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I just dug a bed to put my baby celeriac plants in. I have no idea what to do with celeriac when it's all grown up. Why am I growing it? I do not know, but it seemed like a good idea. I put some more peas in, because the slugs will not be allowed to win, damn them.

My tomatoes are ready to go in the grow bag, but my dill and corander seedlings have gone all leggy and wimpy after being left too long on the kitchen windowsill. Hmm. I'll just see what happens with them, but all my coriander growing has been doomed so far in my life. I also moved several square feet of golden rod to the back of the garden to free up room for the celeriac. I put it in the 'nature area', ie, the bit we let go rampant. Annoyingly, this area has beautiful soil - rich dark and crumbly. So I dug up a load of it and took it down to the celeriac. There are Jerusalem artichokes too, nd a horseradish. Some fucking mollusc or other ate all of my butternut squash plant!

Apart from digging, I have been going to the gym three times a week for the past two weeks, so my arms and legs were better able to cope with the digging and carrying, which was great. I actually am loving going to the gym because it seems to be giving me results. My clothes fit better and at least one spare tyre has gone already, and I feel more energetic and happy. I'm not bored yet, even though they play truly AWFUL music, ye gods.

Things still to do today:
Washing the dishes - they are looking at me right now. It's so beyond my turn it's not funny. Poor man.
Making bread - with the Mapledurham stoneground flour.
Going to tea.
Spending an hour talking to friend G about his novel.
Answer more comments.


Apr. 29th, 2008 01:51 pm
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How is it nearly May? How?

Life-speeding-by angst aside, my Sweet Charity story (one of them at least - I went with the Edwardian vampires) is done done done, waiting for a final skeg over by the beta and then it can be sent off.


I've put some slug traps out the last two nights and the slugs have been happily throwing themselves in. Also, snails. I've been going out every night and rounding them up. My karma feels very tainted right now.


Oct. 26th, 2005 04:22 pm
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Bird activity in the garden has reached a peak with the fruiting of the yew trees. A gang of starlings has moved in to the one nearest the house and is causing chaos, charging about like teenagers at a party and making their conversational clicking noises. There are at least four blackbirds - two pairs- a pair of songthrushes, which I'm very happy to see back in the garden, two pairs of greenfinches, assorted robins, great tits, wrens and blue tits. Lastly, a black and red greater spotted woodpecker has been coming to feed on the nut bag. It's lovely, really pretty with a vivid red backside and black and white striped lower wings. They're all stuffing their faces, fattening up for the winter.

There's also a pair of jays that live in the trees further down, but they're very shy. Last week M saw a red kite circling over the swimming baths. It's the first year we've seen them in town since they've been re-introduced to the nearby Chilterns, but as they're a scavenging bird (well, they'll eat anything of a manageable size- pigeon, small rabbit, pizza- alive or dead) it was only a matter of time before they moved into the outskirts. I've seen them as far up as Leamington Spa too, so it looks very much like they're breeding and spreading succesfully.

Apart from birds there's the intermittent wheeee - kaboom! of kids letting fireworks off in the back gardens - in day light. It could be worse, and has been. Last week someone was letting them off on the street outside our house-- right opposite the petrol station. Great.

[livejournal.com profile] tboy- I got your parcel! I could tell what it was just from the scent of vegemite that came wafting out when I opened it. Thank you! The manly card is wonderful. I stuck it to the fridge so I can admire their manly and heterosexual grappling with the *ahem* ball.


Mar. 21st, 2004 10:41 pm
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I was out in the garden today, getting it ready for the spring. I put glass in the greenhouse, sawed up a table to make potting shelves, and put all my various lilies in there for potting. My stargazer lilies are poking up out of the compost already. I planted and replanted valerian, chamomile, my two dahlias, both very dark red, mints of various sorts, oregano. Was very happy to notice that wallflowers have seeded themselves against the wall, most appropriately, and should be showing bright yellow and orange soon. I've no idea why my rosemary bushes are flowering, but it's something I've noticed happening across the country. Surely it must be to do with climate change. More evidence: the pink hollyhocks were flowering in December. That's just not normal.

The squirrels were out - one of them had an enormous chicken bone from god knows where. I found a dead thrush in the greenhouse - it must've flown into the glass and broken its neck. We kill more birds with windows every year than get caught by cats. They're very beautiful things, thrushes. Why couldn't it have been a pigeon instead? We have tens of them hanging around, cooing like fools. In the pond we found a tiny black leech! Apparently, and yuckily, they feed happily on snails. We also discovered some miniscule grey shrimps.

Also, I yoga'd and have done a lot more of the dreaded wanky formatting.

Part of a long meme, from [livejournal.com profile] randomblade. I really couldn't do it all, but in the spirit of procrastination before bedtime: meme )
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Score: To Do List 1, Louise 0.

