Random Jottings Of Gildersleeve

My Photo
Location: United Kingdom

Perhaps you'll learn more about me as you read my blog. For anyone who translates my blog using the translator facility, don't forget if you wish to read the comments in your own language to click on the title of the post down the left hand side otherwise they will remain in english. Also I assume that the translation is accurate but I don't know, so please allow for errors.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Two Hours In The Garden...

Almost cleared the problem area. I would have continued but its the Music Club Night(and there is always tomorrow)six more bags of rubbish, more to go into bags already without the rest of the clearing. I found lots of branches and what is a decent limb of a tree amongst the stuff I am getting rid of. I'll have to buy a saw or see if I can get them taken away somehow. I feel I am getting somewhere.

A shave, a change of clothes(I may wear shorts)and flash my knees and I am almost ready. I'll have a salad for supper when I come in from the club.

It was 22c/72f in my bedroom most of the day but now its reached 24c/78f. I await to see how it is overnight.

Unless something unexpected happens its the garden and then a mystery play tomorrow at the theatre so I could be missing. I may go out earlier and enjoy the sunshine and take a small snack/drink with me. As I write I am thinking of making a day of it. As I can get a bus that will take me into the town the play is and upto 6pm they run every 15mins.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Yesterday Was Better In Hindsight...

I packed my rucksack with goodies(mainly healthy)and took my folding chair and took off to Northallerton for a food festival. The plan then was to go to a free Prom concert in Darlington in a park.

However, though all the connections went reasonably well...I caught a bus at 9.35am to Darlington. To save walking a town bus at 10.32am to the railway station. 11.02 train to Northallerton. There by 11.20am.

I saw all I needed to by 2pm and if honest I was dragging the time out but it was a nice day and as the concert was not due to start until 6pm there was no rush to come back too early.

I found that I was too tired to walk back to Northallerton's railway station so caught a taxi. I then sat on the stations platform for forty five minutes. Plenty of fast trains coming through but not stopping.

There was a very helpful guard on the first trans pennine railway and he gave me extra time to find a coach I could board and walk down the platform. He also acknowledged me as the train left Darlington station from his window and gave me a smile. There are kind and nice people still in the world. I appreciated the extra time given to me and I still in reality did not cause a delay to the service.

Back into Darlington by 16.40pm but again I rested in the station and then looked at the distance from the station to the park and gave in and took another taxi. Both taxi's were quite in expensive and saved me much discomfort.

I made my way to the bandstand and could hear...music! Turns out where I had seen that it was to start at 6pm and end at 9pm, it actually started at 3pm and ended around 6pm and I was told it was supposed to end at 5pm. So I only saw around forty five minutes.

Then by the time I walked to the bus stop in the town centre and had to wait for the one and only bus back to my town I reached home around 8pm. I ate most of the food I had taken with me here. I had carried my folding chair all day for nothing. It was a day out. And I still enjoyed it. I slept the clock around and did not get up until nearly lunchtime today.

I will garden later when its a bit cooler. B***** ivy breaking out again already where I cleared the ground but I'll just keep at it and remove it and get the weedkiller on it. I'll get stuck into that corner that's holding me up. I'll continue to bag it, see if the strimmer works and cut up the twigs. When darkness falls I'll see if I can clear some more near the bees and I think its safe.

Tomorrow I should be able to do a complete day in the garden again. If needs be I may keep clearing it and sow the grass next year. Its easier to get to when grass hasn't been grown again.

I won £4 on the bingo today and missed another house by a split second as the next number had been called. I used the bus there and back(free)and after my little shop I decided I was too tired to walk home so I thought "S** it!" and I ordered a taxi. Its all good stuff...fruit/veg/salads. I'm on a health kick again. Its tasty, filling, no preparation, no cooking. Right for this time of year I guess.

My salads and even cereal/fruit or porridge is only coming in at around 50p a meal if that. That's even cheating now with much of what I have purchased prepared for me.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Sun Is Shining...

I hope its a foretaste of the weather tomorrow. Remarkably, contrary to what I said earlier in a comment on an earlier post. I have slept reasonably well and pain was kept to a minimum. I admit I took a couple of pain killers before sleeping. I think if I do anything other than rest today I will cause my pain to return. So I will not be gardening this weekend. The last section is going to prove to be a b***** to clear* Its killed my shoulder and if I'm not careful I could cause myself injury(if I haven't already)But I won't give up.

Having said that, more rubbish has been bagged up/removed.

I don't want to be knackered for tomorrow.

It could very well be that I may spend the afternoon watching the film "Gone With The Wind" on TV this afternoon. That will kill around 4 hours. I have seen it before but we're talking perhaps thirty years ago, It was its first showing on British TV and it was a Christmas highlight. Both Mum and myself had flu and we were sitting around an open fire, wrapped in blankets.

We were watching on a reasonably good TV offering colour and stereo sound(not that the film was in stereo)but this time the main TV is the shape that will offer a more suitable format to appreciate the film(widescreen)though not larger than 32" Its big enough for my lounge. And I can move closer to it if I wish to.

I have the choice of two screening times.

*You know me only too well, I will probably "not" watch TV and I will still try and do something else in the garden. I don't mind leaving it when the last of the rough work is complete. I'll see if the strimmer and lop cutters can help again.

There are more bags of rubbish than in these images but I'm thinking I'll wait until its all bagged and I've strimmed again before having it all taken away then I can also add the next grass cut and the clippings from the hedge too.

Update:I did not garden or watch the film. I went out for a bus ride and found some bargains in the pound shops. And I have some little prepared salads to eat during tomorrow whilst at the food festival and the concert. They were reasonably priced, large enough for me and I don't have to spend time preparing the ingredients. But I may add a few extra cherry tomatoes, boiled eggs, celery and water cress. I have fruit. Also water, lemonade and some beer too.

Friday, June 26, 2015

I Can't Change Things...

but generally I hate hearing the letter box rattle because its nearly always a bill or bad news. One of those brown envelopes some us receive from a Government department.

I don't really get inundated with "Junk" mail.

However, today I found a show has been cancelled that I was due to see in July as part of a worldwide tour The Judy Garland Story. Sadly one of the cast(the main one)one of Judy's daughters Lorna Luft has had to return to America for treatment for possible Breast Cancer. Its bad enough that any production is taken off but for such a reason even more so. I wish her well.

I have been offered a refund or a transfer to another show in October produced by the same production company. I don't think that there are any well known people in the cast but they are singing and dancing the music of George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Cole Porter. So I may just switch and go and see it anyhow. I like that kind of music.

What a dull day its looking. I'm still determined to get into the garden between now and tomorrow. I think I have almost decided that shrubs are going into the garden all around the outer edges and I'm looking for types that will offer colour most of the year around either by remaining green or at various times flowering. If I do that it won't really matter if the fences break because they'll be hidden behind the shrubs and they in turn will offer wind break protection and again somewhere for the birds etc...to hide/live.

I hope the weather is kind on Sunday with my two big events planned. I'm listening to the BBC's Gardening Question Time as I write and they're going talk about growing the perfect lawn* I'll never have that but they may advise what kind of grass seed I should be buying and how to sow it.

*I've been misled they're talking about the lawns for the Wimbledon Tennis and they're not really telling the person at home how to grow/look after our own lawns.

Update:I'm shattered. Its got out warm and it seemed to take forever to shop...I have grass seed. I have no idea what kind...its grass. It will be green. I have netting to try and stop birds eating the seed. I have a kneeling pad for when I kneel in the garden. Water and soft drinks for Sundays trip out if it happens, I'll make beef and tomato buns for a snack. Take crisps and perhaps a banana.

Going to rest now and let it cool down a little. Then garden between 8pm and 10.30pm. I'll try and do nothing on Saturday. Tonight I'll try and clear the last area near the bees.

Not Helped By Sunday Service...

