Sunday, March 29, 2015

Victorian era, Trollope and Finch

Anthony Trollope's book "The Warden" is a joy to read. The kindly Rev. Harding lives according to what his faith and his conscience lead him to do, which puts him in great difficulty.
This book was written in Victorian times and published in 1855. The Victorian era is during the reign of Queen Victoria, from June 20, 1837 to January 1, 1901. I bought all six novels by Trollope in "The Chronicles of Barsetshire" series, and the second book "Barchester Towers" is even more compelling. I am reading it now and cheering on Rev. Harding and his devoted daughter, Eleanor, as they face a world of complex forces for change and against change and power struggles in the rural church community.

I am also reading a new novel "The September Society" by Charles Finch, with Charles Lenox as the Victorian era gentleman sleuth and a possible love interest for him, Lady Jane. The first book in this charming series is "A Beautiful Blue Death", written in 2007. There are many nice features in this series including Lenox's close friendship with his butler, and Lenox usually saying yes to any heartfelt request, especially for solving a mystery, or finding employment for someone down on his or her luck.
I bought the 6 book Trollope series for 99 cents on Kindle, such a bargain. I immediately began reading the second book after finishing "The Warden." "The September Society" is set in 1866 so both Trollope and Finch are writing about England in the same time period.
I admire both authors and their writing and recommend these books.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Our new fence after ivy is removed part 2

Here is our new redwood fence along the alley. Now the ten foot tall and eight foot wide ivy is gone.
Above is the space where the old tottering falling down fence was, and with the ivy gone. That took heavy machinery to remove.
Above is the beginning of building our new fence.
Above to the right is the heavy duty hand made gate. The contractor built it on our patio and I saw him build it.
We are happy to have this much progress.
Now we need to consider what to do with our huge back yard, to have a new sliding glass patio door installed, and to have some sort of shade for part of the patio. Perhaps a canvas awning over the patio doors and a table with an umbrella, or a roof of some kind that will extend over half the patio.
Step one and a big one is the fence is installed, hurray.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Our fence and gigantic ivy disappeared Part 1

Is our gigantic ancient English ivy taking over the universe?
Yes, friends. Our long wooden fence and the ivy covering it have disappeared. Our home had English ivy covering the fence when we moved in. No, we did not plant it as English ivy is considered invasive for good reason. The ivy has gone crazy in growth, reaching ten feet high and eight feet wide. This photo shows me standing near the fence along the alley, in our yard. Or possibly me in the Amazon jungle. You decide.
The reason we decided to have the ivy removed is that 1. It is taking over the yard, and possibly the universe. 2. It is almost closing off the alley which impacts other people and the old wooden fence it is growing on is collapsing from age and the weight of the ivy.
This view is taken from the sidewalk in front of our house, and shows how the ivy is threatening to completely block the alley which is on the right in the photo, and how the ivy extends about four or five feet in to the alley with about three feet available for people to walk in.
You can not drive through the alley because there are gigantic city owned trees growing in the alley in the area of our back fence. But people occasionally walk through it.
Stay tuned for my next post showing the area after ivy removal and fence removal, and soon our new fence. Sad to say, you can never completely remove this tenacious ivy. The contractor who removed it says it will grow sprouts which will need to be dealt with. They brought it a special machine to gouge out the thick trunks and roots near the surface, and ripped out the top few inches of soil and ivy in an eight foot wide area. Any tips on preventing regrowth gladly accepted and desperately needed.