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Well, the weather certainly made up for it today. It's been a gorgeous sunny warm day. I had a podiatry appointment this morning, but after lunch we all went out into the yard and spent two and a half hours tidying up, that's seven and a half man hours, so we got quite a bit done. Then John and Charles took all the rubbish to the tip while I cleared the tools away and locked up and made a pot of tea.

There's still an awful lot to do though. Tomorrow, all being well, we shall get out the high pressure hose and wash down the concrete where the cats have spent all winter upsetting pots and earth and making a complete mess. We swept it all today, but it really needs a good hosing. Thank goodness we have so much water in our region and I don't have to feel guilty about it.

I'm amazed that a Greek oregano has made it through the winter. It's a bit overstretched and woody, but I've trimmed it back and hope it will come back prolifically.

I don't know what's wrong with my poor bay tree. Two years ago I nursed it through an outbreak of rust, or scale or whatever it's called, but now it has something which is killing all the new growth and making it look as though it's been scorched. The older leaves are OK, it's just the new growth, which is rather alarming. I shall cut off all the damaged shoots tomorrow and see what happens next.

I have another problem with a very large tub which Bramble and Morgan are enthusiastically excavating. They're not using it as a litter tray, they're just digging an enormously deep hole (for cats) in the compost. I don't know what they've done with the compost they've extracted; they must have eaten it. Last Autumn I put three climbers in there, after the complete disaster I'd had using it for runner beans which just didn't do anything, but only one has survived and that is in imminent danger because the hole is getting nearer and nearer to its roots, and it's getting knocked about by the enthusiastic team of diggers. I must find some way to discourage them from digging in there. Karen has suggested chicken wire stuff, but the yard is so tiny I like everything to look nice. I wonder if a good layer of bark mulch would stop them doing it.

I suspect that the chief digging culprit may be Morgan, because Bramble has never attacked the outside pots before, but on the other hand, he was the one who dug out loads of compost on my sadly-deceased yucca plant in the sitting room. And he did eat that, too. There again, Morgan is the one who is making it impossible for me to keep plants indoors at all by attacking them all the time and destroying them. Sigh!

I was a bit cross when I opened the composter to put some stuff in the top to see that someone, I know not who, had filled it with about 4 inches deep of sticks and twigs which hadn't even been cut up. I took them out and stuck them in with the stuff to be taken to the tip. Very naughty of me, I know, but I just didn't feel like sitting there all afternoon snipping it all into tiny bits.

The new sage officinalis I bought last year has turned into a very pretty little bush, although there was snail trail all over it, which rather surprised me, because I would have thought that the taste of sage might be a bit much even for an enthusiastic slug!   The purple sage, however, has become altogether too woody and leggy and I think I shall have to replace it. I only seem to have one surviving thyme, where I had several potsful and that is old and woody and will probably have to be replaced, although I did spend some time cutting back the old wood and trimming it with scissors, hoping to induce it to put out lots of lovely new soft leaves.

I think perhaps the pots of thyme have been overcome by the self-seeded wild violets which have invaded almost every pot.  I gave several pots of them away last year, but shall have to find someone else who would like some.  I can't bear to just dig them out and throw them away, but they're turning into a pest!

The pot of self-seeded teazles has grown back. I'm always in two minds about them. It seems strange to grow a pot of weeds, but I know the birds love the seeds and I rather like the plants myself. If I had more room, I'd like to have one of those giant thistles as well

I weeded and chopped back the chives which had the consistency of thatching reed where no-one has been snipping them as they grew.  I have terrible trouble getting Charles to use the herbs growing in the yard;  he'd far rather use the packet stuff, which is OK, but nowhere near as nice as fresh herbs, in my opinion.

I still have a lot to do out there before I go and buy plants for the pots and hanging baskets, but it looks much better out there now, even tidy!

The strange thing is that the whole time I was out in the yard I was untroubled by  hay-fever or my dreadful cough, but as soon as I got back into my room it started off again.  I know my room is incredibly dusty and John and Charles have promised to wet-dust it for me sometime when I'm out, but the window was open and the trees are in blossom..............then again, and I do hope it's not this, I wonder whether I've become allergic to my beloved kitties.  But it started up again this evening in the  sitting room which isn't really dusty at all, so I don't know what to think, except that I'm heartily fed up with it.

I had a truly awful night last night.  I spent it propped up on pillows and cushions coughing, choking and spluttering, nose running until about 5.00 am when I finally fell asleep. At one point I got up and spent a couple of hours messing about with my would-be web-site.  Of course, I couldn't have a lie in because I had to get up for my Podiatry appointment.

Now I somehow seem to have managed to acquire a blocked and runny nose at one and the same time.  That should be impossible, surely?  And why, oh why, does it always get worse the nearer to bed time it gets?

I'm so shattered that all I want to do is sleep, but it doesn't seem as though that's going to happen for a few hours yet!  I've tried Piriton, but it doesn't seem to make any difference.

blackberry444: (Default)
Well after being down in the dumps over the recent cold and horrid weather, I was really pleased to see a lovely warm sunny Bank Holiday (Some mistake, surely?)

My pleasure soon turned to grumpiness when I discovered that I couldn't stay out in the yard because I couldn't stop coughing for even a minute and eventually I had to retreat to my room.  I was still coughing badly, and even though I've now shut the window, the coughing continues.  This is particularly annoying when I've had a couple of reasonable nights' sleep and have started feeling better.

Needless to say neither John nor Charles has offered to make a start on the work for me!

I'm wondering if the allergic rhinitis has just segued straight into full blown hay fever and how that can possibly be so when there are so few trees even with leaves, let alone pollen.  I'm not normally allergic to the sort of blossom you get on plum or cherry trees, although there are two right outside my window, so it's possible, I suppose................

We have a good forecast for tomorrow so I shall go to Boots and stock up on hayfever remedies before trying again.  I'll have to make an appointment with my LLD, as well, but I doubt whether she'll have a free appointment any time this week.

If I really can't get out into the yard or the front garden tomorrow, I shall have a major strop!!

Where can I get a gas mask?

Doctor Who spoiler under the cut-


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