Planted 60 lavender plugs.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 🙂
Refreshed container water for coleus cuttings – two have roots sprouting, one seems to be a dud.
Planted a few more saxifrage, and gave the corner a temporary border.
Repotted Acers into Ericaceous compost and bigger pots.
Potted the two new hydrangeas. Got them for super cheap as marked down surplus stock of mother’s day gifts (£2.16 for rooted, blooming hydrangeas!)
Mom decided to mark her mother’s connection by doing the final potting under my guidance.
Went to London with parents. Borough market (Brindisa stall is gone 🙁). Tower bridge (glass floor walkways are real fun). Oxford Circus, Regent Street, Carnaby Street, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square.
Gardening. Trimmed the fuchsia. Mowed the front lawn. Started the begonia tubers.
Costco morning. Among other things, got an air fryer, three mid-large pots, bags of ericaceous compost and feed (Acers aren’t happy ATM), and pack of Gillette shaving gel cans.
Used the air fryer to make samosas. Yum!
Finally learnt how to use shaving gels, and shaved. About time! And oh so awesome 🙂
Spoilt the atmosphere by breaking the news to parents that they won’t come back to Guildford once they leave on the weekend.
Planted long overdue primroses.
Trimmed Sedum and Hydrangeas.
Potted carnations cuttings
Watered all indoor plants.
Fed liquid feed to most outdoor plants – roses, clematis, Acer, chrysanthemums, campanulas, etc.
Did top dressing with solid feed for all Hydrangeas.
Topped up wood chip mulch.
Planted saxifrage on leaf much. Trying to create a carpet.
Planted a few other ground cover plants to preempt the weeds
De-weeded the front flower bed (weed = ever spreading Japanese anemone)
I also think gardening is great because I am a perfectionist and gardening is really helpful for learning to moderate that tendency a bit – every year something is doing amazingly and something else is just completely destroyed by something unpredictable.
My boss, R (not that one), in the gardening channel today.
I just love that description, her insight, and her self-awareness.
The step target is 10,000 a day. I hit it once before noon, with my run and the boys’ walk. Then I hit it again working in the garden all afternoon and evening.
I’m a developer now. After years of developing apps and extensions on the side, I joined as a full time Android developer last November. It’s been an interesting change, and it’ll be an interesting experiment — turning a hobby into a profession. Based on the little experience so far, there’s going to be a fine balance—learning and doing what I love vs the challenges (and learning) of working with some people.
I haven’t run since early December. More than two months. I wasn’t running much before that either, not after September. Hamstring and ankle were acting up last year. That’s just one excuse. I’ve gained a lot of weight (+13Kg, Dec ’19- Dec ’20), and it puts more stress on joints. I started a new career, and started working longer hours with fewer breaks. My favourite running buddy is growing old and getting past the age for running. Bruno left us, and I was depressed about it. I’ve got plenty of excuses, no runs. I could do with a friend, and a run. Or just a Parkrun.
I took a few cuttings last autumn. Most have survived and taken root. Some have really thrived. A few died. I planted a bunch more of tulips and hyacinths. Finally trimmed back the apple tree and roses after a couple of years. The daffodils buds are starting to appear. First crocus have flowered. I’m looking forward to spring. I’m looking forward to another summer of getting hands dirty in the garden.
Reading took a back seat in second half of last year. Probably an effect of too many good books in the first half raising expectations. I finally picked back up over December holidays, and have been keeping it going this year. I’m always up for reading recommendations, so please send me any and all.
Duolingo can now understand my pronunciation of most French words and phrases. I’m barely past the beginner level, but still at it. I might even say that I’m starting to enjoy the language. Finding a few good French series on Netflix has also helped keep the interest alive. If only the Paris marathon didn’t get cancelled last year :(
Personal apps & projects
I haven’t updated any of my apps and extensions since I started this job. It’s been hard to motivate myself to code more after spending hours coding in the day job. It’s hurting.
Google ended support for subscriptions in Chrome extensions earlier this year. I didn’t update the extensions; I’ve lost all paying subscribers, and they may have lost access to premium features. Dropbox is making a breaking change to their API/SDK again. I’ve got a few months to update both Todo.txt apps, or they’ll stop working for a bunch of users. I want to make some important and useful changes to a few other apps as well. The backlog is growing. And it is fuelling a latent frustration inside me, with myself.
Head & heart
Keep missing meeting parents. (And occasionally getting pissed at them). Don’t have kids, or any prospects. Chewie is growing old. Bruno was taken away. Dudley visits less often because his family are home all the time. Haven’t been outside Guildford, forget a vacation, in a long time. The learning curve at work is flattening, and people issues starting to crop up. I’m not running. I haven’t heard from a few friends in a while. I can’t go swimming. I’m still in debt. I’m not meditating. I’m way overweight and unfit.
I’m not sad, but I’m not happy. That is sad.