Monday, May 20, 2013

Planting and cars and a day with some sun..........

I get lulled into a false sense of security, you know. The sun shines for one day and the doors are open and I get all excited and start transplanting plants and so help me, the next day we are back to grey and chilly again. That being said, I have (EUREKA!!!) planted the courgettes and leeks down on the allotment. The first plants in the raised beds are in. And then I sat and looked at them for a long while. And grinned. And announced to all and sundry that I was SO thrilled with my stunning raised beds......

I am so happy to report that the planting was simple for me. I didn't have to get onto the floor. Soil. I could do it all standing. Jean was there to help me plant the leeks, seeing that I have never grown them before, and there is the matter of dibbers, toilet roll inners and netting to deal with. They are in. And protected from the birds, because my raised nets at the sides of the beds make it so easy to plonk more nets over the top.
And so I came home and repotted the butternuts and tomatoes, and started another (#3) pot of gem squash. because #s 1 and 2 have failed to emerge from the soil. This could be because there has been no hot weather yet. I may well be buried under an avalanche of gem squash one of these days, but we can deal with that.


I love growing things. You cannot fail to have noticed this in recent years. But I can also talk about things non-garden-related. I promise.

Last Thursday, Diana and I set off for Coventry  and that is a lot more time consuming than one may expect. The setting off part.

First we needed petrol, and while at the garage, I went to check my bank balance at the cash machine. Autobank. Hole in the wall thing. And it kept spitting out my card saying they couldn't tell me anything at all. So, panic stricken, I told Diana to head for the bank in the next town, where I discovered that my card had expired and that they had forgotten to send me a new one. Perfect. Heart attack averted. Anyway, I ordered the card, got back in the car, and noticed the service light was on. Hmmm, I thought. I should check the oil. So I suggested to my by now fast-losing-the-will-to-live daughter that we should go to the car shop and check it out.

So we did. By now an hour had passed since we had left home, and we were still not past the village yet. Oh, said the car man - it needs to sit for at least 15-20 minutes before we can tell. So daughter went off to try on some jackets at the outdoor shop and I sat and waited. One litre of oil and 30 minutes later, we finally set off.

It only took us 35 minutes to get to Coventry and the Motability Big Event. This was why we went - to check out ranges of cars which those who are disabled can drive, have adapted, etc.

It was wonderful to see the whole lot under one roof. Just about every manufacturer was there with many many cars. So I booked a test drive in 3. I need an automatic. However, some makes seldom have any to test drive, and so help me, Ford, once again, didn't have the one I wanted to test in an automatic. So I had to try a manual one. I think I have said before, that 99% of all cars in the UK are manual. What Americans would term "stick shift". My current, aged car is manual as well.

It is really weird, you know, this obsession with manual cars. Men seem to think they aren't very "manly", the automatic versions. And I shake my head in disbelief. I can switch from one to another, and I have no problems other than a leg which actually would like to do nothing while I drive.

So I drove a semi-automatic Peugeot 3008. Why semi automatic?? You should have been there when I found the Peugeot PR man (who looked about 12) and discussed the "semi-automatic" idea. This means that as the gears change, you have to anticipate the moment and take your foot off the accelerator. WHAT???? Give me strength. And the steering wheel had enough extra arms on it to make me think I was piloting a Boeing 777. So we lurched around the test drive roads. It also cuts out when you stop. Then starts again when you take your foot off the brake. Saving the fuel and the planet. But not saving my sense of peace and serenity.

Then we moved on to the Ford C-max. The manual version. It was OK. Sort of. Neither yes or no from me, because I don't know what an automatic feels like and no-one can find me one to drive, so that would be a no, then.

And the third one was a spur of the moment decision, and smaller than the other two. The Suzuki SX4. It is much lighter. Also fully automatic. And I put my foot on the accelerator and we nearly did wheelies on the spot, and took off rather faster than we had expected to. It was hilarious. It was good, but rather small. So I will see if I can do another local test drive.

