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Tuesday, 20 August 2019

We stood in...

the kitchen I was full-on flushed with success.  Ellie had just done wees and poo.  I had appeared in the garden room door as if by magic waving the special treats.
‘Good girl!’
As she thinks you’re not looking, is it any wonder she is thinking her new mum is a witch?  
Mission accomplished we walked into the kitchen to crow of our achievements.

‘Now what word should I use to highlight her bodily functions?’ 

Himself is cooking our supper tonight, a rare treat!
He looked at me and said 

‘I’ve heard it done both ways!’

Thinking he was just about to give me two Transcendental Meditation type Om words, I waited...

‘Should I dust it in peppered flour or.....?’

I looked, I wondered, I thought living with me has finally taken its toll, he’s gone completely ga-ga!

Himself was clearly in the zone and was thinking lamb’s blooming liver,
whereas I...




Ellen Terry would...

be proud.  I’ve tapped my inner diva, I didn’t have far to to plumb, as the diva runs through my veins so close to the surface looking for the slightest excuse to break out. To be called upon to to have a starring role in ‘Crapgate’ was obviously what all my life quite unwittingly I had been waiting for.  Alright I was only cast in a support role however always good to start at the bottom and work up, as it were!?!
Ellie has a hang up about going to the loo, she won’t do it on the lead, wee or poo and hates to be watched.  Now this is where my not underdeveloped acting skills are put to the test.  Luckily pottering about in the garden is the sort of gardening I excel at.  Not hard graft just poncing about looking busy without actually doing too much. She has been my shadow since she arrived, she worked out I was so engrossed in the bean harvest and decided now is the time!?! She did the deed and as soon as the shit hit the fan (not literally obv.) she was off like a rocket, keen to put as much distance between her and the evidence.
In my best Dame Ellen Terry commanding and encouraging tones I said...
‘Ellie, good girl, what a very good girl!’
Smartly stepping into the garden room to give her the high end treats.

If I’d had a tail I would have wagged it.



Sunday, 18 August 2019

We have a wee...

problem!  Ellie has in a past life obviously been told off for going to the loo.  As a consequence won’t do it on the lead or even in your presence.  Our garden is on two levels so yesterday she would only go up there if I went with her.  Then when we got there she wouldn’t perform.  A catch 22 situation.  We went up and back 26 times with me feigning interest in the rambling roses.  I even felt at one point compelled to show her what was expected and squatted behind the luckily vastly overgrown Hebe.  If you saw on the news last night Ludlow had experienced a totally unexpected eclipse of the sun... there you have it!  Eventually after me turning away and carefully inspecting the ivy clad walls she found a spot and produced a walnut whip to equal any confection of yore!  Success, trouble was, still no pee!  Every time I came back down the garden she followed me.
We went to bed still unsure of the piddle state of play.  She was put in the crate and left, so far so good, half an hour in she decided to go vocal.  All the books say turn over and go back to sleep... fat chance!  Eventually himself wandered to the top of the stairs and in gruff voice said No barking!  Another half hour went by... 
We’ve cracked it!  Wrong!
This time in gruffer voice the same.
All was quiet with neither of us sleeping that well for worrying about whether she was desperate to go to the loo.
6.15am he got up and let her out, fully 
expecting a wet bed or worse.  Ellie put an 
Exocet missile to shame by the speed of which  she shot up the steps.  Trouble now is Hubs is the villain of the peace and her fear of men has been confirmed.  
We know she is okay to go up the garden 
on her own without trying to escape.  Her today’s MO is to hide in the shrubbery.  Sort of progress, one step forward and two paws back.

Let’s see what tonight brings? 





Any suggestions on this odd behaviour and how to cure it, gratefully received.






Friday, 16 August 2019

Life has been...

hectic and exciting in equal measures.
On Wednesday it was my birthday.  The bathroom has presented lots of hiccups of a sanitary kind.  Before you jump to the wrong conclusion, little problems not the pong sort!  The shower screen was far too slim to be of any real use, added to that it was too tall to fit the space.  The towel rail came without a timer which was on the spec.  The hand made tiles look superb.  Today we have the long awaited fitting of the lavatory.  Trogging down the twisty, rickety-rackety stairs in the dead of night is no fun for half asleep old bod’s!