The earliest bus is 9.30am(no direct buses to where I want to go)this weekend though they are available Mon-Sat. Its the Northallerton Food Festival(that sneaked up on me)The only way I can get there is by train. Its my second or perhaps third. It falls on the same day as the free Proms concert in Darlington from 6pm until 9pm. Then as there is only one bus every hour back to my town I have to hang around for 75mins after the concert. Again Mon-Sat in the evening I would have a bus at least every 30mins.

But weather and health permitting I am planning on doing both events this Sunday. I will have to go to Northallerton by train. Luckily, Darlington Railway station isn't too far from the park where the concert is being held in the evening. And I can spend the evening resting from the earlier part of the day.

I will travel reasonably light(small rucksack)in case I buy something. I may have to take my folding chair because I can't sit/kneel on a rug as I use to years ago. And its not good trying to get down to ground level and back up again.

Of course if it rains I may be home much sooner than that. I'll take the camera in case I can get some pictures.

What Will Be Done Today?

My appetite is not what it was. I can't/I won't over eat. I don't think that I ever did really ever do so but I find I need less food these days. Smaller portions and all that.

I had a fish salad with mini rosti's last evening and still had to leave a little salad and a couple of rosti's. Often I do not need anything to follow or starters for that matter. Haven't decided what I'll have today.

I think that it has stopped(for now)but its been raining so I'm having a lie in...listening to the radio. I've nothing to go out for unless I go for flowers but they'll still be there tomorrow. I've nothing planned for tomorrow either. Just pottering around.

I think even if it rains I can still bag the rubbish and still remove what I have not removed so far. And its not muddy. I can nip out between showers anyhow. Looking at what I have done even if I've spread it out over 2-3wks I am amazed but quietly satisfied. And if I devote a couple of hours a week at a leisurely pace I think I may be able to cope. I also believe that I can get away with mowing(strimming)the lawns once every 5-6 weeks. That doesn't seem to bad too me.

Debating whether I may even sit out more next year in the garden. I never really have been one for doing that. To be honest very few around here seem to do that. Only on special occasions perhaps when family calls with grandchildren. Being single I think patio furniture/a garden set is over the top. At best I'll use a single chair and perhaps a small table that can be easily removed.

Having a small porch at the front of the house and a small garden surrounded by a high hedge its as easy to do what Mum used to and sit in the corner at the front of the house. Its also a bit of a suntrap as the sun moves to the front of the house as the day progresses.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sleepy Again...

Perhaps its the gardening. However I made myself go out and do more...bagged more rubbish and transferred the previously bagged stuff into larger bags. Now standing at seventeen 120 litre bags. It started to rain but blew over so I gave it some extra time and now virtually the whole of the back of the garden is clear.

Virtually all ivy on that fence removed(even close to the bees)I have a pile of rubbish to bag but had to stop as its nearly time to head out for my bingo. If its safe I think rather than try and remove any more weeds/ivy in that area I will use weedkiller to make it die off quickly and its easier for me.

If the weather plays ball by the weekend I hope to put the lawn feed/moss/weed killer on the lawn that is ok at the front and back of the house. I hope to have cleared the lawn nearest the house which is still overgrown. Then again I'll see about putting weed killer on the areas that have no grass.

Then give it time to be sure its no longer a danger and then sow my grass seed. Hoping the birds don't eat it all. I'll look into how I can deter that from happening. When established I'll feed it with lawn feeder.

I hope to trim the hedge early next week. Keeping away from where I think there could be blackbirds nesting. If I think I'll disturb them I'll put that off for the time being.

I've also managed a little bit of housework too.

I'm away to get shaved.

Update:Made an extra £2.40 on the bingo after paying for my cards(a house was £8)I had a senior moment and managed to mess up the final two games so if I won I have no idea. The final game is £5 a line, £10 for two and £15 for a full house. I won the house but had to share it with two others so that was £5. That paid for my shop tonight. Milk, fish, cup a soup, cinnamon and some pre wash stain remover.

I know its late(around 11pm)but I'm having a fish salad with mini rosti's.

When I came in I nipped into the garden and between 9.30pm-10.30pm I bagged four more bags of rubbish and pulled more weeds/ivy to bag tomorrow. And as the bees had gone to bed I was able to work around areas of the garden I am unable to during the day. The garden should be clear no later than Saturday weather permitting.

If he remembers someone is giving me a shrub/plant that comes out annually in a beautiful white colour and he says it will look good in a corner. So if I get the lavender next year things are improving.

Gave In And Purchased More...

stronger sacks for the garden rubbish that are larger/stronger and have bagged rubbish but now I'm putting two of the smaller bagged sacks into each larger one. Easier to move, fewer in total and in a way its a double bag so less like to split.

I think most of the big stuff will be cleared by Friday at the latest. Then its the little jobs. That bird box I thought was containing hornets/wasps...they are bees. So they can stay. They're not hurting anyone. Not really bothering me if I'm honest. If I leave the fence painting that's near them until after they go all will be ok. I can still do a fair bit of gardening. If the box isn't rotten my paint will protect but its not like creosote.

Too many sacks? Well, I have them for the future, they'll last. I'll probably go back to hanging a carrier on a door handle anyhow. Most of my rubbish is minimal and rarely food. Next year I'll consider a compost bin placed out of the way.

I don't do much clothes washing but I may fix up the washing line in the garden again and buy clothes pegs once more.

Not a lot planned for this Thursday but I may have a late breakfast and consider fruit and cereal(filling/tasty/simple/inexpensive/good)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


perhaps not, a satisfying day probably...

I managed two hours gardening and have cleared a lot of overgrowth in the rockery(needs bagging)Long weeds/grass/ivy cut from underneath so though not removed, it will die and be easier to lift tomorrow. Much of the ivy on the other fence has been removed but I'm struggling as the last bit is near the bird box with the hornets/wasps in it...only now I think its bees. One came over to investigate me.

Finally seeing the way forward. Still lots to do...

Now having coffee and cake.

Update:I had to go out and bag it and the weather was too good not too. I even popped out to see what the new offers were in the local supermarket just for the walk as much as anything. I came home with some blackberries.

Plans Changed Again...Slightly...

I awoke feeling achy, quite tired and found myself going back to sleep until lunchtime. Nothing is spoiling though. I had hoped to have got a morning of gardening in and a small shopping trip. Its just been shifted to the afternoon instead. Weather permitting.

Unless anything unexpected happens nothing to "Write home about!" Except I won a box of luxury Fox chocolate biscuits in the raffle at the Music Club. I spent £2 on tickets but the biscuits are worth £3 if purchased when on offer in the supermarket, possibly more if purchased when not on offer. They are OK for months ahead. I'll hang onto them for a while as a treat.

Update:Shopping done...but I still spent approx £20!!! But its all sorted now. Some items will last me a few weeks. It wasn't such a chore today. I didn't get as much by buying a spray but I've an ivy and tree/stump killer and a spray bottle for future use and its enough to do 30sq metres(£2.50)I have purchased some larger wheelie bin sacks to transfer some of the smaller garden rubbish sacks into them. It will also give an extra bit of strength. I'm going to see if someone I know with a van will take my rubbish away for me to the tip if I pay for the petrol or give something towards his trouble. He's a decent guy(usually)and he may take pity on me.

Buying flowers/plants probably tomorrow.

It looks like rain but if it holds off I'll garden in the early evening and what I'm doing isn't really affected by the weather when you are lifting weeds/ivy like a carpet with a spade under them. If it is to rain I'd have to avoid putting the lawn feed/weed killer on anyway for some hours.

My aches have improved as the day has gone on but the gardening is affecting my hands the most as present.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I Was Thinking Why...

did my food shop still cost me £9 yesterday. I had not purchased a lot but I had four 500g tubs of Clover spread in my carrier. They cost £4. However that's the equivalent of two 1kg tubs. And buying that way whilst they are on offer I saved almost £4 by not buying them in the larger size. And they will last around 4-6wks. So not false economy. That was a good buy. What an exciting life I lead.

This image would look better with the bagged rubbish and rubbish waiting to be bagged removed but I have finally started to clear the back corner and rockery. It needs rebuilding somewhat(my Father had built it as a dry stone wall)but that is something I'm not sure I will able to replicate. But at least the rockery is showing.

