1 EAGLETON NOTES: April 2021



Tuesday 13 April 2021

It Takes So Much Longer Now

Somewhere about 40 years ago I went to the doc for something and he noticed a 'blemish' on my forehead which he regarded with suspicion. He gave my bonce a thorough going over and warned me that the type of skin I had would be very susceptible to UV damage and that I should ALWAYS wear a hat outside even if I was just bringing peat from the stack into the house.  He then sliced a little bit out of my upper forehead and sent it off for analysis. It came back clear. I have worn a hat ever since.

However living in New Zealand and spending much of my life in the sun on the croquet greens has taken its toll, despite me slathering myself with sunblock every day as soon as I had showered and topping it up at lunchtime too. 

A few years ago I got a Squamous carcinoma on my neck. I was referred to a dermatologist and our ENT surgeon removed it. Since then I've had several BCCs off my nose caught when she did my 6 monthly check-ups.

I was in seeing the doc about something last year over 6 months ago. He decided to have a thorough look at my head again. He spotted another BCC. He referred me to the dermatologist. We no longer have one on the Island so I saw a very thorough dermatology nurse who confirmed that it was, indeed, a BCC which needed removing. I was supposed to see the ENT Consultant next week but, Sod's Law, you get one appointment and another two come along the day either side of it. They happen to be in Ayr and are for the overdue-because-of-Covid replacement of my uretic stent so take precedence over a BCC any day.

There was something to be said for the days when the doc looked at you and just wheeked a nasty off/out.

Wednesday 7 April 2021

More Pot Pourri

Many of my daffodils had been in the garden for decades and were past their best and I wanted new ones in some areas too. I went to a large Lincolnshire  supplier and ordered a couple of small sacks of tulips and one of assorted daffodils and narcissi too. It hadn't occurred to me that there might me some 'fancy' ones included because I've never had anything but the 'ordinary' single trumpet daffodil. So the one on the right was a surprise. I have discovered that they have a very big disadvantage in our windy climate - they are top heavy, blow over and break. The fact that I'm not keen on their looks either isn't really important in the circumstances.

I've discovered that the polycarb can easily get into the high 30ºCs during the day and into single figures at night so I decided that to give some of my germinating seeds the best chance I'd try and keep them in a warm but not extreme environment until I've sussed things out. I've not grown much from seed for many years. So this germinator is living on my electrically underfloor heated bathroom for the time being. The rest are scattered around in experimental places. 

The results have been astounding and since I took that picture the seedlings have germinated.
My latest completion - 1000 piece jigsaw. One of the more enjoyable - not too hard and not too easy.

Whilst I was clearing the raised beds which I used to use for vegetables I found all these beauties. They had grown from an unsuccessful trial using a black sack which I had emptied onto the area last year. I obviously left some potatoes in it. They are beauties. 

Sunday 4 April 2021

Health and Shopping: the New Normal.

NHS Western Isles has been doing a great job in respect of the vaccination of the Western Isles population. 

I ordered some gardening gloves in the middle of March from Amazon. They haven't arrived. The order is apparently with Amazon EU. They are supplied by a German company. They are made in China. The order page tells me that they are 'on their way' but that I can now get my money back. Of course if I do that they will turn up in the next day or so. 

What is interesting is the tracking information. Quite clearly it isn't just 'the little man' who is having problems with the the UK's new found 'independence' when it comes to trade with the EU

Friday 2 April 2021

Home and Gardening

I am stiff this morning. Yesterday the weather changed and the rain and gales were superseded by full sun, light or no wind and bitter cold: perfect weather for doing so heavy work in the garden. So that was where I spent the day. I dug out some more cotoneaster roots to make way for wild flowers and Leucanthemums. I dug out Geraniums which had almost stopped flowering because they were busy fighting for dominance of that flower bed with the Astrantias. A lot of the Astratias have gone too. I also cleared a mass of Mombretia which had become unproductive through being overcrowded. The hundreds of Daffodils in beds around the garden spent a day trying to revive themselves from the gales but many were simply too far gone and a lot of the flowers had simply broken off.

I love Astrantia as individual flowers but when they get overcrowded they lose their individuality and their collective beauty is not great.

I've got a lot of seeds germinating in the polycarb and on the bathroom floor at night for those needing a constant warm temperature. The bathroom floor has underfloor heating but until now the last thing I've though of was using it to germinate seeds.

The pond is full of frogspawn but I've not seen a single frog this year which is unusual.

My trip away was successful. Well I assume it was but I've not had the result of my bone scan yet which is  unusual. I had my scans and the drugs trial review was okay and I have my drugs for the next 16 weeks until the next review.

What struck me most when I was away was the total lack of traffic on the main arterial route (the A9) through the Highlands from Perth to Inverness. In 50 years of travelling that road I've never seen it so empty.

Whilst I was away the Scottish Government changed the Covid level for the Islands from 4 to 3 so the day after I got back we were able to meet in a café (a maximum of 6 people from not more than 2 households).  So I've been having morning coffees in The Woodlands with friends instead of phone/video chats. Yesterday was an exception. It's back to The Woodlands this morning.