Monday, 23 April 2018

A New Royal Baby.

Welcome to a new royal baby - born on St. George's Day - a very appropriate day - and so near to his Great Grandmama's birthday, everyone will remember his day with ease.

I hope he has had sun to greet him in London.  The sun keeps making an appearance up here only to disappear behind a cloud shortly afterwards.   There is a chill wind blowing and all semblance of Spring is a thing of the past.   I have to report that I am just jolly cold.

The blackbirds don't seem to be feeling the cold (how do they adapt I wonder) and each time I open the front door at least one is singing.   Some pairs have broods and here both parents are scavenging in lawns and gardens for food for their offspring.
This pleases me as they are really good at locating and digging up leather-jacket larva - good protein for those babies and one less Daddy Long Legs for me to contend with.   Creepy crawlies and I don't go together I am afraid.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

The Land

Driving down the steep bank after lunch in our Sunday haunt today, we turned the corner and the top end of Wensleydale came into view.   There was only one word to describe it today - green.
After months of awful weather when it has been mostly under water, thick with frost, dried up after a cold, dry  spell.   In fact anything other than what it should be at this time of year.

Farmers are, of course, now a long way behind with the work that needs doing.   These few days of very warm weather mean that the grass is growing - and I mean growing.   This is bringing silaging into view more on time than was ever expected. 

But the fields are still very wet under their covering of thick grass; certainly too wet still to take the great heavy tractors which are now waiting to put on the 20:10:10 fertiliser to make the grass grow even more quickly.   And meanwhile, because the cattle are almost always out by this time of April, silage will be running low for some farmers.  But the fields are so wet that putting out the cattle just yet would result in churning everywhere up too much.   'Wait another week seems to be the rule at present.'

In other words - the jobs are piling up for farmers who are now working all hours to catch up.   And let's not forget lambing, which is still going on up here in the uplands  - plenty of Swaledales still left to lamb.   Today is Lambing Sunday which serves as a reminder.

Still a lovely sunny day but temperatures are back to normal for the time of the year - chilly with a sharp breeze.   But it does us all good to remember that things do even out and get back to normal - Derek's Reserve on the Isle of Sheppey has been suffering from water deprivation for months but is now back to how it should be,

So following that premise farmers will no doubt all being silaging at the middle of May and any doubts will all have been forgotten (fingers crossed).

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Gardens and all things weather.

I seem to have recaptured the gardening bug since the warmer weather came - within the bounds of my capability at any rate (I can't walk without a stick and my garden is on a slope with steps) - but parts of it are beginning to look quite presentable.  I am buying some plants each week and what I can plant I am putting in for myself - others are waiting for my gardener to plant.

My front lawn seems to be a haven for dandelions.   But as my neighbour H says - we do back on to a grass field and dandelions host thousands of seeds so the result is inevitable really.  When I took Tess for her early morning walk today I picked the heads off ten dandelions as I crossed the lawn (yes, I know they are pretty when they are in flower, but think of the seeds I am preventing from floating about in a couple of weeks).   An hour later I went out to drive into town and was able to pick another fourteen heads on my way to the car.   Now, looking out of the sitting room window there are at least as many again shouting to be picked, so out I shall go when I have finished here.

I think I speak for us all here in the UK when I say we feel better for a few days of warm and sunny weather.   In fact I think I shall take my lunch out on to the patio to eat - and if this weather carries on I shall shortly be out and about looking for a bench to sit on out there.

Friday, 20 April 2018

What a difference a day makes.

Two days of wall to wall sunshine and everyone I know looks and feels better for it.  Here in the UK it has been a long, cold and dreary winter and now, suddenly, it is Spring - at least for a day or two.   Spring flowers which have been in bud for weeks and weeks have burst into bloom today and I fear that they will be over and done with by the end of the week-end.

This morning on our weekly market I bought more alpines for the top rockery and pansies for a trough under the sitting room window.   Then I came home and planted the alpines - it took me ages as I am not really up to doing gardening jobs - but I managed it.   Then I planted my pansies, watered them and left them there to soak up the sun.

