drEAming, general chit chat

drEAming…making plans

There was a lack of sunshine here today but it was mild and we did have a dry spell or two but mainly we had a light drizzle .  Not brilliant for gardening but we needed to get out there and plant some holly bushes where an old Escallonia hedge had died.  Escallonia is supposed to be reasonably tough but we have found that one by one over the years we lose a bit more in a bad winter.  I hope the holly fares better.

We will be on our way back home tomorrow ready for work on Monday.  Shame.

Next weekend I will have to get my summer clothes out and decide which items are going with me to Italy.  I have my wedding outfit and I am hoping I will have a parcel waiting for me at home containing the shoes, though I am thinking about getting the white ones after all but I will see better when I can try outfit and shoes on together.  DH is sorting out travel insurance and money so I only have to think about the luggage and packing, washing and ironing.  I will need to decant shampoo and toiletries into small travel containers and check the travel hairdryer and adaptors.

As my eldest daughter and her DH are now going to the wedding and they are going to hire a car for their two-week stay it will solve the travel problem to and from the wedding and reception.  This is actually more than good news as we had just been told by the bride’s mum that the mini bus taking guests from the wedding to the reception about 8 miles away might not materialise after all.  Of course the downside is that we were going to borrow their suitcases if they were not going so now we need to sort this out.

It is only 19 days until we go and I feel a bit in limbo – not able to start any major projects and knowing that when we get back both the garden at home and in Scotland will be needing major attention as everything will have suddenly taken off including the weeds.  I bought some courgette seeds but of course I will not be able to sow them if I am not home to water them.  We will be having a bit of an eBay break too as we cannot a list anything if we are not here to post the items.  We have done quite well so far and of all the items listed only the six white wedding brollies remain unsold and some bath taps.

As well as the eBay items I have been sending a lot of unwanted stuff to the charity shops.  I have tried to be quite ruthless both in what I keep and what I give away.  Much of the stuff is actually things I didn’t buy in the first place.  Some of the stuff belonged to my elder daughter and she has been taking a few boxes back to her house each week to sort through.

The old pile of papers has now been burned on our recent bonfire – old bank statements and paperwork of closed accounts – they have mounted up over the years but I am satisfied I will not need them.  There was far too much to shred so bringing the four boxes up to the cottage and burning it was a good option.

So my house is feeling a whole lot lighter and I feel better for the clear out it actually makes me want to do more and it certainly makes it easier to keep the place clean.  When we get back home I intend to go through a few more drawers and cupboards and look at the 80% of stuff we never use – I realised whilst doing the recent declutter that I actually prefer to have only those items that we use all the time and when I come across something I haven’t used for ages I am going to either start using it or pass it on.

Hope you are all having a lovely weekend.

Welcome to the two new followers.

Back soon x

 

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beach cottage, bEAching, cottage garden

bEAching…an unexpected weekend break

It has been a grey dismal day here today at the cottage (caravan) – we decided to sneak away for a few days with the hope of better weather and yesterday it was pleasant enough to be in the garden but today we are back to cold and wet.

When we cleared some of the upper wood on our last visit at the end of February (if you can remember so far back) we ended up with stacks of rotting wood and trailing ivy and not a hope of burning it in the gales.  However, yesterday was mild and calm so perfect for a bonfire.  It won’t be long though before I generate another pile – it is an ongoing job here. So far I have made a pathway through the wood.  The old concrete bunker on the right makes a great log store.  It is a left over outbuilding from when the pub at the top of the lane was a Creamery and until the seventies this land was just a field with no trees.

In the afternoon DH found time to cut the lawns and I did a bit of weeding in the borders and pruned some of the Hydrangeas.  The ones by the conservatory had grown too big and so I have cut them back hard and will probably have to sacrifice some blooms later on although last time I did this they still flowered despite the gardening books saying they wouldn’t if cut back too far.

It is very noticeable that everything in the garden is very late compared to other years and so I was quite surprised when I came across the Delphinium bed and some of the plants are already a good foot high.  I can almost hear their tender shoots calling to the rabbits ‘eat me eat me’  – hence I have them well protected with chicken wire!

The grand fernery beside the pool with the majestic Royal ferns is a sorry sight at the moment – all the leaves have been burnt by the cold weather and salt spray and are shrivelled and brown and will have to be cut back to ground level and wait for the new growth.   I spent ages doing this last year and usually only need to do it every other year if the winter is milder.  The Fatsia is the same.  I will leave both for now just in case it remains cold and we have some heavy frosts.

We had a brisk walk into the village and back tonight just before the light went.  There had been talk of adding solar lights along the ‘low road’ which is the old road that runs alongside the beach and is just a pathway now, not accessible by car.  If you walk along here in the evening it is a real treat as you can hear all the hedgerow birds in full song.  I for one am glad that the solar lights have not materialised as I think it is not the place for light pollution it is a quiet place for the wildlife to live undisturbed.

It is only 20 days until we go to Italy eeek…I still have to resolve the footwear and handbag problem.  I still have to resolve transport to and from the wedding and reception.  I still have to resolve what exactly is the breakfast at the hotel when it is only 3 Euros?

Hoping for a sunny day tomorrow.

Back soon

 

beach cottage, bEAching, general chit chat

bEAching…stuck in the tin can

 

Well – we are well and truly stuck up here in Scotland with not a hope of getting back home to Yorkshire yet.

Our only route back first to the border, then down the M6 and finally across the M62, which is at present closed, sounds far too risky and I would rather be in a rocky, noisy tin can of a caravan than stuck for 12 hours or more without heat, food or drink as some motorists have been.

