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

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  • Chilali1531Chilali1531 Posts: 104 ✭✭✭

    Hi Barbara

    I didn’t know they were called Spanish Dragon - I have one in a big tub in the garden & the first time it flowered like that I was really amazed ! It doesn’t flower each year, about every 2 or 3. Yes the garden really helps me too & in autumn it’s the leaves 🍁 & smells which get me thru. Today it’s howling a gale outside ( storm Barbara - ha!) but I’m going to go for

    a short walk in the park ( avoiding falling branches!) to get my fix.

    Happy pottering everyone, Ali xx

    ps I can’t claim fame for the photo, another of my German friend’s but I love the leaves.

  • NanaBubblesNanaBubbles Posts: 116 ✭✭✭

    @Anneb @NanaBubbles @Chilali1531 @Sunshinedaff @PositiveLady10

    Good afternoon all,

    Wow, Barbara! Your Spanish Dragon is really beautiful. It is similar to a yukka plant which a neighbour has but with the variegated leaves and more rounded flowers it is a stunner and no doubt will look good all the year round whereas the yukka can look quite tatty after flowering! Our garden is what has got me through shielding through Covid lockdown and has looked better this summer than it has ever done because of all the attention. I have also got to grips with growing plants from seed which I was never confident about before. I am growing some white with blotches foxglove seedlings which are now waiting to be pricked out for planting out in the spring. Not sure that the timing is right but having a go anyway! I am also trying to overwinter some of my trailing pelargoniums and fuschias in the greenhouse. The pelargoniums survived through last winter outside but if it is going to be colder this winter they have a better chance with some shelter. Whereabouts are you? Your roses in the background look very pretty too.

    Ali, your home looks so cosy in your lovely photos! I love roast chestnuts too and have fond memories of going with my grandparents into central London when I was younger and buying a small paper bag of roast chestnuts from a street vendor on a corner, like Rob did in York. In my memory they tasted wonderful and kept my hands warm too. When we moved to the New Forest, we used to collect them and roast on the fire at home as you do! A few years ago Geoff and I went to see the Christmas light trail at Kew Gardens where they offered similarly cooked chestnuts from mobile vendors but they didn’t compare with my memories! There are plenty of horse chestnut trees near us but I wouldn’t know where to go to find edible chestnuts around here, more’s the pity!

    Lou, hope you enjoyed your Falmouth trip and got home safely. Any news on your new bed coming?

    Rob, Yes, it was emotional going to the Adelaide war memorial - I welled up a few times! Reiki is a wonderful resource but a lot of people haven’t heard about it or are sceptical. There are also many ‘spin offs’ where people have ‘embroidered’ the original concept of it but I was taught the original and really quite simple form of reiki which is very effective. As I mentioned, I use if for distance work now but I don’t expect to completely heal everybody, I only hope for the best outcome for them which could easily be emotional or mental as well as physical. If your practitioner is worth their salt, they will not promise the earth but will nevertheless be helpful in one way or another. The wonderful thing is that I can use it on myself as it draws in energy from ‘universal life energy’. Animals love receiving it too!

    I hope that you are all doing well with tests and treatment. I have been feeling quite grotty since my hydrocortisone was dropped so finally managed to get in touch with the Endocrine unit today and that decision has been reversed so hoping to feel better again.

    Look after yourselves everybody.

    Love

    Michele x

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

    @NanaBubbles @RobertA @Chilali1531 @Anneb @PositiveLady10

    Good morning everyone,

    It has been lovely to read everyone's posts these last few days, it has really lifted my spirits to read them all.

    Barbara, thank you for informing us of that plant! lol. We too have two of them in the garden, one in the back and one in the front. I had no idea what they were, but one year the one in the back did flower, and I was so surprised, haha! It hasn't flowered since, but if it is a occasional thing maybe next year.

    I think gardening and pottering around in the garden has been a lifesaver for many of us too during the many difficult times we have all been through. It provides a place of peace, quiet, and gentleness for our souls which sometimes we don't realise we need until we find it.

    I am writing this looking out on a lovely sunrise morning, the red acer (japanese maple) is looking stunning this year, the red is so bright and rich. Just gorgeous.

    Like you Michele, I am trying to bring on some plants through the winter, I re-potted a fuchsia that I had in a double hanging planter. I have staked it to raise it a little, it is still flowering as are the other fuchsias around the garden beds.

    Now I have the greenhouse user-friendly, I will put some of my vulnerable plants in there over winter.

    I still have begonias and marigolds blooming, amazing for October.

    I am really sorry to hear you have been feeling pretty rubbish recently, I do hope when you get back on meds that help you pick up quickly.

    'Roasting chestnuts round an open fire', I can hear the music now Ali, I didn't realise that you roasted them with the shell on, lol, I can see why now of course, but it never occurred to me. I am so glad you had a wonderful time away, the photos as always are stunning. Those autumn colours are just beautiful. I heard Toulouse was going back into lockdown? How severe are those restrictions for you now?

    Thank you everyone, I had a lovely (mostly) time with Hannah, unfortunately she is really struggling with her health condition, and everyone, us, uni, drs are very concerned for her welfare. It is becoming critical, and we may have to take action which will not be welcomed and the consequences will be terrible. It is like all decisions will be terrible, so which one will be the least terrible, horrendous. I have to spend some time today trying to get hold of drs, which is hard as she is an adult (21), so I am using every person I can to shout on her behalf. Thankfully the uni and I have authority to talk to each other so I am being kept in the loop with information. (sorry, for the splurge!)

