Two new followers! Most welcome on a grey morning!
Here we are. I can’t show you much of the dining room, because I daren’t advance into the room, still thick with plaster underfoot. But all went well. The rest of the house is no dustier than usual. The cornice is OK, and the walls won’t need to be redecorated after all. And ChemDry came yesterday afternoon and said that everything is dry so we can go ahead with a new ceiling. That pipe across the battens once supplied gas to the gas lighting, they told us.
It turns out there isn’t much of a deafening layer. ChemDry could reach up through those battens and touch the floorboards above.
Alexander did a sterling job. It was good to see him, however briefly. He is now back with his family, only slightly delayed by a motorcycle accident between Tarbert and Arrochar – that’s the road to Rest and Be Thankful, his lifeline to the outer world. Forewarned, he went over the hill on an unmarked road past an unnamed, closely guarded Facility where we suspect n*clear w*apons are stored for the nearby nuclear submarines on the Holy Loch. Who knows? That took him directly to Arrochar, bypassing the accident.
He said the road was only closed for three or four hours, and that means the motorcyclist survived. A fatality closes it for eight hours, at least.
We worked hard and got a lot done. This is the moment in the year when the cuckoo falls silent and Nature, smiling, turns over her cards. Slugs! Rabbits! Deer! Caterpillars! Pigeons! American Gooseberry Mould! Creeping buttercup! Encroaching grass! Weather!
It’s War, in other words, and I’ve already lost.
But I did get the Summer Pudding Bush securely netted, I hope. Last year I just tossed some netting over it and the pigeons stripped it anyway. This year I pegged the netting down all around. We shall see. There’s a good crop, as usual – that bush positively thrives on neglect. The berries have not yet begun to turn pink, so the netting is a bit premature, but we thought we saw some pigeons sizing things up.
The main thing was how cold it was. You can’t expect vegetables to make much progress when they’re cold. The little courgettes I grew on the windowsill are gone, and the seeds I planted directly haven’t come up. So, no courgettes this year. We won’t much miss eating them, but growing them is a lot of fun. The potato haulm doesn’t appear frosted. In fact, the potatoes are fine.
Here is my vegetable cage, planted with the plug plants which came by post and remained there for eight or nine days – some broccoli and some lettuce, the latter protected as you see with unorganic slug pellets. Slugs especially love lettuce.
And here is a general view. The Summer Pudding Bush is in the upper right-hand corner of the cultivated bit, behind the vegetable cage.
Little to report here. I knit a couple of rows of the ever-patient Japanese shirt while we were away. I did a second Turkish cast-on for Alexander’s second sock last night, without a video or a book and despite weariness. It went fine. So that’s that skill temporarily mastered.