Just before the fall!

Beans bending over say dont pick me again
And a couple of bird baths keep filling with rain
The Sand toys sit abandoned all ready to store
And the sulking blue flowers are a bit of a bore
The yellow nasturtium looks sad ‘cos its late
And the Virginia creeper is turning RED by the gate!

Your time of year Emma!!… Love Rosie xxx

The runners ain’t done!

Dear Emma,I was just thinking  that you might like to know  the  runner beans are over ! We have had so many pickings of beans everyday this summer,from just a few plants. For weeks on end, they have been a delight, but today I  decided that they must be all spent, finished. Pickings have been a bit thin, the last day or two and there are no flowers left on  them, except for one  plant, and it is getting a bit cold now anyway, even the bees don’t seem to be about, so it really is about time to pull ’em all up ……

Or so I thought! One last  quick look through and under the  still thick green growth (in places) I disturbed  a massive bumble bee, who angrily took flight closely brushing my ear.  And there I discovered a perfect bunch of long beans hiding close to the fence and another lot! a whole picking! which had crawled  unnoticed, somehow, into some ferns. There I discovered a nasturtium which has only just decided to flower. I also discovered  a mass  of little beans, looking quite happy,  on every one of the ‘spent’  tired looking plants (that were nearly pulled up) and which have been delivering so famously this summer. More beans that will be up and  ready in a couple of days time. Their time  aint up yet,  then! 

love Rosie


Creeping up on some red leaves

Dear Emma, Here is the virginia creeper. It is turning red.I guess the spider is still in there somewhere. I didn’t see him hanging around. perhaps he went into hiding yesterday….maybe he didn’t like the sun.Maybe he could see me creeping about,but I couldn’t even see the web. The gentian violets are sulking in the rain today.Take care.love Rosie

18th September Wednesday

Dear Emma,
I know that you have been sprinkling your angel dust about. Your gentle touch seems to have been in every corner. ….
Today, the last best thing that happened was that the cracked screen of an otherwise ok mobile phone was mended quickly and easily, after many frustrating false starts.

Then Janie came round and we talked and talked. God how we talked…..She took home a picking of runner beans and a some figs off the tree and I thought life couldn’t get better, then the bestest thing of all happened, when the computer rattled unexpectedly with a noisy bleeping warning to ‘pick up’ …..

As you know one darling,four year old boy ( who is growing so fast, so fast) started reception this last week and as he is living so far away, I have been unable to do anything for him. My heart had been quietly praying that the sweetheart would get through the week; the very long days, the extra long days as his day starts far too early and the end of the day comes far too late, imprisoned as he is in a strange noisy place that he must get used to. There he waits and waits all day for the day to end so that he can get home again…… but only with and when his Mum and Dad finish their working day too (as teachers) in the same school. Poor darling little man, friendly, sensitive, bravely independent and bewildered, but brave; Oh yes! So brave. Well,I found out today…… that he survived…..when Katie Skyped me and I talked to him, and he to me!. So today, Emma, I have been catching up with life out there and I could see,for myself….that the boy is OK!
Heavenly day!!!
love Rosie

17th September Tuesday

Dear Emma,

Thanks for letting me know how you are. Such a surprise to get a letter. It plopped through the letter box this morning, just as the man with a van called for the parcel (with the rolled up paintings inside I wrapped up yesterday) set for the USA. So they are leaving the UK too !  You are such a long way off, but glad to know you have been catching up with everyone and I am looking forward to hearing what they have to say about their version of events ! ( You will have to let me know if I was right) ………Remember to treat yourself to a new outfit, something to flatter your beautiful hair,  and make the most of room service, while you can. Live in a bit of luxury for heavens sake and don’t feel too guilty. Everyone who stayed behind found a way  of getting along without you, so must not worry about a thing. Please send me an up to date photo of you if you can but make sure you are smiling this time. I will accept nothing less……

Fondest love Rosie

16th September Monday

Dear Emma,
Managed to do some washing but you should have seen me panicking earlier! I had to send a ready packed parcel to America, or more accurately, I had to arrange a beautifully lovingly wrapped parcel to be sent to America, and it has taken me since breakfast. I have only finished a moment ago and ‘Eggheads’ is on afternoon tele now, and I feel exhausted! Just about recovering……

