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UPDATED: RENAMED: Gardening, 'all shapes and sizes, hints, tips and pics' thread!



  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,200 mod

    @Sunshinedaff @NanaBubbles

    Good evening all.

    Oh Lou. I am so sorry to hear that you are having such trouble sleeping and what a pity you have to wait so long for your new mattress. No wonder you are exhausted but how lovely that Phoebe was able to step in and take some pressure off you. Wow, a double celebration. Hannah’s 21st birthday and Phoebe’s exam success too. I hope that you had a lovely relaxing time with your sister - family is so important and the Covid virus has made it difficult to see as much of them as we would like.

    Hi Michele. I agree it does seem a long wait for Lou’s mattress but we are used to long waits here in Jersey. We have been told that our new settee will be 8 weeks and the shutters 12 weeks. I wouldn’t care, but they are so expensive and we have had to pay a pretty hefty deposit on both of them. We have lots of window and we have had to sellotape plain wallpaper over them to keep the Sun at bay. It is still very hot here but we are near the sea and we do get the benefit of a sea breeze from time to time.

    Chat soon

    Rob xx

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 686 mod

    Good morning everyone,

    Well, good news, I have managed to get some sleep the last couple of nights, thank you rain! Haha, I didn't think I would be thanking the rain, lol.😀 It is a mixed day here today, rain and sun, mostly rain though.

    It was lovely yesterday and I was able to sort a few things out in the garden, sweeping the patio, rearranging some of the pots etc, deadheading flowers etc. One of those jobs that is forever in your eyeline, reminding you it needs doing, so it was good to get that done.

    The weekend was good-ish. It is a shame that illness impacts celebrations the way it does, one lovely thing we did was watch Hamilton the live stage show. We signed up to Disney specially so we could access it. It was fantastic, superb. I have tried in the past pre-covid to get tickets to see it, but they sell out so quickly, and the price is a small mortgage too, so seeing it this way was really great.

    I think my sweetcorn maybe ready to harvest, I just need to be brave to have a look, by peeling back some of the leaves. I have one last cucumber ready to pick, I don't know if I will get any more, some of the ones growing have died off. I must say, they taste so completely different from shop bought ones. The tomatoes are still growing which is great. I have been very tempted to harvest the rhubarb, it looks fabulous, I haven't though, I am being very restrained. Haha. Hoping that will pay off for next year. 😁

    My next gardening job, well, as well as potting up strawberries for next year, is to research what veg I can grow in winter. Maybe none does? I have no idea. So watch this space! Haha.

    I hope you all have a good day, whatever that will be, chat to you later,

    Lou xx

  • Chilali1531Chilali1531 Posts: 104 ✭✭✭

    Hello Everyone

    Hope you’re all feeling a bit more energised. We’ve back in Toulouse this week & I’ve been extremely tired & sleeping a lot. My blood pressure’s very low (80/50) & I’ve had 3 platelets & 1 blood transfusion this week. I should be having more chemo this week but it will have to wait til my readings are up. I’m feeling a bit depressed but it usually doesn’t last long. My taste has completely gone which makes even eating v boring. A friend made us some sauce with miso paste & ginger which helps abit. I managed a short walk along the Garonne river this morning so that’s a good sign. Hopefully in the next few days my readings will go up I’ll get back my energy levels & enthusiasm. I hope you’ve been sleeping better Lou & the new mattress sounds like a good idea.

    The garden is still producing cherry tomatoes & 1 lonesome green pepper is doing its best to grow bigger. The pumpkin plant from next door has invaded us & is trailing around the cactus. Not quite sure what to do about it ... It’s still pretty hot here (35c due today) but we’ve been promised rain for the weekend which is badly needed.

    Take care everyone, Ali xx

    Ps Enclosed a few photos from our drive out the other day. I said to Peter I needed to get out & see some spectacular views to boost my mood so we made a picnic & drive over to another valley.

    Sent from my iPhone

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,200 mod
    edited August 19

    @Chilali1531 @LouiseJ

    Hello everyone.

    Well, Lou, it is much cooler here today and quite windy. I hope that you have been able to sleep better.

    I haven’t seen Hamilton but everyone who has loves it so I will try to find it on YouTube as I am sure someone will have recorded it. Our new TV is great as I can get a Youtube programme on my iPad and it will play on the TV. Everyone says that they have been able to do that for years on their TVs but our last one was so old and it wasn’t a Smart one so I don’t think it was up to it. A bit like me really🤣.

    You still sound really busy with your garden. I think Mary is a bit sad that we don’t have one, but we have some lovely green areas nearby where other people do all the work.

    Dear Ali, I am sorry to hear about you low blood pressure and the tiredness. I am not surprised you are feeling down - it is horrible to be always tired and having taste issues as well sounds awful. The treatment I have been on causes tiredness and I know that it is really frustrating to wake up in the morning still feeling tired and weary. I hope your readings go up soon.

    What a great idea to pack a picnic and go for a drive. Wow, what amazing scenery you have and I can only imagine how beautiful it looks when you are actually there.

    Mary and I drove 5 miles to Gorey Village yesterday and we enjoyed a sandwich, crisps and coffee by the sea. In a normal summer, you can get a ferry from Gorey harbour to Carteret in France which is just 14 miles away. We used to take our bikes over as the roads are so lovely and quiet and there is a lovely little seaside village called Portbail which is a pleasant and fairly easy ride from Carteret. Gorey itself is overlooked by a beautiful fairytale castle Mont Orgueil, and in a normal summer it is very busy with French visitors.

