This week in ice, snow and dogs

If there was a theme of the week, for this week it’d be ice.

A bit of snow, a lot of hoar frost, a lot of freezing fog …. a lot of beautiful, crispy, clean white.

A plate with some stir fried green beans, some curly fries, and piece of chicken schnitzel.

Cooked a bit. This is the only thing I took a photo of – stir fried beans with cooked-from-frozen curly chips and chicken schnitzel.

Got myself a new monitor. It’s a beautiful, 21:9 ultra wide, curved screen. It’s also got a full powered hub so I’ve now got a single cable connecting everything to the laptop.

Sadly, Apple doesn’t support text scaling for non 4K screens, so the text is way smaller than what I’m used to. I think I’ll end up increasing default font sizes across my most used apps soon – Chrome, Obsidian, AS, VS Code.

A bottle of Chardonnay white wine of 2021 vintage from South Africa

Opened and finished another of the small stash of wines we’d picked up from Lidl. Like the ones before, this did not disappoint.

Spent a chilly Saturday in bed with the three of them. bliss

The day of peak white. And earlier today before the rain wiped out all the white 🙁

This week in dogs, plants and walks

A bright green young leaf surrounded by large dark green leaves on a monsterra plant. A yellow table is partly visible, out of focus, in the background.

The leaf finished unfurling.

It has company around the house.

One of the few sunny walks earlier in the week. That weather feels tropical warm now.

An alpine Dianthus covered in frost

Weekend brought in heavy frost.

Saw marks on a piece of a tree highlighted by frost.

A field on a downward slope, with low hills and trees in the distance. The field before the trees is frozen and white.

We did manage a sunny, if freezing, walk on Saturday.

A sunken path through woodland. The ground is covered in many layers of brown leaves. It's foggy. A black labrador dog is in the centre of the frame.

Sunday’s walk was just a mix of fog, woods and frozen fields.

Kia, a small brown cocker spaniel, hugging a small brown and white dog soft toy. Both are pretending to sleep.
My little dog with her little dog

Missed this little one though. She’d have loved bouncing around in frozen fields and grass.

This week

A new leaf unfurling on a monsterra plant. The new leaf is light green in colour while all existing leafs are a darker green.

The monsterra started unfurling a new leaf. It appears to be happy with its new location.

A photo of the cover of the book,

Bought a book just by (for) the cover. The cover even more beautiful than expected, and still slightly disappointing. I was expecting it to be embossed rather than predicted.

An Ikea air quality monitor showing red, warning about bad air quality. There's a pachira leaf in the foreground and a Google Nest WiFi router behind.

Bought an Ikea air quality monitor. I thought the air in my office was bad. It started on green. I moved it to the loving room. It’s been stubbornly stuck at red. Been researching air cleaners since then. They’re expensive 🙁

Went for a few good walks with kids. They slept around me rest of the while.

A Groot figure in plastic. The figure is resting on its right arm and left elbow, and its face is resting on the left hand. Its got a gentle smile and big wide eyes. There are a couple of coffee mugs to the right, and a clear plastic water bottle behind it. They are all on what appears to be an office cubicle table.R got me a Groot. Then she stole it away to Exeter. I am groot 🙁

Weekend diary


Lazy wake-up. Walk to the pool, swim, sauna, steam, walk back.

Brunch. Croissants with ham. Wash & dry clothes.

Cleaned kitchen. Cooked lunch – chicken schnitzel with stir fried beans.

Went to David’s, checked out the table (👍🏽) and dresser (🖐🏽). He also offered the garden set (👍🏽).

Went to town after ages. Got a haircut. Didn’t buy anything.

Got pizza from the good local place for dinner. Our old cleaner delivered it; he now works for just eat.

Went for a late walk with Chewie and R. Sat on the mount and watched the setting sun while taking about work and people.


Lazy morning in bed. Did a bit of work converting Autoconvert to typescript.

Went to Tesco. R did grocery shopping. I bought a 4 pack of Asiatic lilies.

