Autumn seemed to come early this year – like, some time in mid-June! Since July we’ve only had the occasional day when it hasn’t rained, although it’s usually been fairly warm. (A couple of chilly nights, mind you.) I’m not sure if the scientists have got things right; it seems to be Global Wetting, not Global Warming here in Devon. Or is someone ‘Upstairs’ rehearsing for the next forty days and nights flood alert? (Does anyone know how many cubits are in an ark?)
Very annoyingly, many of my flowers all burst into glorious bloom a couple of days after the village show. I still won the best fuchsias, but I had a job finding good specimens to enter, now the flower pots are bursting with absolute beauties. And as for the hanging baskets… we have to fight our way past them as they have somewhat ‘bushed out’.
We are harvesting some of the veg we’ve grown and freezing it: carrots (odd shapes, but still tasty), beetroots (ditto the carrots), onions (eye-wateringly tasty). Apple crumble on the menu a couple of times each week, although these are windfalls - there are still quite a few to be picked.
We have a very old Devon variety in the orchard, which are sort-of star-shaped. These are almost ready to be picked and will go into the Kilner jars* to be brewed as fruit gin – along with the blackberries which are already abundant in the hedgerows. The damsons (also headed for the gin jars) are not quite ripe as I write this; another week to ten days though and they’ll be picked, pricked and put into the jars with the gin. Come Christmas the fruit gins will be bottled in the fancy empty bottles I keep especially for this purpose. Officially, they then sit and ‘mature’ for at least a year. (I did say ‘officially’.)
*A Kilner jar is a rubber-sealed, glass jar used for preserving (bottling) food. It was first produced in 1900 by John Kilner & Co., Yorkshire, England.
I am rather pleased with myself: I finally got fed up with the notices to upgrade to Windows 11. Remembering past incidents where upgrades have messed everything up, I checked with my graphics designer, Cathy, who I knew had already upgraded. She hadn’t experienced problems, apart from the time the thing took to upload… so I took the plunge and pressed the ‘Upgrade Now’ button.
Several hours later (I sat in the garden and read a very good book) it was somewhat of a relief to find all seemed fine with the new version. To be honest, I can’t really see what’s different! Some of the icons have slightly changed, and the pinned icons on my toolbar are now in a different order. (I do wish they’d let me put things in what order I want them,) So, so far, so good…
Unlike Twitter. I love Twitter. I hate ‘X’ as a name and as a media site. Bring back Larry the bluebird I say! Finding my way round Twitter now (sorry I will NOT call it ‘X’, the most I’ll run to is XTweet.) I used to have TweetDeck, which was wonderful as you could organise separate columns for things you used regularly (best friends’ tweets, for instance). Now you have to subscribe to use it.
Err… don’t think so! No way am I paying to keep ‘him’ rich. So it was back to the original layout, which being visually impaired is really difficult to figure out, so now instead of a neat panel of organised columns, I have a row of six bookmarks on my menu bar for six different Twitter pages. Best friends’ tweets, my tweets, followers, scheduled tweets, a particular # column… There must be – as in, there was – an easier way. Please, someone sensible buy Twitter and restore normality.
At home, I got stung the other night. Yes, night. I was asleep and was woken by a sharp pain in my arm. I thought I’d pinged a muscle or something. Rubbed it, turned over and promptly got stabbed again, along with an angry buzzing sound. Turned out to be a wasp. Good tip for stings – smother with honey. It works!
I make a note of these sort of incidents as they are useful for future scenes in books. Talking of which, episode 4
in the Jan Christopher cosy mystery series A Meadow Murder
is doing well. At least Jan, back in 1972, had a better summer than we’re having now.
I would very much appreciate some more reviews
though… The more reviews, the higher the Amazon ranking.
Until next time.
The last couple of months have been not far off a nightmare. Losing our beloved Saffie and then Franc was so hard, then Lexie our special, special horse became ill. With Rafael, her three-month-old colt foal, at foot - the prospect looked unbearable.
The problem: bacteria of some sort was attacking her jaw bone beneath her eye. Infection had set in resulting in a swelling the size of a small tennis ball. X-rays and scanners showed the damage. The bacteria was unidentifiable, the result - nothing the vets could do. Our only choice, use the strongest antibiotics possible, use Bute painkiller and make that final, heartbreaking decision.
Everything was organised, but Raf was so young still… The day before 'the end' came and Lexie looked better. The swelling had gone down a little. So we decided to quietly wait for a few days… which turned into a week, then another week. She was eating (soft mushy food) didn't look to be in any discomfort, so every day gained meant another day older for young Raf.
So here we are, a month later. Lexie is still on antibiotics, the vets still don't know exactly what this bacteria is - which means we don't know if it has cleared up, will clear up or will not come back again. All we can do now is finish this round of antibiotics, hope for the latter and take each day as it comes…