    Yes that was Gylly beach Michele! It is beautiful, we walked along it on Sunday morning. Hannah often walks up to the beach, it is her peaceful place. I stayed at the Royal Duchy Hotel. Couldn't fault it. Really excellent, service, covid precautions, a lovely hotel to stay. I will definitely be going back, they have some offers in December, so hopefully if Hannah is still there I will go and stay again. If you manage a visit, you will not be disappointed I am sure.

    I have been doing my Christmas spring clean, always necessary prior to Christmas going up, this weekend we are going to lay some carpet that was given to us. Just need to see where it fits best as it is not for the whole room. I want to get that down before Christmas goes up too otherwise it will be very awkward trying to do it afterwards. It will be fun (not), as we will have to do it while moving the furniture around still in the room.

    Thank you for your good wishes for Phoebe, she had another shift yesterday, and for the next two days too. Quite quiet after yesterday, I can only imagine it was tiredness! She is very nervous still, and is unsure about things but finds it hard to decide how and when to speak to someone to find out information. Early days still though, hopefully she will find her feet soon.

    More coffee required now, just spent the last hour or so on the phone with Hannah, she was out walking, we were comparing sunrises. Hers was better than ours! Although we had a beautiful orange glow in the garden a little while ago.

    Have a good day everyone, chat to you later,

    🤗🤗😊❤️

    Lou xx

  • Chilali1531Chilali1531 Posts: 104 ✭✭✭

    Dear Lou

    Im so sorry to hear Hannah has health issues. It must be very worrying for you with her at Uni. There’s nothing worse than when your children are ill... You seem an incredibly strong & positive person. Big hugs, Ali xx

  • AnnebAnneb Posts: 104 ✭✭✭

    @Sunshinedaff @RobertA @Chilali1531 @NanaBubbles @Jimjam @PositiveLady10

    Well hello everyone

    I feel I have so much to catch up on. I loved reading your posts and photos are beautiful of your gardens, scenery ( wow Ali...you have blown me away with the photos...once again💘) Hello Barbara, I love your Spanish Dragon. I had 2 before I moved last year.....lol.... didn't know their name. Only flowered every second year. Just beautiful but mine were not variegated. I love anything that is variegated.

    How weird it is that you have all been to Australia and what a shame I did not know you then. What a great time we could have had. so next time I will be prepared💘 We live in a beautiful part of Australia, i just love living here.

    I love reading all your stories and especially your traditions and your lives and when you were children. It seems so different than mine here in Australia. Maybe because our weather is so different to the top half of the world. We have such long long summers and heat and winter never ever lasts long enough...I tell you ...I should have been born in Alaska...lol... love the winter. Also you have a cold Christmas, how marvelous that would be....there nothing like cooking the turkey, ham, and pork in 40 degree heat....lol...

    The last few years I have gone cold . I cook the meat in the evening....usually up past midnight waiting...lol...but worth it Christmas day to have a cool house. seafood platters as well.. I make lots of salads and then good stock standard ones mum taught me like Tomato, onion and cucumber. Potato salad and layered salad, Tabouli, pasta, rice salad, crunchy noodle slaw and i cook my own beetroot. Sweets are hot plum pudding (must have plum pudding) and trimmings, pavlova (yuk...but the kids love it...) cheesecake and of course my mums Trifle...yum....

    Now by the way, all that is for around 20 of us....lol...not just Pete , myself and Beau....lol....

    Our traditions are swimming in the pool at our eldest's sons house for breakfast Christmas morning and grandchildren's presents ....Rob...there is ALWAYS Christmas Day Test match of cricket...lol... and it gets serious too...lol...then there is football...the boys get serious about that too.....after they all stop falling over and laughing. Also the fathers (ie pete) realises he is not as young as the boys and retires to fill everyone beers and wines...lol.....

    Then I do anti pasta platters for dinner and everyone just grazes.....and then go home....and off we go to bed...exhausted....lol....but I do love it.

    This year it will not be as hectic as it is the In Laws turn to have the kids for Christmas. We take it turns of Christmas as it is only fair to everyone.

    Guess what everyone I have had 2 surprises this week.

    1st: my Sister Elaine and my brother in law Graeme are coming to see us ( they live in Echuca) for a whole week the week after next. We have not seen then since the 17th January before Covid hit us all....wooo hoooo. So so so excited. I just love them to bits and it has been so hard not seeing them. Call each other every other day but not the same...oh so excited.

    2; I went to Doctor on Monday for my results AND i am now 6 YEARS FREE of cancer....double woo hooo

    Been a great week.


    Well I will close now before I turn this into a novel...

    So much love and big hugs to you all. Keep safe healthy and happy

    Love Margy xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  • NanaBubblesNanaBubbles Posts: 116 ✭✭✭

    @LouiseJ @RobertA @Anneb @Chilali1531 @Jimjam @PositiveLady10

    Dear Lou

    I am so sorry that Hannah is having a rough time health wise and it is always terrible when your children are ill and even worse when away from you. If you could take their problems and have them yourself, you would do! Sending lots of love to you all and hoping that Hannah will get the help she needs. Also hoping that Phoebe will find her feet soon. I expect she misses her sister too - these times of transition are always hard for a family. I never realised how much my daughter missed her brother when he first went to uni in Manchester until her wedding day when Simon read out the letter which she had sneaked into his bag before he went, together with a pack of sweets. Lol! He had kept it safe for about 15 years!! The letter, I doubt the sweets lasted long.