Went to Lidl. Bought 2 Acers. R bought some misc stuff.

Walked over to B&Q. Bought coleus seeds and some planter trays. R finally got her jumbo sponge.

Walked back to Lidl. Bought 2 more Acers (☺️), some compost, a watering jug for me and, tomatoes for Benu.

Heated lasagna for lunch. Fixed the Virgin router (again!). Saw Leclerc was already out of F1, so lost interest.

Installed two new hangers for hanging baskets. Moved the small petunia basket to backyard, and large petunia basket to the front.

Spent more on garden – ordered lavender plugs for planting under the hedge, and lots of valerian seeds on eBay.

Went back to Tesco to get rajmah. Didn’t buy any plants this time.

Went to David’s to negotiate the cost of tables and dressers. He said yes to my first offer. Had mild regret that I could’ve gone lower. Got his spare, old step ladder (for free). Got two Roxanne geraniums. Saw a painting of 18 month old Maisie. Saw puppy photos of Maisie. Missed Maisie. A lot.

R came over to tell the scores – Liverpool had equalised, City were losing, United were losing, West ham were winning. She was grinning ear to ear.

Returned home and got back to the garden. Planted all 12 marigolds. Topped up last year’s chocolate & chili begonias with fresh compost. Planted the remaining red begonia tubers and 11 new chocolate & chili begonias. Planted the two Roxanne geraniums from David. Cleaned up a few weeds.

Sometime in between, city scored 3 goals and won the league. House went silent. R has been sulking and mourning since. Garden was a safe place to be for me. Chewie joined me too; with his ball.

Did more gardening. Then watered everything – front and back. Forgot the grass, but it was already quite dark.

Now getting ready for a shower and shave, before crashing for the night.

Good weekend. Lazy, but not very 🙂

(Post written to be read as if the John Gregor voice from Marley and me was announcing it)

Long weekend diary

Thursday evening

Bought and brought P’s new car home — a Tucson. It’s full of jazz and gadgets, but the lack of acceleration is a major bummer, especially after getting used to the Leaf.

Good Friday

Started the day with gardening. Potted the last two hydrangeas, three new mums, a bougainville, and a huechera – all nearly dead from thirst.
Deadheaded some daffodils, and watered all the pots.

Took the boys for a short walk, then drove to Coventry to see parents and sister. First long drive in P’s car. Acceleration is still totally crap, but it really comes into form on the motorways.

Spent the evening with family, including a trip to the pub.

Dad and Chewie hugging
Dad and Chewie getting going

Lots of lazying around, and gorging on great food. Bit of shopping for Indian groceries. Some tidying up in Sis’ garden. Liverpool v City on the TV. Drive back home, with a bonus passenger – dad came along to spend the week with Chewie.

Easter Sunday

Bit of gardening – prepared a new basket, trimmed and topped up an old one, another attempt at getting a plant going in the fixed semi container. The mums and huechera that I potted and watered on Thursday were looking sprightly already.

Went swimming. Visited R’s friends, 3A+S. Was real fun to meet the two kids. Didn’t get to speak to A much.

Back holiday Monday

Morning of bit more gardening. Affixed the hanger for new basket. Watered the baskets and container, and the pelargoniums that spent the winter in the conservatory. Added support to two Clematis.

Cooked English breakfast for all. For lunch.

Went for a long walk in the Chantry woods with dad and the boys. Bluebells all around!

Gardening diary

11 April

Potted Coleus cuttings

Potted Carnations cuttings

Hard trimmed the new hydrangeas

Moved cyclamen from pots to bedding

Potted new Chrysanthemums

Bought new Chrysanthemums, couple of moss Phlox, a Huchera, lots of peat-free compost, weed fabric for the side gutter, and a bracket for the new garden basket.

Still haven’t mowed the back lawn. It’s about an inch growth away from being declared a forest.

Non gardening update: finally put up new lights in the upstairs bathroom, with help from P. It took some effort, but it’s now the best lit bathroom in the house 🙂