Monday, 29 June 2015

Gentle potterings

I'm back, I think - I hope! Life well work in particular has been more than a little full on, more like wishing to pull ones hair out fistfuls at a time kind of crazy. Things appear to be settling down though combined with still no working kitchen (it has been re-plastered & painted) & coping with a mother who has suddenly come into a large pot of money (probate has finally been sorted) we shall see. My mother has no sense of keeping a budget what-so-ever & while it's nice that she wishes to treat everyone - she offered to buy Mike an Aga the other day - I can see trouble ahead.

I'm treating myself to some gentle pottering today which can be translated as giving the house a jolly good clean, the garden a jolly good weed & should I still be awake early this evening I shall start another crochet blanket - just the thing to keep tempers calm by covering oneself with mounds of wool in this weather. Combine the fact that I read about a 'Wine bank' several weeks back. The idea being instead of buying alcohol to drink you put the money into a little savings account. Results have been astounding to say the least, I've built myself a nice little sum already & am 4 lb lighter!

My edible hedge is coming on wonderfully, unfortunately it only contains one Hazel, luckily it contains three Elder bushes - one for cordial (lack of kitchen means I can't make any this year), one for wine (ditto) & one spare. I think it contains a blackthorn, there are a couple of wild roses which look very pretty & I hope beyond hope the remaining trees are a combination of cherry plum & crab apple. I'm running out of space as I need to fit into the opposite side a white hydrangea, peonies, roses & various other plants.

Veg garden is looking fab, very pleased with it this year. We have cucumbers, tomatoes & chillies forming in the greenhouse. The sweet cherry tree is being raided by Harry, even the blackbirds are getting very little chance to nab the ripening fruit. We've been picking fresh salad from the garden, I think I have some potatoes ready though Mike has banned me from rummaging around for another week to give them chance to grow a bit more!

I've had very little time to read your blogs of late & I faithfully promise to catch up some time today. I've managed to resist the Emma Bridgewater sale so far due to lack of browsing time more than anything else. I can't promise not to buy anything should a further reductions email lands in my inbox.

Thank you for the birthday messages for Rob, he in fact we had a splendid day. I read about the idea of 21 presents for being 21. A mixture of smaller ones with some more treaty ones. It was blinking hard buying for a male who doesn't collect anything any more. The shopping trip was another tearing ones hair out experience! I managed 19 & then added his birthday meal & cake into the mix to make it 21!

Anyway I shall love you & leave you, the house really is in a dreadful state. Have a good day, it's lovely to be back x

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Three.

I won't be around for a couple of days. Staff off on holiday combined with staff phoning in sick has put paid to that. I have my suspicions but I shall leave it at that for now!

Mike has gone to pick Rob up from uni, how that lovely boy of ours has enjoyed his time at uni. He has had an absolute blast & I feel just so sad it's finished for him. Rob no doubt is happy knowing he will be back in time to go the local & catch up with the the regulars who adore him too!

I recall listening to an advert jingle tune before Rob went to uni. It was one of those happy inspiring sort of tune & with motherly concern, hope & prayers wished that he would enjoy his degree.

He did & more. He has met & bonded with people who will be friends for life & has had some fantastic experiences.

So there you go, three years & three hours away. Over!

More threes -
Three citrus patio fruit trees. Lime, lemon & orange. the Lime was a free offer from Grow your own magazine. You know free if you pay the postage. As it was over a fiver I thought it was rather expensive postage so to make better use of the offer I erm ordered the orange & lemon too.  I'm sure in three years I shall have some fruit to harvest from them :)

Final three

My new asparagus patch of course! That will be ready to harvest from. Also Harry will be picking which A-Levels to study.

Back on Tuesday my dears, as always have fun & watch the time doesn't fly too quickly for you x

Friday, 5 June 2015

Five on Friday

Five musings from my week -

 Upon watering the potted fruit trees this morning I thought I spotted a strange bird at the feeder station. It was strange all right! Once I had fully opened my eyes I realised it was a coconut half.

We spotted these the other day in the garden, spider nests, spider egg cases? Whatever, they are full of teeny tiny baby spiders. I've spotted some hatching.

My granny stripe blanket has been relegated to the back of the small sofa for the summer. You know just to keep the sofa cosy during the night. I like the look of it there so when time allows I shall be making a granny square blanket for the back of the other sofa. Mike understandably is thrilled by this plan, I heard him muttering the other day about where it all went wrong!

 The sweet cherry tree is loaded with cherry's this year, the sour one is too for that matter. The question is How many will the blackbirds leave for me this year? A strong guess is 0!

I think these are Alpacas, Mike could imitate them quite well so they came over for a closer look. The thought of attaching an extension cable to Mikes hair trimmer thing did cross my mind (more than once)

Joining in with Amy's Five on Friday. Do take a look at the others. Enjoy your day all x

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Snails in the post & asparagus tales

After making the decision not to have any chickens as Rocky hound would do his up most to try & eat them I decided to extend the asparagus patch.

Quite an undertaking really as you have to wait three years before you can pick from it. Actually you can pick a couple of spears from the second year but you really have to show great restraint as you need the crown to develop.

The ideal time to plant asparagus crowns is spring which is next year for me now as we are heading into summer. Naturally being an impatient lass I was eager to get started.

