Another warm and sunny day on Wednesday though there was thunder and lightning early in the morning. We had a brief downfall of rain then hailstones then more rain but by ten o’clock it had all blown over. I sat outside on the bench I had put in the front of the house yesterday. Where the bench is sited it remains in the shade until around ten-thirty at this time of year and then remains in the light of the sun until early evening. It was nice to just sit in the cool of the shade for a while knowing it would get much warmer as the day wore on. Yesterday the temperature rose to 30 deg C in the rear garden in the shade but today, Wednesday it was to reach a maximum of 27 deg C. Clouds began to roll back in and half of the sky turned very dark as they covered the sun. I had spent a little time in the morning on Tuesday pulling out the montbretia stems and bulbs from the flowerbed adjacent to the patio (to the left in the first picture) while it was cool enough to do so. I decided I would continue cutting back and finally dig out the sprawling shrub through which they had been growing while the temperature was still quite low. It took a couple of hours to get it out and all its offshoots and chop them up so they could be placed in the green waste bin. The next job was to move slightly to its left the fan palm I had planted in the same bed for it would have more room now that the shrub had gone. I had to be careful not to disturb it too much so what I did was to dig a space to one side of it then using the back of the spade dug into the soil on the opposite side and gently pushed it sideways. I only wanted to move it about ten centimetres. That done I began to dig out the soil and filter it until I had done enough to be able to lay a long slab of natural stone which will become a small path. I laid that in place. It will enable easier access to the rear of the bed for maintenance later. It was time for lunch and after I had eaten I drove to the garden centre and purchased the three large plants I had in mind to put into the bed. I will purchase the smaller plants to populate the remaining spaces when the bulk of the work is done. I managed to place two of the large plants in the bed where I had already filtered the soil. They are the two against the wall on the left in the above picture, the other will be planted later and is shown in the lower picture. Click on pictures to magnify.I am undecided at this time whether to leave the fern but it will add some softness to the area if I keep it. We have a few ferns in the rear garden. I love them but unfortunately they are deciduous and die back for the winter. The fan palm is shown against the wall in the picture second from the right. The long slab of stone is unfortunately covered by filtered soil in the picture but it lies between the wall and the large stone slab nearest the centre in the foreground. By now it was four o’clock! My mobile phone rang and it was someone asking for my electrical services. I arranged to do the work on Thursday morning for I had to be back home at one. The joiner had informed me that the door he had ordered for our top room was now available and he would call at one o’clock to fit it. As E would be out shopping with her mom I had to become available instead. It meant I would probably go no further with the gardening work until Friday at the earliest. A day off might be just what I needed but it might mean that some of the electrical work would have to be done on Friday too. Even though my advert wasn’t published this Wednesday I still got some work!
Tuesday was going to be the hottest day of the year so far according to the weather forecast. Well it sure lived up to that. Between three and four in the afternoon, that is at the height of the day for temperature readouts I checked the temperature on the patio but in a shaded spot using a mercury thermometer. Actually two thermometers in one which shows maximum and minimum temperatures side by side. It showed 29 deg C but shortly after that reading it reached 30 deg C. Obviously it was hotter in the sunshine, probably by a few more degrees. For me it was unbearable, not because I couldn’t get used to it if I had to but because having these temperatures for just a couple of days isn’t long enough to get used to it. Days two and three of holidays in hot climates and we begin to get accustomed don’t we? If these temperatures were normal for us we are used to them. However as I am always saying, I am an Anglo-Saxon and for me it is too hot to tango! I spent a some time in the rear garden in the morning whilst it was a little cooler, pulling out armfuls of montbretia in the flowerbed adjacent to the patio which had sprouted within a low-lying shrub which itself has gotten out of hand. Now that we can actually see that shrub we can prune it back but I fancy I will be digging it out later when it is a bit cooler and replacing it with one or two others. I have an idea what I would like in there but E might think differently though she didn’t bother when I dug out and repopulated the larger of the two flowerbeds we had worked on in the front garden recently. I then spent a little time relaxing on the patio but couldn’t sit there too long. I decided to pull out the second of the two garden benches which had been stored in the large greenhouse beneath the wooden table now being used as a worktop in there. The wooden furniture we once used on the patio and in the garden, it comprises the table, two benches and four chairs. The four chairs are stored in the cellar and only the two benches are actually outside and being outside they need a coat of garden furniture oil/varnish applying every so often. I took the second bench out and hosed it down before transporting it out to the front garden. After lunch and when it was dry I got to work and applied the oil/varnish coat and then went into the rear garden where the other one sits in front of the patio and gave that a coat too. This one didn’t need a second coat as it was already in good condition having been coated earlier in the year but the second one required another coat which I applied an hour or so later.
