One of the reasons for Friday’s trip to the Lake District was to ride on the Swan steamboat on Windermere as part of the retirement celebrations of a friend at work. Sue and I are roughly the same age (she is taking early retirement!) and share many similar experiences and interests. One which we discovered during a discussion about toys in a history lesson is the Britain’s Floral Garden, a toy produced in the late 1950’s and early 1960s.
Sue had one to play with when she was a little girl and my sister and I shared one. Ours was given to us to play with in the corridors of the Manchester Royal Infirmary while our mother visited our father who was very ill. It consisted of a box containing a piece of grass coloured flocked paper (with stripes) for a lawn, a lawn roller to produce the stripes, crazy paving slabs, flower beds and tiny plants to be put in with a “planter” (a vital piece of equipment frequently lost) a garden bench, stone walls and if you were very lucky a greenhouse or shed or a swing -seat. It was an excellent toy for us two little girls as we were not allowed into the ward to see our father so had to sit outside for an hour or so each day and of course we had to be quiet. I loved planting things in the flower beds, loved the little lawn roller and longed to have a greenhouse. Sadly after my father died we moved house and the Floral Garden was lost. Sue however still has hers and as part of her retirement present I managed to buy her a rockery complete with plants and a planter, a garden bench, some stone walls and some crazy paving, all in their original unopened packaging,to enable her to enlarge her “plot”. Some of our younger colleagues looked on in confusion as Sue exclaimed with joy as she unwrapped each tiny parcel. They had never heard of or seen a Floral Garden so Sue has promised to set hers up and invite everyone round to view it. After having the tiny pieces in my possession for a week or so I have to admit I’m now hankering after a Floral Garden of my own but not for a wee while, puppies and small gardens just wouldn’t work together.I’ll just have to content myself with the real garden outside which is in dire need of some attention.
We are having a quiet weekend and will be having a couple of quiet weeks as both dogs unfortunately have kennel cough, a nasty flu-like infection which is spreading through the puppy training class and daycare centre at the moment. Skye is relatively ok, she has a runny nose, a high temperature and an occasional cough. Nino on the other hand is quite unwell, he has a bad cough, is very wheezy and has been vomiting. Both dogs are off their food but are drinking large amounts of water and both feel very sorry for themselves! We went to the vets and had to be seen in the car park as the infection is so virulent they didn’t want us to go into the surgery at all. Both dogs have secondary chest infections so are on antibiotics and anti inflamatory medicines. The vet has advised us to keep them away from other dogs for 2-4 weeks…so our summer plans are somewhat limited.