30 APRIL 2019, 12:24 SM here again today unexpectedly. We thought he was on another job but the weather forecast said rain which disbarred rendering, so he came to us. In the event the rain held off till the evening, but it would not have done fresh rendering much good. So the chimney’s loss was our gain.
His arrival was announced by my suddenly spotting his van outside as I padded around in my pyjamas, accompanied by a knocking at the back door. He had already filled two cracks in the rendering at the front of the house and wanted to know if there were any more. The cracks were filled with silicone (the universal panacea) and had had the grit used as pebble dashing pushed into them so that they are now scarcely noticeable.
He laid a piece of timber across the bottom of the fence between us and CB next door to stop the new gravel going on to his lawn and ruining a mower or getting thrown into a window. Then he went off to get more gravel to finish the job. He bought small sacks this time and he estimated that twelve were needed and he was about right.
He also mended our square “raised” bed, cleaned out the gutters (no leaves or moss, but fine soil like silt soil), and hoisted up the downpipes where they had slid down. A good days work, and as JAS said the removal of the patchwork quilt effect and it’s replacement but one continuous colour somehow unified that portion of the garden.
Meanwhile, I cleared out with brush and vacuum masses of cobwebby stuff from over the garage door (internally) and oiled all the joints and hinged parts . Then we completed the day by removing a quantity of plants that had begun to colonise the tarmac by our front step. A much needed job, but I had to resort to Cocodamol afterwards because if lower back pain.
29 APRIL 2019, 08:49 I woke early (not early for some !) and almost immediately Stephen’s builder’s van appeared. He is shovelling up the tree bark used for making paths and is going to replace it with gravel (Golden Flint) from TAS at Castle Douglas.
“Pennant” arrived today with a cover depicting some fancy parachutes opposite Mont St Michel.
The work of clearing away the old bark chippings from the garden carried on and by afternoon the new gravel had been obtained and was being laid. It is called “Golden Flint” and already the garden seems much lighter and brighter as the gravel reflects light so much more than the old bark ever did. The bark when wet went very dark and sombre, so this should make a great deal of difference. In the photos the colour is very white, but once the rain has washed the dust through the colour of the individual stones will show more.
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27 APRIL 2019, 09:35
Storm Hannah affected southern parts of UK more than here, but tonight as darkness fell the clouds were racing past our living room window on a strong WNW wind.
Another shooting in America, in San Diego this time at a synagogue.
Postal vote cards arrived this morning for the European Elections. I hope that there will be a big turnout, but I am afeard there won’t be as the media will play it down as much as possible. Only social media is taking much notice and people there are trying hard. The Government of course is worse than useless and Professor Chris Grey points out in his blog that so far no useful move, or indeed any move at all, has become apparent since the EU have us a further period of grace.
You can see how populations grow sick of their Governments and resort to violence if one sort it another and I fear it could happen here.
There is much talk of Scotland making another bid for independence, but I wish it could be framed as “getting Scotland’s independence back”, rather than as a bid for something new and different. Scotland was an independent kingdom for many centuries, and it was only the unfortunate business if the Panama expedition that drove her into the untrustworthy arms of Britain.
The European Union, which as has often been said, is a rules based organisation has given us a stay of execution so that we remain in the EU for a bit longer. That being so we are still one of the the 28 states who make it up, and we participate in the elections for the European Parliament. There was a statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer before the Easter Recess that we should not take part in these elections as it was a waste of time. Another example of one of our MPs thinking that we can do as we like in the world and if the world objects we just send a gunboat and shut them up.
Well, the European Union did not agree with him, the elections are going ahead, and although I am still a paid up member of the Lib Dems which was a sensible thing to be whilst living in England, I think there is no doubt that the political party with Scotland at its heart here is the Scottish National Party. So my votes will go to them as far as the voting paper allows – bearing in mind that this is a proportional vote system and not the useless first past the post system used in UK general elections. The current Scottish MEPs can be found here, and the one I follow who seems to talk a great deal of sense is Alyn Smith. Another is Ian Hudghton who I know less about.
I have to say that I am thankful that we have this opportunity, that I shall certainly vote unless the grim reaper comes for me first, and I hope that the last three years of brexit publicity will get people off their bottoms and into the polling stations (no matter who they vote for) to demonstrate that the European idea is not dead despite the UK Parliament’s attempts to kill it off.
25 APRIL 2019, 14:47
Two attempts to get into the garden, but rained off each time. Not enough to water the garden, but enough to dampen the enthusiasm of the gardener. Still breaking up bark chippings and sieving them for compost. Slow and back achey but stuff too good to waste.
22 APRIL 2019, 14:40
Not a Bank Holiday in Scotland. England, Wales, N Ireland, and Ireland, yes, but not here. Jings ! They (we) do things differently here.
The problem with gardening is not the physical effort, but the mental effort of getting started. Just another mug of coffee, see if the “daily challenge” solitaire us do-able today and it is put off for a little longer. Once started however you realise that it is better to be outside than to be holding down an armchair inside.
21 APRIL 2019, 14:24
More weeding/hoeing. Some (own) compost put down. Lots of tea bag skeletons which I take out and bin. I keep finding bits of granite which I put in my alpine pots. Hosed down the greenhouse, but it needs more than just hosing I think – maybe the plastic is discoloured with age ? Everything is time limited because of backache, and paracetamol (2 tablets) is not enough to stop it. May have to resort to cocodamol.
Every five weeks we attend Sloan’s in Castle Street, run by Pamela Sloan – well, Pamela anyway, we assume she is a Sloan*. A lovely lady, and a jolly good hairdresser. As we arrived she shot out of the door, presumably to get something for lunch, but she was back in no time.
Then we went to “Solway Tide”, first time this year, and had an equally nice lunch. After a bit more local shopping we finished at Polarpak (up for sale alas) and bought fresh fish, a very expensive pastime these days and almost a luxury item – and we live where fishing boats dock.**
*She is ! https://www.facebook.com/pamela.sloan.712
**This post was oiginally written in Diaro and then shared via the WordPress App. This Android life can get very complicated.
Our builder friends were back bright and early because the weather forecast was good. They worked on steadily – father and son – and the work you see above was completed by mid afternoon. We hope to see them again some time after Easter.
Thought it might be time to have a new theme – and to get used to using it. It seems OK practically speaking, but it is surprising in that it actually changes the way Gutenberg works as well, so here we go up (or down ?) the learning curve again.