Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Good Little Things

 Chez Today's Stuff has been on the ropes with illness. The weather has been depressing to say the least. Half term plans have had to be cancelled. It's all been rather glum. I'm feeling sorry for myself. The Doctor thinks it's either an inner ear infection or neuralgia. All I know is that it's bloody painful, and I've rather had enough of it all. Let's hope the next round of pills sort me out shall we?
A list of good little things.
Highlights if you will.
To counteract the gloom, and as a reminder that not everything is lurgy ridden.
  • 'Lightling' which is Olly's word for lightening. As in a flash of. It made me chuckle so much last night, that I got him to repeat it over and over again, until he rolled his eyes at me.
  • For the past two days there has been actual washing drying on the actual washing line. It has been billowing in the gentle breeze, and hazy sunshine. Oh how I love the smell of line dried bedding. I fold it and hold it to my nose, inhaling that crisp outdoorsy scent.
  • Eating chips on Bournemouth beach. They were smothered in salt and vinegar, and volcanically hot. It was the best Valentine's Day present.
  • This morning I woke to the most glorious mackerel sky sunrise. The colour filtered into the bedroom, and even though I'd had a rotten night's sleep (I'm ill. Did I mention it?), I jumped out of bed, grabbed my phone, opened Olly's window up wide and teetered on his window ledge to take a snap or two. It was gone soon after. A fleeting spectacle of natural beauty.
  • Sarah Lancashire. What a fine actress she is. Are you watching the second series of Happy Valley? You know me and my love of a good police drama. It's that ordinary person in extraordinary circumstances scenario kind of thing. And it's just so refreshing to see a female actor playing her age. And being relevant. And sexy. And cool. With a fab line in no nonsense patter.
  • I have foxglove seedlings springing up all down the side of the house. They are everywhere. I've managed to dig up most of them and popped them in a holding bay to grow on a little more, otherwise they are in danger of being trampled on. I figure I can distribute them around the garden and give some away. Anyway it's given me an inordinate amount of pleasure seeing them. No doubt they'll do my head in like the Echium seedlings that sprung up everywhere last year, but for now I am treasuring each and every one.
  • A new loo seat. It's very fancy, as it's one of those that lowers itself slowly. So no more slamming down of the loo seat by the boys. Or leaving the loo seat up, because watching it fall slowly back to the porcelain bowl is proving quite the thing around these parts.
  • We have been watching a dove coming and going in our garden. It is collecting little twigs and other dried up garden material for its' nest. There has been a nesting pair in our ugly palm tree nearly every year that we have lived here. Would it be the same one? Or would it be the offspring of the original nesting pair? It is very fussy as to which twig is suitable. More are discarded than taken. It is obviously a master builder when it comes to a nest.
  • Pottering in the garden has been feasible these past few days, because of a little break in the rain. Olly and I have cleared the pond of weed (a thankless task. It will be back before you know it. Anyone have any tips on how to clear it, apart from daily sifting?). We found a couple of newts, which is good news for the health of the pond. Probably not good news for the frog spawn that will soon be laid. But there you go. Nature in tooth and claw right here in our back garden. We've mulched and pruned and clipped and tied back. We have plans for the little shed. Fingers crossed for fine weather tomorrow.
  • A tip run. I love a tip run. Stuffing the back of the car with all manner of crap, and taking it to be recycled is a very satisfying task indeed. I always like to have a nosey at other people's rubbish too. It was all garden refuse today. I guess it wasn't just me having a late garden tidy up.
  • A list. Specifically a list of DIY. Marc told me to go from room to room and note down all the jobs that need doing. So I have. It's very, very long. To be fair I can do some of it myself. But most of it is outside of my capabilities I'm afraid. Did you know that I am a complete Neanderthal when it comes to most things practical? Seriously, it's like I'm missing a gene or something. I think it's the same one that understands simultaneous equations.
  • This song.
    I heard it on the radio the other day, and it made me feel rather nostalgic for my teens.

  • Lemon cake. Alf's favourite. Mainly because Olly isn't keen and so he mostly gets it to himself. Apart from when I have a sneaky slice pre tip run.
  • Sunny shadows. Especially those that cast patterns around the house. Shadows of the blinds against the wall, for example. Or of me, above, in the fancy collage. It's that lovely low golden light that's so welcome at this time of year. Of course it also shows up the dust something terrible, but I'm still in denial about all those pesky motes floating about the living room.
I'd love to know a little good thing of yours. What would it be I wonder?
Could I just squeeze in one more? I do love a quiet house. No telly, no chatter, no hurly burly. Just me and my blanket. Staring at the wall, or with my nose in a book.
Have a fab week, you gorgeous lot.
Leanne xx



  1. My good thing is that I have a full unopened package of Oreos in the pantry. Yay! :) I loved reading your good things. Huzzah for the new loo seat. I got one recently too, for the children's bathroom. It's the kind that is held on with a little clamp so you can clean it more easily. I have just the one boy but the mess is bad enough, I can just imagine three. I hope everyone at yours feels better soon.

