Sunday, 23 April 2017


Waking at half past two is ridiculous so thank goodness, after an hour of reading, I managed to drop off again.  One of these days I will manage to sleep through, I am sure.
It's dull outside but not, wet, unlike yesterday when it started drizzling which turned into proper rain before drying up for the sun.  Not enough rain for the garden, of course, but better than nothing.

After a leisurely morning, we went into town in the afternoon so I could show off John Lewis.  My card hasn't yet come and that's fortunate in a way because I was tempted by one or two things as we strolled round.

Once home, I finished off what turned out to be a simple dinner.  Lasagne that I had put together beforehand, garlic bread and a simple salad followed by cheese and crackers.

Today is a bit busier as I have more coming round for lunch.  I have boiled a gammon joint and with it I will provide salad, cheg, coleslaw and jacket potatoes.  Nothing too tricky hut all tasty and filling.  Then it is a selection of cheeses with crackers and grapes.  I am hoping there won't be too much left over.

I have to remember to put the seedlings outside during the day now.  The courgettes are starting to get a bit leggy straining to grow to the light and I don't want that.

I think all the tomato seeds have germinated.  That's the seeds I harvested from a tomato in a bag given to me by a friend who had grown them from seeds she harvested from a tomato she brought back from holiday.  It's not as complicated as it sounds  - honest!

I followed this method.
As I thought they might not all grow, I planted four per pot but they have all come up.  Fortunately, my dad will take some off my hands in swaps for the sungolds and montellos he's giving me.  Bartering is great!

Well, it is past six o'clock and I have a lot to do, so I will stop and get on with the morning's tasks.  Have a good day.

Saturday, 22 April 2017


Good morning, everyone.  It's just past half past five and it is getting light.  I love the dark winder mornings when the curtains are closed against the chill and the heating makes everything cosy and warm but I also love the lighter starts to the day when nature seems to get going so much earlier and it makes me feel energetic and sparky.

It's not warm, mind you, and is due to be colder.  I'm looking forward to those days when I can throw open the doors and sit out in the mild mornings and watch the brightness chase the dark away.

Yesterday was a busy day but I got loads done.  It's odd how days like that can seem so daunting before hand but, when you start and work steadily through your list, it can go so much more quickly than you expected.

So beds got made up, the kitchen was cleared and tidied, I made two white loaves and two rhubarb and ginger cakes,the tomato and lentil soup is all ready for today, the house is clean and relatively tidy and the shopping for the weekend is all done.
Mind you - remind me never to go shopping in Somerfield on a Friday morning again.  Talk about crowded!

Today should be an easy and pleasant day.  After lunch we're going into town so I can show off our new John Lewis, not to mention places like the White Company and Hotel Chocolat.  Then it's home again so I can get dinner sorted out - lasagne, salad and garlic bread.  Yum!

It's going to be a great day - I hope yours is too.

Friday, 21 April 2017


Good morning!  A bit cold, a bit dull outside but nowhere near a frost so my fingers are thoroughly crossed for the next few days!

I was sitting and thinking, earlier, about garden plans and realised that, between us, we have quite a lot harvesting, growing or planned.
In the allotment we have or will have rhubarb, potatoes, apples, pears, plums (frosts permitting), French beans, mange tout, spring onions, baby corn, squash, courgette and leeks (there will be more but we have to clear the ground and make more plans).  We're thinking of starting a small asparagus bed at some point too.
In my garden I have plenty of herbs and will have salad leaves, carrots, radishes, loads of tomatoes of various kinds (sungold, montello and the unidentified Italian ones),  courgette, strawberries, tayberries (first year of fruiting so very exciting) and blueberries (it's flowering now so I am hoping for a few, even though it is just the first year).  There's not going to be a lot of most things but it's all very exciting!

There's no time for the allotment today but yesterday we spent another couple of hours there.  Beth finished planting the potatoes while I carried on with the in-depth weed clearing.  I finished the hardest strip (it had been well impacted and not forked over for a few years as well as all the weeds) and started another strip that was much easier and should go a lot quicker.
Not a large area but enough for me and Beth!

Then it was home, James, for lunch and tuition prep plus bread making.  I was very tired come the evening!

Today is all bustle getting ready for my visitors.  Luckily it is the day the cleaners come so I don't have to worry about that side of things, I just have to make sure surfaces are clear, etc.
I've got my meal plans and my shopping list, I have more bread to make and a rhubarb loaf, I have beds to make up and so on.

First stop in a kitchen tidy so I'd better get started or I'll never get it all done.  Have a satisfying day, whatever you have planned.

Thursday, 20 April 2017


Ooops - I seem to have forgotten to post an entry yesterday.  Really sorry about that - no problems, just rather busy really.

It's cold out there but not icy, thank goodness.  It's too early to tell whether the sun will grace us with its presence but you never know!  I gather it's going to get colder next week with, maybe, some snow.  I shall dig out an old sheet to cover the strawberries and hope that will prevent any damage.   There are so many flowers, it would be very sad if they got frosted.

Pretty, aren't they?

