Monday, 29 November 2010

Will it or won't it snow ??

Well it snowed a bit here on Saturday night but nothing that settled really. They say that we should get a good dose this evening but we will wait and see. It was -2 degrees celsius at 17:30 this afternoon and dropping....

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Some of my knitting completed.

Well I eventually managed to get some of my completed jobs photographed and I post them here at last. These are all projects that I have made for Kirsty's 18th Birthday tomorrow. I know that the colours are BRIGHT but Kirsty just adores unusual socks and bright colours - so I had to make her ones that beat everything she could buy at a shop.

Andyne and Byron's hat and miser mittens have already been given and am still trying to get photos of them.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Stripes everywhere

I have not been blogging for a while but thought that I would let you see the first quilting I have done in 4 years. I attended a workshop on Saturday, 8th November in Poole called "Stripes like Bridget" not knowing what to expect and was pleasantly surprised by the result. I have decided to make some new cushion covers for my lounge. Here is a picture of my version of stripes. It is the blue, grey and floral block.

If I ever get a a chance to see Bridget's paintings I will definitely do so. She started her stripe painting in 1962 and only finished many years later - so I don't feel so bad about some of my UFO's hiding in the cupboard.

I am also going to a quilting workshop in Weymouth at the end of November called "Around the World" at Pauline's Patchwork which I am really looking forward to. I think that it is going to be really challening and tiring - I have never made a quilt top in a week-end. Mmmh - what have I signed myself up for?? Mom and I have decided to make a week-end of it and stay in Weymouth so it will be a nice break for her to get to meet all her old cronies.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Another productive week-end!

The photos above show a couple of the flowers I had on the lottie this year including the lovely sweet pea wigwam above. The date on the photos is wrong as the camera keep going back to the original setting and I'm too challenged to change the date every time I take a photo. I had months of lovely bunches of flowers in the lounge - not to mentioned the delicious smell which wafted through the whole house. The nastirtiums in the photos are mainly self sown and are making a bid to take over the lottie - I will have to get them in hand next spring and be brutal in weeding the seedlings. The dahlia and cosmos flower bed which I started this year has been very productive and I think that this year instead of lifting all the dahlia tubers I am going to give them a good mulch and protect them with cardboard and fleece and leave them in the ground over winter. Hopefully they won't rot off.

Well - I managed to get down to the lottie on Sunday at about 11:00 and DH got out the lawn mover and did a lovely job of cutting all the grass. It is amazing how much better the lottie looks when the grass has been mown. I'm sure that DH hopes this is the last cut of the season ! (Fingers crossed - last year we ended up cutting the lawn almost all winter).

The SA corn has been very slow in maturing this year so after harvesting only four immature cobs I have decided to leave the rest on the plants and see if this last burst of lovely weather will finally ripen them. I find that sometimes nature seems to catch up in a last spurt of energy. If not, I think that it will be the last time I use these and will start using UK seed. I have also left a hubbard squash on the vine hoping that it can get a bit bigger as all the other squash has already been eaten - so I do not have a lovely stock like I did last year. I notice there are quite a few baby squash on the vine as well so will leave those and hopefully they will get to a decent size before the first frosts strike!

I cleared out the last of the beetroot in the raised bed, I was quite amazed as the bed looked quite empty but right now I have a decent pot of beetroot cooking away for me to bottle. Yummy - something to eat with all those lovely stews over the long, cold winter. I then manured it with chicken manure pellets and popped the garlic and some overwintering shallots in it. The broad beans I planted a couple of weeks ago are a couple of inches tall now so I have placed some fleece covering over the raised bed to protect the baby plants from the frost. I will have to keep checking and staking them as my lottie gets a lot of wind rushing through. I have tried planting raspberries across the bed last year but I think it will be a year or two more until they can create a decent wind barrier.

I also took the protective mesh off the early sprouting broccoli (white and purple), and the cauliflowers, then weeded the bed and staked the plants. I also then re-netted the whole bed with mesh to protect my brassicas from the flying rats!(pigeons) they are an absolute pest down at the lottie.

