Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Sadness in Gairloch

Hello everyone. We have no internet or phone signals where we are staying so we have ventured out to a pub/restaurant that has free wifi.

Some of you may have seen on the news about the terrible tragedy in Gairloch. This is the village we are staying in and our cottage overlooks the loch. As you can imagine there has been a lot of activity due to the ongoing search. My heart goes out to these families that are involved.  To many innocent lives lost whilst on a family day out.

How something so normal as a family enjoying themselves can turn into such a tragedy is hard to comprehend.  Many will and have questioned and point the finger of blame at the parents, however who can say they have never put their child in a boat on a river or in the sea. The weather and water were quite calm on the day of the tragedy. And many families around the country were out in boats on rivers ect enjoying family time and activities.

Instead of pointing fingers of blame and saying what they should or should not of done just be thankful that you have your families and spend a few moments thinking how you would feel if it were you in the situation.
The whole community has pulled together in the search, with many that have fishing boats joining in the search.  The weather has taken a turn for the worst since yesterday with quite strong winds and heavy showers.

The cottage we are in is large and comfortable. As I said we are overlooking the loch and have fantastic views. The scenery on the way down here was awesome. I have several photos which I shall upload when I get back home as I have forgotten the cable.

We had to go and do a food shop on Sunday, it took us four hours to get there do the shopping and get back, I'm just thankful I don't have to do that every week! We have not ventured far since. Jay and the boys have been fishing  and along came Sammy the seal to eat all the fish! They had caught a couple but once Sammy turned up there was no more fish in sight. Sammy is a local and very big (photos next week)

Whilst they have been busy fishing I have made three scarves and a hat, but as yet still to turn on the kindle!

Well I shall say bye for now, take care everyone. Until next time x

Thursday, 23 August 2012

A look around the garden

I have posted the photos of the garden that I had taken earlier today. It will be good as I will be able to compare the garden in a weeks time when I return.

I have had the garden hose out for the first time this year. All the water butts are empty and as I wanted to give everything a good soaking before we go, just in case we do not get the torrential down pours that have been forecast for the coming week end!

You will all be pleased to know the kindle is now fully charged and ready to go. I have put some books on it also well eighteen to be precise and I am sure I won't read them all...

The pumpkin or squash bed and the Italian courgette plant at the back

What is left of the swede and you can see there are lots of these gross caterpillars  on them!

The runner beans

Another pumpkin or squash plant

My lacy cabbages! Damn them pesky caterpillars!

a wee little melon, still not growing though!

ohhh look my one and only red tomato!

Outdoor Tomatoes, roma, alicante and gardener's delight

Well I hope you have enjoyed reading and seeing the vegetable garden. I hope you all have a great weekend. Until next time x

The Perfect pot!

As we have had a fair few courgettes I decided to do hubby a stuffed one the other night as he loves stuffed marrows. These Italian courgettes make great little serving bowls. I might even serve my creamy potato courgette soup in them. This was stuffed with a minced beef & vegetable concoction. Jay is a big eater and decided he wanted extra filling!

I have harvested more courgettes today, both varieties and as we are off to Scotland at the weekend for a week I am making another batch of soup to leave behind for the twins as they are not coming with us. I have left the freezers fully loaded so I'm sure they will be able to survive the week.

We were going to take the dogs but as it is a twelve and a half hour drive and Clyde does not do travel, he hyperventilates and has panic attacks and ends up being sick. So rather than put him through that we are leaving them at home.

The twins will have their hands full, as they also have the chickens to look after, Godzilla the bearded dragon and my vegetables to tend too, luckily my mum and dad will be on hand to keep an eye on things. I keep telling myself everything will be fine!

Jay bought me a kindle for my birthday earlier on in the year and I do love to read and vowed never to buy one as I much prefer the real thing. Anyway I have one now and so far it has been switched on and off again and has remained in the box since. Jay has been nagging me about the blooming kindle and as we are going away I thought I would get the kindle out of the box and load some books on so I can take it with me to Scotland.

