Sofa reading, February 2017

Recently Liz and I have read Wendy Jones’s books The Thoughts and Happenings of Wilfred Price… and The World is a Wedding and here are our views on them.

the-thoughts-and-happeningsThe Thoughts and Happenings of Wilfred Price… is set in in the small town of Narbeth, south-west Wales during 1926. Wilfred is the town’s undertaker, a rather ernest young man who having lost his mother at a young age is unschooled in the ways of the world, and lives with his Da, the grave-digger, in a harmonious yet messy household.

This is an appealing book in which Wendy Jones takes the reader from Wilfred’s spur-of-the-moment  marriage proposal to Grace, who he hardly knows, her acceptance then his immediate regret.  Then he finds true love for Flora, who is in mourning for the recent sudden death of her father and loss of her fiance back in World War One. There follows a string of moral dilemmas and some rather dark  places.  The story is interspersed with some funny episodes, for example Wilfred, in a move to improve himself, begins to work his way through a dictionary so we have many words beginning with the letter a.

There some Welsh words I had to google and, of course, the local rugby team would be singing Land of My Fathers. I left this book thinking what happens next.  So if you, like me, read and enjoy this book I recommend the sequel where all the untied ends are knotted together. I won’t divulge it’s contents and spoil the story…Liz.

There is little I feel I can add to what Liz has written about The Thoughts and Happenings… so I thought that I’d write about both books in more general terms.  I enjoyed this book despite some rather moving and sad events, which thankfully didn’t overshadow the lighter moments.  I also finished it wanting to know what happens next.

the-world-is-a-weddingThe second book, The World is a Wedding, is split between Narbeth and London and touches on the suffragette movement which was still very active then.  It was also the year of the miner’s and general strikes both of which must have affected many people at the time.  All the characters are well imagined and believable, with attitudes, expectations and outlooks typical of the period and place. Wilfred has a motor hearse which I’m guessing was unusual for a small town undertaker then.  He also ponders getting a radio which was the height of technology in 1926.

If I have one minor quibble it’s that I feel the two books would perhaps have been better written as one with some judicious editing. That apart I enjoyed them both and look forward to reading Wendy Jones‘s next novel…Flighty.

Happy reading, and have a good weekend!

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It’s with a certain amount…

of trepidation that I go to the plot the day after there’s been heavy rain and/or high winds. I did so on Friday and was relieved to find that all was okay.  However looking round the site I could see minor damage to some of the greenhouses and sheds.

yellow-crocuses

The crocuses are already beginning to look past their best but it won’t be long before the first daffodils start flowering.

daffodils-on-the-way

I mentioned last year that I’d lost the aster pringlei Monte Cassino as the roots had rotted in soggy ground.  Luckily plot neighbour George kindly gave me one of his Twinkling stars and said to dig it up to replant whenever I liked, which I’ve now done.  I’ve put it mid-way along the top , road-side, edge of the flower patch.

Hopefully during the coming week I’ll be digging up and replanting both the hydrangea and sedum.

Have a good week!

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I’ve had two good mornings…

honey-bee-on-a-white-crocus

 

so far this week.  Monday was sunny and warm and it was the first time this year that I’ve seen honey bees buzzing round.  They come from a plot neighbour’s hives and I hardly notice them on the flowers during the summer.

 

 

strawberry-patch

 

Yesterday I tidied up the strawberry patch then hand forked round the  plants before adding a couple of buckets of compost.  They really need digging up and some replanting but that  can wait for another year.

 

I’ve decided not to empty my compost heap, as I usually do at this time of year, as I’m still digging out, and sieving, barrow loads of compost from the nearby communal wood bays.  I will however turn it over, which is something that I don’t usually bother to do.

It’s very unsettled here this morning with some heavy rain and high winds thanks to the storm that’s passing across the country further north.  I hope that everything is okay when I take a look round tomorrow.

Have a good weekend!

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It’s good to be plotting…

bumble-bee-on-a-crocusagain after several months of armchair gardening.  Friday morning was sunny and warm so I spent a couple of hours happily plotting for the first time this year.

crocuses-snow-bunting-4

The white crocus Snow Bunting opened in the sunshine which attracted a large bumble bee which worked it’s way from flower to flower.
all-yellow-crocus

Elsewhere more all yellow ones have appeared.

 

That just leaves the purple ones, most of which are in the long planter.

 

 

tulips-on-the-way

 

 

The tulips in one of the large pots are showing well. These are a mix of white Purissima and red Red Impression.

 

It looks like the coming week will be mostly dry, mild and overcast so I’ll make a start on preparing the areas where I will hopefully be sowing broad beans and planting  onion sets early next month.

Have a good week!

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Looking round this morning…

lots-of-crocuses-snow-bunting

I was pleased to see how well the white crocuses Snow Bunting are doing and looking forward to seeing them flower.

 

 

yellow-crocuses

Under the rose Pretty Lady is a mix of crocuses including some yellow ones.

It always surprises me that having waited for what seems ages just how quickly they then appear and flower.

 

 

walton-sheds-tea-mug-1Earlier in the week I, and other garden bloggers, received this mug from Waltons. You may recollect the post I did last August Flighty’s plot is one of…  about being one of 19 amazing allotment blogs chosen by them to feature on their own blog.

Over on Twitter various people showed this side so I showed the other side featuring the Waltons logo.

walton-sheds-tea-mug-2

Needless to say I’ve already put it to good use as my new regular tea mug.

As I mentioned last Sunday I was hoping to start plotting again this week but it rained yesterday so although nice this morning it was too soggy to do anything.   Apart from some light rain tonight it looks like staying dry so hopefully next week will see me doing so.

Have a good weekend!

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Tree following, February 2017 – the plot dogwood

tree-following-feb17-plot-dogwood-3This dogwood (cornus) has grown up on the plot during in the ten years that I’ve had it. I let it remain and grow as it’s in a good position near the the top, north-west corner, and provides all-year round interest.  I keep it pruned to about six foot high.

 

I’ve never been quite sure which variety it is, but possibly a cornus alba var. sibirica.

 

 

tree-following-feb17-plot-dogwood-2As you can see at this time of year it has no leaves so that the red branch ends can be clearly seen, and contrast well with the older light buff coloured bark.

 

Thanks, to Pat, The Squirrelbasket, for hosting Tree following.

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It’s been wintry…

first-of-the-crocuses-snow-buntingthe past few days with temperatures around 0 C during the day, damp with some light snow at times  and almost continually overcast.

 

I’ve made few visits to the plot, even for a quick look round.  During the week when I did I was pleased to see that a few of the crocuses Snow Bunting aren’t far off flowering.

 

 

daffodils-on-the-way

 

The well established daffodils, as seen here, are now being joined by the ones that I planted last autumn which are just starting to appear.

I’m looking forward to seeing them all in flower over the coming months.

 

 

 

first-rhubarb-stem-to-appearI nearly missed this first rhubarb stem, and had to look twice to make sure that’s what it was.

I was going to walk up to the horticultural society trading shed later this morning but it’s bleak out so I’ll give it a miss. I’m sure that what I was going to buy will still be available next week.

After lunch I’m going to browse through this excellent list of 100 gardening blogs, which kindly includes Flighty’s plot.

 

Thankfully the weather looks set to change from tomorrow onwards with some sunshine, then warmer through the week and staying dry.  I might even get to do some plotting.

Have a good week!

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