A Little D.I.Y. And A Lot Of Creativity

Clematis texansis Duchess of AlbanyThe clematis texansis Duchess of Albany that Jackie planted in the kitchen garden is now blooming. Hardy fuchsia
One side of the back drive is lined with hardy fuchsias.Window boxes on front wall
The window boxes on the front wall have survived hurricane Bertha.Golden holly
The golden holly I hacked down in the spring because of the number of sports it sported has revived splendidly.
It may not have escaped the notice of my regular readers that I am not exactly a dab hand at D.I.Y. But I do rate a little higher than whoever did most of the work on our house. Near the kitchen sink there is a pair of hooks on a roughly hewn piece of wood on which we have hung our tea towels. Wall behind teatowel hooksYesterday, never in our time having borne more than three light pieces of cloth, it fell off the wall. We then discovered that it had simply been stuck to the plaster. More than once, by the look of it. I therefore had the task of screwing the makeshift object into place. This involved inspecting my drill-bits and working out which ones were for wood, which for softer masonry, and which for strong brick and breeze block. Teatowel hooksI only made one minor error in selection. Suitable holes had to be drilled, rawlplugs inserted and screws fixed in place. Should anyone feel inclined to point out the extra hole bottom right, please note that was already there. Maybe someone had first attempted to screw the fixture into position, and found it a little difficult. As will be seen, it is not a pretty structure, and there is a certain amount of making good required. It will, however, be a long time before we begin to tackle the major task of decorating the house, so we will live with that. Even though she was in fear of a crooked fixture, the practical member of our team was able to tear herself away and leave me to it, probably because the attraction of helping Flo identify some of her jewellery-making materials was too strong.Jackie and Flo sorting jewellery Second-hand stones from Jackie’s necklaces and bracelets were being recycled for Flo’s enterprise. The highlight of Jackie removing beads from necklaceFlo sorting beadsthat activity was when our granddaughter, having applied all the necessary tests, proclaimed that the Russian amber (not from the glass necklace being dismantled in the photograph above) given to Jackie by a house-guest some years ago was plastic.
Blackberry and apple crumbleLater, Flo and I picked the main ingredients for tonight’s dessert which was blackberry and apple crumble, served with custard, evap, or Elmlea faux cream; or any combination therefrom. Our main course was Jackie’s classic sausage casserole (recipe) with crisp roast potatoes and crunchy carrots, cauliflower and broccoli. Jackie drank water, Flo drank apple juice, and I drank Isla Negra cabernet sauvignon 2013.

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