I placed an order for 10 asparagus plants from Victoriana Nurseries (& some samphire seeds too). Which were delivered yesterday, I was actually a little worried about the order as I placed it over two weeks ago. Naturally after sending an email the postman knocked on the door a couple of hours later. Pffft!

Erm I had planned to take a photo outside on the table so it looked nice rather than take one in my jumbled up greenhouse. But there you go - 5 blocks of Crimson Pacific & 5 blocks of Jersey Knight. Unfortunately they will have to stay like that as I have run out of plant pots, I'm working all weekend & I need the area to be Rocky proofed.

Where does the snail come into it I hear you ask -
Can you see the large black dot, as I unwrapped the plants from the plastic bags I noticed this little chap. I'm sure he will become a less than useful addition to my veg plot!
The asparagus plot as it is now, I have three healthy crowns there which provided a couple of pickings this year. I did have five crowns but my sisters dog ate her way through two of them last year. Typically choosing the crowns that were throwing up the thickest & juiciest spears!

Can you see the contraptions I have covering the spears. They are old hanging baskets not in use this year, I placed them on top to stop Rocky knocking off the emerging spears!

I'm going to grow my plants on for a couple of months & plant them out say the end of July. Once the bed is fenced off from Rocky hound!

P.s For you crafty folk out there I've joined in with the Santa Sack Swap again for this year. It's a six month long commitment which is why I'm allowed to mention Christmas now, pop along & take a look.

Enjoy your day all x

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Walking!

Phew that was a bit of a break, it's been bedlam here lately. Mike was off for two weeks trying to get the kitchen ready. The plan was the kitchen should of been completed by the time he went back to work but as the plasterer can't get here until 10th June -  well I'm left with plaster boarded walls an oven & a dish washer. He can't even lay the slate tiles until the walls & ceiling are plastered so he had a nice restful second week.

I wont bore you with plaster boarded walls & ceiling or the garden (yet) which is actually looking splendid or the fact that two garden companies are peeving me greatly with the lack of deliveries (yet) I will show you a lovely walk we took Rocky hound on.-





The bottom three are the out takes, Rocky is a very hard hound to photograph as obviously he is far too busy chasing smells! 

We do have some lovely surroundings here, I grew up where I live now & apart from three years away have always been here .

I find it funny that a lot of the kids I grew up with who left for a while and returned either with their own families or started a family after returning. 

My children play or played under the same hedges I did, made dens in the same fields, climbed the same trees paddled in the same stream. You know that kind of thing.

Anyway since inheriting Rocky hound I've had huge fun discovering some old haunts. 








I hope you are all well, for the first time in ages I was able to do a little knitting last night. With all the dust & disruption I've been hiding in the garden & all crafty stuff had been put away. Now the dust has gone (for now) I was able to drag a little out!
Enjoy your day all xx

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Nearly all green




Miserable old harpie I sounded like in my last post but yes things are blinking tough with no kitchen but there are plenty more worse off! Anyhoo onwards & upwards - 

If I had got a wriggle on & painted the fence it would look even more green. Laziness & the rain got in the way. 

Now the rhubarb & raspberries are too big so the fence painting will be put off for a few more months! 

Gooseberries! I'm so looking forward to gooseberry jam & gooseberry fool

The garlic is looking good considering how late it was planted!

Purple flowers on the broad beans.

And a bodge it, every garden needs one apparently! 


My ahem home made by Mike cage for my brassicas. As ungrateful as I sound I think I would of liked something a little neater & possibly shorter. At least I can nearly walk upright in it to weed & my cabbages are safe from the cabbage white butterflies & it's green too! 
I'm getting rather attached to the old beast, of course my true love is with Mike. I only wish I could take a photo of it in all it's gloriousness! x 

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Did you hear me scream, would you like to see why?


This is my kitchen my dears, the plasterer is coming three weeks today & Rob will be home from uni 5 days before that. Which means I will have to book a day off next week to transfer most of the kitchen bits & bats which we have stored in Robs room out. Minor problems, minor problems but its still going to be the end of June before I actually have a proper functioning kitchen. See the lack of sink, washing machine? Dishwasher is still connected slightly out of shot!

What have I been up to I hear you ask while Mike has been busy ripping down walls & ceilings?
 Well, the garden of course!

It's looking rather lush & green full of lovely things. Nothing to harvest yet as I sowed seeds quite late this year & of course I bought my veg plants but it is looking rather lovely in comparison to the kitchen that is!



I've made the decision to extend the asparagus patch. I have 6 plants there already or I did have until my sisters dog chewed the ferns down last year! Three of the remaining ones are growing really well & we've had our first meal from them this year. I was going to give the space over for a couple of chickens but I've vetoed that idea much to Mikes relief as Rocky hound has a hissy fit if a blackbird lands in the garden. He try's his hardest to catch a pigeon or blackbirds. I'm sure he has scared off the thrush. He puts up with the sparrows up to a point & I think the goldfinches scare him as they are very feisty. If I added a couple of chickens to the mix he would probably cry & try his hardest to eat one so an asparagus bed it is. I've ordered some plants not crowns from Victoriana Nursery 5 purple & five green along with some samphire seeds.

On my travels I've also bought/purchased a lemon, orange & lime trees (little bushes really) & a sweet potato plant. The sweet potato plants were on sale at our local nursery for £1.49 & they had three varieties.

The greenhouse will be rather full of exotics this year I fear! I've already got some okra in there.

Take care & have a lovely day x