Tag Archives: sister






Perhaps the only thing that can be said about the lawn in our back garden is that it’s generally green! A small percentage of that greenness is caused by grass. The rest of the greenness is made up of moss (18%), clover (23%), buttercups (17%), daisies (16%), dandelions (12%), sundry other weeds etc (11%). I think when all the weeds are flowering it actually looks quite pretty and in my opinion having a garden that pleases your eye is really what it’s all about. The abuse the back lawn gets from the amount of football, basketball, cricket, hockey and rugby that the kids play on it makes maintaining it the way my dad maintained his lawn a bit of a waste of time. However, I have discovered method in my laziness. I have a cunning plan!

I have a cunning plan

I have a cunning plan

My dad used to expend huge amounts of energy, time and money on his lawn. Even when he was getting on a bit he would mow, weed and feed it constantly and it has to be said that 96.87% of his lawn was actually grass. Every year he would grab his lawn rake and spend the day furiously raking up every scrap of moss and dead grass. He would then spend the next week in hospital with a suspected coronary. Each spring he would scatter spring lawn feed over the lawn. Every autumn he would spread autumn lawn feed over his lawn. Every year he would aerate his lawn with his garden fork and chuck lawn sand everywhere. As far as I can make out “lawn sand” is ordinary sand in  bag marked “Lawn sand” enabling the retailer to sell it for three times the price. I could be wrong. My dad used so much weed killer and sundry other chemicals that his lawn would luminesce at night.

Personally, I try not to use chemicals and weed killers. I do use it on the paths where, typically, the grass grows quite happily. It’s the same with pests. I’m not allowed by law to use chemicals on the kids much as I may want to when they destroy my Choisya Ternata. I dislike slugs intensely but now as I grow older I try to think of them as little bunches of DNA sliming around doing what slugs naturally do.slug1-400x301


Ahem. Excuse the little rant. Sorry. Much as I try to remain calm the mere thought of slugs drives me potty. DIE YOU FUCKERS DIE! I wouldn’t mind so much but the fucker slug fucks DIE YOU SHITS DIE! in my garden all seem to look like and are the size of Jabba the Hutt with an appetite to match.review_jabba_1

I do apologise for my outburst. Anyway, generally speaking I’m quite fond of the little garden beasties, so if it’s not a s**g or a sn**l, I try to encourage them. Our back garden is effectively divided into two parts. Last week I gave the whole lawn its first cut of the year. Now I like bees. Hate wasps but like bees. Bees like clover. There’s clover in our lawn and clover when cut, takes about a week to start flowering again. So. Each week, weather permitting, I will mow one half of the lawn so that each half gets cut once every two weeks. That way it looks neat(ish), the bees have a constant supply of food and I get to put my feet up for an additional half hour having done my bit to save the planet! That’s what you call a cunning stunt. (unless you’re my sister Boo, the Queen of spoonerisms, in which case it’s something else entirely).

Boo. My sister. She looks nothing like this

Boo. My sister. She looks nothing like this

Speaking of beaver, Clit Eatswood is regularly ensconced in my beard. It seems to like it there and comes quite often.

I’ve wandered off again haven’t I?

I started gardening and enjoying it relatively late. To me it was something your dad did and therefore gardening was done by old people.gardener

When PIL and I first got together we lived in a nice house overlooking a little copse with a stream running through it. It had a garden. So in an effort to further impress her and to get her kit off as often as possible I started to garden. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing (still don’t). I built a little seat out of bricks and old fence posts at the bottom of the garden where we could sit and look out over the stream. As you would expect with something I built only three buttocks could fit on the seat but this was fine because it meant PIL sat on my lap. I started watching Gardeners World on the Beeb Beeb Ceeb and the presenter, the late Geoff Hamilton, became a bit of a hero to me.

The late Geoff Hamilton

The late Geoff Hamilton

I discovered I enjoyed gardening and even better, that I was quite good at it. I can never remember the name of plants but I can visualise what I want to do and get the plants that achieve my visualisation.

Part of our garden

Part of our garden

The best thing though is that if you cock it up and have a colour clash,  a plant in the wrong place or it doesn’t suit the scheme you’re trying to achieve all you do is dig the bugger up again and plant it somewhere else. Brilliant! It helps that both PIL and I prefer informal planting with lots of colour and form and that is easy to do. For instance, bees like foxgloves. We like foxgloves. Foxgloves self seed like nobodies business so you buy a few and let them seed and you end up with big swathes of purple foxgloves springing up in the most unexpected places.



If by chance they arrive where you don’t want them, just dig ’em up and plant them somewhere else.

I think most people know I like wild primroses.


Dinky little plants with lovely yellow flowers in early spring. If you’re lucky you can get the pink form which is also lovely. You can’t just go and dig up wild flowers in England. Big fines if you’re caught. So I collect the seed which is legal. Not all of it, just enough for what I want. I pot the seeds up, they start to grow, plant them out and hey presto, loads of plants for nothing. Again, brilliant. Or you can take cuttings from your existing plants, pot them up and once again, a short time later, free plants! Herbaceous perennials are the best though. Buy one (or three), plant it immediately and enjoy the flowers. Then a year or two later, dig it up, divide it into two or three bits and replant. Then two or three years later dig each bit out again and divide it again. Bloody marvellous.