    I did wonder if it was the Duchy where you stayed. We have had various celebratory lunches there over the years and always excellent although never stayed there - will certainly think about it for the future. The views are lovely too. The footpath over the cliffs to Swanpool goes from behind the garden area at the back of the beach and is a lovely walk. In the summer there is always a Cornish ice cream van at the small car park in front of Pendennis castle turning left out of the hotel where there are lovely views over to St Mawes.

    Margy, many congrats on your 6 years clear of cancer. Excellent news! Big woo-hoo!! Perhaps you can celebrate with your sister - how wonderful to see them again after all this time! We are still not able to see our son and his family as they are in London and in the Tier 2 of semi-lockdown. We are half-way between Birmingham and Oxford where there is a high-risk of Covid so back to not going far again. Your Christmas celebrations sound wonderful and lovely to have such a number of people with you. Our daughter and children usually come to us and I do the kids’ Christmas stockings which I do enjoy. Even though they are 14 and 10 they all come in to our room and sit on our bed to open their gifts, then main pressies after breakfast. We usually have our roast turkey dinner with all the trimmings about 1:30 pm and Tanya and I do this between us. We did have our son and family here as well one year and Simon and Tanya took over the food preparation completely but now that they both have two children we cannot sleep everybody here so not so easy. They also see in-laws and other family so our Christmas usually gets extended to be able to see everybody.

    Ali, that is another gorgeous photo and the leaves look so beautiful. I hope you are doing well.

    I am feeling much better now that my hydrocortisone dosage is back on track but my left leg has been very swollen from the knee down which I put down to my arthritis. However, a rash appeared which I thought was cellulitis so went to see my GP who agreed and put me on antibiotics. At the end of the consultation he decided to send me off to the DVT clinic at the local hospital just as a precaution and, guess what!! There is a DVT in my thigh so I am now on blood thinners as well - I am sure I would rattle if shaken!! Poor Geoff was waiting in the car for me outside (as accompanying people are not allowed in the hospital at the moment because of Covid) as we didn’t expect to be there for 6 hours! He did go for a walk to the local Sainsbury’s for a coffee while I was waiting to see the doctor but by the time I emerged he had read his paper from cover to cover! So now I have to take things very gently but go for little walks too and dial 999 if I start feeling chest pains! Honestly, what next??!! I did not know that having cancer makes you more susceptible to DVTs, and I did have a collapsed lung with multiple pulmonary embolisms in 2011 so have history. However, the theory is that the long car journey to Scotland may have been a contributory factor, despite stopping to stretch our legs several times!

    Well, as usual I have rambled on so sending everybody my love and best wishes,

    Michele x

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,200 mod

    @Sunshinedaff @Anneb @Chilali1531 @NanaBubbles @PositiveLady10

    Good evening everyone.

    I am so sorry to hear that Hannah is having such a difficult time with her condition Lou. It must be a very stressful situation for all of the family and you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    It has been tanking down today and we didn’t have any wine or hula hoops so I popped out to the Co op to get them - a round trip of 30 minutes on foot. Talk about a drowned rat but it was worth it.😉 We are watching Strictly now and the wine and hula hoops are nearly gone.☹️

    Chat soon

    Rob xx

  • Chilali1531Chilali1531 Posts: 104 ✭✭✭

    Hello all !

    Great news Margy - so pleased for you - open the bubbly🍾! I agree, Christmas suits cold climates. I was once in Puerto Rico for Christmas where Peter’s mother lives & it was so weird seeing blow up snowmen & reindeer around the pool ! I’d find it difficult not having seasons I think, especially the mid seasons.

    Im starting to collect or make small gifts to put in the advent calendars I’m making this year for my two children Hannah (24) & Daniel (28) & partners! Well, i thought I’d try & make it special this year as we don’t know if we’ll be able to get together and last year I was ill so it was ruined. I’ve got my mum knitting minute robins & Christmas puds to go in this year ! I think it gives me & her more fun than them probably lol😂 She keeps finding little things & puts them in the regular parcels she sends me ( newspaper articles on health, Yorkshire teabags for Peter, packets of gravy, amonst other things !)

    Michele, what bad luck with the dvt. I didn’t know we were more prone to that... Yes, what next ?! You have to laugh ... my best friend has lots of ailments ( mostly back & nerve related). We speak every day & it’s like a competition to see who’s worse off ! Fortunately she’s very positive too with a good sense of humour & stays active. I’m currently having painful sciatica & nerve pain in my toes which is always worse at night. Oh, and hot sweats from menopause ! 🤣I don’t go anywhere without my 2 hot water bottles !

    Yesterday i decided to try & do something with the olives from our 2 small trees - a first. We bought the trees about 12 years ago & they’ve grown quite a lot ( in tubs). I collected enough to fill 3 jars then followed instructions from the internet. Not difficult but a bit long as you keep having to repeat the process each week til the olives are no longer bitter. On verra !

    Hula hoops & wine seem like the perfect menu for watching Strictly Rob ! I managed to get it thru streaming so was v happy. I thought their first dances were pretty good last night!

