Monday, 30 June 2014

Trees Or Toilet Paper?

My Granddaughters come round for breakfast most mornings before school and they go upstairs and brush their teeth and see to their ablutions before leaving.

The other morning, while I was in my bedroom, I overheard a conversation through the bathroom door whilst Amber the oldest was brushing her teeth and Millie the youngest must have been on the toilet.

"Millie, you're using far too much paper. Don't forget the poor trees that have died for you so that you could wipe your bottom!"

In theory, that was quite a touching remark...... except that I haven't really noticed Amber being particularly into conservation and recycling.
Millie is probably into it more...... so you never know, she might try and cut down on the amount she uses.
Its easy to criticise other people's habits though, isn't it? Especially if it's from a sibling.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Painted Ladies

In my last post I described the flocks of butterflies that were swarming all over the gardens and I mistakenly identified them as Peacocks.
They always seemed to be fluttering quite fast and never stayed still for long enough to positively identify them.
One day last week, I was gardening and found one butterfly that was resting in the shade of a honeysuckle hedge so I was able to study it at length. 
It was a Painted Lady which is another common species of British butterfly that lays eggs on thistles. Plenty for the caterpillars to munch on in the neighbour's garden that is filled with them.
 Maybe not quite as spectacular as the Peacocks, but they do look dramatic when they are all fluttering by the dozen and during the late afternoon and early evening they continue to visit in kaleidoscopes, which is the collective name for many, apparently.

Life goes on in a humdrum sort of way in this household. One day is very much the same as the next. Harry continues to make small amounts of progress and has enjoyed sitting out in the garden during our glorious sunshine. The weather is consistently summery and I see that today is the longest day already.
It is still light at ten o'clock in the evening and the sun rises again at 5 am.
It will all start to change from now on, little by little but we should get another two months of summer if we are lucky.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Good Out Of Bad?

My neighbour makes no secret of the fact that he hates gardening and I sometimes do a bit of weeding for him in his small front patch. However, the enclosed garden at the back of his house is full of almost waist high weeds with a lot of thistles.
They eventually pollinate and I have lots of downy seed heads flying into my garden with the breeze. This, of course means lots of weeding eventually for me.

I was surprised that all during yesterday afternoon and especially late evening, the sky seemed full of orange fluttery things flying over our garden and they were spreading all up and down the road. They were definitely coming from the garden filled with weeds!
I was amazed when I went outside to inspect these fluttery beings. I'd never seen so many butterflies in all my life but none of them would stay still for long enough to positively identify which species.
I searched my book on British butterflies and found that Peacocks definitely thrive on thistles and they looked the same size, colour and shape, so I guess that's what they are.
Just goes to show that something good can come out of something bad.

I continue to look after Harry and he is marginally stronger than when he first came out of hospital. Although I am tired, we are getting into a routine now and help seems to be coming in slowly now, in various forms, so progress is being made there, too.


Tuesday, 3 June 2014

It's All About the Little Things........

Photo copyright: Maggie May

Harry was discharged from hospital last Thursday, amidst absolute chaos at home because of the gas central heating conversion that affected nearly every room.
The good thing about allowing him home was that his pain was more or less completely under control. The bad thing was that the plumbers and gas fitters had taken up floor boards in most rooms and that Harry now needs a zimmer frame to get around and he caught a chill because the front and back doors were left open because of fumes in the house. This affected his waterworks ........ need I say more?
Anyway, it has taken me a long time to work out a good routine to care for him and my day starts at 6.15 am and I collapse into bed by 10.30, which I would have considered extremely early until a few weeks ago.
I am manning the ship single handed as many others do, so get very tired. However, since he came home, Harry seems appreciative of the things I do and I find I can leave him for quick local shopping or a bit of gardening and I manage to go out for walks to keep fit.
My Ceanothus is having a ball at present and gives off a heady perfume that seeps into the house especially in the evening.
I am finding that little things, like a bird coming to feed in my garden, sunshine, fragrant scents from flowers or the way the sun shines on the leaves of trees, give me a lot of pleasure.
It's all about the little things and a good routine.