    I took the bottom picture in Gorey yesterday, and the evening one during a group walk last year. On a clear day, you can easily see the French coast in the distance.

    Rob xx

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 686 mod

    Good afternoon everyone,

    I do hope you are all safe and not in harms way from Storm Ellen. She has all but destroyed my sunflowers, they finally got to about 20' high, impossible to withstand gale force winds. The sweetcorn is currently horizontal, which is where it will stay until this is over. I hope it survives!

    I do believe there is another storm after this one!

    Ali I do hope you are having better days this week, and your taste is returning, sorry for the late reply.

    The photos of your drive out with Peter look stunning, the beauty of nature like that can help to lift the spirits. I hope you found it helped a bit.

    Rob, I also love those photos you have taken, the harbour is so pretty. I can't imagine you are venturing out today with this weather. We were saying this morning, how this time of year we have usually come home from France to rainy weather. I do hope it picks up again though and we have a bit more summer.

    Chat to you all soon,

    Lou xxx

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,200 mod


    Good evening everyone.

    Oh Lou, I am so sorry to hear about your sunflowers. I hope that your sweetcorn survives along with your other plants and flowers. Most of all, keep safe.

    I met a friend for lunch today and we stayed on for afternoon tea too. We normally eat outside, but the wind drove us indoors. I hope that we will still have a few opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors before the colder wetter weather cuts in. At least we have triple glazing in our new apartment and we will be snug and draught free this year.

    Rob xx

  • Chilali1531Chilali1531 Posts: 104 ✭✭✭

    Dear friends

    I feel awful complaining about the hot weather we’re having after your tales of wind & rain ! Poor you, i do hope you have a bit more sun before summer ends. Here it’s still in the 30s. I find anything over 32 abit hot. We can’t sit out between 13-18h and bbcues are restricted to lunchtime.

    Sorty to hear about your sunflowers Lou - maybe it’s better they don’t grow too tall -( but how do you stop them?!). We still have 1 or 2 stragglers. The green pepper plant has decided to have a second wind & a v small melon has appeared on the melon plant which was looking v dried up. The neighbours’ butternut is well & truly “ chez nous” so we’re trying to make sure it doesn’t strangle the olive tree. They’ve promised us a butternut or two !

    Those are lovely photos of Jersey Rob. I’m still hankering after the sea. We may manage a long weekend right after my next chemo as that’s when I’m strongest. My readings are still too low for the next ne which is 10 days overdue now. Trying to not get frustrated waiting...

    Ive posted another lovely sunflower photo which a friend took near Cahors.

    Keep safe & sane ! Ali XX 🤪

    Butternut invading our cactus !

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 686 mod

    Good evening everyone,

    I hope this finds you all as well as can be given personal circumstances!

    The storm/rain clouds are gathering again as I write this. It has been quite a good day, blustery, but with sunshine. Storm Francis, caused as much mayhem as Storm Ellen here in our garden. I do hope you all have escaped damage. It was such a noisy night, the wind was ferocious, but the temperature was quite warm.

    Ali, good to hear you at least still have lovely summery temperatures that I prefer. I don't know whether we will get a return of the sun. Can't believe we are heading into the August Bank Holiday, it is still surreal, and we haven't re-entered the mayhem of pre-covid life. Those photos look beautiful, the sunflower field is amazing. The butternut squash is going mad isn't it! haha. What is the tall green leaved plant behind that? Corn?

    I thought my cucumbers had finished, and this morning intended to sort the pot out, but there have appeared 3 new flowers! I am hoping they will be fruitful. Some of the flowers before began growing, but then died a death.

    The garden is beginning to look in that state of needing to be sorted ready for autumn and winter. A bit earlier than usual, the storms not helping.

    The sweetcorn is still not ready, well I don't think so anyway. I did have a peek, but the kernels looked white.

    Well, I'd best be off for now, dinner is cooking away, chat to you all later, or tomorrow,

    Lou xx

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,200 mod
    edited August 26

    @Chilali1531 @LouiseJ

    Good evening friends.

    Haha Ali. No need to feel awful. Being too hot is not much fun either. It has been pretty windy here, but quite sunny too and we don’t have any really restrictive rules so Mary and I have been getting out and about whilst we can. I do hope that you are able to have your next chemo before too long so that you can have a trip to the seaside. For various reasons, we have not been able to leave the Island for over a year now. It can feel a bit claustrophobic at times and I would love to see your mountain hideaway and it’s amazing vistas for real. Your photos always look exciting to me.

    Oh Lou. Your poor garden. It must be heartbreaking to see all your hard work trashed. Let’s hope your cucumbers survive and flourish. Please don’t tell me what you are having for dinner. I am struggling to get into my best shirts and so I have finally decided to go on a diet. I can’t keep blaming the steroids when I am still wolfing down the carrot cake etc. so I have bought a new set of scales and now Mary is hooked too. Can’t believe we went shopping yesterday and didn’t buy any biscuits, cakes or hula hoops. Watch this (diminishing) space 🍔🍟🍰🍦🚫🚫🚫🚫

    Chat soon

    Rob xx

  • NanaBubblesNanaBubbles Posts: 116 ✭✭✭

    @LouiseJ @RobertA @Chilali1531

    Good evening everyone

    Hope you are all as well as you can be. Oh Ali, I do hope that your blood pressure picks up and you are able to resume your treatment very soon. As always, your photos are lovely, as yours are Rob! Living in the centre of England, we are about as far away from the sea as you can get here, so I am absolutely with you, Ali, in hankering for the sea. The children here are back to school next week so perhaps we might manage a ride to the quieter south coast and, assuming we get some more warm weather, a paddle would be lovely!

