Jan's View

By HarlingDarling

Green gym, and painting

A lot of green gym as it was a crisp but nice day to be outdoors. We didn't go for a walk today, but got stuck in to the many autumn jobs in this far too big really garden. Anyhow, we like having the space and the distance to neighbours so we have it to do!

I pulled up a lot of dead things, cut back a bunch more, and raked up a great deal of leafage from the big birch tree. I leave it all on the lawn as the nourishment is good for the grass and the tree takes it back as well. But it is pointless to "feed" the path, plus it makes a slippery mess in time. A satisfying job that wore me out to the point of needing some scrambled eggs to keep me going! Keith remarked that it can be hard to get back out if you come in and sit down, I disagreed - and then struggled to get out there!

Once back in the green gym I turned my attention tot he paining around the verandah. The red wood walls were very patchy, missed bits and white splashed paint, we have never bothered to do anything with it since the whole area was a mess. So now it is properly integrated and painted to match the rest. We raised the level of the new roof, so there was a foot of wall that had not interacted with a paint brush in decades.... And where the old supports were, there were areas of white mess as well as naked bits of wall. It was deeply satisfying to coordinate everything, and it looks so tidy. I took a photo but it was super grainy as the light was going... I ended up with a huge spotlight so I could "just do the last bit", which I didn't in the end manage. I will be out there another day.

I prepared 6 paper rolls, using newspaper with an outer layer of soft white fluffy stuff, here it's called window-wadding. It looks like snow and its job is to absorb any moisture that gathers between the outer and inner windows in the double glazing system. I generally decorate the surface with dried flowers etc, as it looks cheerful - especially when the snow is covering every living thing outdoors. The first major snow fall of the season has been reported, but quite a long way north of here. We have had frost three or four nights now - the nasturtiums bit the dust at the first sniff of frost of course.

Pasta and a vegetable sauce with some prawns and parmesan made a rapid dinner, washed down with a beer and a glass or three of fizzy water. We are watching the TV series called "Salisbury" and will see the last half this evening. Coincidentally, I read in the paper that the police officer who was contaminated and in recovery for nearly a year has just decided to leave the force. The implication was that he wasn't able (despite trying hard) to manage the mental strain of being an officer after the trauma of almost dying whilst doing his duty. Such an incredibly wicked thing to do, letting such a dangerous chemical loose like that. Apparently the Russians have learnt lessons from that blunder as it reflected very badly on them/made their spies look like idiots. However, they are still killing people with nerve agents, so not all that sorry really.

We have caught a few mice in our trap under the sink, one last night as I was blipping, and another a few moments ago. I don't like killing them, in particular not hearing the trap go of... but they get everywhere in the drawers and they are incontinent - so a big nasty mess is the result. It isn't possible to mouse-proof a house like this 99 years old and so full of well established mouse trails. We hear them scrabbling in the walls all the time in the autumn, but that doesn't bother me as long as they aren't in the cupboards or - even worse - roaming the house. That has happened a couple of times and it wasn't funny at all. I actually screamed, like a cartoon woman climbing onto a chair. (I didn't do that last bit.) I visited a modern house a few days back, and I thought about the advantages!!

I don't think we have ever been as well prepared for the winter as we are getting to be this year. Having covid restrictions on our movements has given us so much time at home, I washed some more of the exterior wall of the yellow house today, and another window was hosed down - and I did the red car as well whilst I was already drenched. You can connect the long handled brush to a hose pipe, but the connection didn't match our hosepipes. Silver tape helped (like it so often does) but it still sprayed a fine mist of icy water up my arm and down the front of my trousers. I persevered. It's only water, and I have dry clothes indoors I thought. I felt like an intrepid hero! (such a good imagination!) 

Oh! And now another rodent life is no more. Two in one blip.

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