Showing posts from August, 2022

In Abundance

  Returning from a week away we have been welcomed by an abundance. Unfortunately not all abundances are welcome equally.     The fruit and vegetables were appreciated, less so the multitude of wasps helping themselves to the profusion of apples and plums. Then, of course, there was the big job of watering everything, although luckily there had been some rain during our absence and the water butts were brimming once again. Where, however, have all those cats suddenly appeared from? It seems they've taken advantage of our being away to add the garden to their territorial claims. Talk about an invasion; the battle to regain our land and expel unwanted visitors has begun. Finally there was the mountain of work (a dirty word in retirement). It wasn't just fruit picking for which I had to don leather gloves to protect against buzzing insect life but also, now that the temperature has cooled, the pressure is on to complete our current unfinished project of  restoring the rear patio

Up Close

  It was the privilege of monarchs to tour the country with a train of horses and carriages as the whole court moved with them. By the 17th century the aristocracy had developed a social season, spending April to June in London and then transferring their households back to their country estates. Having just returned from the Lake District where we stay in the same accommodation for a week in winter and a week in summer, it struck me that we are indulging in a somewhat elitist tradition in the style of the landed gentry from centuries past. We may not have any servants to bring along but we invariably end up taking any number of items from our kitchen and the intention is always to be joined by and entertain guests. After years of this routine, rather than a holiday it really does feel like we are making a procession across the Pennines moving from home to home. Fortunately there are no ball gowns to fit into or corsets to be tied. The lodge we stay in nestles by the side of a beck ami

Death Cleaning

  It's almost a month now since I made a trip to Bath to meet up with the youngest. I opted to travel by train which took 5 hours but as I would easily have spent that long driving there, it seemed the more sensible option. Normally I would have loaded myself down with paperbacks for the journey there and back but in this instance opted for an iPad with downloads from the library including an audio book. Although I do tend to borrow any number of books digitally from the library, I confess that an e-audio book was a first for me. That said, it was the perfect option. I popped my earphones in and not only was the content delivered up directly but I also got to watch the passing scenery through the window at the same time. My choice of listening was a little strange but it was a book that I've been meaning to look at for some time: The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson read perfectly by Juliet Stevenson. The book is sub-titled "How to Free Yourself

Family Intrigue and Promotion

  Dilly's Mum has just had her first book, The Secret of Elephants, published. It was released yesterday and I completed reading it earlier this evening. Now I am not one to include book reviews in my blog but on this occasion, let me just say that the intrigue of the plot held my attention sufficiently that I was compelled to read it from start to finish as quickly as possible, allowing only for my other commitments. The story gives an insight into a multi-generational family divided between India and Zimbabwe but united by their joint heritage. Whilst we are given a true flavour of Indian culture it is tinged too with the impact of global westernisation and for the reader a subtle insight that humankind whether it be in Asia, Africa or Europe shares so much in common.  I know that the author is in the process of completing her second novel and also that to do so has required hardwork, time and diligence in order to meet deadlines set by her publisher. All that whilst still perfor