Monday, 25th April, 2022

[Day 770]

Today was the most beautiful spring day so Meg and I decided that we would pop into Droitwich, some seven miles distant, as there were one or two items that we need that we could only get in the Droitwich branch of Waitrose. As is customary by now, we paid a visit to our Coffee#1 coffee shop for our regular capuchino and toasted teacake. This was as as good as usual and, of course, we could not resist a visit to the local Charity shop which just happens to be next door. We discovered a wonderful skirt for Meg and also indulged in a pack of men’s socks and a very stylish leather/suede pair of shoes for myself. These will make good formal wear for the occasions when I want to smarten myself up a little. After we had indulged ourselves in the charity shop, I could not resist into my favourite hardware store which is Wilko. The last time we were in this store some 2-3 weeks ago I noticed that they had a particular gardening implement and I wondered if they still had them in stock. I was delighted to say that even though they had moved them to a different location (isn’t it annoying when stores do that?) I readily purchased a Wilco ‘root breaker‘ These implements are made in a heavy carbon steel (in India) and I have always been impressed by their quality and price for other implements I have bought in the range. This ‘root breaker’ has a cast iron shaft as well as the cutting edge itself, so I reckon it would function very well without breaking unless you were to use it to lever up a most enormous weight, which is not very likely for me from now on. When read the online reviews, it was also mentioned that these implements could be used as fence post hole creators which, I must admit, is not a usage that would have occurred to me immediately but I can see how it would be useful in this respect. Finally, we made our way to Waitrose where we got the things we needed and then finally got home just in time to listen to the 1.00pm news. This afternoon, after lunch, I resumed my attack on the huge old clematis that is having to be removed bit by bit. I did my stint of ¾ hour but, I must admit my next door neighbour and I had a bit of a chat how to restore a degree of world order. Just as we were finishing, we noticed that one of our drains (which, I suspect ends in a sort of big ‘U’ shaped bowl shaped sump) seems to have got itself filled up with leaves and other detritus. Me neighbour and I decided to tackle it there and then, although my neighbour did most of the hard work. We used a variety of implements between us, the leaves floating on the surface being deposited in our garden waste bin. There was quite a lot of a black sludge which we reckoned was quite a nutritious liquid (actually sloppy) type of compost. So we took out two large builder’s bucket loads of this stuff and I spread it onto some of the areas of the garden. The drain is actually at the junction of our two properties so it was probably just as well that we tackled the drain promply and together before it became a problem for both of us. Tomorrow, I shall cover it with a blue garden bag before I start my next tranche of cutting up the old clematis plant to ensure that bits of vegetation do not fall into and clog up the drain, now that we have it cleared. We could just do with a good downpour to give the drain a good washing through now that we have done this good work.

Last night, we received a very welcome invitation to go to visit Meg’s cousins in Bolton, Lancashire. We made several attempts last year but pandemic and other issues constrantly got in the way although we made it in the end. We hope that everything should run smoothly this year and we have jointly agreed a date for 15th May which is the Sunday afer my birthday the preceding Wednesday. I think last time although we took up our iPad there are a lot of photographs to catch up over the years so we will try and make amends this time around. At the same time, we are in the middle of trying to arrange a lunch date with some friends who had a base in both Leicester and in London but are now based exclusively in London. There is a restaurant that my son and I have used round the corner from Marylebone Station and we hope that we may be able to fix a rendez-vous there in a week or so’s time.