This evening I managed to add a review of my own to TripAdvisor. I regularly enjoy lunch at the Petwood Hotel on a Sunday and I've often felt tempted to compliment the chef and staff. Well today I managed it, and I've added three photos too, as at last TripAdvisor has sorted out my password problem.
On my way out on this beautiful morning, I had a really good view of a buzzard quite close to the cottage.
I went to the Golf Hotel to listen to a talk about the Battle of Britain in 1940. It was extremely interesting and informative, and was in aid of the Cottage Museum, which is not going to be supported by East Lindsey District Council next year, as they are withdrawing the two employees who manned the Tourist Information Centre.
And: On the way home I disturbed three roe deer who were just behind the last hedge before the field that my Cottage is in the corner of. At first they were startled by my headlights, but once I had dimmed them the lovely, graceful creatures skipped over the beck and into the hedge. Father Christmas' reindeer came to mind, and how I wish there had been a young child in the car with me.
I'd also startled an owl as I came to the end of the straight section of the track. I suspect it was a tawny owl, perhaps it was after one of the two rabbits that I spotted. Altogether a wonderful afternoon.
I know it's the middle of the night, but I can't sleep, so here I am hoping to share with you the wonderful day that I have had.
It started off with a visit to Linda Fisher at the Timberland Nursery. Linda had rung to say that the first batch of 2 litre pots of bulbs and violas was ready to collect. Here is Linda showing Reg and me how she arranges her under-planting - just how I do it.
She added a sprinkle of extra Miracle Grow food granules to her special compost before she pops in three Tete-e-Tete dafs, followed by three Red Riding Hood tulips and on top of that went the three white Joan of Arc crocus.
Finally, Linda placed in three of her violas and firmed them in, making sure that the roots had contact with the soil.
Before we left with the Volvo loaded up, I enjoyed doing a bit of dead heading of the beautiful tray of multi-coloured violas called: Smiley Faces.
I must learn how to get the size of the pictures smaller so that they can appear side-by-side.
I found three more wild, white flowers in the garden tonight. There is a lone ox-eye daisy, also commonly called margarite, looking very fresh and clean on the daffodil bank. John transplanted a small root here when he cleaned out my favourite little strip of ground below the Blue Patio. I was hoping that it would bloom next year when the bulbs were dying down, but it obviously felt it should have a last fling. Perhaps it felt it was not going to survive! I've heard it said that plants bloom in order to set seed if they feel threatened. Anyway, it looked rather good, alone on the grass bank. It belongs to the family: Leucanthemum.
This white dead-nettle: Lamium album: belongs to the family Laminaceae. Its leaves resemble those of the stinging nettle but they don't sting you, which is why this one was still enjoying its place in the narrow gravel border in front of the Sun Room. Reg tells me that it is favourite plant with bees, but I have observed that both the honey and the bumblebees seem to prefer the thyme flowers that are blooming alongside.
My third wild flower is Bladder Campion: Silene vulgaris: which pops up all over the garden, but this example, which I have attempted to photograph in focus, is on the narrow gravel bed beside the carport. It belongs to the family: Caryophyllaceae: and is classed as a semi-evergreen perennial.
As I didn't win the top award for Bed and Breakfast of the Year 2016 for Lincolnshire, I decided that there was little point in entering the national competition, BUT whilst I was preparing my notes, I found I had written pages for the section "Sustainability". Therefore, it was logical to enter that class. It's been a real struggle to get the application form completed on-line, due to a serious problem on my new Asus laptop and the Microsoft Office program. Outlook kept on closing down or not responding at all. Anyway, after two hours of IT support, and a reload of Outlook, all is functioning normally, and I now need to source from my new NAS BOX a forty-four-year old photo of the cottage so that the judges can see it here hopefully. I found it hard to summarise all that Tony and I have achieved in this special little corner of Central Lincolnshire, and it reminded me of my inadequate attempts to precis passages when I was at school, but finding how to use a word counter was brilliant.
This was what the Old Mill Cottages looked like on the 5th of August in 1972:
Now I'm hoping to track down a photo that I took of my husband and two of my sons cleaning bricks in 1973 so that they could be reused on the extension that we planned to erect in place of the wash house and coal store that are on the left of the building. Tucked away behind the stack of timber is the door to the original privy, though this was no longer in use when we discovered our "dream home". It may surprise you to learn that at the rear of this house an addition had already been added some time in the 1950s and it housed a bathroom accessed off a small kitchen, served by a supply of main's water. The electricity supply, which was needed to heat the bath water was brought in when the neighbouring pumping station was electrified instead of being run by a coal-driven beam engine. The power cables are visible, above the cottage, but they are now buried underneath my raised beds.
I can't work out how to access the NAS box, so I have taken a photo of the original print using my Samsung Galaxy S5 phone until I get some more lessons!
I think these bricks came from the internal walls that we demolished. The Cottage originally accommodated two families, and the senior caretaker of the pumping station had two rooms on the ground floor and two bedrooms upstairs.
Some of the reclaimed bricks that we purchased were used in 2002 to edge the path between the decking outside the kitchen and the steps up to the farm track. The 6" x 6" tiles were saved from indoor floor once we had lifted the worn out. Other bricks were laid in a herringbone pattern between the decking and the water feature:
This other path links the lawn to the wooden slope that allows wheelchair access onto the outside dining area by the kitchen. It is formed from recycled paving slabs and old, blue, anti-slip engineering bricks. It continues around the house.
I learnt this morning how to scan the Certificate that I was given at a celebratory dinner in Lincoln on Tuesday 11th, but now the Type Pad program that I use for this blog refuses to upload it. I'll have to get in touch with the company and find out why, but in the meantime I will just mention that the certificate was for Highly Commended in the Select Lincolnshire Food, Drink & Hospitality Awards 2016 - category: Bed and Breakfast of the Year.
This time I have captured a few Feverfew daisy heads. Tanacetum parthenium is a traditional medicine for migraine headache, but it is also grown for ornament. It seeds itself all around my garden, and sometimes I pull it out but it usually wins because it looks so cheerful and its open flat heads, where nectar is easily reached, makes it valuable for the bees.