    I am so sorry about your garden Lou. That wind was dreadfully strong and had some of our plants bowed right over but apart from some apples falling off the trees, we have sustained little damage thankfully. Just a mess everywhere of petals, twigs and fallen leaves. It really does seem that autumn is coming early this year.

    Our two oldest grandchildren are coming for the weekend while their Mum and her partner go off on a sailing trip from Lymington to Poole harbour and back - 🤔 not sure if that will happen with more strong winds due. We will enjoy the children’s company and have some fun with them but my energy levels have been dreadful just recently so most of my activities with them will be sitting down ones I think! My brain is going 19 to the dozen about what we can do with them. My granddaughter loves to paint so we will probably have a session doing that together - she is starting her GCSE Art course when she gets back to school and I will be very interested to see and hear what she learns. She had me laughing this morning on FaceTime as she has acquired a black and white hamster (Willow) which has its cage in her room and she was mimicking it carrying food out of its feeding bowl and putting a stash into its activity tube. Apparently it kept her awake all night so was looking half asleep. The hamster is not coming here for the weekend! We normally have the children here quite a lot of the time during their school holidays but because of Covid this hasn’t happened since the February half-term.

    Take care everyone.


    Michele x

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,200 mod

    @NanaBubbles @LouiseJ @Chilali1531

    Good evening all

    Oh Michele. It sounds lovely to have your grandchildren for the weekend. I am sorry to hear that your energy is low but it sounds as if the children will be entertaining you so perhaps you will be able to relax and enjoy their company. You have waited such a long time since you had them round. Enjoy.😀

    Rob x

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 686 mod

    Good evening lovely friends,

    I hope you are all having a peaceful weekend, Ali, how are you doing? Are you back in hospital for treatment yet?

    Michele, I hope you have been able to enjoy some of the warm weather today, it has been quite pleasant this afternoon.

    Rob I hope you enjoyed your walk, I know what you mean about losing some weight, I need to too!

    Today Phoebe and I finished planting some seed potatoes, I have put them in the greenhouse. This is the first time trying so it will be interesting to see if they work! I have some other seeds to plant up. Drying out the sunflower heads to harvest seeds. The tomatoes and cucumber are still flourishing!

    The mornings definitely have that September feeling about them, very chilly. Brrr! Haha.

    Have a good evening, chat soon,

    Lou xx

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,306 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Chilali1531 , @NanaBubbles , @RobertA , @Anneb ,

    Good afternoon everyone

    I hope you are all having good weeks.

    We have a spell of warm weather here, it is so lovely to sit in the garden and be warm. I know these days will become fewer as autumn arrives. I am making the most of it.

    Ali, I hope you are doing ok, I am guessing you have been able to have more chemo. Hope that is going smoothly.

    Margy, is spring springing with you? I'd say I would come spend winter at yours, but I'm not sure how Pete, Mark and the girls would feel about that! Lol! 😂. It is about 20° here now, sunny, very pleasant. Rob, I can understand how you and Mary will miss not going to Spain this year.

    Hope to chat with you all soon,


    Lou xxx

  • Chilali1531Chilali1531 Posts: 104 ✭✭✭

    Dear friends

    Ive been a bit absent these last few weeks, had a tough time with fatigue & transfusions & generally feeling miserable & fed up. I was supposed to have my penultimate chemo around mid Aug but my readings remain too low so still not done. I feel as if I’m stagnating. I had a nasty test yesterday ( myélogramme) which hurt, to extract a bone marrow sample which will give them a clue as to why my body’s not bouncing back. Then they’ll decide whether to modify treatment. So I’m trying to stay positive but I’ll admit to a couple of weeks of feeling pretty low. The last few days I’ve felt a bit better & less tired & my appetite is coming back. 😊 The opposite of your problem Rob , hankering after cakes & biscuits !! My downfall has always been salty foods ( Tyrell’s cider vinegar crisps !) but I haven’t even fancied those recently. Today is the first day I’ve felt like a coffee for breakfast for a while. So that’s good !

    We've been having a lovely warm September tho I’ve been wrapped up. I’ve always loved autumn but for the first time I’m starting to miss the light in the evenings. Hopefully I’ll have the strength to walk a little & see the colours which are lovely in the Pyrenees as there are lots of oak & beech trees. I used to go & collect nuts (walnuts & hazelnuts) in the nearby woods. The villagers go mushrooming- a big event in France - & woe betide any “ foreigners” coming to steal their mushrooms ! At the moment it’s “ Cèpes” , big flabby brown things, which they fry with lots of garlic. I’m not a mushroom fan in general but I admit they’re pretty nice!

    I think this years also been tough as we didn’t get away for a summer holiday. First time ever ... I know lots of people have been in the same boat with Covid etc & we did manage a couple of short trips to the Pyrenees. So I’m not really grumbling.. much 😐.

    Back to the garden which is looking a bit sad, tho of course the cacti are fine. The rest needs a lot of water as we’ve virtually had no rain at all. The green pepper plant has had a second wind, tho the peppers are abundant, they’re much smaller than the first lot.

