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The lovely double-blossomed pink cherry tree over the road is about to burst into pale pink blossom;  at present it has dark pink buds.  When it finally comes out and starts shedding its blossom, the whole street will look as though there's been a wedding, with pink confetti everywhere. I would take a "before" photograph to put here in my LJ, but the sun is in exactly the wrong place. 

The sun is shining intermittently and it's a very bright day, but sadly the wind is coming in straight from the Urals and it's too cold for me in the yard this afternoon;  I'm even wearing my trousers and my mittens again and doubtless it will be on with the fluffy socks this evening.  We're hoping we won't have to turn the heating back on again.  It's a bit galling to hear about temperatures in the 70s in the South East!

John and Charles are out in the yard trying to fix the back gate, so the cats are locked in with me to prevent them getting in the way or going dancing off to the allotments, or wherever.

Even though I can't get into the yard and couldn't get out there yesterday, I still feel very cheerful because some of my seeds have germinated already.  I only planted them on Sunday!  Unfortunately I can't tell exactly what plants they are because the writing on the seed sticks has vanished, so I only know that they might be lettuce, or if not, they must be something else!

The reason I couldn't get out there yesterday is because I had a sudden onset of nausea and violent sickness half-way through the afternoon, just after I'd finished painfully making fishcakes for Charles' and my dinner.  I say painfully, because it's so difficult to extract the bones and manipulate the mixure into acceptable cake shapes when arthritis is bad.

I have absolutely no idea what caused it, but I wonder whether I ate too much cheese, thus causing the Revenge Of Byetta!  Upchucking and nausea are known side effects of exatanide, but I've only done it once before.  I did notice, too late, that I'd accidentally cut the cheese Far Too Thick for my lunch-time cheese on toast (lbooyd Arthur!), so maybe my stomach revolted.  I was rather cross that I didn't feel able to eat the fishcakes for dinner, but Charles had something else and we've frozen the fishcakes for us to eat next Tuesday on Boys' Night Out.  I was really pleased to be able to use fresh dill and tarragon from my pots in the yard instead of dried herbs.

My new hair clippers finally arrived today.  They're much more compact and modern than the two I had to throw away recently and tomorrow morning, before I have a shower, I shall finish clipping my hair on the left hand side at the back.  At least one book is still outstanding, though, and I wonder when it's going to arrive.

John went to Hexham last night to see David and Lucy boiled over again.  This is a bit of a disaster, because I'm meant to be going to a really important meeting in Halifax on Tuesday.  We're hoping Keith will be able to find out what's wrong and fix it before then........................Sigh!

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We had a lovely drive out to Hadrian's Wall on Friday, and after a sandwich lunch at the Twice Brewed, we went to Cawfields again.  It's always lovely there, but I made a great effort to walk a couple of hundred yards, with several stops for rest, and was really disappointed to see absolutely no sign of Spring, not a bud, not an unfolding leaf, none of the bunnies who are usually there, nothing at all except for one greater celandine!

Everywhere is brown, like dead grass and I can't believe that nothing's happening at all;  it seems as though the place is frozen into Winter, despite all the lovely weather and higher temperatures we've had recently.  The only sign of life was a pair of pied wagtails and also a pair of Canada Geese, who terrified me by taking off from some hidden place by the water and flying straight over my head, very low, while honking loudly.  Even my lovely robin was missing.

There was some entertainment, though.  A youngish chap walked along the path as though going towards The Wall, then vaulted over the dry-stone wall and started climbing the very precipitous side of the Whin Sill.  He must be very fit because he practically ran up it.  I can remember when I used to be able to do that.........Sigh!

I took some photographs of him standing on the top.  He then descended the other side and made his way round the other side of the quarry to emerge back in the car-park over another dry-stone wall, having made the entire circuit, including the climb in less than 10 minutes.  Maybe Spring is here after all!

