Summer Trials


I have been caught out again. We were halfway through making courgette gratin when we came across this word. ‘Meanwhile make the sauce’. How mean was that?  Mr T had been cutting tomatoes, courgettes and onions from our garden, cooking them and layering them and now we are at a full stop whilst the sauce is made. I could have been getting on with that if I had known. I have underlined the ‘meanwhile’ in red now so that it will not happen again.

But what is happening again is that the woodpecker is pecking into our home-made clothes prop. I think it is made from a hazel with the branch forking at the end. Holes have started to appear, drill- like holes, into what can clearly seen as burrows from little tunnelling creatures. None of this really matters and it is good that the woodpecker is finding food but soon the prop will collapse and we will need another branch.

The woodpecker pecked our old bathroom window frame and now we have had to have a new one to go with the new bathroom. And one final touch is that the curtain has finally arrived. I could have made it myself, it would have been quicker and simpler, but it was a bit of luxury to have it made. It took ten weeks to complete (with a lot of begging phone calls) but now it is up at last and our journey with the bathroom, which began many months ago, is finally finished.

The village show at the weekend took our minds off day-to-day matters. I had a stall to sell the books I have written and it was good to meet so many people.

“I always read your column,” said one kind person and she came back later to tell of her wins in the flower table. There were horse shows and a dog show with spectators sitting on bales of straw. One woman bringing her dog had got lost in the hills and her Satnav had been taking her round in circles. There is not much of a connection in the hills and there seemed no solution as time went on and she must not miss the entry time.

“In the end I stopped and asked someone,” she said, “it was much easier and he just told me to drive to the big oak tree and turn left to the farm gate then right and straight on.”

Our flowers would not win prizes, but the sunflowers are out and beaming all over the garden and as the seeds form nothing could be better for the blue tits who are feeding there already.

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)


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