    I hope you’re all doing ok & managing to see family etc. Looks as tho we may well have another lockdown here soon, figures are high in France. I’d really love to see my parents & brother but no chance this year I fear. At least my children aren’t far even if we are masked & outside.

    Take care everyone, Ali xxx

    Neighbour’s cat Pippy enjoying our wall. Chili doesn’t bat an eyelid - strange dog !!

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,306 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Hi Ali,

    It's lovely to hear from you.

    I am so sorry to hear you have been having such a rough time still and you have been low. I do hope you get the results of the test very soon, it sounded horrible though, when you talk about bone marrow, I know that must have been painful.

    The worry of why our bodies are not responding or picking up as we expect is hard to deal with. I am glad you have picked up a little and are managing to eat. I'm with you on the savoury front over sweet. Crisps are so hard to resist, especially with a glass of wine or two! The mushroom foraging sounds interesting, I love them with butter and garlic! Lol.

    I think you are having a warmer time than us, although we have days where it is warmer and reminds me of summer. This week has been like that.

    I hope you get to take that walk in the Pyrenees soon, the colours will be amazing!

    Ahhh, lovely Pippy! I am soppy over cats😊.

    We are getting ready to take Hannah down to Falmouth for uni, so much to do, and a lot to organise!!

    I am trying to keep up with the garden at the same time, I finally managed to free the strawberries from the grass, they had embedded themselves so deeply! I expect we will have them growing up next year where I have left some root strands! Haha! It really will be strawberry fields!!

    I hope you have a peaceful day, chat soon.


    Lou xx

  • AnnebAnneb Posts: 104 ✭✭✭

    @Sunshinedaff @RobertA @Chilali1531 @NanaBubbles

    Hello everyone,

    Sorry I have not been on for a few weeks. Life just seemed to get away from me the past month.

    Guess what....I have flowers everywhere in my garden, daisies, lilies, bird of paradise, daffodils, petunias , geranium bushes and just everything is going wild and leaves on all the trees 😀 we are only into the 2nd week of spring and already it is in the 20's so I think we will be in for a really hot summer and another 6 or 7 months of heat.😎

    I am doing a bit of gardening tomorrow so will take some photos of everything in bloom...wow...cant believe it has all happened so quickly this year

    Michelle , how did your visit go with the grandchildren. Did you have a great time. It was fathers day here last Sunday so we had the family and grandchildren...all under 6... wow with covid lock down I had forgotten how much energy they have...and never stop talking...but it was wonderful to be able to have family all together again.💚 just keeping fingers crossed that we will be able to have Christmas together with no further lock downs in the future.

    Ali , how are you feeling you poor thing. There is nothing like waiting for things to happen, and yes stagnating is a good way to explain it. I hope you have a chance to visit your beautiful home in the Pyrenees. It would be lovely to stay for an extended holiday to rejuvenate your body and soul. The views are just out of this world. Just majestic but oh so soul soothing. It must truly be a magical place. Where do you go for your summer holidays usually? and thanks to covid , no holidays.

    Rob and Mary, how are you both going. I guess you would have settled into your new home. Do you have any photos from your balcony yet. I know you will be happy Rob......Cricket is back on😄 have you been back to your chippy or is that off your list of healthy foods too🤣 We have fish (grilled) and calamari with chips on most Friday nights. We love it and no one has to cook...yayyy. What is your weather like in the winter Rob. does it get extreme? I remember you saying you get a sea breeze for the warmer weather. Will it be a cold wind in the winter?

    Lou, have you received your new bed yet. How is the pain going. There is nothing worse, you just do not know where to put yourself when you try to lay down. I still sleep with a Boomerang shaped pillow (invaluable after breast ops) I now cant sleep on anything else. It can be placed anywhere for support. I just love it.

    Lou did you put your seed potatoes in a tub or container. Whatever you do dont plant them in the ground. I know as I did 😃🤣😄 you will come out one day and your whole yard will look like a potato farm. I have never grown anything so prolific....every year they came up and then just spread like wild fire. Had a terrible time keeping them under control....almost impossible.Very much like bamboo, once it takes hold....run......😃

    Pete has made me a vegetable garden now. As the frosts have finished ( we hope) i planted cucumbers, baby tomatoes and Chard. thats all at the moment,more as the seasons allow. I usually only plant what we actually eat in the summer. Lettuce, cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes and cucumbers oh and did I mention cucumbers🥒🥒 lol, beau and I would eat at least 6 apple cucumbers a day......so we plant heaps and heaps. lol.....also sugar snap peas, beetroot and snow peas.

    I only plant chard or silver beet in winter as the weather is too severe for anything else. I was thinking Lou, that you could grow quite a bit in your greenhouse. probably zucchini (really easy and compact) it is perfect for a pot and prolific in zucchinis. they grow like a shrub. really pot friendly. Also spinach or silver-beet or chard....not sure what you call it in the northern hemisphere????? another great pot loving vegetable. also broccoli, cabbage, spring onions and leeks. they are all great winter vegetables.

    Well I had better go before this turns into War and Peace and you all fall asleep reading it.. ( might help you Lou 🤣🤣)

    Oh and Lou , Pete and Beau said the bed is waiting......so anytime ✈️💗

    I will take some photos of my flowers tomorrow to brighten the day

    Lots of love and huge hugs to you all



  • NanaBubblesNanaBubbles Posts: 116 ✭✭✭

    @Anneb @Sunshinedaff @RobertA @Chilali1531

    Hello everyone!

