Mud and General Mayhem

May 2017 2We have returned to what passes for normality, whatever that is, after more days with family and friends on the Isle of Wight. Our stay co-incided with ‘Walk the Wight’ when large numbers of people circumnavigate the island on foot in aid of charity. They assemble in a field about 5.00am, make a great deal of noise and finally set off when a very loud claxon sounds at 6.00am. This is all very laudable, except that the assembly point was in a field directly behind our caravan. We did our own portion of Wight walking up and down Culver Cliff without the benefit of a claxon or the need to scream and shout vociferously as we set off.

Whilst I have been away gardeners have been at work, finally installing the patio that I have been planning since my conservatory was built three years ago. Why is it that projects such as this are always accompanied by heavy rain? I now have a swath of mud in lieu of a garden and it seems mud pretty much everywhere else too. I am trying to console myself with the theory that things have to get worse before they get better. They are certainly currently at the ‘worse’ stage. Some plants I hoped to retain are no more. I just hope the gardeners didn’t encounter the cats’ last resting place.

The dust, mud and gardeners mean that I have no way of drying any laundry. My clothes line has gone the way of other things in the garden. I plan to take the wet washing to a clothes line belonging to a fisherman of my acquaintance. I peg my underwear to one of those multiple peggy things that mean you only have to grap one item instead of several in case of rain. Next, to put the washing in the car. I have forgotten that a cement mixer now resides where my car should be. My car is a considerable way up the road. I treat the neighbours to a sight of my ’smalls’ to start their day.

In other events this week, I have listed to an excellent talk by Pamela Vass about the Lynmouth floods and whether cloud seeding experiments played a part. If you’ve not heard of this, look it up. Pam seemed to have read every flight log at The National Archives in pursuit of her research. Her book Seeds of Doubt is a fictionalised account.

Most of my time has been spent finishing my In Sickness and In Death: researching the ill-health and deaths of your ancestors course. Yesterday I was completing the section on tracing medical personnel. The online course starts in August if you want to join the fun. Great to hear yesterday that a former student on my Writing and Telling Your Family Story course has completed a family history; you can join that particular party too but you have to wait until October for that one. Now it is a mad rush to get through the to do list, which is still longer than my prospective novel (well almost) before the job we must not mention hit’s the fan. Oh and a nine day family reunion to host in the meantime. Life is never dull.

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