Thursday, 22 May 2008

Plague and pestilence

Golly it's ages since I have blogged. My doors have been visited by plague and pestilence, so I've been otherwise occupied of late. The plague has been various fluey type bugs afflicting us all in turn and the pestilence is the dratted head lice. Never has squishing something felt so good. Head lice are currently at Number One in my Pests I Hate Most Chart. Slugs are at number two. For now.

In between mopping fevered brows and sleeping at lunchtime (fluey side effect) I have gardened my little socks off, run 5k in the Race for Life (raising £170 in the process), bought a new (to me) 4x4 and driven to Sheffield and back to have my broken tooth repaired by my lovely dentist sister.

I really like May. It's a month stuffed with promise of good things to come. Sometimes the rest of the year doesn't live up to the promises made by May, but there's always hope. The garden is full of buds and baby vegetable plants, the lambs are bopping about in the field, trees are leafy and green and flowery and when the sun comes out it's warm. Too warm actually, because May for me is also my month of sunburn. I do it every year, completely by accident, but I should know not to by now. In my defence I was bonfiring and the heat from the flames distracted me from the heat of the sun and... well the rest is, as they say, history. And yes I am freckled and fair of skin and sun is DANGEROUS. But it was a good bonfire and I enjoyed it. It'll be big t-shirt cover-ups for me from now on, I promise.

Then there was the Race for Life at Scolton Manor, just outside Haverfordwest. It was lovely to be there again. The race has a wonderful atmosphere and it is just so exciting to take part in such a happy thing. I always race in celebration of my Godmother, Thelma, who had breast cancer years ago, had the conventional treatment and is now happily in her 70s. The treatment also saved her sister from the same disease. It's lovely to be able to do something small, like a run, by way of saying thank you to Cancer Research for helping to find the drugs and treatments to help Thelma and her sister and others like them.

The day after the race I hit the road in the direction of Sheffield accompanied by Mum who also needed dental treatment. We decided on the avoid motorways at all costs route and headed up through Aberystwyth and over the Cambrian mountains accompanied by a swarm of Sunday motorcyclists. The entire route to Sheffield was buzzing with bikers enjoying the bends and twists of the route.

Exactly half way is Welshpool at the National Trust's Powis Castle where we indulged in coffee and cake to fortify us for the rest of the six hour journey. Jackie fed us handsomely on Sunday and filled us up with wine, then fixed our teeth on Monday morning. We headed back to Wales the same day accompanied this time by thundering lorries and the occasional swarm of bikers. I used to have a motorbike and it is on days like these that I miss it the most. I've threatened Brian that I will have a mid-life crisis and buy another one, but he has added motorbikes, along with sunburn, to the list of things that are DANGEROUS and, therefore, BANNED.

So today it was back to the garden, clearing out the polytunnel and making it productive again. I have finally planted up my hanging basket this year with gloriously purple surfinia petunias which have a lovely musky scent. I treated myself to a new fuchsia too and a new sage and a lemon balm. I've planted my Marvel of Four Seasons lettuces out alongside a nice thick row of scrummy coriander and have a queue of cucumbers, beans, peas and tomatoes waiting to find a permanent home in the garden somewhere.

The 4x4 I mentioned earlier is a nine year old Honda CRV. FINALLY we have one after exactly a year of looking. It's gorgeous and I love it, but I'm terrified that Horrid Gordon will slap a Nasty Tax on it because rich people in Chelsea think 4x4s are for cities. We have this one to tackle our hilly, muddy, floody school run having had a couple of close shaves when I have nearly failed to get to school to pick Hannah and Rosie up. It's lovely not to get stuck in the soft verges between home and school too, which has been a regular occurrence until now. It's already done a Proper Farm Job too, taking a deceased ewe lamb to the Veterinary Investigative Centre in Carmarthen. So, Mr Brown, I do actually NEED a 4x4, it's not just a lifestyle choice or a fashion accessory. So there.


  1. congrats on the run, glad you're better - had nipped over a couple of times to see if you'd done a new blog, but no, but now I know why. And PLEASE don't get a motorbike. E used to have one, would terrify me. I was run over by one when I was 4 which perhaps explains it, but they are SO dangerous. I know, I sound like someone's mother.

  2. Excellent run! Well done, wish I could run upstairs but I'm so unfit..

    4x4's - fantastic vehicles. I wouldn't be without my Land Rover and Mr Brown can carry on riding about in the back of his Jag. They don't think about those people who need a vehicle like this to work. Glad to hear you are feeling better. We've had lice a couple of times but since I've limited the amount of times I wash Amy's hair per week, we haven't had them back - touch wood, cross fingers, pray, etc etc.

    CJ xx

  3. Head lice! Bane of my life. Having 3 daughters with long hair has been a nightmare over the years, constant battle, but TOUCH WOOD we are free of the dreaded bug at present. I do think Tea Tree oil helps. But combing, combing, combing is the only way to get rid of them

    Once again Congrats for doing the run!

  4. So glad that you are feeling better. I also congratulate you on the race and the spirit in which you run.

    (Don't tell anyone, but way,way back, I also used to ride behind various boyfriends' motorcycles, and was part-owner of a Norton 750. Anyone who would meet me now would find this impossible to believe.)

    I really love that deep purple petunia.


  5. Well done on the Race For Life. Glad you are all on the mend... a motorbike?! Gosh! Until then enjoy the 4X4!

  6. Oooo no . . . oodles of sympathy on fluey bugs AND headlice - not fair that you're suffering both together.

    Well done on the run a great achievement in itself, but doubly so as you were barely recovered from flu when you did the run.

    I do hope you are all recovered now and lice free. Gawd and you had to go to the dentist as well - hopefully you have had your 'three things' now and will have a trouble free summer.

    . . .sigh to a motorbike. I used to have one - I had eleven accidents on mine . . I sold it before I killed myself. HS used to have a motorbike as well and every year we went to the Isle Of Man for the TT races. Then along came children and the child seat wouldn't fit on the bike . . . sigh . . .

  7. Great to catch up although sorry to hear you have been sick or nursing. We have a 4X4 too and could not manage up here without it so I am entirely with you on wanting gordon to try to make some distinction in clobbering people, although I suspect he won't. Ian has a motorbike. I am sure you would be circumspect on yours, go for it!

  8. Golly Mags no wonder you have been ill! Talk about hard-working and a run as well - well done by the way for that.

    I have poly tunnel envy now; love the fact that you can extend the scoffing season with one of these. Bad luck about the sunburn though. I am a lucky bunny as Inever catch due to my swarthy (dirty?) skin type! xx


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