    Lovely to hear from you Margy and all your gardening sounds great! I have just been outside potting on cauliflower and red cabbage plants. My tomatoes and cucumbers going strong still as well as perpetual spinach, salad leaves and carrots. I have various brassicas doing well now in containers so getting set for the autumn. We did have a great time with the grandchildren who are growing and growing up so fast now. Luke has one more year in the Juniors and then will follow his sister to senior school - I don’t think she is too keen on that idea as she is 4 years older and can see how her brother could embarrass her in front of her friends!

    Ali, I am so sorry to hear about your painful treatment and hope that by now you are well enough to continue. Your walk in the woods sounds like a wonderful idea and hope that you have the energy. I am sure that Chilli would love that too! I grew up in the New Forest and have always loved the autumn colours.

    Lou, good luck with your spuds! We don’t eat a lot of potatoes so haven’t tried to grow them - constantly watching my weight!! I hope your trip to Falmouth goes well - so many happy memories for our family down there as my Mum and Dad lived at Mawnan Smith village, a few miles further west, for about 40 years. I don’t know if you have found it yet or indeed would have the time but there is a walk with great views from Gyllingvase beach (Falmouth) round the coast on a good path to Swanpool beach and then on to Maenporth beach (which was walkable from my parents’ house). There used to be a good beach cafe at Maenporth which is a nice sheltered sandy beach. Very best of luck to Hannah as she starts at uni. I am sure you will miss her Lou!

    Rob, hope you and Mary are doing ok in Jersey and that you are enjoying your long walks.

    As this year seems to be a really good one for apples, I thought I would share this recipe which I haven’t tried yet but intend to. It is from Sarah Raven

    cinnamon apple crisps recipe

    These are good as a crunchy and delicious snack, served from a plate or bowl in the middle of the table, just as you would some delicious chocolates. They’re best made and eaten pretty much straightaway. Apples – in all ways – are good for us, and so is the classic addition of cinnamon. It’s the new super-hero in the nutritional world.

    For a medium bowl for 4

    Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3.

    Wash and dry the apples, then remove the stalks. Using the thinnest setting on a mandolin, slice the apples across the core. Place the slices on a baking tray lined with lightly oiled baking parchment. Do not overlap

    the apple slices. (If you want to multiply up this quantity, you will need to bake them in several batches.)

    Dust with cinnamon and brush with melted honey. Put the tray in the oven and bake for around 30-40 minutes. Turn halfway through and remove when the slices have curled up like flowers and turned golden. Leave to cool and crisp up.

    Look after yourselves.


    Michele x

  • AnnebAnneb Posts: 104 ✭✭✭

    Hello my lovely friends, photos of my colourful garden sofay and only 2 weeks into spring 🌹🌸💐🌹🌸

    Happy planting 🌹🌸🌹🌸🌹🏵🏵🏵

    Love Margy 💖💖💖💖💖

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,306 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @NanaBubbles @Ann @RobertA @Chilali1531

    Good afternoon lovely friends, I hope the weekend has gone well for you all.

    Busy here, obviously! Lol! Sat in the garden with a glass of sparkle while roast chicken dinner is on the go. Yum!

    Michele, the apple recipe sounds wonderful, another one for me to try.

    Yes, we are all going to miss Hannah so much, and she has an uphill struggle ahead. Really hoping it will be new beginnings for her, she deserves it, bless her.

    We love Cornwall and Falmouth is beautiful not far from the other Cornish towns either, it will be good to visit Hannah and make the most of her being down there.

    Our mattress still has not arrived, and when I read of your night-time woes I thought, yep, that's me too. I am often up at stupid oclock, in pain sat on settee while meds kick in. I have been binging on Mindhunter on Netflix! When I doze off I know the meds must have kicked in enough for me to relax and I try and sleep again!

    Mind you it is a fascinating series, Margy you Pete and Beau would love it!

    I love the pics of your garden, your spring comes around quicker than ours!! Thank you for having the bed ready, I will work on that!

    I am growing the potatoes in bags in the greenhouse, and this morning I noticed the green shoots are appearing already!!! Yay!!

    Even more cucumbers on the way and tomatoes. Phoebe and I love the cucumbers and all of us the tomatoes.

    Mark finally got the grass cut yesterday , the garden always looks better after that!

    Lots of love to you all, chat soon,

    Lou xxx

  • Chilali1531Chilali1531 Posts: 104 ✭✭✭

    Morning everyone

    Thank you all so much for your kind words of encouragement. I’m pleased to say I’ve been feeling a lot better recently & have more energy. We’re having an amazing Indian summer here in Toulouse, 34c here yesterday. A bit too hot & everywhere is very yellow, not pretty. I managed a few dog walks this weekend so am happy. We have to go quite early otherwise it’s too hot & I don’t feel well.

    Your garden looks great Margy, lovely little rockery in front of steps.

    Yes I think I’ll try your apple recipe Michelle. Sometimes i make tarte tatin which has cinnamon (& lots of butter) & is a delicious change from apple pie. Lots of calories tho! Not for you Rob ! 😜

    Lou you amaze me with everything you grow in that greenhouse. Wonderful things greenhouses- i used to go & sit in my parents’ old wooden one when I was a teenager & révise for exams, it was warm & I loved the smell. It was south facing with a stone wall behind.

    Time for coffee outside while it’s still cool ...Chili’s waiting for me to throw her ball .

    Have a good day everyone, Ali xx

    A lovely morning walk in our local park.

