24 May 2022

Pink Tutus


these peonies remind me of ballerinas in pink tutus

Dancers in Pink by Edgar Degas

I love this time of year in the garden when everything is starting to grow and burst into flower.  The lupins and foxgloves growing up tall amongst the roses, hostas and ferns unfurling their vivid green leaves.  Everything is looking quite lush at the moment thanks to some regular night time rainfall and daytime sunshine.


 





This evening Paul is at bowls club, Sarah is cycling in the gym, Rick is asleep and I'm watching the Chelsea Flower Show.  Perfect.




15 May 2022

Waste Not Want Not

Earlier this week I made a beef casserole and served it with some puff pastry rounds. I don’t make my own pastry but I had a ready made slab in the freezer. 

I only used half of the slab so this morning I used the other half to make some Pain au Chocolat pastries using a bar of confectioner’s chocolate I found lurking at the back of a cupboard. They turned out quite well, although a bit heavier than I would have liked. We had them warm from the oven with our coffee.  



That left me with half a bar of chocolate. Hmm. I did a quick Google search and found a recipe for fudge using peanut butter and Greek yoghurt. I had half a tub of yoghurt in the fridge (son-in-law Craig likes Greek yoghurt for breakfast) so I had all the ingredients. I have never made fudge before but it was easy to mix all the ingredients together. I now have to wait for 8 hours for it to set. Not sure what it will turn out like but the mixture tasted sublime (yes, I licked the bowl clean!).

I just hate throwing food away.


11 May 2022

Cowbells and a lot of shouting

 

Kat and Craig came up to Lincoln at the weekend to take part in the city’s annual cycling event. Setting off from the city centre they rode 62 miles around the Lincolnshire countryside before returning to tackle the steep hills of the cobbled Cathedral Quarter towards the finishing line in Castle Square.

 


Sarah persuaded Paul and me to form a cheerleading squad.  She was well equipped with her carefully crafted sign and cow bell and as it was a bright sunny day I agreed to go along. This meant driving to certain locations on the circuit in time to cheer Kat and Craig on, no easy task bearing in mind that they were not cycling together.

 

Driving through the Lincolnshire Wolds we eventually arrived at a likely crossroads near Wragby (Weaver will probably know where this is) where an elderly gentleman in a yellow cap was stewarding the junction.  The riders had a choice here of turning right for the long route or straight on for the medium route.  Unfortunately a natural bend to the right confused a lot of the riders who kept missing the sharp right turn.  The steward was doing a lousy job of directing the cyclists.  It wasn’t until he got into his car and drove off that we realised he was just a spectator, not a steward!

 

So we ended up directing the cyclists ourselves while we waited for our guys to cycle through. All of the riders seemed to appreciate the enthusiastic bell clanging and yelling; Sarah has a very loud voice.  After cheering Craig and Kat past this point we abandoned our post and drove cross country to another location.  We missed Craig (he can cycle very fast) but managed to see Kat whizz past, still looking strong and comfortable.

 

keep going Kat!


Now we headed into Lincoln and parked up, ready to be at the Castle Square finishing point. It wasn’t long before Craig came hurtling up the steep cobbled hill of Michaelgate making light work of the steep gradient.  He had completed the course in 3 hours and one minute, coming third.    Eventually Kat appeared and we shouted ourselves hoarse cheering her on up the hill.  She had ridden amazingly well, finishing in 3 hours 39 minutes. 

 

Kat tackling Michaelgate "That cobbled climb hurt!"

 

1 May 2022

Running Away with a Lawn Mower

 

I’ve just picked some lilac from the garden.  When we lived in France my neighbour, Philippe, would always bring me a bunch of lilac at this time of year.  The lilac is the only thing in bloom at the moment apart from the apple trees that are covered in blossom.

 

apple blossom

Paul is currently on light duties after hurting his back so yesterday I decided I would mow the grass.  It was the first time I have tackled the grass since we moved here and I struggled to control the self-propelled lawn mower, it kept running away with me.  Rick wasn’t much help either, dropping his ball in the exact place I was about to cut.  I struggled to manoeuvre the mower around the fruit trees and almost tipped it over along the steep bank but I finished the job, in a fashion. 

 

Rick always keen to help

I just hope Paul gets better soon, the garden needs him!


last year's new border maturing nicely


27 April 2022

Mostly About Rick

 


Rick has just been outside barking at the rooks that were attacking a squirrel in the trees.  Sometimes nature can be hard to witness.  Yesterday I walked into my bedroom and came face to face with a hawk devouring a blackbird right outside my bay window.  I crept away and left him to his meal.  He must have been hungry because there were just a few feathers left after he flew off.  It’s a pity he chose blackbird instead of pigeon from the menu.

 


We’ve had Rick for five years now.  He was about four years old when we adopted him so he’s nine years old now and starting to show his age.  A little more greyness around his face and he moves quite stiffly when he gets up in the morning.  He still races after his tennis ball in the garden but doesn’t demand that it is thrown quite so many times.

 

guarding Sarah's slippers

He loves sitting under Sarah’s desk when she is working or guarding her slippers.

 

Are you sure there's room for two of us on this chair?

He is extremely affectionate and loves to climb up on laps for cuddles.  He won’t accept that perhaps he is a little too big to be a lap dog.

 

25 April 2022

Stairs

 




I am happy to report that I no longer have to climb a ladder to reach the ‘gym’ in our loft room.  Last month our new customised steel staircase finally arrived all the way from Holland.  It’s a hefty beast but fortunately the delivery guys were happy to help Paul carry it into the bungalow and lift it into position.  I’m amazed they managed to get it in without breaking anything.  I wasn’t much help really, just hopping around and squeaking “don’t trip on the step, mind the glass door, mind the paintwork…”


 

The staircase is quite steep – we have plenty of floor space but limited headroom as you climb upwards.  However, it is much easier than using a ladder and it definitely looks more stylish.  I have no excuse now not to visit the pain cave!  Oh, I’ve just remembered, the balustrade isn’t finished yet and I suffer from vertigo…

 

24 April 2022

Unhappy Hound

 


Someone has stolen my chair!  My beautiful red, lookout chair by the window.  Just the right size for me to sit and stare out of the window, ready to terrorise any unsuspecting visitors.  I am really not a happy dog.  Just take a look at what has taken its place….

 


I’m a French Pyrenean Shepherd dog, not a ruddy French Poodle!