Tuesday 30 May 2023

Triffid Joy

Back at the beginning of 2021 I planted some foxglove seeds (and they are the tiniest of seeds too). They were potted up and popped outside ... and after extensive care and nurturing (or benign neglect as some might call it) one of them flowered in 2022. It was just a normal sized foxglove with a normal amount of flowers:
The other plants which were planted out last spring just got bigger and bigger and became huge leafy clumps. Even part way through this spring I was beginning to wonder if I had just been taking care of some random weed. They began to get tall and finally put out flower spikes. Then they began to fall over so I had to tie them to the wall. Then they got even taller. They loom over us as we try and go out of the back door and block the path to the yard. I kept breaking the leaves off as I squeezed past, but it didn't seem to mind. The tallest one is now a good 18 inches taller than the wall.
They are thick with flowers
And they even have many little side shoots coming from the leaf nodes that have flower spikes of their own:
And in the last week the bees have arrived😊
Stay safe. Be kind. Patience is a virtue as well as an opera.

Monday 29 May 2023

Offspring Joy


I have written about Lewis' birthday several times, funny how the others never get a mention. I posted in 2020 as part of my 100 Days to Offload and then this morning I am having a binge of my room (that was disgustingly dusty), moving all the furniture to clean underneath and what did I find but my favourite photo of him that was lost. It was down behind the chest of drawers. We visited Brimham Rocks all the time when we lived in Harrogate, it was their favourite place. It is fantastic because there is nobody standing around telling you to be careful, no warning signs or safety rails, and children can just learn to trust themselves and take risks. And you stand underneath to break their fall if you are worried. It is, I suppose, quite dangerous. You can climb pretty high, but there are lots of little rocks for the younger kids to practice on, and get a sense of achievement, before they move on to more challenging ones. And now he is 35 and a dad and getting married in a couple of months ... a real grown up, that I somehow never quite imagined he would be. 
Stay safe. Be kind. Don't be afraid to climb.

Sunday 21 May 2023

Decorating the yard

I have spent this week rearranging plants and putting up some of the decorations I have been collecting. First up in the bamboo duck that my sister sent ages ago. It has been hanging in the living room from the hook that is used for the Christmas tree. There is no breeze indoors so we have not had the full effect, so now its outside we get a wonderful plink plonk noise when the wind blows.
Below is the dragonfly that Claire also bought me for Christmas that has a sunny spot next to the jasmine.
Here is my snail, that I had on my Etsy wishlist for ages. He has a lovely spot on the back of my bench (that I also devoted two afternoons to rubbing down and re-oiling this week).
This bee hotel is a more recent find. I did make a 'bug hotel' type affair on the wall but it does not specifically have space for solitary bees and since I had so many bee visitors last summer I am hoping some of them might stop around:
Stay safe. Be kind. Decorate your space.

Friday 19 May 2023

Escape from the cage

Just when you think you've been working in one place too long it manages to surprise you. I found this Santa's Elf door just randomly on the skirting by the door to the men's. Admittedly there is usually a bin standing in front of it, but who knows how long it might have been there.
So for once Royal Mail institutes a plan and it has the effect they anticipated. The cage is deserted, few packets and fewer customers. Last week I moved all the packets and Stuart and I removed a chunk of the shelving to make a lovely open space in the middle. Then the manager had a little 'chat' and asked if I would be prepared to return to an outdoor job. I said I was happy to, and picked Cotton, duty 89, that has been without a permanent holder for some time now. Here is my frame. It is the first time I have had my own walk, having previously always done holiday and day-off cover:
Here is my nice little box for keeping tea making stuff and random useful stickers:
And my High Capacity Trolley (maximum loaded weight 122kg)
I am back doing the inward primary sorting (IPS) with everyone else and it has been nice to be part of the big team again rather than working alone in the cage. I have done ten days now, and while it is much more tiring than working indoors the sun has mostly shone on me and I am looking forward to the summer.
Stay safe. Be kind. Get yourself some vitamin D.