When I took the kindle out of the box there was a picture of a battery and a hazard symbol. It obviously needs to be charged, however this was easier said than done. I got the cable and plugged into my laptop but it did nothing. Not being a very technical person I thought I would have a look through the hand book, the only problem is that there is no written handbook it is all on the kindle!

How daft if you are having a technical issue and can't turn the damned thing on how are you going to sort it out if the handbook is not accessible. The only other way you can find out how to solve problems is by accessing information through the computer. I really think it is silly, what if you are on holiday, you have packed your kindle and are in the middle of nowhere you have no access to the internet. That's your holiday reading out of the window!

Any way to finish of this little tale of woe, I have had to hijack Lewis's laptop as the kindle will not charge on my laptop and to keep the thing charging I cannot let the computer go into sleep mode as the USB ports stop working. I still have packing and cleaning to do! Now you know why I prefer a real book!

I have given the coop a thorough clean out today, the girls had a great time as usual rummaging around in the garden. They found a few snails and chased each other for them. Dory found a big worm and she scurried off down the garden to enjoy her tasty treat, however Matilda and Bell had other ideas and were trying to steal it off her. I think Matilda managed to get half of it and Bell found the caterpillars on the swede.

As I stated earlier I have harvested three more courgettes and a trug full of runner beans which my mother in-law has taken home with her. I have also taken several photos around the garden which I shall have to post later as I am on a different computer and I don't think Lewis will appreciate me uploading photos of the garden on to his laptop.

Jay has purchased me a dongle so I can access the internet whilst we are away as where we are staying has no internet access. I think we are going to need a trailer just for my stuff! I am also taking my wool and hooks with me. The weather is not looking to good so lots of warm clothing is coming too, and I must not forget my walking boots oh and my wellies too as you never know I might need them! We are staying at Gair loch in Rosshire up near Inverness. So if any of you live near there beware we are descending for a whole week!

The fishing rods are coming too as the cottage we are staying in is right on the beach and the owner runs fishing trips and owns the fishing tackle shop (yes Jay did book this holiday!) Apparently Jay had no idea, yes you can all stop spluttering now. I think he had the whole fishing holiday that is not a fishing holiday all planned!

Well that is it from me for now, I will post the photos later today. Hi and welcome to my new follower's. Welcome aboard, I hope you enjoy reading. Until next time x

Monday, 20 August 2012

What's Cooking?

From this
To this
Mediterranean Vegetable Medley

and this!
Creamy Potato Courgette/Zucchini Soup

And there is still more to come from that bucket of potatoes. Tonight we are having sticky chicken thighs with roasted garlic potatoes and green beans. There will be some left over for tomorrow to go in the beef hotpot too!

It is so much more satisfying cooking and eating your own home grown vegetables. You know what has gone into growing it as well as the sweat I suppose from digging, planting, watering caring and tending to them, but it is all worthwhile.

It has been another warm day, no rain or storm has arrived in sunny Suffolk yet, it is very uncomfortable trying to sleep in this heat. Mind you at the weekend we are off to Scotland, so I will probably need my thermals!

Well that is it from me today, sorry it is a short post but I have been so busy today and now it is cooler I am taking the dogs for a quick run. Poor old Clyde just can't cope with this heat. Until next time x

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Lovely Fresh veggies!

What a scorcher it has been this weekend. We had an enjoyable day with friends yesterday, full of fun and laughter and a little bit of alcohol too! 

It has been very humid and muggy today and feels like a storm may be heading our way, which will hopefully clear the air and fill up my now empty water butts! 

As you can see I collected a nice little harvest earlier today, runner beans, french dwarf beans, the last of my King Edward potatoes, some herbs, a green pepper and another large courgette. That is the last of this years potatoes, I have had quite a good crop from all the different varieties and I think Javalin were my favourite. 

