My last couple of weeks…


I learnt that mentioning offhandedly to an eye doctor that the little light looks brighter in one eye than the other will lead to hours of tests and tasks at a neuro-opthalmologist.    The specialist asked "why are you here?"  -  I responded: "Because I said that looks a bit brighter in this eye to the other guy".    "No -  it must be more than that",  he says and reads the notes….   Mmmm – no, that's exactly all it was!  Nothing wrong.

I learnt that Radish seeds are incredibly easy to germinate.  I assumed a fair percentage would fail …   not so:  Now I don't know whether to transplant some or just separate and destroy!   And, how do you tell when a radish is ripe enough to pull up?

But – when it came to the spring onions?   They are sort of straggly & pathetic looking:

I bought a hen & chicks plant last trip to the nursery because it said "drought resistant".  Although I have seen the plants in many gardens I had never seen flowers on them until mine produced a batch last week.   The Latin name for the plant is Sempervivum tectorum which translates roughly into evergreen on roofs.   Apparently they used to be planted on thatched roofs in Europe as protection against lightning induced fires.  Wow!  A versatile practical plant – drought and fire resistant and pretty:


Last year I planted a day lilly and promptly neglected it after it finished flowering.  This year it is attempting to make me notice it by being prolific with the flowers:


A few weeks ago we went to friends for a bbq which included some Maryland crabs.  4 yo boy says "uncle manservant are you sure you know how to open crabs 'cause it doesn't look like it" !!   I'm not much on having to fight for my food so I was happy to eat from the fish selection. 


Last night I held a little gathering of ladies -  a gaggle of girls??  – to celebrate a 50th birthday of one of my friends.  There were 10 of us – only 2 under 50 – a total baby of 30 and a 47 yo.  The friendship of a circle of females can be a very strong and supportive bond.  We 50-plusers each told how we had felt on the day we reached the milestone and shared some of our bucket list items.   We ate well and drank better.   The highlight was the chocolate cake and bubbly! 

Mixed company is ok but nothing beats a bunch of women for some enlightening conversations!  After a few drinks girls get down to nitty gritties that I'm sure would make you guys nervous! 


IMG_8576aBirthday girl has to open the champagneIMG_8580aPurple hat platterHappy birthday


Read and post comments | Send to a friend


46 responses

  1. in my experience, the spring onions will catch up. i wish i'd thought to plant some!i've never seen that type of cactus bloom – coolio! and i love the lily's!! wish i could grow them but they're super dangerous for cats.looks like a lot of fun times have been had throughout this post!

  2. Too much good time last night – I've felt very "sluggish" today – even needed two naps to get to dinner time! Now I'm heading off for an early night.

  3. The hen & chicks & the daylilies are beautiful!
    As far as the party goes…I don't know which sounds like the best part…the crabs (YUM!), the chocolate & bubbly, or the wonderful girl talk! I guess the combination is what makes it so much fun! 🙂

  4. It's no coincidence that with afternoon champagne and evening vodka on my calendar yesterday, I slept all day today.All parts (stem, leaf, flower, pollen…) of all lily plants are toxic to cats. My cats aren't prone to eating plants so I don't worry too much about anything other than the pollen getting on their fur.

  5. plants the feast or famine rule where you either end up with everything surviving or almost noting! and you must always watch what one says to doctors they have a tendency if you were young just writing it off but when your a bit older everything is a sign of something so be prepared for the tests! Sounds like a good girls time I suppose you had fun playing with the younger ones trying to convince them all these bad things that are in there future!

  6. I have to say Emjay, excellent photography as always! Those pictures are stunning, and congrats on the 'faceless' ones. Sometimes anonymity is most definitely the best policy. 🙂
    You would appear to be blessed with the greenest of fingers. The lovely couple next door to PeteGraham have a vegetable patch in their garden where they grow carrots, radishes, cucumbers, toms, all sorts of stuff. I was privvy to one of the first radishes of the season. Yummy!
    At some point, PeteGraham will be planting some of those lilys in his back garden – they really do look stunning. Plus they are Mrs PeteGraham-to-be's fave flowers!

  7. My hen and chicks are beginning to bloom too. I was thinking that the little buds I see are the extent of the flowers, but thanks to your pic, I will look forward to a bigger display.
    All that food looks yummy – but I am partial to that chocolate cake.

  8. Thin the radishes. My mixed herbs looked frightening like your radishes – same color bowl even! – and simply weren't attaining growth and strength until the thinning. Now those that survived the culling are shooting up better than ever! I did it by painstakingly and thoughtfully traipsing through the forest of herbs one by one and removing the weakest will "plotting" a design to support growth and development of those that would remain. So exciting when plant live, isn't it?!

  9. Yes the hen and chicks are gorgeous and I noticed tonight that the flowers are now on long stalks – but they were dying off so I didn't take new photos. I really enjoy a girl's get together – I have a great group of friends here.

  10. Yeah – the pollen from those lillies stains everything it falls onto. Whenever I have any in vases I cut those little pollen things off – I learnt that after I ruined a lovely white lace tablecloth.

  11. LOL – yes you are so right in your comments about doctors and their assumptions based on the patient's age. There are sooooo many tests we could be sent for. I don't think I have time for all of them so I better be careful what I say from now on! I think the 30 yo at the party was probably hoping some things would change before she got to 50!

