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Thursday, 27 July 2017

YOU CANNOT MAKE A SILK PURSE OUT OF A SOW'S EAR ~ OR CAN YOU

Good Morning to you,


All 80 boxes, yes honestly, I can hardly believe it myself, 80 boxes, have been unpacked and the contents put away. Although there are some books, no, I have to be very honest with you, and tell you, lots of books, have been stored in the loft until I can get around to culling some more.  I did have a good sort out before we moved, but, it seems, that as we have downsized, the initial sort out was not enough, so the sort out must continue, but that can be done at a later date.

Meanwhile the furniture has been placed in the appropriate rooms and even the cushions have been plumped and placed on the sofas.

.... and we are feeling quite settled in our new home. I genuinely feel so happy and content. I really feel, I am where I am supposed to be.

Although I have to tell you, as settled as I am, I feel sure that much of the furniture and many ornaments will be moved, once, maybe twice, but knowing me, three or four more times, before they find their rightful place in our new home.

As settled as we are in the  house,  we do have a bit of a challenge ahead of us.  We have not inherited neatly tended lawns and beautiful borders, such as the gardens we left behind.


This is what we face.  I admit, perhaps not quite a jungle, but I would say, not far from it. You would not believe the things we discovered hidden behind the bushes.


The bushes had been allowed to overgrow without any pruning. We discovered the honeysuckle is intermingled with weeds, which in turn are intermingled with nettles and grasses.


Whilst the Buddleia has been allowed to grow to at least 20 feet high and the same wide. Far too big for the size of our garden.


At the back of the garden there is a cute gazebo, which will be staying but does require a lot of attention.  My idea is to plant roses and clematis and to allow them to scramble up the gazebo. This corner is a lovely place to sit and read as it catches the evening sun.

There is so much work to do and if we were 10 or even 5 years younger, we would have immersed ourselves into the garden to clear all the bushes and weeds away, but we realised after decorating the whole house, we really did not have the energy to clear the garden as well. It took us quite a while to reach the decision, as both of us said in words, that we wanted to crack on and get the job finished, but in truth we didn't. When we both finally had the courage to admit how we felt, we were relieved that each of us felt the same. Now we had the task of finding someone who could make a silk purse out of our sow's ear.

.... and between you and me and the gatepost, I had a secret weapon up my sleeve.


A brilliant young man called Gary, from Ace of Spades, who is based in Cramlington. He certainly was our Ace of Spades.

I came to know about Gary, one sunny, summer day last year and who knew that a year later I would need his expertise.

I was enjoying the sunshine and weeding the borders in our front garden, when I heard an electric hedge cutter.  It wasn't the noise of the hedge cutter which attracted my attention, but the wonderful laughter of the man using it. He would cut part of the hedge, then sweep away the cuttings, at which point, the owner of the house would take the opportunity to talk to him. The air would then be filled with Gary's wonderful laughter.   So when the decision was reached that we needed help, I thought this is just the man I would love to help us clear our garden.  I tracked Gary down via our old neighbour and we arranged for him to come along to look at the garden.  I was a little worried that he might feel a little phased by the amount of work which needed doing, but no, he gave us a quote and we were excited for the day to arrive, when the garden would be cleared and we could begin planning our new garden.

The first date came and went, because we had torrential rain, as did the second date. In the meantime, the garden was enjoying the rainfall and continued to grow.  After about 4 changes of date, the rain stopped and the day finally arrived when Gary felt he would be able to start work. 

As it happened it was on the first Tuesday I returned to my sewing group.

So when I left the house, the garden looked like this,


and when I returned at 1 o'clock some 3 hours later, the garden looked like this.


I could not believe how much work had been achieved.  George said he had sat and watched the lads from the conservatory and was itching to help.... as is his way.  He did offer his help, but they would not let him. They told him he was to sit down and enjoy his cup of tea.

Both the lads were absolutely amazing.  When they had finished, they took away all the garden waste to be composted. I really could not have been more pleased with what they had achieved.

Before Gary left us, I asked him a couple of questions.

Firstly did he always work so quickly? 

He said he did, but on this occasion he was spurred on, because we were forecast rain at 3.00 pm and he really wanted to complete the job, because the weather had hampered him for so long.

The second question was, did he realise he laughed a lot whilst he worked and how infectious his laugh was?  

He said he knew he laughed a lot, but he didn't realise the effect it had on people. He also said what was the point in being miserable, as he preferred to be happy.

Gary could have arrived and been disgruntled about the amount of work that was waiting for him, but he wasn't, he made the job of clearing the garden seem like a very simple, pleasurable job, when in truth it was a lot of hard work.

Gary and his friend were lovely and I would highly recommend them to anyone who needs help with their garden. 

.... oh and when the bushes were cleared, look what we discovered peeking through our neighbours fence,



these beautiful raspberries.  Our new neighbour is so lovely. When we moved in to the house,  he popped around to introduce himself and to give us a lovely potted Chrysanthemum as a welcome gift,  at the same time he  told us to help ourselves to any raspberries which appeared on our side of the fence and that later in the year we would discover blackberries fruiting.

.... how lucky are we to have met such lovely people.

Take care and I will catch up with you next Thursday.

As Always















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