The lower picture was taken last Autumn and it shows the bench in front of the patio on which some of the old wooden furniture can still be seen. It wouldn’t have been long after that picture was taken that I moved the furniture under cover aside from the bench.
E did a little hoeing and weeding during the day but we spent much of the time in the afternoon just lounging on the patio. She was sunbathing but I sat under the parasol out of direct sunlight. At that time of day it was really too hot to do much else.
When I awoke on Sunday morning it was still only a little after five o’clock so having done what I needed to I returned to bed for a while. Trouble was I remained awake until I finally got out of bed an hour later. It was going to be the day for changing the bed linen I decided so off came the sheets and duvet and pillow covers and on went the clean linen. As it was around six o’clock it was light outside and had been for a couple of hours but the sky was overcast. I remember seeing the weather forecast the day before which promised warmer and sunnier times. Would it change as the day wore on? I took a shower and returned to my room to dress before getting downstairs just before eight o’clock for breakfast. It was still overcast but the sun was making an attempt to push through the clouds. I ventured outside after I had placed the soiled bedclothes into the washing machine to see how warm it was. Well it wasn’t that warm and the breeze made it seem even cooler. I wanted to go for a walk but decided to wait a while hoping the weather would improve. I have often found that if I go out for a walk in the summer early in the day by the time I get back home it is far warmer than when I left. I might therefore have to remove the cardigan or lightweight coat because it has gotten too uncomfortable in the heat! It was after two o’clock and after lunch before I finally went for the walk, needing only a lightweight top, much more pleasant that way. The weather had finally improved as promised, the sky was beginning to lose its clouds and it was getting warmer in the bright sunshine. A slight breeze still blew but it made the afternoon even more pleasant. I hadn’t expected to meet anyone on my travels but as is often the case I did. Now one of my next-door neighbours, a single middle-aged guy, I hardly ever see. My other next-door neighbour, an older lady than myself and her son, I see and speak with quite often. Well who should I see but the guy from next-door out walking with his dog. We were going in opposite directions but he said hello and asked how I was before continuing on his way. A little later I met a young guy I know from visiting the pub and that is where he was going but he did stop to chat with me for a few minutes. It is almost impossible for me to go anywhere local and expect not to bump into somebody I know. By the time I had returned home there were almost no clouds to be seen, just full sunshine. I spent an hour or so out on the patio to take advantage whilst I could.
I was never much of a fan of the group Wet, Wet, Wet and neither the weather their name reflects. It’s not that I mind it so much when it is raining, I don’t, as long as it doesn’t last too long. Just as we had some lovely days, even weeks of warm sunny times we are now going through a hopefully short period of rain. As I write this on Wednesday morning it is raining and has done for a few days on and off. As far as the forecast is concerned we might not see much of the Sun for perhaps another week. It is the UK however after all so this type of weather isn’t really unusual but if it remains too wet for too long it can be depressing. All outdoor work has to cease which can be inconvenient, especially when gardening jobs like mowing the lawn is necessary or if building work and repairs are needed. In this respect we don’t need to mow the lawn for a few days but there is a leaking corner on one of the garage roofs. I have known about that leak for months but because I had other pressing things to do I effected a temporary repair by covering the area with a heavy-duty pvc weighted-down sheet. It is unlikely to leak whilst that is in place but it does need a permanent repair at some point. I had to walk into the village a short time ago. I could have taken my vehicle but the village is less than a half-mile away so I walked there as I usually do. I needed some fresh vegetables for E hadn’t bought enough when doing the weekly shop. She is sometimes inconsistent in what she purchases and occasionally we run out of some things. Strangely though she often buys in things we don’t really need, things we already have plenty of, especially tinned stuff. I am struggling at the moment as I have little to do other than planned work which I am reluctant to start just now. I guess I am going through a lazy phase, a can’t be bothered phase, something I do from time to time. I need something but I am not always sure what that is. All I do know is that it is wet, wet, wet and I am not in the wet mood.