One year it wasn't there, the next it was! I did absolutely nothing.

One year it wasn’t there, the next it was! I did absolutely nothing.

The thing to never forget though is that no matter how much you enjoy the physical labour of gardening and the associated aches and pains, take time to actually look at your garden or (someone elses) and enjoy it.

A bit of our garden

A bit of our garden

Have a lovely day.

More Dick soon.auto



When I started this blog I had an idea whereby some of the posts that I publish are linked in some way to previous posts. There would be a thread connecting them. So, for instance, at the end of my first ever post, despite having no medical training, I offered advise on a specific medical condition. In my second ever post I wrote about my experience with that particular medical condition and at the end of it I again offered medical advise on another condition. My third post spoke about that and at the end of that post I offered financial advise and my fourth post was about how having children was economically disastrous. I then posted an email I had sent to my sister Boo some months ago and included a picture that looked nothing like her followed by a post about my sister again with a picture that looked nothing like her. And so on.


Boo. My sister. She looks nothing like this either.

I thought I was being pretty clever with these threads passing through my posts but then I realised (and I admit to being very slow on the uptake here), that it was all nonsense. The latest post is shown first so if you come in half way through then you have absolutely no idea what I’m on about. Of course, it is possible to have the first post first if you see what I mean but that means you have to plough through loads of older posts you may have already read to get to the latest one. What am I to do? I have thought long and hard about this and finally, earlier today I decided what I’m going to do about it. Fuck all.

Have a great day.

More Dick soon



Boo. My sister. This looks nothing like her either

Boo. My sister. She looks nothing like this either

My sister Boo falls over. A lot! If there is a kerb stone, twig, tree root or banana skin to trip or slip on, she’ll find it. Sometimes she just falls over for no reason at all! Luckily, she’s not very tall so doesn’t have far to fall and the ground always breaks her fall. The ground is useful like that. It’s not that she has an inner ear problem or has got CJD, although I think she’s sometimes referred to as a mad cow! My sister just likes falling over. Walking alongside her can be an unnerving experience. We can be strolling along chatting when she will suddenly disappear from sight followed a split second later by a soft “Thud” as she hits the deck. Then, after another short pause there will be a muffled “Bugger!” from ground level. And we haven’t even got to the pub yet! We all reckon that it wasn’t fracking that caused the earth tremors near Blackpool in 2011, we believe that Boo had a succession of tumbles that had reverberated all the way from Wales to Lancashire via some previously unknown geologically fault line.

Boo. My sister. She often looks like this

So if you should ever find yourself in the western part of Wales and a woman wearing a Barbour, wellies, a big jumper and carrying a chicken under her arm unexpectedly and for no discernible reason falls over in front of you, don’t worry. It’s only Boo. Please give her a hand up and say “Hi”. She’s very friendly and may offer you a cup of tea and some eggs. She will certainly talk to you. Plus she’s my sister and I love her to bits.

Have a lovely day.

More Dick soon!auto


Emails to my sister 1

Boo. My sister. She looks nothing like his

Boo. My sister. She looks nothing like this

I thought I would post one of the many emails I have sent to my sister. It was these emails that gave her the idea to encourage me to start this blog. The email is dated 24th April 2014.

Funny innit. One part of the back garden hasn’t been touched since we moved in. It’s got shrubs in that corner and a cherry tree and I’ve not paid much attention to it. The shrubs are large now to say the least. One has blackbirds nesting in it every year and I watched a sparrow hawk crash-land into it as it chased one of the blackbirds (the black bird survived). I was standing about 10 feet away at the time and it was one of “those” moments. Not something you get to see every day and when you do, it makes you appreciate the wonders of what goes on outside our little bubbles every day. Anyway, because the dickie birds nest there I’ve just left it. Got a couple of straggly hebes, a heather or two, a purple prickly thing and some leggy old rhododendrons. It’s not just the birdies that like that patch but bees and flutterbys are always foraging there. So I’ve been content to leave it. I was wondering around the garden this morning looking at what was growing, wondering how many days it was going to take to pull out all the poxy weeds and waiting for Dexter to take a crap when I noticed that the rhododendrons were in flower and what magnificent flowers they are. They look fantastic. Naturally, I looked in my RHS Encyclopedia of plants and flowers and I think they might be R.’Beauty of Littleworth’. Then again, they may not. Now I’ve got to figure out how to take care of them and ensure they survive.   20140424_071419 Nice to have a little, pleasant surprise at ten past seven in the morning and I suppose that’s what it’s all about. What needs to happen now is for me to win the euro millions, stop work, potter about in the garden and see what other surprises lay in store although working or not it’s nice to know that surprises are there waiting to pop up and make your day. All you need to do is look. Have a lovely day. 20140424_071328