Summer clothes are emerging from wardrobes - slowly.   Mine might even start moving tomorrow (with my mother's voice ringing in my ears - ne'er cast a clout til May be out!   In my day winter vests and liberty bodices stayed put until the first of May come what may in the way of weather.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

What a day

I have had a very busy day.   I always have my hair done early on Thursday morning and then I went into town to buy garden supplies - weed killer for dandelions on the patio, fertiliser for a very sad lawn, a planter for  under the sitting room window.   Then it was an early lunch and half an hour with my feet up before setting off with the little gang to play and sing for the local Alzheimer's Society and their carers.   It was a lovely afternoon - all the doors and windows open and a lovely atmosphere as they chose and we all sang the old favourites - they knew every word.

It is such a privilege to do this becase every single one of us gets such a lot of pleasure from it.

Then it was home, tea and an hour in the garden planting up the plants I bought this morning (yes, I know I didn't intend to buy plants - but can any gardener, hand on heart, honestly say they can resist the odd plant here and there?

I forgot to mention that this morning I also had to have a new tyre on my car.   My car is only just a year old but at the garage they thought I must have caught the tyre edge in a pothole and chipped a chunk out of the rubber.   The tyre set me back £109 which was a blow.   Served to remind me that cars are not cheap to run.   Insurance for the year is due tomorrow!

A blackbird has built a nest in my garden hedge and they now appear to have babies as both Mr and Mrs are frantically searching the lawn and gardens for food.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Gates

After two days hard work by the joiner, this evening I have new fencing and new gates shutting off the back garden from the front.   Once I have checked all side exits through next door's fencing on both sides, I shall be able to let my dog out into the back garden for a wander without the fear of her getting out.   This is my last big job on the bungalow and it is completed - a great relief, now I can relax.

Our walk first thing this morning took in a row of flowering currant bushes in absolute full bloom and almost every bloom had a bumble bee on it.  At last signs of Spring are arriving and the sun came out to verify it. 

As I have visitors coming to stay fr a few days next week I have done several major (for me) cleaning jobs - I cleaned all the inside windows (the window cleaner did them outside last week).
I washed out the  kitchen cupboards and then - hardest job of all - put on a clean duvet cover!

I am saddened to read that John is hoping to leave Trelawnyd - I have enjoyed the life of the village for so long that I feel part of it.   Wherever he and the Prof move to I do hope John continues to regale us with the doings and the goings on in the area.   Knowing what a lovely, friendly and helpful man he is he will certainly be a great asset to any community who are lucky enough to get him and the Prof in their midst. 

Just a footnote.   Did anyone else see the clip on Breakfast T V this morning of the mother gorilla kissing her newborn baby?   It was utterly delightful.   Don't let anyone ever tell me that animals don't feel love.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

I shall have another try.   Things have certainly gone quite haywire with my computer.   Most of my comments are being returned by bt internet for some reason.   My son says it will help if I tick 'I am not a robot' but I can't find it to tick!   So if anyone has any idea what is happening I would be grateful for any advice.

Once a month we have a meeting where we chat about things.   This morning we chatted about accent and about the way language is evolving so quickly these days.

And I do wonder firstly - does one's accent make any difference to how one is viewed by people one meets?   Is a London/Southern accent more acceptable than a Northern/Geordie/Yorkshire  (the opposite I would say is true up here!)?
Should we accept slang words from children in school or should we be more interested in getting them to talk and express themselves and correct their language later on?    I vividly remember when I first married my farmer his father had already stopped milking but each milking time he would go out and stand in the milking parlour watching as the farmer milked.   They would chat to one another but if I went in it was as if I was listening to a foreign language - I couldn't understand a word they said.    And the same would be true at Friday's Auction Mart over the canteen lunch!!

Monday, 16 April 2018

AND...

add Rachel and Sue in Suffolk to the list now!!

AND.....

Seems I can't leave a comment on your site either this morning Cro.   But loved your photographs of that cosy inglenook.

PLEASE NOTE

For some reason best known to Google they are refusing to print my comments on John (Midmarsh) and Barbara's (Homestead Hill Farm)
sites.   John tells me he has tried looking into it but can find no reason - so it seems we must put up with it until such time as Google mends itself.   But please do not think I am not replying.   John's videos of a Great Tit nesting and Barbara's weekly tale of life on Homestead Hill Farm are two of my favourite  blogs - I do hope they will soon be sorted out - and in the meantime I apologise.