Image by Nina Garman from Pixabay


I had already used my new strimmer to tackle the overgrowth of weeds and long grass at the bottom of the garden. I started with the plastic blade, as the metal ones looked lethal.

It worked well but tended to snag on the long grass. So, when I wanted to finish what I started, and there was still so much to do, I changed the blade to a metal one, hoping it would cope better than the plastic one.

Looking back, I wish I hadn’t.

I was happily clearing the overgrowth when the blade hit something. I had been concentrating on the ground before me, so when I glanced down at my feet, I was unprepared for the sight that presented itself.

My left foot was covered in blood. Strangely, I could feel no pain, but the blood kept coming. I am well used to bleeding while gardening, for the brambles are not shy about attacking me, but this amount of red stuff was worrying.

Dropping the strimmer, I limped back to the house, leaving a scarlet rail in my wake. Through the courtyard and into the kitchen, I was singlehandedly creating a murder scene from a slasher movie.

I called for help, and my sister came running, her eyes widening in horror at the sight of me sitting on the kitchen floor, trying to remove my flip-flops and spreading blood around like water.

Wearing flip-flops was stupid, but I swear the strimmer blade was nowhere near my feet. I swung it from side to side in front of me, almost like a scythe.

Sis wrapped a wet dishcloth around my foot to stop the bleeding, but the blood continued to flow. At this point, I thought I must have severed my toe at the very least, but it still wasn’t hurting.

We swapped the wet cloth for copious amounts of kitchen roll, trying to exert a little pressure. After a while, we had a peek to see if the blood had stopped and slowed down to an ooze. My big toenail seemed to be floating, so I thought I would try to pick it up. I was most surprised when it came away in my hand. The toe was undamaged, but the nail bed looked raw and unprotected.

With my toe wrapped as best we could, I started cleaning up, not looking forward to the following nagging. I have broad shoulders, but I knew I had it coming. I was just pleased it hadn’t been any worse.

Next time, I will wear my strong gardening shoes and won’t use a metal blade again!

#Six on Saturday…

I didn’t expect to find anything still standing after all the torrential rain we have been having lately.

I was pleasantly surprised to find no casualties, although one of the tomato plants was leaning precariously!

The yellow tomatoes are doing well. Sowing the seeds late doesn’t seem to have mattered much. All we need now is some sun for them to ripen.

I am not a very good gardener, as I don’t know all the names of the things I grow. Those clovers, for example. The large-leafed one is some kind of Oxalis, but no idea about the dark-leaved one! It kinda fell into my basket because I loved the colour.

The Love in a Mist I planted have gone over, leaving all those seed pods. Hopefully, there will be a lot of them next year.

I don’t remember planting that petunia, so wherever he came from, he’s most welcome!

The yellow flowering bonsai has been my sister’s pride and joy for years. I used to know its name!

The next few days are going to be the summer we haven’t had, so there should be opportunities for catching up on everything that has been neglected. I have treated myself to a cordless strimmer, to help with all the overgrowth at the bottom of the garden. Affectionately called the Jungle!

The days of bending double or kneeling down are sadly over, I must find easier ways of doing everything, in the house and garden…

Hoping you get some good weather where you are!

Dahlias… #Flowers

Way back at the beginning of the year, I bought five dahlia tubers as I was determined to finally manage to grow one of my favourite flowers. I did all the right things and was rewarded with green shoots in every pot.

After what seemed like an awfully long wait, the flower buds appeared. There were no clues as to the colour of these buds, but I was confident I had chosen well. Five different colours were what I expected to see, so when the first bud to open was white, I wasn’t disappointed. When the buds on the second plant opened and were yellow, I smiled and continued to wait.

The third plant had huge buds, but disappointment began to creep in as I could see a definite yellow tinge…

Yesterday, the flower opened. It looked amazing, huge with spiky WHITE petals…

Don’t get me wrong, folks. I am delighted to have dahlias in my garden, although the last two are struggling. One is still very small, and the other is constantly being eaten.