    Take care everyone, Ali XX


  • NanaBubblesNanaBubbles Posts: 116 ✭✭✭

    @Chilali1531 @Sunshinedaff @RobertA @Anneb @PositiveLady10

    Good morning all

    Love the Kermit picture above Ali! There are some clever people to dream these things up! Bon chance avec les olives! How wonderful to have your own crop. We went to stay with some friends in Ste.Maxime, near Nice, some years back and I naively picked and nibbled an olive from their tree and was horrified at the taste. I had no idea of the process for keeping them but now understand why they are quite expensive to buy ready to eat. I guess after we finalise Brexit they will be even more expensive here.

    Sorry to hear about your sciatica and nerve pain in your toes Ali. Geoff currently has sciatica and has been in a lot of pain - really horrible but is seeing a good physiotherapist who is now giving him acupuncture which does seem to help. My painful toes woke me last night so at 1:30 am was making myself a drink and reading a newspaper! Next time I will think of you and hope you are not doing the same!! My arnica ointment did help my toes and put my thick wool bed socks on (very sexy!!) and they gradually felt better. By the way, sage leaf tea may help you with the hot flushes - just a few ripped up leaves in boiling water left to steep for a few minutes. It doesn’t taste too wonderful but you can sweeten with some honey.

    It is good to laugh about all these problems and very helpful to stay positive. I always feel thankful for all the things which I have done in my life even if I can’t do them now. Geoff is brilliant at making me laugh too but your note cheered me up - thank you.

    Lou, thinking of you and hoping you are able to sort things out for Hannah in the best way. Sending love.

    Sorry you were drowned yesterday Rob. I think we probably enjoyed (!!) the same rain in the night. Our bedroom is in the chalet style part of our house so when it rains hard you can hear it drumming on the roof and this has happened several nights in the last week. Our water butts are overflowing!

    The sun is shining here today although it is cold outside so I will wrap up warm and finish planting out my violas and wallflowers in pots. I also need to deal with my hanging baskets which have trailing fuschias and pelargoniums in them to be repotted and put in the greenhouse. I have put it off as they are still flowering away like mad but it is getting colder so has to happen. Last winter some pelargoniums went right through the winter so the other ones in pots I am going to leave out and see whether they will be ok. As you say Ali, on verra (or Vera as my spell check decided it should be ha ha).

    The autumnal trees are looking so beautiful in the sunshine and we are hoping that we can get to the Batsford Arboretum, near Morton-in-the-Marsh, this coming week as they have many Japanese acers there which are always glorious at this time of year. They have Trampers mobility scooters there, so if I don’t feel like walking round as it is quite hilly there, I can borrow one of those. Not doing that in the rain though.

    Enjoy your Sunday everyone.

    Michele x

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,200 mod
    edited October 27

    @Anneb @Sunshinedaff @Chilali1531 @NanaBubbles

    Good evening everyone.

    Well Margy, the Tigers did it again. I tried to get the game on TV but could not find it anywhere.In the end I was able to watch the highlights on YouTube. I don’t really understand the rules, but it looked pretty exciting. Your Christmases sound like a lot of fun and I smile at the thought of all that sport being enjoyed on the big day. Haha, Pete’s rôle sounds good and so does the tucker. Mary and I are a bit sad that we will not be able to go home for Christmas but we are luckier than most and we do have FaceTime so we will get to see everyone one way or another. Great to know you are six years cancer free though we all know that we still have to manage the side effects. I know you will have a lovely time with your family. Enjoy.

    Hi Ali. What beautiful Autumn colours you have. My American niece has just been to Colorado where she and her husband rented a log cabin by the Rio Grande. She told me that the aspens were a beautiful Autumnal gold too and they even saw a bison. I am hoping she will send photographs. I love advent calendars and yours sound really special. How lovely to have your Mum still sending little gifts and articles from Yorkshire. I lost my Mum 20 years ago but I still miss her, especially at Christmas. I still remember my childhood (in the late forties and fifties) when me and my three sisters got so much pleasure from a stocking filled with apples, oranges, nuts and a box of liquorice all sorts.

    It is a shame you can’t see your son and his family at the moment Michele. It must be really frustrating and children grow so fast you want to be able to see them as they progress. At least you will be able to enjoy your daughter and her family at Christmas. Your Christmases sound lovely and just the way ours used to be when our family was all together. I appreciate modern technology and travel, but my family are spread around the World and I do miss them. I would love to think that I could still hop on a flight to America etc and see everyone but I don’t think it will happen again. At least they all love Jersey so perhaps they will come here.

    Dear Lou. I do hope that Hannah is getting more settled and that you are able to work together and get her back on track. It is good that you are able to spend time with her and give her your love and support at this difficult time. I completely understand Phoebe’s situation. I remember when I was young how intimidating it was to go into a new environment and wondering what people would think if I kept asking questions. That all changed as I got older. A few years ago a former bank director I had liaised with asked me to join him in setting up an online training programme. When I asked him, ‘Why me’ he said because I asked questions. He recalled a time at a big conference when I got up and said I didn’t understand a point that had been made. Haha, no one else had either, but I was the only one prepared to risk looking stupid.He liked that.

