Monday, March 18, 2019

Stormy Weather

My goodness we've had some very changeable weather the last couple of weeks. The winds have been so very strong and as one storm moves away another has followed swiftly. With 80+mph one day last week our windmill decided enough was enough and lay down in the grass where we've left it as the strong winds still keep coming apace!

We watched as the fence by the yard moved ever lower and it's now settled at a jaunty angle but it's too windy to go and sort it out at the moment. Fingers crossed it doesn't go right over!

We watched the birds trying to fly in one direction and then get blown a different way. I saw a Wood Pigeon fly out of the oak tree only to be blown straight back into it. The sensible birds, like this female pheasant,  rode out the storm in the safety of the hedges.

The adverse weather has meant that the 101 jobs I need to do in the garden haven't been finished and the new growth of the herbaceous perennials is showing through. I did manage to start digging out the herb garden, as it need replanting, but that's still not finished. I'm hoping that the weather improves soon so I can get on with things.

I'm in the last 4 weeks of the Six Pack Revolution and I realise now that I couldn't have done all my planned running events alongside the regime anyway. Doing all the exercises in the plan has taken my mind off not being able to run so a lot of good has come out of being injured. Sometimes things happen for a reason don't they.

I've also noticed some changes in my body shape and my clothes feel more comfortable plus I've got muscles in places I didn't have them before! We have to send in a photo of ourselves each week and I can see a huge difference from week 1 to now. I won't share them yet but I will show you my comedy belly button which has gone from this shape ( to the shape of the Mercedes logo:

Go Team Mercedes!

I started running short distances again a few weeks ago and today I did a hilly 10 miler and whilst I can feel the pain in my foot slightly it has improved dramatically from when it started back in December. Now it's a fine balance of getting myself to the start line in the Brighton marathon in 4 weeks without too much pain and then London 2 weeks later. I should add that I really, really, wanted to do the Sevenoaks 30 today with all my chums but Mary Massage Lady forbade it - being sensible is jolly hard!

In other news our darling Tilly cat has had a major operation to remove what the vet thinks is a malignant lump in her intestines. The vet said she wouldn't normally operate on a cat her age (she's only 12) but because she's a feisty little lady she decided to go ahead. We're waiting for the test results but I suspect the prognosis isn't good for her. Poor little darling. 

She refused to go in her usual basket when we arrived home and so I remembered the Hello Kitty one that Mike chose for her (which she refused to use much to his dismay!) and thought that might be worth a try:

She's been with us 5 very short years and I'm praying that she can stay with us a while longer as she deserves to have a long and happy life as the first 7 years before she chose us were horrible for her. Please send her all your positve thoughts and prayers as I think she might need them. 

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Peeping Out

I haven't felt like blogging at all, sorry.

The Podiatrist turned out to be unreliable, didn't reply to email/phone calls from the hospital/Drs Surgery or me and didn't update Mary Massage Lady with anything. He never even sent me the stretches he promised, nor did he telephone Mary as promised. 4 weeks after my appointment he phoned up to see if I wanted another consultation; erm, no thanks - I was polite but firm!

Interestingly, the things Mary has done coupled with the stretches she gave me together with icing have made a huge difference. A couple of weeks ago she told me to try a short run which I did but it didn't end well (big tears I'm afraid).  I iced and stretched and tried again a few days later and managed 3k which made me ecstatic and more importantly gave me hope that things were progressing in the right direction.

I've found these ice blocks from our cool bag invaluable

Tilly isn't quite sure about it though!

Since then I've done 3 x 10ks (that's 6.1 miles each) on consecutive days, a 5 mile walk up to Great Dixter and back (photos to follow) and as of 1st March I have been completing 5k on the treadmill each day with a view to starting running along the lanes tomorrow. After each session I've iced and stretched my foot and I've been wearing my compression support and a gel heel insert in all my shoes.

Feeling emboldened, whilst trying not to push too hard too soon, I finally shared details of my fund-raising challenge and I'm not too far off my target now thank goodness. I also emailed lots of people in our village asking them to give me a smile and a wave if they see me out running, which most people do anyway, as I suspect I'll need all the help I can get and they have all been fantastic over the years.

It's amazing how quickly you can lose your stamina though so I'm hoping that all the stuff I've been doing in my 90 day challenge will stand me in good stead - we've just passed the halfway point and it's amazing how quickly the time seems to have gone.

That's enough of that anyway so time for some photos starting with this fabulous fungus. You know you've trained your husband well when he comes back from a walk around the land clutching a stick and excitedly showing me the beautiful fungus he'd spotted!

The stick had some beautiful lichen and moss on it too

Isn't it gorgeous! It's Tremella mesenterica aka Yellow Brain or Witches' Butter.

We placed it carefully where he'd found it so it could set spores there for next year.

Walking in the Sunshine

Emboldened by my improvement we decided to take a walk up to Great Dixter as they had an open weekend and it's a nice 5.3 mile round trip. The weather was perfect with warm sun and no wind.

Awwwh, one my neighbours first lambs of the season

These crocuses were planted in the grass verges by the village bus stop when we were doing the Village in Bloom a few years ago. The mess of soil you can see behind has been left by contractors who've ripped up our lovely verges when laying new cables so most of the wildflowers we had established so well have been trashed. Some will make a comeback, but sadly some won't.

There weren't many people about when we arrived so we had a very pleasant wander although by the time were were leaving there were lots of people queueing to go in so we got our timing just right. I do love seeing a garden laid bare as you can appreciate the structure of it and you get to see some amazing shapes.

The mass of crocuses in the grass reminded me of when we first moved here and I planted hundreds of purple crocus in the orchard, all of which were dug up by the squirrels, little blighters. I think I might try again though as they did look beautiful.

I love the structural impact of the stems growing against a barn in the sunken garden

Mike took a break whilst I snapped away

This reminded me I need to resurrect my alpine trough - my plants were attacked by Vine weevil a few years ago so I need to start again

The scent of this Daphne was intoxicating on such a warm day

This is Exotic Garden all wrapped up in its Winter coat to protect the more tender species

It used to be the site of a rose garden and people were horrified when Christopher Lloyd dug it up and planted exotics. I much prefer it like this!

With Mike added to show the height of some of the plants

The daffodils in the wild area weren't in flower then but will be by now

Sadly, back in 2001, some of the topiary was vandalised so there are some empty sections.

Some of my favourites on a low roof - I love Sempervivums

This willow looked so beautiful in the sunshine as we headed for home.

It was a lovely walk and, even better, my foot didn't complain too much. Onwards and upwards - 8 weeks unitl the London marathon (gulp!).