Saturday, 20 October 2012

Damp Squibs

A steaming hot cuppa on a chilly bright autumn day in the garden
I am coming to the end of my week off work. I haven't had any summer holidays this year, so a week off now was to help me chill and do a bit of uninterrupted gardening and decorate (which I don't normally do) the new garage-to-bedrooms conversion.

However, 'the best laid schemes of mice and men' don't always work out right - Robert Burns was so right when he penned that poem in 1786 - nothing changes.

Firstly the weather has conspired against me for doing the gardening, not necessarily because it's been bad unlike some parts of the UK, but simply because it's been so wet, the grass is sodden. You can see from the picture of the leaves that they are wet through due to overnight dews, fog and the odd heavy shower that seem to pass through with annoying frequency. The grass hasn't been cut for about a month, mind you it hasn't grown either, we've had a couple of first frosts already.

However what it has allowed me to do is to compost the flowers which have been very disappointing this year, even the sturdy geraniums have flowered poorly, the heads have rotted very easily and the petunias have been a total waste of time. I know my blogger friend Wheelie has had a number of vegetables rot in the ground this year. The roses, what few I have, have been okay this summer and where there is greenery, that has been okay too. I managed to clear away some pots, clean the big fish pond and net it to stop leaves from falling in it and have a little tidy, so some progress.

Leaves do provide beautiful colours this time of year
That just leaves me with a general cutting down of foliage job which normally takes me a couple of days sometime in November. There is an argument from gardeners that foliage should be left and we should enjoy seeing the decay, colours etc., as stuff dies off. I am not in that camp and think its harder to clean up that way in the spring and there is less opportunity for unwelcome bugs and decaying material to spread disease the way I do it. In fact, I am told that there is a bit of tree disease going around at the moment and good solid frosts will kill some of that disease off. I'm a big believer in nature doing its job.

The second issue that hasn't gone entirely to plan is the conversion from a garage and morning room into two bedrooms and utility/store rooms. The issue has been one of timeliness in that the work has gone on a fortnight longer than it should. The builder who has done the brick work and knocking down and building up has been superb and has grafted so hard. He has been let down by other craftsmen who have not kept promises to turn up and do what they were supposed to do. However, after some complaining and wittering, the main builder in charge of the project finally got some reliable people in and the joiner and new electricians have in turn come in and grafted too and got the project nearly finished albeit late. So, time I put aside for decorating the new build has not taken place. 

The two bedrooms were for two of my younger sons who have tiny bedrooms and are still at home and show no sign of leaving. Having said that, my middle son John is now leaving home to live in a rented place a lot closer to where he works, so rather than an hours journey to work, it will take him twenty minutes. That means that one of the bedrooms will now be a lounge and allow me to have a bit of space for my spiritual work away from her indoors who is not a fan of anything like that at all. That's a story for another blog.

I hope you enjoy your weekend, whether you are working or not.

Chat soon



  1. Enjoy your weekend - we are supposed to be getting a little Indian Summer up here in Yorkshire.

  2. Well yeah.

    This autumn I've decided to let my plantings be fallow, and trim back anything that might poke someone somewhere unfortunate, such as my Budlii and one of my willows. The grass has been cut for one last time. As you you say, we've had the first frosts, and that the time to ge'or I think.

    D'y'know, my lass makes plans. Lists. I stand back in amazement when she gets fed up when they don't work out. Mind you, it doesn't cost me. I'm more freeflow. I'm not that logical, naturally. I used to be a civil servant :)

    I read somewhere that moving home is there in the top three of the most stressful things that might happen to someone. Home alterations I think come under that label. Bless you mate.

  3. Hi Weaver
    I've just watched the BBC forecast. Last week they were fortelling 20 degrees Indian Summer. That's been reassessed and now 14 degrees which is seasonal average and now an arctic blast will be with us on Friday :(
    Wrap up well

    Hi Wheelie
    Thanks for the post, yes it's stressful, mind you what's worse is the dust and mess the rest of the hosue is in while its being done!

  4. Only temporary Mr P. In's and outs and ups and down will soon be over. I know you know, but I'm saying so anyway.

    John Calvin (Methodist) said, if I remember correctly, something along the lines of 'put away your sword, because we should look to where we agree'. I've probably mangled that, but it's along those lines.

    You, my friend, are kind inclined, and I wish there were more people like you.

  5. Hi Wheelie
    You, my friend, are very kind to say so. Indeed the building work has officially finished and the Buildings Inspector will now hopefully sign off on the work and the decorating and making it look like a home again can begin in earnest.

  6. Glad you are all good and you have a place for your spiritual work, it must be tricky when Mrs RLS isn't keen. Also pleased to hear one of the boys is moving on, but that's projection, I'm always much cheered to read that as my own kids (actually only the youngest) give me holy hell and I long for a bit of space and peace without them xxx

  7. Hi Auntie
    A delight to hear from you, hope you are well. Its the end of an era and I was very sad to see him go in many ways, but life moves on.

  8. It's not always straightforward with plans this time of year. My floral hopes were scuppered this summer too. Green-fingers crossed for next year!

  9. Hi Helena
    Thanks for dropping by, looking forward to a great summer in the garden next year!

  10. Lovely photos. Not sure what happened to our meet up :(

  11. Thanks for the post. You should take part in a contest for one of the best blogs on the web. I will recommend this site!
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  12. Hi Val
    I am so sorry we didn't meet - work was mad and the evenings straight from work all full. Perhaps I should have a trip to Sligo - any advice where to go?

    Hi Lakisha
    Thanks for popping by, that's really kind