Thursday, 31 May 2012


What do you get when you try to take a high catch in blinding sunlight? A bang on the head. I think this is going to be even more colourful in the morning. As the Mother of the only 11 year old playing in an under 15's cricket match I think I did quite well not to run onto the pitch in my flip flops and see if my boy was alright. It was a bit of a scary moment. In fact it was a good job his Nanna wasn't watching too, she would definitely have run onto the pitch to make sure he was ok!

*J* was more upset that he didn't get the catch than he was about seeing stars before his eyes and a lump that came up the size of an egg to start with.

It was such a quiet day until this evening's drama too. I cut out 25 (of the 50 needed) triangles from various bits of fabric, and I've been laying them out trying to decide on the combination. I just need to iron everything including the cotton tape and then try and feed it all through the sewing machine. Once I've loaded a nice big fat bobbin that is... one that isn't going to run out half way through the job!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012


I felt like a mobile gardening and house maintenance service today as I loaded up my jeep with a petrol mower, tools, bin liners, paint, etc. I drove Mr H so he could rest his sore hip joint. We let out a property I used to live in because it isn't a very good time to sell. It's a pain in the neck when tenants move out, lots to put right.

Mr H mowed the lawns while I got rid of two foot high nettles and thistles. There was a spot of painting to do, curtains to hang, new light shades, rubbish to deal with, a blocked drain to clear... you get the idea.

After a quick freshen up with a bottle of soap we stopped off at this new little cafe in the same village, and we were pleasantly surprised. The cupcakes looked fabulous but sadly I just don't cut it as a photographer and didn't feel like explaining that I would like to take a picture for my blog! This photo does the place no justice at all. The decor was lovely and there were lots of clever quotations on signs and blocks for sale.

After that stop off it was back on the Roman road back home (for Roman read 'long, straight and monotonous!'). We had lightning quick showers and with clean clothes went to pick up *J* who had a Rounders Tournament today. Ahem, ex rounders captain for many years running... it was all I could do to stop myself shouting out the rules! I couldn't believe it when they ran inside the posts! Miraculously they won.

So happy to have a sport spectating day off tomorrow! I have this to deal with...

When I say 'deal with' I mean turn into 8 metres of bunting by Sunday morning for the Cricket Club BBQ stand. Thank you Mr H for volunteering my services not quite understanding the tetchy relationship I have with my sewing machine. Bobbins I find, are particularly unfriendly. I'll plug it in tomorrow morning and take deep breaths!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

taking it easy...

It's been another long hard day for the animals. It's hard to move a sleeping cat from your favourite chair when they look this cute (actually this is the only time I find her cute, when she's asleep).

Talking of sleep, this is an unusual sight so early in the day. I took this photo at about 11am or so... we went for an early morning walk and Harvey did his usual trick of running ahead by about half a mile then taking a short cut diagonally across the field back towards me. This morning he decided to break with routine and run through a further field, so far ahead he was completely out of sight. I wasn't too worried though, he's a faithful hound. When he eventually came back his tongue was virtually dragging in the ground. Pretty.

This project is now looking like a pattern instead of a series of odd shaped holes and random rows. I've never crocheted a garment before so I am a bit dubious about the result, and whether I can complete it successfully. I keep telling myself that no matter what the outcome at least I am enjoying the challenge!

I could sit and crochet with this lovely yarn and pattern for hours but unfortunately had an appointment with the hoover today. It was long overdue, especially since our double doors to the deck and garden have been permanently open for days allowing the dog to bring in twigs (to chew up), leaves, sticky buds, long lost dog toys dredged from the beck... oh the joys of having a dog!

Monday, 28 May 2012

falafel and frogging...

Looking at these latest offerings from Chez Juanita I am reminded of that saying 'do not judge a book by its cover'! They don't look at all appealing but they taste great.

I first tried falafel courtesy of my brother's girlfriend who is from Bulgaria. I am so glad I did try them, they are delicious, but I had no idea what they were made from until now...

The recipe is from the brilliant blog 'The Intolerant Gourmet' which you can find in my 'blogs I love' list. It's good old chick peas again!

Actually I should own up, these were actually baked by Mr H as a peace offering. We had heated words and he made them by way of an apology. I do like this kind of apology; he's pretty good at this sort of baking. His sweetcorn fritters are so much tastier than mine too.

Meanwhile, it has just been too hot to move around much. I have been doing a few rows of my crochet vest, I've unpicked a few rows too, through lack of concentration. I blame the heat!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

worn out...

