Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The end of summer......

Summer, my friends, is drawing to a close here in Middle England. The garden looks weary, the fruit and vegetables are in glut mode, and the sun sets much earlier. This is something I have just noticed. The sun.

And I am sick to death of watering things.

Hah. Now that is not something you would have thought I would say, given my love affair with the garden, is it? Well, I am sick of All The Watering. Especially when the flowers are looking way past their best and all I want to do is yank them out by the roots and put them in the compost bin and greenery collection bin. And usually this does not happen till a little later. (That last statement meant that I had to go back through the annals of history, aka my sidebar, to check on the state of the garden each year. I got rather caught up in all the posts and have just emerged, 2 hours later.)

Now where was I.....

Things have been moving along here at RCR - David is coming home at the end of the week. Diana has been away for a few days. The blackberries are ripening in the hedgerows. Telephone conferences which last over 3 hours have been happening. Aquazumba classes. Aquarobics classes. Meetings. Appointments. Deadheading. And a whole lot more.

Down at the allotment, my long expired cucumber seeds (Use before 2009) have exploded all over the place, and the cucumber mountain has been growing by the day. So yesterday, I googled how to freeze cucumbers. I never, for a second, thought you could. Well, you can. So, I peeled and sliced and added an onion to the mix, and did what I was told to do - salt, cover, wait, drain, mix vinegar and sugar, cover, bag, freeze. Who knew. Apparently they stay crisp and taste great.

I will let you know in mid winter.

The apples. Well, the large pot  had to be hauled to the hob yesterday, and in went a huge pile of sliced apples. It was actually really nice to be on the conference call where I could wander round the house and stir the apples, and make coffee and toss out the dead flowers etc etc. I am hoping to get a couple of bags of apples from a friend soon. They freeze so well, and what a delight it is to have the freezer this year! I am making excellent use of it. If you could just see the pile of courgette bags.......

On the creative front, I have finished making the daisy squares at last. Now begins the sewing in of all the ends, and then it will be joined together. I am delighted with the colours so far. I also played with the squares while on that conference call. In the sun.

I did a great deal while on that conference call.

Missy starts school in a week or so. She is going to real school. Big School. I look at the photos and she is all long legs and gangliness at the moment, and she will love school, and making friends, and learning all sorts of things. But where has the time gone? She turns 5 next February. They start school unbelievably early here in the UK.

Ah well.....

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Chasing balloons........

We are coming back to earth with a bump here. Missy is back at her home down south with her Mum and Dad and this place is rather quiet. But what a wonderful time we had. They delayed going home till yesterday, because the Balloon Festival was on here. On Friday night, we set off to hunt the balloons in the sky. 


You have never heard such excitement - when she saw them in the sky, she was beside herself with delight. We whizzed around the countryside chasing them, and stopped in villages, next to open fields, next to sheep who were not too happy with low flying red balloons in the sky. They raced about in panic for a while. 


Then stopped in what looks like a laager, with them all seeming to face outwards, defensively. 

Whichever way you looked, you could see balloons floating by. Some high, some low. 


Lots of balloons in the sky. And, although they were supposed to fly at 6am and 6pm each day, the weather has been frightful, so they have just flown that Friday night and early yesterday morning. There is a chance the local balloons may fly again tonight, but the others will be long gone by then. Such a pity, because there is nothing quite like seeing loads of them drifting across the skies. 


So I am really pleased Ann and Missy were able to go chasing balloons while they were here. A new experience. And time for the little city girl to climb gates and see bales of hay as well. Countryside. 


I mentioned that it rained. Well, Missy wanted to water the garden, rain or not, so she got suitably dressed and went watering. She also made a variety of interesting craft objects to decorate Moregranny's garden. As Moregranny is about ready to say that summer in the garden is over except for the vegetables and the dahlias, that was just fine. 


Watching the Peppa Pig umbrella bobbing up and down around the plants was just perfect. 


But on Friday, the skies were blue most of the time.


The great thing is to be able to watch them land. I know what that is like. I have flown in a balloon before, and that was so exciting. The landing was a little sudden, but the whole experience was wonderful. 


So, early yesterday morning, while everyone else was asleep, I went out balloon hunting again. They had flown north and I caught up with a couple as they were about to land. There is something so beautiful about them. So huge! 


I will be back tomorrow with more tales of the week. Right now I need a nap before considering a meal for us. We have been to church, done coffee duty, and it is now after 2pm. I will be back. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I am playing.......

