Welcome to 2016….


Grumble, grumble. Back to what passes for normal, except – for the moment – it is NOT raining. Really. The garden is so wet that your squish, squish, squish as you walk on ‘grass’, and P has nearly surfed from one garden to another on mud. Joy, oh joy.

However, gardening is taking place. This sort of gardening:


Though in deference to convention, P is not wearing yellow tights and white socks, and the apple trees are considerably larger (though they do have carefully cleared circles of earth around them, or as I like to call these things, ponds). It’s pruning time.

It is emphatically not


digging time, as that will only annoy the Weather Gods even more, and anyway I have enough standing water as it is.

Of course, what we really need is one of these:


especially as this rather splendid portrayal of a viking longship can take a house on its deck, allowing me to move somewhere with LESS RAIN.

In the meanwhile this is me,


doing my tax return. Joy, oh ******* joy. And the last of the Christmas cake got eaten yesterday. 2016 just keeps on getting better.

(Seriously – all the best. It cannot, CANNOT, carry on like this!)


23 Comments Add yours

  1. Spade & Dagger says:

    Pruning apple trees has had to wait this year, because up until Christmas they still had a fair amount of leaves despite the gales, also tentative autumn pruning of other things showed the sap to be running exceptionally late this year. We need some real cold and dry to get the plants into winter mode ready for a good hack back without leakage or fungal infection, but fear we might just slide (!!) into an equally moist and mild early spring.

    1. kate says:

      We really do. We’ve had a few cold nights with overall temperatures much closer to normal, though. Wet, mind, very wet. If the temperatures were a bit lower we’d be in snowdrifts up to the eaves.

      I’m beginning to suspect the same about the slide into spring. Rice. Must plant rice.

  2. You just had to lay down the challenge, didn’t you. ‘CANNOT carry on like this’?! Are you mad?! Weather gods require appeasement, not challenge…

    1. kate says:

      Rats. I’ve appeased them, then, by sandbagging the door to the basement / office (office always upstairs in winter anyway). This should ensure a dry spell (optimism, I suspect)

      It’s the water table that’s giving me problems…

      1. I find wood makes far better tables…

        But eek, sounds horrid! Much damage?

        1. kate says:

          No, fortunately office up a little step, and the only water has been driven in by wind around the door. Mind you, everything’s damp. I was on top of the damp in this house and then— but at least heating oil is cheap, so I’m blasting it internally. Worked when I took over, and that was after nobody’d been living here and there’d been no heating other than an open fire.

          grumble Mutter §o32u3289$$b!!! Feck!

  3. Pauline says:

    Surely it will stop raining soon! More and more keeps coming across the Atlantic, the ground can’t take any more.The only gardening I do is to take a sedate walk and inspect my snowdrops, everything else has to necessitate walking on the squelchy lawn, not good!
    The Undergardener, bless him, did my tax return, so I looked very like your lady in the picture!

    1. kate says:

      Have you considered hiring the Undergardener out?

      Everything is so very, very wet. The squelching is disgusting; heaven only knows what will come up in the meadow this year after everything’s had such a drowning. I’ve almost expected my redundant stream track to fill up (even though the stream is now diverted underground), it’s been so bad. BLEAGH! I PROTEST!

      (Who to, I’m not so sure…)

  4. There is always a bit of something to do in the garden, no matter what the weather…I am always amazed that no matter when I walk through the garden there is always something wonderful to look at and think about.

    1. kate says:

      You are right, though it’s less easy to be appreciative when your wellies leak. Or so I’ve found… Will try harder!

  5. hoehoegrow says:

    “And the rain it raineth every day”
    It never stops here, absolutely relentless ! It is so mild too. Mild but sodden. The soil is so saturated it would be impossible to work it.
    Christmas cake seems like the best option!

    1. kate says:

      Ate the last of the cake.

      Bizarrely, my garlic seems to like this weather and is zooming away. Probably means it will be all stalk and no bulb.

  6. VP says:

    OMG the tax return! Thanks for the reminder – I’m crossing my fingers that the proposed change to 4 times a year is another out of season event and is actually an early April Fool’s joke

    1. kate says:

      I suspect not. Just the sort of trick I’d expect. Will spend ages doing accounts but will never have to pay tax again because will be spending all my time writing up receipts instead of writing other things.

      The workers’ flag is brightest red / stained with the blood of workers dead… *off the build barricade*

  7. Anna says:

    Now I thought that was a tranquil you composing your seed order Kate. It’s rather horrible out there. I’ve given up walking on the lawn as I nearly sunk into it at the weekend and briefly thought that himself would have to get a rope round my waist and haul me out. We’ve been fortunate so far but having a small stream border one side of the garden does not hold the same charm that it once did. Happy New Year to you and here’s hoping that high pressure will get the upper hand soon!

    1. kate says:

      The rope round waist thing reminded me of the sight of P mud-surfing. In mid-Wales they have something called bog snorkelling. I feel this is a sport ripe for export….

  8. Angie says:

    Ah the benefits of PAYE 🙂
    I think most of us are extremely fed up with the rain right now and I say enough too! A bit of winter sunshine would not go amiss!

    1. kate says:

      I saw the sun today. Immediately put on sunglasses and stripped to bikini. Oh, OK, I exaggerate. But I did have the sunglasses on.

      Er, at which point it clouded over.

      PAYE, indeed. Huh!

  9. Love, love, love the illustrations! Yes, I agree. We need some cold. And Happy New Year!

    1. kate says:

      I think we’re about to get our wish fulfilled…

      Have now decided I don’t care about the temperature as long as it STOPS RAINING. Both I and the house would really appreciate it, we’re both suffering from damp. Though I have, as yet, to develop mould. Grrrrr.

  10. wellywoman says:

    There must be something we can do to stop this rain. What’s the opposite of cloud seeding? There MUST be one. I’ve lost count of the times we’ve left the house to go for a walk having seen the sky brighten up only to be caught in another deluge. But then we have friends in Hebden Bridge who have had a dreadful time, so I catch myself and try to think less grumpy thoughts. It’s blinking hard though when it’s p***ing it down AGAIN!!
    January certainly does suck! Still I’ve just ordered my dahlias which is a triumph of hope as the plot looks like I might not be able to walk on it for a year. 😉

    We invested in a dehumidifier this year and I wish we’d done it earlier. It might not help with the trench foot but it’s worked a treat on the damp.

  11. Cathy says:

    Bit late responding to your artistic post. Great illustrations for your wet tale of woe – I don’t know whether to say anything or not but (shhhh) we really haven’t had lots of rain here at all… sorry.. Sometimes I think our garden must be in some sort of microclimate bubble! Anyway, it is past 31st Jan so at least you will have got your tax return done (you have, haven’t you?) and will now be sorting out your apple trees or whatever 🙂

    1. kate says:

      I have indeed got the tax return done (a week early, even) and am completely ignoring your remarks about rain and your garden. Not listening, not listening👿

      Seriously, it does seem t have dired up here a bit. A very small bit. Primroses etc all out, they think it’s March.

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