Saturday, 31 May 2008

"Norris has not another word to say"

I got this idea from Lindsey at Cuteable. Like me (and the rest of the internet world), Lindsey gets her fair share of spam. Where as Lindsey find great hand made crafts that fit with the title of her spam i thought i would use the titles as a starting point for just some musings and thoughts with maybe a few pictures thrown in along the way.

Almost all of the spam i get goes straight to my junk mail folder theses days but there's always the odd one that goes to junk that shouldn't so i don't delete them straight away with out quick check. The ones i seem to get a lot of are those selling me cheap Canadian medication and drugs.


Of course with a spell checker like that i wouldn't trust them would you?!

But this morning i had one of those ones with a completely random title - and now i look at it, there's not even some dodgy link at the bottom and to be honest the text isn't even as irrepeatable as they normally are. So i'm kind of confused my this one.

"This is not quite so. But why do you ask these questions

I could not sleep.

The windows of the room in which she was lying looked westward.She lay on the sofa with her face to the wall, fingering the buttonsof the leather cushion and seeing nothing but that cushion, and herconfused thoughts were centered on one subjectthe irrevocabilityof death and her own spiritual baseness, which she had notsuspected, but which had shown itself during her fathers illness. Shewished to pray but did not dare to, dared not in her present stateof mind address herself to God. She lay for a long time in thatposition."

I didn't actually look at the main text at first, because i am so used to them being so dirty and smutty and down right pornographic. However the main body of text still doesn't give my mind much to think on or inspire, but then maybe thats because the third sentence is more previlent for me right now "I could not sleep" I've already been out in the garden this morning and thinned the carrots out some moreand drowned few slugs and snails in my beer traps. For 6.15am it was suprisingly not too cold, but i decided that i really had no need to be awake at that time on a weekend, mum and D won't be up til at least 8/8.30am, so i came back inside. Now at 7am though i feel it is time to put the kettle on. and on that note, i have "not another word to say" for the moment.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

No photos....sorry

Just a little note to mention the lack of photos this week. 2 reasons for this really - firstly it rained all day sunday and monday, and then by tuesday i was stuck by illness and have been pretty shattered since then. Don't think i'll make it to town today, certainly won't be driving there! And with the buses running once an hour through the village it means i would be able to just leave town when i wanted if i started feeling too rough.

Hopefully i'll make it to the post office in the village, i managed the 20 minute round trip yesterday but Tuesday i made it the 10 minutes down the road but then had to get a lift back after my legs decided they didn't want to walk any further, however after 2 days of rest and lots of fluids my legs seem to want to get me places again. It's given me a good chance to get lots of cross stitch done, ready for the Craft fair in a couple of weeks.

I need to get all my energy and strength back though, with a 20 hour day planned/booked next week, then the 2 day craft fair (and the possibility of joining mum and D at a party on the saturday evening), the my grandparents staying for 2 days (starting to regret that suggestion now the way i feel) and then a week away on a canal boat.......

So i think another few days sitting on my backside doing cross stitch may not be a bad thing. I've finished 3 cards so far. i will take photos of them before the fair, but just because i hate plain text here's a photo of one of my other cards that i will be exhibiting and selling.

Friday, 23 May 2008

DIY City Mag blog feature.

Another little feature by another great blog.  It's funny how things come in waves..... thats 2 i've found out in one day! I found out via an RSS feed from the Dawanda blog that i'd been featured on the DIY City Mag blog - 2 blog both worth checking out, if you want to find out about other handmade items and artists.

A mention by "How can i recycle this?" blog

Among  the many blogs i subscribe to via RSS is a blog called "How can i recycle this?".  having recently changed me bicycle saddled,  and having seen inspiring things like a hanging basket out of an old deep fat frier basket, i decided to email them and ask if they would feature a bicycle saddle as an item.  The lovely Louisa has posted the question today and has given a link to  both my blogs as well!

The blog features/ask questions and then invites readers to post comment suggesting ideas on how to reuse or recycle items.