I was joined by a blackbird who was unconcerned about being close to me and he managed to find some grubs amongst the cleared ground to take(I assume)to young birds being raised nearby.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Another Week...Meh!

I sleptSmiley I looked at my garden from the bedroom windowSmileyand thought I'll do that when I return home. I was going to call at the shops for ivy and tree/stump killer and call at the post office for money I am owed. Time and slowness meant I was unable to do that. I would've missed my bus but then I had to wait in the open as the heavens opened. I was in the wrong kind of coat, the bus was a little late and I had to put the carrier bag I was carrying over my head to attempt to stay dry.

I arrived at the bingo reasonably OK. Dried off. Didn't win. I decided to catch the bus back into the town centre afterwards and do what I had not managed earlier. I had missed a bus by ten minutes but it was worth waiting twenty minutes for the next.

I still did not manage to get the garden stuff nor visit the post office. Why? I was struggling and slow but I popped into the supermarket making the mistake of shopping without my shopping trolley. And I could not carry it any further than straight home. Saving the taxi fare(bus pass)and the food I purchased(not all reduced)but much was, its as if I have £24 in value and only paid £9. Nice items like a slow cooked beef shortcrust pie, cherries, various salads, fancy potatoes, fruit.  But the bags were heavy.

Its like a cold autumn day not summer but in reality that's the kind of summers we get in the UK so in reality it is exactly the kind of summer we normally get. Its not raining at present and I really should abandon any thought of gardening but when I look out of my window I want to do something. Perhaps put on a thick coat and attack the long grass/weeds a little more.

I'd only be slicing them with the spade even if not removing them today. I am still tempted to level the ivy on top of the fence panels with my hedge trimmer. But if I stop it growing over or through the panels I may leave it.

In reality assuming the weather improves(and the weather forecast does appear as though it will)more sun and little if any rain. So that's my task for tomorrow. As is the buying of the weedkiller and going to the post office.

Perhaps I'll be buying some more flowers too and crisps which work out cheaper than buying them in the venue when with friends on nights out. One pack for £1 will give enough for the Music Club tomorrow night, the bingo on Thursday and next Sunday(Well I'm one packet of crisps short)but I have a spare one in the house so if I add that everything is sorted.

I haven't eaten a great deal but I'm not hungry but I'm eating OK a mixture of tomatoes, cheese, ham wholemeal buns and a few small sausage rolls from last nights buffet so I'm recycling what I have.

So it may be a night of taking it easy and listening to the radio.

Update:It has been an easy evening but I couldn't resist the garden. I cleared a lot within an hour, What has made it quicker is I can slide a spade under the ivy, weeds lifting it like a blanket. I found a coat I had nearly thrown out some weeks ago but it is warm and will now be used as gardening attire, I will look for a pair of old trousers and ditto a pair of old trainers.

I only discovered tonight that it has a hidden hood in the collar, I never knew. The day it was purchased we(Mum and myself)went to Darlington on the bus rather than by car. On September 11th it will be 14 years old. How do I know? The clue is the date. When we came in and put on C4's Countdown quiz it had been taken off and we did not understand what we were watching. Everyone did in the end. I assume the event had started just as we were boarding the bus for the shopping trip. It was the collapse of the twin trade towers in New York.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Honestly I Am Making Headway...

but pacing myself. I bagged another four bags of rubbish today within an hour. That's sixteen so far. I was going out to buy ivy killer but want to see how much I have removed physically/what is left first. Its what's hidden under the lawn(ripping the ivy up/chopping it)Then I think I'll be using on this occasion a weedkiller, then when its safe, I'll give it a sowing of grass(I have no idea if it will match the other lawn but if its green and weed free that will be good enough for me. Another reason for leaving it is I want to see when I clear the bottom half of the garden whether the ivy has reached that far, It may not have and there may still be some grass. The hard work is almost over.SmileyI shall then tackle the hedge in the front garden. I will paint/repair the fence Smileyand keep it all tidy. Should I have to call anyone in, if its already quite tidy it will be easier for them and cheaper for me. 

Amazingly, we've only approx three or four months to enjoy our gardens but at least mine will be finally OK and there will be very little to do when the Spring/Summer returns again.

Click on the images they become larger in greater detail, click twice they become even larger. You can return to this page by clicking on the top left arrow in your browser.

I keep looking at going out and doing a little more in the garden but I'll resist. Perhaps I will get "Stuck in" again tomorrow. Resting now. I'll pack a buffet soon for tonight, may change things slightly. Cheese, plum tomatoes, crisps, crackers, sausage rolls, cake. Not the ham baps tonight. Not sure if I have any butter in the house to butter the buns if I'm honest.

My biggest task will be to put the washing away and hanging my shirts and coats again. And put the cereals I purchased the other day in the cupboard with my other food items in my food store. I think I said that I was back to eating them again with fruit. Them and porridge. If I have a decent breakfast and perhaps have it later in the day I can cut out lunch.

Update:No win at bingo tonight, lots of sharing of food but lots came back with me and that means plenty of snacks for me...and I am having some for my supper.

If its fine early in the morning I think I'll see if I can get a few hours in the garden as again by lunchtime I have to be away for the afternoon session of...bingo. And its teatime when I return.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Right Decision...

It continued to rain off and on for most of the day. I went back to bed and actually slept for another four hours or so, therefore I say that I must've needed it.

I headed out for a bus ride late in the afternoon. Reappraised why I was going and thought...why? Went back into my town and found some of what I was going elsewhere for. And more.

Three nice shirts for £2.97(charity shop)two pairs of thinner but patterned, non elastic gripping socks(£2)the ones I'm wearing are better for winter(too warm)a decent brush that can be used for painting but I wanted it for the fence painting. Everywhere appeared to be selling sets of brushes or charging around the £4 mark for one, this cost me £1. Some more sacks for the garden or rubbish in general.

The brush was a reason for going to Darlington(I thought a pound shop might have one)Not bothering with cherry tablets for now(another reason for going)for now I have a drug that works if needed and I can drink a small glass of cherry juice. So money saved on them went towards some of what I purchased today.

I found some plant feed(remember Phostrogen?)£2.49 and a wild seed mix to attract bees and butterflies that came in at around £1. When the back fence is painted(and the hornets are gone)this year or next I'll sow those seeds in that area. It will give them a chance and me a little area that can be seen as a wild section.

I'm quite happy with that. Its become very sunny and warm as we hit the evening. I snook out and managed an hour of grass of grass and ivy pulling. All that tugging kills your hands and even your arms and I'm feeling the effects now. I will have to see what plan of action I should take as this area has no grass now so before sowing new grass to get rid of the ivy roots I cannot see(I have pulled out lots)I may put down weedkiller. There are many that break down and do not harm the soil and if I do it before putting down grass, the grass will stand a chance. One even kills ivy and also destroys tree stumps. They did not take the stumps down as far as I wish that they had. Or used a grinder. A job I was forced to have but as often happens only partially completed.

The dead grass or brown colours in the lawn that still exists is already improving before I put any preparation feed on it. Light, air and moisture must be helping improve it. I'm going to think of buying more flowers on Monday if they are still on sale in the town and reasonable quality. I probably should think of a few more tubs/planters to be honest.

Slept Late But Still Thought...

Go for it. I felt achy but made myself get up. Once up, it was Tanfield "Here I come!"  My bag was packed, all I had to do was shave. I spent time looking at bus times on the internet. Then, looked out of the landing window and its raining. Quite a bit. Its a fair journey if you have to hang around without your own transport and the place is open land. So that idea has been knocked on the head. I will try again.

The rain means that I cannot switch my attention to the garden but I'll keep my fingers crossed for tomorrow. Seeing that I have cut a lot of the grass and cleared some areas it could dry out quickly. Perhaps I can get a full day's work done. I can't put my lawn feed/weed killer down because the lawns have to be dry but the promise of rain within 24 hours or so of spreading it. Then its a case of watering it into the garden with a hose or watering can. The latter for me as I no longer have a hose and I always seem to have a problem connecting them to the taps they fit to the kitchen sink.

