The Phantom

Today was largely overcast yet remained dry.

This morning I carried out a dead-heading session and filled another old compost bag of cuttings and weeds for the next dump trip. I was watched by a robin on the Rose Garden fence, but didn’t have my camera with me.

Later I returned with the camera and photographed

a bee and a hoverfly (lower down to the right) on For Your Eyes Only;

and other insects on or approaching other plants titled in the gallery;

we have more Japanese anemones, and fuchsias;

various hydrangeas, including the phantom which is having its best year yet;

numerous dahlias;

a white New Zealand hebe, a few lingering clematises, some recently flowering blue agapanthuses, the peach climbing rose, and a hollyhock refusing to stay tied to protect it from the wind.

Jackie’s recent plantings include these baskets suspended from the eucalyptus, and the begonia and lobelia perched on a brick stand.

This afternoon I helped Flo to manage my camera and the iMac editing facility for a photographic project she is embarking upon. She is a quick learner. The pictures are hers, so I won’t show any of them here.

This evening we all dined on tender roast lamb; crisp roast potatoes and softer sweet ones; crunchy carrots; and firm Brussels sprouts and broccoli, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank François du Bessis GSM 2021.

Ellie Meets Dumpy

Today’s temperature was warmer and the air still.

Jackie and Dillon transported the last of our collection of garden refuse to Efford Recycling Centre this morning. Afterwards, the Head Gardener, in her general maintenance tasks produced more weeds and clippings for me to fill the first two bags to start the next stack.

Regular readers will know that it is rare for us to leave the dump empty handed. Today there were rich pickings.

Jackie brought back three garden chairs to replace some of our older seating;

and a ride-on donkey naturally named Dumpy. Slightly quizzical at first, Ellie quickly caught on to its purpose

Our great granddaughter kissed Dumpy goodbye when she set off on an outing with her parents. The jacket she is wearing was knitted by her Gram Gram Becky.

This evening we all dined on Red Chilli takeaway fare – as promptly delivered and as well cooked as always. My choice was Naga Chilli Lamb and Special Fried Rice; we shared a peshwari naan and Ponir Tikka: others may state their main courses should they wish. Jackie finished the rosé and I finished the La Vieille Ferme.

A Day Of Contrasts

The morning’s drizzling overture reached a crashing crescendo as Jackie and I began loading our garden refuse into the Modus. My shirt was soaked in seconds, and I donned a raincoat for our trip to the Council dump, now rebranded as the Efford Recycling Centre.

This symphony’s variously placed movements were conducted throughout the day.

Jacqueline visited this afternoon and we enjoyed our usual mixture of reminiscences and updating.

Soon after 6.00 p.m. the skies cleared and the starring, brightly shining sun silhouetted trees against the sky, and cast shadows short and stretched. The rain had ceased after filling numerous receptacles.

This evening, Jacqueline having returned home, the rest of us dined on Jackie’s strongly flavoured lemon chicken and savoury rice with which she drank more of the rosé and I drank more of the La Vieille Ferme.

Not Summer

Although the rain largely kept away today, the weather remained unseasonably cold and overcast as, after purchasing provisions at Ferndene Farm Shop, Jackie and I took a brief drive along Holmsley Passage and back.

Cyclists and dog walkers travelled along the disused railway track; walkers and ponies graced the moorland; and one runner jogged down the hill.

Ponies in particular foraged unconcerned with what went on around them, where

heather purpled the landscape despite the

glowering skies silhouetting the tree line.

The almost dried up stream beneath the road once more ripples, flows, and nurtures weeds.

On Burley Road a pony defied the traffic to encroach upon its companion foal.

Whatever the season is it is definitely not summer.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’ s fusilli pasta bake containing bacon, boiled eggs, and various vegetables, accompanied by baked gammon, with which she drank more os the rosé and I drank La Vieille Ferme vin rouge, 2021.