Over a week ago we passed the half-way point in the year, the Summer Solstice also called midsummer’s day on or around 21/22 June. It is a bit of a misnomer to call it Mid-Summer for as far as the weather is concerned the height of summer happens during the following two months. The term really applies to mark that position in the Earth’s orbit when due to its tilt the northern hemisphere is pointing more toward the Sun than at any other time in the year. It is around this same time (July) when the Earth is actually at its farthest from the Sun. The difference between the Aphelion (farthest) and Perihelion (closest) is about 3.1 million miles or 5 million Km but being that extra distance from the Sun has little effect on climatic conditions. Our weather is more dependent on events here on the planet, wind, closeness to seas and oceans or dry land, mountains and so on. It all depends where we live what sort of weather we have but it doesn’t stop people moaning about it nevertheless. At the moment (of writing) my local weather happens to be dull and overcast with a chance of rain in the offing but it is still mild and maybe a little cooler than of late. This is one of the reasons I like summer….
It is the proliferation of insect pests I find difficult to cope with at times. That is why I prefer the cooler months. I have been taking things easy these last couple of days both by choice and the fact that I haven’t been as well as I might. As it is summer I get less offers of work than at other times so I haven’t been too busy with electrical jobs though I have had some. It has been fortunate therefore that I have had something to do at home instead. There is always something to do at home isn’t there? I need to make the most of the warmer seasons though, it will be winter soon enough, it isn’t all that far away!
Holy Mower, Shipley This is just one of the sheep keeping down the grass in the graveyard at the Church of St Mary the Virgin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
After a good couple of weeks with mostly dry and sunny weather this past week saw the return of the rain. I don’t mind having the rain occasionally, it is necessary but it does prevent carrying out certain jobs in the garden. It is also impossible to do any outdoor repairs too. At this time of year it is a constant battle keeping weeds down for they grow at such a fast rate and before you know it they get the upper hand if you are not on the ball. The grass also grows quickly during the warm months often needing mowing every week if conditions are right. It was only a short while ago I had mowed the lawn but by Thursday it was beginning to look a bit dishevelled, it needed cutting once again. Thursday was a day of intermittent rain but late in the afternoon it became bright and sunny. If I played my cards right I could get the lawn mowed as it now only takes me around twenty minutes. It once took me an hour and a half as I used a small electric mower but since getting the petrol-driven mower serviced and cleaned up a couple of years ago it has cut the time down dramatically. My main concern was that the grass may have been too wet to cut but it wasn’t. The petrol mower would cope with the grass being a little wet but if it is too wet it clogs things up. I made the effort and had the job done in no time. Maybe having a sheep would solve the rain problem though I fancy it wouldn’t just eat the grass! I had only returned indoors ten minutes or so when the heavens opened up again and we had a heavy downpour of rain. Just in time! Earlier in the day I had plans to do more filtering of the soil in the front flowerbed but I got a call to do an electrical job some miles away. By the time I had returned home it was approaching lunch time and in the afternoon I wanted to watch England playing Wales in the current UEFA European football competitions. I managed to do that and I had the spare time afterward to mow the lawn too. When E returned home with the weekly shopping it was still raining so I got a little wet helping her bring it indoors, Soon afterward the rain stopped! One of those days.
French-Cafe-Patio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
….and then it went hot again, not that it cooled down much but after yesterday’s brief heavy downpour it was again hot and humid on Monday. I was up and about around six o’clock and had eaten breakfast soon after seven. I sat out on the patio for a while before the sun began to shine on the patio itself and the temperature even then was seventeen degrees (Celsius of course). The sky was free of clouds and although the sun was fairly high at that time the large trees to the north and north-east ensured the patio remained in a dappled shade. About an hour later it would be in full sunshine. It stays that way at this time of year from then on for many hours save for a brief spell around noon when the shadow of the house puts the patio in the shade for an hour. Around five to six in the evening the patio is again back in the shade. It all means that we get plenty of sunshine on the patio. I returned indoors for a time and only returned outside when E had finished her breakfast. We then went into the garage and cut the old carpet stored there into smaller pieces so we could put them in into the non-recyclable waste bin. It was beginning to get too warm for any strenuous exercise and we decided to just sit on the patio until lunch time. I stayed under the canopy as I hadn’t sufficient sun blocking cream to protect me. I don’t usually do the sunbathing thing anyway but I also don’t wish to be pinned to one spot trying to avoid the sun. After lunch I applied what little sun cream I had and walked into the village to purchase more. It was around two-thirty and I didn’t want to return directly home. E would be out with her mom so I would be returning to an empty house. Although I had applied more cream to my arms and chest where I normally burn easily, I kept in the shade as much as was possible even so. My intention was to pay a visit to the pub on my way back home which meant a long detour so that the pub was indeed on my way home. The last time I went in there was 6th December last year! To think I used to be in there five or six times per week! Now that I don’t drink alcohol and haven’t done so for a few years there seems little point in going there except to meet people. Occasionally E and I will eat there but we haven’t done that for a while either, that is at this pub anyway. We will have to correct that soon but we have been so busy working at home the days dining out have been few. I met up with two people I know and met another for the first time. I stayed an hour or so and then went home. E hadn’t returned home yet so I went out on the patio with my guitar for a while. It was six-thirty before she returned and we could have our evening meal. The highest temperature we recorded on the patio out of direct sunshine was 27 degrees. Nice if you like it that hot. I prefer something like 18-20 perhaps and cooler if I am working.
