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The sweetpeas are taking over

♥Jun. 25th, 2017 // 05:42 pm
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Last year, I planted a couple of perennial sweetpea plants in one of the flower beds. They did ok, but weren't really anything special.

Either they needed a little while to get themselves established or they much prefer the weather this year:

I had a go at putting normal sweetpeas along the drive this year, as I had spares and thought they'd look nice if they grew up the fence. They've rather been out-competed by the stuff on the other side of the fence (in the stableyard), though. I think I might get myself another pack of perennial seeds and see how they do there!

We went to see a horse on Sunday: he seemed to have a lovely personality, and looked nicely put together, but he'd never been ridden properly and didn't have a clue what he was doing in the school. Hopefully she'll find him a nice home where he can do nothing but go for long hacks....

I went to London last week, to see the dentist. Some sort of viral thing seems to have come back with me, which explains why I was so knackered all weekend, and probably also the upset stomach. I'm not exactly *ill*, but I'm also not entirely well. Possibly, in the light of this, I should have spent less time weeding today. It did need doing, though: it's been too hot recently to contemplate working in the garden.

We seem to have a lot of what look almost like yellow thistles appearing in the garden this year. Not sure what they are or where they've suddenly appeared from!
Link1 kiss // Who loves you?

Bits and coughs

♥May. 4th, 2017 // 10:10 am
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My post-Eastercon stomach bug turned into a post-Eastercon cold, which several other people have also been complaining about.

I'm getting better, I think, but I've thought that several times now and then woken up the next day feeling grotty again. This has led to quite a lot of lying on the sofa feeling pathetic and not very much actual getting things done. The weather has cooperated with this: we've finally had some rain, after an entirely dry month, which is very good and means that the grass is finally growing in the field. This also means that the weeds are taking over the flower beds, and neither feeling grotty nor the weather is conducive to doing anything about them.

And we still haven't planted up the polytunnel, but we have an excuse in the form of the irrigation system, which should have been here yesterday but isn't yet, and which probably needs to be in place before the plants go in, to avoid disturbing or damaging them when we try to get it figured out.

GB also got a bit neglected in there: going away and then being ill meant that he didn't get ridden for about ten days in a row, and I'm afraid that that might have been too long for him. We've had three goes on him since, most recently this morning, and he's not doing very well. A couple of times, he's also nearly gone down on his bum when trotting down the hill at bed time. I'm going to wait for a warmer day and then have a go on him in the afternoon, when he's had plenty of time in the field to get rid of any stiffness, but I fear it won't be much better and it'll finally be time to officially retire him.

It's not been all bad, though: in there we've had some visitors, both overnight and for the day, been out to Margate to see an exhibition that wasn't as much as we'd expected about textiles but was quite interesting anyway and gave me a few things to think about (coffmayhaveboughtanewloomcoff). We also hosted various fannish crafty types for a day of crafty things, during which staggering amounts of tea were consumed (at least until we ran out) even when you allow for the fact that Mike and I kept forgetting to ask if more was wanted....

Coming up in the next week: Quilt Club, and a workshop, and then Mike's Mother is coming to stay. So nice and recuperative, then.

LJ has reset my cookie, and I'm presuming that logging in will require TOS agreement, so I've stopped reading there.
Link2 kisses // Who loves you?

Bits and pieces

♥Mar. 23rd, 2017 // 01:46 pm
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[xpost |http://flick.livejournal.com/1204709.html]

My parents have been to visit, which was nice, and short (possibly the two are related!). They brought us new living room lights (we saw the ones that we wanted in John Lewis, but they were out of stock when we went to order them online. A short panic that they were being discontinued later and my mother had bought them in her local store, as she was going there anyway. They are, of course, now back in stock online), which was good, and then put them up for us, which was better. They're much less fussy than the old ones, and removing the centre light from the ceiling fan / changing the blades on it has also made that look much better.

