Sunday, 31 May 2015

Sunday, 31st May 2015 - Benenden Church

No guests today meant I got to sleep as long as my mind and body needed. Lovely way to start a Sunday.

The rain prevented any garden ventures but we did find a break in the wet to walk to The Woodcock. The road up to the pub seemed a little steeper than before. There was lots of heavy breathing and not a lot of talking during this section. Tony and Wendy met us. I was wondering whether the cider/ beer negated the benefit of exercise. Tim thought not.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Saturday, 30th May 2015 - Avocet at Rye

We have had a lovely day.

Si came over for our bee lesson. I have come to a plateau in my learning. Good thing Tim has the brain of a professor. Our hive has had an extension, something to encourage more honey. We did see some bees hatching which was fascinating. My next quest is to find out what pollen they are collecting.

Tim made Jamie Oliver's tomato soup along with a very gorgeous crusty loaf. The sun was warm enough for us to enjoy this with Si in the garden.

This afternoon we surprised Brenda by turning up in our new car. She knew we were coming it was the car that surprised her by its newness. All is well at Wendletrap. Tim and I went for a breezy walk along Rye Harbour and took shelter in a Hide where we watched the birds pottering about. We met Mike, Pippa, Caroline, Pat (from the ban Men without Hens - I must confess I have not seen them perform to date) and Liza in the Rye Kino to watch Far FromThe Madding Crowd while taking a plastic glass of wine. I enjoyed it in my ignorance of the original production. Pippa was thoroughly disappointed. 

Friday, 29 May 2015

Friday, 29th May 2015 - Reidel

Tim needed to check on the postering for The Weald of Kent at The Globe and Rainbow. I took my first drive in the car and was a shaking nervous wreck by the time we got there. Tim is not a good passenger. Alan was there to tell us stories about his tits and bees. If you would like to know more it is best to hear it first hand. I drank wine from Austrian Reidel glasses - quite the thing apparently.

The potatoes Boulanger that concerned Tim as to be overcooked were perfect when we eventually got home. 

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Thursday, 28th May 2015 - An Angel and The Devil

I regretted my relaxed attitude to housework today. There were many tedious but vital jobs to be done before the arrival of guests. All done and dusted - very funny.

I had an attack on the sticky willy ( galium aparine to the horticultural amongst us) we have rampaging through the garden. Apparently, you can make an infusion with the weed which has similar properties to tea. I know which I would prefer to be drinking.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Wednesday, 27th May 2015 - Pasha

 I have had a lovely day followed by an entertaining evening.

We have had the dolls house, playdoh and puzzles out to play after a period of abstinence. 

Tonight Harriet and I drove to The Assembly Hall in Tunbridge Wells to watch Pasha dance. It was great fun and a bonus was Aljaz and Janette from Strictly were in the row behind us. Amazing dancing, cheesy production and lovely company made an excellent time was had. Thankyou Harriet for this find.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Tuesday, 26th May 2015 - Hatching Bee

Tim and I did our first unaccompanied bee hive check. I puffed the smoke while Tim dismantled the hive. We saw lots of bees and capped brood cells but neither of us had a clue as to what we were checking for, so I did a bit more smoking and we put it all back together again. A success I think.

Mum and Lindsey dropped by for a mug of tea in the sun. It has been a glorious day for weather. 

Our 'new to us' little red car has been washed and cleaned inside and out by Tim and Hetty. I look forward to taking it for a spin.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Monday, 25th May 2015 - Red Ruby

I could not do a room change over today as I have run out if ironed bedding. This is due to many social  events the past few days. So I have spent quite a large part of my day watching films in a steam infused haze.

Until this evening when another outing halted my progress. Oh and we did pop out this afternoon to decide whether we would like to get just one more car to add to our collection. We liked it very much and took delivery of a jolly red Peugeot.

We swapped bee suits at Si and Lesley's. We wandered over their fields to view bees, cows, sheep and pigs finishing up with pizza and wine. 

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Sunday, 24th May 2015 - Wavy Grass

We had a busy morning getting rooms ready for guests once the previous ones left in a leisurely manner.

Tony and Wendy took us on a rather charming walk to Sissinghurst. Before we left Wendy did some surprisingly vicious stamping on some snails. She is such a gentle soul normally. We strolled through some beautiful meadows and ending up at The Milkhouse. In January we decided to go out once a month for dinner trying out the local pubs. We have not managed to arrange one yet. We had pizza in the garden at the pub and decided this could be our first Dinner Club excursion. Tom was at The Three Chimneys so we dropped by there to say goodbye as he is leaving us again. Tony kindly went via the asparagus stall in Biddenden to get a couple of bunches of sprue. 

We think we may have found a new car.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Saturday, 23rd May 2015 - Two Hens Helpers And An Add-on

Tim and I dropped by The Three French Hens sale at Silcocks. They have had a very successful couple of days even without us purchasing anything.

