2013/8th July 2023

The only evidence so far of the promised flash floods was a heavy overnight dew.

But we generally need to add 24 hours to the forecast, so we may well still get the rain.

Being on a hill, the only flooding we experience is from blocked gutters or drains, or personal faux pas!


In the remote dark ages of my youth I seem to remember that you could depend upon certain types of weather, according to the season and you could expect to see the same plants flourish, year to year.

The same birds return for the summer.

It feels safe when you can depend on things.


You could depend on the BBC to get the news right. At least that was the impression I had.

If I go far enough back, you could confidently mail a letter in London in the morning and receive a reply that same afternoon. It might seem incredible that anyone would wish to do so but telephone calls were expensive and many people still did not have them.

The Royal Mail was infallible.


Sometimes it really did seem like a dark age when the smog over London was particularly bad.

Apart from the smog, when I was 6 my school in London still did not have electricity. My teacher had to climb up on a desk to put a flame to the gas lights.

And when we went to visit relatives in the suburbs, at night the streets were a peculiar yellow from the sodium lighting in use at the time.


Maybe yellow lighting was better in fog. I have not been in England recently so I don’t know about modern street lighting, but that surreal hue is a vivid memory.

As are the public phones I always struggled with while juggling my purse of cumbersome British change.

Having problems with public phones was something I could count on, although this pre-supposed finding one in the first place.

What you could count on wasn’t always desirable!

Those phone booths had a particular aroma. Sometimes they provided shelter from the elements or, more importantly, a place of safety when cows came down a country lane. Cows terrified me.


Most people, I think, prefer knowing what to expect in any situation. After all it gives you the chance to prepare and appear confident. So much preferable to being unsure and seeming incompetent.

Some of my worst moments at the airport were when a new system had been adopted with insufficient training and preparation.

Or, even better, when the flight you were loading passengers onto was suddenly cancelled and you were left with a gate full of irate people in your face..


It’s fair to say that I can deal with most things as long as I have time to consider whatever they may be.

But I do not like surprises, not even good surprises which leave me tongue-tied and without suitable words of appreciation.

In my advancing years I have become a creature of habit. When my routine is upset I become disturbed.

Perhaps it’s because for such a very long time life was so uncertain.


In this modern world, there are fewer and fewer things one can depend on.

Certainly not the seasons. They come and go at all the wrong times bringing extremes we’ve never experienced before.

In consequence the garden is totally unpredictable. Though since I have no expectations, it hardly matters.

The Yucca is in overdrive, quite a challenge to adequately photograph. My guess is that harsh pruning last year gave it new life.

My approach to gardening is to see what comes up.


When I take pictures of a landscape, I can usually count of there being a bird somewhere in the shot.

Many of our birds migrate. There are some that have always returned in the Spring but I know better than to expect them. I am just delighted with whoever shows up.

Delighted with whatever chooses to grow.


Depending on things not being dependable. It’s an attitude adjustment which deflects disappointment.

A clap of thunder drew my attention outside and I remembered that I wanted to check another Yucca which is concealed behind a hedge.

It too flourishes.


Because I’d gone to see the Yucca, I noticed the late-blooming Lilac.

According to the infallible Internet, Lilac will bloom out of season due to stressful growing conditions.

Humpf. I don’t want my plants stressed!


Every day something else pops up…



Sweet William

and more Sweet William.

There are other colours too but I dare not venture down the slope to photograph them. Ticks.

On a different slope this exquisite loveliness and visitors.

Garden visitors. What should one do about them? On the way inside, horrors….

Oh no! My Hazelnut tree. Nursed from a humble twig over 3 winters. Twice it was nibbled, we think by deer, but it fought bravely on to become:

It may not look like much, but this year the Hazelnut has grown a lot and looks so healthy.

But, but, but…..

X-rated things are going on!

Japanese Beetles.

They are invasive and are becoming a real problem not just in gardens but for agriculture. They must be removed.

But it bothers me to take any life.

Grant popped up while I was fretting:

“Oh yes. I noticed them this morning.”

And then he dealt with them.


Ominous sound effects are now arriving!

5 thoughts on “Dealing…

  1. “Those phone booths had a particular aroma” – Oh! Yes. Very distinctive. (And that’s without the all too frequent urine pong.) A dank, stuffy, closed in smell like stack of cardboard mouldering in a damp basement, with a strong overlay of old cigarettes and pipe tobacco.
    Press button B.
    And the yellow of the fog and the sodium lamps and the post and the BBC. And I too remember a gaslit overspill classroom in Women’s Institute hut. The baby boomer curse of being always too many of us.

  2. It was interesting to read about your teacher having to put a flame to the gas lights – it sounds like another world, doesn’t it? Well, I guess not … because these days it’s actually something we often need to do here in SA 👀. Your Yucca is stunning and so are the Sweet William (what a lovely name) … I think your garden looks really pretty (that’s now if the Japanese Beetles don’t get too excited)!

  3. Those Japanese beetles have travelled a long way just to die in New York State.
    Don’t ever expect to find a phone box in England again. They have all but disappeared completely.
    We have no street lighting in Beetley, one reason we moved here. After dark, it is pitch black. But the local town of Dereham has them, and they are no longer yellow.
    Best wishes, Pete.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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