Wednesday 29 February 2012

Out and about and over the top

Another full and busy week. We are treating my old school friend Tricia's final fortnight with me as a holiday; no builders, no unpacking, no must-do chores. Fun and relaxation, food and sightseeing, lots of lovely walks on beaches and hills.

Sunday lunch here.

Rather too, er, colourful and generously decorated for my taste, I'd say, but delightful waiting staff, Hungarian and Roumanian.

Then a flurry of excitement mingled with expectation of disappointment: Tricia might have won something substantial! But no. The bag of gold must be closed; the one she uncovered was open, although neither we nor the retailer could spot the difference without heavy-duty spectacles to assist. But it was a sweet dream while it lasted.....

And off to Wells - what a little jewel of a place! The smallest city in England, with a Cathedral and a Bishop's Palace - with moat. And lots of rather nice shoe shops. I know, how shallow of me. We met up with one of Tricia's friends there.

Yesterday a walk to Dunster, pausing for a chat with the owners of this gorgeous old chap, a Bernese mountain dog,

The back road to Dunster is so pretty.

We pottered around the village, treating ourselves to hot chocolate here, where I booked a place on a chocolate-making course next month.

We visited this lovely church,

and walking home again.

En route, we chatted to a man planting a beech hedge, a gardener by profession, and as a result, I now have someone who is  going to help me with the heavy-duty basics in my garden, digging, weeding, soil-improving, fixing training wires for the climbers and apple tree, and generally doing all the jobs that I don't want to do/can't do with my naggingly painful back.

Later, for supper with friends, and a walk home down a pitch-dark lane by torchlight, owls hooting madly in all directions.

And today? Well, we did some housework - not before time, I must say. It was gloriously warm weather. 16.9 degrees; Shelagh, meanwhile, huddled indoors in Toronto, while her snow and freezing rain allowed me to send smug emails with these pictures:

So we had an impromptu lunch in the sun. The last day of February, and we sat outside in t-shirts and bare feet; unbelievable.

More pleasant things to do tomorrow and over the weekend; Tricia goes away on Monday, and that's the last I will see of her until her next visit from Australia.

And then? Oh, there will be more visitors.....

Monday 27 February 2012

Flowers in the house*

Supermarket daffodils. Always a surprise.

With cat tail. Of course.

(*For more, nicer, with baby, see here.)

Saturday 25 February 2012


And big skies. Click to enlarge, as they say.

Tuesday 21 February 2012

What it is

It's a group from the Women's Institute, that meets monthly in my local pub, to play skittles and have lunch together.

It's a gentle start with drinks at the bar (mostly tea and coffee), before two teams form in the skittle alley at the back.

The skittles and the ball are wooden and evidently well-used.

I thought they had a gnarly turnipy look.

It's an opportunity for much laughter and lively conversation, and it is all surprisingly good fun, even for the total beginner. Tricia scored a 9 with her first roll of the ball.

I proved that I have a unique skill - two of my attempts had the ball rolling off at a tangent onto the carpet.

Rules were flexible, the point being to enjoy the game, rather than to be cut-throat-competitive.

Two non-players joined us towards the end, and orders were taken for lunch. Over bacon sandwiches and baked potatoes, it emerged that of the 14 of us present, not one was originally from Somerset.

Some canvassing took place for attendees at the crafts group and the book group. There was enthusiastic support for a proposal to revive the walking group.

It all felt jolly, welcoming, heartwarming and inclusive.

What it isn't.... well, sex and drugs and rock and roll is what it isn't, if you know what I mean.

Tonight: the flower arranging club, to which I have been invited as a guest by another neighbour.

Can I survive this new life in the fast lane?

Sunday 19 February 2012


Walking in the morning:

Walking in the afternoon:

An intriguing flash of red amidst the mossy green.

Scarlet Elf Cup fungus (thank you, Rose)

And being looked at:

(Mo from next door)

Have a good week!

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