Something Interesting

On another soporific, gloomy, mid-afternoon I ventured into the garden in search of something interesting.

First I needed to negotiate the accumulated rubbish bags outside the stable door. There will be more by the time the bin-men collect them tomorrow.

Our temperature has warmed enough to set the Waterboy fountain flowing freely.

Jackie’s weatherworn wooden mushrooms have been uprooted.

Our garden statuary such as Autumn and Florence continue to gather lichen.

A few stubborn leaves cling to the almost stripped copper beach.

Just a minute. What loiters there behind the bushes?

Ah. Becky had said to Ellie: “Let’s lurk and be something interesting for Grandpa”.

Then the rain set in.

This evening Jackie kept a warm turkey and vegetable stewp on the hob and we all helped ourselves in our own time to portions of this wholesome repast accompanied by fresh crusty bread and butter with which we scurried away to our chosen nests for tasty consumption.

Enough For A Splash

Our Waterboy feature had been reduced to a mere trickle by the narrow pipe feeding the fountain from the pump being clogged up. Jackie spent much of

the morning clearing the blockages and restoring normal working order.

I dozed over an Iris Murdoch for most of this very hot day until 5 p.m. when I

adjudged it cool enough for a walk around the garden with my camera. These images all bear titles in the gallery.

Jackie had slept upstairs for a couple of hours, and, refreshed, suggested a drive to Puttles Bridge to investigate the condition of Ober Water, which,

although far shallower than usual contained just enough liquid for

a dog chasing a stick to create a splash.

Unfortunately the first thing I saw as I disembarked in the car park had been

a heap of discarded rubbish. There is of course a bin nearby.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy paprika pork served with boiled potatoes and tender runner beans, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Shiraz.

Avian Warfare

After a brief panic on the part of the deliveryman, we received a full tank of oil today. The operator couldn’t initially get his machine to work,

Oil delivery

so he spent some time, whilst we trembled in trepidation, tinkering with dials.

Before the rain set in, I cut the grass and Jackie carried on clearing and tidying the rest of the garden.

Netting on eaves

Having spotted that a number of birds have been tearing strips off our roofing insulation for nest building, she has netted up the entrances in continuing the avian warfare begun yesterday against the greenfinches.

Blocking starling nest

Whilst she was at it, she also blocked the route to last year’s starling nest.


She cleaned out the Waterboy feature and set it going again.

Back inside, as feared, we found the boiler wasn’t working. This, we discovered, seemed to be because Jackie had turned the living room wall thermostat to zero when we ran out of fuel. She turned it up. The light came on on the reset button. When it was depressed, as the instruction book suggested, we had lift-off. We will be having the device serviced anyway, just to be on the safe side.

This afternoon the rain desisted and we continued weeding and tidying.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s lemon chicken; sweet potatoes; and sautéed leeks, mushrooms, broccoli, and bacon; followed by apple strudel and custard. She drank Hoegaarden and I drank Reserve des Tuguets madiran 2012.

‘Trust Me, I’m A Doctor’

We began the day by transferring our waterboy from the edge of the kitchen garden to a suitable spot nearer the house. This meant two trips by wheelbarrow, one for him, and one for his shell. Before going off to Stewart’s Garden Centre we needed to make sure the whole feature would fit where we planned, and to take measurements of the depth of the water and the diameter of tube required to link a pump to the lad. By ‘we’, as usual, I mean Jackie.  ‘Trust me, I’m a doctor’, said she as she performed a delicate endoscopy with a piece of flexible curtain wire. It was necessary to ensure there would be no internal blockages to impede the regular colonic irrigation of the water that would be flowing through the body.

Satisfied in all respects that our find would work we drove to the garden centre. In fact the size of pump we required was purchased from Maidenhead Aquatics, an outlet on the parent company’s campus. At Stewart’s itself, we collected the rest of Jackie’s birthday solar lights, one of which is seen suspended over the patio behind the water feature.
Unfortunately, four of the components were missing from one box of lights, so we had to go back to the shop to replace it. There was no problem with this. As we were out, we stopped off at Ferndene Farm Shop and bought six more bags of gravel.
Hordle Chinese Take Away provided our evening meal, but Jackie had to go and fetch it. She drank Hoegaarden whilst I imbibed Tsing Tao.
Afterwards we dead-headed a large rhododendron, in order to promote next year’s flowering.

It was almost 10 p.m. by the time the solar lights came on, because we are nearing the longest day. These lamps gather their power from the sunlight, but it is only triggered when the night draws in.