My cold symptoms have returned, complicating matters a little.

Fortunately Jackie spent much of her working life as a professional carer for the elderly; now she has a chance to keep her hand in at home, in particular expertly applying my eyedrops four times a day.

Vision in the treated eye remains hazy and will of course take some time to clear.

I am unlikely to look at posts I follow for a while.

Other than this I have kept well away from the computer. I did manage to read a handful of pages of Kristin Lavransdatter, but one eye was not really up to the task.

This evening we all dined on tasty Ferndene bangers; creamy mashed potato; boiled cabbage and fried leeks; with tasty, crunchy carrots, and meaty gravy.

My New Lens

Yesterday afternoon I watched the Women’s Six Nations rugby matched between England and Ireland and between Scotland and Italy.

This morning Jackie drove me to SpaMedica for my cataract eyes surgery.

As, later, I reached for my normal distance spectacles to watch a recording of the rugby match between France and Wales, I realised they would not be much use to me, even if I could fit them on over my new lens shield. Never mind, I could see enough with my thirty year old lens replacement.

The surgeon was quite smart to engage me in a conversation about cricket while he was replacing the deteriorated lens with the new one, thus taking my mind off what he was doing – he knew that my earlier cataract was consequent on having been hit in the eye by a cricket ball as a teenager.

This evening we will all dine on Red Chilli takeaway meals. I shan’t put any more on this blog post because the screen is too bright for sore eyes.

Bluebells On Church Lane

Knowing that our favourite location for English bluebells would likely be in bloom today Jackie drove me out to Church Lane, Boldre.

Fortunately, I was well wrapped up against the bitter, biting, North wind that belied the bright sunshine.

A mallard sunned itself on a tussock in Pilley lake.

A troop of ponies played chicken across the road to Beulieu.

Back at Boldre Jackie photographed a few somnolent donkeys.

This evening we all dined on more of Jackie’s penne Bolognese meal.

Waiting In The Wings

On a chilly, largely overcast morning, occasionally lifted by sunlight peeking over the sometimes fluffy cotton clouds, I wandered around with my camera enjoying the general views opened up by Martin’s dedicated winter’s work.

It was difficult to ignore the red Japanese maple,

even when the collection of trees featured both the doomed Weeping birch tree and its foreground gingko waiting in the wings.

The second image in the first gallery features the Brick Path.

Here is another, followed by

one of the Gazebo Path, from the far end of which

can be seen this view west.

Whichever way we look we benefit from Martin’s work.

These are from the Rose Garden.

This morning Jackie shopped at Ferndene Farm Shop where she enjoyed the Gloucester Old Spot piglets at their trough.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s spicy penne Bolognese with Parmesan cheese with which she and I drank more of the Tempranillo Rosado.

The Gingko

For the first time since I picked up a heavy cold, accompanied by a number of flying insects I took a walk round our garden with my camera.

A wasp basked on the leaf of a budding rhododendron; a bee climbed into yellow wallflowers; a fly took a rest on a golden euphorbia.

Other budding rhododendrons were closer to blooming,

which camellias have been doing for months, and still carpet paths.

A number of Japanese maples are in full leaf.

Honesty photobombs many pictures,

but cannot upstage these sunlit hydrangea leaves.

These cowslips share a bed with forget-me-nots and ajugas.

Libertia is spreading across the weeping birch bed which is due to come down on 25th, when

it will be replaced by this gingko, which filled a pot we inherited from our predecessors. It has split the pot and we have wondered what to do with it for the last ten years.

Finally I pictured this pieris, an antirrhinum and cinerarias, and some frilly tulips.

This evening I joined the others at the kitchen table for fish pie, ratatouille, carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli with which I drank Caliza Tempranillo Rosado La Mancha 2022.

My Ancestry Thoughts Confirmed

My DNA results have confirmed my thought that I probably have Viking Ancestry:

66% England and Northwestern Europe predominantly north – East Midlands, Yorkshire and North England – 12% Scotland, 10% Sweden and Denmark, 1% Norway are pretty convincing. The southwestern English elements would have come from my father.

I now have the added intrigue as I continue reading “Kristin Lavransdatter” of the possibility that my ancestors may have lived like those in the novel

This evening, with my appetite back, with the others in the kitchen, I enjoyed roast chicken, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and parsnips, cauliflower; still from a tray on my knees in the sitting room, and drank water.

Blossom From Bedroom Window

This was a cool day of intermittent bright sunshine and showers on which there must have been a rainbow somewhere.

I didn’t go out to investigate, but Jackie took all except the first of her

blossom pictures from the bedroom window, including one from the front garden featuring the tall Amanogawa cherry.

Obviously my aim at an average of 50 pages of “Kristin Lavransdatter” has gone out of the window lately, however I did manage 59 today.

This evening we all dined on another of Jackie’s wholesome cottage pie meals. My slightly larger portion was taken in the same manner as yesterday.

Not Going Out

While we still have our dying Weeping Birch and because of my cold I am not going out I photographed a few

garden views from above this morning, and dozed much of the afternoon occasionally woken by Ellie talking to me and offering me such as pictures of the moon, or the TV controls.

Dinner this evening consisted of Jackie’s wholesome cottage pie, crunchy carrots, and tender runner beans. I ate my very small portion from a tray in the sitting room because I am at a very sneezy stage.

Categorised as Garden

Now I Have A Heavy Cold

All I managed to do today was to watch the Women’s Six Nations rugby match between France and Italy. I slept through some of it. Flo gave me eggy bread for lunch, and bunch of grapes later.

I dank a lot of water, but didn’t partake of Dinner with the others.

It will be touch and go whether I am fit for the eye surgery in a week’s time.

Light Sensitive

This morning, Jackie drove me to Bolton, a suburb of Poole, for my cataract surgery assessment from

SpaMedica, a private hospital contracted to NHS.

After a thorough review, involving repeats of some tests and scans undergone at Boots opticians two days ago, including further drops to dilate the pupils, and measurements of the lenses, I was booked in for surgery next Sunday, 21st.

I remained light sensitive for three or four hours, which did not prevent me watching the Women’s Six Nations rugby matches between England and Scotland, and between Wales and Ireland.

This evening we all dined on crispy fishcakes; creamy mashed potato; crunchy carrots; piquant cauliflower cheese; and tangy ratatouille, with which I drank Lazy Pig, a light hoppy ale.