6 August 2011 (Saturday) - A Japanese Garden

Something out of the ordinary happened last night – I had a good night’s sleep. Right through till 6am, which for me is good. I got up, tiddled, shaved, hung the washing out on the line, and went back to bed where I slept through till 9am when next door’s infernal piano woke me. I don’t mind the piano when it’s being used to play proper tunes, but repeatedly playing scales for over an hour (continually and without let-up) does get on my wick somewhat.
I finally got out of bed when I heard what sounded like the front door being kicked down. I ran downstairs to find out what the commotion was, only to find the postman “gently knocking” on the door of the neighbours who don’t hate us.

I sparked up the computer, and over a bit of brekkie I had a nosey to see what was going on in the world. The other day I mentioned that I’d missed the Hastings pram race. This morning I found out I’d missed the Hastings Pirate Day too. And tonight it was the carnival there as well. When I left Hastings back in 1984 the town was (frankly) an old seaside town that had gone to the dogs. Now it would seem to be having something of a resurgence.
And then I spent a little while on my presentation on comets for the astro club. Whilst I’m quite happy to present to our astro club, another club has asked me to give a talk to them. I’ve agreed to do so (as I know how difficult it can be to get speakers), but I’m a bit nervous about presenting to them: after all, I’ve met some of their members a few times, and they do seem to be “normal people”. I doubt I’ll get away with just shouting “ANUS” like I do with our club.

With brekkie scoffed we set off to Folkestone. With the Admiralty temporarily relocated to Wiltshire, I’d volunteered for cat turd duty. We got to Folkestone to find both cats fast asleep, and neither seemed particularly fussed when we came in. I cleared out their litter tray (be still, my beating heart!) and topped up food and water bowls. As I opened the food cupboard the cats finally showed some interest in what I was doing.
Once ‘er indoors TM had fed the guinea pigs (under the supervision of the smaller cat), we set off to B&Q. The Internet claimed that B&Q was selling all sorts of camping gear very cheaply. The Internet lied. B&Q wasn’t. So we went to McDonalds instead. I’d heard rumours of a Cadbury’s Flake McFlurry. These rumours weren’t wrong. If any of my loyal readers are passing a Maccy D over the next week, pop in and have a Cadbury’s Flake McFlurry – they are on a limited run, and are *really* good. Even if you wouldn’t normally go into McD, make an exception – you won’t regret it.

And then we drove up to Smeeth: we’d heard that some people there were having an open day in their garden. Normally I don’t *do* gardens but I’d heard good reports about this one. And it was for charity.
There was a rather spectacular Koi pond, and the garden was done out in the Japanese style with Acers and bamboo everywhere. There was even a small Japanese tea house complete with running stream. I loved the stream – it looked so good, but was actually artificial; running on much the same principal as the filter on my fish pond which recycles water through a cascade.

I was rather taken with this garden: so much so that I was beginning to consider having Acers and bamboo in pots in my own garden, so on the way home we popped into the Garden Centre. I saw something much better than lame Acers and bamboos: herbaceous perennials. I’m not quite sure what a herbaceous perennial is, but it certainly sounds sexy.
But then I found a display of cactuses. One of them looked rather forlorn, and was in what looked like a very small pot, so I brought him home together with a new pot and some cactus compost and cactus food. And then I spent a few minutes putting my new cactus onto Facebook.
There are those who might consider this to be a waste of time, but I think “Dave the Cactus” holds his own; espcially when compared with Facebook pages such as this one and this one

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