But what happened to the colours I chose?

Like these…

I could close this post without showing you something else I have always wanted to grow. It is two years old, so again, patience is a virtue!

My little grapevine, which supposedly will have black grapes… I shall have to wait and see!

Looking forward to a better week for us all… XXX

Silent Sunday…

Several warnings are in place today. The temperature will rocket again and storms are gathering and will hit most of us later today. There is no sunshine this morning and not a breath of breeze. The garden is grey and definitely silent, as if holding it’s breath. It felt eerie, as I walked around looking for flowers.

This should have been a Six on Saturday post, but it just didn’t happen…

Not sure what these are, but I remember planting them last year. No one was more surprised than me when they turned up with flowers!

This is the first promising development on the dahlia front and the first to produce a flower bud. It looks like it might be yellow, what do you think?

This is a mystery plant. I remember buying the seeds and planting the seedlings, but after that, I am clueless. Hopefully, somebody will enlighten me?

Another new arrival. It didn’t do much last year, but it’s making an effort now. I love the black lacy leaves, and I think it’s called sambuca…

This peace rose is my all-time favourite

and has moved several times with us. I can’t wait to see the flowers…

This is a cutting from an orange blossom, I think. I could be a bonsai, but only time will tell…

Not bad for a part-time gardener, but I really should try harder!

Jaye’s Days… One of the Best in a While…

Jaye’s Days

Yesterday, I had the day off from writing and book-related activities. I was determined to catch up on some of those jobs around the house and garden that I have been ignoring of late.

I started the day with a little gentle yoga, more to let my body know I was serious. This set the tone for what turned out to be a very busy day.

I tackled a bedroom wall that had developed mildew over the winter months. I had already scrubbed it down, so it was time to apply some mould-preventing paint. Hopefully, it won’t come back.

Then I changed the carpet strip in the living room doorway. Thanks to Milo using that spot as a scratch pad, the edge of the carpet had frayed, and the existing strip wasn’t wide enough anymore.

After lunch, I ventured out into the garden. To be fair, I stood there for several minutes, wondering where to start. There are so many things to do out there that my brain didn’t have any idea what would be first. I decided on the worst job of all, mowing the lawn. Something my ageing back strongly objected to, but I rested every time I emptied the cuttings. Once that job was out of the way, I was feeling a little smug, so I sprayed all the weeds on the patio.

I worry about myself sometimes, as my love of killing things is usually reserved for my stories.

A quick check of the bonsai confirmed the next round of repotting for some of them was overdue, but not today. I thoroughly watered everything and called it a day. I hadn’t done nearly enough, in my opinion, but it was a start!

I thought I deserved a quiet, restful evening, but that never happened. The minute I collapsed onto the couch, my hands itched to write. I managed to finish a new post and the best part of a chapter…

I wonder what today will bring?

Friday Flowers…

This lilac lives in the wild end of our garden, and last year I had to rescue the poor thing as it was being swamped by next doors bushes. It had tried hard, growing long spindly branches that, to be honest, were going nowhere. Consequently, I ended up pruning it back along with everything else. I dodged the showers to see how well it had recovered. The new growth was amazing, but at first glance, I couldn’t see any flowers. Looking closer, I found the purple flowers hiding among the leaves…

Although I was ecstatic that it was doing its best to flower, I wanted more, and I found this one!

This magnolia was a birthday present several years ago, and has been slow to get started.

So I was delighted to see this year’s efforts!

This apple tree was a present to me. Just four feet high and is supposed to have two kinds of apples.

Seeing as this is the first time it has flowered, I will have to see what happens!

Last but by no means least, this glorious rhododendron is the queen of my garden at the moment.

I posted a photo of the buds last week, so here she is in all her glory!

