Monday, March 10, 2014

Out in the garden..........


Yesterday was the most glorious sunny day this year. So far. It was all I love about Spring - sun, warmth, daffodils, buds on everything, starting to prepare the garden. Seeds, bulbs. Love, love, LOVE it. 

It was my turn to take everyone to church, which only starts at 11am, so I popped out early, after loading the washing machine, because sun also means washing outdoors, to get petrol. (I got there in the end, so stop sighing over my convoluted sentences!) After I left the petrol station, I came to a circle in the road - one way meant home, and the other went towards our favourite country park. 

The country park won. It was filling rapidly with cars, even though it was very early - people walking dogs, hiring bikes, families out for a stroll and playing at the amazing playground. Just perfect. So I walked slowly around the lake. I had no phone or camera with me, and that made it even better, because I could just immerse myself in the peace of the place. It was a wonderful way to start my day.

So, I still had time to get home, hang out the washing and attempt, for the third time, to reheat and drink my coffee. Sadly, that did not happen because church called. 

We don't bother much about Sunday lunch around here - we tend to eat an early evening meal which is a mixture of lunch and supper, so once I got home, I decided that the call of the garden was too loud to ignore. For the first time this year, I was out there, tidying up the winter stuff, and yanking out some weeds, dismantling the wrecked plastic tomato greenhouse. This is a great time, because you can see the weeds. By summer, I give up, because they are entwined with pretty flowers. I transplanted two big lavender plants out of pots and into the bed, and in went some dahlia bulbs as well for good measure. I want to focus on doing less this year. Growing stuff which grows and sorts itself. 

Less is more.

Stop rolling around with laughter, people. 
I know I say something like this every year and then go and compulsively plant a zillion seeds.
What can I say.

I went down to the allotment earlier this morning to pay for the manure which will be delivered this week. A lorryload. That will be fun. Then this weekend, I get to watch the men distributing it all over the place. My beds need refilling. Remind me not to plant more than one or maybe two courgettes this year. I still have half a freezer full of the stuff. More beans though. I need many beans. And butternuts. And gem squash. 

Enough of gardens.

I will just add that, after an hour outside yesterday, I was doing an Oscar-worthy portrayal of the Hunchback Of Notre Dame. David did the last of the sweeping and tidying. And far away, Missy discovered the delights of swingball, according to her Mum's photos. 

I remember swingball. Such fun!

Now, to end today's missive, I have added a photo which I saw on Facebook - taken by the friend of a friend, Bronwyn Hendricks.(I think!) 

You need to know that South Africa is in the middle of Load Shedding Season. That means that there is not enough electricity generated to meet the needs of the country, so they have a schedule of when it is switched off in which areas on which days. To just about everyone. 
Well, there seems to be enough to supply Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe etc, but not enough for domestic consumption. Yes. This is beyond the comprehension of most people. However, there have been some hysterically funny photos on Facebook. The South African sense of humour is prevailing. For example, there is a sketch of a CD, entitled "Esk*om Unplugged" with a list of songs like Candle in the Wind, Dancing in the Dark etc. Esk*om being the electricity giant supplying electricity to the nation. 

And then there is this........


This is the main morning daily newspaper in the Cape, Brilliant. Just brilliant. 

Load Shedding. Hmmm. It may yet come this way, I suppose. 

And now I am off to Oxford with my daughter on an adventure..........

Monday, March 03, 2014

It feels like Spring today..........


The sun is shining, and the house is dressed in the Spring colours of green and yellow, and I do believe I even have a (slight) urge to go and investigate the garden for more signs of life. The fact that, at that back of my mind the words "Prague Spring" (because it is Spring and because of the protagonist, not the location) (I know what I mean) raise some very unsettling thoughts, mixed with the 100th anniversary of WW1, Crimea, and all the rest, remembering that all it took was one gunshot back then, do not bear thinking about at all.

That has to be one of the longest most rambling sentences to erupt from my keyboard. You get the gist of things in my mind, though. I hope.

Anyway. Back to Spring and sunshine. I am rather hoping that my friend who prunes fruit trees may arrive on the doorstep today, because it is pruning time and it is not wet. My ladder is lying under the tree, in wait. Last year, I didn't get it done, and I can tell you I will not be climbing up there armed with the secateurs either. We had a day of rain yesterday. Last night it was torrential.

I think I told you about my Library Girls? The ones I teach attempt to teach to use/play with the iPad? That sentence sounds wonky as well, but to be frank, I do not have the patience to ponder grammar. The ladies. Senior ladies. Aka older than me. Well, it started with one needing a little help and has grown to 4 now. We have multiplied. The slight hiccup is that one of them has an android tablet about which I know less than zero. As in, how do you turn it on? Huh? And how do you download apps, because it is not very clear at all. This makes for a hilarious hour or two of Linds trying to juggle all the balls. Work out how to make the tablet go, and keep the iPad ladies from expiring from boredom. Cue the introduction of Pinterest. Oh, how they love that. Then I conquered the apps, and downloaded Sudoku for the tablet, so, when all else fails, Sudoku and Pinterest rule.

Actually, no-one minds. Everyone has a good laugh, and, hopefully, now and then they learn how to do something. One of them helpfully brought along her copy of " iPad for Seniors". Maybe I need a copy of my own as well. The library has a very annoying wifi set up as well. You have to re-select the wifi connection every 10 minutes. Every couple, if your device is just lying on the table. This is not helpful, if you are trying to teach the mysteries of skype and have the ladies positioned in the 4 corners of the library (which is small) and you are outside ringing them on Skype.  They tend to shout if they can't get a signal.

Just think, all this going on, at the same time as Rhyme Time for the Mums and Tots, who like to sing as well. Loudly. ROW ROW ROW YOUR BOAT!

Ye gods. It is a miracle we are still allowed to gather there. Actually, the librarian organised the "class". I use the term loosely. She also provides tea and cakes.

We have a great librarian.

And as an added extra, the Library Girls have asked me to teach them how to crochet as well. We may need gin instead of tea. I can just see it all...........................

Well, it does make for good entertainment, doesn't it. And I so enjoy it all, crazy though it may be. This week is all about reading apps and free books. I sincerely hope that tablet thingy behaves. I may just download the Kindle app for everyone, then I can teach one way to get books, not two. We can cover the iPad book thingy when the android is absent.

I am quite exhausted at the thought.

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