Posts Tagged ‘garage’

Well, I’m not off to Sweden just yet. So, today I’m going to take you to Bishop’s Lydeard, which is a few miles away. It was the day of the village fete and flower show; so, despite a lowering sky, I went off to have a look.

bunting blowing in the wind

Coming only two weeks after the school fair, it felt a bit flat. Perhaps Bishop’s Lydeard needed a bit of a rest from fairs and fetes. Or perhaps it was the weather, which threatened rain all afternoon. But I felt a bit sorry for the people who had planned the events and were gamely manning the stalls in the brisk wind. However, and there’s always a ‘however’, I still managed to buy two secondhand books and two verbena seedlings, all for the princely sum of £2. So, I went home happy and I suspect many others did, too.

thatched house

Bishop’s Lydeard, built mainly of local red limestone, with a few beautiful thatched buildings and an old mill, is the home of an excellent Co-Op (our closest shop), three pubs (two of which are for sale), a corner shop (recently closed), a garage, an ironmongers, a fantastic butcher’s, a bistro (defunct), a couple of newsagents, a primary school, a marvellous church and a library (threatened with closure). In other words, it is just the same as any other high street – struggling to keep its identity and services, as the forces of out-of-town shopping draw the locals away with the lure of more.

thatched house and cottage garden

Bishop’s Lydeard is quite a big village, big enough to sustain a primary school obviously, but two failing pubs? All three pubs are well-established, so must have been around since before the population grew to the size it is today.

pool table in a pub

Yet, now that the village is bigger than ever, they are closing. We know from NHS statistics that people aren’t drinking less, particularly women; supermarkets, with their cheap alcohol, are being blamed, as people are stay at home to drink. Which is sad, as pub closures isolate sections of the community into the little boxes that they call their homes and that can’t be good thing. Any more than the library and shop closures are.

modern housing

I just wonder where it will all end and whether there is a way back. Maybe when we run out of fuel for transport and services, and facilities have to become local again.

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I got into a terrible mood today. Low in blood sugar probably and exhausted with all I was trying to achieve as I’m not going to be able to be here for a while and I only got down here yesterday morning, courtesy of a 24-hour gastro bug, the final straw was when the strimmer suddenly starting smoking and ground to a halt halfway through my work on the roadside banks.

I waited for it to cool, trying to weigh up the options: test fuse; rush into Bridgwater and buy a new strimmer as the productive part of the day waned; leave banks looking foolish; have a cup of tea and a hot bath. I went for the latter option but only just. Nearly pipped at the post by a very strong desire not to leave my banks looking foolish.

primroses in long grass with dewdropsThis probably sounds silly, but it’s really obvious where I’ve strimmed and where I haven’t. The grass has been left deliberately very long to protect the primroses in the last few weeks, consequently we’re also overwhelmed with dandelions. Why does this matter? Do the locals go past shaking their heads, saying: “That woman; hasn’t a clue how to strim a bank,” or “Place has gone roight down’ill in the laast couple of years, will you look at all those daandeloyons!”? I suspect not. Anyway, in case anyone should think the latter, I went round and pulled the heads off all the remaining ones before I had my meltdown bath. And, of course, also to stop them proliferating. (While I did so, I was also happy to note that some of my euphobias have headed out of the garden into the road – a kind of proliferation of which I approve.) I do love this place but sometimes I wish there wasn’t quite so much gardening.

So, to try to stay positive as I sit here on a beautiful day bathed in sunshine feeling a bit defeated. I have achieved the following Good Things this weekend:

  • I planted a little privet bush to fill in where some of the hedge died in the autumn. I’m going to cut back the old bush as the new one grows and hope not to have too much of a hole in the process. I’m not too sure if this will work.
  • I painted the hinges and bolts on the garage with Hammerite – very satisfying and looks very smart now.
  • nest in bush with birds' eggs in I found a robin’s nest at the end of the garden low in the branches of the holly bush where the compost goes. Couldn’t really photograph it well because of the lack of light and I didn’t want to frighten the sitter bird too much by staying there too long.
  • I did lots of weeding – two wheelbarrows full, fact, although you’d hardly notice it.
  • I had a riding lesson: I am less crap than I was but not by much. I can now go into a canter voluntarily sometimes without Sally having to use her whip. I’m going to need so much practice at this.
  • I did all the paperwork that I brought with me. Slightly scary now that the four day week started in February is beginning to make itself felt in the bank balance.

