30 July 2020

A New Patio

A few weeks into lockdown we finally got round to clearing and demolishing a shed. I forgot to take before photos of the mess it was in.

This was the shed when we first moved in, the green one. It was in fairly good condition, but a piece was missing from rear of the base of the roof, and the right side door was slightly dodgy. Over the years the door loosened off its hinges, and the right side got pushed out when some shelves inside fell over. Eventually the door fell off and the side caved in so it had to go. We hired a skip, emptied the contents and demolished it.

It seemed a good idea to sort out the wooden shed too.

 After. I actually got excited about it being tidy and being able to find everything! 

Next job - paint the shed which my lovely daughter did

I hung some bunting

And now I have a lovely new patio

and a smarter shed

and when the weather is fine I have breakfast here, sit and read, or just sit and contemplate the garden

I vividly remember receiving my first bicycle on my 15th birthday. I cycled everywhere in those days. I had that bike forever, and I think my daughters used it before getting new ones of their own. Eventually it was spending more time in the shed than on the roads. When I got divorced and had a good clear out it went to the tip. I replaced it with this one above. I kept it at my daughter's house to use when I visited and we all went cycling, then used it to get to know the area when I moved here, and latterly cycling the country lanes around the village. I think it's about 5 years since I last used it, the main road is too busy with very fast moving traffic, and people often drive too fast along country lanes. My mind age still wants to go cycling, but my physical age knows it's no longer a sensible thing to do, BUT I didn't want to get rid of the bike! so it became a plant holder! Next year I might put a panier over the back wheel.

That begonia at the front is taking ages to flower.
Those fence panels need painting, they were out of sight when the shed was there!

Be safe and well ~ 
Polly x

27 July 2020


Last week my friend M and I did our first day trip this year with our local coach company. There are a few restrictions - passenger numbers are reduced by half, everyone has to sit in a window seat for boarding but once under way we can move to sit with partner/friend. We have to wear a mask and the driver takes our temperature before boarding.

Waiting for the coach to arrive, mask ready. I think the blue side out is the correct way to wear it.
I keep meaning to make one but don't seem to get round to it!
En-route to our destinations we always stop for a coffee break. This stop was in the pretty village of Dedham, the heart of Constable country. Britain's greatest landscape painter, John Constable attended Dedham grammar school, and, at nearby Flatford Mill is where he painted ‘The Haywain’.

Dedham high street is lined with pretty Georgian-fronted houses, old inns and an art and crafts centre - above with a bit of my finger in the bottom left corner! We don't have very long on these coffee stops, just enough time for coffee and a short walk around. I've been to Dedham before, I bought a lovely silver ring at this craft centre.
Back on the coach and onwards to our destination.

Cromer is a traditional seaside resort, some would say old fashioned, I guess it is, but M and I like that (being of a certain age!). It has a Victorian pier, a lifeboat station and Pavilion Theatre, where the UK’s only remaining traditional end of the pier variety show takes place each Summer and Winter.

The pier has an interesting history. As well as having withstood many storms and tidal surges it even survived an attempt to blow it up by the Government in WW2 to prevent the pier being used as a landing strip for enemy invaders!

I didn't take many photos, I don't like dragging M around looking for good photo shots, so again I bought some postcards. We love looking in charity shops and clothes shops (I bought a pair of trousers), and there were a couple of lovely trendy souvenir shops (I bought a fridge magnet and the postcards). 
Lunch was at No1 Cromer, a spacious modern 2 storey restaurant with sea views. I had read about it online, and as we were looking at the outside menu a couple leaving said "It's well worth queuing for". And how right they were. Dear reader if you visit Cromer and like fish and chips then give your taste buds a treat. I had the mini cod and chips which was just right for my appetite. It was delicious. We both agreed they were the lightest, tastiest fish and chips we have ever had, and we've had a few!

Time for a bit more strolling around

Bookworms bookshop

Impressive Harley Davdison

before boarding the coach for home. 
We had a lovely day.

〜 Stay Safe & Well 

Polly x

24 July 2020

A Good Read

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Marie-Laurea, a blind girl, lives with her father who is a locksmith at the Paris Museum of Natural History. Marie-Laure is raised in the museum and at home. She has a semi-idyllic childhood until, aged 12 the Nazi's invade Paris and she and her father flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea.
Unknown to Marie-Laure, her father is smuggling what is probably the world's most priceless jewel out of the city on behalf of the museum. It's price tag is beyond monetary value, many believe it has magical powers, in that whoever possesses the stone will not die, but people around that person will succumb to misfortune. A German soldier also knows about the jewel  and will stop at nothing to find it.
Meanwhile in a mining town in Germany, orphans Werner and his sister find a crude radio which Werner fixes, and they become enchanted with the news and stories they hear from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing radios and after repairing a senior-ranking German officer's radio he is enlisted into a youth academy that trains young soldiers for Hitler's army. He is then drafted to utilise his skills to find resistance armies who are using radio waves - but Werner is no soldier and soon realises the cost of his talent.

This isn't a riveting "can't put it down book" but it is a good story. The writing is hauntingly beautiful and very emotional. Reading how her father taught Marie-Laurea to navigate their home and the town is inspirational. The description of the almost complete destruction of Saint-Malo is palpable. Despite the atrocities happening around them it is a nice story of two lives intertwining as they struggle to survive the devastation of WWII. 