Also managed to clear out the last of the tomatoes out the greenhouse - leaving me with about 2 kgs of green tomatoes. Guess which recipe I will be digging out of my collection?? - Yes, green tomatoes chutney!!

DH erected the table to go in the greenhouse for all my precious little babies to overwinter safely and I have already got my autumn sown sweet peas, cleome and a couple of other seeds planted after reading SR's book saying that she got a better performance out of them if they were winter sown. I will keep you posted on the outcome! If anyone wants some home saved sweet peas give me a shout and I'll pop some into the post for you. Can't remember what kind they are but mainly peach, pink, lilac, magenta/purple but he smell was absolutely divine this year.

Monday, 6 October 2008

What a Rainy Week-end!

Well at least the wet week-end got me to stay housebound and get a couple of baking jobs done. Jacquie came over and we managed to get a batch of soetkoekies, romany creams and rusk (biscotti) done to last a good couple of months.

Last week-end I managed to get all the japanese onions planted - both bulbs and some seedling that I purchased. I am going to do a comparison and see which one is the better performer. I tried to plant Japanese onions from seed last year with dismal failings. Watch this space.

Also got the gemsquash bed cleared out with about 2 dozen squashes retrieved for storage. Did a quick clear out, remanured it with chicken pellets and then sowed the broad beans. I find that my autumn planted ones are harvested before the dreadful black fly attached - twice now I have had my spring sewn broad bean crops dessimated with black fly.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Summer 2008 Overview - The Good, the bad and the ugly

This year, despite the weather office saying that this August has been the wettest and most miserable since 1942! – it has been very good for me on the allotment – despite the little time I have managed to spend there between all the visitors but we had a decent crop of garlic, shallots, potatoes, French green beans and tons of tomatoes!! I have processed about 10kgs of tomatoes for the deepfreeze. I have liquidised them, oven roasted them and whizzed them into pasta sauces and even made tomato soup and still they keep coming!! If anyone wants some seeds of the “Peacevine” tomato which has been the best producer this year let me know and I will pop some over ot you. It is an old heirloom variety which I got from a seed swap and comes from the Victorian era - I have been really impressed with it. We also got a good crop of gem squash and about 4 lovely big Hubbard squash. My mielies have still not fruited yet – they are quite late, but I am sure that we will get some good mielies as they are looking very healthy.

My green peppers and aubergines have been a disaster as have the melons – I do not think that I will try them again next year – a waste of time and effort. I must get Ron to bring me some more seed back with him in December – I have no more mielie nor hubbard squash seeds left. I also harvested my first load of Swiss Chard last Saturday and managed to get half the potatoes lifted and all my leeks in – a bit late but we have had really good rain since Sunday I am sure that they will catch up.

What a crazy Summer

We just got Jacquie and Mom and the kids settled int otheir new home and just managed to get everything cleaned up and back in its place and my sister Debbie came over for a month to visit us from New Zealand.

It has been really lovely having this time to catch up and get to know each other again. We have been very busy as Debbie and I went to London for four days and did all the touristy things and then the ladies popped over to France for the week-end to see a friend of mine. In the end poor Jacquie could not go as her passport was in with the children’s Visa applications. We had hoped to have it back by the time the trip came around.

Debbie really enjoyed her visit and I think she managed to charge her batteries up. She had been looking after Krystal’s son (4 years old), Seth full time almost for the last 9 months and was really worn out. I know why the Lord gives us children when we are younger! I think if I had to have a baby now I would either eat it, or put it down and forget where I left it!!

I was thinking after Debbie went home how really sad it is that we loose touch with each other not living close. Only now I appreciate how much fun it was growing up with all our cousins – going fishing and camping together etc. Now I am sure that I would walk past my cousins children in the street and not know who they were – for that matter I think I could walk past some of my cousins and not know them either! Although at the time when we were growing up with all the squabbles and fights you wished you were an only child.