We mixed business with pleasure today and after seeing a man about a house we headed over to Barton Upon Humber (you can see the Humber Bridge in the background) to the Ropewalk - a gallery, shop, cafe... in other words, 'right up my street'.

The children weren't too impressed with the current exhibitions, and I must confess I have seen more thought provoking paintings. The garden was looking good though, especially since the last time I came was in the middle of winter.

I'd quite like our garden to look like this one but I think we'd end up making it look more like a scrap yard than an arty garden.

We might get away with a pebble mosaic though...

Yesterday I used the drive home from the seaside to reflect how nice it was to just feel worn out and tired on the way home, rather than worn out and tired before we even get wherever we're going, which used to be the case for me. Though I must admit I was a bit tired before we set off for North Lincolnshire this morning, so maybe a day of rest after a full day of activity is wise, for now.

I do feel like a new person having been on the new food regime for over a month now. I've cut out gluten, wheat, dairy and sugar. It's not always easy, like today when the kids had chicken salad wraps, with a chocolate brownie and flapjack to follow. Mr H had a delicious smelling panini. I wandered off while they had their desserts, and had nuts on the way home. Not quite the same but better than continuing to make myself ill.

We chilled out this afternoon, and it was nice to have J around too, indoor games of the Playstation variety are banned when the sun is shining!

He's very hard to beat at Connect 4, and he also emerged a champion at Quoits too. Little rascal.

So once I had been thoroughly beaten at both, I made a start on my 'summery crochet'. This bamboo yarn is quite nice to work with and not as 'splitty' as I thought it would be. The pattern for the 'vest' is a four row repeat and easy to remember. I'm actually enjoying crochet again. (I must confess to getting totally bored with hexagons).

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend too. J x

Saturday, 26 May 2012

candy floss, crazy golf and crayfish salad...

Carpe diem was the motto we woke up with in our heads! Maybe that's not uncommon when UK folk wake up to sunshine! Mr H came up with the idea to have a typical British day trip to the seaside. Woohoo!

Crazy golf was actually fun now that the kids are older and quite good at it. We had a men versus women competition naturally. Ahem, the men won by 7 shots.

My crayfish salad was very tasty, but E's gourmet burger with chunky chips looked superb. The men had ham, egg and chips followed by desserts that were very artistically presented - I forgot to take photo's! All this in a nice little bistro restaurant type place that Mr H and I both skipped work to have lunch in when we first met. We bore the children with an account of that everytime we go there!

I left everyone in the penny arcades while I nipped off to look at the books in a nearby charity shop. I got more for my £3 than everyone else did! I'm not a gambler.

E and J forgot themselves as they sat on a grassy bank chatting with bags of candyfloss in their laps. It was such a heartwarming scene. I like to think they were getting on and not just exchanging insults.

Here's J in the middle of a hedge maze, which was our last stop before home, to put these on the Cobb...

They were delicious! Unfortunately it got a bit chilly outside before they were ready, so we lit the chiminea and toasted our toes...

...which was the end of a perfect day.

Friday, 25 May 2012

thanks mum...

There's nothing like a bit of sunshine to cheer everyone up! I popped over to see my Mum and Dad today, a half an hour drive. There's a scenic route which I love. Several slight hills that can be seen, but mainly just fields of rape against fields of bright green.

We had a lovely salad lunch, then strawberries afterwards. I got the dry ends of my hair chopped off, then we sat on a swinging hammock seat and chatted, and caught up with things.

We casually loaded up a sofa-bed into my jeep and off I trundled back home. The sofa bed is a small leather one, ideal for a growing boy who still has sleepovers sometimes but mainly needed something his friends could sit on when they come over to play computer games. J is pleased as punch. I've promised him a coffee table next - he wants to have his breakfast sitting on the new sofa! It'll be waitress service next!

I came home with a big bunch of lilac blooms from Mum's garden. I much prefer something trimmed from a garden to commercially sold flowers. If we don't have any flowers, a few stems of anything leafy will do me. These smell gorgeous!

It was a lovely day. Thanks Mum!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

chauffeur for the day...

Mr H was working in Sheffield today, and what with a painful hip and still feeling vey under the weather with his tooth abscess I offered to drive him there.

I'd think nothing of spending a few hours in Brighton, Chichester, Winchester... the thought of spending a few hours in Sheffield was a different matter. With very little hearing it is difficult to converse with accents I've not grown up with, and Sheffield seems to have one I'm even less familiar with than Lincolnshire.