Have a look through the archives when you get a moment - there are some great idea given by other readers.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Monday Photos #9

Squash plants are planted out - which variety is which i have no clue now!!! never mind, they all want the same conditions/treatment.
Sugar snaps are growing well along with the radishes in the middle.
I need to start to tie up the sugar snaps before they do snap!
Rhubarb is doing well. I had the first harvest, lunch time yesterday following an intersting discussion on vegetarian savoury recipes with rhubarb here.
This is my other pot of radishes.
Onions, Carrots are doing well. I started to thin the carrots out but i need to do a lot more of that! The first sowing of parsnips seems very poor, but i have a few in the toilet rolls in the cold frame that i can plant out at least. Hopefully the second sowing of parsnips will be more successful. My problem with them is getting under the bean frame to weed - next to impossible! The runner beans are looking good and the kale is coming on. i have started thinning the spinach by using them for salad leaves. And the oriental salad mix is growing faster than we can eat it!
More oriental salad mix! and the french beans which are looking a tad yellow, but seem to be surviving and growing still.
Even more oriental salad mix - now i know why grandpa sent it home with us!!! and then my brassicas and cabbages. I've lost about 3/4 so far, but i haven't finished planting them all out and luckily i have enough to fill in the gaps where i've lost them. They have been collared, limed and bug sprayed, so fingers crossed.

My first strawberries are forming - this one is one of the plants i got from Lidls and is in my 3 tier basket.
Beefsteak toms will need to go into grow bags soon, i plan to buy them tomorrow and use the bottomless pot method. Also in the cold frame are the american dwarf beans, parnsips in loo rolls, spare red cabbages and 6 of my onions from seed (still not sure where they are going to go!)
chard and beetroot is coming along, albeit slowly.
Red Curly Kale.
Courgette plants seem happy now they are planted out.

Bottom shelf of the greenhouse is home to more spare salad and the not so happy looking brassicas. hopefully i'll get them planted out today.
3rd shelf has more onions, curly kale and salad leaves (i promise you thats the last of the salad leaves!!)
The 2nd shelf has the fennel hiding at the back behind.......
the normal tomato plants which also aren't far off the growbag stage.
And finally on the top shelf mum and i planted out the tumbing toms at the weekend. They aren't out hanging yet as it has been a tad chilly over the last few days but if they had been left much longer we would have had even more trouble than we did getting them in the baskets!

So thats the week's round up. Things seem to have stopped growing to my eyes, or at least slowed down. maybe its because the temperature has dropped - forecast to go up over the next few days. i hope the forecast is right!

Friday, 16 May 2008

We have Worms!!

After Wiggly Wormers finally sent us a bedding block 2 days after sending the initial order (it seems "Ann" didn't pack our order correctly!), we were finally able to get our wormery started.
First of all the bedding block was soaked in water to make it swell and break up. This was put in the bottom layer on top of a layer of cardboard.
The worms were then emptied onto the bedding block and spread over the layer.
They were then left with the lid off for a while, as worms are light sensitive and this encourages them to burrow down.
The instruction booklet said to leave the lid off for a couple of hours (we did put a mesh over the top just in case the birds were feeling peckish!) but within 1/2 an hour they had all burrowed down!

From reading on the message forums it seems it will be 6 months or so before we get any results - worm wee etc, so it's just a case of feeding them, keeping them happy and waiting now. They even have a shower cap on so the rain doesn't get in and drown them!

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

First Harvest of the new season

I know we've still been harvesting and using the chard but thats counts as last years produce. So the first harvest of this year as i think it probably is for most people was the salad leaves. Its the Oriental Salad mix that grandpa gave us, he'd sown the whole pack of seeds that he got as a freebie with the paper! i don't think i need to worry about not having enough salad this summer, although i am still tempted to sow some tom thumb lettuces.

Monday Photos #8

After another busy weekend in the garden, everything looks neat and tidy. If only it would stay that way! We re-grouted the patio (mum's idea and halfway through she decided maybe it was too big a job. but as i said to her if it was left yet another year it would only be even harder to do next year!) Lots of plants planted out now too and most of the direct sowings are starting to germinate.

The only depressing bit is the fight with the cabbage root flies and the fact the taller bottle cloches were too tall and the plants a a bit unsteady. But the collar issue is now sorted so the flies can't crawl underneath (as i watched them do!!) and i have cut down the bottles ready for the next lot to be planted out because the shorter bottle really seemed to get them stronger.

So here are this weeks photos.....

Top row is Chard (bright lights), bottom row is Beetroot (boltardy)

Courgettes planted out.