#Macro Monday… #Photography

Image by edith lüthi from Pixabay 

Image by JUAN FERNANDO YECKLE from Pixabay 

I love macro photography, so today you have two images because I couldn’t choose between them.

Also having trouble deciding what to do this week. Last week was almost a total washout, but I did work on the current WIP, so not all doom and gloom. I finally managed to plant some seeds yesterday, and if the rain holds off, there are other urgent jobs to do.

If I could only remember where I left my thinking cap…

Birthday Customs…

Image from Pixabay.com

Yesterday was my 79th birthday, and I thought it arrived much quicker than usual. Time is whizzing past us now, and getting anything done gets more challenging every day.

We are so far behind on almost every front and have accepted that we can never really catch up, so new ways of adjusting to the workload must be found.

The small voice at the back of my head insists that we should be grateful to be capable of doing anything these days.

That is right, but that doesn’t make it acceptable.

Back to the birthday.

In our house, we have a custom on birthdays. We must only do the things we wouldn’t mind repeating for the rest of the year. This is much harder to implement than you think, but we still try.

Ignoring the housework comes easy, something I have been practising for ages. LOL…

No arguments, angry words or sticky, frustrating situations.

The diet can take a walk; this is your day.

Be your best, shower, wash your hair, and wear your best clothes. It is just for one day, after all…

I had to use the computer to ensure its presence for the rest of the year but limited myself to the basics. On the same theory, I spent an hour with the WIP, adding spice to the outline.

Next was the family visitation, birthday cake, cards and happy conversation…

Weatherwise, it was a brilliant day. The sun was welcoming, so a little gardening was necessary. Nothing drastic, just a little planting and tidying up.

My day had turned out quite well, I thought. These are just two instances that tried to upset the apple cart.

On the phone with an absent family member, I described my day and the lovely pink birthday cake. I was instantly corrected by one and all, saying the cake was blue. The senility angle reared its ugly head along with my hackles. I tried not to mind; these things often happen when you get to my age.

Later, while gardening, rather than asking for help, I lifted a far too heavy rock and carried it some distance. Not something I care to repeat, so that was silly.

I managed to reverse the first of these instances.

The remains of the cake were in the kitchen cupboard, and I desperately wanted to look. But what if it was blue? How would that make me feel?

Eventually, I did look, and it was pink.

I will remember the red faces of my family when I showed them the cake. Very gratifying!

#WIP Wednesday…

I managed to plant that hydrangea yesterday and spent some time arranging and tidying up at least one of the unruly flower beds in our garden. I worked slowly and methodically, with plenty of sit-downs in between. I wanted to cut the grass, but although the sun shone for most of the day, I knew it was still far too wet to cut.

The amount of work that needs to be done is overwhelming and depressing if I am being honest. Judging by my performance yesterday, it will take more than a month of Sundays to get it all done. Surprisingly, being stubborn isn’t helping, for I can only go as far as my body will allow. Hopefully, slow and steady will win the race.

This approach is not helping on the writing front, however. Committing words and ideas to paper is one of the few things I can do with any speed and comfort, but lately, that has slowed down to a crawl too. I try to tell myself it isn’t me, it must be the story, but I don’t really believe it. I have tried reading the completed chapters and all the character material several times lately, but it wasn’t until this morning that a germ of an idea paid me a visit. Someone had written a post about how to handle your villains when it suddenly occurred to me that I hadn’t decided on the bad boy for the new story yet. I had a few candidates, but nothing concrete.

I was seven chapters in on The Mystery of Folly’s End, so the villain should have made his presence known by now, so why hadn’t he?

This is where my usual method has let me down. Normally, my characters, once created, get on with it, often dictating who does what, where and with whom. A case in point: one of my favourite characters, DI David Snow, has been nagging me lately with a brilliant idea for a new mystery thriller, for him, of course. I have to admit to being more than a little interested, so was I deliberately dragging my heels on MFE?

It’s not supposed to rain today, but I won’t be cutting that blessed grass. I have something better to do…