Missy and Auntie Diana playing in the water 
I have a visitor. 

Well, 2 in fact. 

Missy and her Mum are here at the moment, so we have been Having Fun. Doing Missy Stuff. And I haven't got the energy or ability to string two coherent words together, so just count this as a little break. I will be back in the next couple of days.

Moregranny on her throne. 
I could get used to a throne. 

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

The post with no name (because I can't think of one).......

Hello there. 

Here we are, half way through another week before I can gather my wits. Mind you, forget the wits, I have been gathering beans from my garden and freezing them. The courgette mountain seems to be slowing a little, but the cucumbers are racing ahead, and I am trying to ignore them. 

Speaking of courgettes, I saw a very interesting (and obviously healthy) lasagne recipe on Pinterest a couple of days ago. No pasta sheets, just strips of courgettes instead. I seriously want to try that. The rest of the lasagne is made as normal. 


The last of the lilies are now all in bloom, and the scent in the garden, especially in the early evening, is heavenly. They have saved the best for last, haven't they? 


Diana has been having a great deal of fun playing with my sewing machine and other sewing room bits and pieces. Her creations are fabulous. Teaching one's children to use things like sewing machines is essential. And a very good idea indeed. Boys and girls. The only things she needed to go in search of (out of the sewing room, that is) were some extra large wiggly eyes. 

So we made a quick trip to Hobbycraft to hunt them down. 

Of course I went too.

I should never ever go to Hobbycraft. 

Never ever. 


Nicky and I went to aquazumba yesterday. However, our usual teacher was ill, so we had a cover person. Hmmm. Different. But we did what we could to exercise. There is a slight problem with some teachers, you see. They move on land at the speed of light, and seem to forget that in the water, we are moving at quarter the pace. So we end up inventing new steps, like hippos doing ballet, and that is just FINE. 


She came back here for a bite to eat and we managed to sit out in the garden and catch up with all the family news. We have adventurous daughters, you see. 
The weather has cooled down a bit - there has been a little rain now and then, but nothing spectacular. So the watering has had to continue. It was actually interesting to see my garden through someone else's eyes. Right now, I think it is way past its best, but Nicky thought it was full of colour and prettiness. 

Sometimes, we need to step back a little, and try to look at things with fresh eyes. It is all about perspective, isn't it. 


So I won't look at those bugs on the lilies today. 

Saturday, August 03, 2013

A little relief from the heat and something to make you grin.......


A little respite from the heat today, and so a little less of the water obsession. That means time to say hello!


To start off the weekend, here are the lovely words which Mary DeMuth posted yesterday:

Here's my hope for you this weekend: simple, sweet rest. May you have an amazing conversation, an afternoon nap, a fresh tomato (or two), and an opportunity to tangibly bless one person's socks off. Now, go forth and enjoy your weekend!

Lovely, isn't it? 

And back here in the middle of England, life is moving slowly. The allotment needs a visit, but later. I will go later. 


I picked more beans and froze them yesterday. Buckets of them. And if I never see another courgette, it will be too soon. One can have a surfeit of all the green goodness.


So, remind me next year, that I am not planting nearly as much as I have done this year. 


The lilies will come up in their own time, as will the lupins, the lavender, the roses and dahlias. 


The gem squash are ready to start picking. They grow in stages. So I started picking.  And we ate one. Delicious. Now we need to start the "save the seeds" effort to have some next year too. 


Ah, the lilies are so gorgeous. 

Diana and I went on a little adventure to a nearby town to visit Ikea for a few essentials yesterday. Like tea towels. And handles. And candles. And freezer bags. And on the way, we popped in to the South African shop to buy some Spur dressing and other small treats. Only, after 23 years, there is very little we want. It is funny, you know - you think you want something and then realise that time - and you - have moved on!

Anyway, it was lovely to see all the old familiar packaging, and names. 

We popped in to a new to us series of shops close to Ikea, and there was an M&S there, which delighted us no end. And the first thing we saw as we walked in the door was this. 


A cow neck top. 

A singular trouser. 

The top was very pretty, but there was no cow in sight, unfortunately. And the mannequin clearly had 2 legs. Inserted into the trouser. 

I am going to start entering shops with a red (or green) pen in the bag, to correct all strange writing. The worrying part is that a) not many people seemed to have noticed this, and b) it looks as if it is a notice distributed to all shops for display purposes. 

It  did make us laugh. 

Cow neck. Good grief. 

Have a happy weekend!