garden bits

Everything is still very damp here!

I’ve been pretty much housebound for the last week, but have managed a couple of expeditions up the garden, to pull a few carrots and put veg peelings in the compost bin. I’m surprised at how backward everything here is, compared to the past few years.

When I cut a couple of forsythia branches to bring in on New Years Day, they were all in very tight bud, though in previous years some of the flowers have been actually open. The clematis cirrhosa v. balearica has only just shown decent-sized buds, and I normally reckon on a flush of flowers well before Christmas.

Daffodils – both in the front garden and in pots outside the French windows – are just starting to poke their leaves an inch or so out of the soil, so it doesn’t look as though I’ll have the flowers in the last week of January which I had last year. Only the iberis sempervirens – perennial candytuft – seems to be on the normal schedule, with the first flowers opening just before Christmas, and gradually working itself up towards being a wonderful white froth of flowers against the dark green leaves.




flower bits

Sunshine this morning, so I’m feeling a bit more cheerful, even if still rather groggy. The camellia outside the French windows is starting to show a flush of pink on the buds – fingers crossed, though I’ll probably lose them if there’s a heavy frost. Indoors, the dendrobium on the bathroom windowsill is in full flower.





I got back from Christmas at my Mum’s at lunchtime on Sunday 29th December with a mild sniffle. On the Monday, I was losing my voice and had a splitting headache. By the Tuesday, New Year’s Eve, it was clear I had a fierce cold, which was settling in my sinuses, and my vision had gone very blurry.

For (as far as I remember) the first time since 1961 I didn’t stay up to see the New Year in!

Still very unwell, and I’ve only bothered to get up and dressed to put the bin out  last night for emptying, and today to bring it in again. Tomorrow will have to see an expedition of 200 yards to the Co-Op, as I’m nearly out of blackcurrant lemsip and honey to put in it.

garden bits

Looking out of the French window, I can see the first shoots of daffodils appearing in one of the pots – no sign yet in the front garden, when I went out in the rain to bring the bin back in after the rubbish collection.

Also outside the French window is a potted camellia, which I have my fingers crossed for! Last year, all the buds fell off. This year, although the buds have a bit of browning at the edges, I’m hoping for flowers …

daffodil shoot


camellia bud


Remembering all those who we have lost.

I was given this beaded badge (which I’ll be wearing today) exactly nine years ago – the first time I took Maurice to an appointment at his HIV clinic.

beaded AIDS ribbon

Chinese lanterns

Chinese lantern (Physalis alkekengi) brought in to dry, while they’re still orange and haven’t got to the skeletal tracery stage. Some on stems to go with honesty as a dried flower arrangement, as there won’t be fresh flowers until I bring in forsythia at New Year.

However, this year I’m also drying individual seedpods, which I’ll hang on loops of thread on the Christmas tree, as the start of a move to plastic-free decorations.

single seedpod


many seedpods

matters medical

I’m not sure that my GP surgery knows its arse from its elbow at the moment!

I had a DXA scan on Tuesday of last week (12th). The day after, the surgery rang me to arrange a phone consultation for Weds 20th (yesterday) between 0800 and 1000h, which I got up early for as I’m not coherent before the first mug of coffee of the day.

So, GP rang yesterday as arranged, says I have some bone density loss (osteopenia, not osteoporosis), not to worry, see NHS website for advice and I’ve been flagged for a re-scan in 3 three years. A bit casual, but there it goes.

Then this afternoon I get another call from the surgery. The GP wants to see me, about the results of the scan. I said we’d already had a phone consultation about it, but apparently things have changed! So now I’m booked in for an appointment on 4th December …

Oh well, I’m off to the “patients’ participation group” meeting there tomorrow (my first one), to give feedback from the patient perspective …

Polling card arrived this morning.

I’ve spent the last five days printing assorted stuff for other Green Parties in near-by constituencies – over 16,000 bits of paper, each of which needs to go through the printer twice (ie once for each side), giving a total of nearly 33,000 sides. Not exactly brilliant for arthritic wrists and thumbs!

Needless to say, I won’t be voting for the incumbent hereditary Tory, “Private” Walker, son of Baron Walker of Worcester. Since he started feeding at the Government trough, he’s been nothing but a payroll vote ..




I went into town yesterday afternoon with my niece Phoebe. When she visited in summer 2017, we had lunch at one of the tables outside Browns, and she was intrigued today to see water level roughly where her food had been!

Other successes in town were a trawl through the charity shops, resulting in a pair of trousers for her – and a pair of decent Levi’s for me. £8 – what a result – and it’s almost unheard-of for me to find anything in the 30W 34L range.

Then off to pack it in our local veggie/zero-waste shop, to refill the washing up liquid. Only the second refill in the year the shop’s been open, and the owner (Phillipa) actually recognised me and called me by name, which impressed Phoebe! There were also plenty of Vegan wax food wraps on display, so I bought Phoebe a couple, as she’s only been able to find ones containing beeswax which doesn’t work for her Vegan housemates.

Then via ASDA to the bus stop, and a rather long wait in increasingly-cold conditions. Fortunately, although it was very nearly full, we did manage to get seats.


floods in front of Browns
floods in front of Browns