Tuesday, 14 July 2009

What's this? A blog which is not about walking!

It seems so long since I blogged about anything other than walking so time for a general catch up.

It's four weeks since I got back. A week of frantic revision for my Welsh exam took care of the first week. The second week involved a flying visit to London to visit younger daughter and to see her new flat with her first garden, full of pots of flowers, tomatoes and strawberries and an unconscionable amount of ground elder. Week three brought elder daughter and her husband to stay. She is expecting her first child and struggling with sickness extending way beyond the traditional early three months. It was lovely to see them and to indulge my need to look after her a bit. By the time she went she was still feeling nauseous in the mornings but was a little less tired in the rest of the day and her voice had lost that thin, exhausted quality. Then we had friends to stay last weekend and people have been coming in and out of the holiday cottage every weekend. This weekend we have younger son and his wife coming for the weekend. The pleasures of a big family. I love seeing them all and the sense of people coming and going.

And what have I been doing in between feeding people?

I just managed to get to the elderflowers in time to make elderflower cordial and gooseberry and elderflower jam.

I have weeded and weeded and weeded some more.

These poppies have been all over the side garden in such quantities that I haven't been able to decide if they are a weed or a blessing. Each flower is so lovely and fleeting and there are so many different colours - pinks and purples and sudden flares of red - and forms - simple singles and flamboyant doubles more like paeonies than poppies. But the foliage, a lovely glaucous grey, quickly turns brown and blotchy on the lower leaves and looks a real mess. I have not had the heart to pull them up so each has had its brief day of glory and then has been lifted before they have chance to set seed. They are not a week like creeping buttercup, nettles, couch grass and all the hundreds of other weeds which throng my garden. I may just have an embarrassment of riches.

I have sown more carrots and picked broad beans and peas and raspberries.

I have spent much time thinking about dieting while eating exactly the same as usual. I have looked after my grandson and taken my father in law visiting. I have done my yoga and loved it. I have booked to take my parents to see War Horse at the National Theatre. I have missed my walking but have had no time to do anything about it.

Time to concentrate on the summer. This will be easier if it stops raining.

25 comments:

  1. It would be indeed. It's pouring again right now. Warm though and I sense both grass and weeds growing.

    You sound incredibly busy - hope you have time to draw breathe and appreciate your surroundings.

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  2. poppies are indeed a mixed blessing, but the rain does none of them much good. Feel weary at the thought of all those visitors (hard work visitors, however nice the good bits). Bet you wonder how you fitted work in .... dare I say told you so! You'll be thinking of getting a dog next. Resist.

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  3. The great thing about adult children as visitors is that they are much less work than friends! Ours cook for example, at least a bit, and son in law did quite a lot of digging.
    I would have a dog like a shot but Ian is resisting enough for both of us. Perhaps as well.

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  4. Maybe the weeding will do for your exercise needs. I tried poppies one time and they never made it. I would love to have a bunch of poppies, I think.
    QMM

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  5. Lovely post.
    I guess anything that grows where you don't want it to grow can be considered a weed.
    The poppies are lovely though and I would definitely let a good few spread....... but not all!
    A cottage garden feel to the post!

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  6. Thanks for the catch up Elizabeth. Similar here actually - weeding, poppies, sowing more carrots and picking broad beans. Just so much rain to work around. Your poor daughter has my sympathies; I had all day sickness with Isaeblla which lasted for 20 weeks! I thought it would never end and found it so debilitating. Hope things improve for her soon xx

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  7. I like poppies, but I defer to Milla in matters of gardening. Visitor are more of a mixed blessing, I find. Not unlike dogs...

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  8. The problem with rain is that it makes things grow - and too fast, so that you end up suddenly finding the garden out of control. Those innocent nasturtiums seeds planted in such hope now stretch out with creepy flower-covered tendrils over every available surface. You certainly seem to be enjoying and making good use of the time now freed up from work.

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  9. Many congratulations on pressing on with the Welsh - after my class folded and the group above proved an unhelpful, grouchy bunch, I'm afraid I dropped out... I keep meaning to continue at home, but it's still a good intention rather than action. Good luck with the exam.

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  10. Yes, more rain here too! Those poppies are pretty.

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  11. And I thought you had come home for a rest!

    If you ever have any poppy seeds to spare I would love some, I can never have enough of them.

    Lovely post.

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  12. Is this the same person writing the blog who worried about whether she was doing the right thing in retiring???
    Love those poppies - they invade my garden every summer and yes - maybe they are weeds - they are very beautifully and not afraid to show it. They are the epitome of "in your face" and I love them for it.

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  13. How on earth did you used to fit work into your schedule?
    It sounds as though you are having the perfect summer - flowers and family. It doesn't get much better than that!

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  14. So when do you find time to sleep. It was exhausting just reading your blog.

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  15. These are great photos. Sounds like you are busy, but you are still keeping up with keeping your garden!

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  17. Elderflower cordial! My first taste of this delightful brew was in late May on my visit to England...Barbara (of Ramblings from an English Garden) who was our host for a week, made some elderflower cordial and wine jelly with fresh blueberries. It was truly fantastic. I don't know if we can get elderberry cordial here in the states, but I'm going to check into that!

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  18. Thanks for stopping by my site. Please feel free to visit anytime, I'll leave the light on for you!

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  19. What a lot you've packed into four weeks! Enjoyed the walk but good to have you back.

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  20. this sounds like an excellent summer.
    and oh do i love your header photo!

    can't believe you've been back from your long walk a month already.

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  21. Hope your daughters morning~ sickness eases soon. I can really sympathize with her on that. Love the poppies! Just the other day I discovered one growing that must have carried over from the neighbors-I hope as they are brilliant gorgeous amazing pinkish coral beauties-or could have come from the wildflower seed pack. Either way, it was a wonderful surprise. Either way, I'm thrilled.

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  22. It's great to hear from you about your everyday life. And what a life! Isn't it great to not work and do the things that we longed to do when we were working. Sorry your daughter still is sick. It will leave soon. And nice that you had the time to take care of her. We miss that when our kids are grown up. I'm amazed that you cooked for all those people. Great post!

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  23. I too am wondering how on earth you ever fitted work into such a busy life.
    Our poppies are like yours, semi-weeds, I let them flower in abundance, in the wrong places, at the front of supposedly ordered borders, and then whip them out before they set seed. The mystery is that there are never any fewer the following year!
    Lovely to have a catch-up blog from you.

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  24. You're always so busy and full of energy! I love poppies but I think it's more to do with sentiment than the actual flowers. All his grandchildren used to call my late father Poppy.

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  25. Oh - you sound so up-beat and joyful.
    I love those poppies - and I also tend to let them have their head and pull them when the flower has finished - they are such a happy plant -
    K

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