With fondness and a smile

Regular readers will know that Liz over in Lexington, Kentucky had two dogs, Charlie and Dulcie, who have appeared here occasionally.

In her email to me last Friday Liz wrote…Sadly Charley is going downhill. I have been lucky to have him live another year after being being diagnosed with congestive heart failure in March 2017.  So enjoying Charley while I have him is precious time. 

He’s seen here back in January 2016 enjoying sofa flying.

Sadly Charley collapsed over last weekend and Liz took him to the emergency vet to be put to sleep.

Yesterday Liz wrote in her email…It’s empty without him.  Poor Dulcie is bewildered. She wouldn’t walk round the park with me this morning and she’s been curled up in a chair most of the day.  She can’t be an only dog, which Charley loved, for long. 

Earlier today Liz’s email said…Poor Dulcie has been so out of sorts that I took her to the humane society this morning and put a hold on a ten month old black terrier-mix pup. Think we’ll call her Sophie.  Here she is getting acquainted with Dulcie. 

My mum always said that we should remember our pets with fondness and a smile, which I’m sure Liz will do with much loved and missed Charley.

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Posted in Sofa flying | 36 Comments

It’s the end of April,

and the plot looks like this. As you can see the flower patch is covered with Flighty’s favourites pot marigold seedlings, which have self-seeded from last year.

Not visible in the above picture are the comfry and raspberry plants all of which are doing well as seen below.

Last week I spent four mornings plotting when I planted the rest of the potatoes.  The first ones I planted a fortnight ago tomorrow are already beginning to show, as are the onions and some of the beetroot seeds.

I also rough cut the grass all round, although it may not look like it looking at these pictures taken this morning.

The perennial cornflower (centaurea montana) has lots flower buds on it.

It’s been damp and dull the past few days and tomorrow the weather forecast is dire with heavy rain, high winds and feeling really cold.  Thankfully it’s looking better after that but I think that it’ll be at least a couple of days before I’m plotting again.

Have a good week!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 29 Comments

Sofa reading, April 2018

Liz – Those who have read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and it’s companion book The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessey, both published in 2012, will know the joy of reading Rachel Joyce‘s work.

Her third novel, published last year, was The Music Shop set mostly in 1988 in a downtrodden city area. CD’s are encroaching on vinyl records and Frank, a middle-aged man, owns a music shop that only stocks the latter on a dead-end street that has seen better days.  His fellow shopkeepers are a female tattoo artist, a Polish baker, a defrocked priest who sells Catholic items, a funeral parlour and, of course, the pub on the corner.

Frank was raised by an unconventional mother who instilled in him a love and knowledge of music in all its forms.  He uses this ability to find for his customers what will cure what ails them, be it a Chopin prelude or Aretha Franklin.  Frank changes lives and he is content with his lot until…

Out of Frank and this motley crew comes a story filled with delight, nostalgia and poignancy.  Gentle humour saves it from becoming sappy. In addition to the pleasure of reading a good story I learned along the way about how to really listen to music and the lives of the great composers.

Mike –  When I received Liz’s email in mid-March I’d not read these three books but have now, finishing the last one yesterday.  I enjoyed them all, especially The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy.

The last part of The Music Shop is set in 2009 and ends with the Hallelujah Chorus sung by a flash mob reminding me of this rendition.

Happy reading, and have a good weekend!

Posted in Sofa reading | Tagged | 11 Comments

It’s been sunny and warm…

for the past few days, although there was some rain last night,  so I’ve been mostly pottering rather than plotting.

Sadly the tulips are already well past their best, as are the white narcissus ‘Thalia’.  I was given a handful of unknown variety daffodils last autumn which I planted in a container and are only now flowering.

     

 

I’m pleased to see how well the strawberry plants that I recently replanted are doing, one has got a flower on it.

 

 

 

I don’t think that I’ve mentioned I have a black willow (Salix gracilistyla ‘Melanostschys’) which I planted by the log pile. It’s in a sunny spot and the ground tends to stay slightly damp, which is ideal.  At present it’s about six inches tall and should only reach ten feet in ten years.

Next week  will see breezy and cooler weather which will suit me as I want to plant the rest of the potatoes and cut the grass paths.

Have a good week!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 18 Comments

So far this week…

I’ve planted all the onion sets Red Fen and Sturon, and the first early seed potatoes Arran Pilot and Swift along with the second earlies Charlotte.

I’ve sowed a double row of broad bean The Sutton seeds and a short row of beetroot  Baby Beat seeds.

I’ve direct sowed flower seeds cornflowers (centaurea cyanus) Polka Dot,  love-in-a-mist (nigella dasmascena) Persian Jewels, poached egg plants (limnanthes douglasii) and sunflowers helianthus annuus) Musicbox.

This is one of the lovely double-headed white narcissus Thalia that are in the long planter.

I find the centres of tulips fascinating, like this red Toronto,

and the all yellow Bellona.

It’s been dry, sunny and rather warm, which looks set to continue through the weekend before getting breezy and cooler into next week.

Have a good weekend!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 20 Comments

It was a dismal week,

being mostly damp and dull with no sunshine.  I briefly looked round the still soggy plot after lunch on Tuesday and again Friday morning.

The daffodils have already mostly finished but thankfully the tulips are now providing some welcome colour.

   

At home all the tomato seeds that I sowed a week ago yesterday have germinated and appeared. I sowed single seeds in 3 1/2″ round pots, which shouldn’t need repotting before I plant out hopefully towards the end of May. The various cosmos and sunflower seeds I sowed individually in 3″ square pots last Monday have also started appearing.

Next week looks like being dry, sunny and warm with temperatures reaching 20C/68F by Wednesday which will be most welcome as I should be able to start planting and sowing at long last.  It’ll be a busy plotting week if I can.

Have a good week!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 26 Comments

Tree following, April 2018

Liz – Here in Lexington, Kentucky the past month has seen wintry periods and some snow so it’s not surprising that the black walnut that I’m following shows no sign of any new growth as yet.

        

Around the base of the tree seedlings of the invasive Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japaonica) are already appearing. It’s a constant battle to keep this plant at bay.

Flighty – The weather has been much the same here in Harrow, London but the medlars are showing plenty of new leaf growth.

It’ll be interesting to see them open and show what they look like over the coming weeks.

Our thanks to Pat, The Squirrelbasket, for hosting Tree following. If anyone wants to find out more, and perhaps follow a tree, click on the link shown over on the right-hand side.

Have a good weekend!

Posted in Tree following | Tagged | 22 Comments