Sunday, 17 June 2018

When you can see a business going wrong

Image result for not good coffee

Just had to nip out on an errand and decided to stop for a coffee. We have popped into this local independent place a few times in the last 6 months to give some support. Its got everything going for it - attractive surroundings, in an up market village location, a wind mill (nearly) beautifully restored, interesting antiques/vintage area, awarding wining cider bar, and a cute coffee shop.  They had made some recent changes and develop some outside seating areas that looked attractive.  It should have been buzzing.

But, the coffee was awful. The "eats" virtually zero and what there was not over attractive.

Previously we have given feedback to one of the owners on the signage in the village being a bit "indistinct/small" and difficult to read.  Today, I could have happily handed the coffee back. Perhaps I should have but it felt a bit "rude" as the woman looked so unhappy with life in general.

Oh dear, we would like to be supportive but we are on the edge of not bothering again.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Sugar factory

We often see sugar beet being grown, harvested, heaped in big piles at the sides of roads for collection and transported (in slightly  smelly large lorries) all around us since moving to north Norfolk and have seen the sugar factory in the distance.  Earlier in the week we decided to take our boat along the rivers to the factory which is built on either bank right out in the middle of nowhere.

And no wonder it is. The smell was awful. Fetid. Rotting. Smoky.
And noisy. Clanking, banging, these cranes were swinging things about.
We could not see any people from our low position on the river, as we went under various bridges carrying pipes across to "settlement ponds".
It all felt like some apoplectic movie and zombies could have popped out at any moment.
Our peek at the back door of this industry over, we returned down the river where we watched herons, grebes nesting, ducks and swans. We stopped to make a cup of tea on the river bank about 2 miles down stream and watched the fish on the river bed through about 5 feet of very clear water. 

Deep appreciation of all the work that goes into growing and manufacturing our British sugar. 

Thursday, 14 June 2018


When we switched to a water meter earlier this year we knew we had to be careful with watering the veg garden area to make any kind of savings.  Having an acre can take a lot of watering especially as it has not rained for 3 weeks here and we have just had to hose some of the young seedlings etc.

The two large water butts collecting water from the large workshop were empty by the end of May so we ordered two small water butts to collect water from two other  outbuildings. Our house guttering is firmly fixed into the concrete aprons around the edge of the house and runs into a well somewhere under the lawn (apparently) and we have chosen not to interfere with that at present.  It took 3 weeks for the water butts to arrive and we hastily got them installed.
Eventually the solar powered watering system for the hanging baskets will be added to the brick shed water butt.  This will save us filling a large barrel with a hose every few weeks in the summer.

This one will collect water off one side of my hobby log cabin. We have never quite worked out what to do with the over flow so have just left a loose bit of guttering that takes the rain excess out into the lawn.  We should be able to water all the house gardens from here now.

Though it has not rained here for 3 weeks the flower beds near the house have not suffered. For the last week I have had no drain from the kitchen sink due to the kitchen renovations.  Every bowl of water has had to be carried outside!  I have been careful to make sure any food especially meat is disposed of in the bin or straight into a drain to avoid attracting any vermin. It has been amazing how often you go to rinse something and have just a bit of fairly clean water in the bowl which you would normally just tip away.  All the pots and troughs within 20 feet are doing really well.  Soapy washing up water has gone on to the lawn although I should try to put it into a bucket and take it further into the veg garden as I seem to remember that is a good way to wash to the black fly off the broad bean tops.

We are looking forward to seeing some rain so we can test out the butts and reduce the use of hoses. I am looking forward to the kitchen drain being re fitted - although I shall probably try to keep up the habit of emptying water outside.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Blooming garden

Thought I would give you a tour of the garden in bloom at present. 
Lupins are doing well, behind is a Potentilla just coming in to flower and a newly planted Cistus is doing well in front.  That corner is very sandy as it is the edge of sand horse menage that used to be the back garden!

We moved this peony about 18 months ago and it has taken that long to get established and this year is covered in buds just coming out.

Aquiliga are spreading through the bed now. Nice variety of colours.

In the back field the blooms are thick on the flowering hedge along the fence line.
My husband grew loads of foxgloves last year and this year we have several really good clumps in bloom.

This lavender plant is going mad. It is in one of those decorative chimneys which you cant see underneath. I did cut a lot off over the winter and it has regrown a lot.

Its been slow coming but the summer seems to be coming now.  Except on Saturday when we went to the Broads and got soaked to the skin. We drove home through flooded roads north of Norwich to find it was hardly wet!!!  After 24 hours my husband;s leather shoes are still sodden. 

Saving the veg

Some days growing veg feels like an up hill struggle.  These brassicas are under nets to save them from the pigeons. I have put weed suppressing fabric down the middle to keep weeds down and to  control slugs.

Next row is beetroot. As soon as the seeds put up their heads the hare nibbled them right off. Had a bit of net to protect three quarters of the row and they grew well after that. I re sowed the last bit today and had no net to spare at the moment. My husband has not used the wire hanging baskets this year, so I have stolen them to protect the seeds.  We know the hares love to chew the ripe beetroot later!
Further along the sweet corn is now surrounded by bottles on sticks that rattle, a spinning beach windmill and odd bits and pieces! The hare had a right go at the lovely plants as soon as they went in. The lower cobs are attacked by pheasants later in the year.

Meanwhile I am wandering up and down the fruit putting nets over the black currents, strawberries, blueberries, tay berries......  honestly I feel I need a giant cage over the whole acre!

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Totally unnecessary fly tipping

During late Sunday afternoon and/or Monday someone in the village did a lot of pruning of shrubs in their garden.  How do I know?
Because they put it in a wheelbarrow and walked some distance from the other housing areas of the village to the end of my lane and dumped it in the verge.

Not once. But three times. In three separate piles.

Hope they are enjoying their nice tidy garden.  I am not enjoying the rotting piles in the verge which was just looking pretty, full of wild flowers and wild life. The person operating the flail in the verge cutter (due soon) will not enjoy the lump or the thick woody bits getting in the blades.

Green waste can be taken to the local tip for FREE,  90% could have been composted.  The thicker bits could have gone on a fire (eventually) or on a bonfire.  For a small charge they could have an extra garden waste bin - after all they must have a good wheelbarrow to bring it that far!!!

Stupidest bit of fly tipping ever

Spotted this canister in the verge while I was cycling to the shops for milk this morning. Thought I would take another look just after tea fearing it was motor oil that if hit by a vehicle it would flow  into the dyke behind the verge.  It was worse - it was nearly empty but it was a commercial herbicide. 
Look how many danger red triangles it has on it.  I read the warnings and jumped away - if it gets on your skin your hand will fall off!!!!!!

As it was virtually empty, I was tempted to pick it up, wrap it and put in my bin but would that make me liable for its safe disposal? Would putting it in the bin be safe? The bin is actually empty so all the next 2 weeks rubbish would go on top - what if it split?

Went home and reported it to the Borough Council.  They can come and pick it up. Last time I reported some fly tipping they came the next day.  Also put a warning on the village facebook page too..

When you can see a business going wrong

Just had to nip out on an errand and decided to stop for a coffee. We have popped into this local independent place a few times in the l...