Restoration of my garden

the phlox (are they) Alison brought me ~ they smell sweet too

Quite a day !

plus this lovely bunch of freesias ~ how kind !

It's quarter-to-ten and I am knackered so I'll just jot down a few notes to remind me of the day and I can write them up tomorrow : 9 am Keith came and fixed washing machine ~  10 Sue came for coffee and chat : Bev came in to thank me for yesterday's Tarot readings ~ when I surfaced from my flop Richard was out there busy on gardens so made him mug of tea ~ chat ~ 3pm Alison and Simon came in for reading ~ afterwards another quick snooze before making us more te,  Richard and me ~ he will come back on Thursday with more bedding plants ~ paid him £80 ~ £40 for my garden, £20 each for Johnny's and David's and I'll recover it from them next time they are here ~ for supper mashed spud with slice of ham and salad ~ Channel4 News ~ and just time for half-an-hour reading by the fire before NewsNight.   Alison brought me an armful of flowers to thank me for their reading ~ some in sitting room, some on kitchen table ~ how kind ~ I can't see what I've done with the camera right now but I'll take pics in the morning.

Tuesday morning and raining steadily ~ the gardens certainly need it ~ since Richard had a go at the lilac yesterday it is covered with blossom which had somehow been smothered in leaf ~ gorgeous ~ Georgie gave me the lilac tree a week or so after I moved in here ~ for several years it stood alone among all the weeds and rubbish on my small patch  get it until the Lambs (my God parents, Helen and Philip) gave me £500 to sorted out ~ both now departed, but bless you all the same. Steve Little tackled it and you can see the difference below.   We are jolly locky to have our pocket handkerchief gardens ~ each the site of a cottage that was demolished in the pre-war slum clearance ~ only one other of the old yards has gardens and that is Blackburns Yard just along Church Street ~ it was Chris Dove's passion, gardening, and he kept it in pristine condition ~ he and Annie have moved into a flat on the West Cliffe ~ hope the new owners of their cottage and garden will take good care of it ~ he says he intends to come across and tend it himself still but he is 90 . . . 

Wednesday afternoon : friendly email from Sarah Bingham  in response to mine ~ they will try to get down to Whitby this summer with their 3 children and camper van ~ she seems to have produced a wonderful  family ~ Noah, Ariel and Casper ~ she is Brother Stephen's daughter but he has refused to have anything to do with her and has never seen his grandchildren ~ his first wife, Dianne , mother of Sarah and Tim, died of a brain tumour ten years ago ~ he married Veronica since when he is behaving so oddly having nothing to do with any of the family ~ we put it down to Veronica and her jealousy of Stephen's life before she came into it ~ stupid woman ~ as for Stephen missing out on all these grandchildre ~ Sarah's and Tim's ~ well, he is an idiot ~ if Mother was still with us she would sort him out pretty damned quick !   Family was all-important to her.

Barbara came for a chat and to tell me about her visit to her daughter Tina in York ~ what a good friend she is, Barbara.  Had a helping of last night's veggie hot pot for lunch and as usual came over quite limp ~ had just settled down for a flop when the nurse came ~ I'd quite forgotten she was coming ~ it's because I am house-bound and no way can I get up to the Surgery ~ she only had to take blood sample and check blood pressure for MOT ~ BP 72/117 which is very good she said ~ made a cupa and read for a while, washed my hair and re-arranged mats in the attic ~ and now nearly time to think about supper.   It's been raining steadily all day but the gardens were needing it.   From this window I look across the wall to Annie's kitchen window but nowadays there is little sign of life over there ~ I rang her daughter Jean who lives next door to Annie and she is still with us but only just ~ oh ~ I've just realised you can see Annie's kitchen window in photo of the lilac tree (below) ~ no light on, no sign of life ~ she is 96, bless her  ~ her husband established Parker Marine boat yard ~ her daughter Jean lives one side of her, her daughter Doreen the other !   We've been good friends, Annie and I, for years ~ because I came from Winchester and didn't have a Whitby accent she seemed to think I was rather posh ~ this when I was penniless and in danger of losing the house until Mother saved me ~ once Annie said very scornfully, "I suppose you are the sort of person who would eat cucumber sandwiches !"   An astonishing measure of poshness !   Looking at it more closely today, thanks to Richard's clever pruning, I see the lilac tree is fairly covered with blossom, more than it has ever had ~ wonderful~ and the scent knocks you over ~ it knocked me over simply going out to the dustbin in the rain !!  Heavenly !

Just now the lilac is in bloom . . .

thanks to Helen and Philip ~ the garden created from the building site I was left with ~ see top of page ~ like all the gardens in our yard, it is the site of a cottage that was demolished in the slum clearance of the thirties ~ the cottage kitchen ~ a 'kitchen garden' !!