Saturday, June 30, 2018

My English Garden in Late June

We are in the middle of a heatwave here in the UK, the longest since 1976. Oh yes, I remember that well! Five months pregnant, water rationing, and stand pipes in the streets. It was so hot that I couldn't cope with the journey to and from work each day, almost two miles on my bicycle,so retired early - and didn't return to work for five years.

I still don't like very hot weather, so I wander out into the garden early in the morning and in the evening, when it is a bit cooler.  This morning I was outside with the cafetiere at 7 a.m., taking a few minutes to enjoy the peace and quiet of early morning before getting down to an hour of dead-heading and cutting back.

The Hydrangea bushes have started to bloom just as the petals are drifting away from the first flush of rose blossoms.

 Last weekend I spent a strenuous few days attempting to renovate a patch of lawn that is taking it's last few gasps of breath. Yes, it probably is the worst possible time to make the effort, but I simply couldn't continue to put up with the desperate state of the grass. So I scarified, aerated, brushed in top soil and ant powder and scattered seed. Now, of course, I am having to thoroughly water every evening and cross my fingers to hope that the seeds germinate.

Tasks for today, already completed !

  • Dead-headed the roses and the garden pinks
  • Cut back the lupins and delphiniums to ground level, in the hope and expectation of a second growth for later flowers.
  •  Spread ant powder and organic anti-slug and snail gel around susceptible plants
  • Clipped the aubretia with the garden shears

A Visit to Shakespeare's Birthplace

The U3A Out and About group recently embarked on a coach trip to Stratford-upon-Avon. The weather was perfect, which meant that my companion and I were able to take a tour of the area on the open-top bus.

We drove through the old town out to Shottery (Ann Hathaway's cottage) and then on to Wilmcote (his mother's home). After returning to the town we strolled along the lovely riverside walk, ate lunch in The Other Place; and explored Holy Trinity Church, where the only authenticated image of our national bard has pride of place. Apparently, when the bust of him was mounted, after his death, Ann Hathaway (his wife, not the actress of the same name) confirmed that it looked like him. Shakespeare was christened and buried in Holy Trinity Church. Even if you are not a Shakespeare fan, the church is worth visiting to see the glorious windows. At first glance, you might believe, like me, that they are stained glass. But a guide pointed out to me that in places the paint has faded from some of the glass.

Shakespeare in Holy Trinity Church

Shakespeare's Birthplace
Stratford-upon-Avon is not just about Shakespeare. It is a delightful ancient market town with lots to interest visitors. Here's a picture of the river Avon, taken from the terrace of the RSC, where we were taking a tea break.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Radiating Bananas

Hi. Welcome. It's a lovely May morning here in Robin Hood Land.


I haven't been here for a while - was visiting number 2 son and family in Scotland.  More about that in a later post. What I want to share today is the surprising news that bananas emit radiation! It's true! The information was imparted to me this morning be a radiologist as she manipulated my arthritic left knee and took various images. I had expressed concern at the number of x-rays that I have submitted to over the years and her riposte was that we get a higher does from a long-haul flight (I flew 14 hours to  Singapore in November!) and that bananas emit radiation. I eat at least one banana a day, sometimes two. I looked for more information.  The good news is that we would need to eat lots of bananas to have an adverse effect. Check out the link to Forbes for more information.