Thursday, 18 October 2018

Extreme Pruning

the trees are still laden with apples

The weather here has been beautiful over the last couple of days so Paul has been busy in the garden.  Yesterday morning he did some serious pruning, harsh but very necessary.  There are some established shrubs and roses buried beneath the ivy here and many have grown to a great height.  Hopefully they will put up some new shoots in the Spring and we will be able to see exactly what we have here.

I found this brick pillar buried beneath layers of ivy
Apart from several rose bushes, honeysuckle, japonica and hydrangeas there are several plants and shrubs that we are not familiar with.  Any suggestions?

Tuesday, 16 October 2018


I’ve been working in the garden today, pulling out trails of ivy and trying to create some sort of order.  It feels very autumnal outside today; the leaves are falling and Paul has been clearing gutters.  Jenny, our neighbour, has just been round to invite me to a ladies’ chat group on Saturday.  This type of gathering fills me with terror but I promised myself I would try and integrate with the community here so I agreed to go.  Jenny is going to call for me on Saturday.  I don’t think anyone has called for me since I was a school girl!

It was very sad saying au revoir to Philippe and his family.  Philippe actually cried and Monique, his sister, burst into tears when she realised we weren’t just returning to the UK for winter.  But our Lincolnshire neighbours have given us a very warm welcome and I think we are going to be just fine.

Sunday, 14 October 2018


Gale force winds here on Saturday.  Rick refused to go outside, he didn’t like the noise.  He missed a visit from a neighbour’s chicken. Paul managed to shoosh it back through a hole in the hedge.

A few more pictures have been hung.  Today I roasted a chicken (not the neighbour's) and made apple crumble.  Tomorrow I might make an apple cake.  I’m turning into a Lincolnshire housewife.

Saturday, 13 October 2018


In the morning I downed tools and watched Princess Eugene’s wedding.  Lovely dress but the whole affair was a bit too Hollywood for me.  To ease my guilt of watching television in the morning I wrapped apples, gathered from our trees, in paper and put them in boxes for storage while I watched.  I don’t know if they are keepers or not but time will tell.  The apples I mean.

While I was sorting apples Paul set off to Market Rasen (about twenty minutes from here) to do some food shopping and pick up a new toilet seat.  Twenty minutes later he was back – he had forgotten his wallet.  Oops!  He eventually got home an hour or so later with enough food to last us the whole winter and a lovely new toilet seat.  The grapes were the strangest fruit I have ever tasted.

Kat arrived at lunchtime to spend the weekend with us.  Paul made the most of her presence and got her to help him hang some heavy mirrors and pictures.  I just helped by saying “left a bit, right a bit, no I don’t like that, can we try the other one?”

The decor in my new sitting room is evolving gradually.  It’s difficult to envisage with the flowery wallpaper and existing curtains.  My Art Deco style mirror didn’t look right hanging above the traditional style fireplace.  I tried my big Bridge of Sighs picture. Yes, that works for me.  Not everyone’s choice of picture but it has a special significance for Paul and me (romantic times in Venice!).  Now I just have to think about replacing the curtains.  I’m having fun.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Benign and Boring

Last Monday we registered with the local GP practice in a nearby village.  I asked if I could make an appointment to discuss  a lump I had noticed in my neck with the doctor and they fitted me in that same day.  The GP said he didn’t think it was anything sinister, probably just a cyst on my thyroid gland, but referred me to Lincoln Hospital to get it checked.

Today, just over a week later, I was seen by the ENT Consultant at the local hospital.  I started to worry a bit when he put on some surgical gloves and the nurse passed me a tissue. 

“I don’t think I want...”  but before I could protest further he had put a camera tube down my nose and into my throat. 

“Right, I want you to have a scan and possibly a needle aspiration biopsy so we can be sure there is nothing to worry about.”
“When will that be?”
“Now, immediately!”

So Paul and I trotted down the stairs to the x-ray department and within a few minutes I was on my back in a dark room while the radiologist scanned my thyroid.  That was a painless procedure but then I saw her give a nod to the nurse and she was explaining to me that she was going to stick a needle into my neck to do the biopsy.  Just keep calm and think about Rick I told myself.

Actually it wasn’t too bad at all.  “Looks benign and boring to me,” said the radiologist. She sounded quite disappointed.

I saw the Consultant again before leaving the hospital.  He reassured me that there was probably nothing to worry about, just a thyroid nodule, but the biopsy results would confirm the diagnosis in due course. Benign and boring sounds good to me.

A lot of people criticise the NHS but the speed and efficiency that I have experienced over the past week have been exemplary.

The Garden

We are gradually making some progress.  We have created a list of tasks in order of importance.  The garden is low down on that list but when we need a break from indoor stuff we go outside and pull a few more weeds.  The wind is blowing today but it’s warm and sunny, so we have spent the morning tackling the weeds growing through the cracks on the patio.  Paul is reluctant to put down weed killer in case Rick eats it!

weeding the patio

lots of weeds, brambles and overgrown ivy


the greenhouse needs some attention

Rick loving his garden

new gate to prevent Rick from escaping