I have some potato and courgette soup bubbling away on the stove and we are also having a Mediterranean vegetable medley (well that's what I call it) with barbecued marinated chicken. And everything in the medley is from the garden. 

I have a few bulbs of garlic left we seem to have gotten through it all, I will be growing some again this year but a different variety to this year. I think I will try the elephant garlic and hope for bigger bulbs as this year I grew Christo and the bulbs were rather small and some are just balls as they did not break up into cloves,  however it does have a remarkable taste.

I have lots more courgettes on both varieties the black beauty plants now have several forming and the Italian     ones,which I have forgotten the name of has about five more which are the size of tennis balls and several smaller ones. Earlier on I thought I was not going to see any courgettes but now it seems we will be having plenty!

We have had four eggs a day for the past three days, so the girls are on top form. They have had plenty of scraps and greens today and are all quite content and sitting down preening. Whether that is because they are too full up to stand I don't know. I did wonder if chickens are like cows, when rain is imminent they lie down... just a thought.

Well that is it from me for today, I do hope you have all had a wonderful weekend. Until next time x 

Friday, 17 August 2012

Bugs and Beans

What a day it has been, the sun has been shining again and everyone has the grumps as it is so muggy and warm. I thought I would venture into the town today and what a daft idea that was! I sat waiting in traffic for over an hour, I finally get to where I want to go and the blooming road was closed which meant I had to go all the way round that I had just spent an hour getting through. So I came home instead, that was a waste of my time!

So after having a bite to eat, well a jam donut actually, just to make me feel better of course. Have you ever tried to eat a sugary donut and not lick your lips? It's not easy I can tell you, I managed to do it on my second one, but they are only small, honest! And you can't buy just one you have to buy a bag of five. The rest are sitting on the side shouting 'eat me eat me'

So  spent the rest of the afternoon in the garden, I have finally got round to covering the leeks with mesh to protect them from leek moth. The leeks are already a decent size, so I want to make sure we get to eat them and not the damn bugs. As you can see there were plenty of beans ready for picking, they will be going in the freezer and mum will be having some to take home with her tomorrow.

Speaking of bugs, they are attacking everything. The runner beans are still covered in black fly, they have had a good soaking with the rhubarb solution. Everywhere I look there are the silver snail trails, even all over the rather prickly courgettes and pumpkins! The ones I have grown this year seem extra prickly, I got a small spike in my hand and it was a job to get it out as they are quite small and hard to see.

And take a look at this!  

This is what remains of my gooseberry bush, it was lush and green yesterday and overnight it has been turned into this. I'm not sure what has attacked it as I could not see any bugs lurking on there. So when I have finished this post I shall be searching online to see if I can find out what might have caused this.

If you know please drop me a line.

Whilst I was out in the garden so were the girls, and what a mess they have made. They are vandals! They have ruined my herb tub and soil is all over the place. Several times I had to lift Bell off the raised bed I was working in and then Matilda took a fancy to it also I spent half the time I was out there moving the girls out of the beds.

Ruined herb tub

And who done this!

I have given the coop a good scrub out today so it is all nice and clean. Matilda we be balancing on a perch tonight as she does not like it when the bedding is new and clean. They are so funny even if they are naughty!

Well that is it from me for another day, until next time x

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Weeds away

It has been a beautiful day here in Suffolk, the sun has been shining and a warm gentle breeze, a perfect combination for gardening.

Well I decided I would tackle the monstrosity known as the front garden today. The weeds have had far too long to survive and it was time to turf them out, or should I say heave! My neighbour kindly came out to inform me that the dandelions were weeds, just in case I didn't know. I think that was a large hint that the weeding should of been done weeks ago!

I tackled both of the flower beds which I can now say are practically weed free. There may be one or two still lurking in the central flower bed underneath the large dahlias. However there were rather a lot of busy bees and bugs so I did not want to venture there, in case anything came after me and any passer by would think I was a raving nut case as I leap around the garden squealing and screaming.

