Having spent far too long last night grappling with the WordPress theme issue, and, waking up this morning to find my e-mail password rejected although I was still receiving them, I had not the heart to continue my interrupted chat with yesterday’s Happiness Engineer, so I carried on regardless.

Much of the morning was spent on the BT problem. I began by trying to reset my password on line. I won’t go into the glitches that occurred. I don’t receive paper bills any more and of course phone numbers are not given on the website, so I dug out an old invoice to find one. I was informed that there was a 20 minute queue, I therefore settled down to the usual concert of thrilling muzak. Eventually I spoke to a person. In Halifax. In England.

She was very helpful and patient but met exactly the same glitches as I had done. Finally she fed me more musical mush while she disappeared to consult a senior colleague. The advice was that the problem was at their end and would be resolved within 72 hours. Seven hours later I am now not even receiving mails.

Have I mentioned the irritating pop-up which keeps appearing and stops me closing down the computer until I kick it into touch?

Jackie, meanwhile, kept to her gardening where it was comparatively safe. Before lunch I joined her, swept the Brick Path, transported some garden refuse to the compost, and dead-headed swathes of diurnal Welsh poppies.

Later this afternoon, via Undershore,

where the majestic dogwood on the corner of Hundred Lane is at its prime,

we dropped in on Elizabeth and disturbed her washing her car. Keeping a rather generous two metres distance we yelled at each other for a while.

The heat was too much for a young thrush which sank into a neighbours cypress and sat coolly gasping.

Moon daisies line the verges of Pilley Street

where the village sign bears pendant hearts in tribute to carers,

and graffiti on a barrier fence promotes gratitude to the N.H.S.

Back home Jackie undertook more gardening and garnered photographs of pleasing views from beside the greenhouse and along the Brick Path, with a close-up of a pale blue iris.

This evening’s dinner consisted of Jackie’s succulent ratatouille moistening roast gammon; creamy mashed potato; caramelised sweet potato; firm carrots and cauliflower, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Shiraz.


  1. Hi Derrick, your garden is spectacular. I know a good WordPress person if required. Hope you’re all well. Alex

    1. Thanks very much, Alex. Good to hear from you. I may get back to you on WP. At the moment I only have energy for the BT problem. My password keeps being rejected so now I can neither receive nor send mails. Yesterday I could receive but not send. They say the problem is at their end and it will take 72 hours to fix. So far they have only made it worse. Aaarrrgghh.

  2. I am alarmed by the brief mention of the shutting down glitch in your computer. Something like that began my sad descent a couple or three years ago and within a surprisingly short time my computer shut down and refused to be reawakened even by the most celebrated of local geekdom. I lost everything. Back up, back up, back up. And thank heavens the cloud is more commonly accessed these days.

    Highly amused by your loud meeting with your sister. I noticed this morning when meeting up with two friends on our walk that we are very relaxed about any physical distancing – it’s all but over with here, barring a second wave of course.

    1. Thanks very much, Pauline. I do hope your alarm doesn’t portend evil. I pleased you picked up on the yelling πŸ™‚ and do hope it really is all over for NZ.

  3. WP and BT gremlins – my sympathy Derrick. Clearly you’re enjoying fine weather in Blighty, it looks wonderful in your photos.

  4. The dogwood and moon daisies are absolutely beautiful, Derrick — and your own yard always looks well groomed and relaxing, thanks to Jackie’s hard work keping it that way! another Janet

  5. Tech glitches are VERY frustrating! Hope you are able to get it worked out. Looks like a very nice walk that hopefully made up for some of the frustration

  6. You have my sympathy for your technical issues. I’ve been there more times than I care to remember. So aggravating!

    I love the header photo in particular.

    1. Thank you very much, Liz. I was able to get quite close to the bird, which is how I knew it was a juvenile – they seem to be a bit older before they know fear.

  7. Oh dear. When I read this post it makes me happy that I haven’t been blogging in a while. I’ll just keep postponing and maybe by the time I get around to saying something all will be resolved.

    On a separate subject, do you cook, Derrick?

    1. I did cook, Sue (twice a single parent) and in fact when Jackie and I got together again I did all the cooking because she was still working. I’m doing a little more lately because she does so much in the garden. Thanks very much.

  8. I sympathise deeply with your technical glitches. These things are sent to try us and they certainly do. I like the tributes to the NHS and I hope that those who put them up will be careful not to support any political parties anxious to sell that great institution to the Americans. Otherwise, all the hearts will be in vain.

  9. Oh my goodness, that first photo of your garden with the roses and the arch and the path and the purple flowers – just magical!

    So sorry you are having technical problems. I think the companies have learned that we always think it is OUR fault when things don’t work. So they are not as speedy with their housekeeping as they used to be.

    I feel like if a business is online, it needs to be nearly 100% perfect. Because people use it 100% of the time. And if they quit fiddling with things constantly, they could achieve that.