That always make sit a longer chore to water flowers and lawns and more so now when you are trying to hang onto a watering can with one hand whilst hanging onto a walking stick.

I may venture out but only for something to do to fill a couple of hours and that only gives the option of shops but you do stay dry in a shopping mall. Then again I may stay put.

I hope its better than this for next week's Last Night At The Proms concert in Darlington South Park. If I know in good time I can still switch to.the usual bingo.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Ten Green Bottles...

Actually its ten green garden sacks of rubbish bagged today within 90 minutes. Loads more to do and more bags required. Where I am working there is no grass as its bagged. I'm blaming all the sawdust from when they chopped down my trees. It has inhibited the ivy so one advantage I guess. I will have to decide if I should spring for some turf or try to grow a lawn from grass seed when I'm finished. But if I take too long/gets too late in the year I be better waiting until next year.

I have found some big trunks of wood that have been left by those who cut them down so when my garden is tidy I will call them up and request that they return and take them away. I may have to pay for "My" rubbish to be taken this time but I don't want the extra cost of having them cut up and taken away.

I'm going to give the strimmer a go again and see if I can get some of the grass down again, even if it means using up a lot of cord. I'm tiring of pulling grass out now. I am still having to avoid where the hornets nest is but that means that I can still clear the rockery. Then I shall think about putting the weed/moss killer and feeding mixture on the grass that is still there.

Its not a very bright day and could rain but in reality probably a good day to garden. Not too hot. But after my bagging session I may call it a day again. I'll go out and buy more sacks. My biggest problem will be getting the rubbish taken away. But I'll worry about that later. Lets get the garden into shape first.

I have my hedge trimmer.

The plan is still to go to the Tanfield Railway tomorrow. Even if I leave at 10am I can be there for midday and if I leave around 4pm I can be home by 6pm. I hope the weather is kind. So I don't want to tire myself out before I go. I could treat myself in the Railway's café but I'll probably take some salad baps, water and crisps. So I'll be OK. Hopefully, I'll get some photos.

I have all the food in for the weekend's buffet again.

Tonight, I am planning a rare night of TV/Movie watching, rare for me. Two films I haven't seen though they are now quite old. Daniel Craig in the Bond* movie "Casino Royal" and Billy Zane in "The Phantom" and this time I may watch on the main TV in the lounge even though that will see an increase on the electric bill. Last time I looked I was told I was using 34% less gas and electric compared to this time last year. I doubt that I can get it down any further than that. I am quite sparingly already.

Update:I have sacks. I wanted more paint for the fences but they've put it back up in price. I found another made for a retailer(own brand)can't get the same colour but it will be OK for the back garden fence which was darker anyhow. Its on offer until Monday. I'm hoping one bucket is enough. If not it will go back up in price. I'm not painting yet. I want to finish the garden first and at the back of the garden I have to avoid the hornets.

I have heard they could leave around September(perhaps I could paint half the fence before then)on Gardeners Question Time today I heard that it should be safe to cut the hedge at the end of July if birds are nesting/raising their young. But again I may be able to make an earlier start if I stay away from the area I believe they are using.

As I am eating cereal again whilst I was passing Aldi's I purchased a variety of different types. Its inexpensive, filling and generally good for you and can be eaten at breakfast or other times of day. It has a good shelf life too.

I found a fancy leisure shirt(H&M)I've never shopped in there(I assume its an expensive retailer)and a jumper(BHS)yesterday in a charity shop...together they only cost me £1.98 thanks to a charity shop. At that price you don't mind if they don't last that long. If they do that's a bonus when you find something decent.

*TV listings magazine said it was this film but its the 1967 version(comedy)starring David Niven and Peter Sellers...still haven't seen it.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Something Comes Back...

to jolt you. When I was most involved with my church a certain vicar wanted my Father to be more involved(he took the position of treasurer)at the time I was in choir. I never saw or had reason to believe anything dubious was happening. When my Father passed away, the same vicar gave a beautiful service and I remember him comforting my Mum.

By chance I have come across a newspaper article. I haven't seen or heard anything of him for 30 years. He is by now elderly but is in court on historic child sex allegations.

Who knows how things will turn out. Whether there is any validation in them but Mum and Dad would no doubt be disappointed/shocked/surprised at what's happened had they still been alive.

I talk in general terms so as to not affect the case in any legal sense. And though charged, trials have to take place and he pleads "Not Guilty" What do I know.

But even within the three years since Mum has passed away the things that I have heard and seen in the media and life in general, regarding events and people, in many ways I'm glad neither lived to see or hear some what I have.

I suspect the same will be true when I leave this world. There is still a massive amount we are all ignorant of.

Slept Well, Feeling Positive...

And coming into the final straight for the garden. I will do little today because its "Bingo" tonight and I have to be at the bus stop early to avoid using a taxi as it now runs a few minutes earlier than it used to. Miss it and the next bus is too late.

Funny just as I almost get on top of it all(I don't know what they would charge)but people are coming forward now offering help or saying that they do gardens. Good to know in the future if they are needed.

I did a little shop yesterday mainly essentials but one treat included was an air freshener defuser. I have/had one we started to use when Mum was alive but I stopped using it as I thought it may cost a lot to run and buy replacement liquid refills and I have refills but have lost the plug they fit into.

However, a retailer was selling the defuser at half price(refills too)and it doesn't use a lot of power(2.5watts)and at minimum setting for a twelve hour period, it should last 90 days. Another reason I originally gave up was a lack of a sense of smell.

However, I tried it last night and it I could smell it, it wasn't overpowering. They have some refills now made for bedrooms of a lavender smell which is always said to relax. I could've left it on(I am thinking midnight-6am)that would mean it last 180 days but I found an hour was long enough and the smell remained for some time after being switched off.

Nothing is spoiling so I will go back to bed for a little bit longer. Guess that means I really do feel good.

Update:Thinking if I am up to it of making a second visit to the Tanfield Railway on Saturday. Its a fair journey by bus but if I am out early, it should be OK. They have an event on and they rarely hold them during weekdays or on Saturdays.

I purchased some more garden gloves yesterday, they are supposed to be more thorn resistant and also offer more grip when doing tasks around the garden. We shall see*

*The gloves are great, they don't look much but they have lots of grip and really do protect against thorns.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Not Such Good Day...

looks like a good down pour is coming* Its dull and dark outside. I will wait and see if what happens.

Even if it rains when its over what I plan to clear in the garden can still be done. The weather won't affect what I plan to do. Too late now as a lot has been cleared but ideally a scythe would have been quick and ideal initially. That's basically what a strimmer is. I will attack the ivy on the fence panels too.

I can bag rubbish not a wasted day if I do that later in the day, an odd half an hour here and there, can make a difference. If I make headway I may post another image,

The windows were replaced within fifteen minutes and all done by 9.45am.

I may rest this morning. Its how I feel. But I have had coffee and my meds. Perhaps I'll have something nice for my evening meal too.

Update:It didn't rain...I got into the garden and cleared all the ivy from the fence panels(some panels need replacing but I may be able to make them last a while longer)if they are painted and actually because of the ivy on the other side in my neighbours garden, it helps support the fence. It will grow again but if I keep on top of it all will be well. I can't control what happens on the other side. Going to paint the back fence too but may have to wait for the hornets to leave. Its been suggested that could be around September.

Lots of rubbish to bag and if I do that even I can see that I am making a difference. I may leave the little bit of ivy sitting on top of the fence as below but now am thing when I get the hedge trimmer I may level it altogether so it is not sitting on top and should it start growing again(as it will)it will give me a little longer before I need to do the task again.

I'd love to go and see a favourite comedy band at the Town Hall in Bishop Auckland tonight. The ticket price isn't bad but I'm not really ready for the bus, I have to leave early to get there.

