Did someone say Snow?

Patricia, early 1960’s not sure where, down Hackensall?

Yesterday we awoke to a white covering caused by hailstones, this was soon followed by snow flurries and topped by a very cold wind. It went below freezing last night and today it is only around 0C in the shade, again with an icy wind! So much for spring. The spring flowers are used to this weather, although they are slow at appearing, they prefer cooler temperatures and last longer. Not sure about us humans!

Had some lovely flowers delivered on Thursday in honour of Mother’s Day on Sunday. I was hoping we could have a picnic in the garden,(we always had a picnic when C. was a child) but I suspect it will be too cold for that!

I was wondering about volunteers, will they get back to doing what they did before? A lot of things have been shut down while this Pandemic is going on and i wonder how the people who did the volunteering are feeling? I am a volunteer and I have been rethinking my roles. One of them is as an adviser on the Local Heritage Committee, we have not had any meetings (on line) since this began and i get the impression that local history is taking a back seat, perhaps rightly. If this is the case then maybe it needn’t be one of my priorities, although i love history how much do i really care about the local history around here? Something I will have to make a decision about sometime, I guess.

Little Richard has died at the age of 87. Obituary: Little Richard. He was a bit too old for me, although I remember his music, Tutti Frutti, Long Tall Sally, Good Golly Miss Molly. Strange guy, good music.


Victory in Europe

Land Girls in London, mum is back row left. Taken sometime in 1940/41

May 8th 1945, Churchill announced the end of the war in Europe and suggested the people might like a small celebration while understanding that the war with Japan was still in progress. That wouldn’t end until August 1945.

The Queen has given a speech remembering her Father’s of 75 years ago. Below is a link to a rendition of “We’ll Meet Again”.


After the Storm….

Knott End Ferry slip top no idea when.

Another day, this one is my uncles birthday! Decided i had better get my WI stuff sorted out, I have rather neglected the sorting out of forms etc. Didn’t seem urgent as we are not having any meetings, but i still fgeel i should tidy up the loose ends in case stuff starts up again.

Our burn ban has been lifted as of tomorrow we will be allowed to have a small fire in the backyard. Very happy as it is still cool also the smoke is needed to keep the bugs at bay. Anyway right now it is raining so hope it stops for tomorrow.

Tomorrow is VE day and below is a link with “We will meet again” and a couple who were alive on the day 75 years ago.

Nova Scotia can get no relief from sadness, not only the terrible killing spree of the crazed denture guy, the death of the service men and woman who were based in Nov Scotia, but now a 3 year old boy who went missing is presumed dead, will they ever be free from tragedy.

Apparently we have only been using hand washing as a way to stop the spread of disease since the late 1800’s. Until then even Doctors didn’t think it was important to wash hands. It was only in the 20C that it became the norm as a way of keeping bugs at bay. It is vital now that we all wash our hands thoroughly and often.


Tempus Fugit

Us lot late 1970’s taken in Nanna Rattray’s flat, UK

Well it does. How long has this thing been going on? Here in Canada I remember everything being shut down sometime in the week of 16th March, that means we are in the 8th week now.

I know friends and family are struggling to cope with this new reality. All around the world everyone’s lives have changed. None of us know what is going to happen in the future and that is making some of us very anxious. Our security blankets have gone and a lot of us do not know what to use instead.

I am one of those people who has chosen to mostly ignore the general news, sometimes I am exposed to it but soon get annoyed by the content and change channels or switch it off. I do not want to be bombarded by details of what is happening, I am aware life is not normal.

I suspect this is one of the things that will change in the future, reporters and how they convey the news to us. Please, I do not want to be told I am living in hell, give me some lightness instead.

It was cold last night and today as well but oh boy those bugs are out in force now! Even with bug spray on they found me. I still gardened though, I love it. I cannot wait to start planting out and putting seeds in the ground. Still a bit cold at night for that.