I've been a little reluctant to go out and about without a back up pair of ears over the last 5 or so years. My confidence just seemed to nosedive. I'm working on it and trying to adopt a 'what the heck' approach like I did when I was younger. I tend to try and anticipate questions like 'would you like a bag' (which is sometimes pronounced 'doyawannabag?') or 'would you like any cashback?' It goes horribly wrong if they want to talk about the weather or anything conversational.

Today I probably cheesed off a few people who said 'excuse me' whilst behind me. Complete waste of time asking me that if I can't see you. Similarly I often get asked if I need any help - this I know only through shopping with *E* who usually answers that 'we're fine thank you'. I probably appeared to be ignoring friendly chit chat about how hot it was today. I asked for directions at one stage, knowing that my chances of deciphering the arm waving without the audio were slim to none... but I remained positive and happy, smiling at everyone.

Not far from where I left Mr H at the Magistrates Court, I came across this little oasis in the middle of the city. If you look right into the centre of the picture you can just make out the water fountains that small children were running through in their underpants and swimming togs. I really would have liked to have done the same, but sadly I'd probably have been arrested. There were adults with their feet in the shallow pools that lined each walkway down to the middle; also tempting.

Just through this area was The Winter Garden; a temperate glasshouse, one of the largest built in the UK in the last 100 years apparently. It was quite a surprise. I saw everyone disappearing inside so thought it must be more shops. The Millenium Gallery was adjacent and that is when I ran out of time. Zooby's was here too and they cater for gluten and dairy free.

I'll have to wait until Mr H gets another assignment in Sheffield again. It's worth coming back just for the gallery and lunch at Zooby's.

A rubbish photo I'm afraid, I took it in a hurry so as not to get any people in the way, and didn't spot the large metal bin spoiling the shot! There are some spectacular photo's if you google 'Sheffield Winter Garden' (images).

I won't tell you what Mr H called the city before we set off, but thankfully my experience of Sheffield didn't live up to his description today!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

full time spectator...

I've been a sport spectator all day today... we tend not to say 'soccor mom' in the UK but today I have been a Tag Rugby Mum and a Cricket Mother. Mr H and I transported some of the Tag Rugby team to a tournament because every now and then we feel we should do our bit. It turned out to be an enjoyable day. I'm still a bit fuzzy on the rules but that didn't seem to matter as the teenage referees were a bit hazy too.

We came second which was pretty good when you consider that the winners had regular Rugby players and were extremely tall and well built for their age. I was quite surprised to see 11 year old kids taller than J, who is a mere 5'3".

We came home, refilled the flasks, washed out the travel mugs, dunked J in the bath, fed him and off we went again to an U15s cricket match, which we won comfortably. By then it was a pleasant sunny evening. No need for a thick poncho!

Absolutely nothing to do with the photo above I grant you! Well, there are no publishable photo's from today's activities, and J wasn't keen on having his bubble bath mohican pic used either despite the fact that he asked for it to be taken for posterity.

So, I thought I would share with you one of my more useful craft projects. These mosaic coasters are the perfect starter project if you fancy having a go at mosaic. They use vitreous glass tiles which you can get quite cheaply in limited colours in bathroom tile shops. I used grey tile adhesive and grey grout, both from a DIY store (the powder kind you mix with water as and when you need it). The mosaic itself was adhered to existing plain slate coasters, but you could use primed mdf squares. These require little or no tile snipping which means you could try it out before investing in tile nippers.

Along with throwing pots on a wheel, making mosaics is another activity where time just whizzes by. The kids are fond of reminding me that when my potters wheel was new (and they were considerably younger) they once had to ask to be fed... I was mildly irritated that it was lunch time already and when I looked at the time it was actually half past five - we'd gone way past lunch time, poor things!

Now all I need is a day without any sport to spectate and you'll know where to find me... in my shed!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

just call me flo...

While I was tucking into blueberries on a gram flour pancake with natural yoghurt poor Mr H was holding an ice pack to his cheek. Turns out that the man flu was actually a tooth abscess. He was taking strong painkillers for his hip which we think masked the toothache somewhat. Poor thing looks like a lop-sided hamster.

So I have been in nurse mode all day, changing ice packs, making tea (with a straw) etc. We did manage a lovely drive through the countryside to an organic farm cafe where we had gf soup and picked up some gf shopping; I was impressed that there was a lot to choose from. I came home with some chicken sausages made using organic chicken, sage and thyme with no other rubbish included. I was a bit dubious but they were delicious and the kids had a bite too - they approve. Happy days; another food item I can eat.

