Friday, March 27, 2009

As promised, the garden.

I have been doing a little bit of crafting, but to be honest my mojo seems to have deserted me a little at the moment.

I made this card for Wayne and Laura in order to hide the cheque for our contribution to the wedding in. The front bit is acutally a pocket. Wayne was sooo impressed, he actually spent more time cooing over the card than wor
rying about the money LOL

I used SU! Polka dots stamps, the hostess set of stamps and lots of empossing powder, and souffle sukara pens.

I have been working loads to get the garden into some sort of shape, and want to put the pics on here so that, next year when I see lots of open bits of space in the flower beds I will know which bits need filling and which bits will eventually sprout something. What usually happens is I see bare ground and find a burning desire to plant something in it, only to find later that there already were things under the ground and ending up with some places way over crowded. Hopefully photos will stop that happening

My square foot garden and an unsuccessful attempt to warm up the soil and protect it from cats and foxes. I didnt take into account the high winds though.

Some new perrenial plants and lots of bark make this little corner, usually a home for ivy and brambles much tidier.

Martin cut down the huge overgrown bush, which has let in much more light to the garden and also given me the room to weed and mulch this bed. Its still a problem to plant up as its always in the shade.

The troughs that fur baby Pumpkin bought me for mother's day filled with the bulbs Laura gave me.

The fruit bed still needs a bit of weeding and mulching but we have run out of bark - so have B&Q!! Amazingly this morning I noticed that some of the strawberries have flowers on them!

This bit is always a mess as its hard to stop the lilac tree putting out offshoots or planting amongst the roots. However I have developed a few arm muscles pulling out the ground ivy and putting the bark down. It was worth the effort though.

Genaral view looking towards the house, Martin has spiked and seeded the lawn to help make it a bit thicker.

And finally a peek into the green house and all the small plantletts that will hopefully grow big enough to fill all those gaps.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The eye's have it.

Well they have something anyway. Finding it a struggle to see small print, and having a £5 eye test voucher from Specsave, on Sunday I toddled off to get my eyes seen to for the first time in 3 and a half years. I took mum with me because its well difficult to choose new frames when you are as blind as a bat as I am.

The whole experience didnt start out so well when the guy doing the pressure test couldnt get my eye centred and ended up puffing about 10 times in each eye. Then a young irish girl, who's accent I struggled to follow, did the actual eye test.

Now I have been perching specs on my nose since I was 11 so thats over 40 years worth of eye tests, so I do have some idea of how these things go. They do not normally start by taking my glasses away and then asking me to say what the letter is in the mirror. Not with my perscription anyway. She was a tad upset when I said all I could see was a very blurred white blobby square! Ok she said, lets try the hand chart. So she got the hand chart and held it up to the mirror ... and that helped how? It was no larger and no nearer.

She moved a foot towards me, nope, still a white blob .... with a few black blobs on it.

She got the idea.

She put the lens holding frames on and shoved in some lenses. Yeah why didnt we just start from here?

If I wasnt too sure of her then, I lost total confidence when she started to give me encouragement to read the smaller letters on the chart - 'you can do it, you know you can read them, have a guess, go on!' Err and if I guess, how exactly does that help you work out my perscription?

It took nearly an hour to do the half hour bank of tests, partly because I just couldnt get an ear for her accent and partly because she was doing everything by the book - as per the above. Finally she worked out that I did need new glasses - durh!

Then she did the health tests, she spent aaaaages shining the light in my eyes, getting really annoyed when I didnt look at the mirror (which her head was obscuring) . She changed to the 3D camera but by now my concentration was lagging. After about 15 mins of bright lights on my retina she said I needed new glasses and to follow her. Outside as if in after thought she said I needed to do one more test. Still partially blinded by all the torch light torture, she wanted me to watch for black lines round a dot to appear and push the button when they did. Err what lines. Nothing appeared as shown on the chart, there was a faint flashing but no black lines. Four times we tried the test but no, couldnt see them or didnt understand what I was looking for.

Next thing I know she is putting me down to be refered to my GP? What?? yep, wait three days, ring GP for appointment, she would be making an immediate recommendation by letter that evening.

So this morning I rang my GP surgery, but the letter hasnt turned up yet. So I continue to worry and to carry a box round to catch my eyes in when they fall out!

Garden photos are still in my camera so please be patient and I will soon update more.

password protected

The lack of blogging is due to the fact that somewhere along the line something strange has happened to my lappie and it now wont remember any passwords, and this little bear of no brain is finding it hard to remember them all too. Its becoming really annoying that every time I want to check my emails (many times a day) I have to not only log in but fill in the log in page too (yes it wont even do that for me any more). Anyway I have finally hit on a combo of password and user name that lets me back into google and can update on here!

There is a fair bit to update too. Later today I am going to go and take some photo's of my garden as in the last week it has been changing quite a bit and now is almost ready for the summer!

Last week Martin had a week off, I had to work on Monday and Tuesday which allowed him one day to escape to the golf club but the second day I got him to hire the carpet cleaner and give our carpets their half annual spruce. Its amazing how well they come up, and for a few weeks we are now taking off our shoes to walk on them and being more careful with coffees!

Then we attacked the garden together, Martin spiked and seeded the lawn, I started weeding the ivy from the flower beds and mulching them with bark. Photos to follow.

