Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Wet, windy & a harvest.

Blimey like the rest of the country we have been affected by the weather lately. We have been surrounded by floods. Not affecting us or rather the house or by the quick look of it other peoples houses. However the firemen have been out in force.

On the short walk to school yesterday I passed three fire engines. They were pumping water out of the drains into the fields. Now I don't walk to the school gate. Oh no, I'm not allowed as my nearly 11 year old tells me, no I have to wait on the corner by the school gate.

We walked home yesterday afternoon & a gleefull nearly 11 year old & friends were jumping in puddles, talking to the firemen & getting wet. The boy raced home & changed out of his uniform &  raced outside to meet his friends & to get more wet!

Now seeing as I was alone in the house I thought a stroll round the garden would be in order, I peered over the garden fence & saw this
 It is one of the hoses the firemen were using to transfer the excess water to the surrouning fields. We are now saturated.

I had to make myself useful so I picked all of my borlotti beans,
& some purple peppers, courgettes & kale.

 A lovely minestrone they made too! Enjoy your day.

Friday, 21 September 2012

A new chapter! Sorry it is quite a long one!!

Above are my two boys, the eldest -  Rob & the boy Harry! This photo was taken on Thursday night, the night before we were taking Rob to start Uni.
Boy do these boys bicker & argue, you could quite often here me bellow 'Pack it in'. I truly couldn't tell you who would start off each spat. That said I love them dearly & I now have one missing.

The boy has been off school most of this week, he was sick on the way to school on Tuesday & since then he has been sent home at lunchtime. He has looked very pale & stayed very close to me this week. We are pretty sure we discovered the reason why when I asked him to say goodbye to his brother this morning. He sobbed his little heart out & clung to his brother for ages. We sat him down and hugged him. He was told lots of photographs would be taken of Robs flat & of the sea & that he could speak to his brother as often as he wanted to & we would take him by train to visit. The poor little mite, he must of worried & worried all week. He had cheered up by the time we dropped him off at his grandparents.

Oh my word the car on the way down. I looked like an owl sat in the back. We had so much stuff for Rob, I bought enough food & cleaning materials & bits & bobs to stock his cupbourds up for a year. Needless to say Mike was not impressed, he was responsible for fitting everything in. My punishment for buying so much, I had a binbag full of stuff  & Robs guitar on my knee for a 2 1/2 -  3 hour journey. All you could see were my glasses & fringe.

We arrived to bedlam, no parking as it was on the seafront, cars, parents & students everywhere. We had a grace period of a few minutes which meant removing the stuff from the car whilst Rob signed in. Once he got his key we were allowed to take his stuff to his room, very quickly, as we had to move the car. It wasn't that quickly I tell you when I realised there were 8 flights of stairs to climb, no lift. We found his flat, sea view people - the lad has a sea view - excuse my photo, I will get a proper camera -

It was a case of chucking his stuff in after 7 trips up 8 flights of stairs & leaving Rob there to unpack, which is what he wanted. We are not bad parents, we really needed to get the car moved so someone else could use that space. We thought we could find a parking space set back a bit, but there was nothing, so we went into town & bought fresh food for his fridge shelf & frozen food for his freezer space. Now I like to spend money but I have never in my life spent so much as to kit this boy out for uni. Mike looked scared when I told him we would have to do it again in seven years after Harry does his A levels.

We spent several hours with him but he really wanted us to go & leave him to it & I (sorry) we just had to, I held myself together & didnt break down in front of him. The car was a different matter though.

We returned home & picked the boy up, who seemed quite ok. Then the phone rang with the news that Mikes father had been rushed to hospital. Mike is at the hospital with his brother, as yet I haven't heard anything. Instead of twiddling my thumbs I have been reading other blogs & writing this post & performing some kindnesses ( is that a proper word?) & drinking wine that tastes like penicillin. I have also been sorting out a Tv license for  Rob & sorting out how to get the I Phone my brother ordered for him (my brother really is a dipstick, a kind one but still a dipstick, it isnt being delivered to my brothers house until Saturday!!!) to where he is now living. The unfortunate child had a few phone calls from me this evening, he put up with me with great patience.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

An update!

