Monday, 14 January 2013

Allotment in winter

I made my first trip for ages to the allotment on Sunday (the allotment, aka lottie, has, like everything else in my life, been somewhat neglected of late - I blame the builders!)  I swear there's some sort of witchcraft going on there - it's the most Zen place in the entire universe - I can feel myself relax the second I walk through the gates.  My trusty assistant was with me, helpfully available to lean on me every time I tried to take a photo or to tell me, with a look of desperation in her eyes, as I tried to hold her, naked bottom pointing to the ground, legs in the air, that she didn't, in fact, only need a wee...
'What's this, mummy?  What's this?' 'Why, that's perpetual spinach, darling' (pause for proud moment - yes, I can identify that mystery green leaf, even though I haven't been here for an eternity)
I was absolutely amazed at how much is still growing away there:
I think this is broccoli of some sort. Or it could be a cabbage.  I'm not so proud of myself now.  It's definitely a brassica of some sort
('Look at may waife's brassicas'... Name that film.  Extra points for this one, it's tricky)
Okay, this one's another brassica.  Cavolo nero?  Anyone?
I know this one!  Yay.  This is definitely blackcurrants.
Right, this isn't a brassica and it isn't a currant, I can say that with certainty.  It's a leek.  Or it may be garlic.  It's oniony, whatever.
And obviously the trusty old rhubarb is sprouting away already:
Crikey, we still haven't eaten our way through all of last year's rhubarb crop - I'd better get on with it or we'll be disappearing under some sort of pink-stalked mountain.  
Crumble, anyone? x
PS - thank you, you lovely lot, for your comments on my last post - it's so great to know you're all still out there - I really do appreciate your words and have been quietly reading all your blogs in my absence, even though I'm not always very good at commenting x

Monday, 7 January 2013

Smile post #1

I love the idea of '52 weeks of happy' that I have seen in blogland recently - there's a lot to be said for appreciating the small things in your every day life, but embarking on something that requires you to do at least one post a week is a big commitment for a flake like me, so here is my own version of it - my very first ever smile post.  And the first thing that's been making me smile lately?  Why, I introduce to you my new favourite thing: my wood-burning stove...ta dah!!!!  Isn't it just the cosiest thing you've ever seen?  This was installed in September and has been on almost every night since then (even when, frankly, we haven't needed it - but better to be sitting on the sofa, fire blazing, sweating in my swimming costume, than sitting on the sofa fully clothed with no fire on, I say).  I wasn't being entirely accurate there, btw, my cossie almost never sees the light of day.  I love this fire more than almost everything else in the entire world, despite the fact that the fitters had to take a jackhammer to my sitting room wall to get the lining up the chimney (cue knock on door and next-door-neighbour saying in a quavering voice 'uuuuhmmm, is this going to take long?  Only, everything's falling off my sitting room wall...')  Ooops.
Smile no two: cutie-pie cousins playing with stickers (Hello Kitty, if you're interested - small was thrilled when she opened that parcel, I can tell you!)  Spot the boy with the new astros - yaaaawnnn - what is it with boys and trainers?  Seemingly, they never grow out of it either, Mr N gets very excited when the boys tell him they've grown out of their old ones - it seems that trainer shopping is a blue job, whereas school uniform shopping is most definitely a pink job, which just smacks of double standards to me...
Smile three?  Beautiful nature, even on the dullest, grey day.
And there you have it - my first post for an eternity.  I'm nervous in case you've all, understandably, deserted me and instead of comments, I get tumbleweed at the bottom of my post.  I do have an entirely justifiable reason for my absence, which I will go into at a later date, but let's just say that we've had 'a bit of work' done on the house and by the end of it I had only a tenuous grip on my sanity.  It was a pretty hairy period, with the notable low point coming when I started sobbing so hysterically that I gave myself a nosebleed in front of the decorator who, credit where credit's due, didn't edge nervously towards the door but instead rolled up my blood-soaked sleeves, handed me copious amounts of loo roll to mop myself up, asked me about twenty times if I 'wanted a brew' and told me that 'we all need to have a good cry every now and then'.  
Me: humiliated; him: sh*tting himself. x