Saturday, 14th August, 2021

[Day 516]

Today was a fairly conventional Saturday with no particular things in prospect for us, apart from going to church in the late afternoon. Having completed a few household chores, Meg and I wandered fairly slowly down into the town and thence to the park. Here we were delighted to meet up with our University of Birmingham friend and another of the park regulars – I quipped that we are now the Bromsgrove Literary and Philosophical Society having their weekly meeting. Having had our coffee, I started off to collect our weekly supply of newspapers and it started to smatter with rain. So I organised an emergency umbrella and having ensured that the rest of the group could more or less keep themselves dry, I set off to collect our weekly ration of newspapers. Upon my return, the little group had relocated themselves to a spot where the trees afford a little more cover and the bandstand was in close proximity in case we need to make a sudden dash for it. Realising that the weather may be worsening, Meg and I struck off for home and our two friends were going off to the little cafe in the park to treat themselves to something warm. As we set off, though, the rain stuttered to a halt so we did not get really wet on the way home but just a little damp.

Lunch was a little special today because I had ordered some lambs’ liver for lunch. Having cubed this and dried it off, I then panfried it but added a goodly layer of onions and some onion gravy I had made to complete the meal. As vegetables, we had a baked potato and some Cavolo Nero (kale) which is particularly delicious. In the past, I am pretty sure that I have added a little red wine to my lambs liver but I forgot to do it today and the results were still pretty good. After lunch, I had intended to give the lawns their weekly cut but, in truth, whilst the sun was shining the grass was still pretty wet from this morning’s showers so I decided to postpone this particular treat until tomorrow.

Halfway through he afternoon my small-scale dustbin arrived, courtesy of Amazon and well before the anticipated delivery date of next Tuesday and Wednesday. I have bought one of these mini dustbins before and it is now residing in Mog’s Den, filled with a large bag of gravel. I now intend to use this new one as a storage container for garden peat and/or topsoil. They are about 18″-19″ in height and have a lockable lid with some clips to hold on the lid. Whilst these are a little ugly to the purist, it is well worth having something with a completely secure and lockable lid as I know to my cost that light plastic dustin lids can easily blow away in the winter gales. Also they are superb height and have a capacity of 50 litres. My original intention was to mix peat and topsoil in approximately equal proportions so that I would always have a handy supply when it came to planting out. But then I had some second thoughts and thought it would probably be a better idea to have peat in one container and topsoil in another so that I could mix them in absolutely the proportions that I needed for any particular planting. Although they are cheap enough at less than £12 (delivered), I toyed with the idea of buying yet another but decided to improvise. Going to my compost area (nicely hidden behind some tall fir trees), I resurrected an old builders bucket and found one of these plastic trug affairs that would serve as a huge but highly effective cover and so I utilised this for my topsoil whilst keeping my shiny new dustbin for garden peat. I wanted something a bit more professional than half-filled plastic bags which however well you try to close them always seem to attract slugs and snails from somewhere.

This evening we went to church as we always do on a Saturday evening and attendance was a little down as you would expect in the middle of August when so many are on holiday. I had brought with me a little bottle of damson gin which I intended to bestow upon on of our chatty Liverpudlian parishioners to whom I promised it last week – as she wasn’t there this week, I shall have to used to taking it along each Sunday until she reappears. Tomorrow, I hope that the weather is a bit better because I want to get a little bit of planting done and the lawns cut. Our lawns generally look OK and then suddenly look straggly and overgrown and I have to, as the gardening books say, ‘Choose a fine day‘ to get the mowing done.