Yesterday John and I went to Morrisons and spent a small fortune.  It seemed much pleasanter than usual, no squalling brats, no long strings of Geordie families holding each other's hands and blocking the aisles.  There was a constant procession of young women coming, grabbing a Mother's Day bouquet and leaving immediately.  Not only was it a much pleasanter experience than usual, but I got everything I wanted.

Last night Charles cooked king prawns, chicken and mackerel goujons with lemon, garlic and paprika - absolutely delicious;  we had some of his wonderful chips as well.  I started off a breast of lamb dish with beans, similar to one posted by [Bad username or unknown identity: ramtops,]  in the slow cooker and turned it off at bed time.  At lunchtime today I took the top inch off and degreased it with boiling water in a sieve, then reheated it all and carried on cooking it in the slow cooker for another 6 hours.  It was wonderful!

Oh well!  Work tomorrow,  On Wednesday I have Eileen coming for me to go over the writing group's accounts, as I promised, before she hands them over to someone else.  I shall be so relieved to have finished with the Committee!  Then, sadly, on Thursday I have Gillian's last class.  I should be going to the gym on Friday.  I haven't been for three weeks, what with eye operations, my horrid cold, and then playing hookey to go out for the day.

Charles was very apologetic because he forgot Mother's Day, but tells me he will make it up to me at a later date!

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We actually saw a male goldfinch hopping about among the branches of Adrian-next-door's cherry tree this morning.  I haven't seen one since we left Hampshire, so it felt very special.  I daresay he was stealing the cherry blossom buds.  I wasn't quick enough to find the camera and photograph it, but never mind, I saw it!

Today I have mostly lounged around, except for a small foray to the little Tesco and to Lidl. I had planned to lounge about anyway because after a long day in the car and several hours at meetings in Halifax yesterday, I expected to be feeling lousy and in a lot of pain, but I had a really good night's sleep and woke up feeling great, for me.

Charles also had a good night's sleep for a change and woke up early and in a really good mood! He was actually up before me! Never been heard of before!

We had a good journey to Halifax yesterday morning; we arrived an hour before the time for the meeting, so treated ourselves to breakfast in the Halifax Sainsbury's caff. John had the Big Breakfast, but I had the Big Buttie! When it turned up it was the most enormous sarnie I've ever seen, being two half-inch thick slices of what I took to be a bloomer loaf, stuffed with about 8 ozs of bacon. I ate the lot, but I had to squash the bread a bit to make it small enough to get into my dainty little mouth! I squeezed a couple of sachets of brown sauce over the bacon. It was delicious and, along with a large Mocha, set me up for the rest of the day.

The meetings went on for ages and became very fraught so I felt like a wrung-out dishcloth afterwards. John had been to York to collect something, so he felt quite tired too, and I wasn't very pleased to find out that Charles was expecting me to go to the chip shop for dinner, when I was expecting to get home and find a nice home-cooked meal. Never mind!

So it was a pleasant surprise to get up today feeling good and with far less pain than I had anticipated.

This afternoon, after we'd been shopping and while John was in Leeds Charles and I spent hours trying to find out what was wrong with the TV/Freeview box or whatever piece of equipment was actually wrong. After a lot of messing about, changing over wires, boxes and whatever else we could think of, we conclude that it's the physical piece of aerial wire running from the TV to the aerial socket, so I shall have to go and buy some more co-axial cable and end bits tomorrow. Thank goodness it's nothing worse. I thought for a while that I was going to have to go and buy yet another Freeview box. That particular TV has already got through two. John's TV has got through two as well.

Later as I sat at my desk doing my Internet grocery shopping, I had the window open and the cats played out on the window sill. All the local children were out playing; it's been a long time since that's happened! The heating is still off, although we're threatened with snow on Sunday. I do hope it stays nice at the weekend because I'm planning an assault on the front garden and the back yard. Of course, now I've said that, it probably will snow!

Time for bed and a book, I think.

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June 2009

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