Yesterday ended up a busy day.  I spent the morning at the allotment with Beth.  We're getting there now although there's still quite a lot of weeding to do, and Beth planted the first row of spuds - very cheering!
Then she came home with me and we had lunch, after which she got on with sewing and I got on with planning, etc.

After two tuition sessions, I was so tired but, despite that, didn't sleep wonderfully well and was awake by 3:00 which was annoying.
So I came down, did some messaging and made the savoury mince for the lasagne I am going to make at the weekend.  It's been simmering in Thermione for an hour and has just finished.  Very delicious it tastes too.

I shall go up and have my bath and get dressed after posting this and then I cam make an earlier start off to the allotment.  I mowed the grass yesterday so don't have to load the mower into the boot today, thank goodness.
Then it's home for bread making and another tuition session before getting the ironing done while watching evening TV.  Hopefully I will sleep a lot better tonight because I've got a busy weekend coming up.

Have a good day, whatever you plan to do.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017


A very early good morning to you all!  Half past three is daft but there you go - if you're awake, you're awake!
I suspect that a number of my ex-colleagues will be in the same boat around here, today being the start of the summer term with the drive towards the SATs, both statutory and optional.  Some areas still have the rest of the week as their Easter holiday, of course.

It was a damp start yesterday but turned into a most pleasant day with plenty of sunshine.  After a very leisurely breakfast with lots of chat over coffee, I set off home, expecting some hold ups as I'd seen on the news earlier that the M11 was bumper to bumper gridlocked from Bishop's Stortford to Harlow.  I wasn't using the M11 but expected that the route I always take would be affected by extra traffic.  However, by the time I set out, it (whatever 'it' was) must have cleared because actually it was a very good journey.  Plenty of traffic, sure, but no hold-ups apart from the usual traffic lights in places like Little Hadham and Bishop's Stortford itself.

I was going to pop into Aldi's at BS but, as I approached, I could see that the car park was chokka and cars were queuing both to get in and out so I drove on past and will go to our own Aldi at eight this morning, hopefully timing it between the rush hour and the milk run.  I have my little list all ready and want to take advantage of the cheap, Easter veg - what's left of them, anyway.

When I got home, I unpacked and bunged some washing in.  I was able to dry it on the line which was good.  I admired Beth's craft work from the weekend and then investigated the seed situation and was delighted to see that most of the seeds I planted last week (or was it the week before) are germinating, including the tomato seeds I salvaged from the undefined tomatoes from Italy that a friend gave me.  Excellent.  Outside, the radishes and the 'salad leaves' are coming up although the carrots still have to make their appearance.  The blueberry is still alive and looks happy and the other plants are all smiling!

Come the evening I struggled to keep awake until about nine o'clock before giving up and going up.

Today, as already mentioned, it is early morning shopping before doing my stint at the allotment (bet the rain has brought the weeds up) and then waiting in again in case my card comes.  If it does, it's off into town to sort out with the bank what needs a refund and what doesn't.  There's also another load of washing to go in and then hang out (I hope) and some subsequent ironing.

There are some programmes I want to watch this evening and I bet there's a clash!  That's always the way, isn't it?  Like buses, they all come at the same time after days and days of mostly rubbish!

Well, I may as well make use of this early morning time.  I have that pile of washing that could go in, my washing machine being on an outside wall; I have bread to make for the weekend (I have guests) and I need coffee.
Have a good day, whatever you're doing.  I'm off to get my first hit of the day!  😊

Monday, 17 April 2017


Well, it's too dark to see what's going on out there except that it's definitely been raining overnight for which I am duly grateful.  It should soften the allotment ground no end.  Muddy I can cope with!

I'm off home soon after a very pleasant weekend with my parents.  Nice and quiet and not an Easter egg in sight.  I brought with me a jar of my plum jam and some allotment rhubarb so we have enjoyed rhubarb and strawberry crumble with cream and, last night, good old-fashioned stewed rhubarb and custard which was absolutely delicious!  It makes me feel hungry just thinking about it!  Must look up more rhubarb recipes!

On the way home I will be stopping off at Aldi to see if they have any of their super-free veg left after the weekend.  Hope so - I don't need a lot but I am nearly out of carrots!

Once home, life gets back to normal.  I left the house tidy but, of course, there will be some washing to do and, as tuition starts again this week, some planning too.   Also, I want to have a tour of the  estate - oh, ok, the small patch I call my garden - to see what weeds the rain has brought up!

 Enough stuff to keep me out of trouble anyway.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Easter Sunday

Wishing you all a lovely, happy, restful day today with just the right amount of chocolate.

It's a bit gloomy out there and the weather forecast is more than a bit dire for a holiday weekend but there's not a lot we can do about that.

I have a very clever daughter.  A few days ago a friend asked did KittyStitches have any bags in stock as she needed one for a friend.  We didn't have any suitable ones so she came over to mine yesterday and knocked this up from what we have in the cupboard.  Well done!
I could do with one of those myself!

I watched the first in the new series of Doctor Who yesterday and thought it was very good.  Love the new companion and the snippets relating to past characters, etc.  I'm looking forward to the next one now.

I'm not sure what's happening today but I am sure it will be good, whatever it is!  And now it's coffee time.