I did send some emails, but not as many as I wanted. The weekend has been busy with the Sue Ryder Hospice sale on Saturday (treasure: '50's melamine, ties and cake tins), then a viewing of friends' new baby, Thomas Oscar, after Oscar Wilde. There's a large gate in Reading, on Chestnut Walk, which runs alongside the prison where he was incarcerated. It's been laser cut in strips into a sort of Oscar Wilde contour map and is based on the famous photograph of him where he's wearing that jaunty hat and scarf, but unfortunately, because it's just a silhouette, it looks more like Tom Baker as Doctor Who. There are also a row of red and gold ornate steel love seats which line the walk. As far as I can tell, no one ever sits on them. Probably because there's a fucking enormous prison right behind you. There's something very mournful about having a memorial to a man in a place where he was having the very worst time of his life.

I bought 'Whistle and I'll come to you' on DVD, which is Jonathan Miller's 1968 adaptation of the MR James story, 'Oh, Whistle, and I'll come to you, my lad', starring Michael Hordern as the professor. It's only 40 minutes long, but it's truly the spookiest thing I've ever watched, even more so than 'The Haunting of Hill House'. There's a dream sequence that's just viscerally frightening, and just through the use of sound and suggestion. In fact, sound is the most important element in ths short film -there's very little dialogue; instead there's the wind on the deserted beaches and the professor's half-heard self-involved mutterings. Oddly, it's also very funny. Michael Hordern's professor is a great comic creation.

After scary films there was gardening - the first decent gardening weekend this year. The planting was bothering me - it just wasn't quite right. So now I've got a yellow and purple/brown bed which should be interesting. A blue and pink bed which will be very tall (chard, delphinums and the 12 ft hollyhocks of DOOOM), and a white and red and pink bed of various things, including lupins (I love them) and lamb's ears. We even scooped out the weed and leaves from the pond, then spent a good long while chucking snails back into the water, which was fun for us but probably not the snails.

Fanfic: zilch, although I have thought about Aziraphale and Crowley an awful lot this weekend, if that counts, largely due to reading [livejournal.com profile] daegaer's marvellous commentaries of her stories. Which reminds me - I should be doing mine.


Jul. 21st, 2003 09:20 pm
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Work was..interesting. I have no idea yet what I'm meant to be doing, but my little team seem friendly enough and helpful. I spent the afternoon browsing rival websites, and chatting. It's a bit odd being a Team Leader, but with nothing to lead in yet. The journey is not too bad, but on the way home it's quite noisy so I might invest in some extra-strength ear-plugs. I got some more of my Snape/Lupin done though, and while I was scribbling away, some parent started reading OotP outloud to their kid! It would've been okay, but the bloke had a monotone voice.

Here are some pictures I took of my garden last weekend:


The page doesn't take too long to download.
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I burnt my fingers last night on a steel bowl that I put in the oven to warm up, and then foolishly forgot about. They're not badly burnt, but now my finger pads are all smooth and every time I touch something it feels strange, like everything's dusty.

More Lawnmower News
Because I know you're all agog. The lawnmower we were given belonged to a very old lady called Miss Dale, one if my friend's old gardening clients. She recently went into a home, after living alone all her life. I never met her, but I feel like I know her from all the stories my friend has recounted about Miss Dale over the years. Very well-spoken, she used to teach the classics at university, and even in her late 80's would trot down the path with tea and biscuits and do bit of weeding with him, in between discussions of art, philosphy and literature. She kindly offered to donate us her lawnmower, seeing as she won't need it anymore. Thinking about her breaks my heart a little bit. All I can say is thank you, Miss Dale, for giving us your beautifully maintained Qualcast Panther, electric model.


Apr. 24th, 2003 10:27 am
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This week my writing has gone terribly. Write a paragraph, cross it out, repeat all evening, then repeat all week. I just can't get into this story. Perhaps I'll leave it and try and do 500 words for Jae's secrets challenge, as a sort of sorbet to cleanse the fandom palate. Or whatever.

A long time ago I read a story that included the phrase 'Dumbledore's sweet ass', and for some reason this phrase is haunting me, because I can't work out if the author was serious or not, but the thing is, I think she was. Not that Dumbledore having a 'sweet ass' is necessarily a bad thing, but he would actually have an arse, and let's not say it's sweet. I feel I'm getting somewhat bogged down here. But while I'm reliving fanfic nightmares, I can't get those damned nipple rings out of my mind either, you know, the ones that belong to Jeremy Paxman. I haven't been able to watch 'Newsnight' since.

Other things
The garden is looking fabulous. M's mum bought us a car-full of plants on Saturday; an enormous artichoke, poppies, mulleins, chicory, loads of ox-eye daisies, fennels, tansy, lamb's ears, a rose, a clematis and a virginia creeper which I've planted under the pear tree. It'll grow up it, and then hang down in strands. There is also a purple thing, some clumps of yellow loosetrife, honesty, and forget-me-nots. I've planted yellow iris's next to the pond, as a landing staion for dragonflies and others.
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I have one of those tough little black hairs growing out of my chin-a beard hair, I'm sure. Surely I'm to young for a beard? I keep trying to pluck it out with my nails, but either my nails are too short or the hair is, and it just keeps slipping out of my grip.

The birds in my garden have taken to sitting in the shallow bit of the pond. Just sitting with their backsides under water, not doing the usual thrashing about. I can only think: maybe they've got piles?


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