  • NanaBubblesNanaBubbles Posts: 116 ✭✭✭

    @Sunshinedaff @RobertA @Anneb @Chilali1531

    Good morning everyone

    Lovely photos - Margy your garden looks wonderful already! I love tarte tatin and also make apple crumble with blackberries in it at this time of year - my son’s all time favourite.

    Ali - I am so glad that you are feeling better and strong enough for some morning walks. I always find that the natural world lifts my spirits and I feel so much better afterwards.

    Lou, I will think of you while I am crosswording and will have a look at Mindhunter - it is not one I have seen before! I don’t know if it might help you but before we had our new bed some years ago now, we bought a mattress topper to help my aches and pains. Now I bring it with me when we go away to a self-catering place and it really helps on a lumpy or too firm bed.

    We are currently in Oban in Scotland for a few days in a lovely comfy and immaculately clean apartment. We have been humming and haa-ing whether to come away or not because of Covid but we are well north of the Scottish hotspot areas and it is so lovely to be somewhere different and beautiful. If shielding and lockdown come back we will hightail it home! We had an amazing meal at a fish restaurant on the quayside last night - mustn’t eat like that every night or nothing will fit by the time we get home!!! It is the first time we have eaten in a restaurant since February and all the waiters were masked and tables pushed apart, with hand sanitiser everywhere. It rained continuously all day yesterday (I have discovered that disposable masks don’t do well in the rain!) which didn’t matter as we were both tired after our long drive but today is bright and sunny so we are going out to explore. Tomorrow we have booked to go on The Jacobite steam train which is also modified to separate everyone. Geoff has always loved steam trains since he was a boy and used to go train spotting all over the place. We are also planning a day trip to Mull which we are told is very beautiful.

    I hope everyone has a good week. Take care of yourselves.


    Michele x

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,200 mod
    edited September 14

    @Anneb @Sunshinedaff @Chilali1531 @NanaBubbles

    Hi Ali. I am sorry to hear that you have had such a tough time and thank goodness you have been feeling better lately. The myelogramme sounds pretty unpleasant, but if it helps to keep you well, it will be worth it. Haha, that tart tatin sounds delicious and I doubt that I would be able to resist it if it found its way onto my table. My Mum used to sprinkle her Yorkshire curd tarts with cinnamon. It has taken me two weeks to lose 3 pounds and I think I need to try a bit harder☹️. It is over 30c here today which I think is some kind of record for this time of year. Love your park - you live in a really lovely area.

    Good afternoon Margy. How lovely to have all the family around you again. It must have been exhausting but lots of fun too. I do hope that you will be able to get together at Christmas. Your garden looks wonderful - you have all been so busy and it’s definitely been worth it. Spring is such a lovely time of year when everything starts to grow again. Our Winters are relatively mild and we rarely see any snow. The last time we did, everyone rushed out of their houses to take photographs, it was so funny.😂. Mary and I have been loving the cricket. We have had tours by the West Indies, Pakistan and as you know, Australia are here now. All of the matches have been at either Southampton or Manchester as both have hotels within their grounds. The players have been isolated in a secure bubble within the grounds and have not been allowed to leave. This means that they have been cooped up for a month or more which must have been pretty testing for young men touring England. Their efforts have been really appreciated and the cricket has been wonderful.

    Here is a pic from our lovely balcony adorned with flowers from a very special friend.

    Hi Michele. Your Scottish sojourn sounds wonderful. I think we need to have some pleasure and relaxation at times like this and I bet you are feeling refreshed and happy. We can’t really leave the Island to see family as we would have to fly and then self isolate on return and it is just not worth the risk/trouble. Fortunately, local hotels are offering Autumn deals for locals and Mary and I are checking some of them out. We are also looking forward to the joys of eating out and as the Island is relatively free of the virus, we feel safe to do so. The cinnamon apple crisps sound lovely and not too naughty. I think we will be giving them a go. I wonder what it is about men and steam trains. Has Geoff been to Ribblehead Viaduct in the Yorkshire Dales? The old Station Master’s house on the platform is available to rent and a friend of mine goes there every year. There are a couple of steam trains pass through most days and here is one.

    Good afternoon Lou. What a lovely day to go to Falmouth. It will be tough for you all not having Hannah at home but I am sure she will settle in well and that you will be frequent visitors.

    My friend Gary has a lovely cat called Joey. I don’t know what he is but he has a kind of pug face and he is very sociable and good company. Gary has recently put a little water feature into his garden and Joey is taking full advantage during the hot weather. Here are a couple of pics.

    Love to you all.

    Rob xxxx

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,306 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Good afternoon everyone 😄, it is lovely here in the south, I hope it is with you too.

    Answers on a postcard please......

    Well this is very disappointing 😂😂

    I can't work out whether they have been eaten or not. The smaller ones I think are underdeveloped. But they weren't going to get any bigger. The larger ones did pass the 'squeeze'test.

    I think in future I will just buy them from the supermarket. We probably spent more on watering and growing than the cost of buying!! Lol. Haha 🤣, oh well.

    Not sure, shall I leave them out for the birds, squirrels, foxes or try and dey them for seeds?? Mmmm, thoughts??

    What's next, broccoli!! Going to have a go, leeks and spring onions started.

    Chat later

    Lou xxx

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,200 mod


    Hi Lou

    Oh dear, you usually get fantastic results. I hope you have better luck with the leeks, spring onions and broccoli.

