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….about growing wisteria under your bedroom window.

Wisteria is gorgeous.

Wisteria smells wonderful as it wafts through your bedroom window.

Wisteria attracts pollinators.

Wisteria attracts nesting birds.

Wisteria grows extremely quickly so if you want to cover a wall or have it trailing under a window or over a window it’s definitely a plant to consider.

Wisteria doesn’t damage your building as it doesn’t cling to the building at all – this was important for us because our house is listed and built from stone and we do not want an invasive plant to damage it.

I’m sure there are plenty of other interesting facts about wisteria that I haven’t yet mentioned.

Now, here are a few things you need to know about wisteria as well…

Wisteria grows extremely quickly and does need to be controlled unless it’s in a position where it does not matter. Ours grow up the wall and under our bedroom windows so need to be kept tidy or it can begin to block light.

We adore our pollinators and they in turn love wisteria. This does mean that if you have your windows open all the time you will need to evict your little furry pollinators out of your room on a regular basis. Not necessarily a negative because it can be fun to see what comes in and out.

Birds are loving nesting in our wisteria. Another blessing but if you happen to like long lie-ins, in spring you will find Fledglings sitting on the wisteria making a lot of noise in the expectation of parents providing food. Luckily for us we are not late risers. 😁

In summary, I love my wisteria – it looks beautiful, it looks romantic, it attracts wildlife and these are all the things we got it for and I wouldn’t change any of it.

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My mom has just started her first blog about gardening….at 80! She is incredible. Take a look around and ask questions about gardens and plants. xx Michele

The Octogenarian Gardener

Three days to go before I can realistically call myself an octogenarian and in fact calling myself a gardener is a bit of a stretch! More love and enthusiasm goes into my gardening rather than expertise, but with many years of trial and error plus loads of help from watching Gardeners World I manage to achieve a rather nice garden year after year which gives enjoyment to family and friends. I promise that my blog will be warts and all, successes and failures, joyful moments and days of despondency, bit like life really!

Firstly a little about my present garden, I am fortunate to have a very pretty annex at the end of my family’s garden, so a fair amount of garden space was given up to build the annex almost five years ago. The came an extention to the main house, a large deck and a paved area to…

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Isolation – Day 9

Final day of Isolation!

To say I was disappointed this morning was an understatement! I had only read the big bold bit of the message that said isolation was complete on 19th July. What I didn’t read was the time…..and that is 23:59 on the 19th. NOOOOO! Anyway, it at least gave me time for my new PCR test results to come back – and they have, and they are NEGATIVE….Yippee. Tomorrow I am out of here and on my wheelchair scooter as early as possible. I see coffee and a few shops in my very near future 🙂 I will take my knitting with me and relax outdoors knowing I can’t infect anyone – brilliant!

Lateral flow test : Negative

PCR test : Test 1 – Negative | Test 2 – Negative

Symptoms : NONE!

Location : Bedroom, Assembly room, Garden

Crafts : Crochet – the blanket is finished and looks gorgeous. I have enough yarn left over to make a baby jumper with a hood. Started that and am nearly done with the back already. Made a few fabric face coverings to gift to our Community Grocery at The Edge in Wigan.

Computer : Blogging, found a baby jumper pattern, admin, iKnow church database

BBCiPlayer : 2 episodes of Silent Witness

Drinks : 2 coffees; 1 tea; 1 Fanta Orange zero

Excitement level? (0 – 10) : 8…It’s another gorgeous and sunny day, my tests have all been negative, I finished a baby blanket for nbr7 grandbaby and generally I am happy to be released tomorrow 🙂

Visitors : 0

Days to freedom : 0 (I am out and about because I started isolation on day 9 rather than 10 because I was notified a day after the positive case was reported and I was in contact with them.

Isolation – Day 8

Sunday means church first, and I am so grateful that we have a church that is broadcast live online because that means we were still able to be at church virtually.

Church from the sofa but first a fabulous cooked breakfast made by hubby. Then church online via the television. Another very hot day and we have opened all 5 sash windows in the Assembly rooms, both back door and french doors opened to allow the breeze through the house. Typically for most British people, we love the idea of a hot summer, but we really do not cope well in the heat! After church we went outside into the garden and did a few chores for the chickens. This was very tiring and HOT so that meant a rest in the cool with a long cold drink. This afternoon as it cooled down we managed to fit a new garden tap and then I took to the apple trees and snipped off a lot of excess apples so that the remaining ones are bigger and healthier.

Another day and another lateral flow test. In addition I received a PCR test by mail and this was posted off this morning as well. If I have Covid then I really would have known by now because I have done a test every day for the last 7 days…..I think I can relax and have a little celebration. NHS, thank you so much for the vaccinations which was probably the difference between me being healthy today and VERY ill as a shielder.

Lateral flow test : Negative

PCR test : Test 1 – Negative | Test 2 – awaiting results

Symptoms : NONE! Yippee!

