On 4 May this year, my 75-year-old Mum was confronted by an angry man loudly complaining that she had parked in a disabled space. She has a legitimate blue badge due to a combination of health issues and so was quite entitled to park her car where she did. She was so distressed and embarrassed by the situation that she rang me in floods of tears. I was fuming, so I tweeted, as I tend to do, about the situation. In one of my tweets I said “I’d bloody well have made him disabled if I’d been there.” If the #twitterjoketrial is anything to go by, I’m lucky someone wasn’t trawling the web looking for such threats and that I wasn’t arrested and taken to court for threatening behaviour. Shame on the law, which seems to have lost all common sense.
My parents have just bought a new static caravan as they only ever visit the same caravan park near Sheringham in Norfolk and used to leave the tourer there all summer. They picked the keys up yesterday, so we took Bertie, my New Beetle, on the 90-mile drive up there. We were really impressed with the position of the van and the van itself, which has two bedrooms, a fully fitted kitchen, a bathroom (complete with bath!), a dining area and an enormous lounge with full-length windows that let the light flood in. We’ve only stayed in the tourer once, because it was a pain having to fill up the water and empty the chemical loo, but the static has water and sewage plumbed in, so we’re more likely to use it for long weekends – if we can prise them out of it.
As the water was off yesterday due to work on a brand new toilet block on site, we couldn’t have a cup of tea to celebrate, so we ventured into Cromer, where my parents had booked a table at their favourite fish and chip restaurant. We briefly wandered around town looking for a tea shop to kill some time before our booking but found not a single one open.
We passed the quite beautiful parish church – I could only fit the steeple into my camera lens given the narrow streets.
We briefly looked across the crashing waves of the sea, bracing ourselves against the biting wind.
And we admired the terraced houses along the top of the cliff.
Finally, we headed to the restaurant where my parents and Ant enjoyed an apparently delicious fish-and-chip supper. I, on the other hand, had to settle for cardboard and tomato sauce with a sprinkling of unmelted cheese, which was pretending to be a pizza, as everything else on the menu, including the veggie burger, was cooked in beef dripping. I desperately need to seek food advice from a twitterfriend in Cromer, as last time we ate there I had a flavourless curry and Ant’s made him ill!
With supper complete and goodbyes said, we made the hour-and-a half trip home. Aside from the food and a few idiot drivers on the way home, all in all it was a lovely half-day out.
My support services were needed in the garden today while Ant put up a new bit of trellis so our Clematis montana will grow over the kitchen window. I felt a bit like a surgical nurse as I handed over the appropriate tools on request. It is, so I’m told, my fault that it’s not quite straight, but you’ll never know once it’s covered in leaves and hundreds of delicate pink flowers.
We made the most of the beautiful sunny day to wander around the garden and see what plants we’ve lost over winter. Sadly, a fair few haven’t survived the snow and the unusually prolonged icy spells, and it remains to be seen whether a few more will return again this year. None of my agapanthus plants look very healthy at the moment and I fear that could be the end of them. I hope not as they’re one of my favourites. The remaining head of a flower on a clematis that grows up an obelisk made me smile, as I’ve watched it since it was a beautiful flower, then a fresh seed head and now seemingly a ball of fluff.
The crocuses are looking stunning at the moment – we’re going to try to plant some more for next year. Ant also assessed which of our bonsai trees are likely to need repotting this year. Not wanting to wish the year away but I can’t wait for autumn when my bonsai crab apple will be covered in dinky little red apples after a year resting without fruit.
Apart from pigeons, the garden’s been missing birds since I moved in back in 2003 – mainly because it’s a new(ish) estate and none of the other surrounding houses really have anything other than lawns and kids’ toys. Over the last couple of years we’ve enticed in a very noisy pair of blackbirds and the pond has attracted a heron. We’ve had a breakthrough this year though, with the hard cold winter seeing an influx of birds taking advantage of our feeders and water bowl. We’ve had starlings, robins, sparrows and a variety of tits and finches. And we seem to have acquired a pair of doves, who sit on top of the pergola under a cotoneaster. Today, a chaffinch sat amidst the cherry blossom as we put up the trellis, seemingly oblivious to the fact we were there.
There really wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and apart from the odd plane passing overhead, there was hardly a sound to be heard. This must be one of my favourite times to be out in the garden. It might still be cold when you’re out of the sun, but everyone else is tucked up warm in their houses, and with minimal traffic noise because it’s Sunday, the garden seems so peaceful. Spring has definitely got its foot in the door though, so I’m going to try to make the most of the peace and quiet before summer arrives and it’s warm enough for the kids to come out to play.
So here I am with a new shiny blog to play with and absolutely no idea what to say. Hopefully it’ll get easier as time goes on. I mean, I felt a bit daft when I started tweeting and there’s pretty much no stopping me adding my twopenneth on Twitter now.
I’d originally planned to write about my family history research and what I’ve discovered, but my mum has recently announced that she doesn’t think her dad would like me sharing his life with the world (or even one of my cousins – another of his granddaughters – for that matter). This has flummoxed me a bit, especially as I’d spent a couple of days writing a piece about the little we know of his life. In any case, not wanting to upset my mum, I’ve saved it on my PC and will see if she changes her mind.
In the meantime though, it seemed like a good idea to set up a blog while I’m not busy working, so I’ll have to talk just about my Dad’s side and other stuff. The chances are that will involve a mixture of my thoughts about music, books, cats, VWs and anything that catches my attention in a good or bad way.
Well, no surprise there then, I started with nothing to say and have managed four paragraphs. I’ll leave my first post there…before it becomes an essay.