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!

5 September 2021

New Chain


Summer has returned!  It was a perfect morning for cycling – sunshine and just a light breeze.  We did a 40 km circuit riding along the western edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds.  Rather than climbing the steep hill up to Nettleton Top we rode along the quiet country roads at the bottom through the pretty villages of Claxby and Holton le Moor.  Some of the local place names made me chuckle – Boggle Lane and Bunny Hill Farm. 

Paul put a new chain on my bike a couple of days ago.  I cannot believe the difference it makes, I’m just flying along now and my bike has stopped rattling.  I had never realised that an old chain can make pedalling so much harder.  Apart from checking my tyres and polishing my saddle I leave all the bike maintenance to Paul, just another of his jobs to keep me happy!

Tomorrow I have art club, a gathering of local people at the village hall.  I was reluctant to re-start my painting (I don’t like to commit to a regular activity) but a friend was keen for me to accompany her.  It’s a very relaxed atmosphere there and the biscuits are good so I shall keep going for a while, just messing around with cutesy animals and birds until I feel more adventurous.