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Happy birthday Mom!

Today, Mom would have been 73. I would have taken the day off work, and we probably would have gone to Clisson.

Since I'm driving a Playmobil car, I took a day off work and went to Châteaubriant.

The first stop was Jardiland. I wanted to get some flowers for out front, but sadly (tragically) the local supermarket piles up the sickly looking plants that they get in, and then they completely fail to water them. After a few days in an artificial environment, they're half dead.
It has crossed my mind to find out who is responsible for that, go grab the fire hose, and make my point in a way that won't be forgotten in a hurry. But, as a foreigner here... <sigh>

In Jardiland, as the name suggests, the staff might not be clued on the specifics of every single plant but they do know that living things do have certain requirements, such as water. The plants also looked much healthier. A mass of radiant green that ends up looking cartoonish in photos even if that's pretty much the real colour!

I got a small Iris (Iris Germanica), an Iceland Poppy (Papaver nudicaule), and a type of Carnation (Dianthus). Carnations are a part of a family of plants called "Pinks" because, well, take a wild guess...


I also got two small bags of potatoes - Charlotte and Bintje. I've never grown potatoes before, so this ought to be interesting.

A quick visit to Maxi Zoo for some more reindeer and boar cat food. While I was there, I got the furries a small tin of chicken and pineapple food each.
Pineapple! Who'd have thought a cat would have considered chicken and pineapple to be a worthy combination? It's almost sweet and sour! How do they even come up with this? Mix up random combinations in individual bowls and let a bunch of cats loose?
Well, I can tell you, the food didn't last long, and there was a lot of bowl licking. So, yeah, chicken and pineapple cat food. It's a thing. It's an appreciated thing. Cats are weird.

After that, I went around the newly expanded Leclerc supermarket for some stuff different to my local haunt. It was surprisingly crowded, so I peacefully went into introvert/autistic mode and put on my headphones. Queued up some Delain, and blanked out the entire rest of the world. Interestingly, I spotted two other people with headphones. Maybe this is 2021's "I have to do this but I don't want to"?

A quick visit to Action to round off the shopping. I got a remembrance candle, a gas lighter, a shaker of butterfly friendly flowers, and was sadly tempted by a bucket of Celebrations. Oh dear, I guess I know what I'll be doing on Easter if the weather is naff. If it's good, there's a ton of gardening...

In the way home I stopped to place a remembrance candle on Mom's grave (one of those red plastic things with the little metal lid), but it was far too windy for that to work. A storm is supposed to blow through tonight.


Mom and I would often stop at McDonald's, so I did so this time. I could go in and use the pokey-proddy machine. Far better than trying to be understood on the naff audio system for drive-through ordering.
They only allow four people in at once. Which, given it was just after 1pm on Friday (lunchtime!) it seemed odd that I was the only person not using the drive method (and that wasn't exactly packed out either). I think they're going to feel the new Burger King when it opens.

I got a Chicken Big Tasty (maxi size) and a Chicken Wrap.

Well, I guess I can rely on McDonald's to never fail to disappoint.

That pitiful offering of chips (the second time in a row) should be embarrassing. I can't help but feel some empathy with William Foster (D-Fens) when I look at this. Well, it's not the end of the world. The next time I buy a burger in Big Town will probably be in 2-3 months, and it won't be in McDo... yup, they're gonna feel Burger King opening.

Additionally, the toilet is "closed". Given the size of their adult drinks (half a litre), and their use of salt to encourage the ordering of drinks (especially in children's meals, the regular Happy Meal burger is salty to the point of being unpleasant), coupled with the restriction on four people at once, it seems silly not to permit the use of the toilet (hmm, this is a food establishment, is that even legal?). What do they expect the young ones to do, wet themselves? Well, it explains why I saw two guys taking a whizz on the bushes. Not sure what women are supposed to do, mind you...



Last May, a very heavy rainstorm broke a gutter drain pipe. I had to hack through sloe trees and brambles in order to patch up the pipe.
It looked like this:
Fixed guttering
How it used to look.

Today, after a bit of effort last weekend and a few afternoons after work, it looks like this:

No Sloes
No Sloes no more.

In the course of doing that, I broke my extendible-arm branch clippers. I squeezed too hard and they snapped. Damn, I'm strong! ☺
Actually, the arms are made of aluminium and they failed at one of the punched holes where the mechanism can click into place. I figure it was a weakness inherent in the design.

I got a replacement pair from the Leclerc. I noted that the clicky holes were in the upper middle of the arm on these new clippers, not on the side where it would be taking stress.

I got some Pansies the other day, and planted them by the mini Dafs and Hyacinthes.

Bulbs and pansies
Daffodil, Hyacinthe, Pansy.

There's also a peculiar sort-of daffodil, dual issue, to put it in nerdy terms. ☺

Dual daffodil?
Dual daffodil?

Elsewhere, one tree (a wild cherry?) around back is in full bloom. The Epic Willow has turned green. The Lavender is covered in little blue flowers, and all the wild Primroses are quite exuberant.


A bird with attitude

In the driveway/access lane on the way home after work...


And finally...

Once in a while, nature treats you to a little demonstration of physics - prisms and refraction.
Red and yellow and pink and green,
purple and orange and blue... hang on, what!?



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David Pilling, 12th March 2021, 22:39
Multi-headed daffs are common. There is a very popular variety of small daff called "Tete a tete". As might be guessed usually 2 flowers, although they can have three, and there are other groups like Jonquilla Narcissus which have many more flowers per stem. 
David Pilling, 12th March 2021, 22:41
That's a double rainbow you have there. Sun is always to your back when you see a rainbow. Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain...
David Pilling, 12th March 2021, 22:45
Plants of Colonial Days (1959) states that pinks derived their name from pinksten or pfingsten, the German name for flowers that bloomed at Pentecost, or Whitsuntide. Other sources say that the word pink comes from the "pinked" or jagged edge of the petals, as though cut by pinking shears. 

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