Freedom day, travel plans and car troubles.
Here we are again - that fortnight flew by!
The weather was so changeable in early July. On Wednesday 7th it was humid and warm but mostly overcast. I took the train to Harlington to meet the Ivel Valley group for a walk to Pulloxhill and Sharpenhoe. I walked about 8 miles as I walked to the station; there and back and from the station; there and back. That was the first time I'd been on a train since our first lock down in March 2020. There were almost no people on the train and of course I wore my mask; it did feel slightly strange. No, I'll correct that and say that it felt 'normal' and as there was not a lot that was still 'normal' at that point - was why it felt strange. If you see what I mean...
Obviously I didn't wear this on the walk but changed into it when I got home. The skirt was an impulse buy in QD last year, I think, as it was only a fiver. I've had the white tee shirt for ever and the black and white jacket by Next was a 1.00 rail find last year. The black pumps came from The Cat's Protection League.
Earrings from Sainsburys; beads charity shopped. I didn't bother with bangles or rings as my hands were still swollen after the walk. We went through a path that was completely overgrown for about 200 metres and had to hack our way through. I used my secateurs to cut things back; some used their walking poles to bash things down. Anyway, we all got cut or scratched and we all got stung by nettles! Both my hands and forearms were full of stings. I just ignored them as eventually they stop tingling and go away. Nettle stings are part and parcel of walking in the countryside and it's usually my hands that get stung the most.
The promised afternoon rain didn't happen and I spent the afternoon catching up with blog land and reading. I also had a wander round and tidy up in the garden, too. I still hadn't heard anything about my car at this point. In the evening we watched more episodes of 'Pakt'. When I went to bed I was kept awake until about 1 am in the morning with cars hooting and beeping around the streets as England had got through to the semi-finals of the European Cup.
Here's what was happening in the garden:
Saturday was a free day for me; no grandchildren or responsibilities. I had a vague idea of going for a walk at some point in the day. I started the day by walking round the garden and making an inventory of all the plants and trees and then did the same for the front. There were 117 plants in the back garden and 33 in the front making a total of 150! No more plants need to be bought for quite a while. Are you listening OH? A few weeks back I also made a list of which plants were perennials so we know what will come back next year and what just needs uprooting and throwing away. The two most plentiful plants were Dianthus x 9 and Geraniums x 8.
I wasn't able to walk with my group on Wednesday as I couldn't get to the start place in time. OH phoned the garage for me and they said I would get the car back back on Friday. Finger's crossed. I got up at my leisure, pottered about the house and garden; dead heading the plants that needed it. Then after breakfast and getting ready I went into town to collect more reservations from the library and to buy bread. It was very warm and sunny; I thought about going for a walk but decided to wait until the evening when it was cooler.
I woke to yet another extremely hot day on Sunday.
It was too hot to do housework. The window boxes at the front were looking a bit past their best; they had been filled with Dianthus. OH agreed the Nicotiana was too bushy and tall for the planter and as we had two gone over Geums; we decided to visit a garden centre recommended to me by Lynne at the Food Bank. Called 'Cherry Gardens Centre' and based in the village of Poddington just over the border in Northants about 12 miles away. It was a really nice place with plenty of reasonably priced plants and loads of other things too. We'll definitely be going back there. We had a very happy time browsing and bought as replacements for the window boxes some Bacopa; a Scaevola or 'Fan Flower' and some more Calibrachoa; all in shades of purple, lavender and pink. I hope they make a good as show as the Dianthus did. I had Bacopa in a side window box last year and it did very well indeed. I also managed to pick up a well established Euphorbia for 2.99. You may remember a couple of years back; I dug one up growing alongside a footpath at the back of the Great Denham golf course but it didn't cope with the uprooting. I also chose a Helichrysum for a small metal pot I had which was crying out for some plants in it! We also picked up Agastache Morello to replace the Salvia Sebastian we bought at Anglesey Abbey last year which had not done at all well with the leaves turning brown. OH chose some Begonias for the planters and some Mint. I spent the rest of the day in the garden sitting under the shade of the parasol supervising (!) OH planting up our new additions and listening to the droning of bees and the bird sounds whilst writing my blog and updating my plant list. I love the sounds of the swifts screaming high up in the heavens and I always imagine they're having such fun. I picked six almost ripe gooseberries from our bush and ate them; I love gooseberries. Have you noticed how rarely supermarkets sell gooseberries these days? OH cooked dinner which was a nice change. Middle grandson went home and youngest grandson arrived to stay over. Having finished watching 'The Pakt' series 2; we enjoyed watching 'Baptiste' on Sunday evening and will be watching future episodes on I Player throughout the coming week. Talking of which...
All jewellery charity shopped. Look, make up melting and I'd only just applied it...there were thunderstorms and rain forecast for the afternoon. I hoped so; it might help to cool us down a bit! I went for a swim managing 42 lengths; 1.3km. I didn't wear my mask when I went in and no one asked me to. It was surprisingly busy; probably because the schools had broken up and there were a gang of teenagers in the slow lane so everyone moved over to the middle...we were able to have a shower afterwards which was great.