We’d had many days of warm, even hot sunny days but by Sunday evening we were feeling a little tired by it all. I mentioned to E that I couldn’t remember the last time we’d had rain and it didn’t look as though we would get some anytime soon. The heat drains the energy out of me and as I had been very busy doing electrical work and the work in the gardens too I was hoping for it to cool down a little. My friend, who lives in New York, had been trying to contact me but as the weather was so fine I had been spending most of the time outdoors. She had left me a message on the phone which I responded to via an email. In the mail I mentioned we had been having good weather and that I couldn’t remember when it rained last. About an hour later just after E and I had eaten our evening meal it began to rain! Then it got heavier and then it got heavier still. There must have been a week’s supply of it in the space of a half-hour! So much rain at once put pressure on the gutters and drains to cope with it. I had to go outside to clear away some debris that was preventing the water from getting down one of the grids at the rear of the house. Even under an umbrella I still got a little wet. Soon though it eased off and it was dry again. Due to the lack of rain I had been using a hose every day in order to water the garden plants and in fact it was only an hour earlier I had done that and then the heavenly downpour came. Although I can water the surface plants and shrubs it takes an awful lot of water to satisfy the trees, something I couldn’t do with a hose pipe. Tree roots generally reach down to the water table anyway if the trees are big enough. That water table certainly got topped up on Sunday evening. On the plus side I wouldn’t need to water the garden for a day or two. On the other hand the grass will now start growing faster and I’ve only just mowed it!
I didn’t have to do any work in the top room and as the weather was so warm and sunny on Tuesday I didn’t. Well that was until three o’clock. I was feeling much better on the day, my aches and pains in my back had gone and the urinary infection was well under control. The sun shone almost all day long and both E and myself spent most of the day in the garden especially relaxing on the patio on the new furniture. We ate indoors however and returned outside afterward. E wanted to do some weeding out in the flowerbeds and she started doing that after lunch when for an hour or so the sky went dark as the clouds drifted by. I went indoors for something and the urge to go upstairs and do a little work got the better of me and I set about doing some minor repairs to the door frame (casing) and on the door itself. I began removing the lock because it wasn’t operating properly but it took me over half an hour to get it out of the door. The first problem was to remove the strike plate. On modern locks this is usually not very thick but this lock was an old one and the plate was about 4mm thick. Over the years the fixing screws had been filled-in and painted over and were difficult to locate. After I had removed the door knobs (they were actually knobs and not handles as shown in the diagram) I was able to remove the spindle allowing the lock to slide out of the door. It was so tight it wouldn’t budge but it wasn’t simply stuck with age, it had been filled-in with some wood filler. The lock was similar to the one shown but longer, that is it went deeper into the door. It had both the latch bolt and dead bolt fitted and the dead bolt had originally been operated with a key. The dead lock hadn’t been used for years, long before we moved in, and the keyholes had been filled with wood filler which had found its way into the lock itself through the keyholes. It effectively prevented the lock’s easy removal. I eventually dug out the filler and slowly withdrew the lock. I will be fitting a new one that is only fitted with a latch bolt as a dead bolt isn’t required. After I had done that work I carried out the repair to the casing by inserting a block of wood where the fitting of an old Yale lock above the other door lock had left a gap in the frame when I removed it months ago. Again, I had to fill-in the gaps with wood filler ready for sanding down and painting later. That all took an hour and a half and my need to do something in the room no matter how small had been satisfied. Sometimes these little tasks can hold the other work back. Now we can carry on with the decorating when the urge presents itself! Both E and I are reluctant to work indoors whilst the sun is shining. E had stayed outside removing weeds and had done quite a lot while I had been inside.
