over at Mum’s

Over at my Mum’s. She’s been pretty much restricted to bed for the last several days, but managed to get up and come downstairs for 90 minutes at teatime, and again for supper, which was good news.

As always, a walk on the Common. The blackthorn petals are just starting to fall, but there are butterflies (peacock, brimstone, orange-tip) in abundance, and sheets of windflowers. The seasonal ponds – restored last year by a newt conservation group – are looking good. Going up towards Abel Wood there were late celandines, and masses of stitchwort. Bluebells, which I’d hoped to see, are late here this year, with only the sparse ones on the dappled fringes of the wood flowering. Plenty of primroses alongside the path, though.

It’s now some 58 years that I’ve been visiting the common in Spring. The last pic shows a grove of fairly mature trees – an area which used to be bracken, gorse and occasional bramble has turned into woodland.

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I managed a walk – well, small saunter

I managed a 3/4 mile walk today – a slightly circuitous route up to the CoOp cashpoint. YIPPEE!

I’m now on my 4th different set of antibiotics to try to clear up the illness I had five weeks ago, and am incredibly gradually getting better, though still exceedingly muzzy-headed and lethargic much of the time. There’s another five weeks of this particular set of drugs to run – hopefully, this lot will sort it!

map of walk

out and in …

My little patch of cowslips is coming into flower. Ideally, they’d be across the path, in the “wildflower bank”, but despite scattering seeds there for the last four years, they prefer to stay in the flowerbed!

Indoors, I’ve baked a batch of bread (and a couple of rolls), which has turned out rather well. 300g strong plain flour, 150g wholemeal, 50g oats, made with warm milk not water … I’ve managed not to have a hard crust! There will be a few slices had with smoked haddock and broccoli tonight.

cowslip plants


soft oaty bread and rolls

outdoors and indoors

The patio peach – new last autumn – is in full flower. I may be being a bit obsessive about it (a touch of “new parent”syndrome, perhaps), but I’ve done my best! The fig tree is also covered, but the pears will have to fend for themselves.

Indoors, a friend posted a picture of crumpets this morning, which made me yearn for some. Out with flour, yeast, muffin rings, and suchlike, and four hours later I had a reasonable version of one!

peach in bloom


a cloche on the stake, to spread the fleece


well enough wrapped?


home made crumpet

dodgy tendons

I’ve spent much of the day intermittently dealing with NHS111. I’m suffering (potentially serious) side effects from the antibiotics I’m on, and am trying to find out whether I should stop taking them, or continue until I can discuss it with my GP surgery, which reopens on Tuesday.

So far, a call to 111, who gave me a number of a specialist pharmacist to call. She rang back, and after a long discussion told me to call 111 again, which I did. 111 then arranged a callback. After another long discussion, that person said I needed an actual Doctor, and has arranged a call-back for sometime in the next couple of hours ….

UPDATE – a very helpful GP agreed I needed to change antibiotics, sent a prescription through to ASDA late-night pharmacy, which I collected about 9pm, having walked down and returning by taxi. Hopefully, inflamed tendons will settle down over the next few days! It’s elbows/forearms/wrists, and knees/shins/ankles, which are not useful parts of the body to have not working properly.

For future reference, the antibiotic that gave me problems was Ciprofloxacin, which has been changed to Trimethoprim.

garden, kitchen.

The first flower on the Marsh Marigold is now open, but the forsythia is almost over. This spring seems to be passing in a rush – perhaps a continuing effect of lockdowns and isolation.

Indoors, I’ve made a batch of saffron buns to celebrate Easter. It’s something I used to do regularly, but had lapsed for several years.

marsh marigold




glazed saffron buns

Yippee !

After many years of constructing rickety frames of bamboo to support tomatoes in growbags on paved surfaces, I think I’m now sorted! An early birthday present from my Mum: a tomato frame (well, two of them).

I won’t actually be planting the tomatoes out for another three weeks or so, of course. Still … YIPPEE !

picture on box they arrived in


assembled frames

changeable wallflower

The “changeable wallflower” (Erysimum mutabile) in the front garden is now flowering, purple buds opening to bright yellow before fading over a couple of days to a soft purple. This one is six years old and getting rather past its best – I must try to take cuttings later in the year.

changeable wallflower