    In other words, I feel your pain, sir.

  10. You wore me out just reading your post. Don’t you just love technology? At least when it works.

    The weather was lovely here yesterday but the lawn was ankle deep in mud after the rain the day before. Hence I got little work done on the new garden. Instead I just picked some green vegetables to have with my pork chop for tea, checked the bird feeder, fed the pond fish and spent the rest of the day finishing off my latest jigsaw puzzle.

    I’d rather be walking in yours/Jackie’s garden. πŸ™‚

      1. No, not really. The topsoil was stripped from the site before the house was built. Then lawn was rolled out over the top of clay without preparation…just to sell the house. Every time it rains the clay beneath turns to slush hence our decision to remove the lawn in the wettest areas and replace with gardens. It just taking time. Hopefully by Spring the ground will dry out enough to finish the major work.

  11. I’m so sorry to hear of all of your WP and tech troubles, Derrick. πŸ™ You have my sympathy. All of that is so frustrating and scary to me. πŸ™ I hope you can get it all straightened out very soon!

    Beautiful photos, all of them! Especially loved the first one, the garden path photos, the little hearts, the regal irises, and smiling Elizabeth!!! πŸ™‚

    And the young thrush! Oh, my gosh! What a spectacular photo! πŸ™‚

    I hope the grappling and the gasping ease up soon!

    You are a great garden assistant to The HG! Good work, Derrick! πŸ™‚

    Guess what?! We are trying a new-to-us recipe/technique for dinner tonight. I’ll let you know how it turns out!
    (((HUGS))) πŸ™‚
    PS…Jackie: You are so smart to chose the garden, and gardening, over other things. Gardening is good for the body, heart, soul, and mind…and your hard work and tender loving care bring such beauty to the world, and big smiles to our faces! πŸ™‚

    1. I Quite agree with your comments re gardening being good for you, and thank you for smiling!

    2. Thank you so much, Carolyn. I’m getting more relaxed about the tech problems, although not yet resolved. I’m not normally one to say that others have it worse than me – but a few difficulties of this nature are nothing compared with the current lot of so many. X

  12. Technology – great when it works, and a right pain in the you-know-what when it doesn’t. My phone decided to die the other morning, just on the day I intended to make a few mobile calls. Had to calm down long enough to remind myself I could make them through the computer (Skype – voice over internet). But it rattled me. Went for a stride-out march along the beach to recover. On the way, bumped into someone who knew how to fix my phone with a couple of clicks. Instant relief. All the same, I was a bit out of sorts for the rest of the day.
    Poor little bird, hope he/she recovered.

    1. Thanks a lot, Gwen. I’m relaxed now and not continuing to struggle. Will see what the next few days brings. Maybe I should go fo a walk and see who I can bump into – unfortunately we are not expected to get that close yet. Apparently that is the way birds cool down.

  13. It was a warm day here, too. On days like this I appreciate the shade of trees, like your little thrush. It all looks beautiful where you are, especially your gardens!

  14. I’m sorry about your WP AND the e-mail problems. I know frustrating those problems are–and exhausting, too.
    At least you have a beautiful garden to retreat to. That brick pathway photo is stunning!

  15. The garden’s lovely and the tech issues are a horror, but I have something else on my mind. I took a good look at your evening’s menu, and saw no runner beans this evening. Perhaps before you have them again you might enjoy this article about — runner beans!

  16. We too are experiencing technical issues that the best of IT minds at our disposal cannot resolve. As for the Block Editor – I am impressed that you are using it. I am not keen at all. Thankfully, your garden looks like a refuge from such problems. An IT-related person I know told me once, “I wish I had studied Eland – they don’t change!”

  17. Oh, dear! I do hope BT sorts itself out soon. You appear to be taking it all in your stride. Well done Jackie, I’d keep a safe distance too, just in case those technical difficulties bring out the worst! ?

    The garden is looking absolutely wonderful!

  18. I think it’s young blackbird rather than a thrush. It looks as if it’s soaking up the sun. Blackbirds will sit on a flat surface like a lawn or a roof and spread their wings, open their beak and then just soak up the sunshine. It could be to kill parasites in the feathers or to get some Vitamin D but they always look as if they are in some kind of ecstatic state and loving it.

  19. I haven’t had a WP glitch in a while now – I am fully expecting some when I go to the new editor. Sue W said I can run to her for help.

  20. Technology is a wonderful thing when it works, and a real pain in a lot of places when it doesn’t! Your dogwoods are beautiful. We have had a whole week of spring rains and moderate temps. Next week dries out and back to hot! Hope you stay up and running!

  21. Technology exists to make life easier for us, but also to complicate it.
    Anyway, some people study those endless mathematical equations to solve this.

  22. The amount of global ire aimed at technology companies at the moment must be something to behold … did deadheading the poppies help? πŸ™‚

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