Post Comment Love 18 - 20 August 2017

Hello there and welcome to another Friday and another #PoCoLo - I'm sure the Friday's roll round ever quickly right now, and I'm not sure where the weeks go, or what I do - hopefully I'm not the only one?  If you were here last week it was great to see you, thanks for joining in. If you're new here this week then it's great to see you too and Morgan and I know you'll find some great posts to read.

I've had a bit of a bike week, and not in the way I'd expect. I took it in for a service and was due to collect it on Saturday so of we walked to Halfords. MOH collected his new bike, we bumped into some friends in the queue - like you do - but my bike wasn't ready, but they promised me it would be ready the next day. So MOH cycled back home and I walked - he offered to walk with me, but I knew he was keen to try his new insurance payout bike out.

Sure enough Sunday my bike was ready, but I was having a day of domesticity and so opted to collect it Monday evening instead. You can read about my day of (almost) domestic goddess-ing as that's the post I've linked up this week. Just like when you take your car in for a service and they move your seat position, when you take your bike in they faff about with the saddle height. And let me tell you that's an even bigger pain to get right again. 

When I left the shop it was a touch on the high side, so after a ride around the car park to test the height and seeing the sheer panic on my face when we stopped MOH readjusted my saddle.  Only this time it was too low, so by the time we got to the traffic lights - and our next stop - I already had a pain in my knee. We tried again, too high.  And again, too low. 

Running short of patience I was all for walking home, but MOH is more persistent than me and so we tried twice more. We ended up cycling back a way we'd not been before - goodness knows how, it's only twenty minutes or so from our house - but I've found another hill I can cycle up. Thank you Eastcombe Avenue.

The plan was to cycle to work again this week, but it hasn't happened. It's been a bit too warm for me to cycle if I'm honest, and I'm not complaining. But I'm always aware of the fact that the journey home is uphill!  Maybe next week (as long as it's not raining!)

My photo this week is another of the giant fuchsias. I was admiring its frilliness and it came off in my hand, oops.  It was too pretty to just throw onto the compost heap though, they're such pretty flowers.

A pretty ballerina fuchsia

Blogger Showcase: Madi from Malicious Madi

Madi's full answers are over on Morgan's blog today so do pop over there and find out more about Madi. Before you go though let me tell you a little about her and her blog. She's relatively new to blogging and can't let go of it.  She likes to write about anything inspirational and says she gets inspired easily. Do pop over to Morgan's and find out about our young blogger this week, and don't forget to show her some social love on Twitter and Instagram.

July's flowers: Fuchsias, agapanthus and succulents (yes succulents)

Remember those giant fuchsias I had a while back? Well they've grown, and flowered.  And while the flowers could be described as giant, the plants are still not quite in the giant category. They have grown tremendously since even the end of May, but I think that (assuming they survive the winter) next year they'll be brilliant.

The buds of the flowers gave a hint of the fullness of the flowers within, looking fit to burst at any moment.

My giant fuchsias getting ready to flower

And when they did, pretty ballerinas with frilly skirts were on display. I don't think there's been more than a couple of flowers on each plant at a time, but given there's so much flower that's not surprising is it?

giant fuchsias in flower - pretty ballerinas

They last pretty well too, and still have a certain elegance even as they fade.

Even as they fade the giant fuchsias look pretty

Elsewhere in the garden the hardy fuchsia bush was up for the chop. It looks dramatic - and quite a bit was cut off - but it was the lower branches which were starting to swamp the grass. Seeing it in the trug waiting to go to the compost bin looking so pretty almost made me regret it, but then looking back at the bush that looks way better too.

Trimming the hardy fuchsia bush

July was also the month that deadheading also came into its own with gazanias, sweet peas, giant fuchsias and roses all combining to make this striking photo - helped by the pretty pink trug.

DEADHEADING!

DEADHEADING!

By the conservatory our agapanthus buds were finally opening, there was a while to go before the flowers started to open but watching these is fascinating. 

Agapanthus starting to flower

And when they open, they're breathtakingly stunning.

agapanthus with the flowers starting to open

Outside my greenhouse something quite remarkable has taken place in my succulent trug. Some of my succulents have started flowering, and they're the most delicate flowers. 

IMG_3391.jpg

I've never seen succulents flower, especially any of my own. And if I'm honest I'm surprised they have because I do very little to help them. Most of these were pretty neglected last winter, as I forgot I'd left them in the hanging basket on the cherry tree. But I do wonder if that contributed to this year's flowers, as after all they are alpines, who knows?

and there were plenty of succulent flowers too - the first time I've seen them flower

There's been plenty more flowers in the garden during July but these three are my favourite plants, so it's good to see them all flowering at the same time.  What's your favourite plant?