    Reading all your lovely posts has reminded me that being told that you are cancer free is not the end of the story. Nearly all of us still suffer physical and emotional side effects from the treatments and stress which cancer puts us through. People who haven’t had cancer do tend to think that once the cancer is sorted, life goes back to the way it was before, but we know it isn’t that easy. Cancer is a life altering event and chatting to the lovely people in this Community has helped me through some dark days. Your cheerful, positive and supportive posts are so inspiring and I always look forward to hearing your stories.

    Rob xx

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 686 mod

    Good evening lovely friends,

    Well here I am writing from Cornwall again. This time I have been here since Tuesday morning and have stayed in three hotels.

    I am beginning to feel like Judith Chalmers from Wish you were here, or Alan Whicker from Whicker's World!!! Hahaha, if you remember those!!! 😂😂😂.

    Michele I am now at the St Michaels Resort. So I think this might be the best yet. Although on Tuesday I got a lovely complimentary upgrade at the Royal Duchy.

    Last night's hotel we won't mention, lol!

    Tomorrow I am going home and bringing a certain person with me for some much needed medical and TLC. Everyone is so supportive here, but we are in a critical situation, so day by day it is.

    Ali, I am so sorry to hear France has gone back into lockdown, and also for the terrible attacks going on. Does this mean you are confined to home, and have to get permission to go out?

    Margy, fantastic and huge congratulations on six years.!!! 🎉🎉 Definitely worth a celebration or an early Christmas tree or cake!! So glad the sporting events went in your favour or you would have been nursing Pete's and Beau's depression!! 😂.

    Oh yes, Margy, your Christmas story sounds so good I am going to start a Christmas past and present chat. Thought that might make us all warm and fuzzy!! 😂

    I agree with you Rob, it is always so lovely to read and hear such positive, uplifting stories from everyone here.

    I hope you are all having good weeks, got my mammogram results back...all good!

    Chat soon, sending lots of love to you all.

    Lou 😊 xx

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,200 mod

    @LouiseJ

    Good evening everyone.

    I hope the weather in Cornwall has been better than here in Jersey Lou. Do I remember Judith Chalmers and Alan Whicker? Whicker lived in Jersey and I actually sold him some travellers cheques (remember those?) in the early seventies. He was always quite chatty and happy to talk about his experiences in Whicker’s World. Haha, my five minutes of fame. I spoke to Alan Whicker.

    You will be home with Hannah now and I am sure it is the best place to be, the family all together. These are such difficult times already and illness adds an extra pressure. Great to hear that your mammogram results were good.

    Got my car back from the paint shop today. I reversed into a bush at the Garden Centre last week. Where else? It is surprising how much damage a bush can do but the lovely chap fixed it and sorted out a few chips and scratches too. My Merc is ten years old now but it has only done 13k miles and I tell everyone it is my last car. Well, if it conks out before I do, I have my bus pass.🤣

    💕💕💕

    Rob xx

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 686 mod

    Good afternoon everyone,

    Sat in a car park waiting for P to finish work.

    Lol, Rob, that made me laugh, fancy you having met Alan Whicker! 😄.

    Well the storm arrived well and truly on my last day in Cornwall on Friday. The drive home was horrendous, absolutely thick as can be fog and torrential rain simultaneously, in the dark! It was very hairy at times. We went from singing along to Hamilton to ' where's the road gone' and silence!

    I spoke too soon Ali, now we're about to enter lockdown again!

    This afternoon I took H out for coffee to a garden centre and bought some winter plants while there, violas, pansies, cyclamen, Dianthus and some daisy things I can't remember the name of! Maybe if the weather allows I will put some in tomorrow.

    The tomatoes I picked and put into a kitchen drawer to ripen started to turn while I was away! It worked! Lol.

    Rob, the car looks fabulous, yes, let's hope you don't have to visit the repair shop anytime soon!

    I guess Jersey isn't going into lockfown again yet?

    We did some pumpkin carving yesterday afternoon ( yes, I know not for Halloween), just for fun. Put them out in the garden but the storm was so bad they would not stay lit. Will try again tonight. Haha.

    I hope the last week has gone well for everyone, especially if you were seeing family during half term.

    Chat later,

    Lou xx🤗🤗

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,200 mod

    Good afternoon everyone

    Wow Lou, I would not have liked to attempt that drive in the fog, rain and dark. You must have been exhausted by the time you got home.

    Oh how awful that you have had to go back into lockdown. You are right, we have not reached that stage here and I think that we will be OK thanks to our being surrounded by the sea. We only have 60 Covid cases and no one in hospital, but it is a worry for people who need other specialist treatments which are not available here. A friend is waiting for radiotherapy at Addenbrookes in Cambridge. It has already been postponed on three occasions and he is naturally very anxious. Another friend has had to close his café due to the lack of holidaymakers and office people working from home.

    Haha, regarding the car, as I was about to drive away from the paint shop, the man said 'See you soon' to which I replied, 'Nothing personal, but I hope not.'

    Alan Whicker was one of many celebrities who used to live in Jersey. I think they mostly live in more exotic places these days but we still have one or two who like it here, presumably for tax reasons and with London less than an hour away by air. A recent arrival is crime novelist Peter James whose latest book 'I Follow You' is set in Jersey. One for the Book Club perhaps.

    Your Winter plants sound lovely Lou. We don't have a garden of course, but Mary has bought a number of house plants and its pretty green in our lounge.

    I hope everyone is keeping safe and well. Have a lovely week.