So all in all, it’s only in my stupid head that I have anything to feel fed up about. So I’m going to stop. Now.

Oh, and Postscript: I got a good bee picture:

bumble bee and flower

or two.

bumble bee face on in flower

I should also like to add that the German word ‘zwitschern’ sounds so much more like the noise I’m hearing the birds making outside, than ‘tweeting’.

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Exhausted after spending the entire weekend painting the garage. It needed treating so, rather than smother it in creosotey stuff, I decided to paint it a colour. Partly because it was a lovely bleached out grey in parts and I didn’t want a fake wood colour. This was the result of two days dodging rain showers and wind. Feel as weather beaten as if I’d been on a boat all weekend!

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The only other thing I did all weekend was pick some daffodils from the garden. I say daffodils but now that I look at them, I realise how very lucky I am to have a cottage where the previous owner was a talented gardener or at least employed a skilled gardener. Because there are at least seven different types of narcissi out there. And they smell fantastic!

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Arrived today to find the farmer building some kind of irrigation shed in the field by the garage. As a result the gate has disappeared. First the front gate in London and now this one. But they own it, and I’m sure they’ll put it back as they need access and my access to the garage is over their land. Weird though. They are bombing up and down the lane outside with silage today – a tractor literally every 10 minutes, so I’m assuming they’re going to leave the field alone while I’m here. They must be connecting up to the spring up the hill, I think.

Took the little blue DLR out of the garage to dry out and run the engine for a bit. The floor in there was damp as it was raining on the day that I garaged her, so it will do them good to be aired. I’ll run the engine a bit later on as well.

Garden is a riot of bluebells at the moment and the weather is fantastic. Click on the image on the left to see the detail. Beautiful! Cats came down in the car with me and I let them out part of the way down as the were making such a fuss but then they had to be caged up again, as Dixie insisted on sitting by my feet which just isn’t safe, even with cruise control!

Planning not to do much this weekend. I’ll go and have a half at the Travellers Rest later on and see if I can get the low down from Bar-Lady about what’s going on in the field. I should give them my telephone number so that they can contact me if they need to.

This afternoon there were five really big birds of prey circling over higher close, the field behind the house. I watched them for ages through the binoculars but couldn’t quite identify them. They looked most like red kites but weren’t the right colour, and the wings weren’t the right shape for buzzards. They were also fighting with each other which was interesting to watch.

Rather limiting to my activities is having terrible tennis elbow. I can hardly lift the kettle, let alone do anything more energetic. It’s the first day this year that I haven’t had the heating on or made a fire in the evening.

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Moved all the logs that were delivered yesterday from the garage to the woodshed. It took hours — about three to be exact. Also went to the dump with all the wet loft insulation that I had been keeping in the garage. I really know how to have fun.

Suzie from up the road stopped to chat which was nice as I haven’t seen her for months. And the people from the farm have been and cut off the iron bars that were sticking out of the bottom of the bank at the bottom of he back garden. I talked about them to egg man last weekend. At least now I won’t be sued for damaging someone’s car.

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Baby bunnies are sitting all over my lawn munching away cheekily. But they’re very sweet. The babies haven’t yet learned that you should stay out of people’s garden or Mrs Anteater-Nose will get you. I was looking at quite an efficient trap in Countrywide today. But you’re meant to transport them somewhere but, round here, wouldn’t they just come straight back or be replaced by others?

Today’s shopping included: a wheelbarrow, some galvanised wire mesh, a galvanised doormat scraper thing – which I don’t need, I just didn’t think they made them anymore, so I has to have it as an homage to yesteryear- some walking socks and a hi-vis jacket for walking to the pub in. I think I live in the country!

Had three quarters of a lorry of logs delivered by Alan Stark’s widow, Lorna, and one of her sons.

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