I repotted a house plant, Peace Lilly, it had black leaves which worried me, I ended up splitting it into two and throwing out some parts which seemed dead. Apparently it is easy to care for, we shall see how it survives!


Books and Gardens

most of the garden I have been working on

Another beautiful sunny day but rather cool with an icy wind. Took a trip downtown to collect a book I had ordered from the local used book store. i like to try and give my business to local stores. I paid for it on line and picked it up from the front step. It is a book club book, “Washington Black”. Very happy to get it as the library is closed and i prefer not to read electronic books.

Got out in the garden later, now I have finished the one bed, i am trying to sort out the other front bed. This one is rather more difficult as it has a lot of plants in it as well as bushes. I am getting rid of some of the iris and hope to get rid of a lot of the day lilies. We shall see. It is also riddled with weeds, definitely a work in progress. Max’s tree ( a crab apple) is covered in tight buds, Katya’s tree ( a Ginko) is not showing any signs of life as yet, it is still early for it. Our Lilac bushes are really doing well this year. They were given to me by a young woman who joined the WI a few years ago, (she has since moved on). They were only small, but although they have flowered before, this year they look to have grown a lot. I am looking forward to the flowers.They are planted to screen the parking lot from the garden.

The United Kingdom has the deadliest Covid 19 outbreak in Europe at 32,000 according to the CBC.

Today was a significant birthday for a very good friend, we had taped a message wishing him a good day.


A Little of What You Fancy…

Patricia and Christina Montreal

May the Fourth, also known as Star Wars Day. Its use was first noted on 4th May 1979 when Maggie Thatcher took over as Prime minister of UK and the Conservatives congratulated her in the London Evening News by the statement “May the fourth be with you Maggie, congratulations” The month of May also seems to be full of weddings and birthdays. One version of how May was named is after the Greek goddess Maia, the god of fertility, hence the weddings and birthdays! Mays birthstone is the emerald. In the Catholic world May is the month of Mary, the mother of Jesus. in the Americas May is the month when we celebrate Mothers.

It is some good friends anniversary today, a significant one. We went to their wedding a long time ago when we all lived in Montreal and were very young, time flies when you are having fun!!!

Spent the day cleaning as i had neglected this last week, it was much cooler today but the trees are sprouting and some daffodils have come into flower at last. I hope the Magnolia tree flowers this year, we had no flowers on it last year, I just hope the wind isn’t’ too strong.


of warmth, bugs and friends

Somewhere in West Germany 1972/3

Another lovely sunny day after a little rain last night. It got so hot in the sun around 1pm I had to seek out some shade to continue my gardening. I finally finished the one bed I have been working on. It has a few bushes growing in it, but a large part was given over to weeds which, for the first time in 10 years, been evicted! I managed to save some delicate forget-me-knots and they are thriving. I have planted a few pansies and something called Fairy Wings which I am looking forward to seeing in flower. Their are also a few iris, and some holly hocks as well as tulips and daffodils. But a large expanse remains empty, I hope to sow some poppy seeds later as well as plant more perennials.

While I was rescuing the forget-me-knots, I was reminded of a very good friend who sadly died too soon. She had a large share of adversity and illness in her life and found it a struggle to live a ‘normal’ life. She lost a young child, many years ago now, but she once told me they loved forget-me-knots and ever since my friend passed away I have made sure to have these flowers in my garden. Thus each spring I am reminded of my friend and her young child and i think of them with happiness as I find the flowers are cheery. and I love the colour blue.

Is it really Sunday and the 3rd May! How long will this strange existence continue? I could get used to the “not having anything to do or anywhere to be” feeling but then i miss the grandchildren, friends and socialising.

Dave has started to paint the steps to our front deck and we both discovered that Bug season is upon us! Now the warm weather has arrived so have the black flies and mosquitoes, I love and hate this time of year because of the bugs. Oh well I shall have to get the bug spray out!


