May. 3rd, 2009

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I've had another lovely afternoon in the yard, sprucing up the pots and putting in the new herbs I bought last Monday. 

Today Charles came out to help me, of his own volition.  He cleaned out several pots and planted the new herbs in them
;  he's also gradually helping me tidy up the untidy corners.  He found that a couple of shortish rectangular pots would fit on the windowsill, so he's planted the coriander and some of the new potted-on seedlings in them and put them on the window-sill.  He cleared off the top shelf of the green plastic staging and put the larger potted-out seedlings on there in the hope that it will be too far for the snails and slugs to climb. It's really great to have his help because he can lift the larger pots for me and put them on the table where I can weed them, cut back dead growth and so forth;  previously I was ringing John up on the internal phone to get him to come down and lift the pots, but he, poor old man, has nearly as much trouble as I do lifting them, whereas Charles can easily do it one-handed.

I'm not keen on coriander myself, but I thought I could sprinkle it over home-made curry for a bit of authenticity for John and Charles.

I did everything that I meant to do, except for the one last thing.  I bought some cat-grass seed on Monday and I was going to sow some of it, but unfortunately it started raining quite hard, so we had to gather up everything, put it away in the shed and come indoors.  Of course, the sun's out again now, but I can't go out there again because everything is wet, particularly the seat I have to sit on to do these things;  I just hope I have a window of opportunity tomorrow, although the forecast is not promising.  Although it's very sunny at the moment, there's a freezing cold wind now which wasn't around when I was in the yard.

That's reminded me!  I think Alison promised me some cat-nip plants some months ago.  I must ring her and ask if that's the case or whether it was someone else I can't now call to mind.  I did look for seeds for catnip but didn't find any.  I should speak to her anyway because not only has Godson Christopher just had a baby, or rather his partner has, but it seems that Holly is expecting again.  How exciting it all is!

I was quite cross with myself, because I bought Sweet Woodruff instead of Sweet Cicely;  I wasn't sure at the time, and I thought it wouldn't hurt to have it if it was the wrong thing, but the label just says you can add it to tea or wine and it will make it smell/taste of new hay and Wiki says it's toxic in large doses.  I'm not quite sure that either of those things is something I'd find desirable.  Sweet Cicely on the other hand, is great for things like stewed fruit, when it helps cut down on sugar or sucralose.

On Tuesday I shall go to the garden centre, armed with my coupon to buy BOGOF patio roses, because mine unaccountably died off last year.  Since they're BOGOF, I might get four instead of two.  I also need more pink gravel.  I might even treat myself to something eye-catching and superb if anything catches my eye.

Last night Charles went to bed early because he was exhausted.  Not that it did him much good because he woke up after three hours and then couldn't get back to sleep.  Since he wasn't around and John hardly ever watches films nowadays because his attention span has shortened, I went to bed early myself and watched Flawless, with Robert de Niro and Phillip S Hoffman who were both brilliant, well, in my opinion, anyway.  This morning I asked Charles why he'd never suggested that we see it and he said he'd never seen it himself.

I see that The Straight Story has been on Film4 today.  It's an absolutely brilliant, simple, heartwarming film about a old chap who has no money and no car, but who needs to travel a long way to see his sick brother, so drives his sit-on lawn-mower all the way and meets all sorts of people along the way.  I loved it so much that I bought my own copy.  Judging by what normally happens, it will be repeated ad nauseam on the other channels over the next couple of weeks, so I thoroughly recommend you to watch it, whoever you may be.

I've been rather taken by the TV adverts for the new Star Trek film.  I thought it would be too silly to be repeated, but it looks rather good, and at least Uhuru will presumably not have to sit sideways on to her desk so that everyone can see her legs!

Oh well, I suppose I'd better go down and start dinner.  Chicken with lemon and coconut tonight.  We had some delicious home-made burgers last night which seemed even more delicious than usual, but that may just be because we haven't had them for ages.  As it was, I had to send the menfolk out to buy some GF buns for Charles.

blackberry444: (Default)
Just occasionally there is a programme on TV which makes me feel the licence is worth the money.

As an early member of the Cloud Appreciation Society, (No. 2428), I was thrilled to see that Gavin Pretor-Pinney, founder of the Society and author of various books about clouds, was presenting a programme on BBC4, called Cloudspotting.  I had to watch it, naturally, and Charles and I enjoyed 90 minutes of really interesting, absorbing and quite amusing TV.

As I sit here, I have in front of me, pinned to the cork-board, the Cloud Appreciation Society's 2009 Calendar with a different picture for each month, a bit like the Pirelli calandar but more interesting;  the May cloud is something I've never seen in real life, the Orographic Stratus.

It was so nice to see a programme about something I'm really interested in which isn't about cooking, and it was specially interesting to find out that of the thousands of Society members all over the world who send in pictures, several have sent him pictures of an extremely unusual cloud formation of an unidentifiable type, which he is endeavouring to have described as a new cloud in the next edition of the Meteorologists' cloud guide.  I can't remember exacly what it's called.  He visited a panel of meteorologists at the Royal Meteorological Society and they agreed that they think it's something different and are going to put their weight behind an application to the World Meteorological Society.  It's so exciting!

Over the last few years I've taken hundreds of cloud photographs, and I have occasionally been tempted to send one or another to the Society, but the photographs from other members are so wonderful that I always decide that mine aren't unusual or dramatic enough.  I did take one which was used on the cover of the last anthology our sadly-dissolved writing group produced.

If anyone's interested, the Cloud Appreciation Society can be found at

This is a site I visit so regularly that it's on my bookmarks' toolbar and I love it.  There's an awful lot of interesting stuff on there and every month there is more.

He hasn't got round to putting the new May Cloud of the Month up yet.  He's probably been too busy!


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