Thursday, 19 April 2018

Drama In Romsey, Life In The Garden & New Shoes





Great Drama in Romsey this week! A suspicious substance was found in an envelope in the building housing our local MP's office and the whole place came to a standstill. It was buzzing with police, fire engines, ambulances and people in chemical suits for hours. Cars were prevented from getting to the centre of town but pedestrians were allowed to walk right past the affected building! I did, and felt a little exposed I'll admit. It all came to nothing but the emergency services were lovely, keeping people informed and being jolly and approachable so we wouldn't all worry too much. First Salisbury, now this. What is the world coming to?!

In other news, all this hot weather is having a big effect in the garden. My Salvia Turks which were grown from seed last year from a plant I bought from a National Trust plant sale are sprouting up. They are such majestic plants.


The tulips I bought from Hilliers last autumn as bulbs and which promised me they were white are actually pale lemon, but I love them anyway. When it's hot they flatten right out like huge dinner plates.


The dicentra has shot up out of the earth and flowered in the space of about four days....


And have you seen the salmon shades of Black Eyed Susan available this year? They are £2.99 for eight seeds!!! They'd better all come up! You have to soak them overnight then lay them on damp compost, cover them with 1/8 cm of soil or something ridiculous and sing them lullabies. Fussy.


The bee fly has been back. Look at that proboscis! This is a dark-edged (can you tell by the wings) or common bee fly. Love them. They fly like a hoverfly so have a look out for them at flowers or on the grass. I saw one nectaring on the lithodora earlier.


I've seen my first Orange Tip flutter of the year. Well, two actually, both boys, both buzzing through the garden at high speed. They are the first real spring butterfly, having not over-wintered as an adult like the commas, brimstones, peacocks, red admirals and small torts. The swallows are back too, but I have yet to hear Whitethroats. They must be here by now so I suspect I need to go and look for them in the hedge where they can usually reliably be found.

Teddy is finding the hot weather all a bit much...


While the drone hoverflies have decided the best place to be is on the King Cups (Marsh Marigolds) up by the pond....



I sat at the top of the garden with the camera on my lap watching the various bird houses to see which ones were being used. After a while I was rewarded by several blue tits going back and forth to three of them with huge beakfulls of moss. The blue tit egg at the bottom is left over from last year.




In other news, I have developed blisters on two of my toes. Potential small disaster with a marathon looming. M said Hmm, I think you might need new shoes, so this morning I buzzed off to our local running shop and explained the problem. Kevin (proprietor and local runner) grinned and told me the shoes he'd sold me last year were aimed at 10k to half marathon distance, but for marathons I really needed something different. So I bagged a pair of Brooks Ghost 10 (in the sale, £40 off, bargain), and discovered when I got home and checked online that they come out top in a lot of distance runner's surveys. Result. They feel like gloves on my feet too. And because they have more grip than most road shoes they'll also double up as trails, which will make them ideal for my marathon which is a mix of trail and road. Can't wait to go running in them. I love the motivational words on the box...




Kevin assured me they would solve the blister problem, but just in case, I also bought a pair of anti-blister socks with my 10% running club discount. No idea if they'll work but I'll take all the help I can get right now :o). And some zinc oxide tape for good measure. The blisters don't stand a chance.


I'll leave you with a scone I've just eaten. Normally, I make them but these (there were two) looked so pretty in their little box decorated with pink and lilac flowers and they were going cheap and I did a 5 mile race with the running club last night and didn't have much tea after so I couldn't really say no. Washed down with a nice cup of tea they did not disappoint :o).


Wishing all a good weekend. 

CT :o)

20 comments:

  1. If the heat's too much for Ted, you could send it this way. We're sitting at -1 in southern Ontario right now still with about 3cm ice and snow mix on the ground. It's nice to see someone else's flowers blooming so beautifully.

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    1. Lordy, that is chilly. I burnt my neck in the sun today.

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  2. So much gorgeous colour in one post. Nature is bouncing back now for sure. You'll have to get a paddling pool for Ted to cool off in. You could also use it to soak your feet after a long run.
    I hope your blisters are healed soon. I've not had one yet (obviously I don't run far enough! 😆) but I could probably do with some new trainers soon. X

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    1. Sadly, Ted hates water! Poppy is the paddler. Blisters already feeling better xx

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  3. Hope your blisters heal soon, we are enjoying the weather, our camper van is parked in a lovely wooded site in the New Forest, we are watching the birds.

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  4. Goodness it’s all excitement in your area. I guess the police are going to be on high alert for sometime.

    Glad you’ve sorted out your running shoes, blisters are not good. Hopefully they will have settled in by May.

    Your seeds sound very precious. I can only cope with the sort that need very little tlc:)

    Poor Ted, Ebby is the same in the heat. He heads for the nearest shady patch and flumps down. Wizard is the opposite. A true sun worshipper.

    Hope the sun lasts. B x

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    1. They’d better be worth all the pampering, those little seeds. I have a lovely mental image of Wizard sunbathing x

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  5. It is hot here but the air is on and the tile floor is nice and cool so send him right over. iwinston needs a friend !

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Ted says: super, he’s on his way.

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    2. yesh iwinston is liken' gud dug ted

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  6. I never say no to a scone. Gorgeous photos, great news that your nest boxes are in occupation. I haven't seen anyone around ours lately, so I fear it may be empty this year. Lovely new running shoes, they look like they are made to fly, I am wishing you many happy adventures with them. CJ xx

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    1. You need to sit and watch for half an hour undisturbed to be sure. Hopefully they’re there, just excellent at discretion. Gone are the days when shoe excitement was about heels 😆🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️ X

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  7. Goodness, Black Eyed Susans are hard work - not sure my gardening skills are up to that much pampering. If it doesn't thrive on neglect round here, then it doesn't stand a chance! Great excitement in Romsey; did you find out what was in the envelope? Hope those pesky blisters heal quickly. xx

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  8. Good luck with your new shoes. I like Brooks even if bits of sole sometimes come adrift and have to be glued back on. In fact I might wear my trail Brooks today as I'm going off road. I wear them with contoured & cushioned elasticated socks which means I can remove the insoles for extra toe room.
    We have the fly bees which hover like humming birds but I haven't seen one yet this year.
    Sunday is the Vienna marathon and a temperature of 25 C is forecast, which is 10 C over the optimum. I'm glad I'm not doing it.
    The days of peaceful towns and communities and bobbies on bicycles will never return. Very sad.

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  9. It's all a bit scary really...how easily something major could happen right under our noses. Glad the shoes are comfy...I've been getting blisters right on the bottom of my feet...makes for a really sexy walking gait! x

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  10. There was a drive by shooting here on Monday - so much aggression and suspicion, feeling slightly sick.

    Birdwatching is a good remedy to soothe frazzled nerves. I am not that good at identifying insects in our own back gardens but I can identify insects of medical relevance with confidence. Also some ticks but less reliably so. It is not a particularly useful skill outside the tropics... Anyway, it is nice to see nature finally waking up proper. The sun is shining here today.

    Wishing you many happy running miles with your new shoes. I have a Saucony foot myself, although of course with the super low mileage it probably doesn't matter :-)

    Have a good weekend. x

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  11. Such interesting wild life photographs.

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  12. Scones yum! What a palaver in Romsey, I suppose everyone's a bit edgy now. Great photos of all your wildlife, thank goodness all the flowers are out for them. I hope you soon get used to your new go faster shoes. x

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  13. It's so lovely now that the garden is coming to life a bit more. How exciting that you have birds nesting in your boxes.

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x