Tuesday 30 May 2017

(Yet!) another wander round Hay-on-Wye

I have a busy day ahead, so you will have to forgive me for just a few more photos of Hay.  As I took them, I wanted to share them with you.  I did the footpath walk the other way round last week.  It is Hay Literary Festival, so many shops have special window displays.  The final photos are from The End, which is run by M, who has wonderful taste in unusual things.  Enjoy.

P.S.  Yesterday was a Malvern Day, so we need a while to get over the incredibly early start . . .

Sunday 28 May 2017

Brecon Beacons shadows and a sort of Gardening Day Off

These first few photos were taken from a lay-by on the A40 as we were heading homewards from Wotton Auction last week.  My husband knows how I love a good view, and pulled over and told me to take some photos of this beautiful Brecon Beacons scenery.  I didn't need any further persuasion.  I loved the lengthening shadows across the uneven fields.

Today we had intended to do a car boot sale, but both us felt rather tired and can't be bothered yesterday, so we decided we would just go down and "shop" - or at least, look round.  We always see dealer friends and have a chat and so even if there isn't anything to buy to stock our Unit or stall, we can pass the time of day.  We managed to find a couple of good bits today, but they weren't your £1 bargains, and we spent a big chunk of money on them. 

When we got home I thought I would see how my next new inhaler (started this morning) was working.  It's difficult to tell when the weather is hot and humid as my asthma never responds well to that.  I shall be quite glad for it to rain tonight (and according to the forecast, tomorrow too).  The garden will be glad as well.  As you can see, it is rewarding being watered by me in the hot weather recently.  Below is a lovely clematis I got for a couple of pounds from Morrisons about 3 years back.  I planted it to scramble over our fallen apple tree and it is very slowly doing so.  A montana it is NOT!

I bought three new panels of trellis this week to start replacing the old stuff (why is it everything seems to last 15 years and then decide to give up the ghost.  We are at a similar stage with the concrete holding the big slabs around the big goldfish pond.  As there are goldfish in it, we daren't mix up fresh as any lime getting into the water would do for them.  Mind you, it needs a total clean out so we may have to temporarily rehome them in a big barrel we have and do just that.  I haven't told my dearly beloved I have this plan yet though . . .

On my walk, I passed this gigantic polytunnel which is being used for the sheep.  It had the ewes in to lamb earlier in the year, and is now shelter for the rams.  I should imagine this cost a bob or two . . .  Gosh, I could keep us supplied in vegetables year round in one this size - I should think it would have its own eco system!

One of the too-few Foxgloves still gracing the verges hereabouts.  The wretched Council has already trashed all the verges locally (though not our lanes YET) so they look like they are part of a Corporation Park.  Of course, this is so they can eradicate the Cow Parsley which is public enemy No. 1 to them (whilst they ignore Ragwort on their land, which is in quantities which make them liable to prosecution!  They claim it is to make the roads safe for motorist as they can't see round bends because of the long grass etc.  Well, motorists should jolly well slow down then and drive in accordance with the conditions!

A yellow rose I planted which I have long forgotten the name of.  Covered in thrips by the look of it.

Teasing Georgia, a David Austin rose.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles (DA rose).  She needed a little tlc today as her roots had gotten a bit exposed and she wasn't making good growth.  I have a nice (much bigger) tub for her to go in but not sure if it is a good idea to transplant her in bloom.  Think it would be better for her long-term, so will probably do that later this week.  I fed all the roses some dried chicken poo pellets, to follow on from the rose feed they had recently.  They have been struggling with the sudden change in temperatures so needed a boost.

A clematis I bought in Charlies this week to replace a Honeysuckle I have ripped out - it never ever flowered, so it's going to make room for this clematis.  I was NOT going to grace B&Q with my presence again, after the debacle of lifting my own (2-man lift) bales of compost last week when no-one came after she called them on the tannoy 4 times.  A charming young man was very very helpful with the trellising and I shall use them in future for my garden needs.

My irises in full bloom, but some have already gone over - they don't last long, and then there are an awful lot of strappy leaves instead.  I have hollyhocks desperate to be planted so need to make some room around these for them.

Whilst the garden thrums with bees (which just ADORE the Cranesbill "Weeping Widow") I can't bring myself to cut it back for a second flush, but as you can see it is engulfing my Pinks!  I went a bit mad on them (whilst I was still patronizing B&Q) and bought 3 x Cranmere Pool; 2 x Starburst; 1 x Arctic Star; 2 x Fire Star; 1 x Lily the Pink; 1 x Sherbert and 1 x Stargazer.  They are a mixture of Alpine and Cottage Pinks and smell amazing.