I had some deep rooted weeds running along the edge of the drive, I don't really like using chemicals so I thought I would try using neat white vinegar as this is supposed to act as a great weed killer, so we shall soon see if this does indeed work!

I took off all the dead heads from the plants, it looks much better and too be honest it looks a bit bare now, hopefully they will soon perk up and produce a few more before the end of summer (I know we haven't had one yet!)

The girls are being very vocal today, they are waiting to come out and have already knocked over the feeder yet again! It's is quite funny they were all clucking and racing about when the feeder went over and they all stop and look at each other in astonishment, as if to say 'who done that' and then they all start again and it sounds as if they are saying ohhhhhhh dear. Did you know that chickens can talk...

I have picked all the large tomatoes and laid them out on the table in full sun, hopefully they will turn if not it's green tomato chutney! I still have about twelve jars of courgette chutney which I made last year, guess what your all getting for Christmas folks!

Well the dogs are huffing and puffing waiting to go for a walk and the girls are making a right racket as they want to come out. Until next time x


Tuesday, 14 August 2012

One Lovely Blog Award

Yesterday I told you that I had been given the One Lovely Blog award from Jo at The Good Life  I was so excited to receive this reward. As I mentioned there are rules to accepting this award and I have spent the last 24 hours thinking about the rules and am I able to fulfil them.

The first rule is real easy to complete as that is thanking the person who has given you the award, so thanks Jo, I gratefully receive this award.

The second rule is a bit more tricky, I have to list seven things about myself, so here goes!

1) I'm not a natural blonde (eek!)

2) I hate any kind of bugs, and will often run up and down the garden in a flap over some minuscule bug

3) My favourite fruit is raspberries especially when served with meringue and lashing of fresh whipped cream!

4)I can't sing and always get the words wrong to songs, and when in church I will actually hum the tune rather than sing, well I did tell you I can't sing!

5)I find the most stupid things funny and will get a fit of the giggles which then erupts in to a full blown belly laugh with a few snorts thrown in for good measure.

6) I love watching Disney films and my favourites are, oh my erm this is a hard one I would have to say Finding Nemo and Beauty and the Beast.

7) My Favourite time of gardening is when the seeds start to erupt through the soil.

Blimey that was more difficult than I thought it would be.

And finally the last rule asks for me to pass this award on to fifteen other bloggers, well this I am unable to complete as I am still fairly new to blogging. I am still finding new blogs that I enjoy reading. And as Jo broke this rule I think it will be okay for me to do so too. I would like to award

Fostermummy @ My Beautiful Life
Ian @ Allotment #65
Mucky Cluckers @ Mucky Cluckers - Chicken Blog
Mo and Steve @ A Small holding

I would award Jo too but I'm not sure if this is allowed as I also love reading her blogs and And Jo's were the first blogs I started reading.

I hope you all will accept this award as you are all so entertaining and a joy to read.

Well I have had a lovely day, the sun has been shining and I went to visit mum and dad where we sat in the garden for lunch. Dad was in the middle of weeding and pottering about and mowed the lawn and within ten minutes his neighbours either side and behind were out and lawn mowers were off in every direction!

It was quite comical really, sitting out there in the sunshine and all you could hear was the buzz of lawn mowers and see people walking up and down their gardens, it was like watching a load of robots.

Well that is it from me for today, until next time x

Monday, 13 August 2012

I've been blighted!

Well what should I have expected! After all the problems with germination and getting things growing it was sure to happen really. I have the dreaded blight on one of my tomatoes! It is one of the plants that is by the patio doors, I have two plants here and the rest are at the other end of the garden and in the greenhouse. I have removed and destroyed the offending plant and hopefully the others will be safe. I will just have to keep a close eye on them. I must admit I did stamp my foot and swear!

Anyway moving on to the rest of the garden. I have been picking some more beans today, there were a few runners that were ready and some more French dwarf beans. Again the pests have been having a field day, I think they have been joining in with the Olympic's! The snail munch and how many flies can fit on the one stalk event. Below are two photo's of the decimated dwarf beans  and one of the fly event that is happening on the runner beans.