The parcel was too big to take to the post office, although the post office is only down the hill from where I live. Apparently the two carefully rolled up paintings inside are too big and too awkwardly shaped for Parcel Force to manage; which is a shame as I would much rather use the post office, but it just couldn’t accommodate my parcel, Instead, I had to root around for some other company on the internet who would come and collect it….. as soon as possible. It took time and a few false and cagey starts from me and my computer, as I do not know much about sending international parcels, but finally I found a company that looked promising. I put the details and the precise dimensions and weight of the parcel into the form and paid the fee for collection tomorrow. Apparently it will arrive at the gallery in five days if I do it now, so all I had to do (I thought) is to wait to hear from D. about its arrival in St Louis. Simple stuff!

I thought the deed was done; with just the man with a van arriving tomorrow to take it away……..How niave can you be?

But before I could turn away from the computer the receipts and instructions and downloads came with a flurry into a pile in my email account. Just as well I noticed. First the label to stick on the parcel,and then a request to print off the customs notices four times, which must all be filled in by hand, plus all the general information I must read to be able to say I know what I am doing, and not putting anything illegal into the parcel. My first concern was about whether or not the printer would have enough ink for the eight bits of paper to be printed out (in black or any other colour for that matter), or even if I had enough simple white office paper for the task. Then as I read through the instructions, I realised I needed a black marker pen to scratch the tracking number on the side of the parcel. I didn’t have a black marker to hand and I had to start a search, but I could only find a black oil pastel and had to make do with that. I was soon worrying about the sticky tape, and whether or not it is the right kind of tape and ‘enough’of it to stick all the extra bits onto the parcel. I was glad I hadn’t booked the man with a van for the afternoon, thinking it might just take until midnight to feel happy about all the form filling still to be done and finding the right and most concise way of describing the contents and value of the parcel. I also had to catch up with the recipient, to make sure the details I had on his address was spot on. By lunch, it was all done, I just needed to double check on the weight and the measurements to make sure the parcel would not incur extra charges; so important not to underestimate anything.

It would be pointless and boring to explain how long I got held up with the custom declaration forms. I could hardly write my own name so I had to print off more forms and start again; and then the wondering started again hoping the printing ink wouldn’t run out, all desperate stuff…..but in the end, snail pace I had managed to fix it all.

Triumphant and rather belatedly I asked  Mick to look over and check everything and waited.

‘Hey’ he called from the kitchen ‘I think you have the measurements wrong’…..(he had measured it up originally, damn him!).

‘What?’ I reeled.’You measured it for me, you told me; what did I get wrong?’ and I ran from the room.’ You watched me do this. I will have to start again’, I said (among other things) and stomped off upstairs to recover from the sudden desperate panic and thought of having to start all over again. I had fluffed around for a whole morning on this. It had been all futile. It was too much. I had paid the delivery company and would have to ammend everything. Even my beautiful fresh picked runner beans, were thinking about burning on the stove, although I didn’t know it yet although as it was getting nearer to lunch. Then……

‘Its ok’ said a little voice at the bottom of the stairs.’I got it wrong. centmetres confuse me. Your measurements are right. Don’t know what I was thinking.’

‘Oh.’I said, and came down the stairs, stomping a bit but just in time to save the beans!

You will never know how dreadful I felt for those extra few horrible moments today Emma, but its all ok now and my two rolled paintings are solemnly waiting ready in the hall, for the knock on the door tomorrow ‘anytime between 9 and 5’ before they take their lonely long haul to the Gallery in St Louis, USA tomorrow. Send the paintings to D. with a kiss from me Emma!

Love Rosie

September 14th Saturday


Dear Emma,

Today I have been eating figs. At £2 for four at Tesco (at least £2), I guess I am a bit spoiled at the moment.  I don’t know if you remember the fig tree we planted in the garden about 8 years  ago. You should see it now. It always produced a few figs but this year I have been picking about 40 figs (ripe brown and sweet) everyday for the last fortnight, and there is still a ton left on the tree. They seem to have ripened late enough to miss the wasps. Can’t believe what a wonderful crop it is. I am not even fed up of eating them. I have probably eaten 15 everyday. Daren’t add up how much that would have cost at the shop. What ever would your Mum think?

Love Rosie