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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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I'm sitting here in my winter uniform of trousers and T-shirt, warm cardigan and thick woolly socks, plus a pair of old black leg-warmers I've had since the 70s draped fetchingly around my ankles.  And still my feet are cold.

So are my hands, my nose and the tips of my ears.

Bearing in mind the current fuel prices, I rather expected to have to sit here some time this year with all this lot on, plus a woolly hat, muffler and mittens, but not till November at least, for Heaven's sake.  Maybe tomorrow I shall wear a vest, but I usually reserve that for January and February.  I wonder what I did with my lovely woolly hat with a pompom and strings to tie under the chin which I bought in Lerwick..............

I ordered a pair of fingerless gloves from eBay this afternoon, plus three pairs of bedsocks for Charles who has put in a plea for some.  I hope they arrive soon.

The thermometer claims that it's 66.7F in here, so I can't understand why I feel so cold, unless it's just damp from the weeks and weeks of virtually unending rain we've had.  I never usually put the central heating on until October at the earliest and apart from a couple of hours a couple of weeks ago haven't done so yet, but everything feels cold and damp, even the upholstery on the sofas in the living room.

It was lovely cooking up a little fug in the kitchen this evening, but the windows were misted up, for Heaven's sake!  It's only half-way through lbooyd September!!  This is supposed to be the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, for Heaven's sake, not to mention it being the close bosom friend of the maturing sun.  What lbooyd sun?  Where is it?

Charles came back early from his course this evening, so dinner was at its usual time after all, but that was just because it was the first day.  He quite enjoyed it and now seems laid back about it.  Apparently he has a sort of student "buddy", a disabled guy, who will help him if he has any problems.  I am sooo pleased!  And I'm letting myself feel just a little optimistic!

I'm going to get into bed now and I shall allow myself 30 minutes of my electric heating pad warming my feet so that I shall be able to get some sleep without my feet being too cold.  Don't tell the family!

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After 3 days of shivering at 59F, we've reluctantly turned the heating back on as the house is beginning to smell damp and it feels colder than 59F really is.  Even Charles is cold and the cats keep wanting cuddles.
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I'm absolutely freezing here and have been all day, in spite of the late sunshine this afternoon.

I've been told off in another place for being a miserable old bugger, so now I really feel like one.  Originally I was feeling fairly cheerful but a bit miffed because the weather is so cold up here, but now I'm feeling really pissed off.

What a comfort a cat is when they sense you need a cuddle.  They're so warm and soft and affectionate;  they're uncritical and they make loud noises of satisfaction at your smallest attention.  So unlike humans.
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Yesterday John drove me to Halifax for what turned out to be a long and exhausting meeting. I was woken by the cats at 5.30 am and as I was going to get up at 6.00, I stayed up. We finally got home at 7.30 pm, the journey home having been enlivened by Lucy boiling over. Fortunately, since it happened once before, last year, I always carry spare water in the boot. There's no obvious cause, so John has been out today and bought a new radiator cap; he said the old one was very loose and was probably causing the problem.

We got home too late for John to go on Boys' Night Out, but Charles had made a lovely thick chicken soup which had a remarkably good flavour as he roasted the chicken first. John's going on Boys' Night Out tonight instead, but I don't feel very hungry, so I'm probably going to have scrambled eggs.

I hope I'm wrong, but I think I've got a cold coming, although I have no idea where I caught it. Till yesterday I hadn't seen anyone for ages, let alone anyone with a cold. I've been squirting First Defence up my nose all day, but I'm not confident it's going to work this time. My throat is incredibly dry, no matter how much I drink and I have that tickly feeling at the back of my nose. Hence the comfort food for dinner! I always like scrambled eggs with buttered toast when I don't feel so well. There's also a carton of Covent Garden Winter Vegetable soup if I prefer, although Charles says I simply can't have soup three days running!!  I'm feeling very irritated by the possibility of a cold!

Actually, I've just thought!  I did see Sandra-next-door a few days ago, but she seemed healthy enough and I only spoke to her for a couple of minutes, and I've just remembered that I went shopping to Morrisons on Saturday.  Oh well, it doesn't really matter.  It's just that I get soo miserable with a cold that I like to have someone to blame!

While I was in my meeting yesterday John drove to Leeds and visited the Royal Armouries Museum. He enjoyed it, although, as he said, there were no tanks! 

We have a very cold night forecast for tonight.  I've reminded the menfolk that they should make sure they have their winter duvets on the beds, and maybe even put two in the duvet cover together.  Some time ago I bought us all twin duvets which have a winter duvet and another thin summer duvet which attaches to the winter duvet with a few strips of Velcro.  The trouble is that they're both too idle to do it and would rather not do it then complain about being cold.  Maybe I'll leave the heating on.........although I'm doing my utmost to save money on heating at the moment.

I cancelled the direct debits for our gas and electricity yesterday, which should concentrate Atlantic's corporate mind a little.  I don't just want a new direct debit, I want a refund!

John and I saw a bus-engine on fire this afternoon when we were going to collect his van from the mechanic.  By the time we returned 15 minutes later, it had escalated to a two-engine fire with a couple of police cars  blocking the road.  I don't think I've ever seen a bus on fire before, although I was once in a taxi on the way to Ostend ferry terminal when its engine caught fire and I had to run a long way with a heavy suitcase so as not to miss the ferry.

Although I've been soo exhausted today, I've been unable to nap this afternoon, so maybe I shall get a good night's sleep tonight.  There's absolutely nothing Charles and I want to watch on the TV, so unless we can agree on a DVD, it will be a really early night with a book!

I've just remembered that I haven't done the fruit for the Christmas cake yet, so I'm off to weigh it out and leave it soaking in rum and brandy all night.  Maybe I should have a brandy for my cold................?


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