Tomorrow sees the arrival of Ellie, our little collie, like a couple of kids we are getting excited about her coming.  The over-run of the bathroom means she will have to get used to having workmen in the house, which won’t be ideal, however her and I can 
retire to my ‘studio’ at the top of the garden.  There are lots of things for me to sort out up there which up until now I haven’t had the time to do.  A perfect excuse to get my crafting bits and bobs finally sorted.

Friends are also staying in town so I am cooking, which I love to do.  Entertaining in a building site is a tad challenging?  
Although as a retired chef this sort of 
challenging is a walk in the park compared to my past life...

The curtain rails have been fitted, after much subtle and not so subtle calls, Mafia style entreaties, stepping into the shop with attendant violin case sort of thing!
Himself even went in and said it would be the
best birthday present LL could possibly have to get the curtains hung. It did the trick! 
 What a super star that man is!  As if living with me wasn’t enough to grant him special status as an all round good egg.



Thursday, 8 August 2019

Things I have...

lost or mislaid or maybe given away.
And now wish I hadn’t!
So many things.
A twig Christmas tree bought in Habitat for £50.  As I carried it home I had a qualm!
And on the mat as got in was a prize from my Uncle Ernie at the Premium bond office of...
Yes, you’ve guessed it £50.
That tree came out every year for maybe 20 years.  And then I only went and chucked it out!
For more years than I care to remember I collected cheese dishes, only stopping when I got to 40 as I used to say 

‘I’ve got a cheese dish for every year of my life!’
It suddenly hit me that folks with a modicum of sense could tot up just how ancient I was!
Added to which over the years I had been given some appalling examples!  They
 went off to a sale room with me saving the best for my slimmed down collection.  Folk could then think what they liked... boy she looks old for 15!?!
Slowly over the years they dwindled, leaving just two magnificent ones.  With a fit with my leg in the air, they were packed up and sent off when I left Goudhurst to move to Hythe.  I hugely regret that now. 
This is the last survivor which interestingly  enough unbeknownst to me survived the cull.



You will see the stamp on the bottom: what 
this is all about I am too idle to look up...
says it all really!
This post is the start of so many regrets about possessions lost, mislaid or just wilfully chucked out!  I will revisit other lost treasures at another time.
Have you kicked yourself for similar acts of materialistic  folly?

Monday, 5 August 2019

Dog days...

are coming... we’ve found her.
A very nervous collie who hasn’t like so many surplus to farm life, had the best of starts.  She is 12 months old and does not for one moment trust that species that claim to be of higher intelligence?  The rescue centre have found out that she had been fitted with a shock collar.  To fit one of these forms of torture on the most intelligent of dogs just beggars belief? 

I knew just as I did when I saw the photograph of this cottage that she was THE one for us.  Call me a witchy-poo, I don’t care!

The husband felt exactly the same!  Although with the cottage he did say 
‘They’ll be plenty more!’
There weren’t and after lots of upheaval we finally got here, it was meant to be.

We go back lots of times to visit her and to build up her trust in us.

She is the sweetest, gentlest of dogs.




Sunday, 4 August 2019

He left me in...

the market, when he came back he said 

‘What have you bought?’  

My sheepish face gave me away.  

‘Nothing, just give me ten pounds will you?’

‘Now what?’

‘Only half a tree!’


And he thought I was joking...

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

It’s early...

4.30 am is just too blooming outrageously
sparrow-fart early.
My head is too busy with thinking thoughts.  I tried my usual meditation, I ran through the full shebang, usually I’m gone by ‘my left leg is very...’ zzz!  
So many things to think about, the main one furry with four legs.  The work due to start on Monday, the curtain rails that seem to be as rare as hens teeth.  Ludlow has been named by the husband as Ludslow, as they do seem to operate at snails pace, which should be a great habit to get into?  However we are still operating under the South East rules of engagement, which is... let’s get this done, yesterday is plenty time enough!  Jousting with the traffic as it shoots off abroad before Europe and the U.K. divi up the family silver.  Here wherever you go there is very little traffic and courtesy is the county’s co driver.  A total change of pace, just wish my head could follow suit!

It’s now getting on for 7.30 and I am tea’d up, cold and feel tired, oh and peckish ready for my toast.  Go back to bed or stay up and start the day proper?  Decisions, decisions...