Location : Bedroom, Assembly room, Garden

Crafts : Zero – too hot to crochet

Computer : Online church, Translation of church audio from English to Farsi

BBCiPlayer : 1 episode of Silent Witness

Drinks : 2 coffees; 1 tea; 1 Fanta Orange zero

Excitement level? (0 – 10) : 8….Online church, Fun in the garden and time with hubby, Sunny day

Visitors : 0

Days to freedom : 2

Isolation – Day 7

We are having a glorious weekend of sunshine here in Lancashire and I can’t go anywhere – FRUSTRATING!

What a busy day! I sucessfully ran a virtual community sewing group thanks to the help of my lovely group members setting everything up and of course my incredible hubby for muscle and tech savvy for setting up the link and the big screen so I could teach remotely 🙂

It worked okay and everyone managed to go home with a beautiful new face covering. It just wasn’t the same as being there in person though. I missed the interaction with everyone and didn’t get to enjoy an amazing coffee from our on site coffee house @postcodecoffeehous.

After that I needed a few hours rest as it was surprisingly tiring. In the late afternoon we bottled two batches of beer. This is hard work because you first have to wash and sterilise 40 pint bottles for each batch – not easy when they get stored in a rather dirty and wet part of our cellar. Anyway, it is now done and will stay upstairs for a couple of days to allow the yeast to work on the sugar and bubbles will form. After that a few weeks of maturing in the cellar and they will be good to drink. Some will go to friends and the rest stay maturing in the cellar for visitors.

Lateral flow test : Negative

PCR test : Negative

Symptoms : heightened allergies symptoms

Location : Bedroom, Assembly room, Sewing room, Winery, Garden

Crafts : 5th ball of yarn for grandbaby7s blanket and I am a few rows away from finishing (still). Sewn 6 face coverings.

Computer : Blogging, Uploading videos to Youtube, online class

BBCiPlayer : 1 episode of Inside the Human

Drinks : 2 coffees; 1 tea; 1 Fanta Raspberry zero

Excitement level? (0 – 10) : 7….Sewing and teaching was SO amazing!

Visitors : 0

Days to freedom : 3

Isolation – Day 6

My Lateral Flow test may be negative, but today I feel rotten!

Friday, the sun is shining with a gentle breeze. Sounds and is idyllic however, I feel less than ideal myself. Worse than the previous days and spent the day in bed wishing I had enough energy to go outside. Sadly I don’t, so it feels like a waste of our rare British summer days. I am convinced that somehow in isolation I have picked up a gastric virus or eaten something that doesn’t agree with me (but hubby is fine). A LOT of mint tea was on hand for the nausea.

By the later part of the day, I was worried that I may not be well enough to teach my virtual sewing class at Handmade. My contingency was to make a video of the entire process of making a face mask – a fabric, reusable face covering as we are informed it should be called because a face mask denotes a medical grade device – semantics! 1 face mask, 1 bandana face mask and 5 videos later it is all ready for class tomorrow in case I can’t teach. I will also upload the video tutorials to my Youtube channel and link them to Headbands for Heroes UK on Facebook in case anyone else would like to use them.

Lateral flow test : Negative

PCR test : Negative

Symptoms : Headache, runny nose, swollen neck glands, sore red eyes, heightened allergies symptoms, diarrhoea, nausea

Location : Bedroom, Assembly room, Sewing room

Crafts : 5th ball of yarn for grandbaby7s blanket and I am a few rows away from finishing. Sewn 2 face coverings.

Computer : Blogging, Uploading videos to Youtube

BBCiPlayer : 2 episodes of Silent Witness. 1 episode of How to become a God in Florida

Drinks : 2 coffees; 5 mint tea; 1 Fanta Orange zero

Excitement level? (0 – 10) : 3….Feeling rotten today and rested most of the day.

Visitors : 0 (you can’t really count our Amazon delivery lady Karen can you)

Days to freedom : 4

Isolation – Day 5

Zoe Covid App tells me I have at least 4 of the new Covid symptoms, but my Lateral Flow test is negative – phew!

Allergies can account for 2 or these but the other two are horrid and not even my brain can ‘make’ them up 🙂

Lateral flow test : Negative

PCR test : Negative

Symptoms : Headache, runny nose, swollen neck glands, sore red eyes, heightened allergies symptoms, diarrhoea

Location : Bedroom, Garden, Assembly room (our living room)

Crafts : Finished my 4th ball of yarn for grandbaby7s blanket. Racked 2 batches of beer into clean containers – Racking is syphoning the liquid off any solid matter that has settled into the bottom of the fermenter. These are ready for bottling now.

Computer : Blogging, Headbands for Heroes UK updates on Facebook and arranging for one of our volunteer bikers to do a couple of pickups and deliveries.