The last bus home leaves before the end of the show unless they finish early, if I miss the bus I have to get a taxi(that's £15)or try and connect with a bus on a different route that comes this way and if the first bus fails to do that I am stuck in the middle of nowhere in a lonely place so I think I'll give it a miss.

*How wrong I was.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I'm Getting There...I Really Am...

It really was much much worse than this when I started. If I was to hurry myself along, the garden would be done by now and some of what is in these images is already cut and needs bagging. The lawn will look better when the application of weed/moss killer/lawn feed has been applied. The images can be enlarged by clicking on them. The left side is almost complete. 

There is a border down the left side and I have started pulling the grass out but looking at the image I'm now wondering if I should let the lawn grow upto the fence and do away with the border, after all it does mean no longer having to dig it over. I am clearing the path which the grass has grown over too. I will cut back the ivy on the fence on the right and then paint it again. I'll probably do the back fence too. But not worried if that has to be done next year.

Most of the work is right at the back of the garden, then to the right where the rockery is hidden and the bottom right. If I was fit or there was another person helping I think it could be done quite quickly now. But I suppose there's no rush. I could nip out and bag up some of the rubbish but that will only take a few minutes, it is easier to bag if left for a few days and it dies off. It takes less room too. I've also put some more cord in the strimmer. As I may've said before I'm debating whether to get a hedge trimmer. I can pick up one for around £22 which may be good enough for me. Not sure. 

I have slept better but think I had a nightmare but came out of it quite quickly and managed to go back off again. My last session of sleep started at 4.30am(ish)and I awoke at 8.30am(ish)which I think is quite good.

I've already tidied my bedroom so only have a small amount of stuff to remove from the landing and bathroom, that should only take half an hour. A change of shirt, a shave and that's me done. I'll leave the garden today. Weather permitting I'll get stuck in tomorrow.

I would have Breakfast but my fish and chips at 3pm will be a large meal so I'll leave room for that. Usually I have to leave some because there is too much but also I eat smaller portions these days.

I've contacted appointments as I had forgotten when my next appointment at the hospital is and happily its not until July 9th. That's actually the day after I am at the theatre seeing a mystery play. I hope all will be well. By then I'll have had a month of my vitamin/mineral regime under my belt and back on the fruit/veg.

So that coupled with finally shaking off the virus of May(cough/chill)and feeling more positive mentally that has to be an improvement.

Bargain of the week...nothing to do with any of the above. Simple things for simple minds, a set of decent scissors in a variety of sizes for as little as £1. The kitchen scissors cost the same. I tend to use nail clippers now for "personal" nail grooming.

Monday, June 15, 2015

I've Almost Missed Monday...

Sunday was non starter. I did stay home. I felt reasonably OK and still do. A little bit of something hovering around in the background but its not stopped me from sleeping or eating/listening to the radio/watching TV. So still on top of it.Smiley

No win at the bingo yesterday...I put a little buffet together but have plenty of stuff for me to use up back at home. So inexpensive, quick and easy.

I didn't win today but won a prize in the little raffle but no one chose the little peddle bin that was in the selection. I kept hoping my ticket would win but the person before me chose the bin and I was left with a bottle of Barley WaterSmileyHowever, she has two bins already and had actually bought the bin for the raffle so she did a swap with me. Its worth £5 as my day came out at around £7 with bingo cards/raffle tickets and a shared taxi home so I am only £2 out of pocket as its as if I had purchased the bin. I have something to show for it. As yet I haven't decided if I should use it in the kitchen or my bedroom. I don't throw a lot of rubbish out to be honest.

In the kitchen I usually throw rubbish out almost immediately or hang a carrier bag on a door handle and when full throw the whole bag into the wheelie bin. Its decades since I had a bin in the house of any kind.

I bought some more lawn feed and weed/moss killer in case I need to make a second application. If I thought of doing that I'd have purchased a box that covers 100metres(both boxes do 50metres)I might've saved some money with a larger box but I discovered they'd knocked £1 off the 50metre size so in reality I may've actually spent less in the long run.

I've had a night of listening to the radio...decided to have a ready meal of sweet and sour chicken with rice. As it heads to midnight I'll have a milky coffee and perhaps think of turning in for the night.

Tomorrow, I'll have another quick tidy round as I have been invited out for my meal in the afternoon(fish and chips)delivered to my friend's house for 3pm so I have to be out by 2pm to be sure I catch the last town bus which stops outside his house if I ask it to.

Then in the evening its a charity night at the music club I go to and they are raising money for the ward my friend was on in the hospital and we already have £800 so we could very well make it to the £1,000 mark. There's a cover charge this time and with the raffle included its very possible.

The following morning they are replacing some double glazing in my home that have failed and have condensation between the panes of glass. Another reason for seeing everything is reasonably tidy.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Rain Stops Play...

Well perhaps it hasn't and the second day of the Regatta and the music concert will still be happening in Durham but the amount of rain that's been coming down in my town and I'm only about 12 miles away, I have every reason to believe that even if the rain stops the grounds will be sodden.

And yet I am still so tempted to make the effort and see if its still on. But I still have to get shaved and if I don't catch the next bus in an hour with Sunday service I wouldn't get to the concert in time anyhow. I'll accept today is cancelled. There will be other events to go to.

I hope the weather is better for them...The Durham Miners Gala, the Brass event, the street performers weekend are three for starters. And in Darlington, the Proms event which again is in the open.

Its hard to believe that by next weekend we will be almost halfway through the year and it will be the longest day, then we sadly start to see the days shorten again.

However, I think a restful Sunday at home may be a better idea. It certainly means the gardening is off for a few days until it dries out but with much of the grass cut that will happen quicker and the stuff that has been cut and has to be bagged will break down even quicker. If I'd known it was going to happen I could've had my lawn feed and weed/moss killer on the lawns as within a few hours you are supposed to have rain or water them with a hose/watering can.

No doubt we'll have more rain and by then if I have the whole garden clear it will do a better job. I may have enough but I may buy another box and it says that a second application may be needed.

I think I'll just listen to the radio, have a quick tidy round and prepare my buffet for tonight's bingo. That's as exciting as it gets for this Sunday.

I've had coffee, my vitamins and minerals and two bowls of cereal for breakfast(good to see that I am back to having that again)and a breakfast of sorts. Just have my meds to take now. I will probably not eat anything until my little buffet this evening.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Getting The Grass Down...

has resulted in...lots of birds getting amongst it and they are taking grass to use in nests and though short because a strimmer still doesn't cut as a lawn mower would they are in there finding insects.

The sky is dull and colourless but it could still get out yet. No sign of rain so far.

I could go to Durham now but I'll head out around midday. Even if I arrive at 1pm the Regatta is on until 6pm. I will take my chair and may just take a bottle of water but there is food, refreshments and booze nearby. Apparantly a vintage car display and bands playing across the day.

I can have a meal when I come home. I'll wear a sunhat. Debating whether to take/wear more in case it gets cold/windy but then again if it gets warm. I can avoid taking a rucksack/backpack with me but if I start thinking this way I have to take more stuff with me.

Still time to decide.

I found a cheap(?)well not really, best price for the tomato capsules/tablets this time is in a high street retailer known for selling health products(normally I find that retailer too expensive)but a lot of the offers are buy two and get a third free. We're talking 90 tablets for £30. This retailer at present is doing 100 tablets for £18*(Buy one, pay half price for the second)so that's actually a better buy by £12 and 10 extra tablets. And they'll last me almost 3 months. And they seem slightly higher in content. They have a branch in Durham.

*They were less than that.

Update:I found a good place to take images of the Regatta(I decided I wasn't up to walking to the ground where everything was taking place)Perhaps I'll have a little look tomorrow(weather permitting)but I didn't get any real photo's worth posting and the few crews that came my way were not racing. Just taking it slow...perhaps practicing/winding down.

I got the tomato tablets, some medicated powder and discovered a musical featuring the words of poet Ian McMillan, cartoonist Tony Husband, the music of Luke Carver Goss, the Tredegar Town Band  and called the Last Train to Elvet. Its part of the Brass Festival happening in Durham during July.

