activity report

“Gradually getting more active” For the six months 1st March – 30th August this year, I managed an average of just over 4,600 steps a day (plus cycling a couple of times a week). For the same period last year, it was about 3,300 steps, and in 2020 it was just under 2,000 (but it was a late damp spring, which meant i was off to a very slow start).
I think I’m probably more fit than I was ten years ago, or even three years ago, which is generally good news.


The first Deacon’s Pear of the year. They go from hard and green with a small red patch to this delightful soft gold-and-red within 24 hours! Then they have to be eaten almost straight away.

Not the most practical pear to grow, with the resultant short-lived glut, but delicious. I mainly chose it as a reliable pollinator for the Worcester Black Pear, but am very happy with it.

JR visit

Having visited Mum in hospital at the JR on Tuesday, yesterday was another visit. As I sent to Sim, Jane, Chloe afterwards:

Mum seemed a bit dopey when I arrived, but warmed up to a fairly cheerful and alert state after quarter of an hour. She asked me to get The Guardian so she could do her crossword etc, though she said she wasn’t up to actually reading any of it! She’s resigned to being in hospital for several more days, as the relevant clinicians don’t work over Bank Holiday weekends, apparently.

She mentioned that additional care would be needed when she’s discharged, and some things might have to be altered (she mentioned a commode chair – is there one in the garage or would it need organising?), so I agreed without going into detail.

She made a fairly hearty fist of her supper (rice with sweet-and-sour chicken), which was good to see.

It’s not the visits that I find so tiring, as I chat to Mum for about 30 minutes, then disappear for thirty minutes to grab a coffee / visit the shop / have a pee / whatever, then repeat. However, the travel is really slightly over my comfortable limit! Cycle to Shrub Hill station, train to Oxford for 80 minutes, stand around waiting for 20 minutes, bus to hospital for 30 minutes … all-in, it’s about two and a half hours travel each way, for a visit spanning also about two and a half hours.

However, the sunset last night was spectacular. Mostly viewed from the train, but I did stop on my cycle home on Landsowne Crescent which had a wonderful view of the last of it. Not having a camera with me, which is unusual, it’s a phone photo (slightly cropped).


For the first time since I planted the tree 8 years ago, a significant proportion (over 1/3rd) of the Worcester Pearmain apples are free of the wretched codling moth! I’ve picked most of the lower ones – stewed apples and custard for pudding tonight, and I’ve bottled some apple purée for winter pies.

I’ve left the apples near the top of the tree, where they get more sun, in the hope they’ll fully ripen before the second brood of codling moth hatches and starts laying eggs …


early autumn …

Autumn creeps in gently. the Chinese lanterns are making a good show this year, after last year’s rather poor effort. Morning Glory “Grandpa Ott” is omnipresent in the background of almost everything down that side of the house – next year I must be more vigilant about pulling up self-sown plants in unwanted areas!

a change is on the way

A couple of hours this lunchtime spent at the Worcester Show on Pitchcroft. Chats with a number of friends and acquaintances, and a useful discussion about OT with the County Council stall.

Still too hot overnight in my bedroom to do more than a somewhat restless doze. But change is on its way: proper clouds cross the face of the moon (which is just past full).


Despite ongoing drought, relieved only by a couple of short showers in the past couple of days, the first of the gladioli opened this morning. I’ve re-staked it, as the open flowers are catching the rather considerable breeze we currently have.

yellow and red gladiolus flower