The space I love...

the most in our new home.  I knew I would.I potter, I sweep, I rearrange, I draw rain water from the water butts.  I hoover it up with my eye all the while tweaking as I go.  In charity shops I am constantly on the lookout for unusual artefacts to set the scene.  This morning as I was contentedly fussing, I thought not many of my friends get where I’m coming from in my thrill of the grouping of odd, what to them is tat?  Am I bothered?  Not a bit of it!
The garden will over time revert to my usual let the plants and flowers dictate what they require.  Alright as it is now there is a very well structured designer something in flower every season, type of vibe.  I plan when money allows to have a sedum roof on the garden room.  As it is now the garden is devoid of wildlife other than a plethora of birds which in the Wrenery have now discovered the feeder.  They are constantly having a bath in the shallow water troughs put out for just this purpose.  They fly in and out completely happy with the fact there is a glass ceiling.  My idea of us sitting out there to have coffee has been thwarted by the growing collection of old tut!


The Wrenery.
If you look very closely you can see a sparrow on the wall top looking up into the square feeder trying to assess how to get up and in to feast on the goodies.  It has been up a few weeks and the first to find it was a
 robin who flew up onto the light and in.  The next was an ambitious sparrow who did a circular fly past, the next recce she flew in a semi circle from the top of my stone bookends and straight in.  The sparrows kick out what the don’t want, the robins delicately sit inside and select the 
mealworms.  It is fascinating to watch.  The beauty of the sparrows MO is the dunnocks get a share of the grub as they very studiously potter about on the ground tidying up the 
mess.

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Dog update.,.

the yearning is bubbling up in both of us.
Himself is the sensible one, who puts the brake on my Calamity Jane... ‘Well slapper my thigh, let’s get cracking!’
The voice of reason... now is not a good time what with the two lots of workmen trolling into the house, the Scottish trip etc., etc.
Yes, yes, I totally get it but it doesn’t harm me looking!  Well, actually it does!
Yer, yer, YER!
I have seen two, one a very nervous young collie, so husband is obviously right on this one.  The other is a more outgoing collie cross, who unfortunately has been spoken for and worse than that has a reserve waiting in the wings.  That to me is a mere bagatelle, as we are so obviously the right family for either dog.  Well I would say that wouldn’t I?  A famous quote from Mandy Rice Davies.
The nervous collie reminds me so much of Lettice and the joy she became over the years of work, love and encouragement.  She would definitely have to wait for our return from holiday, as she would need a calm home to come to.  I think she might not be chosen for all the qualities that appeal to us, so she could still be available on our return.  Trouble there is as her foster carer has told me the longer she stays with her the more she bonds and thinks she has found her forever home.
The other one, if I could by sheer weight of personality railroad the others out I would. Well I say that but don’t really mean it.  All I really, really want is for both dogs to
 find the right people for them, can I help 
it that being biased I think we are the right ones for them?
Best not to look LL, I hear you thinking, 
however...


Monday, 29 July 2019

My neighbour...

 Donald Downs Esq.

Eccentric man of fish and maybe bosooms?
Hopefully you can read the blurb alongside  the photograph?
This was the gentleman I was referring to in my last blog post.
Donald was my next door but one, neighbour. We lived on Hosey Common which is just a mile from Chartwell, Winston Churchill’s home.
His cottage was a Hansel and Gretel pretty brick built abode.  Although he was an 
architect he never felt the need to install a lavatory or hot running water.  Preferring to go to the lav at the bottom of the garden. That was fine until the day when he was laid low with the flu, which is when LL rode to the rescue.  In I went with a nourishing bowl of stew and tatties and there before me was the vision of Donald sat by the fire amongst the detritus of bachelor living, clad in long nightshirt topped off with a night cap.  On a previous visit I had braved the rickety-rackety stairs to see him in bed. Ever mindful of where I put my feet in order not to walk into the many and various bottles full of Tizer, Irnbru and Dandelion and Burdock... or maybe not!?!

Donald was definitely one of life’s true eccentrics, he was a ‘Scot’ although this 
particular Scot was born not a million miles 
away from where we lived!  He effected a broad Scots accent and was immersed in all things Scottish.  Googling his name today I was amazed to see Donald Downs ‘Baird’... an affectation?
Every Hogmanay we would share a quaich of whisky.



My sandstone cottage is on the right of the 
pair.  Donald’s is the next one up.  Photograph is Circa 1900, give it another 101 years then through the rose surrounded window  is the scene of Breastgate!  This picture I have on my wall a copy given to me by yes you’ve guessed it... Donald.


Thanks to Frances for giving me the subject of this my next post.

We stood in...

the kitchen I was full-on flushed with success.  Ellie had just done wees and poo.  I had appeared in the garden room door as if by magic w...