Stay Safe & Well 
Polly x

21 July 2020


Yesterday my friend M and I went on a day trip to Cromer with our local coach company, it was so good to do something akin to "normal activities". More on that later. Meanwhile last November the last trip we did with the company was to Eastbourne, a resort town on England’s southeast coast, advertised as the UK's sunniest place. We didn't expect much sunshine in November, but, with sunshine and clouds, a mild temperature, and not very many people around, we had a good day.
The splendid Grand Hotel

19th-century Pier 

elegant art deco inspired 1930's bandstand

three miles of pristine palm-lined promenade

There is an Art Gallery; a Fortress built during the Napoleonic Wars which has a military museum. I think it was closed at the time of our visit because I don't have any photos. 
Along the coast, in South Downs National Park, are the chalk cliffs of Beachy Head and its striped 1902 lighthouse. We didn't make it that far!
Lunch time, and a trip to the seaside wouldn't be complete without fish'n'chips :-)

                                                  Elegant town houses and      a proud lion statue outside a hotel

Not elegant or proud but quite a pretty scavenger

We didn't dip our toes in the water, it was too cold for that!

〜 Stay Safe & Well 
Polly x

18 July 2020

Leo July 22nd - August 22nd

Miss Claire Voyant's horoscope for Leo

Sharing your Leo birthday with, among a few million others, Barack Obama, Roger Federer, Sandra Bullock, Madonna and J. K. Rowling

The personality
With a fierce streak of independence and confidence Leos are brave, enthusiastic, passionate and generous. Many have a lust for life and a warm spirit that lifts the moods of those around them. They are hard workers and like the good things in life, they do it big, and best, there is no second fiddle for Leo, and there is no justifiable obstacle as to why they shouldn’t have exactly what they want, when they want it. This is great if you’re riding the wave with them, but not so good if you’re the one trying to enforce some order or boundaries.

The downside (and there are many), I speak from experience - I was married to one. 
They are egomaniacs leaders, born ready, they just step up, it doesn't even occur to a Leo that someone else might be better placed to lead.
They LOVE giving advice, solicited or not. It's best to wait for the lecture advice to end, then do your own thing.
They can be:
Egoistic... a Leo's pride is best left unchallenged
And they will NEVER admit to even the slightest possibility that they might be wrong.
After that character assassination I must add that my ex is generous, has a KIND heart, will never betray a confidence, and won't think twice about helping someone, anyone in need.

Leo's prediction
July may have been slow to start for Leos, but with motivated Mars powering through Aries and your metaphysical ninth house, you could be inspired to seek wider horizons and to stretch far beyond your comfort zone. A business venture, travel (obeying safety restrictions) or an educational project could provide opportunities for you to roar onwards and upwards.

Be safe and well ~ 
Polly x

13 July 2020


It's a week since Buster had the operation. He had a check up this morning and the vet is pleased with his progress. The wound is healing very well, the stitches are internal and will dissolve. They didn't put a dressing on it and Buster didn't take to the traditional Elizabethan collar (I didn't think he would!), so they put a sort of sleeveless babygrow on him to stop him licking the wound. I had to sew up the opening where the second leg would go through, and it did the job, he couldn't get to it. That can come off on Wed, but if he licks or nibbles the wound it will have to go back on.
He's coping much better with his balance, he can lower himself onto the floor now, and get up again.
He's functioning normally and is keen to go for walks, but very short ones at the moment. After a few minutes he stops and sits down. His one front leg is now having to do the job of two, it will take a while to strengthen it. 

11 July 2020

Ice Cube Flowers

Bits of flowers frozen in trays from a chocolate box
Courtesy of Befunky.com

Be safe and well ~ 
Polly x

8 July 2020


Dear Buster
The lump on his front leg was an inoperable tumour growing around the bone. He had to have the leg amputated.
X-rays confirmed that it hasn't spread.
It upsets me seeing him with only three legs. But it's not about me it's about Buster, giving him lots of love and nurturing him back to full health.
The operation was on Monday and he came home yesterday. He enjoyed his dinner of rice and chicken, he's drinking and peeing. He was drinking from a puddle on the patio last night, he likes rain water. He's getting better with his balance, he can get on and off his bean bag and the furniture but he can't manage to lay down on the floor. 
He's a stoic little boy, I think animals recover quicker than humans. I'm sure he will soon be back to running around enjoying himself.

5 July 2020

A Read

The Power by Naomi Alderman
"This is going to be good" I thought, women suddenly had power, they could right all the wrongs in the world. All the bad people, the arms dealers, drug dealers, terrorists, human trafficking, child abductions, paedophiles, rapists, all those people could be eliminated.
It started well. Set in the present time women around the world have been genetically altered by pollutants and have developed a skein, an immense physical power which enables them to generate electricity, shooting lightning from their palms causing agonising pain and death. Suddenly they are the more powerful sex.
The story follows three women - Roxy, Mother Eve, and Margot - and one man - Tunde. Roxy, a white British teenager and the daughter of a gangster has the most powerful skein. Mother Eve (Allie), a mixed-race girl who runs away after years of abuse and finds herself at a convent, is revered as some kind of goddess. Margot, a politician is at the forefront of helping to empower women by providing them with classes on how to manage their "gift". Tunde is a journalist who chronicles demonstrations, political changes, and the uprising of men who hate their secondary status.
But power is the ultimate weapon, and sooner or later it corrupts. Things start to go pear shaped when power goes to everyone's heads. The brutality inflicted on women, the sexism, rape, pain, torture, murder, now happens to men. Often the men seek it because it enhances sex, but women go crazy, especially once Glitter, a drug that makes their electrical charges more powerful, comes along. Women suddenly become almost feral and cruel. In parts it’s just gratuitously violent. 

The first 20 chapters were ok. But then it became confusing and boring. There was something about religious cults, drug traffickers and a civil war in a fake country where Tunde was in trouble and trying to get out. I literally lost the plot. I was bored by all the international intrigue. It wasn’t so much a story, more an exploration of a concept.

Be safe and well ~ 
Polly x
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