Saturday, 22nd August, 2020

[Day 159]

Yesterday’s blog contained the details of how our adopted cat, Miggles (our name for him/her) turned up after an absence of 11 days and the explanation for this. We always knew that today might be a critical day i.e. would she turn up for her breakfast (i.e. be capable of leaping over fences, be let out by her true owners) Happy to report that after a few dings on her breakfast bowl (cats can hear up to 100 yards away I understand) she appeared and posed for some snapshots, as you can see…

[In the first snap, you can see she is still nursing her poorly left foot but the second is a more classic pose!]

If you are a fanatical catlover, you can see a lot more at


After this exciting start to the day, Meg and I attended our pre-planned church service, made a little more interesting because it commemorated the life of a local saint who was a frequent visitor to Harvington. We then collected our newspapers (full of weekend supplements, as per usual on a Saturday) and had an enjoyable coffee on the park bench, just avoiding the rain showers as we did so. After lunch, it was time to get the lawns cut and they badly needed a cut on this occasion as they had ‘missed’ a week owing to the hot weather (when they hardly grew at all) but, of course, since then, we have had frequent showers not to say downpours for a day or so now. There are several things to keep our attention in the garden at the moment. Our daughter-in-law is an expert on growing superb dahlias i.e. she starts off with really good stock and then they get nurtured in an especially prepared bed adjacent to our communal grassed area. Also this year we are growing some sunflowers and their growth has been so rapid that they are needing the support of some really large stakes to keep them upright (particularly in the light of the high winds we are experiencing currently). We are also growing some sweet peas against our back wall in the rear garden and these are progressing but are some way off the vigorous flowering stage. Down in Mog’s Den (the reclaimed bit of sloping land that lies at the very edge of our property), various things are coming along through a policy of benign neglect. Because the whole area is quite a severe slope and underneath trees, I have put various barriers (detentes) in place to create a series of mini terraces and liberally applied forest bark (both in the past and more recently.) Over this is growing some periwinkle (‘vinca major‘) and after a slow start, this is now starting to grow laterally, which is what I intended. I the past, I had bought some Skimmia and one of these is starting to look as though it is going to burst into bloom. Also, I had transplanted some Penstemon from another part of the garden and this seems to be thriving. The overall effect I am trying to achieve is a part of the garden you can visit for a bit of peace and tranquillity but with absolutely minimal maintenance! I am slowly getting there and can only say that the whole is looking so much better than a couple of years ago when, to be frank, it was just brambles and nettles. The other major thing of interest is our damson trees which are very old and form part of the hedge/boundary at the bottom of our garden. Last year, the crop was inexplicably light but this year the trees are absolutely laden with fruit – and a lot of it has matured about two weeks earlier than is usual. I am hoping against hope that although we have had some blustery conditions today that we do not have any really severe gales which would result in all of the crop being lost. I just want things to hang on until a week tomorrow (i.e. Sunday 30th August) which is a date when, having returned from our little sojourn in North Wales later on this week, I can pick all of the damsons and immediately use them to make litres and litres of damson gin (most of which is given away at Christmas)!