Just the floor to go, now, and it is finally booked for next week. We went for the middle ground, in the end, and are having laminate from the guy who did the third quote after the other two had annoyed me too much. I honestly couldn't have told you which of the sample books was wood and which laminate, so hopefully it's going to look nice! And then we need to buy some rugs. And new shelves for DVDs. But other than that it's nearly done....

In the less successful home improvement department, we were supposed to be having a new garage door today but the chap phoned first thing to say that his minion had called in sick. Hopefully that will get rescheduled in the not too distant future.

(My parents broke their journey home at Ebbsfleet, in the end, on account of not wanting to get up very early. It all worked ok.)

Following my failed attempt to listen to a bloody mp3 on my bloody phone, I bought the album (digitally, for £7, as the CD was £40!) and then remembered that I no longer have an optical drive in my laptop, so couldn't burn a CD to listen to in the car. In theory, I can use the drive in the desktop as an external drive, so we fiddled around trying to do that but, although I could see the drive, I couldn't see the blank CD that I put into it. (The next day, Mike messaged me from the office to ask why an untitled CD had appeared on *his* laptop. Sigh.) In the end, Mike bought me an external drive, so I spent an afternoon ripping and burning copies of all the CDs that have come into the house since I ceased to have a means of doing so: actually not that many, but it does take a while.

Yesterday, presumably to be blamed on one or other of the parents (although they claim not), I had some sort of odd twelve-hour lurgy: I woke up with a sore throat, got increasingly shivery as the morning went on, spent the afternoon wrapped in a blanket while each of my joints individually got more and more achy, developed weepy eyes and a splitting headache, didn't finish my dinner and felt a bit sick afterwards, felt a bit better by (early) bed time, and woke up this morning with a slight headache but otherwise feeling fine.

In between all that, I've mostly been playing The Last Guardian, which is exactly like the reviews say. It's very pretty, very Japanese, and very random. You are a small boy who is accompanied by a giant cat-bird, over which you have very limited control, while you wander around a mysterious and largely abandoned complex of towers and dungeons. The controls are utterly terrible, and this is a sadly common conversation in the house these days:
Flick: [repeats $keystrokes over and over for five minutes in an attempt to make the cat-bird do a $thing]
Flick: Can you see what I'm doing wrong here? I think that I need to get cat-bird to do $thing but he's not doing it.
Mike: It does look like that's what you need to do. Do you want me to look it up?
Flick: Please.
Flick: [continues to repeat $keystrokes, throughout the conversation]
Mike: It says you need to do get cat-bird to do $thing.
Flick: That's what I'm trying to do.
Mike: You need to hit $keystrokes.
Flick: That's what I'm doing. That's what I've been doing for ten minutes. This game has the worst controls ever.
Cat-bird: [for no obvious reason suddenly does $thing]

I have no objection to tricky puzzles, but these aren't, they're just capricious. Or, possibly, the cat-bird is capricious. Either way, it's a bit tedious. Very pretty game, though.
Link3 kisses // Who loves you?

Coff (one of an occasional but intense series.)

♥Apr. 11th, 2016 // 08:26 pm
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[xpost |http://flick.livejournal.com/1151833.html]

I'm, finally, much better: basically fine other than occasionally trying to cough my guts up. Annoyingly, that's still happening most often when I lie down to go to sleep.

We've had a lovely weekend full of visitors and bluebells: there would be a picture, but the LJ app is failing to upload it. See Mike's Facebook instead.

This evening, I saw the first bat of the year.

The vet phoned this morning (damn, she's keen: I was still getting dressed!) with GB's blood test results: very slightly over what they should be, so she's happy to say it's ok. No more tests until June, now, and then it will be every few weeks in the hope of catching it before his levels of whatever-it-is skyrocket and we have to increase his medication for a few months. He's shedding, which is always a bonus and a sign that we've got the levels about right. (New Vet still needs training in his ways: she will keep going on about laminitis, which he's (unusually) never had a problem with.)

Bugs was looking quite perky as he trotted along the edge of the field this evening, so the drugs are probably working: we'll see what happens when he comes off them again.

