Another year older. And a few days off from dieting.
A box of chocolates from Paul...
Penny brought round a large lemon sponge cake filled with redcurrants and cream to supplement the chocolate brownies from the day before...
And I had made a large bramble and apple crumble...
When Penny told us that the cake should be eaten by the following day we took the uneaten half with us when we called in on her after running some errands in Duns. It was very nice and although I could have I didn't think I should eat the rest of it on my own :)
I have at last sorted out stuff that needed to be done.
After many wasted days on the internet I finally decided on and booked a hotel in Singapore for a few nights before I up sticks to JB for the Causeway challenge. This was a quite difficult task as hotels seem to be either ridiculously expensive or very cheap and basic. Finding something in the middle that meets requirements (free wifi, larger than a shoe box, decent location) proved a challenge. I hope I have succeeded...
And I sorted out this year's ISA. I have given up hoping for the interest rates to improve but the Halifax/BoS one is an okay rate and I have set in motion transferring all my other crap ones into it.
So back on to the internet to sort out my other finances. I had noticed last week that one of my old fixed rate bonds had expired and without alerting me to the fact was now giving a measly 0.25%. I closed it immediately and now was trying to transfer the money from the bank to another savings account. But, for my security and provided for me as a free service I was repeatedly informed, the extra layer of security basically never even got as far as asking me for my password! After several attempts I resorted to the phone help number provided. I was told the problem was their end - a block was in place. After answering a load of security questions I was able to complete the transaction...
Paul is now in the States for a couple of weeks to play bridge. Actually just over two weeks... Actually nearer two and a half weeks when I looked on the calendar... I am feeling less guilty about my extra day in Singapore now as I will only be away for 12 days...
He was catching a flight at 9.30 on Saturday so alarm was set for 5.30 on Friday night. And as a result I don't think either of us slept a wink. I actually got up at 4 a.m. and tried to nap on the sofa but this was also a complete failure.
When I got back from the airport at about 8.30 I let the dogs out the back and did my veggie patch inspection. Disaster...
Half of my curly kale was reduced to lace. Caterpillars all over it. This couldn't wait - I fetched the plastic cup and started picking them off. A good quarter of an inch in the bottom of it by the time I had finished.
The most common by far was a plain green caterpillar which was extremely well camouflaged, almost exactly the same colour as the plants. Investigation shows there are two varieties of cabbage white butterflies, and this is probably the Small Cabbage White. I also had a smaller number of Large Cabbage White, but these were easier to spot - yellow and black. And a few others - possibly same species at different stages???
Back out at lunch time - I couldn't believe how many I had missed. Another quarter of an inch. And again in the afternoon. By this time I had sussed it out - I uncurled the remaining curly leaves and found caterpillar nurseries. I counted as I picked them off or squashed the smaller ones. Another 200 removed - maybe less than the first couple of sessions as the cup did not look as full.
I checked this morning after the dog walk as I was still in my chic wet weather dog walking outfit - Barbour and woolly hat. I think I may have succeeded in my mission and at least rescued the remaining healthy plants from a similar fate.
It is not just caterpillars that have had a free meal from my veggie patch.
I have had about a pound and a quarter of ripe tomatoes from my two plants but was hopeful of another few. Unfortunately something beat me to them.
The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...
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