‘Mum’s So Lucky’

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Aaron, who is A.P. Maintenance, made much further progress on the fencing he is now building to repel the abandoned North Breeze boarders.

Aaron fencing

I made him an A4 print of this shot. He was very chuffed with it.

Gladiolus

The sunlight providing the dappled effect soon disappeared, so it wasn’t available by the time I noticed the gladioli Priscilla blooming in the New Bed.

Robin joined Aaron a little later, and they ran out of nails. Jackie and I bought some more from Mole Country Supplies.

This afternoon drove to Shelly and Ron’s barbecue in Walkford, a little later than planned. Jackie had made some wonderful rice and egg salads as a contribution to the event catering. In my keenness to render assistance in the transfer of the dishes to the car I had

Smashed balsamic vinegar

a minor mishap with a fairly full glass bottle of balsamic vinegar that I managed to knock from a cupboard onto the tiles below.

Ever since 18th September 2013 when I perpetrated an even more disastrous spillage, we have had a catch phrase, ‘Mum’s so lucky……..’ This, it’s full form continuing ‘……… to have Dad to help her’, was coined by Becky to describe such an incident. Those words passed my lips as I began the task of clearing up.

We arrived safely, and enjoyed the usual brilliant barbecue with plentiful salads, and desserts. We shared a convivial and entertaining few hours with the usual gang, friends for over thirty years, and relatives, including Helen and Bill, Anthony, Neil,and Donna. I believe a certain amount of alcohol was imbibed.

The White Garden

Hunting through our house purchase documents for some clarity about responsibility for the huge amount of fencing in various stages of health that borders our property, I was unsuccessful in that, but I did discover the names of the houses in our little hamlet. We are one of four on our side of Downton Lane. In order, progressing along Christchurch Road towards that lane there stand Mistletoe Cottage, Old Post House, North Breeze (the empty bungalow), and Smallacres (now residential care). I will use the correct nomenclature in future. The sum total of my morning’s work on the back drive was the scalping (see yesterday) of just one tree stump. The fencing between us and Smallacres is in not much better SmallacresStump and ivy stemscondition than that we share with North Breeze.  The hitherto unseen rear view of the residential establishment is now exposed. Much of our thick ivy stems and brambles grows through the flimsy wooden structure, so pulling and hoping for the best is out. Surgical skill is required to cut the growth from our side at the point of entry. This afternoon I made a bit more progress. Once I had cut off enough of the thick ivy branches cascading over the stumps, I pulled away the stems adhering to the dead wood. This would produce a shower of decidedly dry brown dust inducing a coughing fit that lingered over lunch. Ploughing 1When I had had enough, I wandered over to Roger’s fields, and was most impressed with the work of the ploughman who had now produced acres of fine cross-hatching on what had been full of forage maize barely a week ago. As I walked along admiring the precision I noticed four tussocks lying on the land. They spoiled the man’s artistry so much that I felt inclined to remove them, but didn’t like to put my footprints on the soil. As the tractor hove Picking up tussocksinto view, it was stopped alongside these blemishes. Out stepped Roger Cobb, who walked across and picked them up. This man is a perfectionist. We spoke for a while during which he told me of a forthcoming vintage ploughing match similar to the one I had photographed in Southwell twenty two years ago. I feel another set of pictures coming on. Ploughman 'getting on'‘I must get on’, said my informant, and took his tractor into the dusk, against the lowering Skyskies. I was slightly puzzled, on this short trip, to notice that my camera battery needed charging rather sooner than I had anticipated. All became clear when Jackie informed me that she had been so impressed with all the white flowers still blooming in the garden that she had borrowed the Canon S100. Here is a selection of the photographs she took earlier:Begonias

BegoniasBegonia small

Smaller begoniasAlyssum

AlyssumErigeron - Version 2

ErigeronCyclamen

CyclamenDiasca

DiascaPansy

PansyCamomile

CamomileGladiolus

GladiolusLobelia

LobeliaImpatiens

ImpatiensJapanese anemone

Japanese anemoneSweet peas

Sweet pea.

Given how incensed some people become when supermarkets begin stacking their shelves for Christmas in August, I hesitate to repeat Jackie’s quip; when she served up a roast chicken dinner tonight, complete with homemade sage and onion stuffing, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and parsnips, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots and gravy, followed by profiteroles; that she was practising for that festive occasion. But she was only joking, and it was delicious. She drank Hoegaarden whilst I consumed more of the rioja.

Hibernation

Taking advantage of our good fortune in having such a long, dry, summer extending well into September, we worked on the garden again today. I continued pruning and removing foliage from the empty house side of our back drive, whilst Jackie dealt similarly with the last of the lonicera to the side of the house in the front.

The section on which I worked revealed the familiar hotchpotch of rotting fencing supplemented by all kinds of interesting material in metal or plastic. It also exposed a line of stumps standing like sentinels along the drive.Back drive fence 1Back drive fence 2Back drive fence 3Back drive fence 4

By lunchtime, I had reached the first bonfire, roughly half-way. Afterwards I continued as far as the second fire which we weren’t using today. It was music to my ears at this point to hear the trickling of the water feature in the garden of the residential care home on the corner of Downton Lane. As I stripped ivy from a tree trunk I could see that the overgrown vegetation was now on our side only, because the staff of this property maintained their garden.IvyIvy covered stump

Bonfire and sunThe parasitic growths that were choking the death out of the stumps of the row of trees felled long ago, gave the impression that their hosts had become regenerated. I half expected them, like Tolkien’s Ents, to lumber cumbersomely towards me. It took an hour to free the tree in these photographs of its hair-do.

Naturally, we kept our fire going all day, and just as the sun was thinking about making its way a little further West to bed for the night, the last of the lonicera lingered in the flames.

Jackie was still working on tidying her bed.Hedgehog hibernating As she raked up plants she had cut down, she came across a rather disgruntled hedgehog settling down for the winter amongst a pile of leaves. Naturally, she tucked him in again.

This evening we dined on excellent  cod, chips, peas, and onion rings at The Royal Oak. Jackie’s dessert was chocolate fudge cake, and mine was fruits of the forest cheesecake. She drank Peroni and i drank Doom Bar.