A little while ago, Mrs Up The Hill told me that they were moving. We (and Mrs Farmer) been speculating for a few weeks that they had in fact already moved: the car was rarely there, and when it was it looked like it was being loaded up; the pots had gone from the front patio. I saw her today and they have indeed gone, and the house will be going on the market next month. If the price is right then we'll buy one of their fields, but we suspect it won't be.
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♥Apr. 6th, 2016 // 07:07 pm
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[xpost |http://flick.livejournal.com/1151367.html]

But not quite as much of the rest as previously.

Mike bought me some Night Nurse yesterday. I had some before bed, and commented that I couldn't for the life of me understand how people got addicted to something so revolting. On the other hand, I did sleep through without having to go and cough for half an hour, so that's a result.

Plant or weed:

I suspect weed, but there are three of them in the same general area so I'll keep them if they're going to be pretty!
Link3 kisses // Who loves you?


♥Apr. 4th, 2016 // 02:33 pm
[xpost |http://flick.livejournal.com/1150582.html]

Having felt as though I was getting better, post-Eastercon, I seem to have got worse again.

The night before last, I spent large chunks of time coughing away, disturbing Mike (I did go and sit up for an hour at one point, which probably helped). As he's in London today, when the same thing started happening last night, completely with disturbing half-dreams about summoning demons by coughing at them*, I instead got up and made the spare bed. That way, I figured, Mike would be undisturbed by the noise (even if, naturally, he didn't sleep as well as usual due to my absence) while I could, if necessary, go and get the radio to keep me company and lead to rather more pleasant half-dreams about whatever was on the World Service at 3am.

I did indeed have my company well kept by a very interesting episode of Thinking Aloud, made none the less so by the fact that when I woke up at the end of it I realised I hadn't actually gone and got the radio. I also, I suspect, got rather more sleep than I would have otherwise done as I wasn't keeping myself awake thinking 'mustn't cough, mustn't cough' every time I woke up.

And Mike? Didn't even realise I wasn't in bed until he woke up. Late. Pah!

Today, I am feeling distinctly feeble. Poor pooch had a Statutory Minimum Walk (although she did at least get to see her boyfriend for ten minutes before I managed to get enough of a word in edgeways to excuse myself back to the sofa), and I'm now trying to figure out if I can summon the effort to go and choose a Wii game to occupy myself for the rest of the afternoon or if I will instead just flick through games on my iPhone, hit refresh on websites, and try to ignore the accusing 70+ unread Follycon emails that I need to read through....

* I'm currently re-reading the Milkweed Triptych. This is possibly not the best thing to be reading when you have a sore throat and need cheering up, but it's all Mike's fault: I just re-read the Rivers Of London books, and when I got to the end said "Is there a short story, or something, where he goes back in time to Ettisberg and sees the battle?" and Mike said "No, you're thinking of Milkweed." Similar premise to my imagined short story, rather different tone....
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♥Sep. 8th, 2015 // 05:03 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/1103981.html]

I'm feeling only slightly pathetic, today, so I managed to get that batch of jelly finished off, and start a new one. I had a bit of a revelation the other night: as I wrestled the bulging jelly bag onto a cane suspended from the legs of an upturned kitchen stool (as is traditional), I realised that I could probably just use the juice from the steam juicer. I checked the juicer instruction/recipe book, and it does include directions for doing so (including the delightful hint about checking pectin levels in your juice by mixing it with pure grain alcohol).

So, now the juicer's bubbling away with another batch of spicy juice and, if I can resist the urge to drink it all hot from the pan, I'll be boiling that up as well, later.

We're having a bit of an expensive month: not just the car, but also the oil tank has sprung a leak (the guy who fills it up did issue a Warning last time he came that we should replace it, it just never seemed to be got around to), although thankfully the top tip of the guy who came to quote for a new one worked: rubbing a bar of soap over it has temporarily stopped it (good, as we were running out of buckets I was prepared to put oil in!).