We had a visit to The Bell and Jorrocks with Tom. Innis and family were just leaving but retraced their steps to joint us for one drink. Alan stayed with us for another two which made it far too late for cooking when we got home. A portion of chips, eggs and beans was just a perfect meal while watching a fine episode of Inspector George Gently. As we were heading off to bed Tom and Jimmy were going out. Oh to be young and energetic.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Friday, 22nd May 2015 - Snail Attack

I met with Sarah for coffee this morning. We exchanged stories over a cheese scone.

The Fiat had a rather lively temperature gauge. I ran our garage for advice who unsympathetically recommended I drove it into the Volvo and got a decent working car. Feeling guilty I am sure for this insult he gave me instructions on how to let out an air lock which could be a possible cause. After examination we diagnosed a lack of water in the radiator. All seems to be working perfectly now.

We have the delight of Tom this weekend. He arrived this evening and we celebrated with food, drink and a relaxed evening watching television. He seems charmingly well apart from a rather severe hair cut.

Even with slug/snail pellets the little devils still seem to creep onto my Salvia.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Thursday, 21st May 2015 - Who Is Training Who?

It was a rather grumpy start to the day after a late night. I do not function well on less than eight hours sleep.

We have an influx of crows in the garden. I am training a Jackdaw to take bread from the garden table in the morning....or is he training me?

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Wednesday, 20th May 2015 - Rose Tree

We decided that after 24 days of incubation our chicks were not going to hatch. Harriet carefully removed the hen from her nest. She seemed delighted to be relieved of her duty. The eggs sounded a little liquid on shaking. I heard them pop as Harriet disposed of them in the woods. Could have been nasty in many ways.

The bees are thriving. They seemed to have increased in activity and numbers today. Excellent ... I think.

This evening we took the MG on another trip out to The Green Cross for an evening of Morris dancing, music and song. 

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Tuesday, 19th May 2015 - Play not Duty

I am not sure why my homely duties have grown to such a magnitude today. Thank goodness Harriet took over baking a delicious lemon drizzle cake for my guests.

Some of you would of heard this through Harriet but for those of you who didn't it is an small event that amused me. Here we go. Bella was playing in the garden with a bowl of bubbly washing up. I showed her a similar photo in a frame of her mum doing the same thing at about the same age. Bella laid the photo down and tried to swipe across the glass as you would with a tablet to see more pictures. Then turned it over and asked where the off button was. Technology and her knowledge amused us.

The fine sunshine turned into an amazing hail storm. I love weather watching. No wonder I fall behind with my jobs.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Monday, 18th May 2015 - Simply Green

Due to the vast quantities of food I cooked yesterday I do not have to do much but warm up a plate in the microwave. This was very welcome following a taxing art class where backwards seem to be the way of my progress.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Sunday, 17th May 2015 - Bee Tutorial

Si came and gave us our first lesson on bee husbandry. Tim did a fine job of puffing calming smoke at them while I took a cautious look. There is some concern about the amount of bees but we probably lost half the brood in transit. They have eggs and grubs in plenty coming along nicely so in my experience I think the matter should resolve itself in a week or so.

June and Barry along with Lesley joined us for a rather carbohydrate enriched stodgy meal. Nobody was expecting to be fed so I did not feel too bad about the interesting food. At least they weren't going home hungry.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Saturday, 16th May 2015 - Pretty Culprit

My Fritillaria imperialis have survived an attack by squirrels, being neglected by me during the winter months and the endured the hardships of frost, wind and wet. I had wrongly blamed slugs and possibly snails for their holely demise. Amongst the shredded leaves today I found this little beauty has caused the irreparable damage.

While I did a spot more depotting and repotting Tim cleaned and polished the MG. A bit of cross threading on a spark plug did not seem to cause any motoring breakdowns on our way to meet Nick, Suzy and Alan at The Peacock.

Back home and we found a rather good series to watch called The Game. When it finished I turned to Tim to find out if his enjoyment had been as much as mine. His head had fallen to his chest and his eyes were shut. Good thing Tom Hughes had kept me company.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Friday, 15th May 2015 - Rhododendron Fragment

Well it seems much more than a week ago that Tim and I were motoring down through France in the MG. That old adage of time going quicker as you get older certainly applies here.

The rain has let up and I was able to get back to my task of repotting my pots. It is an interminable job as I cannot bare (is this the correct bare? Surely not 'bear' although we do need to watch out for them eating the honey from our hive) to bin the old tulips which was suggested to me by gardener Wendy. It is a many staged operation. Firstly, to find a patch of garden and inevitably it has grown weeds which need removing. Second, plant the old tulips and as I have a hole dug I may as well put I one of the 200 plus plants that are in the greenhouse (which are now in danger is becoming pot bound). Next I can heave my pot into my squeaky wheelbarrow (I like the rest of you to know I am working) and take it to
my potting bench for replanting. Finally, back up the garden with my pot full of rather insignificant looking plants. They looked so good in the greenhouse. And it all starts again.