I didn't take the seat, just two packets of crisps and a small bottle of water. So quite a light load.

I hope I am on for the Big Band concert tomorrow in the grounds of the Durham Light Infantry Museum.

I have had a mug of Coffee and a ready meal of Gammon in a creamy apple sauce with mustard mash potato since coming home. And I'm doing some radio listening again.

I think that I said previously that the more expensive coffee I'm drinking for now isn't as nice as the cheap one I usually purchase. I have to admit I am getting used to it but I can get approx 8 jars of mine for the price of this one. That's 600g more too. Even in one of the discount stores I can buy 3 jars of mine for the price of one of theirs and again that's 200g more.

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Garden May Be Left Until Monday...

The weather isn't looking promising but I have discovered two events are taking place(possibly three in Durham)over the weekend, if health allows and the weather isn't absolutely pouring down, it is Durham's Regatta Weekend. I am considering attending a church service in the cathedral on Sunday morning but in the afternoon in the grounds of the Durham Light Infantry Museum there is a free music concert by a big band.

I went out for a quick shop today and came back with a shopping trolley full of items including weedkiller, paint and a brush for the wood panels in my back garden and some inexpensive canvas type loafers(?)and a pair of cheap trainers. I go through shoes like nobodies business because of my unsteady gate. Its easier to buy new than attempt to repair or stop me wearing them out.

So its been a night of radio listening, I made myself another corned beef/tomato bap and I have had a few mugs of milky coffee.

Hopefully, I'll be bright eyed and bushy tailed for what the weekend holds but this past week my sleep has been very disturbed and I have been in a lot of pain. Whether any of my vitamins/minerals and the tablet for gout will help I'll have to see. Still debating about the tomato capsules full of Lycopene. They aren't cheap but with a third box free and added to what I am already taking, it would cost me 37p a day. Is that really expensive? Its still more than 3p-4p which I am paying now. I will take painkillers before I leave tomorrow and have some on my person. I will take my canvas seat, a bottle of water(perhaps two)and a sandwich of some kind.

Thursday, June 11, 2015


later...heading back into the garden again. Every little helps...funny how the last bit of work seems to take the longest to do.

As I said earlier in a comment to Virgin Queen, I should've posted images before and after but I didn't and I hope this will not happen again.

I'm keeping the lawn down, intend to get rid of moss/weeds, perhaps put some more flower tubs in the garden and plant more bulbs that come out annually and will give colour and coverage. Perhaps put some more shrubs down one side where there is a border but the kind I can keep on top of and not let them get out of hand.

Today I think I'll be chopping/removing ivy. I may get around to bagging some of the rubbish into bags but by leaving what I have removed for a few days its dying off and wilting so it will probably be easier to bag up(take up less room)as I said I have some gardening gloves now for the task(they only cost me £1)I was starting to get a few little scars from various thorns on my hands. I don't usually bother with gloves to be honest but thought they would make a difference when putting the rubbish up.

I've a ready meal of gravy, vegetables, turkey, bacon etc...that can be cooked quickly in the microwave so may have that before I go to the bingo. I paid around half price for it. I need some little cartons of apple juice in case I get thirsty there and I have run out of coffee. Not strictly true...I've opened a can of Nescafé Smooth Roast Coffee(200g)I purchased on offer(approx half price)and I'll use it but I actually prefer Tesco cheap coffee granules in the every day value range, that's only 50p for 100g. I want to buy some more vitamins/minerals again which I seem to have lost somewhere or run out of. I usually take one a day. Plus an omega three and a garlic capsule.

Even on the apple juice I can pay less than I would in Aldi's 45p is still better than paying £1.05.

Update:I managed around two hours and decided to give up, chopped/pulled up more grass and weeds which will now die in the sun. Tomorrow I'll bag it and attempt the strimmer again. Then I have more weeds/ivy to remove at my leisure.

I have had the meal and perhaps around 4pm I'll have a coffee and an apple doughnut. Shave, change my T-Shirt. Then head out for my little bit of shopping and I have the choice of two buses, 5.35pm or 6.12pm. After that there is only one every hour.

Update2:I changed to a short sleeved shirt not a T-shirt. I missed my bus by 30 seconds but a kind supermarket worker(taking a cigarette break)used her mobile and phoned for a taxi for me. I played an extra bingo card and won £8 but with the taxi and a mug of tea I was 90p down but not bad for a night out.

I have my "Cheap" coffee again but will use the more expensive up first(its highly unlikely that I will ever buy a coffee machine)I am amazed that I have switched to coffee rather than tea. But I make it very weak and milky.

I decided what vitamins/minerals to buy(buy two items/get the third(the cheapest)free. So I have Sanatogen vital 50+ Multi Vitamin/Minerals(90 capsules)Omega 3+6+9(90 tablets)Cranberry(50 capsules)and then separately some garlic(240 capsules)I may get some of those tomato capsules yet. But with saving money and having so many of everything its worked out inexpensive...3p daily. Its just the initial cost when you buy. If I add sea kelp*(which I have)and the tomato capsules I guess were talking 7p daily...if that.

And they reckon some spices are worth adding to your diet on drinks or to dishes(cinnamon, turmeric and ginger)

*I can miss them out for now because there is some iron in the Sanatogen capsules.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Shifting The Bushes/Weeds...

Is the most pain of all...and I have discovered because a neighbour did not cut some ivy, a perfectly good fence panel is broken because of the weight so more expense in the future. I'll hang on and use Mum's money for that task.

I have been out and claimed £7.60 which I won the Euromillions draw and that paid for another ticket for this Friday. I also managed a little shop, garden sacks, garden gloves, a reduced ready meal, some washing detergent, a TV guide, cherry and plum tomatoes, lambs lettuce and Jersey potatoes(they are now half price)so that £7.60 win meant I only spent an extra £1.40.

I was going to go out and start packing the rubbish into the sacks but I'll start again tomorrow weather permitting. What's getting in the way is the masses of Ivy that have taken over the garden. It appears I have to do a lot of chopping, flaming it constantly or use...weedkiller.

But I have started to remove it(though the best time apparently to remove it)is just after winter and before spring but I couldn't get to it because I needed to do the garden. I can do so now and will again...next year. Assuming I am still in my property.

I'm so close to being on top of it.

Going to do a lot of radio listening this evening.

I won a box of luxury biscuits on a raffle at the music club yesterday and I took a shopping trolley back to a supermarket that still had £1 in its lock. So with the Euromillions win and the domino card on Sunday I came out approx even.

One of my luckier weeks...

Still Gardening...

I really felt tired today(yesterday)and went to sleep for a couple of hours and really zonked out. Spent most of the garden time cutting down shrubs(much more to do)the long handle bypass lopping shears have made a difference, they probably got scratched but they'll last me years and hey I got them to use. I probably could've bought them on line cheaper but I don't always know how good they are.

The biggest pain is the garden has been taken over by ivy. So I will have to do lots of chopping and perhaps as has been suggested, think of torching it. The biggest problem will be getting rid of the rubbish( have asked numerous times for a garden waste wheelie bin from the council and they keep forgetting about me. Then again the collection isn't free and they have loads of restrictions what can be taken. Once I'm on top of the garden again, I probably will not need one and I could perhaps invest in a compost bin instead. This time I may have to pay to have it taken away.

Its approx three quarters complete so that makes me determined to get out there and keep going but I may decide to have a break and start again on Thursday. I'm amazed that I have done as much in a fairly short space of time. If I was fit, I could've done it even quicker but in the future I will take my time and pace myself.

Monday, June 08, 2015

More Work At The Start Of Another Week...

Oh dear...I have spent approx. another £16Again lucky that I could. Purchased more strimmer cord(3)89p each(US $1.36)approx. double/treble the amount that came with the strimmer. The back garden was really using the cord up. When its down it will be fine. I am having to chop massive weeds that have grown high with thick stems but someone suggested a lop cutter would be easier so I purchased one today £13.99(US $21.46)
Annoyingly if I now keep on top of it I may not need them again especially if I put stuff on the lawn to green it, kill moss and the weeds. Or I ever move through choice or am forced, then again what I have will last if looked after and I may not need to buy them again.

