My garden and a book signing

I’ve been madly busy the last week or so, sprucing the house up yet more and decluttering which is easier said than done. The death of my vacuum cleaner couldn’t have happened at a worse time, but that’s life isn’t it!

When I did find some time to blog late on last night I discovered that our increasingly dodgy WordPress connection had gone into complete meltdown, so it was no go! However it’s been sorted out now, thankfully.

So, more photos of my garden, after all we might be leaving it soon. This one is of euphorbia Fireglow and a purple blotched geranium which I believe is called Black Widow.

Scottish garden

The colour of the moment is definitely blue, I suppose that is what attracts the particular kinds of pollinating insects which are around at the moment. As you can see, I’m not precious about my grass, it can’t be called a lawn because it’s just too rough and is full of daisies and dandelions, but I like them. My mother detested daisies, it takes all kinds!

agarden 5

Amazingly we’ve been having some half decent weather over the past few days and it doesn’t take much in the way of sunshine and warmth to bring the ants out. I’ve just had to put one of those ant trap things which lure them in and poison them, they are all busy doing their thing amongst these plants and it’s a bit too close to my kitchen wall for my liking! I’m not keen on any creepy crawlies but I find ants quite horrific somehow. They remind me of nuclear submarines and are just as scary as far as I’m concerned.

Katrina's garden

It’s all looking quite lush but there isn’t too much in the way of colour so far. It wasn’t until I looked at this photo that I realised that the bottom branch of the blue cedar has turned brown, not a good omen at all. It was doing so well, and I don’t think the winter weather should have proved to be too much for it, but I suspect it’s on its way out, sadly.

So apart from cleaning and decluttering this week, the only interesting thing which I managed was to go to a book signing at my local bookshop. James Oswald was signing his book Natural Causes, it has just been published by Penguin in paperback. Prior to that James had self published it as an ebook. He is a farmer from St Andrews and seems to be a very nice chap, not at all my idea of a big farming type, which is a plus as far as I’m concerned. Peggy of Peggy Ann’s Post is his biggest fan and I hope to get around to reading his book soon.

James Oswald

19 thoughts on “My garden and a book signing

  1. Ants…shudder. But your garden is lovely!
    Mr. Oswald does not look like my idea of a farmer at all, but I suppose not many farmers are authors too 😉

    • Anbolyn,
      Thankfully those ant trap things work well! I always think farmers should be big hefty blokes but I suppose it’s more about technique than strength when you have to manhandle sheep and such.

  2. Katrina, your garden is lovely! Wish I could sit in it with you. Come on post the other pic you have of the book signing! I think it is really good. Thanks again for going!

  3. Your garden is looking lush – mine is very green right now and the grass grew so fast while we were away. I’m glad there is someone else with a lawn full of daisies and dandelions – we have buttercups too.

    I read the opening pages of Natural Causes on Amazon and really couldn’t face reading any more. I’m wondering what you will think of it.

    • Margaret please don’t let the opening pages of the book keep you from reading the rest! Skip it if you must, but the rest of the book isn’t like that. He did not have any of that in the second book either. I think you’ll be glad you did. Excellent series with good characters. I almost put the book down at first too but did really like it. And this from a vintage and cozy mystery person.

    • Margaret,
      I’m jealous of your buttercups, I love them and clover too, especially the purple kind. Thanks for the warning about the first few pages.

  4. Some lovely photos, and then me lowering the tone! Sorry about that. It was very nice to meet you – I hope you enjoy the book.

    Margaret – I had a number of people tell me the same thing about the book, and in the print edition my editor and I decided to take that first, violent and graphic chapter out. It’s now in the back of the book with an explanation why. I wrote it initially to grab the attention of the judges of the CWA Debut Dagger competition, back in 2007. That worked, as the book was short-listed. I’ve always felt a little uncomfortable with that scene, mostly because it was written for all the wrong reasons. There are some nasty bits in the rest of the book, but nothing quite like that opening chapter. I can fully understand why you might not want to read on after that, though.

    • James Oswald,
      I hope I can get around to reading Natural Causes soon. It was nice meeting you and I was glad to hear from Peggy that the day was successful for you. I had been thinking that you would have been chewing the carpet with frustration as it was such a lovely day to be getting on with things around your farm.

  5. Katrina,
    Methinks you might have had some news that has you very busy. Or (I hope not) you’re down with a nasty cold.

    I thought of you yesterday because I learned that Paul Auster is going to speaking 60 miles away on July 2nd. I must be there. And in my haphazard scatterbrained way, I thought, “Who would like to join me?” I know I know someone who appreciates Paul Auster. And then I realized you’re thousands of miles away. Darn.


    • Judith,
      Yet again I wish we had that transporter gadget from Star Trek so I could be there in a trice. Science has been a disappointment to me!
      I’ve been changing my server and also very busy with ghastly house stuff, but I hope to be back to blogging tomorrow. It’ll soon be time for Wimbledon, I hope you’ll be able to watch some of it.

      • Katrina,
        You know me too well. Nothing in this universe would keep me from watching as much of Wimbledon as I can manage. We’re finishing up watching all the French Open matches we’ve recorded.

        What has happened to Andy? Has he had an injury? I haven’t seen him lately and am very worried.

        Best of luck with all your house chores! I find attending to house details positively deadly, though I’m always pleased with the result of the efforts.

        Best to you,

        • Judith,
          Andy has had a back problem and withdrew from the French Open to give him time to recuperate. He should be fine for Wimbledon though, if he doesn’t injure himself during Queen’s.
          We are putting the house up for sale soon and have had to sort out problems which came up in the survey – traumatic!

          • Oh my gosh, Katrina,
            Ken and I have been in exactly the same spot! “Out, out, damn spot!”
            When we put our house near Boston on the market back in the fall of 2005, we were overwhelmed with the repairs and “upscaling” we needed to do to make our home sell. Fortunately, we had a realtor who helped us find the “gung ho” painters and repair people eager to move in and fix immediately.

            I was so motivated to move to the Adirondacks that I was able to overcome my dread and plunge in to all the tasks that needed doing.

            My empathy is with you. My sympathies are with you. Please feel free to complain a blue streak to me. I’ve been there.


          • Judith,
            More like “Out, out DAMP spots!” Yes we are having exactly your experiences, and our workmen are fantastic, certainly can’t complain about them. At least you knew where you wanted to move to, we just know that we want to downsize, anywhere west of here!

  6. Katrina,
    I’m so pleased for you that you’re thinking of moving westward. I know you love that part of the country. And, my words of advice this week are, “Don’t give up on your dreams for they are important!”

    Thinking of you,

    • Judith,
      I think we will manage to move some way towards the west anyway as we are hanging off the east coast here! I’ll remember your advice, thanks. We still have the house preservation guys in!

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