15.3.21 – 19.4.21
Just reading back on my last blog, I mentioned about the tortoises being up and plodding round the garden. I can now add to that and tell you one escaped. Generally, I mentally clock when and where I see them in the garden; they have their favourite spots and hideaways and in some ways are creatures of habit. However, a few days ago, when we had a very cold snap, I realised I hadn’t seen Harry-gold, (formerly known as Marigold – we discovered it’s a male), for a2 or 3 days. Going round and round the garden searching proved fruitless. The difficult gate could have been left open but I usually know when that happens and watch it constantly. To my knowledge it had been shut. In fact, I had recently posted a note on the letterbox for the post lady requesting it was shut as she had been the person who had left it open in the past. The result was she slammed it shut so tightly, it took 10 minutes to open again! (Update: fixing gate is work in progress). So I could only conclude that he had escaped during the 10 minutes it was open for the delivery of a new cellar staircase’ which I oversaw and closed the gate after. I enlisted help to search and after a walk up and down the street I asked a neighbour if she had seen him. Whilst we were talking, another neioghbour told me the person alongside the Chemin had got him. He’d told her there was a tortoise walking down the road as he got in his van and she went and picked him up. VERY RELUCTANTLY she gave him back. To be honest, fi I hadn’t gone on a search, I don’t think she would have made the effort to find where he’d come from! Anyway, he’s home and under very close observation. Houdini.
Following on from this – the aforementioned cellar stairs are now in place. After mentioning to a friend that I was on the lookout for a set of stairs that might have come out of an old demolition or renovation, she said they had a possible in their barn! All was measured and checked and given the go-ahead. For some time now, I have been concerned over the strength of the old steps: they looked very fragile and broken and were dangerous. Owen had nagged me to get them done well over a year ago. Anyway it took John and Paul two and a half days of extremely hard work to get them in. The new case was solid oak and weighed a ton, how they did it, I don’t know. The old case was rotten and will be good for firewood. I have amazing friends.
Continuing the animal theme – I realised the other day that the cat flap had broken. It wasn’t operating the microchip lock. My cats could still use it, but so could any other that wanted to come in. And they did. At 5 o’clock in the morning I was chasing Rudi round the house whilst Sid and Asterix were too. Fur was flying. New flap replacement.
My poor magnolia tree got hammered by the frost. It’s the first time since I’ve been here that it has happened. Disaster. It looks so sad. Every flower has gone. It usually has a small second bloom in July, so hopefully it will look better then. I’ve been trying to motivate myself into gardening – I certainly didn’t inherit the genes. A few plants now in, we really need the weather to pick up. On reflection, this garden didn’t really have flowers in it, it was just a neglected veg plot and a few old, woody shrubs. I’m aiming to get some flowers in it now. The weeds are bad and it’s difficult to keep on top of them.
A few Easter treats arrived in the post. And, yes, I still have some left. Trying to eeak them out, but it’s hard work!