One half of the garden is nothing but these big leafy weeds, the other half has been whacked down with the strimmer and is almost finished. Perhaps I've gone at it too fast and should've taken my time. But I can do that from now on.

I feel a little sad as clearing this away means I have taken away the protection of(perhaps there is more than one)I came across a really tiny frog. I have no idea how its got into my garden as most gardens around here have high panel wooden fences(and I am unaware of any ponds)So unsure what will happen to him/her and again could be taken by a bird.

I may pop out and tackle the weeds as they are not affected by the torrential rain we had this afternoon which the grass probably would be and needs to dry out a little.

Update:Well, there's another 40mins done(I went back to the strimmer)At ground level I thought I wasn't getting anywhere but from the bedroom I can see that I am making a difference.

I really wish that I could getaway with not using the cutters I purchased today. Attempt to get a refund but I think that I may have to give in. They're purchased now. And they would be easier than using the strimmer or spade.

No more frogs as yet...I may go back tonight and do some more but perhaps I should call it a day. There's always tomorrow.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Off Into The Jungle...

to attempt a little more cutting the lawns with the strimmer...after all the sun is shining so a good day to do so...even if just a little bit.

Then a quick shave and a getting together of the buffet for tonight.

I have been invited to a small afternoon tea at my friends home after which we'll go to the usual bingo at the little club on the town.

I have to mention that the concert at Durham Cathedral was worth it. But for a variety of reasons I was unable to get the earlier bus I had hoped so being slow and tired, how long walking to the bus station took didn't really matter so I had to catch the last bus home and then it took ages to walk home from the bus stop so I did not get home until Midnight thirty(two and half hours after the concert had finished)

It takes a lot of determination to manage that trip home when that happens.

Update:Almost 2pm and its taken me that long to cut half the grass of one large lawn because the grass is so tall, my mobility issues and trying chop out of the garden some large leafy things on stalks. Now I have to try and get ready for my afternoon tea so speed is of the essence so I guess I have to go and sort myself out. I managed(don't ask how)to have a piece of the strimmer wire fly off and hit me in the face just below the right eye. And give me a small cut, good job I wear glasses.

Update2:I gave up and caught a taxi and was only thirty minutes late in the end. I just couldn't walk it. I won £10 so that almost paid for the night and taxi. Or its like getting £10 off my garden goods in the last few days.

Also got 18 answers out of twenty on the quiz with my two colleagues(could've been 19)and a total win if I'd answered Turkey when a question came up about the Ottoman Empire and I did say Turkey but had it in my head it was a neighbouring country. My friends didn't know. So we had to share the £5 prize. Its just a bit of fun but that's the best we've done for a number of weeks.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Good Days Still Coming...

I got the strimmer sorted and almost managed to get the front lawn cut but the cable on the strimmer was too short and some grass could not be cut. However, I boarded a bus and found a 45metre cable extension for the price of a 30metre one in another shop on my town. I didn't want to pay the money but it had to be done and the back garden is larger. So at least I gained 15metres for nothing. I hope its enough.

I only lost a bit of the strimmer line in the last minute of cutting the front lawn because I caught a bit of the hedge but very little lost, until then I'd lost nothing. I hope that I can manage the back garden as well. At least the cable extension will last me years and won't be overused.

Next year if I can kill off the moss/weeds and green the lawns I'll be happy. I can always plant up more tubs of flowers. It wasn't easy it just about killed my knees and legs. Walking around without support was very difficult but next time if I keep on top of it and pace myself  perhaps it will be easier. I may have a break from the garden tomorrow and have another go on Monday.

I found some sandwiches on the way home all well packed but reduced, almost a meal in themselves. I couldn't make them any cheaper myself.

I've listened to the radio and found an interesting programme about Barry Humphries who is best known for his creation of Dame Edna Everidge.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Another Quite Good Day...

Slept late...(For me)Just have to shave and think of heading out the door no later than 4.30pm so I can catch a bus to Durham and then decide whether to walk really slow to the Cathedral for the doors opening for a charity concert with the RAF Collage Band celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Battle Of Britain. Or by going earlier cut out some if the walk by being able to connect to a bus on another route that will cut the walk in half. Then I can perhaps sit for ten minutes in the market place before attempting the last bit that is rather steep to the Cathedral.

Sadly the Cathedral bus stops after 4pm(ish)and I'd prefer not to add a taxi fare to the night if I can avoid doing so. No other buses run near the cathedral.

Doors open at 6.30pm and I want to get a good seat, the journey either way to and from Durham is around 45 minutes and again once you get past 6pm they only run hourly. And I've known it take me ages to walk from the bus station to the Cathedral hence going quite early. I may go earlier(But as I write this amendment its already got around to 2pm so its not much earlier anyhow)

The weather seems calm, reasonably sunny for now, I hope it stays that way. They said to expect thunderstorms and some areas in the south have had some already. And I have heard of some real downpours including added lightening and hail.

I may put something up to take with me in case I am hungry or wait and have a supper when I come in. I did that yesterday...I don't eat offal but I gave in and had a ready meal of Lambs liver, bacon, onion gravy and colcannon mash potato. It only cost £1.50 and I wish had been a little larger but it was tasty and quick and really enough. We all get used to eating too much if we're honest.

I've put together my grass strimmer...well almost, the guard is a pain as I am so close to having it lined up with a hole for a screw and the damn thing won't line up and I've been on for ages attempting to sort it out. I need to click it by such an infinitesimal amount. I'll give it another look tomorrow. Then perhaps I'll actually get around to using it. And have to spend more money on the cable extension.

Nothing else is planned for today.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

I Spoke Too Soon...

Mentally I slept OK and feel quite good today but I was awake often during the night because my legs were hurting. Perhaps I should've got up but what are you going to do in the night?

Anyhow, I did go out yesterday for a couple of hours(more like four)and had a run to Bishop Auckland. I found some big tins of soup type meals reduced from £1.30 to 59p and they should give me so quick and easy meals especially if cooked in the microwave. I found some glass bowls(various sizes)with coloured plastic lids for sealing them and they are heat resistant so they could be handy in the fridge or possibly the microwave.

I have another replacement heat resistant mug/bowls that will work in the microwave too. So not a bad day for bargains(I didn't spend much either)and then upon coming home I purchased a grass strimmer made by Bosch(I will need a cable extension for the back garden)but I only spent around £22(perhaps another £7)for the 3 year warranty.

I wasn't going to bother with that but it didn't add much to the price. I hope it will be OK for that low price but someone advised me in Argos that I did not need to spend loads of money nor consider a cordless one. If I can get the grass down and keep it that way I should be able to manage to do it myself and not worry about using/buying a mower. I can pace myself. If I've made a wrong choice I can buy a better one in the future. I'm led to believe that I can buy replacement cords quite easily.

So I may have a go at using it this weekend if the promised rain doesn't return.

I was thinking of having a bus ride later just to fill in time but I think that I shall go out around teatime and make my way to the little bingo club I go to on a Thursday night but I'll give myself plenty of time to get there so I am not rushing as I always seem to be doing.

I'll take some painkillers and hope they kick in for the little walk I have to do to the bus stop and then from the stop at the other end to the club. Just have to get shaved(put some crisps, my bingo markers and spare change in a bag possibly something to drink)and I'm set.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

I'm Still Sleeping Well...

And reasonably untroubled. Debating whether to have a run out somewhere in the afternoon but running out of places to go and reasons to, after all there's only a handful of places. All places with shops and I "Don't need anything!" I think I've said it before but subconsciously perhaps all the things I associate to be bad(losing of Mum/Dad)my taking ill years ago, my birthday and birthdays of Mum/Dad are there in the back of mind between January and May and when those months pass by I improve like hopefully the weather and the fact that June 1st is officially Summer.