The noise from the gales battering our caravan is horrendous and has prevented us getting much sleep for the last two nights but the rocking is something else – it is making us feel quite sea sick and with each gust I fear our anchorage might give way and we will be whisked off into the sea and looking at the huge swell on the sea from our window here I would not want to end up in it!  The swell is so high that we can barely see the land opposite across the bay and every now and again a huge wave hits the caravan window.

Luckily no trees down yet – but no roofing felt left on the log store that has been ripped away last night.

However, as you can see thankfully we are still snow free unlike the rest of the country and all our relatives who are snowed in from Yarm through North Yorkshire to Sheffield and also those in Lincolnshire and probably everywhere in between.  We had thought we could get as far as our nearest relative from here and stay with them for a while but looking at their Facebook pictures that is no longer a possibility.  So we will have to put up and stay put for a while – I am expected back at work on Monday – we will have to wait and see if Sunday travel might be possible.

Obviously there has been no gardening going on here – yesterday we braved the elements and drove to the next village for lunch at the local cafe just to get away from the noise for a while – we were their first customers.  They had just had their power switched back on after a morning long power cut – eek power cuts – if we get a power cut now we would have no means of heating (gas boiler like any other is powered by electricity) or cooking (gas cooker has a fail safe electric ignition) we would have to go to bed I think and stay there to keep warm!  One of the villagers had some quite spectacular pictures of some frozen waves and I could see icy slush along the shoreline as we drove up the coast road which I have never ever seen before.  Today the temperature is up to zero so feels comparatively warm to what it has been.

You would think that having an enforced break might be an ideal way of using the time to plan and think but I find the weather going on outside far too distracting and we are spending most of our time reading up on the weather news.  I think our plans today are to go into Stranraer – we found the winds were not as strong further up the coast in the basin of the bay so might go and replenish milk and bread and buy some lunch out.

We will probably avoid what the locals term the ‘Car Wash’ that is the stretch just along the main road from here where there is a concrete sea wall around Terally Bay and when the sea hits this with force sends up huge sprays of sea water across the road but complete with rocks and pebbles – exciting to see – the kids love it but many a car is dented around these parts from using this road.  I think we will use the back road today which comes out after the ‘Car Wash’.

Taken earlier today by a local – the ‘Car Wash’  – the road snakes around just where these waves are crashing over the sea wall on the left.

Apparently there is a local pantomime in the village hall tonight – we need a good laugh so might go along.

 

UPDATE – since going in to town this afternoon we unexpectedly  learnt of a diesel shortage here as the tankers cannot get through – we only knew because on our way out-of-town we saw a huge queue at the petrol station so went to investigate – guess what our car runs on – on discovering this was the only petrol station in town to have any diesel at all we joined the queue – we were amongst the few lucky ones – after we filled our car they only had another 120 litres left.

Reports say M62 is still closed tonight and there have been more power cuts – luckily not local to us.

But what next I ask?

 

 

bEAching, cottage garden

bEAching…woodland clear up – day 2

So far so good – the weather is holding out and we managed a few hours again in the garden.  We were quite sheltered today in the wood as the wind was coming off the sea from the southeast  and for most of the time we were lucky to have the warm sun on us as we worked.

 

We were joined as usual by the robin – I couldn’t say whether it is the same one as before but there is always a robin hopping around when we are out in the garden following us around and waiting for an opportunity to grab a bite as we dig – though worms here are few.

 

In the two days we have now cleared a pathway through to the top of the wood near to the road and removed much of the rotting, broken branches and the ivy covering it.  The problem has been that so many people have been in the wood chopping this and that over the years and leaving the mess behind that the whole of the wood floor had become difficult to walk through without stumbling and was in fact dangerous.

 

There are always maintenance jobs to do in the wood but it had become an impossible task because as soon as the undergrowth starts growing it hides what lies beneath.  There has been rubbish too –that is the downside of having a handy pub at the top of your lane – some of the people visiting the pub obviously think it is fair game to throw their litter into our wood.  I often gather enough old beer bottles to start a brewery – but at least they are glass and recyclable – it is the crisp bags and sweet wrappers that are worse as they don’t rot down and can be a hazard to wildlife.

 

We noticed on the journey up just how much litter is lying on the verges at the moment – it was the same when we drove down to Cirencester – where has it all come from?   Britain is becoming one huge landfill site.  Why do people not take their litter home and put it in the bin.  A few weeks ago I watched as someone in the car park at Sainsbury’s went back to their car and before pulling out from their space opened their car door and deposited a heap of litter, fast food cartons and plastic bottles right there on the car park, then drove away.

 

Before that I had been waiting in the car outside Halfords in town whilst DH had popped in for a car headlight bulb – it was dusk and the car park was tucked around the back with no lighting so it wasn’t noticeable that I was there – a group of people who looked like mum, dad and daughter got into their car with their purchases – a set of car mats and a dangly car freshener.  They obviously did not know I was there because after they tore off the packaging from the mats to use them straight away the man opened the passenger door looked quickly around then threw the packaging over the hedge in front of him.  Then they took down the old air freshener and replaced it with the new one and once again the guy opened the passenger door look quickly up and down  and tossed the old one over the hedge to join the other litter.  Daughter then drove happily away – the packaging was now someone elses problem – I was left speechless and shocked!

Snow is forecast tomorrow but it actually sounds worse down in Yorkshire so maybe we won’t get home at the end of the week.  We have quite a stack of wood to burn now – shame it isn’t bonfire night – I only hope the wind changes direction so we can light it tomorrow – no snow permitting.  If we do get out tomorrow I will try to remember to take some photos of the before and after.

Going to ease my aching muscles now with a warm shower and bed.

 

back soon x