Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Wash Day

DD3 loves scarves, and was keen to have my mother's collection of scarves 
when we were clearing out Mum's house. 
We were looking at them last week
 and I decided the scarves all needed freshening up. 
Of course, they were all labelled "hand wash only", 
so over a period of a few days,
 I washed and rinsed each one individually
 and then put them on the line to dry in the sunshine and fresh air.

This was one day's washing :-)

A Tale Of Woe

This is my poorly cooker. 
After 13 years of sterling service, the door latch on the fan oven gave up the ghost. 
Given the age of the cooker, sourcing a replacement part proved to be an exceedingly difficult task, 
one which took me a whole morning of phone calls. 
Eventually, I found a supplier who could get the part and would post it to me. 
That was the Good News.

The Bad News was that it would take a whole week to arrive.
It was a very long week, given how much I use my fan oven. 
(The left oven is a roasting oven and is hopeless at cooking pizzas, bread, cakes, pastries etc.)

Today, in the midst of utter mayhem, the part arrived 
and my DH  used his ninja skills to strip the whole oven door down to component bits,
 replace the door latch mechanism and rebuild the oven door
 before fixing it back on to the oven frame.

Ta-da!! The oven LIVES!!!

Thursday, 24 July 2014


Somebody is enjoying his ride in the car!

This is part of the trail  through the trees. 

It was lovely and shady on a hot day.

A glorious stand of very poisonous foxgloves - shades of Ellis Peters' book, Monk's Hood!

The sound of the  water was lovely.

Amongst the trees were lots of carvings.

Some were very hard to photograph well.

A hidden and somewhat tumbledown- seeming cottage, 
which is in fact a set of toilets accessible from the other side. 

I rather liked this one :-) 

Even the fallen trees had been carved with patterns and designs.

We were surprised to see the deer so close, and were glad our dog was safely on his lead.

They would not let us get very close, which was just as well. I would not have wanted either them or our dear Basil to be scared.

 The entrance to the rare breeds farm trail.

A very fine cockerel.

We saw lots of sheep......

And a super, very friendly turkey!

Edited to add these photos were taken on two separate visits to Margam Park - one day was very sunny, one was a bit cloudy :-) 
More to follow!

Summer Days

It has been scorching hot for us over the last few days. Yesterday the temperature reached 26 C / 78.8 F and today it is already 19 c with 64% humidity; our forecast is for 27 C / 80 F later on. Even with the fan on, it was stiflingly hot last night and I was glad to get up at 4.45 am and go out in the blissfully cool garden with the dog :-)

Our honeysuckle bush is in full flower, wrapped around a large lavender bush and the scent of the two combined is exquisite. Breathing in the fresh cool air was such a delight. I was out walking the dog at 6 am, once it was fully light and the sun was rising over the houses. We went down to the beach and had to content ourselves with walking down the slipway and meeting the tide as it came in, the waves lapping gently as Basil splashed around for a few minutes before we made our way slowly home. We saw only one other intrepid dog walker before we reached home and Basil plopped happily on the floor for a well-deserved nap.

I had a mountain of handwashing in the kitchen, reproaching me, so I decided to tackle some of it before it got too hot. I handwashed eighteen scarves one by one, rinsed them thoroughly and hung them on the washing line to dry in the breeze, and once those are done, I will wash the next batch. Washing the dog is also on the agenda for today, but I have not said the B-A-T-H word out loud for fear of rebellion in the ranks....

Time for a refreshing cup of tea before the next task!

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Catching Up

It has been a roller-coaster few months here. I do apologise for the patchy and sporadic posts!

DD3 developed a serious physical health problem which has necessitated many, many hospital visits and tests. It is life-altering, but not life-threatening, and she is now on appropriate medication. The dosage is being tweaked on a weekly basis to enable her to be as physically active as possible. After a month on her new medication, we are starting to see some sustained improvement, thank God!

In the midst of all this, she has had to deal with major external exams (GCSE exams) and in the space of four weeks, she sat nineteen separate exam papers all while feeling profoundly unwell. It will definitely have affected her performance during the exams but she is hoping to have done well enough to gain admittance to Sixth Form for A levels. She gets the results of her exams on 21st August.

We have an elderly close family member whose dementia has deteriorated rapidly over the last few months and this has also added to our difficulties and stress levels. We have now got some external professional help in caring for her, but this still takes a huge amount of our time.

School is out for summer so we are hoping to be able to have some fun and relaxation with the girls over the next six weeks :-) I have a load of photos to upload from the last month as well as lots of books to review over at The Garden Window in the next few weeks.

Sunday, 6 July 2014


These were taken last night from my back garden,
 except for the last one, 
which was through my bedroom window
 at almost 10.30 pm.
 Sunset was actually at  9.28 pm :-)

Look at how bright it still is!

The bottom of our garden, looking slightly left.

The middle of our garden, looking directly to the left.

The bottom of our garden, looking slightly towards the right

The middle of the garden, directly overhead.

The middle of the garden looking overhead and to the left

                                                     From our bedroom window.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Summer In The Garden

This is a huge, very straggly and old lavender bush, but I love it. 

It always smells wonderful as I walk past it to get to the washing line...

And the colours are so bright!

This is my rhubarb crown, commonly known as The Triffid and contained in its own raised bed.

I have a huge quantity of mint growing all around our bay tree....

I spent ages trying to capture a shot of this very industrious and busy bee.....

And out of ten shots, only these two were in focus, but it was fun trying!