Sun, cloud and rain, weather forecast symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It was a lovely sunny day on Sunday, a day when its name lived up to it but sadly it was windy too and it took the edge off it. For a time I sat out on the patio but the frequent little bursts of wind made it too uncomfortable. It wasn’t particularly warm though that didn’t matter to me but the wind was cool. Had the wind been warm all would have been fine. It is the middle of May and the temperature for the time of year has returned to what is normal, somewhat different to the previous few days when it was hot and humid. According to the well-known saying we are not supposed to be casting off warmer clothing until May has ended (Never Cast A Clout Until May Is Out). Because it has been warm of late we might be thinking that Summer is here but it isn’t and even the early Summer can still be cool. There are many countries in the world where the weather can be predicted with almost certainty but here in the UK and totally because of our location the weather can be and is so unpredictable at times. I am not talking about the weather forecast but the fact that we cannot always say with some certainty that it will be warm, cold, wet or windy for any length of time. We cannot say that it will remain hot and dry for the next couple of months as it can be said in other parts of the world. People moan about the weather but the weather is something we can never have control over so moaning is pointless but it can be a pain when we expect some sunshine and it rains instead. I feel sorry for those who holiday here for a couple of weeks in Summer and the weather turns out wet and cold and when they return home the weather here changes dramatically for the better. If holidaying in the UK bring an umbrella and some warm clothing even if it is the height of Summer! I suppose we can say that the only guarantee we have regarding the weather is that we have no guarantee! It didn’t spoil my day, I wore suitable clothing.
It was a scorcher of a day on Sunday with temperatures around 24 C. It felt a little humid during the morning but less so as the day wore on. For early May these conditions are abnormal hereabouts as the average temperature should be around 16 C. I won’t complain about that but if I have anything to do I much prefer the lower temperature. I find the high temperature combined with higher humidity just drains the energy out of me. I wanted to go for a walk in the morning but it threatened rain and though that wouldn’t matter I decided against it and spent time on the treadmill in the cooler and dryer cellar. E wanted to do some gardening, removing weeds and overgrowth in one of the flower beds in the front garden so she set everything up and left me to my own devices. I didn’t much want to do anything in the garden but I ended up doing a little. I decided to take the ‘Yucca’ plant I have been nurturing (not sure of the variety) out of the large plant pot I had planted it in last year and plant it in the flowerbed next to the patio and against the wall
Which is in this flowerbed
Apart from plucking out one or two weeds and later watering the garden I did little else. After lunch E and I spent a little time out on the patio relaxing in the heat of the day with myself bare-footed on the artificial turf which surprisingly was warm, soft and dry. I don’t do sunbathing so after a short time I cover up my more sensitive parts, which means most of me I guess.
I have been sleeping rather soundly of late and waking up fully refreshed because of the busy times I have been spending during the day. I had no scheduled electrical work at the beginning of the week but on Monday that had been a blessing as it turned out. With nothing to do on Tuesday I was prepared to find something at home that I could do instead. It was such a lovely morning but the northerly wind kept the temperature down. However that didn’t stop me from sitting out on the patio after breakfast with a cup of coffee soaking in the bright sunshine. With my back to the wall I was pretty much out of the wind and all I could feel was the warmth of the sun. Incidentally the picture shows the patio at around 4 o’clock and not at 9.30 in the morning when the sun would be behind the camera in this shot. After a while I returned indoors just as E was coming downstairs for her breakfast. She asked if I would like another coffee and just as I was about to drink it I received a call requesting my electrical services. The job was in a house some fifteen or sixteen miles away but first I had to visit my electrical supplier for some goods. The work itself would only take me an hour or so under normal circumstances but at one point I had to wait whilst the builders she had employed had done their work. I was in no hurry so it didn’t matter and I spent the time chatting with the lady of the house who informed me that she fostered children. I found it difficult to chat with her for I couldn’t get a word in edgewise! She could talk! When I began the work all she did was talk and it was interfering with my concentration. If it wasn’t her speaking it was her dog who liked to bark a lot until she stepped in to quieten it. In situations like this I have to be very diplomatic of course but I usually say after a few minutes that I must get on with the work and they take the hint. It is always nice chatting to people who employ me but sometimes I think they forget why I am there in the first place! It was mid-afternoon before I could leave. It had been bright and sunny all day long until I was about five minutes from home when the heavens opened and there followed rain, sleet and hailstones. Two minutes later and it was as bright and sunny as ever with blue skies. The day ended as it had begun, bright and sunny with a little wind.