In between nursing duties, laundry, lunch and tidying up I did manage to sit still and do a little knitting, yes knitting for a change. Well I cast on for my poncho which suddenly seems daft in this minor heatwave, but this is the UK and heatwaves don't last long. A fact which Harvey clearly appreciates... he was so happy that we had 'come out to play' for most of the day. He ran up and down the garden bringing all the loose twigs and branches he could find which was an enormous help prior to mowing the lawn.

Those of you who 'garden' more successfully than we do, yes that is 3 foot high cow parsely in our garden; it grows along the top of the bank, just before it drops down to the stream. I quite like it, it's a sort of 'natural fence'. Nothing really keeps a Springer fenced in so we didn't bother to replace what blew down along this side. One of the Springers I used to have, Bertie, could scale a six foot fence panel with little effort.

I'm going to watch a Tag Rugby tournament tomorrow. I have absolutely no idea of the rules of Rugby let alone Tag Rugby. A quick google came up with 31 pages of rules so I am none the wiser. Life is too short to be reading that many rules, so I shall watch and learn. I would rather be watching cricket!

Monday, 21 May 2012

man flu...

*E* changes the colour of her toenails more often than some people have hot dinners. Today, they are a gorgeous shade of blue. I discovered this when I pursuaded her to sample the softness of the new rug. Ironically she also loves socks, so much of the toe painting kinda goes to waste if you ask me.

We have serious flu going on in this house... MAN FLU! Oh boy. There's also woman flu but that is secondary and still enables 'woman' to function ie. three loads of washing, ditto dishwasher, hoover, dog walking (it was short today), mum's taxi service and evening meal.

Mind you, there is an upside. I could choose whether to have the tv on or off and I could actually hold the remote in my hand. These are rare events for 'woman'. The TV remained off until it was time for a documentary I wanted to see. 'Documentary' is not an experience 'man' enjoys. Sport and murder are his preferred tv viewing subjects.

'Woman' is having an early night, so apologies for short, uninteresting post!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

weeding and workshops...

It's a good job I love and understand Springer Spaniels... they do not make very good gardening partners. Harvey saw me pull up weeds from the pot you can see bottom right in this pic, I must have looked away for a minute while he decided to adopt the same process to the pot of freshly planted mint.

It was only when I swept the path that I caught a glimpse of some mangled leaves and thought to myself, 'I didn't think we had any mint...uh oh'. I didn't even swear. I simply said, 'silly dog' and rescued what I could, replanted them and put the pot inside my bamboo cane fortress!

I don't think the mangled mess of mint will survive so I was touched when Mr H returned from taking three children to an indoor play thing, with a very large new mint plant (I had sent him a text to tell him how I was enjoying the peace and quiet and my gardening time, albeit with a destructive companion).

I'm guessing I could add the mint to the muslin pouch of Rosemary I have been using for hot baths. Must read up on herbs and their uses!

So, would you like to see what is beyond the herb patch? Turn right round and you'll see a summerhouse painted blue and stone (and not yet finished!)...

Yes Grandad, if you're reading, this is the shed/workshop I've been wanting since I was ten! I loved my Grandad's shed when I was a kid. It smelt of 3 in 1 oil and had jam jars of screws and all sorts of weird and wonderful things. It was a joy when he had to fix something because that meant going inside this Aladdins Cave! There's a clue on the apex of the roof as to what goes on inside my workshop...

This was the first mosaic I'd ever done. I found it strangely therapeutic and absorbing and knew it would be a hobby I would stick with.

It was supposed to be 100% my own space but unfortunately Mr H liked the look if it once we'd whitewashed the interior and moved his boat building supplies into the other half. My cunning plan is to help him create some space in his own much bigger workshop (next door to mine) so that he can do his boat building in there. Not that I am territorial, but it's kinda hard to have a space to call your own round here!

My potters wheel is in the workshop too but that's a post for another day.

Do you like my painters stool? It came with a fantastic big old easel at an auction. I've long since sold the easel but love these paint splattered stools and kept this one (over the years I've sold 4 easels and little stools). Such a good design having a cut out in the seat to lift it with ease.

Finally, I will leave you with the view from my stool. I can keep an eye on my herb garden and make sure the dog doesn't decide to push the bamboo aside for a good old digging session. Now that the weather is looking up I'll be spending more time out here. I've just started a mirror frame project based on a coastal theme.

I'll miss our dog Jake sitting by my feet though. He used to lie on the old red rug I've got on the floor whilst Harvey ran about like a headless chicken. Actually the cat quite likes my workshop too, which is a good thing because I am wary of things like mice and she's a brilliant mouse catcher.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

confession time...

