Thursday, day off ... so a trip to Kilkeel.
It was a pleasant morning so off I set before seven o'clock ... traffic was already building up and the radio mentioned tail backs on the motorway. That didn't bother me! I was heading for the seaside.
There were a few clouds in Newcastle but nothing to worry about. So. No coat. No umbrella. Short sleeves. And with no one else on the beach Dougal was happily running free.
And guess what! It rained when I was about a mile away towards Murlough!
The mist came down, the rain started ... but since I was soaked already we just wandered along the deserted sand.
It is a lovely time of year with the hydrangea in full bloom ...
The major job was the greenhouse! Every time recently that I've been at the house it was either too wet or too cold (or both) ... so ... the time had come to do a major job.
If the first soaking was on the beach ... the second came when I was washing down the greenhouse ... water everywhere!
The "before" and "after" shots show the dramatic change ... the Escallonia pruned right back so that you can see the door! This is a South American shrub that does exceedingly well in our climate!
Inside pictures from before and after indicate a major job ...
It had gone completely wild ... with three different weeds all claiming squatters' rights.
And the vine ... well ... it was just rambling away in a wild and untamed way.
I have no doubt that as soon as my back is turned the weeds will try to assert some kind of independence again. There is just a vague chance that I'll try to keep on top of them.
It would be good to try to introduce tomatoes again next year if I can find some way to water them in my absence.
There was one small casualty in the pruning war ... a branch with a cluster of grapes got broken off ... it makes a nice picture but I wouldn't give much for the chances of the grapes ripening.
All is looking well again ... not that the dog cared one little bit. If he wasn't sunbathing then he could be found curled up with his toys!
It is quite amusing to see him check on me from time to time and then, satisfied that I'm gainfully employed he trots off to the basket.
He is so accustomed to the camera now that he just sits and poses ... though there was one moment when the look he gave suggested that maybe there are times when he wishes it were otherwise! "Oh, not again" is how I interpret the rolled-eye look that I got when we stopped at the Twelve Arches ...