Anyway. It was a good day. Interesting, and loads of facts and figures and possibles. But on Saturday..........

Ye gods. I could hardly move.

As in the worst amount of pain I have ever known. So I did just about nothing at all, except sling a chicken in the oven. And groan. And watch the clock to see the first instant I could take more pain killers.


But that was then, and this is Monday and it is grey. I live in hope of more sun, but at least the planting out has begun!

So I edited this, people, and added some photos for you to see. The garden is just starting to fill out. Wait a month or two and you will see what I mean!


Kelli said...

Before I go and look at the three you test drove, test lurched and what-have-you, I want to say that I am incredibly proud that you finally went and looked at what is available to you.

I know we have talked about it, and I cannot wait to see the picture Diana takes of you in your brand new car soon. Just saying. Cannot wait !!

I am also glad you had the chance to get all the planting done that you did. Brilliant! I am sure that, before long, you will be canning and saucing and and and and to get it all put up for the winter time. Yep. That you will. I have no doubt.

We are wrapping up a quick weekend visit from the boy from college, and it has been like a breath of air around here. Mama is so incredibly happy! But, he goes back in a couple of hours after a quick Dr. appt first thing. John will be taking him back to catch his shift at work at 1:45pm, so they will have to hot foot it over the mtns and through the woods to make a three hour trip in less than that ☺

Love you. Hugs.

Kelli said...

PS: I ♥ the Peugeot the best.

Needled Mom said...

It's funny how we have to search for the stick shift cars here because everything seems to be automatic. The one that shuts off when you are stopped sounds very interesting.

I'll bet you are loving the raised bed gardening. No pictures for us???

Chris said...

With the cost of petrol nowadays, I would think the hybrid (?) would be a good choice. Or maybe it isn't a hybrid after all?

I'm with Kelli, though. I am SO very glad you have decided to actually bite the bullet and look for a new, reliable car. I have been worried about you driving the one you have now.

As to the raised beds...HOORAY!!! It does make gardening so much more comfortable. I have a feeling that Mom would have said I was lazy for using raised beds, but it was something she could never see since her garden was always so large.

Shelly Miller said...

Oh, I enjoyed your post. I just returned from two weeks in England with my husband. He drives all over like he's lived there all his life, but in an automatic and with a GPS, its much easier. We were there for a few days of sun, walking around the Cotswolds and Oxford and then had a bit of drizzle in London. But I love it all, feeling a bit homesick to go back already. Nice to meet you through the Simple Stories link up.

Anonymous said...

Your garden is so beautiful. I long to sit in it with you.

Vee said...

Had to read the bit about cars to John. We're both sitting here perplexed. In fact, he's still hmmming. Even most of our tractor trailers are automatic. So we learned something new today. Hope that you are able to find a nice little automatic. Driving a standard might be fun for kids, but it doesn't work so well for aging adults. Happy gardening! Oh and I agree with you, this is the most teeter-tottery spring I can remember.

Stripeyspots said...

Everything is so green and wonderful!

Crystal said...

The garden looks lovely already! I can tell that you love growing - the tone of your writing changes when you go to something else :) Good luck with the car shopping. My car is a manual but it's a rare thing here. Do you have Subaru vehicles? My DIL loves them - just a thought. Out I go to plant the potatoes today :)

Kelli said...

Thank you for reposting with all the great pictures of the garden ☺ Though it makes me long more and more for evenings to sit there with you and talk until the wee hours (I mean, since neither of us can sleep a full night anyway, what better way to spend it).

Those raised beds are really starting to bloom nicely, and look so much easier to deal with for you now. The allotment looks magnificent. All that hard work is paying off!

Anyway. Love and hugs and all that to you.

The Bookworm said...

I always find automatics a bit disconcerting to drive. Maybe I just haven't driven one for long enough to get properly accustomed to it. Semi-automatic? Odd! We are hoping we may get another car next year and have been wondering about a C Max. We had an S Max as a courtesy car a while go and loved it. Too large for our needs and too expensive, but the C Max looks a good alternative.