Strange Names and Other Things

Patricia on Smallest St. in York

In our basement bathroom, I have a book called “The Pendle Witches” by Walter Bennet. It was first published in 1957, my edition is 1993. It is a sad story of prejudice and superstitious fear. A true tale set in an area of Lancashire near where I come from. The so called Pendle Witches are well known in the area. At least 7 people were hanged in August 1612 in the grounds of Lancaster Castle, which still stands today. Their are many fiction books written about, “Old Chattox” “Old Demdike” and other members of those two families, but this book is a retelling of “The Wonderful Discoveries of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster” By Mr. Thos. Potts published in Nov. 1612. I have now finished reading it and find it a sad and sorry tale of ignorant, poor wretches who played on their “witch” reputation to extort money and food out of the locals. Chattox and Demdike were also old, ugly and a bit senile.

In the same bathroom is another book entitled “1001 Country Household Hints” by Mary Rose Quigg published in 1990. Towards the end there is a section about looking good, here are some of the tips; Add 1 tbsp. of malt vinegar to final rinsing water if you have brown hair or use lemon juice for fair hair, I remember my mother encouraging us to do this when we were small and I was always jealous of my sister because she had fair hair and mine was brown! A good quality mayonnaise is recommended to erase fine lines use it night and morning! This recipe is included:

How to become beautiful

2ozs patience

4ozs good will

1 pinch of hope

1 bunch of faith

Another lovely morning, took the Merc. out, this time with the hood down, to a local garden centre and bought some plants, very happy! More digging and planting.


May Day

Me and her about 1959 outside Hackney

The day started out cloudy but i had house work to do, couldn’t be put off longer. Also wrote a long letter to a friend and other computer stuff.

May Day celebrations have been cancelled in most places or took place on line. I think it is a holiday w/e in UK though what difference that will make is anyone’s guess, perhaps that is why the Scottish Prime Minister was asking people to keep social distancing and not take unnecessary trips!

I finished the day off with a bit of gardening as the sun came out in force about 4pm. The ground was very wet and most gardeners would not have ventured on it but i could see how the weeds were enjoying the sun and rain so got rid of a few more. I also admired the tulips, in tight bud and forget- me -nots, just sprouting from the soil. I do enjoy digging, i sit on my stool and get stuck in with my fork and then the thoughts come thick and fast. i usually feel good after a soil session. The w/e is supposed to be warm and sunny so I will hit the garden shop that is opening tomorrow and then spend the w/e digging. Unfortunately my experiment with storing the dahlias, Glads and Cala Lilly corms in our new shed was a disaster. They all perished and were a mushy mess. Never mind, I will have to get new ones. They are all too fragile to leave in the ground over our winters but they should have been in the basement. We live and learn.

It looks like their will be no survivors of the helicopter crash off Greece they are now looking for the human remains and aircraft parts.

Kim Jong un has reappeared in North Korea, he seems to be ok.


April Showers….

Patricia May flowers, The Hackney 1959

Today was a late start. Went back to bed, after breakfast, with the cats and slept. It rained all day but was warmish so after I arose we went for a walk down the garden to see what was growing. It is amazing what a bit of warm rain can do. I think the trees will come into leaf now, certainly the daffodils and tulips are ready to open any day.

We went food shopping later and stopped for a chat with a neighbour whom we haven’t encountered lately, that is one of the things you miss, casual meetings with friends.

Dave fell asleep in front of TV last night, he cannot stay up late anymore.

Captain Tom’s birthday today, 100!! They made a fuss of him and the RAF did a flyover of his home with a Spitfire and a Hurricane. Amazing guy!

The Russian Prime Minister has tested positive for the Coronavirus.

Trump has claimed China wants him to loose the upcoming US election. They are not alone in their thinking!

1 person is confirmed dead and 5 others are still missing from the crash of the Canadian military helicopter that went missing yesterday. It is certain the crash was not caused by a shootdown from another country but the cause of the crash reamins unknown.

I did some knitting today after leaving it alone for weeks, I intend to finish this item which was a Christmas gift from a friend.

Costco is asking people in Canada to wear masks when they visit its stores, starting on Monday!