We have been meaning to get our half-dead overgrown hedge which brings down the tone of the area removed for ages, even though it is a godsend to wildlife, but we just don’t have the time, tools, skills, energy or chops to look after it. So when a man came to our door offering to change it for a fence we were receptive. Asked him to leave his business card and later found a leaflet from a well-regarded company in the letterbox so told him to go ahead, having also been assured he had a chipper and digger. They were a different company with no machinery except a chainsaw. They ended up hauling away seven tons of trees by hand and we ended up paying three times the estimate. So it goes. Still we do have a fence.
Of all the hundreds of flowers that have bloomed on our passiflora (which lives in a small pot and has grown all over the patio, tangled up with the honeysuckles, beans and grapes) this year, only one has developed into a fruit.
September was slightly colder, wetter and sunnier than last year.
Admin1 is reading The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd. Admin2 is reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Both were disappointingly juvenile.
Admin2 has been enjoying this weather. Admin1 less so.
Admin1 is reading Invitation to a Dynamite Party by Peter Lovesey, a short book which seemed rather too full of … words.
Admin2 is reading Selling Hitler by Robert Harris but abandoned it halfway through because…Nazis.
One of the very few fruits on our tree.
Admin1 is rereading Sympathy for the Devil by William Shaw. Admin2 is rereading State of Wonder by Anne Patchett; an exciting adventure in Amazonia.
We missed last week’s family meal so this week we had 2 quizzes to do. We scored 10 on this week’s and a mere 7 on last week’s, even with generous marking, so our running average is now below 10. That bee is definitely cleverer than us.
Admin1 is reading Dead Rich by GW Shaw and Admin2 is reading The Chelsea Murders by Lionel Davidson.
Some of the many passion flowers blooming on our wall.
Admin1 is reading The Botanist by MW Craven. Admin2 is reading Dead Rich by GW Shaw; more Russian bad actors, this time on a boat.
We had 44.1 mm of rain last night, as much as we might get in a month, but today was all sunshine, fluffy clouds and happy buzzing bees.
Admin2 started reading The Killing Song by Lesley McEvoy but didn’t enjoy it and is now rereading Joe Country by Mick Herron.
A butterfly sitting on the grass of No Mow May.
Admin1 is rereading Slow Horses by Mick Herron. Admin2 is reading Notes from the Burning Age by Claire North.
Thanks to the lovebirds and contributions from the juniors, we scored 11 on the GSQ.
Admin1 is reading Hot Water by Christopher Fowler, who’s clearly got bored writing about amiable old codgers and switched to nasty and vindictive youngsters; pity.
Admin2 is reading A Matter of Time by Claire Askew.
It has been ten years since we started uploading annual May Day pics of the garden after whatever weather was earlier. During that time the rain and sun have waxed and waned and the tulips and bluebells have slugged it out; tulips in the ascendant this year after an April that was our fourth sunniest April ever and not so showery.
Admin1 is reading A Killing in November by Simon Mason — another unpleasant protagonist whom the author works hard to make sympathetic. Not really successful at humour, and side issues (refugees, jihadists) not explored adequately. But readable.
Admin2 is reading Companion Piece by Ali Smith, which features an imaginary female character who is A Smith.
We had the pleasure of Gez in the flesh for the first time since Mother’s Day and scored, oh dear, worst this year, 7 on the GSQ.
Some cherry and apple blossoms to contemplate, along with lots of blooming tulips.
Admin1 is reading The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard.
We scored 10.7 on the solar panels and 10 on the GSQ.
Magpies have built a fine nest next to our house (apparently magpies nest next to humans to keep away their crow kin) and today Admin1 sent up the drone to look for blue eggs or fluffy chicks, but they had built a roof and the tree was in leaf so no luck.
Meanwhile Admin1 had his first stab at making a Battenburg cake which turned out extremely well. A lovely meal was had by all and we scored 11 on the GSQ.
Admin1 is reading The Stone Chamber by Kate Ellis and Admin2 is reading Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard, which was extremely implausible.
Welcome to the first poppy of spring, along with many tulips.
Admin2 is reading Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard; a mysterious disappearance on a cruise ship.
We scored 11 on the GSQ.
Happy Pancake/St Dave’s Day everybody.
February was seasonally cold and less than averagely sunny but it was by far the rainiest month since our records began: 162.6mm.
Admin2 is reading The Doors of Eden by Adrian Tchaikovsky.
Thank you Fiona for helping us plant these cheery yellow flowers.
Admin1 is reading If It Bleeds by Stephen King. Admin2 is reading The Death of Kings by Rennie Airth.
Soldiers diddies etc, back with reinforcements.
Admin1 is reading Shadow Sands by Robert Bryndza. Admin2 is reading Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.
A bee gets a taste of a daisy.
August was colder than June and July, saw 75mm of rain and managed to be the third least sunny August ever by just 3kWh.
Admin1 is reading The Dead of Winter by Rennie Airth. Admin2 is rereading La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman.
A very wet day: 25mm and counting. Nonetheless our dining companions turned up in their raincoats, enjoyed a lovely meal with us and scored 10 on the GWQ.
Admin1 is reading Vanished by Tim Weaver and Admin2 is rereading Strange Bodies by Marcel Theroux.
Hottest day of the year so far: 31.1°C.
Admin2 is rereading Case Histories by Kate Atkinson, which is as tasty and comforting as a large box of chocolates despite being a selection box of senseless murders.
Our new combined clock, thermometer and flowerpot.
Admin1 is reading Smoke Screen by Jorn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger. Admin2 is reading The Evidence by Christopher Priest; forgetting to return your hotel key can have consequences in a world where parameters can shift unexpectedly.
Somewhat late, we scored 9 on the GWQ.
First of the summer poppies, a bit later in the year than usual.
Admin1 is reading The Missing by Jane Casey. Admin2 is reading Smoke and Ashes by Abir Mukherjee.
Sunshine at last! We had a family afternoon tea (salad, sandwich fillings, cake, trifle, lemonade, beer, gin and tonic) in the garden with a wonderful musical accompaniment. And we scored 13 on the GWQ!
Admin1 is reading Ruin Beach by Kate Rhodes and Admin2 is reading Let the Dead Speak by Jane Casey.
They won’t last long so let’s continue to enjoy them.
Admin1 is reading Cruel Acts by Jane Casey. Admin2 is reading The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox.
This lovely flower, last seen in 2019, was a gift from our friend Jill.
Admin1 is reading No One Home by Tim Weaver, which was very reminiscent of Michael Marshall (Smith)’s crime thrillers.
It rained today, but the rainbow was in the garden.
Admin1 is reading The Cutting Place by Jane Casey. Admin2 is reading The Expats by Chris Pavone, a rubbish book about American chicanery in Luxembourg. This is the author’s attempt at rendering a Scottish accent: “Whot are you, soom kinda fookin bobby?”
We scored 9 on the GWQ.