Tuesday 24 September 2019

...making hay while the sun shines

Last week marked the beginning of my phased return to work. I only had to be in the office for one day, so I made the most of the sunny weather and my few remaining days of 'freedom' with some serious pottering around in the back garden. One afternoon the garage got a long overdue de-cluttering. It's such a pity I didn't take a "before" photo, but I didn't know I was going to tackle it so thoroughly until I was more than half way through!  
The shelves at the back were hidden behind a mountain of accumulated "stuff" that needed sifting, sorting, putting away or taking to the dump, and this was also blocking access to the lockable storage chest where we keep a lot of the garden tools. So once I'd cleared a path to the shelves I got the hedge trimmers out and gave the hedge a bit of a tidy too!
This is the very hedge that so often features in the "chucked in a hedge artfully styled against a delightful leafy green backdrop" photos I take of my knitting projects, so it needs to be maintained!
I picked up a couple of cheap and cheerful punnets of pansies from Aldi to give the outdoor pots a slightly longer lease of life. I like to tuck them randomly into the gaps that appear when other plants are past their best and to see their jolly little faces peeping up at me from outside the kitchen window.
I was given several "get well soon" houseplants after the hip op, and I am trying very hard to keep them alive, so they got a team bath in the kitchen sink, after I'd filled the watering can for the pansies. They looked so happy to be soaking in the sunshine too!
My normal rule of thumb is to stick with cacti and other drought-tolerating plants indoors, as I so often forget to water them. The cacti and aloe vera plant below have spent the past twenty years hovering on the brink of death by dehydration, battling to survive against all odds. The cactus in the foreground even managed to muster flowers after being decapitated and replanted at a fraction of its previous size! I don't really like these plants all that much, but I have to admire their grit and tenacity, and feel they've truly earned their place on the windowsill. As for the "get well soon" bunch, only time will tell! 
I'm so grateful for that sunshine last week. The weather has turned cooler, with grey skies and rain now, just as my phased return is starting to pick up pace. I'll be working three days per week for the next two weeks and will be back on full time hours by the second week in October. Soon all this time in recovery will seem like a distant dream! I like Autumnal weather, and it's good to be back with my team at work, but I'm glad to have been able to spend those last few days in the sun before returning to life in the real world!

Monday 9 September 2019

...bathroom bliss, fabulous flora, and a miniature monster

The bathroom is all but finished! We still need to paint the newly plastered walls, and we're awaiting delivery of a couple of doors for the new boiler cupboard, but the builders (and all their mess) have departed, the skip is gone from the drive, and my house feels like a home again. A home with an enormous and very luxurious bath tub in it! We may need to draw up a rota if the current rate of usage continues!

Yesterday morning we made time for a walk at the park - there wasn't a single cloud in the sky, just lovely, mild, near-autumnal sunshine and the last of the summer wildflowers to feast my eyes on. 
The juxtaposition of Poppy Red and Cornflower Blue was such visual perfection it literally sent ripples of pleasure down my spine!
Then yesterday evening I took these equally (but for different reasons) spine-tingling photos of a moth, hypnotised against the glass outside the landing window. It was probably only an inch long in real life, but up close that tightly coiled proboscis and those vicious-looking leg spurs are really quite terrifying to behold...
...especially in ghostly black and white, like something out of a Victorian Gothic horror story!

Wednesday 4 September 2019

...WOYWW. The One With the Ladybird

Spied this little lady beetle as I was picking blackberries in the garden yesterday. They are such cheery-looking insects aren't they? With those cute red and black-spotted wing covers they're welcome to come and munch on my greenflies any day!
The workmen have now shifted their attention to the upstairs bathroom, which is being tiled as I type. I am hoping (with all my fingers and toes crossed) that they will be able to finish the job this week. I am beyond tired of the mess and disruption, as well as feeling my home is not my own. The XXSCat Dog is hilarious. She leaves for the day (to stay at my Mum's house) as soon as the workmen arrive, and then returns home to inspect their progress after they've gone. She is clearly unimpressed by all the upheaval too, and usually has a good bark at any tool-boxes and buckets that have been left behind. They do say that dogs come to resemble their owners...
I've decided it's safe to start removing dustsheets from my work room now that most of the mess is being made upstairs. This morning I emptied the shelves on the back wall and washed/dusted everything, as we didn't get the chance to protect this area from the tile dust clouds in Week One. It's nice to restore some order, although I did have to question why we need 10 assorted wine glasses when we're practically teetotal and never throw dinner-parties! 
For this week's show and tell with Julia all that's currently on my re-emerging workdesk is my thuggish-looking baby doll (rescued from a charity shop to add to the toybox I use with children at work). He/she finally has his/her own outfit - custom-knitted bootees, a cardigan, and a hat with disproportionately large bobbles for added cuteness. Sometimes, when the going gets tough and the workmen are getting you down, the best you can do is make little doll-hat bobbles! 

I'm starting my phased return to work next Wednesday, so what will be on the workdesk after that is anyone's guess. So much harder to make time for making when you're busy earning a living!