Monday 30 April 2012

Flowers in the house of wet shoes

Tosca and Flossie are in heaven because their beloved street auntie Sandra, from two doors down when we lived in Newcastle, is here with husband Dave, staying for a few days. We have been thoroughly rained on in some beautiful scenic spots, but we are having a lovely time.

Rather late in the day, this post, due to a failing memory and a busy day taking our visitors out and about in Somerset in the wettest April on record. Here are my Monday flowers in the house pictures, as requested by Jane.

Only some wayside flowers today, all gathered within half a mile of my house, the supermarket tulips having failed to live up to their early promise.

Two photographers, two different cameras; not that the companion and I compete, you understand.

The flowers are in the bathroom.

Some are in the dining room, with its difficult lighting.

Wild flowers seem to enjoy cold wet conditions. Odd, isn't it.

Thursday 26 April 2012

Watch and wait

For those of you who miss the cats.

You will be reassured to learn that Hamish and Scooter are enthusiastic members of the local Neighbourhood Watch scheme.

This means that Tosca can have some time off.

Tuesday 24 April 2012


Such a treat the other night. Lovely neighbours up the road, J & D, the ones with the big garden and the stream, the enormous cedar and the constant supply of bird food that a certain greedy labrador tries to snaffle in passing, invited me and the companion to watch the nightly visitation of their badgers.

J called them softly.

Four of the usual six arrived. They trundled at speed through the shadowy recesses of the garden, taking a circuitous route to the patio steps, where the peanut butter sandwiches and the loose peanuts were waiting.

They arrived cautiously, but hoovered up their supper, jostling each other, crunching loudly, darting up and down the steps. They didn't seem to mind the opening and shutting of the patio doors, the camera flashes, or J standing within two feet of them. They moved fast, jerkily; many pictures were blurred, and we didn't manage to capture all four together.

After a while we simply stood and watched. The boldest was an old bruiser with a scarred nose.

They looked at us, and we looked at them, but they didn't forget why they were there.

I had never seen live badgers at close quarters before. We returned home, feeling thrilled and strangely privileged.

After we left, the tamest one arrived, the one who will feed from J's hand. We'll meet him another night; we have an open invitation to return at any time after darkness falls.

Wednesday 18 April 2012

National health

How we moan about our creaking, slow, inefficient, mega-costly health service.

Not me.

Easter Monday: discover something alarming.

Tuesday: ring from London to make urgent next-day appointment with GP.

Wednesday: GP reassuring, but makes referral to specialist services.

Friday: specialist unit calls me to make appointment.

The following Tuesday, in the sensitive, calm specialist unit in a hospital some distance away, I am X-rayed, ultrasound-scanned, examined by a consultant, prodded, poked, and soundly reassured that the something, while real, isn't alarming at all, and that I do not have breast cancer.

Not complaining; not at all. And thankful.

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Not interested

Flossie's Sunday outing. Let's go somewhere interesting, we said. Exmoor, naturally.

Highland cows, Flossie?

Not interested.

Sheep, Flossie?

Not interested.

13th Century church, Flossie?

Not interested.

River, Flossie?

Let me think....


Sunday 15 April 2012


Yesterday into the countryside with companion, in search of quiet and tranquillity; a detox programme for the soul, in one afternoon.

The thatching reed stood tall.

St Bartholomew's tiny church perched above the lane, empty, but with evidence remaining of recent Easter worship.

This is my favourite so far of the many small rural churches that dot the landscape here.

And in the fading light, down the peaceful narrow lanes, to home.
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