This post is a sequel to ‘Malcolm’s Travellers Tales’ on The Word Of Sinna Luvva!


Tuesday morning and, although we have no need to vacate our room until noon, we are homeward bound shortly after 10.00AM. The journey proves quite uneventful, the weather glorious as we cross the Pennines; the only blot on the landscape being an HGV loaded with gravel, the rinse water from which scars the windscreen like cement. Knowing ma belle is such a generous/ courteous driver, I pray for another motorist wanting to turn onto our road, to serve as a kind of mechanical windshield protecting us from the offending spray. Eventually, we are most grateful for a fellow motorist who takes over the intervening space; after a few minutes of his windscreen wipers failing in the battle against the noxious exudation, we have a little chuckle as he allows the gap between HGV and himself to increase to about 150 metres. The problem, on this stretch of road, was the impossibility of overtaking a juggernaut travelling at 60plus mph.


Each evening during our stay in Lancaster, as I became overwhelmed with tiredness, I yearned to be back home looking after the aquariums and sitting beside the garden pond. Somehow, hotel rooms always strike me as an alienating environment as night falls, no matter how comfortable I feel the following morning as a little more bed rest is called for.


Although exhaustion was a keynote of our extended weekend away, the excitement of arriving back home seemed to produce an adrenalin surge. Having checked on the aquariums, I ventured up to the pond, delighting in our sun bathed garden, and was immediately inspired to do a little preparation for the coming season, splitting the water-lilies amongst other tasks. My beloved was similarly inspired to come out to the garden and soon started on the task of weeding the main flower bed, a slow laborious task when the enemy to be defeated is ground elder. Once a little area had been cleared, my task was to scatter a generous cover of mini bark chips.


After a prolonged bed rest, Wednesday afternoon found ma belle chauffeuse et moi heading over to the Garden and Watergarden Centre for further supplies of compost, bark chips, sundry pond water treatments, oxygenating weeds and a lobelia cardinalis to join the other pond marginals. After a bite of lunch, I set to planting the oxygenating weed, split another of the lilies between two pots before the various water treatments began. Having rinsed the pond filters, and applied a treatment of Pond Start in both filter box and the pond, an application of Sludge Buster and Barley Straw Extract completed the day’s pond tasks. By this time fatigue was well and truly taking over and, my beloved insisted that I should rest. Early evening, I scattered some more bark chips on a freshly weeded patch of garden.


Later in the evening, I spotted that the symptoms of a swimbladder infection had re-emerged in Callie and, although I initially treated the main aquarium, swiftly realized that Callie’s transfer to another tank was imperative! Such is the suction power of the pump in the larger tank that Callie was unable to escape its pull one she moved in that direction. Once again, we’re back to three aquariums in operation as Jimmy (large goldfish) has not yet been transferred to the pond, so remains sole occupant of the old aquarium. Two fantails and twelve cloud minnows occupy the main tank whilst Callie is temporarily in the smallest tank, where the smaller pump doesn’t have the same negative impact on his/her well-being.


Following this activity, the night’s bed-rest extended well past noon today; aches and exhaustion being omnipresent companions. Today has been wet and gloomy, an adequate warning that I should avoid any further exertion on gardening chores … the Lord moves in mysterious ways!


I rejoice and give thanks for friends, family and, the ability to perform and enjoy these modest gardening activities




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One Response to Homecoming

  1. Bittersweet on-the-hill. says:

    Good morning Malcolm and Helen,
    Just wanted to stop by and wish you both a Happy Easter.  Your gardening activities sound wonderful.  You sound as if you well prepared for your spring and summer activities by the pond.  I am envious!
    Last night we had a dusting of snow!  The only signs of spring are the pink tinges on the maple trees and the lilac leaf buds.  Not much of anything else.  And cold and rainy for the weekend.  But the warmth will come.
    Have a wonderful Easter and please give my best to Helen.     Peace and blessings……Bittersweet

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