BBCiPlayer : 1 episodes of Silent Witness. 2 episodes of Penguin Town, 1 episode of My Unique B&B

Drinks : 2 coffees; 3 tea; 1/2 Tango Grape zero

Excitement level? (0 – 10) : 3….Feeling a bit fragile today with my stomach and didn’t manage to do too much.

Visitors : 1….Mike is one of our incredible volunteer bikers that has been delivery our orders for Headbands for Heroes UK since the very beginning. Today he arrived to pick up 2 parcels for delivery. He LOVES a good espresso and hubby is very good at making them on his La Pavoni coffee machine. It was very nice to catch up with him through the upstairs sash window.

Days to freedom : 5

Isolation – Day 4

Never underestimate the power of the mind!

Today, I have quite a number of classic Covid symptoms…Headache, swollen glands, tiredness, sore and dry eyes. Therefore, my brain starts to think that this must surely be me with the virus. The more I think about it, the more the brain tells me it definitely is. I therefore wait with trepidation for the results and take another Lateral flow tests in the meantime.

Lateral flow test is negative! I then get the results of my PCR test (in less than 24 hours!) and it too is negative. HOW! The science tells me it is negative so I will try and ignore my continuing symptoms and see how I get on over the next couple of days. As daughter2 says, it may just have been all the travel and extra London pollution messing with my immune system and allergies.

Lateral flow test : Negative

PCR test : Negative

Symptoms : Headache, swollen neck glands, sore red eyes, heightened allergies symptoms, upset tummy

Location : Bedroom, Garden, Assembly room (our living room), Butterfly room, Big Bee (my Mercedes Vito bus), Wigan Covid test centre

Crafts : On my 4th ball of yarn for grandbaby7s blanket

Computer : Blogging, bank balance updates, Headbands for Heroes UK updates on Facebook

BBCiPlayer : 1 episodes of Silent Witness. 1 episode of Penguin Town, 1 episode of Jack Ryan, 2 episodes of My Unique B&B

Drinks : 2 coffees; 3 tea; 1 7up zero

Excitement level? (0 – 10) : 7….I went out of the house! Yes, legally! I had to go for my Covid PCR test in Wigan. We had a few minutes to spare before the test so popped over to Postcode Coffee House where hubby ran in and bought us a coffee. Ahhhh, the sweet taste of coffee and freedom.

Visitors : 3….while we were out Gavin and 2 of the grandchildren popped round to say hello. What a treat! I got to see them through the french door glass which was lovely but frustrating as I couldn’t give them a big squish.

Days to freedom : 6

Isolation – Day 3

I am going out!!!! The only place you are allowed to travel or leave the house during isolation is for a PCR (finger prick) blood test. So I am going out – legally 🙂

Lateral flow test : Negative

Symptoms : Headache, swollen neck glands, sore red eyes

Location : Bedroom, Garden, Assembly room (our living room), Butterfly room

Crafts : On my 3rd ball of the yarn for grandbaby7s blanket

Computer : Budget and banking updated. iKnow church software database updated. Attendance register for my Handmade community sewing group updated.

BBCiPlayer : 2 episodes of Silent Witness. 1 episode of The Mistress. 1 episode of Penguin Town (a MUST watch as it is short, fun and all about penguins).

Drinks : 2 coffees; 1 tea; 1 Fanta orange zero

Excitement level? (0 – 10) : 6 Excitement is high today because after much thought and many calls between my lovely sewing group, I have decided that it will go ahead on Saturday 17th as planned. A few amendments to usual service include everyone in the group helping set up the room and a couple of the more confident sewers helping out the rest of the group. I will be live via video streaming onto a big screen where I will teach the class! Modern technology is amazing when it works well. Wish us luck.

Visitors : 0 Plus Jean who very kindly dropped off another 3 balls of yarn for babies blanket (but I never saw her) 😦

Days to freedom : 7 (the app shows it as 6 because I write my blog the following day)

Isolation – Day 2

Day 2 of isolation was okay apart from the annoyance of missing my Monday morning Good Yarn session. We meet every Monday morning down at The Edge in Wigan for knitting, crochet, good company and great coffee.

I usually go down on my wheelchair motorbike/scooter but it rained most of the day and I would have got very wet….a small win?

Instead of my usual jaunt out I had a rest day – not a bad thing after a very busy week and I really did need it.

Location : Bedroom

Crafts : I worked on the new baby blanket that I am crocheting for our newest grandbaby 🙂

Computer : I did a bit of admin on the computer.

BBCiPlayer : I watched at least 2 episodes of Silent Witness. I am in 2005 after having started back at the beginning a few months ago.

Drinks : 2 coffees; 2 teas; 1/2 cherry pepsi max

Excitement level? (0 – 10) : 1

Visitors : 1 ; the boiler engineer did the annual service. Masks worn by all. All doors kept open. I stayed upstairs without any contact.

Days to freedom : 8

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