    Rob xx

  • Chilali1531Chilali1531 Posts: 104 ✭✭✭

    Hello everyone

    I don’t know why but time seems to be flying by... even in lockdown which started here v suddenly on 30/10. The day before everyone dashed out to do non essential shopping etc. We decided to drive to the Tarn for a picnic as it was sunny & had a lovely last day of freedom at the river with autumn smells & colours. Chili was especially happy to retrieve sticks from the river.

    So now it’s a strict lockdown here; an hour for exercise within 1km from home & you need an attestation with time, date & personal info each time you go out. Only essential shops open. I’m seriously quite worried about getting my Christmas 🎄 tree on Dec 1 ! Garden shops are closed & supermarkets have had to cordon off non essential goods. There’s no box to tick on the attestation for «  going to woods to dig up a tree » either ! We’re not allowed to go to the mountains at the moment of course. We’re lucky that we live 300m from’a nice park at least. Let’s just hope we’ll be allowed out for Christmas 🙏🏻

    Im feeling quite good, managing a small walk each day despite the bad neuropathy. I didn’t need a Platelets transfusion this week for a change. Here too, hospitals are reaching critical levels tho I’m lucky that my hospital is a special cancer hospital. I do pity people who have just been diagnosed...

    Well that’s all the news... nothing v exciting. I’ve started painting Christmas stones & cards which keeps me busy.

    Keep smiling everyone !

    River Tarn near Albi (1hr north-west of TOULOUSE).

  • NanaBubblesNanaBubbles Posts: 116 ✭✭✭

    Hi everyone

    Sorry not to have posted for a while.

    Lou, I am so sorry to hear about Hannah and do hope that life is improving for her with the extra care and attention. Sometimes, being home with family who love you is a brilliant tonic. That drive back sounds ☹️ terrible and your hotel experiences sound very mixed but will make a mental note of the St.Michael’s Resort as it is not one I have any knowledge of. Glad to hear about your mammography - good news! How often do you have to have it done. My appointment for next PeT scans has come through for January although it was supposed to be in November, although I don’t think there is anything to worry about as far as I can tell. My legs are now much less swollen so I am hoping that the DVT is on its way out with the blood thinner tablets working.

    Rob your car looks beautiful - no doubt the bush at the garden centre leapt out just at the last minute and you couldn’t fail to knock into it! I am sorry to read about the businesses suffering but I am afraid it is much the same everywhere. Banbury has so many closed down shops now and when I ventured into town before lockdown the independent shops looked very empty - in fact the whole place did! I doubt whether our village pub will survive as it has been ‘touch and go’ for some years now. They are making take-out food, including Sunday lunch, to try and keep afloat which is good but pricey.

    Ali, sorry to hear about your lockdown which seems much stricter than ours here. Lovely that you could get out just beforehand though and your photos are wonderful as always. I have started painting some Christmas cards in watercolour which has put me in the mood for Christmassy things so have made my mincemeat and started my Christmas cake fruit soaking in what should have been brandy but trying Cointreau for a change! This is because I found that we had 3 unopened bottles of Cointreau in the cupboard!

    All for now.

    Love to you all

    Michele x

  • AnnebAnneb Posts: 104 ✭✭✭

    Hello everyone

    So great to read your posts except for your lockdowns.

    After months of lockdown we are now out of lockdown and can move freely around Australia. Not that we are going anywhere..lol...it appears to be horrendous everywhere else. The total lockdowns were as severe as yours for over 6 months so a lot of rejoicing this week that it seems to have worked and the effort was worth it.

    We finished the front path and now nothing to do except bunker down for the heat, which as always has hit early. I have to deadhead all the roses next weekend and i am not looking forward to it in the heat, but they are looking yukky so must do it.

    We are all planning Christmas now. All our children are coming the weekend before as it is their in laws turn to do Christmas this year.

    We will have Christmas at home and then go to my sister's on boxing day in Echuca. I cant wait. Elaine couldn't get over the other week as they are cropping and baling...the joys of being on a property.

    I will send some pics when i can of the garden which is looking green...thankheavens for a automated spinkler system.

    Well better go to work. Still working 6 days and im tired of it, but as we do all the Covid support packages for Australia, you just keep going as you know people are waiting desperately for their money to survive.

    Love to you all, so so sorry to hear of your lockdowns again.

    Margy xxxx

    Almost finished. No lights or cleaning up done in this pic...but all done now.

    Will send new pic soon

    Xxxx

  • AnnebAnneb Posts: 104 ✭✭✭

    Sorry for photo of finished product but it is bin night...lol...

  • AnnebAnneb Posts: 104 ✭✭✭

    This is better...no bins🤣🤣🤣


  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,200 mod

    Good afternoon everyone

    I always look forward to seeing your photos Ali, you live in such a beautiful area and it is no wonder Chili looks so happy. I am pleased to hear that you are able to manage a walk every day and thank goodness you didn't need a platelets transfusion. Sorry to hear that the neuropathy is so troublesome though.Your lockdown sounds severe and it must be really tough but thank goodness you are so close to a nice park.

    Hi Michele. It is good to hear that the blood thinner tablets are working and that the DVT seems to be on its way out. It is awful to hear about the independent businesses, many which have been built up over many years of sacrifice. It would be really sad if your village pub were to close as I imagine that it is the social centre of the village. Haha, those bushes just don't care do they. By the way, I absolutely love fruit cake and the cointreau Christmas cake sounds really special.