We've been talking about a new Aga almost since we moved in, as our FrankenAga is a bit crap temperamental, and since we had the solar panels (and with the inducement of being able to still use the hot plates to make toast and crumpets in summer!) I've come around to Mike's view that we should get an electric one provided it was a 3-oven one so I could bake. Their website listed a £1500 trade-in special offer for classic Agas, so Mike popped into the local shop this afternoon and the actual Aga shop called him back later: another, £2k trade-in, offer ends today, did he want to get his credit card out? After a bit of dithering, he did on the understanding that if Monday's visit from an engineer vetoes it then there will be a refund.

Given that I'm insisting on new fencing around the stableyard before the winter, we'll be dipping into the savings shortly, but it's all long-term stuff so it's not too bad.
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♥Sep. 7th, 2015 // 06:14 pm
[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/1103823.html]

Today, I have mostly been lying on the sofa feeling piteous. Not sure what's up with me, but it involves a splitting headache and being very shivery and generally pathetic.

I did manage to do another batch of apple juice, but the juice for the jelly is just going to have to stay in the fridge for now.
Link3 kisses // Who loves you?


♥May. 15th, 2014 // 03:19 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/1004256.html]

Today has been somewhat frantic. I woke up still feeling crap, but GB had to be ridden so I dashed around doing that (I'm afraid I mostly just cantered him around in circles, lacking the effort to do anything proper with him) and mucking out before taking Jo off to the vet. She's back in on Monday for the op: there's more of it under the skin, but it's not attatched to the muscle underneath. "It might even be benign," the vet said, which sounded reassuring until I thought about it.

Then I came home, had some lunch, completely failed to raid Mike's pockets for change to top up the parking money in the car and, late, headed off to Canterbury. I got to the car park five minutes before my optician appointment, a ten minute walk away, and then spent what felt like ages feeding 5p coins into the parking machine. Still, I wasn't too late to have my eyes tested (all fine, my prescription's a bit worse than it was but not enough that they recommend new glasses), and I even fluttered my eyelashes at the chap on the till and got him to melt my sunglasses back into shape (this is about the third time I've had to do so: I once left them in the glove compartment on a very hot day, and they always seem to creep back into the wonky position that they melted into). I was surprised that I made it to my waxing appointment on time, but I did. Unfortunately, I had to cut off part of the girl's to-do list, and scrap the other errands that needed running, because I needed to get back to the car park.... Hey ho!

TWWOTV's new set of drain rods arrived yesterday, so after I got back Mike connected them onto the end of her old set and had another go at the drain. No sign of any blockage, which was odd. He had me run up and flush the loo, and it drained away no problem. The thing that worries me slightly is that we couldn't then see the water flowing out of what we *thought* was the other end of the pipe and into the septic tank.... Well, fingers crossed.

A couple of weeks ago, Mike expressed a desire for shelves in the shed, and it is true that the pile of gardening stuff on the floor was awkward. As they worked well in the store room, I thought I'd get him more of the metal Ikea shelves. And, as I was placing an order anyway, I thought I'd get myself some for the conservatory, instead of using the old dining table for plants:

Much better, and they'll get more sun on that side of the conservatory as well.

(I predict that there will be many people having problems with the new LJ. Astonishingly, given that istr that I'm still using S1, everything is working fine for me. The work around if you can't see comments on entries is apparently to find the 'View comment pages in my own style' option or, as a temporary fix, append &style=mine tot he end of the URL.)
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Ah, road repairs

♥May. 14th, 2014 // 08:01 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/1003299.html]

This is what passes for filling in potholes around here:

Today, I have mostly been aching. Not sure what's up, but I'm achy, headachy, and very light-sensitive. Hopefully, I'll feel better tomorrow. Tomorrow, I have a busy day of tedious admin-type appointments in Canterbury.