  2. Dove life expectancy is around three years, so these two are likely to be different to your original pair. Perhaps you've got the local Dove des res in your garden and the word goes round when it's available to new tenants? Am liking your fancy new photo layout :o) Peaceful time outdoors is always a winner here, or quiet pottering about time. Hope you feel better soon, chick XX

  3. Hope you feel better soon but I loved reading all the good things, in particular the loo seat - I could so do with one of those but not sure the novelty would work with my three BIG boys, why oh why can't they learn to lower the seat! xx

  4. Those loo seats are fab aren't they. Love your list of good things. My best thing this week was going for a swim later than usual yesterday and finding that I had the pool all to myself - blissful. Enjoy the rest of half term and I hope your ear gets better soon. xx

  5. Newts, how wonderful, I dream of newts in the garden. Only frogs so far, and a toad down at the allotment. But you're right, pond clearing is horrible. The cold! The slime! Ugh. Ours has a layer of golf balls at the bottom. The new loo seat sounds excellent. Just this afternoon someone dropped out lid down so hard here I checked for cracks afterwards. I like a tip run as well. It's such a good feeling to declutter. We watched crows building a nest last year with huge twigs. It was all messy, but it held firm in the highest gales, and it's still there now, I often look at it and hope they'll come back this year and raise another chick. My good thing - there was a blue tit looking at our nest box this morning. There's been a great tit in there as well. We'll be so thrilled if one of them nests in there. I do hope you're feeling better soon, it sounds quite grim. Wishing you a good week. CJ xx

  6. My good thing today was having a child free couple of hours with a new book to read and finding a Toblerone unopened in the back of the cupboard, pure bliss.

    Love Alex xx

  7. Just finished watching 'Happy Valley '. Absolutely wonderful. She is such a talented actress, total opposite to her role in Last Tango in Halifax which I also love. Lemon cake also definitely a love...now I know where you are , watch out! I still remember my children's funny way of talking when they were young.. We still say some things using child talk. How sad. Hope the neuralgia goes soon. B xx

  8. I just love your lists Leanne. You are a master list maker I think. To help reduce pond weed I would plant more water plants in the pond, best in baskets so you can contain their growth. This won't help the pond weed now because water plants are always slow into growth but the theory is that in the summer as the plants grow they use up the nutrients in the pond thus preventing or at least slowing the growth of pond weed. Now, before the newts and frogs and toads return to the pond is a really good time to remove sludge from the bottom, a strangely satisfying job which should also help. Leave it by the side of the pond and you will see it wriggle with dragon fly nymphs. When all living creatures have crawled back into the pond put the sludge on your compost, it makes a fantastic activator. I've surprised myself with my diy abilities recently. I've fitted two new loo seats at the cottage having scrubbed the porcelain bowls until they gleamed. All I did was follow the instructions on the box. My next challenge is to replace the handles for the flush, I may have to look at a you tube video for that! Believe that you can do anything a man can do. Hope you feel better soon, it is horrid when ears are poorly.

  9. I'm sorry you've been unwell, Leanne. Hopefully the new pills sort things out. I loved this post, and I guess my good thing right now would be going back to my mom's apartment in the evening after having spent the day with her at the hospital and eating one of the chocolates out of the box my son-in-law got me for my birthday. And I love Happy Valley! Thanks for the lovely comment you left on my last blog post.

  10. Sorry you've been feeling so grotty I hope your next lot of tablets do work for you. A lovely peaceful post, I like a peaceful house too & always look forward to my Monday off so I can have a peaceful house. Keeps me going for the week xx

  11. Oh you poor thing, ear infections are easily the most painful things in the world. Hope you feel better soon. Good things: Reading your blog post this morning (tucked up in bed with coffee by my side). A day of work today. Dog warming my cold feet. The quiet in the house. Listening to a story. xxxx

  12. Today`s best thing is to feel that my two week Man Cold is at last getting better!
    I hope your bugs soon leave you alone.

    Lots of good things to be thankful for, even in the middle of the winter bugs. Hope you soon feel better.DWx

  13. Great blog and photo, I love your list, the things that matter. I wish I could get on with my garden clearing both at home and the nursery, we have now gone from never ending rain and storms to snow and or frost. Either way nothing is happening out of doors - frustrated gardener! :( Have a good week and take care x

  14. Thanks for reminding me about Happy Valley - I need something new on Netflix and I love Sarah in Last Tango in Halfax so I will give it a try :-)

  15. Lots of goodness! I love lemon cake and I love tip runs too! Happy Valley is being recorded, glad to know that it is good again! We used to get loads of self seeded foxgloves, but not so much these days, perhaps I should get a pack of seeds and sprinkle them around! I do like to see them. xx

  16. Oh, the weather's been depressing here for ages and they're not expecting it to improve anytime soon. Love your list of good things xxx

    1. Isabelle! How lovely to hear from you! Boo to rubbish weather.
      L xx

  17. Wow, how posh, a loo seat which lowers itself, I must look into those. Hope you're feeling a bit better now, it seems everyone here has got the lurgy, I'm bound to get it too at some point, something to look forward to, not!

  18. hope you're starting to feel better.
    lemon cake. now there's a thing. I was just thinking we've run out of cake.... x

  19. Hope you are feeling better, what bad luck to feel so ill during after term. That is a wonderful list of so many good things. Sarah x

  20. Good Little Thing this end...red wine, log burner and a posh chocolate. X

  21. Good things here...Angus left most of his tea (fishcakes) so I ate it. Yum.

    Such an excellent list. I hope you're all better now. Ear related problems are the worst, I say that knowing it to be so. John had an ear infection this time last year - it was really nasty and took about a month to fully clear up. Neuralgia too is not nice or colds for that matter. Roll on spring when hopefully all viruses will bugger off. xx