Cottage garden at the National Botanic Gardens of Wales.
My asthma has been a problem recently - I think it is due to mould, especially after I wrangled with the very overgrown Banksia normalis rose down in what was mum's patio garden last week. It had Mildew on it and the slight downturn in my breathing prior to that, went down big time (200 points on my peak flow) and I slept very badly for 3 nights. Then I started a course of steroids and the sleeping got even WORSE (I've been awake since 2.10 a.m. this morning, and out of bed (after an hour downstairs in the small hours) at 6, so we could take in two bootsales. Not many people at either due to the forecast, and I just came home with a couple of paperback books and a lamp shade to replace a closed one here.
Not that I have been idle, as we had to work on Friday, and yesterday morning we walked up the town to check out the H and M sale (Danny had bought a good top there in the sale, and Keith liked it but there wasn't one in his size in the beige colourway.) Then we hit M and S to stock up on Fish, and ended up buying a few extra bits too.
I was going to have the afternoon off completely to watch the racing, but of course the steroids had kicked in properly by then so I was up and down, changing pictures around/removing them altogether, vacuuming the festoons of cobwebs from the walls where they had built up behind them (this in advance of redecorating the sitting room). I also put a 2nd coat of white paint on the window frame of the shower window, took off the masking tape from around it and the paint came off with it, so today I will have to paint the window walls again! I am doing the remainder of the painting down in what was mum's kitchen too, and taking out some china which "has always been there" and tidying up generally.
My microwave is now sparkly clean after I put half a bowl of Oxtail soup in there to warm up and it exploded a huge tsunami of soup over the entire interior!
Travelling home today, just behind a very heavy belt of rain which we could see emptying across the Towy Valley in front of us, it looked like a scene a child would have painted, with big hills, dark foliaged woodland and a glimpse of the Black Mountains in the far distance (when they weren't obscured by heavy rain). I could see that summer really was at its height, and the regiments of Umbellifers which nodded and danced in a strong breeze would soon be seed heads. There were purple smudges of Betony in the hedgerows and the last of the Tufted Vetch was festooning a hedgerow I knew would be cut to bare basics by next week as our neighbour has already made a start on his hedges nearer his house. The berries are orange on the Rowan tree by the gate and the apples are starting to swell. A slight nod to autumn with the weather today, which is blustery and sunshine followed by heavy showers. I will concentrate on these indoor jobs as it's too wet to garden - I can stand and paint, but bending and tackling the weeds can wait until my asthma's back under control again. Let's hope I can sleep tonight.
Updated to add the photo of the young Pigeon one of the cats dragged home (through the cat flap, protesting no end I should imagine) the other night. It had gotten away and was cwtched up close to the inglenook side wall behind my little tile topped veg trolley. I managed to scoop him up and give him his freedom outside, where he (still in shock I think) went and hid in the weeds which act as the skirt for my runner beans. He had gone when I went out later.
This weekend's book haul. The wild flower book I got off a bookdealer friend on Friday for £2. It's a slightly better in some ways rendering of the original Roger Phillips photographic flowers book I have had many many years.
Sloe Gin and Beeswax I already have, but saw this copy for £1 at the car boot sale today, and bought it for Eldest Daughter Tam. I will probably find I already gave her a copy . . .
The Ruth Rendell is one I've not read, bought for 50p at the Hospital Car Boot Sale yesterday, along with a dvd about Keats and Fanny Brawne falling in love (Bright Star or something I think it's called). I've seen it but would like to watch it again. The Phil Rickman I have read, but didn't have a copy of (50p again) as I do re-read his books, and finally the George Mackay Brown biography as I have heard of him and his writing and wanted to find out more about the man. He lived and wrote on Orkney.
I've borrowed last month's Country Living from my neighbour, whose dog I popped in to check on yesterday whilst she was out for lunch. I sat down with him for a while and read some of this, and the article (below) on dyeing has thrown all plans to sell my spinning wheel out of the window, as I have always wanted to do some more dyeing (I've only played with the simplest plant dyes in the past - elderberries, onion skins, blackberries). I have just photocopied the article and am looking at my Golden Rod (yellow dye), and Rhubarb (leaves provide a natural mordant, Oxalic Acid) with a new eye!
I bought myself the current copy of Stitch magazine, which has some lovely ideas in it, as did last month's. I was drawn to this months because of the Puffins on the front. About 11 years ago now, my dearest friends all came down to stay with me for a few days, and we went across to Skomer Island, where the Puffins walked around our feet. We never forgot it, and now Tricia is no longer with us, I thought I might have a go at sewing this (by hand, with hand embroidery for the grass). Or, needle felting. . . That might be easier. I will have to go through my craft cupboard and see what colours I have (no black I am pretty certain). I could do the beaks though!