I'm also taking Jo to the vet: she's had a little lump on her leg for as long as we've had her. Looks like a skin tag or similar. A couple of weeks ago, Mike reported having seen blood on her leg, but not until after she'd been in the fish pond and washed it off. He said the same today, and she's definitely been chewing or scratching on the lump. It also looks bigger, which is potentially OMG worrying but might just be where she's been irritating it. Anyway, vet trip is added to the list for tomorrow. Fingers crossed it's nothing to worry about. I have been noticing the arrival of white hairs in her coat lately, too. "Three years a puppy, three years a good dog, three years an old dog and the rest is a gift of God," as the Swiss apparently say about the breed, does give us a few years yet.

Dearie me, I do get maudlin when I feel pathetic, don't I?
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I seem to be busy lately....

♥Nov. 18th, 2012 // 04:11 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/885997.html]

Last Thursday - Country Life Christmas Show: overdose on orange and cinnamon scent, bought a few bits, thought "I could do that" about many bits, thought "I would do that" about slightly fewer.

Last weekend - Novacon, lovely. I really enjoy Novacon, these days. Lost of nice chats. Contrary to popular opinion, I did not spend the entire weekend sitting in the same chair, and most certainly had not in fact been there since last year.

Monday - new job, first day, sort of. Seems to be doable. Proper start this week.

(An observation: About six months ago, one of my big toes started hurting (ultimately, I think, due to a single side saddle lesson in which I Did Something Wrong and kept scrunching my foot up). It got randomly better and worse, until Mike made me go to the GP who gave me a leaflet for a foot clinic, which I never got around to going to. Then I was jumping up in the air trying to read a price tag in Costco when I landed, hard, on the ball of that toe, which was excruciating. Ever since, it's been pretty much fine: I remember thinking, as I walked down the road on the Thursday, that it seemed to be better. I wore Proper Shoes on Thursday, Saturday and Monday, as opposed to the usual yard and riding boots. My toe hurts, now.)

Tuesday - went riding in the woods, in the sun. It was lovely. We have very pretty colours this year. At one point, a small tree has fallen annoyingly and (bottom of a hill, just after a corner) dangerously across the path. As I was later planning on coming around that corner and up the hill at speed, I jumped off and moved it. GB happily stood and ate the bits of leaf growing out of the tree stump I'd thrown his reins over. The horse I was with was utterly terrified by the crashing noises. C'est la vie. GB, incidentally, has been a little out of sorts this week: grumpier than usual, although I accept that most people can't tell. Not sure what's up, hopefully it's just the change in the weather, or something.

Wednesday - side saddle: getting better at making him listen to the cane, but the grumpiness didn't help.

Thursday - stayed at home. Was Domesticated: I'd decided to make bath balls and bath fizzers for people I want to give small presents to (eg, woman who cleans up my horse's shit). Made them all, much to my pleasure, and put them in the spare room to dry out without stinking the flat up. Went to check on them a few hours later and decided that it was probaly worth, for the sake of avoiding the risk of damp in the books, putting the heating on in there a little: the bath bombs were fine, but the ones that were supposed to fizz up as soon as they went into the water had, um, fizzed up. I should have taken a photo, it was quite impressive....

(Relatedly, I've had terrible trouble buying peppermint essence. I tried in Tesco last week, and found the empty place on the shelf where it should have been. Tried again a day or two later, hoping they'd have re-stocked, and found that they'd rearranged the shelf and got rid of the label. No job in Lidl, or Holland & Barrett, either. Gave up and bought it from Amazon, which feels somehow wrong, but there we go.)

Friday - felt distinctly crappy (someone at Novacon is to blame, I suspect: coff, choo, sniff), so went to see GB but didn't ride him. Came home and lurked on the sofa.

