Showing posts from April, 2007

Cat on my knee

I am trying to blog on my laptop with a cat on my knee. This is not easy. She keeps getting up, moving round, digging her claws in, rubbing the side of her face against the screen and generally being a pain in the backside. She is only here because she is getting so thin, scraggy and balding that I am sorry for her. But whatever is the matter with her cannot alter her essential spirit - stroppy, demanding, noisy, caterwauling and a bully of all other cats, even those three or four times her size. We had a great visit to our friends in Derbyshire: lovely food, wine, good conversation, leisurely walk after lunch and a mooch around their very fine garden. Once again I have come back with plants for mine. I wonder if there is any market for advanced plant scrounging skills? These friends are the best kind. You know how you have friends of all different kinds? Friends for having a good time with, friends for serious conversation, friends for drinking too much and staying out too late with

A day of two halves

I woke to sunshine and the sound of a car door. Our cottage visitors were packing up to go home. Not a morning for turning over and going back to sleep. They had recovered from the trauma of no water and seemed keen to come back. That's always good. We must be doing something right, even if it is only living where we do. A gardening day with occasional unenthusiastic forays into the house. I've been weeding and planting cornflower seeds in a dry bed in the kitchen garden. Ian is moving on with the chicken house. Everywhere is full of things to do and not enough time to do them in. Tonight we are going into Manchester for a fundraising do and staying overnight. Tomorrow we are going to some very good friends in Derbyshire for lunch and won't be back home until Monday evening. I am looking forward to seeing our friends but the pull of home and garden is strong. It will require an effort of will to wrench myself away. This morning's post brought an appointment for m

Eggy blog

This morning my friend P and I set off to buy some eggs for her to hatch - some for her and some for me. Rather guiltily I left Ian dealing with the fact that our water supply had failed last night to the not very great delight of the guests in the cottage. We have a pump house in one of the farmer's field from where mains water is pumped up to the house and then on to cottage. No pumping, no water. The man who worked on it last year had turned up at ten past seven this morning so, feeling very glad that Ian was here today, we drove off into the sun. It was a beautiful drive towards Oswestry and then through Chirk and out into deepest country. The lanes became narrower and steeper as we carefully followed directions: the ruined house, the farm buildings, the blue spot on the tree. Then over two cattle grids and bumping down a track, wondering if we should have brought the four by four. The farm sat at the bottom of a quiet valley by a stream. The woman who ran it was welcoming a

what a day

Well, check up day today and all the usual sensations when returning to the Christie. Mostly now I don't think about last year (except for the extraordinary rush of writing about it on my earlier blogs, must retrieve them but don't know how) but walking the corridors there brings the slow shuffle with the drip stand and the bag right to the edge of my memory. I turn away from it. I explain some slightly odd symptons and the doctor examines me. "I'm pretty sure everything is ok" he says. "We'll do another scan just to be sure. I am practically certain there is no recurrence but we will check." He is about to retire from the Christie but will continue to work at a private hospital. I have medical insurance through work. Would I like to transfer to someone else here or come to the other place? I like this man. He has a calm, kind face and is reassuring without patronising. I feel he sees something of me as well as the patient. "I'

Home again

Ian is watching the Manchester United match which means that, even though I have been away a couple of nights, I can do some guilt-free blogging. I have been living my other non-country life today and yesterday. Dinner last night with clients and a meeting all day today which kicked off at 8.00 and was very hard work, quite confrontational and knackering. I think I am getting better than I used to be at switching off from work things but also less prepared to put up with them. I wonder where that will lead? Driving home tonight I was struggling to keep awake but arrived back to a fire lit and Ian cooking my tea. What a man. Tomorrow I am back to the Christie for my six month check up. A couple of days ago I suddenly found myself feeling unexpectedly wobbly about this but I am ok again now. You have to take the view that if they are monitoring you so closely nothing can creep up on you unawares. That's what I tell myself. Works just fine in the day. Sometimes falters in the midd

Sunday morning

I woke this morning to a quiet house, Ian away, the only sound the steady murmur of rain on the roof. I love this. I miss Ian as well and I am already looking forward to seeing him again tonight but sometimes the deep peace of the place to myself calms me to the soles of my feet. I have plenty of friends who don't get it, who say "I wouldn't want to be here by myself at night, so isolated (Stephen King type visions presumably in their heads), so many creaks and noises. Uurgh no." And it is true that the old house, particularly in wind, creaks and sighs and moans like a ship at sea. But I know its noises now and to ride the night with it, waking, turning in the warm bed, safe in its arms, dropping back down into sleep, is one of the best things. When I wake at night I often go the window, the curtains are never drawn, to look out at the utter dark of a cloudy night or the high stars or the moon washing the valley silver. Last night was cloudy, true dark like burro

A toe in the water

I have been dipping in and out of purplecoo all day while supposedly getting the cottage ready for guests. It's just like going back to school after the long holidays and rushing around to see who else is back. I'm so very glad to see so many names and some new ones and some, like brownmouse, who seemed to have disappeared and who has popped up again. Do hope chickenlicken will change her mind and has anyone been in touch with woozle? I have a load of work to do but Ian has gone away to babysit for Sam and Chris has gone back to university so there is no guilt, nobody being neglected and every opportunity to mess about for a bit and find my feet here. It is supposed to rain here tomorrow so I will work then, along with doing the ironing, potting on the nicotiana, cleaning out the pantry, sending out some cottage leaflets, ringing my mother, shaving my legs, doing some filing, yeah right as my sons would say. I never really cracked putting up photos in the other place so hope

making sense of it all

still reeling from the last couple of days. really want to rediscover the pleasure and the innocence of blogging and commenting for the joy of it. let us hope it works for us all here

welsh hills

not sure whether this is what i wanted to do. may well have started something else entirely