17 October 2021



October suddenly feels very cold after a warm September.  Porridge is back on the menu for breakfast.  We rode out for a cycle ride earlier in the week; I wore my leggings and long sleeved top but it still felt very cold and not a lot of fun.  So it looks like riding on the bike in the attic gym will be on the agenda now.  It’s a good substitute but I shall miss the crazy stuff you see outside sometimes in the real world. 

We were cycling through the village of Normanby; we had to pull out to go round a parked van ahead of us and could see the workman was carefully pouring a big tin of white paint into a tray in the back of the vehicle.  Walking towards the van on the pavement was a man and his large dog, the guy was holding a Costa coffee in one hand and didn’t seem to be in complete control of the animal.   As we cycled past we saw the dog suddenly leap up into the back of the van to say a friendly hello to the workman and from the yells and shouts I can only guess that he might have landed in the middle of the paint tray!

Paul has already moved on to his next project.  Ever since we moved here we have been umming and ahhing about the large evergreen hedge that bordered one end of the terrace.  Once upon a time it would have been just three tidy shrubs - two types of dwarf conifer and a Cotoneaster, but over the years they had been left to grow into a monster hedge.  Unfortunately you cannot hard prune the conifers, they just go black and die off.  Yesterday he decided to cut it all down and have a big bonfire. 


Rick was keeping a wary eye on proceedings

the fire was lit at dusk

interesting reflection through the glass

looking very bare this damp and dismal morning

Just the tough job of removing the roots now, although we will keep the Cotoneaster and see if it grows back.  It looks very bare now but I have a few ideas to transform it into an attractive area of the garden.  Maybe some ferns and grasses to start off with and then see what evolves.

 (Paul says the dog was small, not large.  I think it would be safe to say it was a medium sized dog.)

12 October 2021

Thirty Seven Years


I found this old photo in the attic the other day when I was looking for something - I still have that ball gown wrapped up in my wardrobe.  Memories of when Paul and I were young and looking forward to our lives together.


Today we are celebrating our wedding anniversary.  Thirty seven years ago we quietly got married in a registry office in Salisbury, before flying off to Brussels for a weekend honeymoon.  I’m not sure why we picked Brussels, I think Bruges would have been more romantic.  I remember the weather was dull and damp and then I got food poisoning so it wasn’t the best of starts to our marriage.  Since then we have had a lot of fun and laughter in our lives, blessed with two beautiful daughters and many happy memories.


Our village pub, The Crown, is re-opening soon; we would have gone out for a meal today if it had been open.  We briefly considered going to Cleethorpes for fish and chips on the pier but quickly decided against that. So we are eating at home - mussels in cream and garlic with a glass of sparkly for lunch, rib of beef with truffle jus (courtesy of M&S) for dinner tonight.


I’m a lucky girl.


Paul prepared the table, including the rose petals and candle!


10 October 2021

Changing Rooms

The work to the sitting room is just about complete (Paul is still working on the skirting board and boxing in ugly heating pipes).  Some of you will perhaps prefer the original version of the room but the old gas fire needed updating and the deep pile cream carpet was stained and really not at all dog friendly.

old version of the sitting room


The fire has been replaced with a sleek modern version that I can easily turn on with a remote control – a log fire at the touch of a button!  No more dusty coals or wind howling down the chimney.



Paul did a fabulous job laying the wood flooring and we resurrected the Persian rug that had been dumped in the attic since we arrived here three years ago.  I’m happy to see it again and I think it looks good against the timber floor.


Jeremiah has found a home on the top of my new shelf unit; I have also bought a salt lamp that gives out a cosy glow in the evenings.


There are still some finishing touches to make and I am also on the lookout for some new artwork to hang.  The room has taken on a very different aspect and I am very pleased with the result.




29 September 2021

A Happy Toad

I have just got home from a blustery walk around the village with Rick; I am on double dog walks this week while Paul is working on the oak flooring for the sitting room.  In theory this should have been a relatively straightforward process but the level concrete floor is not so level after all.  The straight walls of the room aren’t so straight either!  But he is making good progress and I am pleased with the result so far.

Where's my nice fluffy carpet gone?


Earlier this morning I went outside to pick some raspberries and strawberries.  The strawberry crop has just about finished but I lifted the net and swept my hand through the plants to discover any berries hiding under the leaves.  The sun was shining directly in my eyes so I didn’t realise at first that the strange object I was touching was actually a large toad!  I gave a girly shriek and then realised that the poor creature was totally tangled up in the net.  The more he struggled the more the net tightened around his neck.  Paul came to the rescue and managed to cut the net and gently free the toad.  He appeared unhurt and hopped off towards the compost heap.


The garden is starting to show signs of autumn but we were surprised to see the Berberis bushes giving up their leaves so early.  On closer inspection we realised that the branches were covered in small caterpillars and they had stripped the two bushes completely of their leaves.  


These caterpillars were the larvae of the Berberis Sawfly, an insect that only attacks Berberis and Mahonia and will completely defoliate these shrubs.  It only became established in south-east England in 2000 but has since spread throughout the country.  We have sprayed the Berberis (too many larvae to hand pick them off) and hopefully the bushes will recover.


23 September 2021

Mellow Fruitfulness


September, so far, has been kind to Lincolnshire, lots of sunshine and relatively warm.  We have managed some lengthy cycle rides, spent time in the garden and downed a few drinks on the terrace. Village life continues - art club and dancing for me while Paul goes bowling twice a week.  The pub is due to re-open at the end of the month after being closed for three years and Wednesday coffee mornings in the village hall are set to resume.


Some good friends from Wiltshire came to stay with us at the weekend, bringing their young dog, Buzz (a Bichon cross) with them.  We were a bit anxious as to how Rick would react with another dog in his home but they got on amazingly well, I think Rick just adored his young playmate.  They ran circuits around the garden and played tug-of-war with Mr Bunny. 


sharing Mr Bunny

tired pups

The re-modelling of our sitting room has commenced.  The new fire has been installed and the chimney breast re-plastered.  The oak planks for the floor are due to arrive tomorrow but apparently they need to acclimatise before Paul starts putting them in place.  I’m sure all the effort and disruption will be worth it in the end.   I shall post some photos when it’s all finished.


so much dust!