I have more Hay photos to put up when I have time, but I am trying to get on top of the garden before the June pollen levels mean I need to spend more time indoors out of the pollen.  I got the peasticks in the pots today and the first peas are just coming through (I know, VERY late planting them).  My runner beans are in and climbing well.  I started some Pak Choi in a planter, and also a Lemon Basil from a free packet with a gardening magazine I got recently - very good value as it had about £20 worth of free seeds AND a pair of free good gardening gloves, which had been on my shopping list anyway, so there was no 2nd thought on my purchase. 

Let's hope we have dry weather tomorrow.  I feel sorry for the folk who hope for good weather at Bank Holidays because they go off in their caravans or have a week's Whitsun holiday with the family. 

Thursday 25 May 2017

Ashort Hay footpath walk last week

Some photos of a recent Hay walk.  I am about to go back to the garden to weed and edge before I am roasted to death, as it is a tad hot out there.

A view across the rooftops.

An inviting path . . .

Above and below - the May blossom (Hawthorn) is so graceful and in every hedgerow at the moment.

Above and below, two Shetland mares ready to pop,.  I will go back soon and see what their foals are like.  I don't know who hacked their manes and tails, but they didn't leave them much tail to swish the flies away with.

I would just SO love to live in one of these cottages.  So tranquil and yet within walking distance of all the services you might need.

A little view of the road ahead on the way home - cloudburst or what?!

Tuesday 23 May 2017

People . . .

On Sunday when we were at the Militaria Fair, on my way back from my walk I spotted that the Tenovus Charity Shop was open (one of the few which were open in Brecon on a Sunday, though surprisingly Greggs was).  I popped inside and scanned the books and my eye fell on "Our Hidden Lives" - the remarkable diaries of post-war Britain.  Based on a continuation of the Mass-Observation programme of the wartime years, these diaries recorded what life was like in a Britain where rationing became even more stringent and the British had to do without in order to feed Europe, where people were starving - and that included the Germans, which rubbed against the grain of its victors.  They felt they had suffered quite enough going without in the war years, but it seemed that the shops stocked nothing.  Not even a pencil could be had, let alone tissue paper, and the fat rations all but disappeared entirely.  Life in the countryside would have been easier, but there is no real record of that as these diaries were kept by town-dwellers in London, Sheffield, and Scotland.  I am finding it hard to put down and am only leaving it in my office whilst I go for a bath, as I fear I might drop it in the bath water should I relax in there with it! 

I will let you have a little taster, and then if you are smitten, you can go find a copy for a penny at Amazon or slightly more on Fleabay.

B Charles, a (gay) antique dealer from Scotland with an ascerbic tongue, especially where women are concerned!

"When I went for the milk today, I asked if it were possible to have an extra half pint, as I wanted to make a blancmange.  The man said he couldn't let me have it, as these days it is so impossible to let anyone have any more than they are entitled to.  He went on to say that the Government hope "next winter" to let everyone have two pints a week.  If anyone is still labouring under the delusion that rationing in Britain is going to finish soon, they will be rudely awakened from their fantasy.  What a curse this last war is proving."  18th December 1945.

Edie Rutherford, housewife and clerk in Sheffield:

"A remark of the woman in next cubbyhole at hairdressers yesterday.  I told him, I'd like to see him have the spending of it."  I wonder if there is any marriage where the same situation is always arising.  I have often offered my husband the Wifely job, but he shies away instantly.  He may be mystified with what I do with his allowance to me, but apparently he would rather go on being mystified than take over the job.  Dear knows, there are times, often, when I'd be glad to have no money to handle.  Like royalty."

Ooops - I didn't mean to publish this until tomorrow.

In the meantime, under the heading of "people" come the wonderful people of Manchester who rallied round in a time of great need and desperation last night.  I just cannot understand why anyone (I am assuming Daesh have claimed this "victory") should feel such hatred to someone of a different religion, and that we should be erased from the earth's surface just because we exist and don't share their faith.  From babies upwards we are deemed fair game and my heart goes out to the friends and families of those who were murdered.  I truly hope there is such a thing as hell and that such murderers have a particularly unpleasant corner reserved in it.

Aquilegia roundup

As you can see, my internet connection is better.  I have spent the afternoon watching (and bidding on a couple of things) on an online auction, and loading photos!  Enjoy.  Back later with words.

The Gentleman Gardener - Little Whale helping me, in a supervisory role.

The first rose of summer, Roserie de l'Hay.  Beautiful.