chilly start

Out in the garden at 7 ish in dressing gown and boots. Ice crystals on every bud and branch. It looked stunning, but the birds had no water and some frost covers had blown off in the hailstorms yesterday. I know you shouldn’t plant tender plants where they are vulnerable, but the camellia given to us in memory of EGs dad is covered in fat buds.

We’ve had plenty of sun today plus some flakes of snow. The buds and leaves on the blue clematis on the fence are blackened and limp, but the one on the house as survived.

Goldfinches visiting and below that the newcomer – a siskin.

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We now have another estimate for the drive, not as expensive but lower spec than the first and either way to do the whole job will cost more than we are willing to pay. A compromise on doing half the drive (where the old lifting concrete slabs lie) looks like being the answer. We are lucky to be able to do it at all.

steep learning curve

Much achieved today. Thanks to EG and friends Alan and Mike, I finally sorted a name for this blog. Thanks to help from specialist Chris a few days ago, I can more or less find my way around it. Still SO much to learn!

Yesterday had a one-to-one lesson from Apple and managed to retain enough to sort out my emails and add a web address that I have only been able to access through the web until now.

Alternating hailstorms with mass attacks on the bird feeders by great variety of birds. All the usual for us – sparrows, chaffinches, robins, dunnocks, pigeons, goldfinches blue-tits, coal-tits and great-tits – our new comer is a bright yellow siskin feeding on the Nyger seeds.

The first estimate for repaving the drive now in. This is the Rolls-Royce version for removing enormous ancient concrete slabs and more recent buckled block paving, adding new drainage channels and giving many layers of membrane and double underlays etc. It all come to a whopping £8,300 when you add in the VAT though we could have half of it done  for around £5000. This firm would do a brilliant job, but the cost is gulp-making and we are very much hoping that the more local man will come in with a more reachable sum. I am tempted to plan some DIY options, though I could no longer lift the old slabs myself.

Bought a replacement copy of White Teeth the other day, hoping to learn a little from the language. In my draft novel I have a Londoner and I am struggling to get his speech out of the middle-class white idiom without heavy stereotyped overtones.

As I feared this blog has a sort of delta style flow. I hope the categories would help me streamline but not so far. No doubt I will learn