    It is great to hear that you are out of lockdown now Margy. I was reading that there have been no new covid cases in Melbourne for ages. We need to be careful here as our numbers are rising and I have noticed that people have been getting much more careless about distancing and mask use. I envy you your Christmas plans with all of your family around you but it sounds wonderful and you deserve it. Wow, you do all the Covid support packagers throughout Australia!! No wonder you are tired of it. Your front path looks great after all the work you have done and I love the lights too.

    Love to you all

    Rob xx

  • AnnebAnneb Posts: 104 ✭✭✭

    Hello Everyone.

    Well we have put the flagpole up. It is always put up last by pete...after everything is finished...lol... a tradition.

    Yes rob we are flat out with covid. 6 levels with 100 people on each. However the top3 levels empty as people working from home.

    Have a wonderful weekend

    Xxxxxx

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

    Good morning everyone,

    Apologies for not chatting here for a little while, our home situation has become critical, but I have been reading all your posts every day, love hearing what everyone is getting on with.

    Margy, I love it that you put up the flag at the end of your renovations, that is a great idea. We don't see many flags put up outside homes over here, unless it is some sporting fixture!! Is is quite common in Australia, like it is in the U.S? I love the little bench under the tree too, that will be a nice shady spot. Your garden is very neat and tidy, I know how hard you and Pete work at it to get it looking so lovely. Personally I think the dustbins add a certain something to that photo! 😂

    You are working very hard, and I can imagine how busy the office is with providing support to millions of people across Australia during this time. As you know we are in another lockdown, uni's announced yesterday they are allowing students home after this lockdown, so they can get to families before Christmas. All the studying will be done online now. I am not sure whether next term will start on time in person really, time will tell...

    Ali, your Christmas stocking prep sounds great, with all those little gifts, I love doing that also. I first began doing stockings for the family when I was still at college, and had no money. One year I decided to make a stocking for everyone with a max of £10 per person. I delivered them to my mum on Christmas Eve, she delivered them to each person at night, even my grandma's doorstep, and they woke up to them. It was brilliant fun, like you say, I had so much fun doing it, the idea stuck and it has become a family tradition now. Each year I gather all manner of odds and ends to go in them, and we all get one. Of course it is Santa really, I am just a helper! Phoebe is Santa's helper this year too. Hahaha. Christmas morning, early (really early!), the girls pile into our room onto the bed and we sit and open them together. I think if and when they ever move out and have their own homes, they will still expect the tradition to continue! haha.

    Reminds me to start that xmas thread...is it too early??

    Michelle, I am so sorry to hear about the dvt that has emerged, I hope the meds are working well to help reduce the swelling, and you are able to rest properly when you need to. You don't need that on top of everything else, all these extra things that occur after a cancer diagnosis that we are not prepared for or expect is very frustrating. I have my mammogram's yearly, this should have been my last, but doc wants to keep me on the books a bit longer so I will get another one next year. Apparently now I am above a certain age, the checks go to every 5 years! (from every 3 years pre cancer). Five years!! Crazy.

    How did the xmas cake turn out? I need to unwrap some left over from last year and see if they have survived. I went a bit mad baking last year, therapy from the situation we were in, I made over 21 cakes. Gave several away of course. lol.

    I have spent a few days last week tidying the garden, got things sorted, potatoes are growing well, I am not sure when they will be ready and I cannot remember when I planted them! I managed to get all the spring plants in and the bulbs I had lying around. Glad that is done. All the tomatoes in my kitchen drawer ripened, so now we have tons of them to eat again. haha. The leeks and spring onions are still disappointing me, I must have done them wrong I think.

    Christmas is up! Just got some lights to sort out and it's done. Posted all my Christmas cards this week too, I am like Pam from Gavin and Stacey this year! hahaha.

    The joy of Cornwall I brought home, was a damaged knee after walking up and down hilly streets and lots of hotel stairs. Then I pulled my hamstring on the same leg one night trying to stretch my leg out. So I am forced to rest and sit with my legs up for hours on end as it is absolute agony. Watched a few Xmas films so far, one of my faves, Christmas with the Kranks, I always find on TV, though I do have that and many others on DVD. LOL.

    This morning I had an early appointment with Tesco xmas delivery slots! hahaha, that took a couple of hours to get on, but at least it wasn't midnight this year having to stay up til the small hours.

    Right, I must get my meds before I forget them, will chat later, sending lots of love,

    Lou xxx

  • Chilali1531Chilali1531 Posts: 104 ✭✭✭

    Hello everyone

    We’ve been having some exceptionally mild & sunny weather for Nov which certainly helps with keeping up morale in lockdown! Today is Peters birthday so I made a lemon drizzle cake which turned out v well & is deliciously lemony & moist. I gave him a new set of frying pans & cookbook as he enjoys cooking - and I enjoy him cooking too ! Am wondering whether to attempt a Christmas cake for the first time in my life but since neither the children nor Peter particularly like it there doesn’t seem much point! I think they’d much prefer a chocolate log.

    Cointreau sounds like a good idea Michele ! Will definitely add some ooomph!

