Monday, 5 November 2012

It was a funny old week

Last week was a funny old week.  Lots going on, I hardly know where to start!

As the day promised to be dry and sunny, my neighbour John and I went up to Winkworth Arboretum on the Saturday morning to photograph the autumn colours.  Here are a few of the photographs we took, and more can be found here
It was nice to get out and about.  Although Winkworth Arboretum is not far from where we live, we do not get along there as often as we really should.  It is a lovely place to walk whatever the season.

Over the weekend I received an email from Shona of Shona Easton Designs -that I had won a business card prize in her give-away draw - How exciting is that?   This lovely sunny leather business card arrived in the post on Tuesday morning.  It will be so useful.  Thank you Shona.

You can see more of Shona's wonderful handbag designs here

Also on Tuesday we changed out ISP.  Always a worrying thing to do, but so far it seems to have gone without a hitch.

 On Monday, the gas man called - and again on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.   It seems that the houses on the estate behind our house were without gas because water had got into the gas main. Fortunately it did not affect us - or so we thought!  

The men dug a huge hole outside the property next to use and walked backwards and forwards with a thing like a metal detector.  This was designed to detect the gas pipes and it beeped loudly when they found the pipes.  They came into part of our garden, a small piece of land we purchased from the local council about 30 years ago and on which I grow vegetables.  The detector was making a very loud noise indeed!  It was discovered that the gas pipe lies under this small piece of land - we did know about the electricity cable, but no mention of gas pipes was mentioned when we purchased it.  On Tuesday, they decided they needed to investigate and removed a paving slab and dug a hole.  They found what they were looking for and then advised us that they needed to trace the route of the gas pipe, which might be under my greenhouse, and they hoped they would not need to take it down! I was rather worried about that as you can imagine.

  Wednesday morning saw more activity around the hole in our garden and outside on the road.   It was a relief when they told us on Thursday that the pipe did not go under the greenhouse.

On Friday we came home to find a yellow cap on the gas pipe (?) or stand in the garden and a smell of gas!  No one appeared over the weekend and we had hoped they would be around today, but despite two large holes we have not seen or heard from them. 

 If no one comes tomorrow we will have to report the smell of gas in my vegetable plot.    Fortunately were were not without gas, although the pressure has been considerably reduced.

On a brighter note, I have been able to get out in the garden and greenhouse.  I took a few cuttings and tidied up the hostas.  I also spotted that this auricular in the cold frame had decided to flower.  Very early, but she has been sheltering in the cold frame for a month or so, so I expect she thinks it is spring.

On Thursday I was out all day at a training session for the new website of The Pelargonium and Geranium Society.   It was a very interesting day but I still have to have another day's training to learn about the membership database as I am Membership Secretary for the Society.  The new website will be really good once it is up and running - we do have a website at the present time here:

On Sunday I attended the AGM of the Surrey Horticultural Federation on behalf of my Village Gardening club.  The speaker was the Head Gardener of Hever Castle in Kent, and h  was very good.  I've been to Hever Castle and the gardens many times, so the slides of the garden were not new to me, but he was informative about the history of the gardens, some of which I already knew.  But the best part was winning the raffle!   When I bought my tickets I looked at the prizes and by far the best, as far as I was concerned, was a tree.  Grown by a member who has a tree nursery, this was a Liquidamber - an American Sweet Gum.  My ticket was not the first drawn, and I thought  I had missed out on the tree.  But the first winner did not want the tree and chose something else.   Wasn't I lucky? I do have one of these which I planted last year, but another is very welcome.  I have just the place to plant it when I have cleared out the summer plants.

Finally, we had a mouse in our kitchen all last week!  Only a small field mouse, and we think there were possibly two.  They are rather cute, but not in the house!   The last time we had mice in the house was about five years ago, and we do have one of those electronic sonar plugs which we assume has kept them away.  When we discovered the mouse, or mice, we also discovered that the electronic sonic plug was not working.  Brian immediately went out and bought another, but the next day it was evident the mouse was still around.  We are not keen on traps.  In the past they have disappeared from the house along with the trapped mouse.  We have also had one run off across the garden still trapped.  Not nice, even though we don't like mice!.  So we used some bait. It took three days before I found a dead mouse in the kitchen.  We put the bait down again on Friday night and although it was disturbed, we have not had a visitor again, nor have we found any corpses!    I can tell you, my kitchen was sparkling clean all last week.  Every morning I cleaned and disinfected around.  Normal cleaning routine has now resumed!

The Granny a Day project is still ongoing - I am not sure exactly how many squares I will do, but I have about 25 squares to catch up (tut tut).

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