Days off, huzzah!

Today is my first of five whole, glorious, non-working days! Big yay!

I’ve sorted out a bunch of videos, (all the TKD poomse -required patterns- for all of the grades to black belt) numbered them, put them in sequence, chucked them into a file with the photo’ of my badge on the front, (you still wish you had one) and now have written about it.

Sad, sad, sad.

I have also been making the most of the non-torrential moments to do a bit about the garden. Many’s the suspected weed that has felt the pitiless brutality of the dark side of my gardening. Also I collected a nosegay of sweetpeas and roses, an eye-candy of crocosmia and dahlia, and a touch of hosta and butterfly bush to make an arrangement. I call it ‘Summer in a glass’.

Nice, don’t you think?

Also I decided to try an idea I’ve been mulling over. For a while now I’ve fancied putting some plants out the front of the house, but we have no garden and the local pre-convict youth would have trashed any plant pots with their relentless football. Now however, the darling youth have mostly moved their delinquency to some other poor bugger’s domain. Mostly. It would only take one hit to knock a plant over, possibly to break the pot. Then I noticed I’ve had to start weeding in the 10" gap between the house and the pavement. It is covered in large stones, with more of the same and sandy gravel below. I thought it would be too inhospitable a terrain to support plant life. But if weeds can do it, why not try some of the hardier plants?

So today I’ve been excavating small holes in the stones/ gravel, filling them full of compost and heavy soil, then planting lavender. I had one small lavender growing independently, but the other two were just branches I’d pinned down to root (layered). They were still attached to the mother plant until today. I’ve just snipped them off, cut them right back (to encourage rooting and decrease water loss through the leaves) and stuck them in the front. Watered them in, obviously. Now we wait. If anything can take it it will be lavender. Hot, dry, and poor (to the point of non-existent) soil. Nothing lost, I’m layering another bunch of branches now.

While I was at it I potted up one of my dwarf firs and buried the pot in a whole I made in the stones. It’s a nice fir, but I can’t really find a home for it in my garden, so it’s an ideal experimental candidate.

Talking of firs, whilst we were in Scotland we were surrounded by the buggers. One particular flavour caught my eye. I went rooting around for pine cones, trying to find one bearing seeds, but they were all wide-open, dried husks (due to it being totally the wrong season). Not to be put off I ripped a few cones apart to try to find any recalcitrant seeds (ones with issues) and amongst the few runtish looking seeds I found one that was rooting! I quickly ripped it out, put it in wet bog-roll, and left if for the rest of the holiday. I brought it home and potted it, not really expecting a result, but check this out:

Oh yes! Verdant growth! To put it into perspective that is a 3" diameter pot, but still, it’s not dead.

My other gardening thing of note is that, as I predicted, the ground cover is filling out:


I’m going to sort my push bike out while I’m off and start biking to work. No more tickets, improve my stamina, strengthen my cardio/ vascular, stretch my tendons (apparently) and save us some money. All good.

I wanted to do it before, but it is about six or so miles each way, and when I was in de-kit I simply didn’t have the excess energy to waste. Now would be the perfect time to start.

Which reminds me, after getting kicked out of de-kit I put on half a stone in about two weeks. This is bad news, for, unlike Wendy, I do not have it in me to diet. I work hard, sweat buckets at Taekwondo, and eat like a pig. Dieting and further exercise are anathema to me. So I was worried. I went from around 10, 6 to 10,12 ish. The worrying thing was; would I ever stop or just balloon into the thirteen stone bloater I was when I was drinking?

I cut out the odd cream cake, weighed myself quite a bit, and over the course of a few weeks have got back down to 10, 7. That was this morning. Briefly. I had a cup of tea and was probably back up to 11 stone. But I’ve not seen 10, 7 for quite a while so I am cheered. The overall good thing is that I’ve stopped banging it on.

Sah bum nim was banging on about her flab fighters when last I was able to attend. She was saying she went for a forty mile push-bike ride before class on Sunday, had been for runs before the other classes, then when she went to flab fighters, she had lost a pound! "A POUND!" she was going on. Apparently some of the other women there had been saying things like "I went for quite a long walk" "WALK?!" "WALK!" "A POUND!"

It was quite funny, for us at least.

My other news is irksome. I have been playing with all the add-on’s you can slap on the bog-standard Firefox browser. One of them is called Lazerus. It sits quietly in the background, supposedly securely storing all the forms you fill in, in case of data loss. Supposedly you just put in your password and it will retrieve the document on which you were working. I’ve had it for weeks now, snooping on me. Then when I was three quarters through typing out my blog I lost the bloody page. The only place it happens to me, and the only reason I installed Lazerus. After ten minutes of trying to remember what password I’d set I finally got into it, only to find it doesn’t do it for My-bleeding-space!


Uninstall Lazerus? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

To finish on a positive note, I think I have a control system for my headaches. I take that nasal spray every day as a preventative and I think it decreases the frequency and severity of the headaches. As a first line of defence when I feel one coming I take ibuprofen, which helps. Then if it does kick in I take some decongestant with paracetamol pills, and, hey presto, the sick feeling goes off, the pain eases and eventually stops. Marvellous!

Happiness is the illusion of control.

Off to practise my poomse, class tonight, big lie-in tomorrow!