    No it’s not too early to begin Christmas Lou- I think this year we need to make the most of it so I’m starting tomorrow! I’m going to put the Christmas music on, closet myself in the bedroom , pull all the little presents I’ve been collecting out of the hiding places & put them in bags so I know who’s getting what as it’s starting to get complicated. I fear the mail may get overwhelmed soon with all the online deliveries so will send off my parcels early next week too. Still wondering how & where to get my tree 🌲... do you have yours Lou ?

    I collected lots of v small flat pebbles when we were at the river Tarn before lockdown & am painting nativity figures which i can send to family & friends as they’re not too heavy. My mum’s sent me some little knitted Christmas things- we keep the Royal Mail in business between the pair of us !

    Margy the renovations look great ! Good luck with all those Covid packages - wow!

    Watch the bushes Rob, yes a beautiful looking car btw ! Ours is full of scratches but that’s mostly from kids learning to drive ...& the odd pillar that seems to jump out at me!

    Happy pre Christmas prep 🎄 Ali xx


  • AnnebAnneb Posts: 104 ✭✭✭

    Hello everyone

    It doesnt seem to have been a great week all way round.....so i thought i would try and cheer us all up.

    Yes Lou, the Christmas thread. That would be wonderful. That should cheer us all up immeasurably 💖🎄💖🎄💖🎄💖🎄

    🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

    Oh and my Magnolia is starting to flower.

    Love to you all

    💚🎄💚🎄💚🎄💚🎄

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,200 mod

    Hi everyone

    Hi Lou. I don't think it is too early for the Christmas thread this year. As Margy says, it will cheer us all up and thank goodness we are not turkeys. I think the idea of the Christmas stockings with a maximum of £10 is fantastic. When we were children we had stockings filled with an apple, an orange, nuts and the big treat, a Terry's chocolate orange. Rationing remained for a few years following World War Two and people had no money anyway. As kids we didn't know that, but we were happy and Christmas was a wonderful time. Ouch, sorry you have hurt your knee and pulled a hamstring - no Joe Wicks for you for a while.

    Love your flag Margy, and your magnolia. I can't imagine spending Christmas in the summer heat though I always enjoy watching the cricket in Australia whilst we are cowering by the radiator with sweaters on. We still miss our old home, but we won't miss the lack of central heating and double glazing which was imposed on us by the house being registered as of special interest, limiting things we were allowed to do with it. We have triple glazing and heat retaining wall cavities in the apartment and our recent electricity bill was just one third of the bill we had in the house for the same period last year.

    Love your Christmas pebbles Ali. They will brighten up Christmas for your family and friends. We have two fake Christmas trees which is cheating I know, but at least they don't drop needles all over the place. Do you have any special Christmas songs which are especially French? I was madly in love with French singer Françoise Hardy in the sixties. She was incredibly beautiful with legs, a breathy voice and everything a young man imagined French girls should look and sound like. (Hope the Moderators don't delete this).

    Time for a cuppa.

    Chat soon

    Rob xxx

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

    Good morning friends,

    I do hope you are all having a good week, it does feel later than Wednesday to be honest, but sometimes my brain decides to merge all the days into one big lump, and I have no idea what happened on an individual day! lol.

    It was a beautiful start early this morning, but now the rain has arrived, and it is a typical November day here.

    I love the Christmas pebbles Ali, I imagine it is very relaxing to do, unless you have a time constraint to work to. I finally completed the Monet poppy fields, it was the hardest one yet I have done, as the painting is quite blurry and indistinct as his paintings were. When I stand back from it, it looks pretty good, haha.

    All of Christmas is up now, Ali, we have an artificial tree which I got several years ago in a post-Christmas sale. Since Mark and I have been together we have never had a real tree as back in those days I got one from some friends that sold products from a well-known company. It lasted for approx 12 years until the latest bundles of fluff we have decided to chase each other round it from inside the tree, circling the middle trunk, hahahaha.

    So glad I got in the garden last week before this latest lot of rain arrived, the squirrels and birds are loving the leftover pumpkin, and the crab apples on the tree. Last night we had Freddy the Fox visit us, Lola went nuts from inside the lounge, thankfully Charlie was asleep and missed it otherwise he would have been worse than Lola. We are still not quick enough to get a photo though, the first we know about it is when one of the cats reacts.

    Have a peaceful afternoon,

    Chat soon,

    Lou xx

  • AnnebAnneb Posts: 104 ✭✭✭

    Just for a laugh in Dark times 💖💖💖💖💖


  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,200 mod

    @Anneb

    Hi Margy.

    Love it 🤣😂

    Rob xx

  • AnnebAnneb Posts: 104 ✭✭✭

    @RobertA

    Hello everyone.

    Yes Rob , i would love to have a cold Christmas at least once with snow😂😂😂🎄🎄🎄

    These photos are off Santa. He has delivered to the northern hemisphere and we are his last stop in Australia.

    He is exhausted with our heat too.

    Not even cricket gets him to move from the beach🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,200 mod
    edited November 24

    @Anneb @Sunshinedaff

    Hi Margy

    Haha, no wonder Santa is exhausted with the heat. He clearly turned up without his trunks and shades, though I imagine he has a couple of tinnys in his cool box.

    Oh Lou, it sounds like a lot of fun having Charlie and Lola around. Would they have taken Freddy on if they had been outside when he visited? My niece in Texas went camping with her husband in Caprock Canyon state park in the Texas high plains where a bison visited their campsite. She sent me a photo which I have attached. Luckily, he seemed to be in a good mood.

    Rob xx

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