A long time coming

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In several ways this post has been a long time coming, and the longer I’ve left it the harder it’s been to start.  I’ve been quiet for 2 reasons that are interlinked, but life is settling down now and it’s time to start writing again.

The main thing, after many years of looking forward to it, is that we have moved home! We are now in a lovely house with a decent sized garden, and a 10 minutes walk from the beach.  It’s perfect.

So a whistle stop catch-up of the last couple of months:

  • I’ve spent very little time at the wood, however the “crops” have absolutely shot up!  The brambles haven’t come back, but instead there are thistles, which I really need to look at pulling out.

It did look like this:

now looks like this:

  • The mallards sadly didn’t nest, but they should next year….
  • I now have a garden!!
  • I’ve learned how to use a hedge cutter, and how much I hate leylandii
  • I’ve learned how to use a pressure washer, and how to re-sand a block paved driveway.
  • I have done a ridiculous amount of painting (but have more to do…)
  • I’m going through a steep learning curve in relation to garden plants.
  • Our cat is both great, and a right pain, in learning her new boundarys having been a predominantly indoor cat.


  • Cleaning out gutters smells realllllly bad
  • Water butts are both easy, and really hard to fit!
  • And over the last couple of weeks I’ve been getting back into clay shooting.

The garden is a complete dream. 

There is a ridiculous amount of work needed – one of the decks hasn’t had any love in many a year, and while J has managed to do one coat on it (after many, many cleanings), we haven’t got round to doing the second.  Part of the delay here was dealing with next door’s leylandii hedge.  While cutting back our side of it, there was a general discussion of the species, and that this particular one needed about 3′ taken off the top. 2 days later, J got home from work planning on painting that side of the deck to find leylandii everywhere!  While that delayed the first coat, it’s been wonderful to have more light in the garden.

One of the things I wanted in the garden was a water butt.  Due to mis-sending of it and following trips to the garden centre we ended up with 2, with slightly different fittings. I fitted the first one (again, first time dealing with downpipes, and having fun with blunt-ish hacksaws), and the next night it was completely full!

So with my confidence at high point, I did exactly the same with the other (no fitting instructions, but a different style of diverter…) and it just hasn’t wanted to fill.  The triggered the cleaning of the gutters, and the natural flow of water will fill the other one first, but next step is to dig out under the water butt and see whether that’s the issue…

Both my and J’s parents have kindly given us tomato plants, so I’ve been learning how to look after them, but my favourites are the strawberries.  I have a lovely terracotta strawberry planter that was my grandmothers, and it is doing so well! I now have lots of mini-strawberries that should ripen in the next couple of weeks. 

A week ago I went clay shooting for the first time in a few months.  It wasn’t good.  It appears in my time off I’ve forgotten everything I’d learned. So Saturday J and I headed to Fennes with some friends.  I had a really great time.  I was reminded of a few bits, and got some confidence back.  We have a 100 bird day at our local club in a couple of weeks and the wildfowler’s joint clay shoot in a month, and I really want to do well!

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