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Saturday, 8 February 2020

Exactly one year ago

Exactly one year ago I had been spending my week tidying up the garden and we were awaiting a storm of horrendous predictions.

And this week I have FINALLY  (  💚  🌿  TA DA, HAPPY DANCE  🤗 ) been able to get into the garden for long enough to actually accomplish something and there has been pre-season tidying up whilst waiting for a horrendous storm to materialise.

There is not really much else to blog about at present because I do not feel I'm doing much which is (a) interesting to me (b) interesting to anyone else (c) important to record for my dotage/incapacitation when I might look back at this journal and be pleased/astounded/confused that I thought doing so much was a good idea.   I've discussed with Management and a couple of friends how difficult it is to be in the garden at present - this time last year we were enjoying good weather and time spent basking in the sun unaware that our world was about to implode.



Also talked about with M. is the fact that despite being terribly pleased to be making good progress outside, it is a hard and lonely time as I am acutely aware that I was seldom on my own outside.  Darling Daisy would always be around - wrapped up warm against the cold, sitting watching if anyone went by, keeping a close eye on me, just enjoying being outside in "her" world.



I'm not trying to be maudlin - just honest, and that is necessary if this silly little blog is to have any personal value in the future when I while away an odd half hour reviewing old posts.


BUT, deep breath - this is what has been achieved thanks to much of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday spent outside.  (I am currently in photographic-lazy-mode - cannot be bothered with all the work that RAW images need, so am taking snaps with my iPhone.  The quality suffers compared to a DSLR, but it will do for now.)



The big side bed is fully mulched, and two thirds of the laurel hedge is cut.  It its natural state, soil does not like to be bare, uncovered.   One of the many wonderful effects of regular thick mulches like this is the (almost) total lack of any weeding needed which makes getting around a plot the size of Bag End remarkably quick on occasions 😊






The beds next to the Big Pond are tidied up and ready for new growth to start:







Management had to carry out emergency-pressure-washing on the black deck after I went massively "base-over-apex" one morning when it was damp and dangerously slippery.  When not acting as Health & Safety co-ordinator he has been busy filling tubs - a task for which his lower back is not thanking me.




Half of the hedge around the huge corner bed is cut, but I want to move some perennials before I mulch it.



The little cyclamen bed has been thoroughly tidied up and mulched.  A large gap  is due to be filled by some plants which have self-seeded at the back of the house:





The hornbeam hedge is done, and the little primroses have had an extra feed of home-made compost.





A long-planned job has been to raise the soil level on the edge of the big lawn.  It has sunk over the years and is a real pain to mow.  25 tubs of last year's mulch which is now part-broken down.  As this sinks and the grass grows through it we'll probably add more until the ground level matches the path.




It is definitely a month for "getting on with stuff".  Not only am I working around the garden (sort of in order, each time I complete a section I just move on to the one next to it), but I have been to the dentist for a quick clean & polish, been to the optician for another ocular scan (which was wonderful, shows no capillary damage*), had my car serviced and new brakes fitted, got Bill booked in for her next service and there's only one new quilt top waiting to be quilted!

Yes, I still live in the wild fantasy world where I can get 'organised' by the end of this month and from March onwards spend time travelling around in Bill and relaxing.



But for now I am going to hunker down.  We are forecast some frightening wind speeds for the next 24 hours:










*  There is no getting away from the conclusion that the way my body reacts to any food which can be metabolised into glucose, I am diabetic.  I manage the condition by adhering to a very strict as-little-carbohydrate as-humanly-possible diet.  3D ocular scans show in incredible detail (single micron-thickness detail) the state of capillaries in my optic nerve.  The eyes and kidneys are the first organs to show problems when uncontrolled or long-term diabetes damages the blood vessels.  In the complete absence of any decent testing/monitoring by the NHS, we feel that getting this scan done regularly shows me whether the diet I follow is working.  Looks like it is, and that's incredibly reassuring.   More information if you Google for "Optician 3D test"





20 comments:

  1. I had my eyes scanned late last year, it showed problems after a visit to doctors and blood test, I am pre diabetic, great to find out before it becomes an issue. I would never refuse the chance for health tests. Your garden is looking good, but it always does.

