28 April 2019


I failed miserably to find a favourite corner in our new home to enter John Gray’s competition.  The entries were fascinating – so many characterful, eclectic, enticing and colourful corners from around the world.  I could find nothing here to really compete.  I think the reason must be due to the fact our home is new, bland and still evolving.  I left all my clutter and books and stuff that had been collected over the years behind in France.  I wanted to start with a clean slate and create something new but it is really hard to recreate character, I guess it will come in time.

The atrium style hallway in the centre of the bungalow is still not quite right.  I love my new mirror and console table but the two tall buddhas make it look like an alter waiting for some sacrificial offering. I was very tempted by a tasteful horse head statue yesterday when I was out shopping but everyone is doing horse heads right now so I wanted something different.  This is what I bought.

The light shining behind his wings is effective and I think he looks suitably irreverent.  (Paul said something like "Oh gawd!")

25 April 2019

Removing Wrinkles

I discovered another strange plant today curling its way through the leylandii hedge. It looked quite exotic with distinctive five-lobed  leaves, clinging tendrils and large buds.  I consulted Google and quickly identified it as White Bryony.  A pretty name but unfortunately it is a powerful laxative and highly toxic; the plant will have to be removed. 

White Bryony
According to Pliny (Roman author and naturalist), pounding the root together with a plump fig will remove wrinkles but only if a walk of a quarter of a mile is taken immediately after application. I’m not sure if you are supposed to eat it or apply topically but personally I think I’ll give the combination of a strong laxative and figs a miss.

the dark area is new grass
Elsewhere in the garden the grass seed we threw over the filled in ‘pit of doom’ has germinated and turned into – grass!  We have planted a clematis and a climbing rose at either end of the shed and in time they will cover the bare brick and look quite pretty.

22 April 2019

New Love Affair

I miss France terribly. Right now the wisteria will be in full bloom and another family will be enjoying the delights of our old home.  But I am starting to fall in love with Lincolnshire.  This morning we set off early for a ride, cycling through the countryside - newly ploughed fields, bright yellow fields of  rapeseed and green fields of cereal.  The lanes were mostly empty, a few hares bounding along the verges and the odd pheasant strutting slowly across the road. We climbed quite high for this part of the country and had marvellous views of the Wolds to the east and across to Gainsborough and the power stations to the west.

Cycling seems to be a popular sport around here, we often see other cyclists. French cyclists take their riding very seriously and were always quite curt, just a nod and perhaps a bonjour.  It’s more relaxed here, “Good morning, are you alraaaaght?”  I think it’s a local greeting; I assume they are not really concerned about my welfare or style of riding!

Easter eggs mysteriously appeared in the village

19 April 2019

Village at Easter

Kat is home for the weekend.  She has just taken Rick for a long run, he thinks she is absolutely wonderful.  

Last night it was the village quiz.  Kat and her friend, Annie-Beth, joined our team.  There were quite a few Easter related questions including who starred in the Easter Parade and who was Roger Rabbit's wife. Easy stuff to lull us in to a false sense of security. The picture round was flowers.  “I’ll do this” piped up Annie, “I used to be a florist before I joined the RAF!” We got top marks for that round and almost won, missing out on the trophy by one point.  We smiled bravely and applauded the winning team. Bah!

The weekend’s duck race has been cancelled.  Not enough water in the beck.

16 April 2019

Lamp Post

clean up an old bottle

add a light fitting

a new table lamp

I'm rather chuffed with it!

14 April 2019


Such a bitterly cold wind blowing at the moment.  I didn't feel like lingering in the garden this afternoon but, after returning home with Rick after his walk, I took the opportunity to photo the tree peony that has just come into bloom.  I think the flowers are stunning.

Mr Scruff

12 April 2019

Garden Seat and Pots

The old garden seat by the apple trees catches the afternoon sun and I like to sit there and daydream for a while. It is almost falling apart and needs patching up but I quite like the mossy patina so am loath to give it a coat of paint.  But this morning I made a cushion for the seat so at least it is clean and comfortable to sit on. I bought a piece of foam that just happened to be the right size and covered it with some summery stripey fabric.  It’s not a tailored piece of upholstery but it does the job.

Yesterday we drove over to the garden centre and spent another small fortune on pots and shrubs for the patio.  We bought another cordyline, a bay (laurel) bush and a purple hebe.  They certainly help to soften the hard landscaping.