I cannot believe how quickly this year is speeding by! I always think at the beginning of spring that this year I will definitely make a better job of the gardening and I will have the time to do all the things I need to do around the house. I always forget that as spring flows into summer the amount of jobs that need doing multiply and multiply and here I am left far behind yet again. I forget how much time I have to spend away from the house driving about the countryside and this year I have had extra places to go. Mum now has monthly check-ups at the hospital in Norwich to make sure her eyes are still free of macular degeneration. My younger daughter E is hoping to go to City College Norwich in the autumn so we have had a number of visits there over the past few weeks, getting to know the place and some of the people there.
We have had a visit from the electrician who has done some work for us. We had spoken to him a few weeks ago asking him to replace our kitchen under-cupboard lights which were very old and becoming faulty. We also needed a new box cover for the electrics for our Klargester septic tank. The old box cover had rusted away some years ago and we have had an upside-down plastic bin over the top since then! We also need a lot of re-wiring done and some outside lights replacing. The weekend before last R and I were woken in the middle of the night by a roaring noise in the house. For some time we couldn’t think what it was and where the noise was coming from but eventually I realised it was something to do with the electric immersion heater which I switched off immediately. (We use our immersion heater during the summer to heat our water; during the winter we use a gas boiler for water and central heating and this is fuelled by propane gas which is enormously expensive. We are not on mains gas and as we often have power cuts it is better not to have everything powered by electricity. We switch the immersion heater on over-night as electricity is cheaper then.) The thermostat had gone faulty and the water was boiling. The hot tank was emptying and the cold water tank and expansion tank were full of hot water – the house was turning into a kettle. I wonder if steam was rising out of the roof? If it had been left on much longer the tank would have exploded. I phoned the electrician and asked him to add a new thermostat to his list of jobs to do. When he visited last week he put in new kitchen lights for us….
A thin strip of LED lights only a centimetre wide – such bright lights!
he replaced the septic tank electric box cover…..
The septic tank with the electric box wearing its attractive new cover.
and fitted a new thermostat to our immersion heater. He will be coming again soon to do the rewiring and fitting new outside lights.
The landscaper who had worked on our big pond in February also visited our house on the same day as the electrician and filled in all the ruts the JCB had made in the lawn with top-soil. R is very pleased that this has been done at last. He has seeded it all and we are now waiting for the grass to regrow.
The ruts nicely filled-in at last.
While he was at our house we asked the landscaper to look at our small pond and let us know how it can be improved. We don’t want the pond quite so close to the hedge, the liner needs replacing and I would like a boggy area at the side of the pond where I can plant iris, lobelia and other marsh plants.
The small pond in desperate need of improvement
The last couple of weeks I haven’t had to take Mum to church. She has been taken by a young man from her church who lives in Harleston. He works abroad, especially in Asia and the far East, for much of the year as a film director. When he returns home from his high-powered meetings and filming in India and China he resumes his more important job of taking old ladies to church and being bossed about by them. Well, what else has he to do except a bit of script writing! I am really very grateful to him. He stays in this country until September and that is probably when I’ll have to resume my duties again.
Meanwhile, I have enjoyed two weeks of going to church with my husband. It is our month for cleaning Rumburgh church and when we went in last week we were amazed at how dirty it was. The church had had a few visitors who had left some rubbish about and there was dirt which had been trodden in on shoes. The main mess had been caused by our resident bats. It took us about two-and-a -half hours to clean up the worst of the mess. I think that during the summer when we have more visitors and when the bats are active the church should be cleaned more than once a month but some of the people on our rota will only come in once a month or only if we have a service in the church and of course we don’t have services every week in our church. I also find that some of our cleaners will concentrate on the entrance to the church and will often ignore the Sanctuary at the East end of the church where the altar is.
Wild flowers in Rumburgh churchyard
Ox-eye daisies in Rumburgh churchyard
A beautiful flower arrangement on the altar
The old coffin bier in the church
Memorial stone in the aisle
R and I went for another of our walks across the fields a week or so ago. We didn’t intend to go far as we were both tired.
A view across the fields
The path at the edge of the field
Hedge Woundwort is in flower everywhere we look at the moment. This plant has been used since the times of the ancient Greeks to stem bleeding and treat wounds. Poultices, ointments and infusions were made with the leaves and the flowers made into conserves. It has been proved that the volatile oil contained in this plant does have antiseptic qualities.
An, as yet, unidentified micro moth
St Peter’s church
Water tower at St Michaels
Most of the water in East Anglia comes from springs and artesian wells and is very ‘hard’ water. We all suffer from lime-scale in our homes and all those who can afford one get a water-softener. I love the taste of our water and when and if we get a water-softener I would have to have a tap for un-softened water.
A Lesser Tortoiseshell butterfly
We saw this butterfly sunning itself on the path.
We also saw the crops ripening…..
We saw other grasses too
And a beautiful Guelder Rose.
I think I would love to have one of these in my garden!
The walk took longer than we thought it would because there was a path diversion which we took but after struggling through nettles and thistles and head-high grasses we had to turn back as the path hadn’t been cleared.
R has spent all this past week away, firstly in Gloucestershire and then he travelled to Lancashire for a couple of days. He returned home on Friday having called in on his mother and spent the night with his brother in Manchester. E and I had spent the day without electricity as there was a planned power cut to enable the electricity company to do repairs. It is difficult to find things to do these days which doesn’t involve the use of electricity. We managed however, and it is a good opportunity to have silence in the house with no humming fridges and freezers, no radios and TVs. The only worry I had during the six-and-a-half hours was whether the food was still alright in the fridge and freezers. It was a very warm day! As it turned out, all was well.