A wander through the pretty village of Orford

We've been enjoying some lovely weather again in London these last few days and it's been great. I'd *almost* forgotten what summer felt like and I suspect if the weather continues it wouldn't be too long before there were moans of it being too warm. We're a fickle bunch aren't we? Sadly though the forecast is for rain and another storm to head our way, but I'm hopeful that we'll have a great autumn, not only because I want there to be some tomatoes to harvest, but also because, well the world just seems a happier place when the sun's out.  

Cliched I know, but true.

I thought while the sun was still out we should take a walk around the pretty Suffolk village of Orford which we visited for the first time on our recent break. It has traditional cottages as you'd expect, is well known for its nature reserve and has the blue-est of quaysides as my first couple of photos show.  

At the quay in Orford in Suffolk

Our visit was shorter than we'd hoped as this was what turned into our day of almosts.  We parked at the quayside car park and headed off to explore, quickly discovering that Orford Ness nature reserve was closed on a Monday, we were ok with that though as I think if we'd really wanted to visit that's information we would have been sure to have known in advance.  

You can't get fresher fish than this

After a walk along the shore we headed into the pretty village admiring the traditional cottages and quirky architecture to see what there was to see and to work out what to do next.  The traditional row of cottages caught my eye for their postcard looks, but also because of the grass right up to the front door. With my practical head on I couldn't help but think that it would be a right faff in the winter with your shopping walking across the grass. It seems that some of the residents must also think that as it was clear that these weren't always the main entrance to the property.

Cottages in Orford with the green right up to their front door
 
whitewashed cottages with roses growing up it in Orford Suffolk

Roses and hollyhocks accompanied the whitewashed cottages and over the road some quirkier architecture popped its head over the hedgerow.

quirky architecture in Orford with a clocktower popping over the hedge

Typically cottage garden plants spilled onto the narrow pavement which ran alongside the greens. I'm always asking MOH what plants are to test him as we wander past, especially now he's more interested in gardening - maybe that's an age thing?!  And I did that as wandered past the Valerian below; it's a plant I know he knows, but one he normally can't remember so imagine my surprise when he came straight out with it!  Usually we have to do the "it begins with V" and my best clue "think of an Amy Winehouse song" which usually clinches it as he likes his music (and I'm rather proud of my clue as I'm rubbish with who sang what).  So there you go unscientific proof of something I'm sure, though I'm not sure what.

Valerian growing alongside the pavement in Orford Suffolk

The village had some great brick walls too.  I know that's not the usual thing to look at, but well faced with this wall surely you must start to see the attraction... or is that just me?

and spilling out of brick walls
 
a yellow line to protect the flowers - and the villagers sanity no doubt

Ah yes, remember what I was saying about there being some good brick walls.  Here's another.  

I found another brick wall to admire

I was keen to see what was on the other side but MOH looked at me like I was slightly mad, well more than usual anyway and quickly ushered me along the lane.  Quickly distracted I spotted a cut through and decided we'd head up there instead. And guess what we found?

The village allotments.

Peeking into the allotments in Orford Suffolk

I didn't go in there either, but it's the village that has everything.  Even allotments.  But sadly for us no fish and chips after 2:30 pm - and guess what time we decided to stop for lunch, yes 2:35 pm.  You couldn't make it up.  And you know that thing when someone suggests fish and chips by the coast - which everyone knows makes them taste even better - well then you just can't get it out of your mind. It became our quest too and so we headed back to the car and drove onto Aldeburgh, certain we'd be more successful there.

Turns out our optimism was short-lived as the fish and chip shops didn't reopen until 6pm, so resigned to the fact there wouldn't be fish and chips for lunch we headed to a cafe instead. Another slightly surreal experience as despite having cornish pasties in the display cabinet we were only allowed to buy cake - surreal also because I'm complaining about that!  Turns out that because it came with salad we couldn't have it, it was only for sale from the adjoining sister shop. So we had tea and cake and left.  See, a day of almosts.  I almost had a cornish pasty.

While eating the cake though we'd cracked a master plan for fish and chips, we'd buy some on the way back to the cottage as by the time we mastered the diversion en-route, surely the chippie would be open. And no doubt it would have been, in fact it might even have shut by the time we mastered the detour. We looped it three times and still couldn't find the road we needed. Being increasingly short of patience, plan C was put into place and the car took us to Southwold. Surely there'd be fish and chips there.

There was. Along with a bit of a queue. And so finally we got our fish and chip takeaway and sat overlooking the sea with our coastal fish and chips and a rather large tub of tomato ketchup.  Pure bliss.  And mission most definitely accomplished.