Having cut back the Pyracantha i was able to get the raspberries and construct a frame to support all the new canes that have sprouted all around the originals, which i will moved in early winter.

In the cold frame are the Beef steak Tomatoes, parsnips in toilet rolls, white and red cabbages and some dwarf beans from a swap partner in the USA.

The top row of the greenhouse is normal tomato plants - the packet just said "tomato"

On the second shelf are Cherry Tomatoes for hanging baskets and some of the onions from seed which i pricked out yesterday.

On the 3rd shelf are the rest of the onions and a few odd brassicas and mum's bay tree cutting.

The bottom shelf has the last of the brassicas still to be planted out, curly kale (which i think i will cut as young leaves for salad) and the rest of the oriental salad mix which didn't get planted out.

This is my 3 tier strawberry hanging basket, which has 12 plants in it. the bracket seems to be taking the weight well although i hold my breath each time i water it!

a pot of mixed radishes.

Sugar snap peas are looking well, with a few radishes to fill the middle space.

I earthed up the fennel slightly and moved them to the patio.

So here is the nice clean patio, with cleaned and reorganised (by me) water feature, with the pots of radishes, sugar snaps, fennel and also a mini spikey (painful) palm tree, bay, rosemary, thyme, chives, mint, parsley, coriander and a strawberry planter.

In the bottom left are the french beans, oriental salad mix (mizua, mibuna, rocket and others i can't remember right now) around the front. brassicas in front of the fence and the squash plants, one per square (apart from one square which has 2) are now planted out.

I spent a lot of yesterday weeding this bit and although you can't tell from this photo it looks a lot neater! the onion sets are all doing well. the carrots (yellowstone) will need quite a bit of thinning and the parsnips are starting to germinate. the runner beans are germinating and looking well. the Kale is growing slowly (i forgot to take a photo of the kale out the front, there's more there too). Mum spinach sowing needs a bit of thinning! and in the bottom left is more salad leaves. the parsnips planted under the bean run haven't germinated yet but thats no worry as they were sown a couple of weeks after the initial lot with the onions.

so as you can see extremely busy, but looking promising. Today i'm waiting in for the wormery stuff to be delivered, so will cut the front grass while i wait!

Sunday, 11 May 2008

A sad day..........

Today was a productive but rather sad day. Lots of gardening and tidying was done but a neighbour's cat died in the road at the of our drive. Our next door neighbour was about to take her dog for a walk when we heard her cry out. Although we were in the front garden the car was blocking the view and we were by the house not the road.

It seemed to have just died. we don't know the people we thought were the owners personally, they live a few houses away but our next door neighbour knew someone who did know them. so phone calls were made to get in touch with them as they were out.

I picked him up out the road and we put him in a box, but it looked so wrong so i got an old hand towel to put under his head and found an old blue flowery napkin to lay over him. i closed his eyes, he looked so much more peaceful like that. So much more personal than a tatty old Screwfix box! And i could tell the owner really appreciated it when he came round and sadly confirmed it was their cat an hour or so later when they got back.

His name was Oxo and he was 9. The children had named him and had grown up with him (there used to be a companion named "marmite" too). He had been acting strange. He had caught 3 rats in the last week which was apparently unusual and was then off his food. so weather the rats he caught had eaten poison bait, who knows. but aged 9 is certainly not an age to go for an otherwise healthy cat.

So RIP Oxo, i hope you have met up with Marmite again now maybe.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Monday Photos #7

Blueberry Bush
Fennel, Squash and Tomatoes
Onions, Salad Leaves and Tomatoes
Tomatoes and Beans from the USA
Cabbages, Salad Leaves and Parsnips
Cabbages, Brocolis and Caulis (hiding at the back), Salad leaves and Kale, Squash and Courgettes - and a Bay Tree cutting

Carrots, Parsnips, onion sets (red and white), Kale, Spinach and Runner Beans
"Cages/Pens" for squash are ready, cabbages, caulis and Brocolis are under cloches, more going out as i get more bottles. french beans to the left and salad leaves all round the front.
Onion sets and Carrots
Cauli/Brocoli (don't know which!) under cloches to protect from birds and cabbage root fly.
Kale in the front garden.
i noticed the sugar snaps are starting to germinate, so are the chard and beetroot and i've sown some radishes too. Busy Busy Busy!