Monthly Archives: April 2009


Worse than it looks

poor-poor-maxThese are pictures of a poor dog who went all trusting to the vets today only to fall asleep and awake to find his trusting good nature had been taken advantage of, and he had been left with a gap in his most tender parts, and that he felt most miserable and unwell. I got a phone call to come and fetch him early as he was now attempting to destroy his cage to get out and they feared he would do himself a harm in the process.

He had a very miserable afternoon, and he would like you all to realise that he was a lot more miserable than he looked. However he is now starting to brighten up a lot.



…make a summer

The moment my friend and her enchanting grandson left, the weather turned from dry and bright to truly glorious. All along the hedgerows the blackthorn blossoms in profusion, and more botanically interesting plants are slowly creeping out in places not too ravaged by the ubiquitous sheep – what a paradise this place must have been when there were fewer of them.

Sitting outside my own front door I am surrounded by birdsong, and the peace is almost absolute. It is hard to read for almost every instant there is something to see and wonder over.

On Saturday I was taken totally by surprise by an almost hysterical burst of vivid navy blue. Two swallows burst past me, ecstatic to find themselves at journey’s end. That first day they were hyper active and more noisy than usual. They have been building with the ample mud supplied by the pond. Gradually more are joining them. I was not sure today if the count was four or five.

Horatia is sitting on her eggs – but I am worried. I’ve not seen Maro mate with her, and when, to her loud grief she broke an egg, it did not seem to have been fertile. In order to save grief all round, I have ordered her four Roman goose eggs. They will be fertile, though she may of course make some fatal mistake in the brooding of them. The problem will arise if she does hatch any of her own goslings, because they will be nearly four days ahead of the bought in eggs. Maybe a hen will be broody by then?

One is already brooding (Goldilocks) and one has disappeared (eaten or gone broody – time will tell) which leaves three to go broody – supposing I an find out where they are laying.

Little white nearly van settles in..

I got her on Friday as planned, and despite a moment of panic as I adjusted from the swish courtesy car to the small tin can, she is pleasing me.

She is genuinely very manoeuvrable, and with a high body carriage which lets me bounce happily up the track. My shoulder no longer plagues me with a constant dull ache, because the steering wheel is set low, and I can get near it without my knees bumping under the dashboard. Her biggest asset however is the petrol consumption (lack of). I will try to work out just what it is, but it is already plain that if I want to go somewhere in the neighbourhood, or take the dogs for a walk, I now can. I am really looking forward to this freedom.

A strange Holy Week

Having had no car of my own has altered the pattern of holy week a lot. I did have a courtesy car for three days, so managed to get to the ecumenical service on Wednesday. There was the beginnings of a conversation about the theology of penal substitution in the car afterwards.

However I had another eye test scheduled for Thursday, so for the first time in I do not know how many years missed the Maundy Eucharist and striping of the altars. I gave tea to the kind friend who drove me home (eye drops make driving impossible) so could not even spend the evening with the key texts as I had intended.

Today, a Eucharist from the reserve sacrament was scheduled at 10.30 to avoid clashing with ecumenical services. One of those stellar services where one feels the angels are worshipping in the church and will not permit as much as a foot fall to be misplaced. Very simple, it was just perfect in atmosphere and execution.

But then off to collect the new car -and what with getting there, getting tax disk and petrol – it was three pm before I got home and I missed even private prayer for the last hour of the cross.

I might as well continue with a strange pattern, so instead of pretending it is now 1pm, I am going to pray a little, clean up a little, cook a little, and then take the last of hours of the evening in an electricity-less house, as suggested for the week’s exercise on the prayer group ‘Hermione’s Heaven’.

Take a look at it, and if anybody feels like joining – I’ll send you an invitation.


It’s uncool, it’s cheap to run, it had all the points I was looking for, it’s Mma Hannah’s little white very-nearly

It is what you don’t forsee

Burns was partially right – the best laid plans of mice and men do gang aft agley. Mind you it is not currently future fears that are afflicting me, it is the wretched present.

I had confidently expected a weekend of peace. After all the effort of last weekend, I was going to put things in good shape for the much anticipated visit of a good friend after Easter, and put some things back were they belonged after the wood worm treatment, which made great chaos. I had to check my Tisec reader, and I wanted to do a little cooking, a little gardening and a little riding. I was going to go to church and appreciate the great Passion narrative. I was going to write my pieces for Beauty in Chaos and Thinking Anglicans. A blissful weekend.

I had picked up the very good bargain of ten rose bushes which had lost their labels at my favourite nursery, finished the tedium of the four hour clean that ends the week and was heading home to enjoy a movie. When I suddenly found an on coming van on my side of the road, had to break, missed it, but had the car behind canon into me and write off both my car and itself.

I was kind-of fortunate. Nobody was hurt and although the van driver did not stop and nobody got his number, the driver of the other car did not dispute the facts.

But I have spent most of my time dealing with the consequences – insurance companies and car searches. It is stressful and tedious. I have to keep stopping to remind myself that the other car driver was ful of praise at my avoiding the van, and it could have been a lot worse for all of us.

But my internet dial up has made the car search a nightmare – so slow! Most of my riding vanished. Most of my clearing up vanished. I had to do te eader. I could not possible get to church.

But by good chance a nice lady from the church rang me, and will get my palm cross, thus hopefully starting a little bond between us. And I did get the roses planted. I wonder what they are!

If a thing is worth doing…

There is a proper way to garden, and I know what it is. You dig, weed, manure, prepare everything properly and then put your plants in.

I am full of the desire to add colour and beauty and fruit and veg NOW – and frankly I don’t have time for the careful way. I am filling containers (because I need to lower the level of the ground surrounding the house soon) and, in the other areas, simply digging a hole and plonking plants in. I don’t suppose all of it will survive, but I am hoping for some colour and some flavour, and I’m certainly having a lot of fun.

The latest acquisition was two bare root white flowering cherries from Aldi. They already have flowers which is a bit alarming.

After all, if a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing badly.