    It is still sunny and very warm today and everybody is strolling around in Summer gear and sitting out in the cafés and bars. We have been out all day making the most of it whilst it lasts as we are not going to risk going abroad looking for the winter Sun this year. Sadly, we will not be able to visit family in the UK either so we will be spending Christmas here in Jersey. Well, at least we have our new apartment with triple glazing so we will be able to keep warm.

    Chat soon.

    Rob xx

  • Chilali1531Chilali1531 Posts: 104 ✭✭✭

    Hello dear friends

    Lovely to see all the fabulous pictures you’ve posted.

    I’m happy to say that I feel much better & appetite is back ! My myélogramme results show that all is good- phew ! They’ve decided I don’t need the last 2 chemos of the protocol & I’m starting the 2 year chemo pill therapy on Monday. A specialised nurse checks in with me each week & I call her if I need advice. So now just 1 blood test per week which will make it easier to go away for long weekends . 😊 The bad news is I’ll have to take steroids for 5 days each month so expect to see hamster face climbing the walls at 4 am ! 🐹 Could be worse ...

    Well it’s the first day of autumn & here in Toulouse we’re seeing temperatures drop & rain forecast which is badly needed. Last weekend we went to the Med ( near Collioure) & i finally got to see the sea ! We took Chili who absolutely relished it. I really love the Mediterranean landscapes. We avoided people & picnicked on the beach, finding little coves where we could take the dog & swim. It was a lovely break & did us a lot of good.

    Hope you had a good time in Scotland Michelle. It’s been ages since I went there.

    Great cat photos Rob !! And the viaduct - never beeen there but spent a lot of time on the Pickering- Goathland line especially when my children were little. Daniel was mad on trains ( as is his grandfather) .

    Hope Hannah’s settling into Uni Lou. My Hannah has just found a job in HR after finishing her MA. I’m quite relieved & proud of her as she was chosen from 16 candidates.

    I’m definitely feeling a bit more « free » now the heavy Graal protocol has ended. It was a very tough year with>80 chemos . I’m ready to go places & see family but of course I can’t with Covid. It’s really frustrating isn’t it ?

    Time for my nap 😴 Stay safe everyone, Ali xxx

    Wonderful prickly pear everywhere at the coast.

    Grapefruit tree in our garden with tiny flower .

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 686 mod

    Good morning everyone, I hope you are all having a good week.

    Last night we had a lot of rain, and still more this morning, so it is very wet outside, but the summer plants are still holding their own, and look lovely and bright especially on a dull day. The temperature has dropped quite a lot, you all know how I feel about that!

    Michele, it is so lovely to hear you and Geoff have managed to get away, I expect you are home now, sorry I missed this post at first. My mum and step dad lived in Scotland, we used to go and visit, but not as far north as you have been. It is very beautiful with majestic scenery. Didn't think about disposable masks in the rain! Mark and the girls have got some re-usable ones, I am using the disposable ones though.

    We do have a mattress topper on our current mattress, we bought it to see if it would help. We will be putting it on the new mattress whenever that arrives, still waiting!

    Rob, your balcony view is lovely, you can see a long way. It is a lovely space to sit and relax on a warm day. I love the photo of Joey, haha, so cute! I am glad Jersey has had some warm weather still, I saw an advert on tv the other night, looks like they are now open for visitors? Although with the recent news that may change yet again.

    Ali, you really do deserve a break after all those chemo sessions, you have been through the mill for sure. Chili looks so beautiful in that photo, I am hoping that you will have more of these lovely peaceful, relaxing days. A grapefruit flower? Will that produce fruit, have you grown them before?

    Margy, your garden looks brilliant, you all work so hard, all the time fixing it up. You all must be permanently exhausted! Are you getting ready for Christmas yet? Who's going to be the first to get their tree up? 😁It is Phoebe and I this year, with Hannah being at Uni until mid December.

    Hannah is settling well, considering the start she had and the things that still need to be sorted out for her. She has met some people, and found a friend from home who she didn't realise was there, which is brilliant. There was no freshers etc, not that Hannah was interested, been there , done that. But instead they have hit the ground running in studying. Excellent, less time for 'thinking' and a good distraction for her. She loves the area, as do we, it really is a beautiful place, and will encourage her creativeness and be inspiring.

    Have a great day everyone, chat later,

    Lou xx

  • NanaBubblesNanaBubbles Posts: 116 ✭✭✭

    Good morning everyone

    I hope everyone is doing ok and pleased you have got to the end of your treatment Ali - that must be a huge relief to you. What a shame you can’t get to see your family though. This blessed virus is something none of us need!!

    We are still in Scotland right now and really enjoying the change of scenery but being ultra cautious about the virus. We have seen some dull, wet days but mostly it has been lovely weather. We went over to the Isle of Mull a few days ago and the picture below is of Tobermory which is the largest town there. Mull is very beautiful for both mountains, woodlands and coastline as well as wildlife to look for. We saw some eagles and deer. Yesterday we went to Skye which is also beautiful but in a much starker way but no ‘speed Bonny boat’ for us as there is now a bridge to the mainland. There is only one road to travel to the bridge which runs along the side of locks and yesterday was clear blue sky and no wind so the reflections of the mountains in the water were fabulous.

    Lou. I hope your new mattress comes soon and that your pain has eased somewhat now. I have been anointing myself with Ibuprofen gel which has helped but my neck and shoulder has been horrible through sleeping on different pillows even though we brought two of our own with us! Hey-ho, it has been worth it though. Soon be home and pretty much staying at home again because of the virus. My neighbour has been looking after my garden and hoping that everything will still be ok. I have a few broccoli plants, Brussels sprouts, cauliflowers and red cabbage to put in the veg trug when the summer stuff comes out but when we left the tomatoes and cucumbers were still going strong.

