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Pol came back at about elevenish and went straight to bed without saying goodnight. Random lent me her phone charger. I asked if she had a nice dinner. She said in the end she hadn't eaten anything because she'd had toast while she was waiting for Pol to bring me back.

I made Pol a coffee in the morning, but he was having a fasting blood sugar, so it was wasted. Still, he sat and chatted with me a while, mostly about the Steam games he bought me. I am trying to download them while I am here, but the emails went missing and without the emails Steam isn't forthcoming on past gifts.

Spice and Hatter were bouncing on me all night long, so I didn't sleep very well. I have fed them and emptied the cat tray. I am also cleaning up the conservatory, which is full of rubbish from where the rats all used to be, and gathering my art stuff so I can do art. I've just stopped for a meal break. It's Tescos Value Cottage Pie - I feel quite brave for eating it.

Pol said he wouldn't be back tonight as he's out to a prearranged social event. I wish I was going - it would be nice to see people while I am here and I've switched to a later sleeping pattern to fit in with Pol and Random, so being up late isn't a problem. Still, there's Mary and Tim's wedding on Saturday! After which I am going straight home, which apparently spoils Random's trip to Coventry, as I was expected to look after the cats. They thought I was leaving on Sunday, but I decided to go straight home rather than get a train on Sunday for a journey I already don't like very much. Random has really had a lot of inconvenience from me this trip up, though she's being nice about it. Pol won't be able to look after the cats, because he's off to a different wedding with Kira. He leaves Friday evening, so I think from what he's said that tomorrow morning is the only time I will see him, before he goes to work and then to pick up Kira, and then to the wedding.

It's bright and sunny out today. The fruit trees look good where Pol planted them.

Anyway, I'd better go and eat, and then actually do something instead of moping around online.


Feb. 20th, 2013 10:23 pm
supermouse: Simple blue linedrawing of a stylised superhero mouse facing left (Default) the cuddliest, glompiest cat in the world. Hatter is adorable. I was worried Spice had forgotten me, but she crawled up for her usual night time cuddle and stopped me doing anything else for a while. :0) Hatter's been making me play with him.

Pol and Random and Kira have gone out to dinner without me. I arranged a Tescos delivery for 9-10pm, thinking that would be plenty of time for me to get to Wigan, but it wasn't, so they had to wait in for my food. Then Pol persuaded me to let him pick me up instead of getting a taxi, and so they had to wait for that too. But they've all gone out to dinner now, an hour later than planned. I was asked not to go along, and that in fact the plan had been for me to arrive to an empty house, except I ruined that with bad planning. I'm a bit confused about why this plan, but hopefully everybody is happy now and being fed. I've got a glass of milk and am curled up with the cats.
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I've had a pretty good day. I'm still learning Latin from Lingua Latina (a book which teaches Latin by starting off in a very Janet-and-John style and gradually adding vocabulary. There's not a word in any other language than Latin in the book, other than the copyright notice.) I pored over a medieval court record, although I think I have as much from it as I can get without help. There are only about four words missing, but they're the vital ones which make sense of what the dispute was actually about. I can tell who it was about, and when, and where everyone lived, and what the sentence was, but not what exactly Gilbert had done to John.

I also went out on the bike. Something is amiss with the back wheel. The ride itself was great. Lots of mud and horse poo, and something across the path which looked alarmingly like a dead horse from a distance, but which turned out to be a long pile of chestnut-coloured sandbags placed to hold back a flood. Pol's been at home all day and has kept the sitting room very warm, so my room has more or less had underfloor heating. I got back from the ride and basked happily upstairs for a while and only had to redon all my winter woolies after he left the house. Pol's not been particularly welcoming of my presence all day, after I woke him up early by moving around the house, so I have left him to come out of it on his own.

I had a lovely evening watching The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, the book of which I never finished because I thought it too depressing. The film isn't any more cheerful, but there's so much less of it to wade through. I feel as though I've achieved something by reading it; earned some sort of merit badge or something. Much more fun was 60 Years of Attenborough, where he gets enthusiastic about filming techniques. I didn't realise until this programme that he has kept journals. I fully expect them to end up in a museum one day as a national treasure. Meanwhile, I am thankful that we still have the national treasure that is David Attenborough. Hatter cuddled up with me while I watched it, and seemed to really enjoy the scenes of swooping fish.