I took a comfortable seat, a glass of cider and my camera for a bee watch. They had all gone to bed!!! 

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Thursday, 14th May 2015 - Wet Wet Wet

What a change in the weather. I am English and am allowed to mention such things.

We have been ensconced inside and even have the heating on. Not much action here today. Even the bees were inactive. A reassuring text from Si told us that this is quite normal. I hope the bees are not going to cause us too much cause for concern. Apparently we could have up to 40,000 bees in our one hive . That is a lot to worry about.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Wednesday, 13th May 2015 - Apis mellifera mellifera

The sun was out, the paddling pool filled with shriekingly cold water, naked children and runner beans planted made for a lovely day.

We kept an eye on the bees who seem to be behaving as they should. Coming and going.  Going and coming. Si said a good indication that they are settling in well is when you can see the pollen on the workers. I do. It have the eyesight or the braveness to get that close yet. 

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Tuesday, 12th May 2015 - New Residents

We now have a beehive and yes, bees. I need to read up on everything to do with bees. Unfortunately there is one less. Well it was on the kitchen floor when I trod on it so I am not really to blame.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Monday, 11th May 2015 - Flat Hands

We dropped in on Innis so she could sign some paperwork for Harriet. The girls got a lesson on how to feed a horse.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Thursday, 7th May 2015 - I Did I Hope You Did Too

The MG has lots of attention this week in preparation for our road trip. It has had its bottom waxed to prevent erosion. Along with four new tyres which will keep us from sliding around the road too much.

I went to vote this afternoon. It was busy. Yes, the polling station notice was balance on top of a litter bin....nice.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Wednesday, 6th May 2015 - Wind at The Holt

The wind caused an unfortunate incident. Our chicken house containing a broody hen fell over onto another hen pinning her down. She seems none the worse for wear but did lay an egg shortly after on the grass. We have lost two eggs which did contain chicks . Bit of an emotional time for Hetty. We are hoping the two remaining eggs will survive any further trauma.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Tuesday, 5th May 2015 - Ten out of Twelve

Sarah months ago arranged a bnb meeting at Hole Park. We all get free garden entry and tea and cake so it seemed an ideal opportunity to use our vouchers. Twelve of us turned up. That explains the shorted of guests when they are being watered down by so many.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Monday, 4th May 2015 - Wendy's Excess

It seemed a day of ever decreasing circles. So I had a sleep this afternoon and read my book for a while.

Tim took Steve, followed by Lizzie for a trip out in the MG . A visit to Tony and Wendy resulted in vegetable plant gifts. Thank you they are lovely.

I fed my guests. Then The Adams. It was a beautiful morning and we were able to sit outside with our breakfast. 

Mum had a washing machine malfunction and rang In an old persons panic. Tim and I took the MG for a trip to Winchelsea Beach. A replaced fuse and Mum was calm again with her washing whirling around her machine.

Harriet had a plan given to her by Michael as to how to check our broody hens eggs are progressing. She has eaten one. Harriet's device made from a wheetabix box and a torch was not terribly successful in determining the fertility of her remaining five. 

Tim and I enjoyed a glass of Cremont de Bourgogne while watching Congo. No brain cells were needed.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Sunday, 3rd May 2015 - Tulip Gift

Steve, Zoe and Lizzie came for lunch. The family from Little Holt joined us. Susan and Roger arrived in time for rhubarb crumble and Harriet's ice cream with us.

There has been a debate in our house. Does bottled beer taste better than tinned. To Harriet and I it was of monetary interest. Tim, Steve and Brett took a taste test. I did it by smell. The outcome was that they could not tell easily. Even better they thought the tinned was better. Interesting. That saves 50p a pint.

I had guest duties while Tim, Steve and Zoe went walking without me. I managed to catch up in time for a visit to The Bull.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Saturday, 2nd May 2015 - Cuckoo Flower

I managed to get some training tips for Harriet's running regime from my guest who coaches youngsters to run.

I caught some sun and went for a walk. There were some very springy Spring lambs that I tried to capture to paint but I couldn't so didn't. You have a charming flower instead.

We met with Alan at The Bell and Jorrocks for an early evening G&T. John, Innis and Alexander were there too. It would have been rude not to have a drink with them, just to catch up.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Friday, 1st May 2015 - Ribbons at Dawn

There was an amazing pink sky as we descended upon Goudhurst at dawn. The Weald of Kent sang, danced and played to celebrate the abundant fertility of our land. The Peacock supplied a wonderful breakfast at a rather unsavoury time of the morning. I returned to guests but caught up with them later following what I hear was a mighty fine day of dance on greens, at schools, a pub and a brewery. An interesting conversation ensued at my table in The Woolpack. It was a discussion of weight loss, weight gain, calorie counting, exercise and diet.....between Malcolm and Chris.  The last stop was back at The Peacock with a few songs.