On Thursday it was so cold (how can this stupid weather change so much, Tuesday we had breakfast in the garden in our tee-shirt sleeves) that we turned on the central heating and hibenated indoors, but then Friday again better weather returned so we dug out our English Heritage Membership tickets and headed off to Downe to see Darwin's house and gardens.

I am beginning to hate google maps and am seriously considering sat nav! Nearly there, within touching distance and google lost us round the narrow country lanes of Orpington. Well it was pleasant countryside and we were not phased, until we met a white van driver wanting to pass, impatiently wanting to pass, pushing Martin and my little car into the hedge, scratching all my door panel. Hopefully its not so bad it wont t-cut out but I was not a happy bunny and had little recourse as it was me that insisted on taking my car and not Mart's.

Anyway eventually we found the place and very interesting and lovely it was too. EH are trying out new audio/visual hand sets. My advise to them is - dont bother. Audio on its own is fine as you cant watch the video's and look round but worse than that the machines keep freezing up, or sending you back to the beginning of the tour.

Attempting to work our audio/visual hand sets!

Worse still, Mr Computer Illiterate managed to come out of the tour and get into Windows where both of us were unable to reset but could happily access all the emails to admin!!!! We didn't, just had to walk all the way back to the reception and get it reset

The long walk back.

We weren't allowed to take photos inside the house but I took plenty of the gardens.

The greenhouses and kitchen garden where Darwin experimented on plants.

He had a whole greenhouse full of insect eating plants!

Darwin's formal garden where he observed the plants following the path of the sun from his front drawing room.

Apparenty Darwin's son was set the task of annually measuring how much the stone had sunk into the ground in order to proove a theory on earthworms. His son understood the importance of a long term study because he continued to take measurements for 17 years after Darwin died.

More updates to follow plus photos of garden. Watch this space.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bad Bloger! Slap wrist.

And I dont really even have a good reason why as life has been pretty slow moving so there is no excuse about lack of time etc. Of course that does also mean lack of interesting stuff to blog about so I guess that is the reason

I have done some supply work - not alot though, but I did get invited to a new school to my repetoire which made a pleasant change. I have been out around the countryside with my mum and dad, not intentionally but a someone long drive for a lovely lunch, and I also got taken to the pub for another lovely lunch with Laura and Wayne so havnt lacked for outings or food! And I have been busy planting up seeds, both indoors and in my greenhouse, getting the beds ready for flowers and veg, and generally tidying up (or playing Nancy Drew adventure games!)

At the beginning of last week I jumped on the band wagon (and in the car) when Mum and Dad said they were off to the garden centre. We went to Ashford, and had a pleasant wander around Brybrooks, looking at the gift section and browsing the plants and seeds. Dad was after some dahlia tubers so we spent ages choosing those, and then mum spotted the jigsaws in the toy section. She saw one or two or maybe even three she really liked so I offered to buy it for her mother's day gift. Of course, worse than a child, she wanted to do it the moment she got home so I relented and let her have it early.

Wednesday, and Martin's day off, saw us both out in the garden giving it a helping hand shrugging off the winter coat and getting it ready for spring. The grass was finally starting to grow so Martin set to with the first mow of the year, whilst I busied myself in the greenhouse and in the flower beds.

Then Martin hacked down a particularly large tree shrub that had overgrown its space, which flooded light into the garden but upset the cat as it was his favourite climbing spot.

Friday, again Dad had itchy feet and wanted to go for a drive. With no idea in his head of where we were going, we headed off through Canterbury, down the Dover road, and into Folkstone. Mum and I thought we were stopping there, but he carried on driving, only stopping at Hythe so we could use the comfort facilities in Somerfield. Then with some small trouble finding the right road we continued along the Dymchurch road.

By now we had been in the car a couple of hours and were getting a tad peckish so Dad!!! suggested we go to the pub at Dungerness for lunch. Finding the right road did seem to be the theme for the day though as even that took some finding. We settled for the pub featured in Eastenders a while back,

it seemed quite popular as the car park was overflowing, but we found a table easily.

The fish and chips were superb (if not rather overpriced) and repleat from our meal, we got back in the car.
Mum kept on 'moaning' that she had completed the two puzzles she had got on Tuesday and wanted to buy another so dad relented and we drove from Dungerness to Ashford (via a few more 'oh this isnt the right road after all' detours, leaving mum and I in fits of giggles) and yet another jjigsaw was purchased.

In all we were out for over 5 hours with only a short break for our yummy lunch, but it was a good laugh and Mum and Dad were on good form. Shame it didnt last though as by Saturday mum was laid up with a bad back and yesterday it was diagnosed as a kidney infection - poor my mummy.

In order to make up enough hours (and because it was stock take) Martin had to not only work Sunday but do a long day too. I think Laura felt a bit sorry for me so she offered to take me out to lunch on Sunday. They took me to the Red Lion in Hernhill (we used to go there for our school christmas staff do) where we spent three hours over a delish three course sunday roast, chatting and laughing. Thank you for inviting me guys I really enjoyed myself.

This week Martin is on holiday but so far I have been called into teach so he has been on his own with a long list of chores. Yesterday he hired the carpet cleaner and I now have wonderful, looking like new clean carpets!