And so to bed.
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Palaeography again, this time Medieval. Before spellynge, backe in the time of 'ye'. Random handwriting wasn't any easier to skim back then than it is now.

I have a bike! It is purple and I have no photograph of it. I'll do something about that the next time I go out on it. Random also has a bike, which is a brown Landrover bike with a wicker basket and three gears. It looks rugged and simple and ready for pootling around in the 1930s. Mine is more cyberpunk. I'm looking forward to when we go out together.

Hatter brought a rat back last night, which was exciting. As far as I can tell, he jumped it and managed to grab it by the neck in such a way as to trigger it's 'being carried by mum' reflex, as it was perfectly docile until he let it go in the upstairs hall. Thanks be to the gods, it ran into the bathroom and not any of the other directions that would have made last night so much more complicated. It was a good, big healthy rat.

Rats are vermin. If you catch one, you can't let it go. It's not only illegal, it's monstrously unfair to anyone living close by. They carry diseases which can disable and kill human beings. So, in the next part of the story, the rat dies. If you can't deal with that, please move on. )
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The reason I so often garden in my pyjamas is that before or after breakfast, but before dressing, I'll put my wellies on and stump out to the greenhouse to check and water my plants, and then around the garden to see how everything is doing. I then will see something that needs doing, forget I am not dressed yet and suddenly I've spent hours planting out or whatever. Cotton pyjamas wash well, which is just as well really.

The weather has turned cooler and greyer, although rain isn't expected until Monday night. I'll be quite glad of it. Meanwhile, I've had the fun of expanding coir compost in 60 litre buckets, then the fun of draining it after I realised I put in too much water. I think my '60 litres when expanded' is closer to 50, to be honest. The process of stirring it involved getting into the tub and treading the compost like grapes. That was when I discovered a small hole in my super duper wellies. Does anyone know how to fix wellies? I don't want new ones, as these are the nicest wellies I've ever had since I was about three and had a bright red pair with daisies around the top.

I planted out dill and some sacrificial tomatoes which are surplus to requirements and got in my way. The tomatoes are Roma VF plum tomatoes. They're hardy little seedlings, but even so I think I've signed their death warrant, with no hardening off or anything. If they make it, I'll merely put the rest of the tomatoes somewhere else. They're in a pile on the soil, of living alehoof, followed by dead rhubarb leaves (well chewed by now), followed by blood, bone and fish, followed by coir compost which tomatoes supposedly like. I need to shove some lime in there (easy to do when it's a heap), and they won't get any nitrogen at all beyond the initial dose. What they will get is a companion group of comfrey plants I can cut down and let rot into their heap from time to time. If I *really* need to, I'll give them comfrey tea, but I'm reluctant to use liquid feed. The tomato heap is next to some planted-out dill which should live.

From the same tray as the dill and tomatoes, I've planted out five sweet marjoram seedlings of six sown modules and one lavender seedling, again of six sown modules (I overwatered them, poor things.) They're in a seed tray heaped up well with compost, and will be planted out as an entire unit. I'll sow new lavender in the same tray, for a lovely fragrant double row of herbs. I think the lavender will do a lot better in the bigger tray because it's a lot less drown-and-drought than the little modules. I love that I am learning what works, and what doesn't, and still ending up with plants. Plus, seeds are cheap.

I have a container ready for when the black cherry tomatoes come up. I have more pea seedlings, still, than I can face planting out in a day. Hopefully, I can put out more tomorrow, in their own little piles of compost. I'll put the compost out in the morning and put the peas in it in the evening, to make sure the compost has had a chance to drain further. Every edible pea I've planted out so far is alive and well. The sweet peas are more finicky and apparently tastier, but by letting some grow taller and then hiding them under bottles, I've managed to keep a dozen or so plants alive. I'll supplement them later in the year with outdoor-sown seed.

Dill has also been placed to one side of the brassica/allium bed, on the opposite side to where the carrots will go. Everything else on the bed supposedly really benefits carrots, and dill really benefits the everything else, so I'll just let the everything else play chaperone. I also planted out some spring onions, as my spring onion trough (with eighteen healthy plants in it) is full. I also planted out some spring onion ends that I soaked in water overnight. Apparently, you can get three spring onions from each one you buy if you only save the root end. Let's see if it works in practice. It also works for celery ends, apparently, except those you bury straight into the soil an inch deep.