I remember when we used to get snow during late November. The reason for that is I seem to remember it snowing on my birthday on the 21st. Since those far off days I have seen less and less snow at all, even in December when it was almost guaranteed to snow. For some time now it has been possible to gamble on whether snow will fall on Christmas Day as it seems unlikely with each successive year. It was Friday hereabouts when we saw the first snowfall of the Winter; rather late in the season I have to add. Snow in March has been a possibility for quite some time though we expect the weather to become increasingly milder at this time of year. For many parts of the country and especially in the north there has been a substantial amount of snowfall in the last couple of days as the easterly winds take charge. As I look out of the window (Saturday afternoon) there is no evidence of snow anywhere but I live on the west coast where little or no snow falls anyway these days. Although it did snow on Friday it was a quick shower which soon turned to sleet and then only rain, nothing stuck on the ground. A few miles inland however and the scenery was much different. There have been a couple of heavy snowfalls here in recent years but even then it soon cleared away. I suppose we are fortunate living here on the coast where it seldom snows. The prevailing winds are westerly, straight off the Irish Sea which keeps the temperature above freezing point most of the time. It is only when the wind is from the north or the east that it gets very cold here. Snow you can keep for your picture post cards thank you very much. The picture shows what it was like here on March 2nd last year…….just a little frosty after a short snow shower……………..it’s not even that bad this year but anything can happen before Spring begins.
(Click on the picture and then a second time to see the other half of the garden)
Bless the Weather (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As I write this on Sunday the sun is trying to break through the overcast sky. It is somewhat windy just now and there is the prospect of more rain to fall, however, it is the 21st as I write and we are now two-thirds of the way through winter. It can only get better but where I live that cannot be guaranteed. It has been some weeks since E’s nephew and his crew were here working on the front steps but the work isn’t yet finished. That is due to a couple of reasons but I suspect primarily the weather. It is the same for the roof repairs though I fancy that if I don’t keep pestering the guy who does the roof repairs it won’t get done. I am hoping at this moment that it is simply the weather which is holding things back though we have had enough dry days whereby it could have been done. The problem is that scaffolding has to be erected and even that hasn’t yet been done. I am trying my best to be patient though when I think about the damage water can do I get frustrated that things are not moving along. To be fair, like I wish the weather was right now, the ingress of water is not large, it is more like a slow build-up of a minor leak which looks worse than it is. The sun is shining and the sky is turning blue and that in itself puts me in a cheerful mood. I am hoping that in a couple of week’s time work will have started in building the bedroom furniture and then E and I will be able to choose the colour of the paint we want for the walls or what will remain of them on view. Those parts of the wall which will be hidden inside the wardrobes have already been painted. I have also to cut and fit a picture rail once the furniture has been built. E is arranging for the curtains (drapes) to be lined and we also have to fit a curtain rail and a ceiling light once we have selected those things. Finally we will have a new carpet laid but we won’t need to buy a new underlay as the one we took up is as good as new. In the meantime I have been quite busy working at my electrical business to help pay for all of this.
Fairy cakes on an oven tray freshly removed from the oven. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For the second day this week I hadn’t any offers of work, that is work that I would take on for so many people have called asking me to do far more work than I am prepared to do. I am 70 years old and therefore don’t want to do much anyway. So on Tuesday I was once again at a bit of a loose end and looking for something to do at home. The weather looked as if it was going to be reasonably fine, between the showers that is and therefore the prospect of working outdoors wasn’t too good. I began nailing down some of the loose floorboards in the bedroom but soon had that done except for three which I want to screw down instead for they might need lifting in the future. Soon after I had done that E came into the room and began to paint the woodwork. I made us both a coffee and then I put on my overalls and went into the rear garden to make a start at pruning back the apple trees. I had to stop a couple of times and dash into the greenhouse to get out of the rain and hailstone showers. Finally I had all the branches that needed cutting laid out on the lawn and then I set about cutting them and stacking them against the wall. Unfortunately the weather proved too much and I left-off the work and returned indoors. My feet felt as if they were frozen but as I was wearing gloves my hands didn’t feel as cold. It was nice to step inside the boiler room out of the biting wind and get warmed up. I can always continue with that work as the weather allows but there are other trees which need the same treatment to some extent so it may take some time. It was now lunchtime and I prepared my lunch though E carried on painting and didn’t come downstairs until I had finished eating. I had prepared her lunch so there was nothing for her to do. We watched a little television but I got restless and went into the kitchen to make some cakes, fairy cakes. They don’t take long to prepare and bake so they were done in about an hour and ready for decorating with icing and whatever else took my fancy. I am turning into a rather experienced baker of cakes lately but what else is a lady to do when all other work is being kept at bay?