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Something sprung!

April 12, 2016

As expected the Easter weekend was pretty much of a washout and we could not work outside – the weeds are loving it! However, it didn’t last too long and with the arrival of the new plants we got stuck in. The new plants were even better than expected, very high quality strong & healthy and quite a bit larger than anticipated. The climbers were almost 3 feet tall and we got a bonus of an extra one due to a mistake at the nursery but they let us keep it. The trees are also nice & tall, over 4 feet and they look strong. We are pleased with the colour selections, never easy buying on-line but these are just fine for the intended area along the back wall. Having got all those planted we set about getting the far edge of the lawn straight and level – a few bags of topsoil and compost and the grass seed went down yesterday. Today we have soft gentle rain which will suit it all just fine especially as I have also fertilized the rest of the lawn with a fertilizer and weed killer combined.

Last year, as soon as all the construction on the garden was done I planted about six climbers in various strategic locations. The two jasmines were saved from the original garden and were doing OK but look as if the frost might have got to part of them this spring. The other four did nothing all year, no signs of growth and I was about to give up on them. Then suddenly about three weeks ago, two of them started shooting up at an amazing rate and look as if they were also a very good choice for the location. The remaining two along the wooden fence are still pretty dormant with just a faint sign of some new growth. We shall see in due course.

Feeding the garden birds is not as simple as you might think. Starlings will eat anything and are amazing acrobatic. I was surprised to see them hanging onto a seed feeder and removing vast quantities of food. They even managed to eat some; the rest ended up on the ground much to the delight of the pigeons & doves. So, a couple of guard cages were acquired and these do seem to be effective as the smaller birds can get through. Thinking that was sorted imagine my surprise to find a starling squeezing through the mesh on the bird table. It appeared to very young and was the only one so presumably the mesh is good enough deterrent for adults. The problem is that starlings are red listed so most of the commercially available deterrents are designed to keep squirrels out but let starlings in. Anyway, they can get to the coconut so there’s enough food for them. I have my fingers crossed as this morning I saw a bluetit investigating one of the nesting boxes; I suspect these went unused last year as there is no vegetation cover close enough but if the climbers get going that’ll solve that problem.

The car saga continues; I took it back to the dealer in Norwich and they went through another diagnostic check after we eliminated the last set of causes (plugs and surge tank gasket). This time they found a faulty reading from a purge valve, the valve itself seems OK but the pipes leading to it could be blocked and/or there could be a wiring fault. In addition they recommended replacing a charcoal filter in the fuel return line. So back to the local guys to get this all sorted, they cleaned all the pipes and checked the wiring which all passed muster. However they could not replace the charcoal filter as no-one has one in stock, back-ordered from the manufacturer so we now wait another couple of weeks for that to show up. We are now determined to get to the bottom of this almost as an intellectual challenge rather than getting the car fixed!

Garmin finally stopped arguing about the fault on my sat nav and agreed to take it in and repair or replace it. As of today it hasn’t returned so we wait. I expect when it is returned I’ll have to reload all my maps again.

The weight loss challenge continues – despite having cut my calorie intake by about 30% no tangible results have been seen. A visit to the Nurse Practitioner ended up with a referral discount to the local community gym, something I have studiously avoided since my school days. Anyway I went along, met the professional trainer and he got me set up with a trial membership and some advice on gym clothes (what did I know?). I now own a track suit and a pair of trainers and suitably attired went along for the first session. This was mainly exploratory to find out just how much movement I have (or don’t) via a series of simple exercises. After an hour of this I discovered just how out of condition I am and how much mobility I have lost. So now he has designed a program for me and I’ll be going twice a week for the initial month. I must admit that my apprehensions about gyms were unfounded; instead of a bunch of buff sweating 30-somethings pounding away on various lethal-looking pieces of equipment, I found myself in the company of a number of like-minded geriatrics all trying to prolong their active life! I can cope with this.

The bad news is that my hernia has returned and after a visit to the specialist I am now on the waiting list for another repair operation. However, the waiting list is an astronomic 11 months from the date of the GP referral so I just might get it done this year. It is uncomfortable and I need to be careful lifting heavy stuff but it wasn’t a problem in the gym or most of the time just doing the regular household stuff.

Other than that, we await the arrival of some warmer weather so we can get the BBQ and the garden furniture out. I miss cooking outside, it’s simpler and I can do it and remain sociable at the same time.



David & June


One Comment leave one →
  1. April 13, 2016 07:37

    Glad to hear you are really settling in and you garden is growing well. Keep up the gym visits – you will be amazed at the results. Happy spring and bird watching !!

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