Archive for February, 2013

Clean bill of health

February 28, 2013 2 comments
Commemorative champagne bottle designed by Clive

Commemorative champagne bottle (against backdrop of celestial phenomena)

We delivered a sample of Galileo’s faeces to the vet today.

After the necessary 20 minutes wait, the vet himself came out to the car and announced he hadn’t found even a trace of coccidia.

Hooray! We did it! Galileo is out of his impasse and can move on with his life!

He was able to have his first innoculations – second batch due in a month.

I’ve been walking on air ever since!

Close up

February 27, 2013 1 comment
Plum tree buds just opening

Plum tree buds just opening

This is a cluster of tiny little buds on the Dragon’s Blood plum tree.

They look like hungry mouths, or toffee apples with a bite out of them.

It goes to show I haven’t got much time left for pruning.

I took the photo using one of 4 diopter lenses Clive bought me for a surprise present, which arrived by courier yesterday.

This lens has the strongest magnification, a factor of 10, and it’s brilliant.

The focussing is so precise that I’m going to need that tripod.

It wasn’t worth it this evening as dusk fell in the cold orchard.

Fitting in

February 26, 2013 Leave a comment
The shed in its setting

The shed in its setting

The new shed blends in better than I expected.

The grey and dull brown of the pvc are somehow in harmony with the winter landscape.

I had a rough time of it yesterday: 4 and a half hours of standing in the freezing cold with my cough (I ended up losing my voice), trying to curb excesses of enthusiasm on the part of the blokes who gaily distributed and scattered packets of small pieces as soon as they’d despatched me to the house to fetch something.

One of them, not my usual mate, is apparently an engineer and he in particular was remarkably intuitive about the whole thing. But they did have to keep rushing ahead! It was a case of more haste less speed when we had to re-do things.

A female phlange on a door insert arrived broken, so Clive phoned this morning and asked for a replacement piece, but otherwise everything seems to have got here intact.

Shed pieces

Pieces left over

These 2 pieces were left over at the end last night as it was getting dark. Clive worked out what they were – stops for the door! I fitted them this afternoon.

Putting up the shed

February 25, 2013 Leave a comment

This is what it was like this morning.

Morning snow

Morning snow








But having cancelled putting up the shed due to rain on Saturday, the men – 2 Albanians – decided to go for it today.

This is them taking the first few steps.

The first steps

The first steps


And this is it nearly finished – just a few problems to iron out.

Finishing touches

Getting towards the end


February 24, 2013 2 comments
Pruning equipment (the alcohol is for cleaning it)

Pruning equipment (the alcohol is for cleaning it)

The weather couldn’t decide what to do today.

It rained, drizzled, hailed, thundered and blew a gale all in the space of a couple of hours, as well as the sun shining brightly for a few minutes.

This afternoon, snow fell in huge flakes and I thought we were about to be blanketed in it for sure and unable to go and pay the electricity bill, when it just stopped.

In the brief interlude of sunshine, I rushed outside and managed to prune one tree, a rather unproductive greengage.

One tree out of the 43 in the orchard is hardly zipping along, but I like to weigh up carefully which branch or twig I lop off.

Clive frequently tells me I’ve developed indecision to a fine art.


February 23, 2013 Leave a comment

On Monday I had a fever and a cough.

The cough got more and more racking and frequent and I thought nothing could be worse.

Then I started a cold and I knew I’d been wrong.

I can hardly breathe.

I feel like the man in the Italian advert for nasal spray, disappearing in a snowdrift of crumpled tissues.



These 3 packs are of ‘fazzoletti’, the absolutely standard Italian nosewipe.

Even the sort of man who ought to make a manly blow into a huge white pocket handkerchief will instead produce one of these packets and delicately unfold a tiny tissue.


February 22, 2013 Leave a comment
Common Field-Speedwell

Common Field-Speedwell

I took this photo of speedwell a day or two ago.

Just as well since the flowers are all shut today because of the rain.

Speedwell blooms all year so it’s hardly a sign of spring, but it’s very welcome all the same.