Friday, 30 March 2012

Our outside room

I have been making the most of the recent unusually good weather by spending as much time as I have been able to in our outside room, otherwise known as the garden. So, I thought that you might like to join me in a stroll around it. In addition to showing you our garden this has also given me the chance to experiment with the new camera that husband bought for my birthday last October, as there have not been many opportunities to use it over the winter months.

As visitors turn into our drive their first glimpse, of our garden, is of the 'woodland bed ' on their left. This is planted with Spring flowering perennials and bulbs, which are putting on a good show at the moment. The crocus, snowdrops and aconites have finished for this year. Now it is the turn of the daffodils

white  wood anemone

 blue anemone blanda


hyacinths - these have quite a pungent fragrance which I know is not to every body's liking,

 and it could not be a 'woodland bed' without primroses.

A few years ago I bought about six plants and now they have seeded all over the 'woodland bed'. Soon the bluebells, annual honesty and aquilegia will take over the show. On the right is the rockery where aubretia is doing well.

 At the front of the cottage we have a forsythia which is currently in full flower.

Then we move round to the other side of the cottage. Past the viburnum tinus with its' pretty white flower which  smells of honeysuckle.

 Through the side gate and round to the back.

The kitchen window over looks the patio with its' pots of pansies

and tete a tete daffodils.

There is not so much to see in the back garden at this time of year. However, over the last week or so our magnolia has come into flower

as has the damson

The apples trees are also showing signs of life. In fact the whole garden has burst into life over the last few days of warm and sunny weather. At the end of the garden in the farmer's field I found even more new life.

Unfortunately there will be no more scenes like this as the farmer is changing from dairy to arable. Somehow I do not think that staring out at a field of potatoes and leeks is going to be quite the same as a field of cows.

Monday, 19 March 2012

At last

If we had a flag pole, today the flag would be flying because I am celebrating. Husband left for work this morning for the first time since last August, when he took some time off work to have a short holiday and have cataracts removed. I had expected that he would be back working by the end of October. Our lives have changed unbelievably in the last six months. As we drove home from our respective workplaces on August 31 last year, neither of us could have envisaged the changes that were about to take place on our lives. By Christmas both of our mothers had died and I was no longer working. With hindsight stopping work when husband was not working was probably not ideal, but it had been planned for about two years. I hesitate to use the word 'retire' as it has always been my intention to stop work and have a break, ideally with some time at home, on my own. Now that husband is working I can have that time to myself. Then I shall decide whether or not I miss working enough to want to look for another less demanding job, which does not require me to stand up for eight hours a day or spend several hours a month keeping myself up to date. Or I may decide to keep myself occupied without paid employment. There are several options and possibilities.

Having got husband's job sorted out we decided to have a break from our normal routine and go out for a change. On Wednesday afternoon, last week, we went to Ness Botanic Gardens, where we enjoyed a walk around the garden in the sunshine. Apart from daffodils, camellias and gardening students taking measurements there was not a lot to see but it was good to be out in the fresh air.

The following day was as dull as could be and we had planned to go to the archives in Dolgellau for husband to do some of his family history research. We had a slow journey there courtesy of road works along several stretches of road. The scenery along the route to Dolgellau from Chester can be stunning but the grey cloud and mist were not doing it any favours last Thursday. Here is a photograph from a previous trip when the weather was better.

Most of the buildings in Dolgellau are built of grey stone and last Thursday it reminded me of an Austrian ski resort on a bad day.  No snow and no sun. Just grey sky and low cloud or mist clinging to the surrounding hills. Fortunately our session at the archives was very productive. We found the records of the christenings, marriages and burials of several of husband's family going back into the early 19th century.

In the two weeks that have elapsed since the job interview and subsequent job offer I have put off doing several things, thinking that I would do them when husband was back at work. So I now have plenty to keep me busy both in the cottage and in the garden. And from now on I plan to be out in the garden as much as possible. There are some things, however, which can not be put off. My car needs to MOT'd later this week. This morning I had to purchase two new tyres for it, in order to get it through the MOT. So that is this month's pension spent!