However, whether my Housing Association likes it or not(and I see it no different to living in a bedsit)or on one level in a bungalow because I would be there watching over them and only doing simple snacks/meals(and because there are smoke/carbon monoxide alarms wired into the system I am still thinking of buying a basic grill/oven and a microwave so I can do some meals upstairs. Perhaps have a very small fridge too. I could do all that for little more or close to £100.

That's for the near future.

I missed it last year but allowing for Sunday service on the buses, weather being chilly/rainy I have discovered that they are staging the free concert of "Last Night At The Proms" in Darlington Park on June 28th between 6pm-9pm so that night I may miss my night at the bingo in my own town but I'll decide on the day this also assumes that I am physically OK too. Its a fair walk from the town centre to the park. To be honest there is only one bus that runs hourly and I will have to hang around for around 75 mins after the event to catch it.

Then again being a slow walker it allows me plenty of time to get to the bus stop. It wouldn't be so bad if they would allow two an hour and one took a different route. Some people don't have any buses after 6pm so for now we're fortunate I guess but for how long?

A taxi would add around £15 to the night which is a fairly large amount to find for a journey that is approx 7 miles. The only thing is that I can spend that at the bingo on a Sunday which is my most expensive night of entertainment weekly so it just means redirecting money from one event to another. I could put a few pounds aside between now and then in case I change my mind.

Perhaps they believe they'll get more people to the event having it on a Sunday but I think it worked better during the week or on a Saturday or perhaps a Sunday afternoon.

I've had coffee and some marmalade and buttered toast. Taken my meds so its going OK. I know I'm doing well when I can think about food and even feel as though I can go back to bed for a rest and not start thinking deeply of things. Not that I am thinking of going back to bed.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

What A Wild Night...

Torrential rain and strong winds but I slept quite well until around 7am and decided to get up then...I don't know why? I have no reason to be up that early. It still seems quite wild even though the sun is shining but for now its not raining.

I say I slept well. I don't remember any dreams. Or panic attacks...But I do seem to have kept waking up every couple of hours through the night but I turned over and went back to sleep quickly so that good for me.

I didn't bother much preparing any meals yesterday and just finished off what I had remaining of Birthday buffets over the weekend. Perhaps today I will bother, I'll decide later. I could go out but I may stay indoors until this evening. I think mentally I feel strong enough to do that and I don't fancy battling against the weather. I am not out until the Music Club tonight.

Perhaps I'll do some housework later(exciting eh?)I only have to get shaved.

Lazy? After my Birthday tea I decided that I can jazz some snacks and meals up with sauces and relishes so I purchased a few items over the weekend but I decided for ease and quickness I would buy some diced onion. It was there on Friday/Saturday and Sunday but when I tried to buy it yesterday they had none and there is no room for frozen onions in the freezer so in the end I had to give in and buy fresh onions and shallots and this time I shall have to slice them and stick them in my small chopper gadget in the kitchen. I can live with that I suppose. And they'll last a little longer I suppose if stored correctly.

I have some beef burgers and I just thought I'd add some onion when I cook them(I don't have burgers that often)and if honest I don't use onions a lot in my cooking and perhaps now is the time.

I was in the company of someone yesterday when they took a phone call and will respect their privacy but I could hear both sides of the call even though the person I was with with said very little and it seems there are such a lot of problems for many...

It came to light with the untimely death of a respected politician today who we have no idea what the reason is for his sudden demise though the media does like to harp back to problems he had perhaps had 10-15 years ago when he admitted a drink problem. We have no idea if this has anything to do with the tragic news today and to some extent I'm not sure that we have a right to ever know and remain private within the family concerned.

This person(not the politician)had an op last year but has been having problems lately and it was thought he had possibly a hernia issue so was sent for a scan. It sounds as though its something different and could be alcohol related as his liver is in distress. That can mean so much and we don't know how far down that route we are.

Whether the shock and reducing/stopping now will see it get no worse or recover. He has in the past worked in the trade which cannot have helped matters. I am checked for liver function every three or four months and have been for almost 18 years now but in my case its because of medication I am on. And I don't drink a lot of alcohol anyhow...I never have and its something I can live without.

I don't know how I'd react to such news. I know some find it really difficult to give up drink but I would hope that I could stop under such circumstances. In my case I only have myself to worry about but when you have a partner, a child, friends there is more than yourself to think about.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Hey A Birthday Has Passed Me By...

Friday...I took off for a bus ride to Richmond in N York's...just for the fun of it. But I couldn't find what I wanted and I stayed for less than an hour. Remind me to pick another day for actually attempting to see the market town and the river/castle.

I decided rather than standing around for the bus home I'd catch the bus en route and go to the end of its run and stay on for the return journey so I travelled to Colburn near the army town of Catterick.

On Saturday, the plan was to go to the neighbouring town of Bishop Auckland for a quick shop but I missed the bus by minutes so switched to another destination of Spennymoor rather than hang around and the journey takes twenty minutes less.

I decided to give in and buy some serving trays even though they were more expensive than I planned to spend but I liked the design and they all matched. Originally I was only going to buy one large tray but changed my mind.

It was a sort of Birthday present to myself and again I purchased whilst I am able.

I popped into the local supermarket there and its smaller than I remembered and the choice of ready meals smaller than another branch in Bishop Auckland. I found some nice meals(never the less)and if used wisely they were reasonable and should mean quick and easy meals either as they are or by adding a little extra vegetables etc...I can decide to leave them in the ready trays and save on washing up or rearrange them on a plate to make them look a little nicer. I have gammon and mash, minced beef hotpot, liver and bacon, chicken and mash in a red wine gravy/sauce and  sweet and sour chicken with rice. There could be another but I forget what it was.

I found two lovely cakes in a range that I assume is exclusive to this supermarket and produced under Pru Leith's name. The plan was to take one to my Birthday tea later in the day but leave it for the person who had arranged the tea which flavour to use. Lemon or coffee and walnut.

They opted for the lemon cake but it wasn't used that night because it turned out they had purchased a chocolate caterpillar cake and there was still some left which I brought home.

My cake was kept back for last night which we had a mini buffet and shared at the bingo club and I took along some items I purchased at Richmond on Friday at a Bakers. They were not sausage rolls as such but looked like them...chicken and stuffing, apple and pork, cheese and bacon, some cherry tomatoes, cheese straws, crisps, cheese. I was able to bring some items home again and had them for supper and still have some I can use today. Nothing wasted.

It was a nice gesture to have a Birthday tea and I was sung "Happy Birthday" to me too.

The buses are running a bit strange lately and we find now where there is a time table they are supposed to follow...they don't. They are all virtually running by following each other and leap frogging each other along the route which also means that some buses are running late or earlier than expected.

On Saturday it was easier to come home via Bishop Auckland from Spennymoor than wait for the bus that comes here directly. It turned out I had the choice of two buses. And by the time I got to Bishop Auckland I was caught up by a third bus. Then for whatever reason the connection to my town had been missed so again I was having to wait for another half hour.

Then ten minutes later a bus pulled in with a different number/destination on it. If I hadn't paid attention I would not have seen it change its number and destination to the route to my town and it was the bus I thought I had missed but it arrived ten minutes late. So I did not have to sit around after all and I was only delayed by ten minutes in the end.

I must be feeling a bit more like myself as when I cam home I got interested in a film on the TV which I hadn't seen before.

And then as I say Sunday, I found I was able to stay in for most of the day and felt fine. My friends won at the bingo but I didn't have any such luck.

Ironically, once again I thought that I was a year older on my birthday(technically I was)but where I thought that I was 58 this year...I was actually 57 so I have gained a year.

I am sleeping better and not troubled in the night so perhaps I've turned the corner. The sun is shining but the weather forecasters are suggesting by the end of the day to expect, rain and gale force winds for today and tomorrow. The weather hasn't been particularly good for the last few days anyhow. It looks nice until you get out into it and find there is a cold breeze and its a battle walking into it especially if you are pulling a shopping trolley, use a walking stick and discover you need warmer clothes.