March has nearly gone

… and it’s a year till I have my once-in-a-lifetime trip to Spitzbergen for the total eclipse.  I had a target to lose enough weight to wear my ski gear, but I’ll have to do something drastic now to achieve that.

Spring has sprung in the garden, with the prunus in full bloom.  We haven’t had much cool weather this winter – up till two weeks ago we’d only had four frosts.  Since then we’ve had four a week.  But the plants that are out at the moment are fine with it, and the sun is really bright and warm during the day – you just need to be sheltered from the wind.  The over-wintered veggies are fine, the seeds have been planted for the early veg and the tomatoes, and the kohl rabi and peas are already up and developing their first true leaves.

I entered for the village Open Garden event in June, but it seems that too few of us did.  I think I ought to conitnue with my plan anyway, just to make sure I carry out all the tidying I scheduled in January.  There’s a lot to do, but half an hour a day would make all the difference.

Busy, busy, as usual!


An Ice-cream Magazine!

I was quite surprised to find an ice-cream magazine.

I wonder if I’ll find the elusive lavender sorbet recipe there some day?

I got an ice-cream maker for Christmas and so far I have tested it out with vanilla ice-cream, some of which was turned into Christmas pudding icecream (both yum) and elderflower yoghurt ice.  Good, but I need to adjust the amount of elderflower a bit.


January already

If I’m not very good at blogging on here, be reassured that I seem to have lost track of keeping my journal as well.  I blame it on my alter egos, all of whom blog regularly – some more so than others.

Last year was a tricky one, since I had a series of mishaps followed by heavy colds, and things sort of got lost in the mists of my self-pity.  One is allowed to go through sloughs of despond every now and then, but hopefully I’m coming out of it.  My new year’s resolution is simply to look after myself a little better.

Part of that is to get involved in things and to enjoy what I have.  I’m combining those by entering the village’s Garden Open Day in June.  I have a lot to do to get my garden ready for June. No. 1 is to make a plan of what to do and when, so it isn’t all a last-minute panic.  I think I’ll enjoy doing that.

Watch this space!

Laid low all summer

It wasn’t much of a summer.  Well, here it went from cold and dry to hot and dry to a bit of both.  Then when the rest of the country was saying “no more rain, please” we were saying, “no, more rain, please!”  It’s finally arrived, just as I’m fit enough to go outside and do some work again. Continue reading

A dirty smudge and some dirt

I’ve seen Panstarrs!  Well, it seemed to be a dirty smudge in the right place, towards the northwest close to the Andromeda Galaxy.  I had to find it from Cassiopeia since the trees are too low to see Pegasus at this time of year.  I had to dodge around to get a gap in the trees, too, and to avoid the street lights, but I succeeded. It will get closer to Cassiopeia up to early June, but also fainter.  Maybe I’ll see it again, but if not, so long, buddy, and good luck! Continue reading

February on the ground and in the sky

I’ve been out gardening.  That might sound a little strange, but it’s not something I’ve had the time or inclination to do recently.  It’s been very snowy in January – up to six inches on the ground for a week or two.  It’s been gone a week but I’ve been busy with work, yet I made sure I took some time off this weekend.  Continue reading

Realisations of my mortality – A Jubilee Wood

Funny how things come to you.  I was preparing to plant the first trees in our village’s Jubilee Wood when I realised that the chances of my seeing it in fifty years time are slim, to say the least.  I know my family have a tendency to get to their 90s and even a couple who made the big 00, but when I helped plant the Jubilee Oak even I laugh at the image of my riding round in a buggy to celebrate its 50th birthday.  But if I can, I hope someone will help me do it.  So I invited the schoolchildren that came to help plant, especially those aged ten, to make sure they celebrated the woods half-centenary. Continue reading

Back to business

I seem to have got the garden back under control at last.  You might not think it if you came round unexpectedly, but to me things are happening roughly as they should be again.  I cleared the space for the winter lettuce this morning and harvested two carrots and a parsnip!  That was all that had grown from countless carrot seeds and one row of parsnips sown.  The slugs seemed to get all the seedlings; I don’t know how they missed these.  There are a few more parsnips and Hamburg parsley growing nicely right at the edge though, I think the slugs must have been confused by the cucumber growing up the arch right beside them. Continue reading

Not a good year for…

… anything except water, really.  It hasn’t been as wet here as in most parts of the country, and I did need to water the vegetable patch (what’s left of it) for a couple of weeks in August.  That meant I ran out of water in the double water butt, but the second one smelled bad, and when I looked I found I had (turn away now if you haven’t a strong stomach) some slugs decomposing in the bottom of it.  I tipped the water out and cleaned the butts and set them up again.  Two days later the thunderstorms started and I had full waterbutts again. Continue reading