As you can see it does not look very pretty to say the least. I have sprayed the runner beans with my rhubarb solution and hopefully it will eradicate these damn flies!

On to a more positive note, the courgettes are growing quite well, I have now had three round courgettes of the same plant and several more are developing. The squashes and pumpkin plants are growing very well, however they are covered in snail trails which I find very surprising as these plants are quite prickly, goodness knows there are no bounds to these critters!

The goodies collected today. I was at a craft fair all day and the boys were left in charge of seeing to the chickens, I think they missed one or two of the eggs as there were six in the coop. One was on the poop tray and another was hiding under the shredded paper.

The melons are coming along, there are quite a few on each plant. Some have dropped off and these are being replaced by new ones. Not having grown these before I am not sure if I should remove some to allow others to grow or to just leave them all. I'll have to go and do some research. They are probably the size of a small marble at present.

The girls have also been busy with their own Olympic's! Who can knock the feeder over first event, Who can run to the fruit border in the quickest time event and the Who can make the biggest hole event. Dory won the gold for the feeder event. Octavia won gold for running the quickest event and Matilda won gold for the biggest hole with Bell getting a silver! Oh and I almost forgot they have been having a hurdle event in the coop as both perches were on the floor!

And finally I would like to thank Jo the author of The Good Life blog who has kindly awarded me The One Lovely Blog award. I am truly grateful to receive this award. There are rules that have to be adhered to in accepting this award and I shall be revealing all in my post tomorrow. To view Jo's Blogs visit The Good Life

Ohhhhhhh look at that My first ever award, how exciting!

Well that is it from me for today, until next time x

Thursday, 9 August 2012

A Perfect day for Pottering

It has been a glorious warm and sunny day, perfect for pottering about in the garden. The girls have been cleaned out and as usual made a right mess whilst out in the garden!

The vegetable plot is not looking like it did last year all nice, tidy and lush, it is looking rather bedraggled due all the rain. There has been lots of growth however not much produce as such. We have just not had the warm sun which is needed and there has not been the usual bee activity about to help with pollination.

The only critters that have been rampant are the slugs and snails who have been quite destructive among the vegetables this year. They have been eating my beans as fast as they are growing. I found several that had been munched down to the stem, and leaving their silver trails behind as if mocking us humble gardener's!

I have been weeding the vegetable plot and removed the peas as they were a big pile of a wet mess and I really don't think another pea would emerge from them.

After speaking to several gardener's who have declared this years vegetable growing as a lost cause and have abandoned all hope of getting much produce from their plots makes me feel a little better to know that I am not alone with my grumblings.

Looking around at all the neighbours fruit trees you can see what a disappointing year it has been there is not much fruit to see, there will be no bags of apples coming my way this year. Last year the trees were very heavy and laden with fruit.

Oh well all out best laid plans are at the hands of mother nature, lets hope she is in a better mood next year.

Until next time x

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

What a beauty!

Well I have just about recovered from the hectic weekend. I have a busy week ahead, but then what's new!
I am busy preparing the my upcoming craft fair this weekend.

The weather has been very unpredictable the past three days, we have had storms and very heavy downpours. It has ruined many of the flowers no sooner are they open the rain comes along and causes untold damage and we are unable to enjoy the blooms.

However the rest of the garden is enjoying this wet weather especially the courgettes. The Italian courgette is the size of a small football and there are several others now appearing. I have brought the courgette in and I will be making some courgette and potato soup with it. I don't think I will have many courgettes to make my chutney this year, but here is the link for the recipe for those of you that have a bumper crop and don't know what to do with them

I have harvested some more dwarf French beans today and mum has taken them home with her.

The parsnips and swede have grown quite a bit this past week, hopefully they will be a decent size and not just tops like last year.