Saturday - went to France and Belgium. Failed to get preferred brand of dishwasher tablets. Refuse to go to Germany just for dishwasher tablets, have set Mike back on the web searching. On the way home, sms from Teenage Girl's mother saying there was a problem, could I call. Later, found out that Teenage Girl has been having "trouble" with other Teenage Girls at the yard, and is too upset / scared to go, hence a morning of sobbing and she didn't go to see GB today. I shall start making enquiries at the yard but I think it's too late; wish Girl had said something to either me or her mother sooner. On the one hand, I could find something else but, on the other, I think I'll just let GB have two days off a week, instead of one, and this means Mike and I can have more flexibility about which weekend day we ride.

Sunday - went to the new Horse World Live show, at ExCeL. Crap. I can't imagine there'll be another next year. Dealers were all going mad with boredom, there was pretty much no one there. Stayed about an hour. Came home. Lurked on sofa.

On Friday, one of our fish died. Given that it was one of the five still-live members of the batch of ten glowlight tetras that were the first fish we put in the tank (after we gave up on the manufacturer's instructions and just set it up properly) three years ago, this is pretty impressive. Looking at the others, I note that one of them is rather lying on his side and another looks worryingly skinny, but the rest of the fish seem to be doing ok so it's probably age, not a water problem. They've had a pretty good run.
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♥Apr. 3rd, 2012 // 05:16 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/868764.html]

So, I booked an appointment with the GP for Monday evening, mostly for a prescription refill but also because I wanted to check that there was nothing I could/should so about the trapped nerve in my leg.

And, as it happened, I was sitting on the sofa on Sunday evening when I got hit by stomach pain. "Damn," I thought, "where did I accidentally eat large amounts of dairy?" And then I sat and waited for the next stage in the process, which involves running to the loo and which never came. And, pain, ow, more pain. Went to bed. Woke up. Emailed in sick. Sat on the sofa, wishing I felt well enough to at least do a little light tidying. Hobbled to the GP surgery.

At the surgery, a Nice Young Man came over and said he was a third year medic and could he see me first, which was fine by me. He had a jolly old time poking my leg, eventually deciding that it was, indeed, mostly numb in the patch where I'd said it was mostly numb, and that ("could you walk across the room on tip-toe, please?") it wasn't actually causing me any problems other than being a little disconcerting, and so concluding that while it might suddenly get better when the bruise on my knee goes down it probably would take six months or so for the nerve to re-grow (hey ho: as I pointed out, at least my rib is better!).

After that, he poked my tummy a bit, and took my temperature (which was normal, so it's not appendicitis), and asked if I would mind terribly having a urine test, and then he went and got the proper doctor, who tutted at my leg and told me to be more careful and then had a much harder poke at my tummy before sending me off to wee in a bottle.

Wee ruled out an ectopic pregnancy or infection, so the doctor concluded that my appendix was grumbling and that I should go straight to the hospital if I developed a fever or if the pain got worse. So I suppose that's alright, then.

Today, I felt a bit better again, but not well enough to ride*: I gave someone else my lesson (well, it was paid for and I wouldn't have got a refund!) and then fussed GB for a bit until the horse dentist arrived to check him over. Teeth are mostly ok, but he did note that a) the old vet did a much better job of smoothing out one side of his mouth than the other when she had a go, and b) that his upper teeth were twice the length of the lowers, which he would probably do work to correct in a young horse but wasn't inclined to fuss about at GB's age given that he's demonstrably not having trouble eating. Considering that he's had his teeth done once in the last decade, and possibly not much before that, GB's behaviour and teeth were more than good enough, which is a relief.

I may have had a small shopping accident with a side saddle habit. I may, based on the lovely photos that a nice lady emailed me of costumes she's about to sell, be about to have another one. My heart says "Get the cream satin Victorian outfit," my head says "Hello, you have a horse. He slobbers when he checks your pockets for food and gets black hair everywhere," and my husband says "I think that the royal blue Georgian one would suit you best," which is odd as I don't think he's ever seen me in blue, as I very rarely wear it. I shall give him the benefit of the doubt, probably. It almost might be piratical, as well, which could be handy.

* Conversation with Mother: "Well, I can see you might not go to work if you had an excuse, but... gosh, you must be feeling under the weather!"
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