Carmen hates hot air balloons (of course, being a French poodle, she calls them Montgolfiers). She grew to hate them while growing up at Alton where they regularly coasted above our cottage. What she hates most is the noise they make when the big burners are set off. She goes crazy.

A while ago we had one come down in the park not far from us and, as it almost skimmed the back fence, Carmen barked and showed her considerable displeasure by trying to stare it down.

Given the weather recently, we haven’t had a lot of balloon activity so Carmen’s sleep has only been disturbed by run of the mill things like other dogs getting out of cars, the people either side of us walking in the gardens, cats, squirrels and her sister.

This afternoon I was weeding (the sun actually came out for a bit and we only had one bout of rain at lunchtime), listening to the birds and insects buzzing around me when Carmen started going off. She was standing on the patio table, facing the Crazies’ house. I figured it was a cat – there’s one which regularly sits on the fence, teasing her. But no cat was in evidence. And then I suddenly realised what it was.

The Crazies are having some work done down the side of their house. Getting a window replaced or something. For the last two days there’s been a young guy there drilling and bashing and generally making working noises while dodging the rain. Today he was joined by a guy who I presumed is his boss (he was older and told him what to do).

He (the older chap) was standing at the top of a ladder with a heat gun, sealing the window (I think). The noise made by the heat gun was exactly like a hot air balloon and it was this that Carmen was barking at.

The guy turned and looked at Carmen, asking her what she was barking at. I told him it was the noise, that she didn’t like hot air balloons, thinking this probably sounded most peculiar.

“Ah, right. Yeah, mine does the same. Hates them,” he said.

Anyway, that was about it for excitement today.

Talking to mum on the phone, she asked for photos of the garden. She likes the flower close ups but wants to get a sense of the whole thing. So, for mum…and so Mirinda can keep an eye on her garden as well.

From the study

This is the garden taken from Mirinda’s study window. On the left, about halfway up, you may see some tiny red spots. These are the snapdragons. In the bottom right hand corner is the twisted hazel and the big purple rose bush.

The patio pots

The patio just outside the kitchen window. Lots of colour from geraniums and lobelia. These are Mirinda’s pots. The herb table is also looking very full. This was taken before I weeded!

Did I say we only had one bout of rain? As I sit here typing, it just started pouring again. Bloody weeds will just grow more.

The hot border

The hot border from the back of the new border that has little in it at the moment. The lavatera on the right is Carmen’s and is the other side of the big one. The blue trug is for the weeds I was digging up. It’s on its side because of the sudden rain shortly before this shot was taken.


We were despairing that the verbena wasn’t growing (it did suffer in the snow last year) but it has come up just not as thickly this time. That’s the long stalks with the tiny purple flowers on top. This is the other side of the patio. The little yellow buttons of the cotton lavender can be seen as well as a stray orange crocosmia against the fence. The purple lavender has all fallen over because the dogs love running between it and the fence when the cat is teasing them. While it makes the lavender look a bit messy, the dogs end up smelling beautiful.

And a final shot of Day-z in her favourite place – sitting on a window sill, staring out at the world. This is in Mirinda’s study and where I tend to find her when I’m working upstairs.

Day-z at the window

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2 Responses to Montgolfier

  1. mum cook says:

    Thank you Gary Charles it all looks very nice and I can now see
    where each flower goes when you talk about it, also your lawn
    is looking good even though you keep getting rain. You sure you
    have not been laying out in your lounger instead of weeding and just telling us it has been raining. love mum

  2. Mirinda says:

    Day-z looks so cute. You should add piks of the auricula theatre and the front garden.


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