Wednesday and still dark

You really notice that the the days are getting shorter when you get up very early as I do. It is 4. 45 and still pitch dark though the sky s beginning to lighten in the east. A few weeks ago it was light by now.
Yesterday was a hot one again but it was not sunny it was heavily overcast which made for a very muggy feel. Jane arrived bright and early and had some photos of a house that she had cleaned as a one off. It was like the ones you see on "how clean is your house" it is hard to believe that anyone can live in such filth. Anyway the before and after photos show what a couple of hours of hard graft can achieve. Terry arrived on time and we went and had a look at the bees immediately. I was pleased that he confirmed my suspicion that one hive is on the way out and the other is doing OK but not brilliantly. He also agreed with me that there is no point in taking the honey off this year I might just as well leave what there is to feed the bees over the winter. I must admit I was relieved as it does save shed loads of work with the honey. Although this is disappointing I am not alone in my problems apparently there are plenty of bee keepers in the same situation so I guess local honey is going to be very expensive this year. The general consensus of opinion is that the weather conditions have been against the bees and they have struggled to keep fed.
I had made an egg and bacon pie for supper but we were going to have cheese on toast for lunch however I was so sleepy that it turned into a cheese and tomato sandwich. I then went off to sleep off the Piriton which stood me in good stead as I did get stung but only once. Well I slept like the dead until 6.30 so it was just as well I had made the pie which we ate cold with a good helping of HP sauce.
The garden is desperate for rain again as it has dried out dramatically with these very warm days and the high winds that we have had. According to the weather forecast we are not going to get any rain in this corner for the foreseeable future. Over the last couple of days I have been making some preserved vegetables. So far I have done peppers, beetroot and aubergine and today I am going to make some baby onions in balsamic vinegar. These vegetables have all been done in the Italian way and are in jars filled with light olive oil. I am hoping that they will make a nice accompaniment to my air dried [Parma] ham when it is ready to eat in October.
Today I need to get the dogs out for a long walk so that they are good and tired and not too bored tomorrow when we are off to France for the day and they will be left behind. Sue my neighbour has volunteered to come in and feed them at around 4.30, which is their usual food time and they will have the run of the house and the garden so I am not anticipating any problems. She is also going to put the chickens to bed if I leave them out in their run. It is so nice to have such a good relationship with your neighbours however it is not a one way street she borrowed our ladders to do some work on her house yesterday so it is a mutually beneficial arrangement. As far as food is concerned I have half the pie left for us to have for lunch with some salad and for supper some fresh peas with something?.....
have a good day and enjoy the warm weather while it lasts......

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