  12. Sometimes anonymity is most definitely the best policy. 🙂 Most definitely – I wouldn't want to give the wrong impression about these good ladies! :-)Thank you re the photos – I was really quite pleased with the flower ones. That little point and shoot does a good job – one reason I decided to highlight it on my avatar for a while. I used to have really, really black thumbs – I'm not sure when they turned green. Perhaps it is just the aspect of my little courtyard (south). I'm afraid the green-ness has not rubbed off on those spring onions though! They are very sad looking. How did your neighbour know when the radishes were "ripe"? I'm sure the lilies will do very well for you – especially if they are for the to-be Mrs PG.

  13. Today when I looked at the hen & chicks the flowers were on stalks with more small flowers – though the flowers were "tired" looking and not photo worthy. The baby chicks that I pulled off the main plant look as though they might have flowers too! And, I think I will pull a few more chicks off and plant elsewhere. The chocolate cake was moist and rich but really not too rich (the icing was super rich) – it went really well with the champagne.

  14. We ate well and drank better". hahahaha 🙂 You bet we did! 🙂 And, I only had to manoeuvre myself up the stairs to bed so I did best of all! Thank you re the new banner and avatar. I was getting tired of the seaside! For weeks now we have had cloudy skies.

  15. Thanks for the advice – I suspected that's what I would have to do. Did you try to replant those you had pulled out or just throw them away? It seems so wasteful to just throw them out but I'm not sure how well they transplant.

  16. Thank you :-). It is wonderful to look down into the courtyard and see those lilies – they really have outdone themselves. I'm looking forward to getting my veggies in order and alive long enough to eat!

  17. we call them Siempre vivas, the evergreen , they are absolutely gorgeous,funny thing I have never, ever seen one of this in Europe?I don't know much about raddish, apart from eating, so I'm no use there…

  18. Hi Emjay
    My neighbour follows the 5 week rule of thumb. Usually 5 weeks after sowing, they are ready to harvest. If they go on much past their maturity they don't taste as nice, and aren't as crisp. Bear in mind this is seedlings. If it's a winter radish plant, it's about 3-4 months, but looking at your photos I'm saying seedlings 🙂

  19. Thank you re the photos. It helps to have pretty subjects or angry skies. I think we are much calmer in ourselves once we accept that 50 is really not that big a deal anymore. Certainly all the 50-plusers on Saturday were embracing their more mature status and doing what they wanted without worrying about what everyone thinks. The acceptance by others for one's actions and thoughts is no longer as important as when we were insecure 20-ers seeking approval! 🙂

  20. Thank you for the info. I have about 3 weeks then until I can feast! (unless there is some devastating grasshopper or similar bug infestation before then!).

  21. Beautiful flowers!I'd thin the radishes- we had a similar situation once and ended with tiny, tiny radishes, not good for much. How to tell if they are done? Just pull one up to check, I imagine!The party looks like fun- I hope I have a gaggle of girls when I turn fifty.

  22. Your eye thing? Our cat seems to have the same sort of thing going on… the lens in one eye is transmitting light a little better than the other so, to her, the scene may look a little lighter on one side than the other. Her iris compensates, however, so that one pupil is larger than the other so maybe everything looks right to her. All she says is "meow." The vet says she's fine but would we like to see a specialist? Her referral note might, in fact, read the same as yours.

  23. Tiny, tiny radishes would be a pitiful sight on a platter! 🙂 I'm going to attempt a thinning on Saturday. I think a gaggle of girls party is great for any birthday! (I had one when I was 48 and called it "the not quite 50 party" ..)

  24. That's interesting about your cat's eyes. How would you know that was happening? Was it just the larger pupil that had you concerned? Yeah – my parties are a lot of fun…… I love the whole entertaining "thing".

  25. When the light was subdued in the evening and our cat, Tasha's, pupils were at medium dilation, I could see a subtle difference between the two. I was concerned because a late, great pet had an eye problem that
    turned out to be a melanoma and eventually led to the loss of her eye! When we visited the vet for her annual checkup, the doctor found the problem — a loss of clarity in a portion of the cornea, as I recall. He said for us humans it would be a minor thing and not to worry. — JG

  26. My radishes all germiante well, but then don't flourish – I've given up on them. You can eat the smaller leaves in salads.Hen and chicks is great on green roofs – I hanker after a green roof on the flat roof over the utility room.

  27. Love that hen and chicks plant and interested to learn of its other uses.I am thankful you chose not to reveal the nitty gritty from your womens conference.

  28. Tomorrow I plan to cull the radishes and eat the leaves of those culled rather than throw away or attempt to transplant. I bought some goat's cheese today to crumble over them. I've never eaten radish leaves so I'm looking forward to trying them.

  29. Your father is probably right. After a couple of hours of tests the specialist said there was nothing wrong with my eyes – I would hate to lose my sight!

  30. Oh – and I meant to say that we have started looking into a green roof as ours is flat. There don't seem to be many rebates to offset the cost though and we currently don't have easy access to the roof.

  31. LOL – secret women's business can be scary stuff!! Having seen how successful one little hen & chick plant can be I'm interested to see how it weathers the winter here. If it doesn't rot away from freezing & thawing I might consider more and as we have been investigating a green roof it could be an ideal plant for it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s