It seems like I haven't posted in ages. Time does fly by so quickly without realising . It is something I have thought about often this week as my eldest is off to uni on Friday. Naturally he can't wait for this stage of his life, as his mother I'm not so sure. I'm pleased for him of course but its all new for me.
It struck me yesterday as we were having lunch. The youngest was off school as he was sick. Really sick as he demonstrated on the walk to school yesterday morning & on the walk back home, both before 8:45am. Thankfully the school is close by & he managed to contain most of it untill we got home.
Anyway back to lunch. Mike is nights so the four of us were together yesterday. Mike had upgraded his phone. Personally I dont bother, technology confuses me. I have a blackberry through work & an old moble for personal use. The eldest & Mike were trying to set Mikes new phone up & very amusing it was too, even the ill limpet I had attached to me laughed. It was a lovely family moment for us all seeing as we wont all be together again until December.

Anyway back to this gardening blog of mine. The winds last week blew one of the three cooking apples from the trees.
Lovely isnt it! We picked one of the others & made an apple pie. I have one small bramley left on the tree now.
There has been lots of shopping lately stocking up for this boy of mine starting uni. Mike thought I would spend less money on purchases for myself if he let me lose in the charity shops than John  Lewis silly man!! I spent less in John Lewis.
More tat for my collection.
Also a quick walk around WH Smiths where I had a stroke of the books I want for Christmas, how did I not know Nigel Slater had released a 2nd installment of The Kitchen Diaries, if I had it would have been on my birthday list. Never mind it's something to look forward to. I did find this though greatly reduced.
Right I'm off, hope you are all well & I will try & play catch up. Enjoy your day!

Friday, 7 September 2012

A treat or two!

It has been a glorious week weather wise. I have finished picking blueberries, I have seven bags in the freezer to use for muffins. The rasberries are still producing oodles of fruit & are also being frozen. The runner beans as always have beans to pick every day & I am looking forward to picking my borlotti beans.

I do like reading gardening magazines & have collections stretching back quite a few years. I also like the offers & free gifts that come with the magazines.

  This morning I was busy ordering free asparagus & free strawberry plants along witha free blueberry.

I have thought long & hard whether to continue with the asparagus. We have a small garden, though I have a long narrow strip where we had tried to grow asparagus in the past.

The plastic packs you see in the garden centre with dried up asparagus crowns in, please don't bother. We planted some 3/4 years ago & it was a waste of time. We had a couple of spears to harvest.

My latest idea for the long narrow strip was to have wooden beehive composters along with a selection of flowers for cutting. After spotting the offer for the asparagus crowns I am going to divided the strip in two.
One half for the asparagus & the other half for flowers & posh composters.

After the dire harvest we had with the strawberries this year, we have vowed never to grow them in the ground again. If the rain & cold didn't get them the slugs & birds did. Out of 18 plants we had about three strawberries. Some of the runners have been potted up & these & the new plants will be grown in tubs under cover. We had a bigger harvest from my dads two strawberry plants that he keeps in his conservatory.
Also we hade a huge harvest from the blueberries so an extra bush will fit in well. So in the next moth or so I shall be recieving 1'Liberty' blueberry bush, 10 'Elsanta' strawberry runners & 5 'Guelph Millennium' asparagus crowns. I also treated myself to some shallots 'Echalotte Griselle' when I ordered the asparagus. It would have been rude not to. Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

A bit of a ramble!

I took the netting off the blueberry bushes the other day. I have two in pots with a gooseberry in the middle. The birds had started to take an interest a few weeks back so we chucked some netting over to give us a chance to harvest some blueberries. We had none last year. Greedy blackbirds!
After I removed the netting I set about picking more blueberries. I just happened to glance over at the gooseberry bush & spotted these blithering things!

Now as a rule I dont I dont use sprays. However I knew we had a bottle bought several years back knocking around. I found it & gave the bush a few squirts. The amount of catterpillars that fell off. Horrid things. I hope the bush will recover for next year.

Anyhow these things are sent to try us. I shall leave you with a few pickings from the garden & a bit of bad news. Its not the end of the world & there are far worse things out there happening right now but - My christmas potatoes look like they are suffuring from blithering blight. I have cut out what I can see but I know in my heart it is blight & that I am fighting a losing battle. Enjoy your day!