Success! Woohoo! I am so happy to be adding HF-W's Sweetcorn Fritters to my repertoire of... not only things I can eat, but things I can cook! These make a nice change from buckwheat pancakes, and almost as quick. Mr H even let me loose with his special tin of spices. I felt like a real chef! Though I may have to rename them...

There can't be many English Juanita's that grew up on the South Coast of about my age, so I'm definitely taking a gamble here by confessing to something I used to do at school that was pretty darn naughty and slightly disgusting...

Some of our school dinners still give me nightmares. So does the warm creamy milk we were pretty much forced to drink every morning. I tried every trick in the book to get rid of it; giving it away, tipping it away, they always sussed me out, the last dregs used to make me gag. Kids who could melt a square of butter on their tongue used to make me gag too... and then there were F R I T T E R S. The very word brings back horrible memories! Not only fritters but S P A M fritters. Good grief, it's a wonder any of us survived. You could squeeze them between your fingers and the fat would drip from them. I feel queasy describing it. The dinner ladies were as vigilant as spies so there was absolutely no chance of leaving them on the plate. If I'm making this sound like the 1940s, it wasn't, I'm talking mid to late 1970s here. Eventually I hit upon the cunning plan to secrete these offensive items between the metal legs of my chair and the plastic seat, one on each side. I got very nervous when the chairs had to be put away and stacked up after lunch in case they fell out. Thankfully I was never found out.

So, you'll understand if I call them sweetcorn 'bhaji's' from now on? Ta  :o)

Friday, 18 May 2012

definitely a rug...

Oops, this is going so much slower now! The first rows just whizz by with all the adrenalin of starting off a new pattern, then it just slumps into monotony (or maybe my concentration span needs working on).

In it's favour is the softness of the yarn, the way it is eating up my plain acrylic yarn supply and how easy it is to repeat the pattern. A really warm, thick, fabric is being created and I've decided it would be best underfoot, so a rug it will be!

It was lucky I did a foundation row just the right length for the distance between our two sofa's. I'll continue until it reaches the same length as the distance between each foot, and I'll leave the zig zag edges as they are without squaring them off. Easy peasy.

Wishing you all a happy sunny weekend. J x

(I'm hoping to get further on with my herb garden if it ever stops raining!)

Thursday, 17 May 2012

a good yarn...

The books are a recent indulgence that just happened to fall into my 'shopping cart' when I ordered the 'Veg' book! I always read Orange Prize shortlisted novels so this year it made sense to get the whole shortlist on offer with The Book People. At £20 for six titles it's probably cheaper than buying them for my Kindle.

I picked up this rustic little studio pottery vase yesterday when Mr H and I visited that lovely little market town I mentioned. Butterflies don't usually catch my eye but I liked the wedgewood blue colour and the oatmeal background. It looks like it would make a good utensil pot but it's holding a few knitting needles at the moment.

Talking of knitting needles... I haven't knitted for quite a while but I've dug out (with much effort) a bundle of superchunky charcoal yarn (7 balls) and a Sirdar pattern for a poncho. I've had this for a while but had completely and utterly forgotten about it until the cricket match at the weekend when we were frozen despite having jumpers, coats and blankets! I suggested that a poncho would be an ideal garment because it would be like wearing a blanket instead of huddling underneath one (looking like an idiot!).

If you're conjuring up thoughts of lacy, 70s style ponchos with big fringes, fear not...

*E* said she wouldn't be embarrassed if I wore one of these as long as I promised not to get the hat too! Aw, spoilsport! It would have been nice in the Indie yarn but it worked out at over £50, so I'm happy with my Stylecraft superchunky which cost less than half of that. I just hope I can remember how to knit!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

on my sofa tonight...

I've been out all day (visiting a really vibrant, 'happening' little market town). I came home briefly to make up the flasks of tea and coffee for this evening's cricket match and I've spent another couple of hours on the boundary line freezing my socks off...

...but tonight I'm not complaining, I warmed up with a hot bath and I'm now sitting on the sofa with Hugh (he arrived in the post this morning).

I've put up with Mr H watching all the celebrity chefs on TV at every available opportunity for years, and now it looks like I might just be joining him. I've liked Hugh F-W's style since he first did a programme about foraging - he had a fantastic Land Rover all kitted out for open air cooking (I like that kind of thing!). The book, at first glance, looks brilliant (it's over 400 pages!). I can't wait to expand my repertoire with Hugh's help!