We have plenty of green tomatoes ready and waiting for some sun to turn them red. Unfortunately we haven't had much of the sun this past week, it has been very wet and rather dull. There are some runner beans now beginning to form we should be having some of those hopefully with Sunday lunch and the last of the carrots and some more potatoes.

All this wet weather and the slugs and snails are slithering rampantly over everything. I had several beans that had been munched through as well as several plants decimated by the blighter's!

I am sitting here thinking it will not be long before I will be spreading compost over the vegetable patch and then covering it up again till next spring. Our summer is almost over even though it never actually arrived!

I have been updating the gardening and hen keeping pages with new links.

Well the rain has stopped so I am going to shoot outside and change the bedding in the coop. I shall leave you with these new photo's that were taken yesterday. Until next time x
Runner Beans


528327_Sizzling Hot Summer Savings Get your winter bird feed supplies whilst the sale is on

Saturday, 4 August 2012

I survived!

Just thought I would do a quick note. I survived the summerhouse clean up! After my last post I did in fact take a wander down the summerhouse and two hours later it was all cleaned up and tidy. Note to self
'keep it clean'

I have a busy weekend ahead and don't know when I will get a chance to post. It is Adam's 16th birthday on Monday and we are having a double whammy bar-b-q to accommodate his friends. There will be no time for gardening except a quick tidy up and to clean out the girls which I shall be under taking shortly.

I now have several round courgettes forming on the same plant. We have had quite a bit of rain the past couple of days so they should soon grow to a decent size as more rain is forecast over the weekend and the following week.

The melons have not dropped of yet and they do not look like they have grown at all since I first saw them. I will keep you posted.

Max is walking round with a sock on one of his hind feet. He has a raw area on his neck where I think he has been scratching. I am keeping it clean and an eye on it in case we need yet another trip to the vets! He is not keen on the sock and he does look rather funny with it on. They had a bath and flea treatment last weekend, so whether this is the cause I am unsure.

We had a bit of a do in the chicken coop yesterday. I was sitting here working and I could hear a commotion I looked up and Bell and Dory were having a bit of a spat! Bell was not happy with something Dory had done and was chasing her round the run and once cornered Dory received a good peck and a cluck from Bell. Bell promptly waltzed off all cock-a-hoop and poor Dory just stood there well and truly told off.

However all is back to normal. Octavia is filthy, Matilda is busy chasing and catching flies, Dory is trying to catch flies and Bell is marching up and down waiting to get out!

Well that is it from me for now. I hope you all have an enjoyable weekend what ever you may be doing. Until next time x

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Tomorrow is another day...

Not much to report today, the weather has been a little temperamental and now the sun is shining it has turned into a lovely evening.

The greenhouse looks a bit like a rainforest at the moment, foliage up to the roof with two of the tomatoes. The third has fallen over and no attempt at staking is working it seems it just wants to be on the ground! The melon plants are growing a lot too and there is only a very small standing area left!

Jay went in to my potting shed aka the summerhouse and came back into the house wearing a rather large frown. He had not been in there for a while and I suppose it was a shock considering the state it is in. There are onions everywhere drying out, soil all over the floor. Opened and unopened compost bags scattered about and a huge pile of used pots and trays that are waiting to be cleaned... I think you get the picture.

Well I had planned to do it today but somehow (as usual) got sidetracked. Ben is going away at the weekend with a friend and his family for the week and he had some trousers that needed sewing so I done them instead. Then I went and cleaned the bathroom, I took the dogs for a walk and done piles of washing and before I know it the day has almost past! Hence the summerhouse is still in a sorry state. Oh well there is always tomorrow. This is turning in to a well used motto!

The girls have been busy digging in the run again. I think they are trying to make a break for it. Watch out Australia the girls will be on the rampage at a town near you very soon!

Well that is it from me for today, I think I will take a quick wander around the garden and you never know I may even venture into the summerhouse. If you don't hear from me in the next couple of days presume I am still in there sorting it all out! Until next time x

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...