Monday, 17 September 2018

Last of the summer

Thank you for the encouraging comments on my last blog.

Last blackberry and apple puddings this week. Our thornless blackberry grown on wires is so much easier than going to any hedgerows and gives large berries and super juicy fruit.
Using windfall apples as they occur.  Think husband might be ready for just apple puddings soon as the bramleys are ready as he feels we have had too many red pubs lately. It has been alternating between blackberries and autumn raspberries for the last 3 weeks - sometimes it is just nice to see a plain milky rice pud!

Do you think it is possible to over do a glut and give yourself a food intolerance?  Last week we both had feelings of bloat, bit of diarrhea, acidity, heartburn.  I looked on line and those are the symptoms of tomato intolerance?  We have been hoovering up the tomatoes = lots of fresh tomato soup, sauces with meat for main meals, incorporating them into lunches.  We eased off for a few days and things got better. But we also thought about some supermarket eggs we had for lunch as we both felt a bit funny fairly quickly and they had a funny taste. Marked as British, within date and only purchased last week.

Friday, 14 September 2018


Our big task this summer has been to paint one of the sheds and my log cabin. At last they are all done and looking pretty.
We have added a clock over the door.

I redid the window frames, door and bits round the roof of the machinery shed with a dark green which gave a nice contrast.
Then my husband decided to make a new shed for the storage of his dingy.

He has cut out the base and will put gravel over it to make sure it is well drained. Not that we have seen much rain in the last 5 months.
Not to waste the nice grass that was there we took it up the field to the veg garden to make a new path. We have decided to reduce the area we grow veg in and paths help divide up the veg garden so we (actually, me) will find it easier to weed the small sections.

Now we have finished painting outside for the present and I am taking some time to get back to some hobby painting.   I needed some inspiration so ordered a few library books. One called Daily Painting suggested setting yourself a target of doing 4 small paintings every day of absolutely anything. That helped.
I then found this book by Fiona Pert whose style I liked. One of her exercises was a multi coloured sheep.  How come my sheep look demented or cartonish?
I will bear with the instructions and keep trying !

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Sweetcorn and onions

Last of this year's crop of sweetcorn.
Plants were slow to start due to cold, never really got any height due to heat; some did not make cobs and some made multiple small cobs that did nothing.  We have eaten more than enough ourselves, gave a box of 16 large ones away and sold about a dozen. 

The onion crop has been drying in the shed for a couple of weeks so I went in to rub off the dirt and loose skins, roots and cut the tops. They now are nice and clean and ready for use- should be enough to last to the New Year.  It started to rain yesterday afternoon so I gathered some of the red onions  and store cupboard ingredients and made a red onion marmalade.

The onion smell was a bit much for me so I did not get the onions really finely chopped so I cheated a bit by whizzing the mix. Only made 3 jars which is enough for us and a small jar which will make an ideal present at Xmas.

I am really looking to make chili jam which I also love.  We have loads of green chili but they are being very slow to go red.   Next week is looking warm and sunny so I am hopeful this last bit of summer will turn them.

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Dog Poo digester

Image result for confused dog and lamppost

I was listening to Radio 4 today about the Malvern Hills (a super place that we have walked a few times) and as a non-dog person I was delighted to hear that there is a use in this world for dog poo!

Dog Poo Story  (web link)
Apparently this chap has invented a way to light an old gas street lamp from a bio digester that only needs a few bags of poo put in it.  Oh, and a little bit of physical effort by the dog walker.

Fabulous deal with litter, "sewage" sent to land fill, expense of having and emptying bins, and bring back the beautiful light given off by traditional gas street lamps.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

It's cake week!

Lounge ready, booked possession of the changer, and ......
last slices ready to go at 8 exactly for Great British Bake Off.  Must be catching as I sold a bakers apron on my Folksy site this week too!

Got through this cake fairly quickly as a big slice went next door to the elderly widower who helped us out with the back and forwards across the village to get the car MOT done early this morning as the local bus STILL can't get through the roadworks - week 8 of 7 week programme of works.

I should be exhausted by window cleaning as all the house windows are awful, but I looked out this morning and counted 4 ploughs = front, back, to the right, over to the left. All stirring up a cloud of dust as the soil is still very dry.  I am going to wait another week.

Monday, 3 September 2018

The most useless litter bin?

To avoid the road works that have been taking 7 weeks in the centre of our village I have taken to using the circular route of a public footpath through the fields. Today I spotted this litter bin at the edge of the fields.

Its brand new and looks unused. It really is in the middle of nowhere. A dog poo bin would be more useful as it popular route with those people. I have "ranted" on one of the 3 village Facebook pages. (Yes, there is a lot of ranting in our village).

Especially as our lane, three giant fields away, has a really bad litter problem.  At the end near the village is an informal gravel laybay that is regularly fly tipped and over this last week some one using the lane to go out on to the marshes bordering The Wash (where there are only a few houses, mostly big rich looking ones) has dumped FOUR  Big Mac bags with left over meals in at regular intervals. No wonder we have spotted rats in the field ditch!

If they moved the litter bin to our lane I suspect the Big Mac person would be to F*A*T to get out of a car to use it!!!    Rant on blog over, I will vent more ire on Facebook later!!!

A difficult subject

I know many in Blog land have been recently bereaved or are in difficult circumstances so I feel I should say this is going to be about funerals - part rant, part information sharing. So if you are feeling fragile, don't read the rest of this post.

Those adverts every 15 mins about buying a funeral "insurance" drive me nuts. Simple maths show that it is a false economy, and the Financial Ombudsman is already gearing up to crack down on some of these "offers".  We did once pay for a family member's funeral in advance, just a one off payment that reduced capital and those kept the person within the benefits remit for the care home costs. Trouble was, despite having agreed to the plan, when it came to it my brother ordered loads of extras that had to be paid up front by ME and it took 6 months to get the extra £1000 back from the probate settlement. 

Neither of us are religious at all and both have hated attending formal funerals in the past. So the other day I spotted an "info advert" in the weekend broadsheet newspaper for something I had never heard of.   Apparently you can have a directed cremation.  The body is collected in a plain vehicle, cremated when/where ever and the family get the ashes some time later. Current price £1100. (Not the £4000 or £5000 minimum mentioned in all those adverts!).

That's us!  We agreed totally.
 a) we can afford it  and can put the money in an account the kids can access
b) the family don't have to rush from all parts of the country
 c) they don't have to involve the distant family  who have barely spoken to us in decades in some false formality
d) when the ashes come back, then the family can arrange a big party to scatter them on a beach in summer or a mountain in winter and play, very loudly, ABBA for him and The Eagles for me. They can hire a big house and spend time together being rude about us.

We had never heard of this alternative but it does seem a viable one for us and there seem to be several well organised companies.

Last of the summer

Thank you for the encouraging comments on my last blog. Last blackberry and apple puddings this week. Our thornless blackberry grown on wi...