31 July 2015

What A Whopper

This Hollyhock

It stands 3.30 mtrs tall (just under 11ft.) and has leaves the size of dinner plates!

I haven't cultivated it, it just grew from wind blown seed.
I have pale pink and deep purple ones in the front garden. 

The tallest UK hollyhock, which belonged to a retired couple in Gloucestershire, grew to a massive 15ft,
while the biggest worldwide was a whopping 24ft!!

28 July 2015

A Good Read

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The novel tells of a young man named Dorian Gray,the subject of a painting by artist Basil Hallward. Basil is impressed by Dorian's beauty and becomes infatuated with him, believing his beauty is responsible for a new mode in his art. Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton, a friend of Basil's, and becomes enthralled by Lord Henry's worldly views. Embracing a new hedonism, Lord Henry suggests the only things worth pursuing in life are beauty and fulfilment of the senses. Realizing that one day his beauty will fade, Dorian (whimsically) expresses a desire to sell his soul to ensure the portrait Basil has painted would age rather than himself. Dorian's wish is fulfilled, plunging him into a life of debauchery. The portrait serves as a reminder of the effect each act has upon his soul, with each sin displayed as a disfigurement of his form, or a sign of ageing. 

There is no doubt that Oscar Wilde was a brilliant author, playwright and poet. Initially this book suffered terrible reviews and poor sales, and it wasn't until after his death that it was recognised as a classic.
I think the subject of the story is fascinating with excellent characters and I did enjoy it, but oh it was tedious in places. Page after page of dreary narrative of furnishings, collections, gems, clothing. I prefer a story with some narrative not the other way round. Attempted to read it 2 or 3 times before finally struggling to finish it.

25 July 2015

Happy Memories

My darling youngest daughter is back home safe and sound in Fremantle and resuming daily life. The sound of both my daughters talking and laughing is still audible in my head but the house is silent. I have very happy memories of the time she was here though.

Retail therapy. Clothes, shoes and chocolate. We all like Hotel Chocolat. We usually buy the selector packs of 6 chocolates. My favourites are cherry deluxe, salted caramels and burnt caramels. I stock up with enough to last until my next visit (usually a couple of months). My daughters however have usually polished off their 1 pack each before getting back to the car! They are utterly delicious though. I’m a chocoholic but I do have to limit the amount I eat now in order to maintain my current weight. Next time I go I'm going to try apple strudel and chocolate fudge sundae flavours :-) 

Our favourite place for breakfast, or coffee and cake

It's a family run business and now has a bakeshop full of tempting cakes, pies and breads, and a store selling lovely handmade ethical jewellery, home furnishings, gorgeous gifts and more.

And of course relaxing in the garden

22 July 2015


Today I am very sad because my darling youngest daughter is going back home to Australia. 

18 July 2015

A Place in the Sun

We all like a place in the sun don't we? and cats have perfected the art of finding one.

This handsome fella chose this comfortable sofa to while away his time on.

 It was close to his home, waiting for the refuse collectors to take it away.

It compliments his colour too!!

It's been there for a while so he has taken full advantage of it. 
I have seen him sleeping on it most days for a couple of weeks.

And after it was taken away he would have found another "Place in the Sun"

13 July 2015

It's A Dog's Life

Buster's diary

How Scary Lady got her name

Monday's walk: Got soaked.The weather was good when we went out 
but the storm clouds soon appeared. 

It was all right for scary lady (that's her who does this blog thing - will explain the name later) she had her coat on. It was a good walk though, nearly caught a rabbit and then I found this loaf of bread in a field - I know, bizarre! Rufus took a chunk out of it, then we played around with it for a while.

Rufus thinks he is faster than me, but that's because he keeps going round in circles, I heard scary lady say that if we were running in a straight line I would catch him easily. 
How scary lady got her name
When I was a cute little puppy I used to wreck the garden. I would pull plants up and dig holes. One day I was in the process of digging a nice new hole when Polly crept up behind me and whacked me with a huge dead poppy plant that she had just pulled out. It didn’t hurt but it did scare me and made me jump. Polly’s daughter Amanda was there at the time and said “Oh Buster did the scary lady make you jump, come to me” which I did and she made a lovely fuss of me. All done for effect but it made me feel good!
Anyway back to my diary. Back home and drying out nicely on our comfy beds. I bet all the doggie treats in the universe she brushes us when we’re dry.
She did, look at me. 

Why is it that when we're brushed Rufus looks like an elegant aristocrat and I look like a ball of candy floss? I’ll soon mess myself up again though!

Scary lady is quite nice, she gives us treats, and we do feel better when we've been brushed.

10 July 2015


Look at these beauties, fresh from the allotment for an Eton mess, one of my favourite desserts. I have about 3 or 4 varieties, some from garden centres and some given to me from one of the other allotmenteers. 
All delicious and ranging in size from large and shiny dark red to small and pale red. 
For me strawberries epitomise summer - warm lazy days in the garden,
cream teas and of course Wimbledon.

We have been enjoying my allotment strawberries all through June, and it's only now that they are starting to tail off. But as one crop finishes another is waiting in the wings to take over, enter stage right - equally lucious raspberries which I also put into Eton mess.

Other crops doing well on the allotment are lettuces, beetroot (love it), brussel sprouts, purple broccoli, cabbages, parsnips, runner beans, sweetcorn, and the new potatoes are delicious. Late potatoes are looking good. Carrots are struggling but I think they will be ok. Not doing quite so well are the swedes, they were growing beautifully but something is eating them. They are covered with chicken wire so it's not pigeons, I think it might be slugs. The broad beans have gone the same way as last years' - covered in black stuff, so they've gone in the bin. Onions didn't even germinate.  

6 July 2015

Le Tour De France 2014

With The Tour De France under way it reminded me of last year’s event, it came through our village. During the build up to it I was a bit grumpy about the whole thing thinking we would be inundated by strangers vying for prime viewing areas, but as the event grew nearer I became more involved and grew very excited, this would probably be my only opportunity to be involved in a major sporting event.

There was lots of excitement with two fun days of celebrating. I volunteered to help man the stall selling hot dogs, burgers, ice cream, lollies and drinks, and the bar in the hall was open.

We had a small museum display of vintage up to modern day bikes in the church, a brilliant radical bike show, bouncy castle, the pub put on an all-day BBQ and the church did delicious cream teas.

Everyone lined the route, people were writing greetings on the roads. There was lots of cheering and flag waving, firstly as the caravan came through

and even more so as the eagerly awaited cyclists raced through. 

A great time was had by all.

2 July 2015


Today I am happy, very happy. My darling youngest daughter is over from Australia. Jo and her boyfriend G emigrated 10 years ago. I remember it well, Thursday the 25th November 2004. I drove Jo to the airport, G’s parents took him, and the rest of the family members drove there separately. We were a happy upbeat group until it came time to say goodbye, as I stood at the barrier watching my baby disappear into the departures area the tears flowed and my heart ached. I cried all the way home wondering when I would see her again. I busied myself with work and activities and had lots of tearful telephone conversations with my eldest daughter who was missing her sis dreadfully. We both longed and hoped for a phone call saying they couldn’t settle and were coming home. 
Phone calls, text and emails helped bridge the distance and then in 2005 I went over there for Christmas. I continued to go every year until 2011 when Jo started coming here. And now we use skype as well. 
It must have been very difficult for families who left loved ones back in the 50’s when they had to book a telephone call in advance, and then have about 3 or 4 minutes for everyone to speak to each other.

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