My man made dinner this evening, one of my favourites; a spinach and pepper fritatta. He's very good with eggs is Mr H.

More yarn talk tomorrow!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

homemade date and nut bars...

I have a bit of a reputation for being totally unskilled in the kitchen department. I'm doing a fair bit of cooking now but I am still craving some kind of 'treat' food since I have had to cut out, chocolate, cakes, biscuits etc of the shop bought kind. Date and nut bars are definitely an agreeable alternative for me. I've always liked fruit and nut style bars but the commercial ones tend to have ingredients in them that are not on my 'ok' list. The 'ok' ones are quite pricey for such a small bar and not widely available; as low as 68p and as high as 90p for the same thing (Nakd bars).

We have a new whizzy cutty shreddy machine which didn't look up to the task of blitzing dates, let alone with a handful of nuts and seeds thrown in. I had visions of it coming to a grinding halt with a big sticky mess to deal with. Not so!

I soaked 10 dates in just enough water to cover them, for an hour. I took the stones out and blitzed five to begin with. It worked a treat so I put the next five in, no problem. I then threw in a small handful of mixed nuts and a small handful of seeds; judging by eye to get the ratio of dates to seeds and nuts just right. It scooped out of the container without too much difficulty and onto a sheet of cling film. I loosely wrapped it up and was then able to roll it into a slab without it sticking to the rolling pin.

Even after a spell in the fridge it was still sticky to handle so I sprinkled with dessicated coconut on both sides and 'rollered' that in with a rolling pin as before. Here's what it looked like before the coocnut treatment...

It made four very generous size bars which I just cut into three squares for the photo at the beginning of this post (the cost at most was roughly £1). I think small 'Ferrero Rocher' size balls placed in small paper cups would be a pretty nifty way of presenting these. The coconut is obviously optional, you could roll them in sesame seeds or other small size seeds or nuts to finish. You could also throw in a handful of raisins, apricots or cherries. It's definitely not rocket science. If I can do it, a four year old could do it!

This is what I used to do the blitzing: Duronic Compact Multi Chopper (not the most robust looking thing but seems to do the job).

Monday, 14 May 2012

snapshots of the day...

Lulling the animals to sleep with the hum of the hoover...used to work for my baby girl too.

A Juanita special salad: throw everything you've got in the fridge salad drawer on a plate (if the truth be told I am a little fed up with chicken salad!)

Trying out a GF recipe from the Waitrose free paper; gram flour, pecans, ground almonds. I used dairy free sunflower spread for mine and left out the sugar (thinking a whole load of freshly squeezed lemon juice, extra ground ginger and dessicated coconut would compensate - it didn't). Pretty good for dog bicuits, I'll make them bone shaped next time.

Looking back up Steep Hill at the Cathedral trying not to think about walking back up it.

Failing to get a flock of swans in my shot as we walked along the Brayford towards Nando's. Nice fluffy clouds though.

Walking back up through the town (this is the back view of Stokes Coffee House) slowly, with full tummies. The children were in good spirits and not trying to kill each other for once. What a happy day!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

a small herb garden...

This isn't a before and after, this is a before and 'during'. There's quite a bit more work to do yet. I had a sudden flash of inspiration whilst out playing fetch with Harvey last week... and thought it would be a good idea to turn this patch of wild geranium into a herb bed. The geraniums are lovely but tend to get flattened or dug up by the dog, so instead of a carpet of flowers it just ends up being a flattened green carpet of half dead plants. It was pretty prolific in stinging nettles too and this year even dandelions.

We hauled the railway sleepers down from the top of the garden where they were just being used as a step up to the playhouse. I think I'll go one layer higher too, so that some new soil can be dug in. It still won't deter the dog so I will have to come up with something quite substantial but removable. Within seconds of finishing this elaborate cross cross of bamboo poles he trampled right through it to retrieve a bit of root he thought would make a good fetching stick. Stupid dog.

I'm not much of a gardener really but I enjoy small manageable bits, so far I have a gooseberry bush which is probably a bit of a space hogger for this project but will have to go in, as this little bed will be the only dog-proof area in the garden. I'll have to do a bit of reading up on herbs because I've not grown any since I had my first humble home and planted up one of those old tin baths with herbs. They grew like crazy but were a bit of a waste because I didn't really know how to use them in cooking. Thankfully the penny has dropped now!

All that stuff that looks like snow comes from a fantastic cherry tree which towers over my workshop and shed almost all of it's blossom a couple of days ago when the wind picked up...