Cake Overload

 We invited our new neighbours round for coffee this morning. We needed to discuss with them the plans for taking down the three large trees that border both properties, plus we thought it would be a good opportunity to get to know them better.

I am most definitely not a good baker so I went to the local Co-Op and bought a lemon drizzle cake, a coffee and walnut cake and some Border Biscuits dark chocolate gingers to go with the coffee.

They only nibbled one small piece of cake each so now P and I will be forced to finish off the rest all by ourselves this weekend.

How dreadful.

I Am Not A Nerd

 But it would have helped this weekend.

For the past few weeks we had been having problems with our WiFi connection dropping every few minutes.  There was also  severe interference on our landline - we could hardly hear conversations due to the loud crackling noise.

We reported it to Manx Telecom and an engineer fixed the fault on the line (somewhere out in the street) and we received a replacement router as ours was pretty old and not working too well.

I plugged in the router, entered the passwords and all seemed OK.  Except that P's laptop in the box room upstairs couldn't seem to hold an internet connection for long and kept dropping out.  Pretty frustrating for him on rainy days when he can't get out in the garden.

Yesterday evening I remembered that we had bought a WiFi range extender when we moved in here as the signal struggled to reach the upstairs rooms.  After six months I couldn't remember how I had originally installed it and set it up so this morning was spent rummaging through drawers and cupboards to find the box and instructions.

Eventually I found them and, with the help of Professor Google, I finally managed to copy the new router's settings onto the extender and now P is happily internetting upstairs while the wind and rain lashes down outside.

He did vacuum the whole house for me as a reward!


Ruddy Rabbits

 We have been given a plant which a friend dug up from their recently deceased parent's garden. He had no use for it and was going to pave the garden before putting the house on the market.

He has no idea what it is, nor do we, but I thought it would look good in a blank space in the garden.

It was doing quite well until I noticed this morning that half of it appears to have been eaten, and a couple of the blooms were lying beside what was left of the foliage.

We think the culprit was probably the big, fat bunny that visits our garden most evenings.

Hope he gets indigestion.

I had my six month review this morning at the Plastic Surgery Clinic to check that my scar had healed OK and for a skin check.  I had not realised that the skin check was a full body check and would require me to strip down to my flimsies.

Thank goodness they were clean on this morning!

Anyway, all clear so no further excavations required.

The Potting Bench

At the front of the garden shed was a patch of rough, uneven, stoney ground which had chunks of rock and broken concrete  thrown on it.

P had been pondering what to do with it when I suggested that  a potting bench set against the stone wall would be useful.

I envisaged a simple wooden bench made from the offcuts lying around the "dumping ground"  behind the shed.

This is the work in progress so far.....

A sturdy bench with a shelf beneath it for pots and compost and a handy blind at the front made from roofing membrane.

The area in front is currently being paved so that my delicate tootsies don't get muddy.

And for any potential snoopers out there, we now have a little added security...

A New (Old) Clock

In a previous blog post, several months ago, I talked about a friend of ours who is a clock collector. He has a passion for them; acquiring, restoring and displaying them in his home. He has a couple of hundred clocks of all kinds I seem to recall.

When they visited us last weekend he remarked that our sitting room really needed a large clock on the blank grey wall.  I agreed and said that I had been thinking about buying one but hadn't yet got around to it.

Yesterday morning he called round with a 24 inch diameter wall clock he had just finished repairing and had painted its frame grey to go with our decor.  What a lovely man he is.  We have a pile of freshly chopped logs for his fireplace waiting in the garden in exchange.

I am very pleased with it.

Well, Blow Me Down

Yesterday P decided to make a start on the exterior house painting, beginning with the eastern gable end which has the big stained glass window set into it.

It was much higher than he originally thought and,  even with his ladder fully extended, he couldn't quite reach the very top.  He made a start as far up as he could reach but by late afternoon the weather had turned and it was becoming very overcast and windy. 

He decided to stop and came inside,  leaving the ladder propped up against the wall. I mentioned that the forecast was for the wind to strengthen overnight so hadn't he better take down the ladder incase it gets blown down and damages the window?

Nah, he said, it won't fall over. It'll be fine.

The wind did strengthen overnight and did blow the ladder over, but thankfully it fell sideways,  the top section lodging itself against the roof flashing.

Not allowed to say "Told you so".

An Early Walk

Although we are not having the heatwave being experienced across the water in the UK it is a pleasantly warm day today.

We decided to go for a walk after breakfast before too many people were out and about.

P drove us a little way up the mountain road and parked at  a spot called Hibernia.

From there we walked down through the plantation to the reservoir. 

I carried on walking down to the coast road and home whilst P took another path back up to the car.

Back home in time for morning coffee.

Been A Bit Quiet

 I haven't blogged all week. After last week's nosy parker incident I was feeling a bit stressed, then I was not feeling well so I haven't done much apart from reading, pottering about in the garden in between squally showers and adding a few comments to other people's blog posts.

The TT Festival ended on Saturday;  the final Senior Race was moved from Friday due to the horrible weather conditions.  The fans seemed to have enjoyed themselves, although there were several fatal accidents during the two weeks of racing which is something that always causes much controversy.  Motorcycle racing is a very dangerous sport but I suppose the competitors accept that level of risk and still want to take part. It is very hard, though, for those left behind, and for the emergency services and marshals who deal with the aftermath.  Generally the overall atmosphere amongst the visitors and locals is one of high spirits and fun, but this year saw some very stupid incidents, most likely caused by a "letting off of steam" after the events of the past two years.

I have been letting off steam in my own way too.  I splashed out on some deep red geranium and yellow/gold french marigold seedlings which I have potted up to go alongside my multicoloured violas and nemesias.  What was that?  Colour matching???  Oops.

A Nasty Feeling

 We discovered today, via a third party, that a local resident  has used the Memorial Garden opening hours as an opportunity to snoop around our property while we were both out.

P thinks he may have met him walking down our drive as he returned from his morning run. I was out walking. P assumed he had just been to visit the gravestones but now we think about the brief conversation they had, we feel that he must have been our snooper.

We have been happy to welcome genuine visitors who are interested in the chapel and its burials, but this has left me feeling quite uncomfortable.

Quiet Monday

After a cool, grey start the sun is out and the temperature is edging on 16C.

We walked to the shops after coffee and the town was buzzing with leather clad bikers looking to secure the best viewing spots next to the course for today's racing. There are Dutch, German  French and many other bikes all parked up wherever their owners could squeeze them in. 

The police are on hand to ensure it all goes well and the atmosphere is one of happy anticipation. 

After buying our supplies we strolled back home, where a cup of tea in the garden is the highlight of my day.

I don't need excitement at the moment;   just being able to sit and enjoy the flowers and the birdsong is enough for me right now.

Fun And Frolics

This week has seen the island enjoying the start of the TT Festival as well as some Platinum Jubilee celebrations. 

Although the weather has been a little hit and miss most people seem to be enjoying themselves. 

Buttercups And Daisies

Seeing these scattered all over our lawn in today's warm sunshine had me singing Strawberry Fair to myself.

They always remind me of my primary school days as our school playing field was covered with them. We would loll around on the grass at break time, making daisy chains and holding buttercup flowers beneath our chins. Innocent pleasures.

P has finally finished laying the hard standing at the bottom of the drive.

It almost finished him off. He needs a rest.