What's this? A new species? A new song by the Rolling Stones? No: it is " slippery cattle grid" in Dutch! We came across it on a recent cycle/camping trip. We went to Oostvoorne, a village on the coast south west of Rotterdam. Apart from a few stretches, we cycled on separate cycle lanes, like the ones in the pictures. After a very wet month of May we now have sunshine at last. As most local authorities don't mow the grass verges any more there were lots of wild flowers to admire and there was the wonderful smell of cow parsley, hawthorn and other plants I don't know the English names of. Best of all was the bird concert we heard from dawn to dusk. Living in the centre of Rotterdam all we hear is a blackbird, pigeons, seagulls and magpies, so this was a real treat.
Back home after only three days, the plants on my balcony seemed to have exploded! You can see part of the watering system I bought last year. It is very nice having a large balcony and I do enjoy looking after the plants, but I felt I could no longer ask my neighbours to water them when we went away. It was a bit of a faff installing it, but now it works quite well. The hoses are attached to a timer on the tap, which turns the system on twice a day. As you can see I also have a water butt, but I use up all the water in a few days and it is now completely empty. Hoping for rain again! Some of the containers I found in the street: a large basket, rubbish bins, a laundry basket and a baby bath! They work just as well as regular plant containers (we drill holes in them) and are free.
Anyway: back to books! Next post will be about the New Forest.