Monday 15 May 2023

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day


During the A to Z Challenge I came across the Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, a monthly sharing of your favourite new flowers. I have always considered myself a book blogger rather than a garden blogger, though in the last year or two the balance has tipped in that direction. So here are a few things looking pretty in my yard at the moment. Sorry I can't tell you what they all are because I tend to let things pop up and often forget where things were planted.
These is my lovely wallflowers that have been delightful for a couple of years now:
And here the Triffids are finally flowering and it seems that they are giant foxgloves after all. I have nurtured these plants for three years ... it's nice to know the care and attention will pay off in the end, even though they are taking over the space be the back door, two of them are six feet tall.

Go and visit some of the other participants and see what's popping up in people's gardens.

Stay safe. Be kind. Love the flowers.

Sunday 14 May 2023

Brotherly Delight

In December we welcomed two new babies to the family, and started a family What's App group to share photos and suchlike. It's nice because nobody bombards it with stuff or memes or anything, we just share nice things going on in our lives occasionally and cute baby happenings. 
I think the first of my brother Giles' photo shares might have been accidental but since then he has posted several of himself matching his surroundings. It give my joy, partly just to see him because we have not been close over the years, but also because what's not to love about coincidences.
I just wish I had the one of my sister Claire matching the wallpaper in the Thai restaurant in Newton Abbot, it was perfect.

Stay safe. Be kind. Get yourself some orange trousers.

Monday 8 May 2023



This came in from The Marginalian this morning and lifted my spirits. Maybe it can do the same for you.

Stay safe. Be kind. Close your eyes and listen.

Friday 5 May 2023

S is for Something For You

So this week Royal Mail introduced their new automatic redelivery initiative. If you are expecting a package and are not home you will get one of the new, redesigned P739 cards that informs the customer that we will bring their package back out the following day (quite a lot of couriers do this and we just wanted to be like everyone else). *Technically* you can not come and collect it until the day after that, but  customers are (still) not really reading the card (as we knew they wouldn't) but we are doing our best to track things down for anyone who comes in and is befuddled by the new system. (For tracked items there are a range of options including choosing a different redelivery day). This now involves for the posties a more complicated card, that is invariably not filled in properly, and a load of scanning and stickering when they get back ... but for us in the cage it has already meant a lot of thumb twiddling between the increasingly rare customers. We are taking bets on how quickly the hours in the Customer Service Point are going to be cut back and how quickly we will be back out on delivery ... at least it's nearly summer (because I am a big softie now and no longer relish going out in the rain).
Stay safe. Be kind. Wait in for your redelivery.

Thursday 4 May 2023

Monday 1 May 2023

Reflecting on the 2023 A to Z

#AtoZChallenge 2023 Winner
Again this year I came to the A to Z Challenge at the last minute. But I am glad I did. I have been blogging for 14 years now (though I keep forgetting my blogiversary) and my enthusiasm for writing it has waxed and waned. I first did the A to Z back in 2012 when there were, I believe, well over a thousand participants, and although the blogosphere has also waxed and waned over the years there are still lots of people out there connecting over the things that they enjoy. My garden has given me much joy in the last couple of years and looking back this April has enthused me ready for the summer ahead.
New seedlings are waiting for the summer to arrive:
I did a lot of blog hopping.
The Girdle of Melian is the only person still blogging from my first reflections post, who I have been following all this time.
Planet Pailly was my first find this year, fascinating posts about the planet Mercury.
Jabblog has also been posting about flora and fauna, some wonderful photos every day.
John at The Sound of One Hand Typing has given us an amazing eclectic mix of music and musings.
Sarah posted an interesting selection of photos, slotted in-between her writing.
Zombie Flamingos gets a mention because I am a sucker for an wacky blog title, and they also post cats and flowers, what's not to love.
And Sharon, who I only found on the reflections list, did Disney music, and going back through her posts has lifted the mood of our afternoon muchly.
Thanks to the team at the A to Z Challenge and to everyone who participated, see you again next year.
Stay safe. Be kind. Blog on!