My nasturtiums are just at the stage of splitting and putting out the first bit of root, as I found out when I turned one up. By this time next week, I should have little baby nasturtiums everywhere. The eventual plan is that every bit of ground not growing something else I want will be covered with nasturtium. All I have to do for the nasturtiums is put them in a crappy bit of soil and leave them well alone.

My catnip is doing very well and every plant now has new proper leaves. In COMPLETELY UNRELATED news, both cats have suddenly become very interested in joining me in the greenhouse and I keep having to chase them out. I'll pot them on and let them get good and big before I throw them out to the mercy of every neighbourhood cat. The plan is to place them strategically to keep the birds away from my tomatoes. They'll go on their own in a bit of 'waste' earth next to the greenhouse where it won't hurt anything to have cats rolling on it. I also have to look up what it was they were meant to be a companion for in the west-facing bed, and where they can go to do that and not cause cats to crush my other vegetables.
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I've got a morning routine in place again. On bad days, I get as much done as I can, and on good days I do all of it. The first thing is putting yesterday's clean pots away, the next thing *currently* is putting yesterday's dirty pots into soak in hot soapy water, as our dishwasher is broken. Then I wipe the kitchen sides and unlock the back door. I empty any bins that need emptying, and sort out the cat tray. I check my seeds in the greenhouse. After that, I feed the birds, then the cats - so the birds get a time to eat while the cats are preoccupied. Meanwhile, I finish the pots, then get myself breakfast. I'll usually then remember to water the plants in the conservatory, although I should be doing those at the same time as I'm checking my other plants.

Today, I also posted a letter to my sibling and nibling, and a parcel to a friend. I love having the post office in easy walking distance, without any busy roads to cross. I can't even see very well today, and I didn't notice until I had to put the parcel on the scales and couldn't at all see where they were until they'd been pointed at. What also makes a nice change from Horwich, is that the children round here don't just randomly spout verbal abuse at adults in passing. It's like a huge weight lifted to have that constant, casual abuse gone.

If I'm going to keep being outside in cold weather, perhaps I should get my head shaved again. It's a real nuisance to get it washed, and I can't get to a hairdresser to get it styled, which it now needs.

I have windows open, airing my room through. Spice loves it when the bathroom window is open, as she can perch on the sill and watch all the little birdies. She caught a sparrow once, and seemed utterly disappointed in the taste, so her eagerness to get after birds in general has faded a lot. She'll watch them, but makes no effort to get outside to get them. I'm glad, as we have an entire flock of long-tailed tits that visit the garden most of the day, and I'd hate either cat to get them. Hatter's more eager, but he's also piebald and easy to see, while Spice is cryptically coloured. Neither like to be outside much or for long during the day, thank goodness.

I like living here.
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Spice is very, very playful and I can't always keep up, so I thought having a kitten might keep her occupied. Of course, when they first met, neither was at all impressed by the other. Spice was downright scared, but kept creeping up to examine new kitten with a look of fascinated horror on her face. I played relentlessly with Hatter (the kitten) so he wouldn't stare at her and frighten her off. So she got unscared, and then Pounced him, at which point *he* got scared - but, being a kitten, only until something moved nearby and he forgot all about it. Spice did, clearly, recognise that this was a Small Cat once she got close enough - reassuring, because for a while she was treating him as potential prey. But then she spent yesterday Putting Him In His Place - coming up to him and whacking him hard once or twice on the head. He got very fluffed, then less fluffed, then apparently just accepted that life apparently hands you larger cats who come up to you and randomly bop you on the head. Then Spice changed tactics, and kept bouncing up to him at a rush, stopping just before contact - again, Hatter fluffed up, then got used to it. Today, she bops him and runs off, then he chases her in turn.

This has led me to discover that it is very hard to play Fallout: New Vegas when your keyboard keeps being bounced, first by a kitten being chased by an adult cat, then by an adult cat being chased by a kitten. On the one hand, I am very glad that the introduction of kitten to cat is going so well. On the other hand, my fingers are scratched and bleeding.


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