    Here is Tobermory:

    Stay safe everyone.

    Michele x

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,200 mod

    @LouiseJ @Chilali1531 @NanaBubbles @Anneb

    Good afternoon from a blustery and wet Jersey. It looks as if Autumn has arrived bang on schedule and Mary and I are digging out our coats and getting ready to hunker down for the Winter months.

    Your news sounds good all round Ali and that is just how fantastic to hear. Mary and I have stayed in Collioure. We had a wonderful week there - it is so beautiful it is no wonder it is a favourite spot for artists. We popped over the border into Spain and had a couple of days in Barcelona whilst we were there. We had just bought a new (well, second hand) Mercedes and I wanted to get off Jersey where our speed limit is 40 mph. We took the ferry to St Malo and then drove down to the Med, stopping in Bordeaux on the way down to Collioure. Chili looks very relaxed and it must have been a lovely break for all of you. I think that Goathland station was used in a Harry Potter film and also in the Heartbeat series.

    It is good to hear that Hannah is settling well in Falmouth Lou. Another lovely place to be and it sounds as if she has started well, meeting new friends as well as finding out that a friend from home is there too. It must be a relief for her to get back to her studying and some sort of normality. I expect you welcome the rain to some extent as your plants and vegetables will need it, and it is especially good that it rained at night. 😅

    You are obviously enjoying your Scottish sojourn Michele. Mary and I have never been further into Scotland than Edinburgh, but I can see that we need to correct that. It sounds lovely around Mull and Skye and your photograph of Tobermory is really good. I will be singing ‘Mull of Kintyre’ and ‘Skye Boat Song, for the rest of the day now. Have you heard Des O’Connor and Roger Whittaker’s version?

    Rob xx

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 686 mod

    Good afternoon lovely friends,

    I hope you have all had relaxing, peaceful weekends, able to enjoy the lovely sunshine weather we have been having still.

    Michele, haha, I love seeing Tobermory, but I sing Balermory instead. My two grew up with that children's programme, and they always wanted to visit it. Haha. It is great you are having such a good time and the weather isn't preventing you visiting places.

    On Thursday and Friday I froze all day and night, consequently, the heating has now been turned ON!! Shorts have been put away, I don't think I will be wearing them again this year, unless we have unusually warm October.

    Have a good evening, chat soon,

    Lou xx

  • AnnebAnneb Posts: 104 ✭✭✭

    @LouiseJ @RobertA @Chilali1531 @NanaBubbles

    Hello Everyone

    I hope you are all going well, and that everyone is relaxing and recuperating. I have been working 5 and 6 days a week the past month and between that and home duties, my time has been limited to catching nana naps in my free moments.

    It is Friday night here and the boys are glued to the Semi Finals of the AFL Football as our team is playing. They need to win tonight to get through to the Finals. It is a tight game and has been goal for goal. I couldn't handle the pressure of the room😂 too much for me, so made a coffee and ran hiding into the study...lol...

    Just peaked into TV room and we are 2 goals behind....this is not good for Pete and Beaus blood pressure I am sure. Oh my .....sport....!!!!!!!

    I have read all your lovely posts of veggie's, scenery and wonderful stories. I love your balcony shot Rob. That looks so lovely for you and Margy...and no weeding and watering...lol...

    My garden is growing in leaps and bounds before my eyes. Not sure why as we are having weird weather. One week we are in the mid twenties. Then this week dropped down to 0 overnight and 10 through the day...then tomorrow back to 28-30 degrees for the week. Just cant keep up. Put on a shirt...freeze...put on a jumper...too hot...😅

    I will take some photos tomorrow hopefully. My daisies and lilies have gone berserk, and the roses...which is funny because I thought after I pruned them they would die...I was very harsh this year. So that worked.

    Even the tomatoes and Chard have shot up. Cucumbers are not doing so well...but I got excited with a sunny day and I was too early putting them in, so off to get some more this weekend.

    Pete and Beau are finishing the digging out of dirt this weekend on the new footpath.......that Pete decided we needed😀 he doesn't now as it is killing his back, then the concreters will come in and take over thank heavens. I'm going to go grey to suit the new grey colour of the house. We had the Blind people come in and put new outside blinds on the house last week. They are supposed to be 99% sun proof but I will let you know about that when it is a constant 45 degrees for 4 to 6 weeks this summer🤣🤣🤣 They look lovely and you can see through them from the inside but not the outside...quite cleaver really.

    We are all basically out of lockdown now except for Victoria (the state) they had a second wave of Covid and had to go back into total lockdown for the past 2 months and until late October, if they are lucky. I think they are back down to under 10 cases a day, and have been under 10 for the past 2 weeks. It is still mandatory for face masks there though. So hopefully they have beaten it this time and do not open up too soon though, just in case. Thankfully we never had to wear the masks.

    We are still social distancing still but that is about it now...plus hygienic measures of course.

    Just peaked in for the footy scores...oh no, we are down by 20 points...this is not looking good😪😪 oh well, I had better go in and watch the last quarter.....not that I want too, just for moral support...

    I hope you all have a wonderful, safe and happy weekend...and your team wins😂 because ours wont 😂😂

    Love and huge hugs



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