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  2. Thanks for the kind words about my garden. Sorry you have detected problems, and hope with the right diet you can reverse some of the damage. X

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  3. Dear Jayne
    You have done a lot in the garden, which is looking poised to burst into Spring growth. The aching muscles will be worth it then! I have just bought some new geraniums which have been potted up ready to go in the garden in Spring. It is such a lovely feeling to be able to get out there, no matter how long a time you spend or how much is achieved.
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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    1. Cheers Ellie - I may have forgotten to mention the very essential Epsom-salts baths at the end of long days! But you are SO right about what a lovely feeling it is to be getting outside.

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  4. Alan, who's a type 2 diabetic is fastidious about having his eyes checked regularly, although a bout of food poisoning has caused chaos with his blood sugar and meant he has gone from being able to control his diabetes with just careful diet to having to have two different kinds of medication.

    Your garden is looking fantastic, well done on getting out there whenever you can, the work you have done is amazing.

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    1. Thanks Sue, kind words about the garden always appreciated :)

      I hope you and Alan are able to get the diet back on track, I know how long it can take to get settled again after illness.

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  5. We are at the stage now when every activity seems to remind us that Tivs isn’t here anymore. It’s bad for us and horrendous for my sister who is on her own whereas she always had a little furry shadow for 15 years except when Tivvy was staying with or out with us

    I have dentist on Monday and optician Tuesday.

    As for your garden - it is looking great, you’re getting far more done than we are!

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    1. I'm sorry Sue - I wish I could say something that would take away the pain, but those words have not yet been invented.

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  6. We had three lovely days here this week - Wednesday, Thursday and yesterday - but unfortunately I wasn't able to enjoy them as I should. Your garden is looking good, I like the last shot and love the close-up of Daisy :)

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    1. Thanks m'lovely. Been out all afternoon which was spent very busily chatting 19½ to the dozen. But if I am not too exhausted after supper I hope to come blog visiting and catching up.

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  7. I’m lying in bed in a hotel in the Lakes and listening to the gales outside. We are meant to leave this morning but worried it is too dangerous to drive over Shap on the M6.
    Your garden looks amazingly tidy due to all the hard work you put in. I enjoy your blog so much even when nothing much has happened!

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    1. Good morning, yes, it certainly is one heck of a storm. I would not fancy Shap summit today, but you could consider the old A6 down to Kendal.

      I hope the weather hasn't completely ruined your weekend break.

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  8. My garden is looking and feeling a little neglected at the moment. I hope you've not suffered any damage in Storm Ciara today!

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    1. Thanks Nikki-ann, no major damage thank goodness, but much tiredness thanks to the endless noise all night. How are things with you.

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  9. My garden is a little more neglected than yours, its looking wonderful even when it make you tired it is worth it if you can see the results of your work.

    It is such a satisfying feeling to tick jobs off the list, maybe that trip in Bill will happen in the not too distant future.

    I hope Storm Ciara has left you all intact and not blown you about too much, the rain has been the worst thing here, several properties flooded in our village. The A6 and M6 towards Kendal from Shap are just as bad as each other, there are places on the A6 where the wind can sweep you sideways and the road floods near Selside village hall. I am supposed to be going to Kendal tomorrow but I will see what the weather is doing in the morning.

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    1. Hi Mum, and thank you, I did wonder how you were faring. We are relatively unscathed, although I have watched the level of the Derwent rise all day. According to a news report there was 172mm of rain at Honister - and all of it falls into 'our' catchment area where the Cocker combines with the Derwent. So the river will doubtless flood further before the week is out.

      Take care if you are journeying around over the next few days. xx

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  10. Hopefully as I've read this & done the comment you've not been affected by the predicted winds. I was only thinking the other day of Daisy when I was cutting fabric, as (I've a collage of my quilting pals above the cutting table) I sort of remembered it was about this time last year she wasn't well. I miss pet company when I'm gardening too as my 2 late cats were always with me out there. The garden is certainly looking good & should be gorgeous once Spring is here. Now you be careful on those slippery surfaces, as you don't need any injuries, being diabetic. I know this from my being my brother's guardian. Ohdear, just read above that you've had lots of rain, so stay safe. Take care & have a good week.

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  11. Your garden is looking great, I hope that Storm Ciara hasn't made any more work for you out there. I've got five panes out of my greenhouse but it's only polycarbonate so they'll slot back in once the wind's died down. I don't know where this past year's gone, it doesn't seem all that long ago, does it? I think the hardest things are the little things as you say, just knowing that Daisy was there.

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    1. Thanks Jo. so sorry your greenhouse has taken a battering, hope the worst is past for you now.

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