16 July 2019

Stranger Things

We went out cycling for just over an hour this morning, round through the Tofts and then back up through Spridlington and Normanby.  My mind wanders a bit when I'm cycling so when we passed a signpost for a Green Burial Site I started thinking that maybe it would be nicer to be buried instead of cremated.  I thought about how I've always had an irrational fear of fire (doesn't everyone?) so maybe I'm a reincarnation of Joan of Arc.    Just random thoughts.  A couple of minutes later a black convertible drove past.  The number plate was J348ARC.  Seriously.  Spooky or what!

Nothing to do with this strange coincidence, can anyone identify this tree in our garden?  Paul enthusiastically cut it right back in autumn and it has now gamely sprouted some attractive feathery branches but we have no idea what it is.  Any ideas?

14 July 2019

Sunday Afternoon

Images from my afternoon walk with Rick...

a cloudy Lincolnshire sky

Rick checking for rabbits

raindrops glittering like diamonds

back home in the garden...
... ready for another game of ball

12 July 2019

Dog Talk

G’day Rick, how you doing mate?
Hey Buddy,you’re looking cool, I like your hoodie.
It’s not cool at all, that’s why I’m wearing the hoodie.  It’s only 19 degrees today and we’ve got some cold weather coming from the Antarctic.
Only 19 degrees?  That would be a heatwave over here.

the hood keeps my ears warm

So, what tricks have you been up to Ricky?
Not much.  I led my mum a merry dance this morning chasing the milkman round the village.
Makes a change from the postman.
Good on ya!
Where are you Buddy?
Happy hour at my local.  They know me here, I’ve got my own bowl and the punters feed me treats. They fall for the puppy dog eyes every time.
I see we managed to thrash you at cricket.
Strewth mate, we’ll get you next time.  You watching the Wimbledon?
No, my humans like to watch the cycling.  I was pounding my paws on the table with them yesterday watching big G make that last climb.  Barked a bit too for added effect.
Got to go now Rick, good to speak to you. Get yourself a hair cut, you look like a Sheila.
Bye Buddy, don’t spill any beer down that posh outfit.

my latest girlfriend, Fifi

10 July 2019


a shopping trip to the pretty town of Brigg

I’m exhausted!  Three days of socialising is too much for a shy introvert like me.  Monday was Art Club and end of term lunch, Tuesday a trip to the shops and lunch, and then coffee morning today.  The ladies in the village are determined to get me out and about and I’m certainly not going to turn down their efforts to make friends with me.

Socialising and small talk doesn’t come easily to me.  I have spent a lifetime denying the fact that I am an introvert, pursuing careers that were very much about interacting with other people – nursing, law enforcement, public relations and my last reincarnation as a corporate HR Manager.  When I took early retirement at the ripe old age of 49 we moved to France and I was happy to hide away in my ivory tower in the countryside and enjoy a hassle free, bucolic existence.

Now I am making an effort to be part of a community again.  No man is an island.

my new friends think I'm a bit of a lush!

7 July 2019

Sunday Car Boot

Paul is now a fully paid up member of the village carpet bowls club; they play at the village hall on Tuesday and Friday evenings.  He is on the look out now for a set of bowling balls so we had this in mind when we visited the local car boot and market this morning.  It was a big affair but we didn’t have any luck finding any balls for Paul.  However, I did spot some glass demi-johns and bought six for a grand total of three pounds. Bargain!  Just what I needed for my wine making.

I spotted this book at the car boot - whatever happened to the Hattatts?

It’s a warm and sunny day here so I’m having a lazy day pottering around the garden.  The vegetable plot is producing well and we have our usual glut of courgettes.  Last night Paul cooked a delicious vegetable risotto.  He found a recipe from that Italian chef, Gennaro Contaldo, using broad beans, courgettes and French beans. It was a really nice, alternative way to use our fresh vegetables.

Paul's garlic drying, keeps the vampires away I suppose

the bumble bees are loving the honeysuckle

3 July 2019

Cottage Garden

On Tuesday we took advantage of the sunshine and cycled a 24 mile circuit, passing through pretty villages and along quiet lanes with fields of wheat and barley either side.  The Tour de France starts this weekend so Paul was getting into the mood of things and keen to break a few records.  He nearly broke me, that’s for sure.

This morning we saw Mrs Malcolm working in her garden as we walked back from the village hall.  She is the lady who used to walk her old black Labrador, Malcolm, in the mornings with Rick.  Alas, Malcolm is no more so we stopped to offer our condolences. I commented on her wonderful display of potted geraniums and she invited us in to give us a tour of her garden.  It was the most beautiful, quintessential cottage garden.  Little pathways leading to hidden corners, no straight lines, roses, honeysuckle, ferns, hostas, daisies, lilies - so many different plants.  There was even a pond complete with a moorhen sitting on her nest. It was quite enchanting.  I now have garden envy!