nursery area are now in the ground, which meant there was room for three of our cold frames (we're still waiting for number four to be delivered).  Management had a building session, bless him, it took me mere seconds to fill them all!

I wasted spent a lot of time hiding in the shed where I can watch both Mum and Dad blackbird take turns to sit on their newly hatched chicks who have voracious appetites.  The slack netting in front of the log store is my feeble attempt to keep local cats away from the nest.  Fingers crossed that it will continue to work.

Management also helped me to net half the roof and one side of the greenhouse to provide some very necessary shade,  when it was glorious over the Bank Holiday I recorded a temperature of 115F which is far too hot.  He worked out a very clever way of rigging the netting to keep birds out of the windows whilst not fouling the automatic vents.  Unfortunately we found a couple of panes of glass have slipped on the roof and whilst we fixed one, the others will have to wait until we can get to the other side.  New ladders may have to be purchased ...

After a tiring but thoroughly satisfying weekend, two wet days gave us the opportunity for some major freezer re-stocking.  Lamb curry on Monday

and Bolognaise sauce on Tuesday.  It is an awful lot of preparation and chopping but definitely worth it.

M. had a huge wardrobe clear out;  two bags of business shoes and loads of poly-cotton shirts made their way to a charity shop whilst all the pure cotton shirts found their way to the sewing room.  One day I am going to make a quilt with them all - but I have been collecting his shirts for 20 years and haven't started on the quilt yet, so don't expect to see anything sometime soon!

That was a heck of a few days, now I think I'll have a little rest :)


  1. I'm looking at how busy you have been in your garden and kitchen and am seriously impressed, that is definitely getting on with things, you deserve your rest now. I'm sure the charity shop will be delighted with your donation of M's working clothes. It took me quite a while to have that clear out of my decent work jackets, blouses and trousers but they're not me, I'm much happier in casual wear, silly hanging on to them really. Poor Daisy having allergies, please give her a gentle hug from me.

    1. Thanks Eileen, there is manner in our busy-busy-madness; the house is in a dreadful mess and we've no room to 'breathe'. If we get ourselves straightened out then we can actually relax and enjoy this lovely place :)

      As I type, Himself is on the way to the charity shop with all the surplus business suits - big psychological boost from getting rid of it all, confirms to his brain that "yes, you really aren't going back to work!".

      Daisy has been hugged, thank you :)

  2. I need a lie down just reading your post - good grief, you certainly keep yourselves busy. Hope Daisy becomes less itchy soon

    1. Not just you my dear Kate, I needed a big lie down too!

      Daisy was started on Apoquel yesterday, a conservative dose to begin with (our vet does not believe in "more just because you can") and already there is an improvement. I know it is a drug about which there are mixed opinions, but steroids are no longer working and her quality of life was much reduced as a result. Today she's considerably happier - and noisier (which is a very good sign)!!

  3. You know how to keep me happy...a picture of the log pile! Hang on...retirement...taking it easy?! x

    1. Very sadly there are no chicks in that nest today. I fear the local cats have been overnight .... RSPB website says chicks can fledge after 8-9 days if necessary so fingers crossed the deluxe Bag End accommodation and endless food supply gave them a good enough start to survive.

  4. Wow, that was certainly a busy few days & made me exhausted. Love your overall photos of the garden. Do hope the bird bubs are OK. My large magpies quite often chase any cats, though sometimes I think they are protecting me as well. (funny eh!). Have a good week & take care.

  5. I love the idea of the blackbird swearing at you because you've changed things round :) I do hope the chicks have survived and the cats haven't got them, and I hope too that the new medication is working for Daisy.

  6. I have the same experiences with blackbirds. They are never happy when we net their favourite foods. Poor Daisy I hope something to ease the itching is found, I can really sympathise as I an a favourite insect biting area.


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