Tuesday, 27 July 2010

in the garden

butterfly on the spearmint

the entire garlic harvest

sweet peas! finally!

I've not been out in the garden much lately, but it does all seem to be carrying on rather well without me. We're eating rocket every day, and we could be eating courgettes every day if we wanted to as well. It's looking like we might get some broad beans, there's a couple of tomatoes growing, and there's plenty of chard to go round all and sundry.

I really will have to be a bit more organised next year though. I planted quite a lot of garlic, but it all seems to have, erm, got lost under the geraniums, and one bulb was all I could find. The sweet peas have rewarded my haphazard style of gardening though - I planted them out months ago, mourned a tiny bit when they didn't grow, and then gave them up for dead, only to have them sneak up on me and start blooming this weekend. I do like surprises like that!

So this week in the garden I've got a basil to nurse back to health (which I seem to have inadvertently made *worse* - it was perfectly healthy when it arrived...), and a redcurrant to plant somewhere in the garden, which suddenly seems to be rather full. I'm also plotting a 'feature' outside the kitchen window, which needs to stay quite clear and low to the ground to keep the neighbourhood cats away from the bird table. I've had an inspiration, but as so often my mind is far more capable than my hands, I might keep my mouth shut about this one til I've tried it...

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

a little stroll

a little gem of a sandwich shop

'the quiet place'

round the edge of the lake

I was all a bit hot and bothered at work yesterday, so I took myself off for a little stroll around and about, because it's always good to know the outside bits of where you work as well as the inside...

And to my delight, I discovered a most excellent little sandwich shop, selling all kinds of goodies, groaning shelves set into old brick walls, organic fruit and veg, and lots of yummy sandwiches and hand made cakes, just up the road from the office. This might just test my resolve of making lunch to take with me...

This week I'm mostly concentrating on finishing off a PhD chapter, so there isn't much time for cheery making and baking and gardening and things. I did manage to put up a little honeysuckle fence in the garden though, and tonight I'm making some blackcurrant jam. Tomorrow night I'm due to do some gardening for a woman in our local LETS scheme, but if it carries on raining like this I suspect she'll call it off.

In amongst all the writing and computer-screen-staring though, I'm trying to plot a few cheery things for when this chapter ends. On Thursday we're off for a departmental day out at work, which I'm very much looking forward to. My mum and auntie are visiting at the weekend (oops, best fix the hoover and do a bit of tidying then!). I might even sweep the garden, you never know!

Hmm, and a little knitting needle investigating is in order too, or else I'm never going to have a finished cardigan to show you. So many things to do!

Monday, 19 July 2010


strawberry tea at the Women's Institute cafe

a garden bouquet

a tiny sunny garden

This weekend's been mostly filled with PhD work , but I did manage to squeeze in some cheery little moments. Strawberry tea at the Women's Institute (which never gets missed out, no matter how busy I am), and a friend's birthday tea in a cheerily sunny little garden. How lovely, and what a nice break from the computer screen!

Saturday, 17 July 2010

eating from the garden

Well, I have to say, the garden's carrying on pretty well without me these days. Yes, it could do with some weeding, and a bit of tidying up, and yes, the cabbages on the windowsill could probably do with planting in the ground, but other than that, it's all going to plan.

Not that we've been able to give up food shopping or anything! I'm sure our garden could be far more productive given the time and energy on my part - which I just don't have right now. So for the time being, it's just ticking along nicely, and every so often we get a cheery little surprise for dinner.

These peppers have been growing on the living room windowsill. I bought the plant for 50p a couple of years ago, and last year got one small pepper. Then it looked like it had died, but I carried on watering it, because you just never know. This year we've had three peppers! It doesn't look like there'll be any more, and again, the plant looks like it's on its last legs, but I'll keep watering it, and who knows what will happen next year!

Anyway, we ate these all in one go, with some tasty cheese, and home grown rocket, all rolled up in, er, pancakes, which must be on the list of most-often-eaten food in this house.

I'll pop out into the garden later today to investigate what other edible treats are in the making... Hope you're getting something tasty from the garden too!

Sunday, 11 July 2010


redcurrant pancakes

by the lake at work

a Peak District paddling pool

in the park at sunset

I just can't seem to keep up with myself at the minute! I'm doing lots of chasing my tail and not getting anywhere fast. But here we are at the end of another week, not unusually busy, but I don't seem to have managed much cheery crafting or gardening either, I'll have to see what I can do about that!

What I did manage was redcurrants from the Women's Institute. An unusual departure for me - I generally just buy cakes there... But I can't resist redcurrants, they look just like jewels. I've still not grown any myself, and you very rarely see them for sale... and these were home grown, just around the corner... (have I justified it enough yet??). Anyway, they were only £1, and I've had them with cereal, yogurt, on pancakes, and there's plenty left. We picked up some tasty broad beans there too.

Something else I've been up to this week is walking. Usually mid evening, we decide we've not been out of the house enough, or we've worked too hard, or not hard enough, and quite fancy a stroll. And we often walk the same way - up the hill, past the allotments, down the footpath, over the fields, through the park, back along the high street. It's a route I often do - I posted a few pictures of it last year. We're often there as the sun's setting over the hills, and it's a lovely way to round off the day.

I've also been trying to get out of the office at lunch time on the two days I work at my new job. The buildings where I work aren't much to look at, but some of the space around the lake is ever so pretty, and there's always a duck willing to share lunch.

Other than walking and eating (!), this week, and weekend, has mostly involved working, and PhDing (yep, it's still there!), and van buying and selling. Urgh. I don't think there's much chance of me becoming a second hand car dealer any time soon! I'm thoroughly fed up of ebay, mpg figures, decisions, and everything else that goes with it! Our van should be sold by tomorrow night, sadly! But there's no deadline on getting a new one, so this could go on for a while...

Here's hoping for another cheery, sunshiney, productively idle week :)

Wednesday, 7 July 2010