Thursday, 25 May 2017

Appeal - Please Drink more Prosecco

Hello from sunny Derbyshire.
This is a drink related post.
I have asked my facebook friends to drink more Prosecco, Cava or Champagne. Strangely, my appeal has been well received and donations are rising steadily.
Here is the reason why -


 How good are those for protecting eyes while gardening?
The canes are from a gardening job that H. undertook some months ago. There was a HUGE quantity of bamboo to be cut down. He bought it here and it has been drying in the barn since then. We have started to trim it to make garden canes and supports. The canes and leaves were at least 10 feet tall, some taller and there is five times more than you see to be trimmed yet. I looked up how to prepare and preserve bamboo and it looked a little complicated, with salt baths etc, so I have just dried and trimmed it. Regarding the corks, wine corks are okay, but  the sparkling wine corks are so much better for fixing and for protective qualities, hence the appeal for more. I use a lot of canes as I grow spray chrysanths , gladioli and such like for cutting as well as vegetables that need support.
   Still drink related,
 I collect old liqueur glasses ( it's a weakness I know - more clutter!). Below are a couple of examples. The one on the right is Victorian and very fine glass. The one on the left is one of my "everyday" glasses, which we use for tasting homemade damson gin, cassis etc. They are tiny but robust and probably not old, but I do love them.
 Now look at these beauties. My friend found these in a charity shop and paid very little for them. He informs me that they are Georgian. They are lovely to hold and my new favourites.
 Not in any way drink related, unless I make a tenuous link to how many bottle they are still drinking each day (3) Here are the lambs. Dumble, Duchess, Daphne, Dora, Delilah and Denzle. Little Duchess, who is sitting down in the grass, has joint ill and is currently on antibiotics. She had a nasty abscess on one foot, which has been lanced and I am currently washing out the wound with salt water twice a day. Her elbow on her other back leg is also affected so she really is in a poor way, but we are giving her the best care we can.

Lovely weather again today, but a little hot to work in the gardens.
I will be amazed if we don't get a swarm!
Keep cool.
Love Gillx

Monday, 22 May 2017

Deep beds or no?

Hello All
Welcome to Charlotte and Yours Frugally on Bloglovin and Tom on the sidebar
I notice that many people use the "deep bed" way to grow their veg.
The principle behind deep beds is that the soil is deep and humous-full and that the beds are just wide enough to allow you to tend to the plants while not standing on the soil, as compressing the soil damages the it' friability and drainage. This method means that a higher density of plants can be grown in a given area.
To set the ground up for this method it is usual to make a frame from strong treated wood (often old  railway sleepers) these boxes are usually placed 3 to 4 foot apart and some sort of path made between the beds. (gravel, slabs, chippings) The boxes are then filled with compost and /or soil, ensuring a soil high in nutrients.
You may remember from pics that I have shared that I don't use this method. I have to say that I am not convinced it is the most efficient or frugal way to grow veg. Oooo er controversial Gill!!
Firstly, the outlay to set up this system is pretty high.  If you are growing your own to save money it will be some considerable time before you get your money back (especially if you grow crops such as carrots and potatoes) Consider the cost of the wood, preservative,paving and compost, (though some people do have access to enough improved soil)
Secondly, you can make your soil as rich, deep and productive without using boxed deep beds.
Thirdly, you will grow easily as much per square foot in a well planned "conventional" garden.
Here's how we do it.
We ridge up the garden into 4 to 5 foot beds beds with and 18" gap between, this frees up more gardening space per metre than using the boxed garden, wide path method. I usually lay old floor boards or pallet wood in the gap to walk on or push wheel barrows along.(If you roll these boards over occasionally you can pick off and dispose of the slugs that will gather there - they have to gather somewhere!)
I will grant you that raised beds are tidier and if you are a wheelchair user higher raised beds make gardening possible for you (you will need higher boards for this, say 3 or 4 sleepers deep) I personally favour the chaotic flowers, fruit and vegetables (and quite a few weeds) look, which makes my heart sing in mid summer and have searched out a couple of pics to remind you.

Now some may have to lie down in a darkened room after looking at this organised chaos, but I reckon that the yield from this chaos is pretty good!
Some come on gardeners what do you think? (Head above the parapet here)
Gill


Thursday, 18 May 2017

"Three Girls". What did you think?

Oh My!
 Anyone else here been watching "Three Girls"? If so, what did you think?
My granddaughter and I have been watching it and believe it to be very well done, though not an easy watch.
Gillx

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Fishing, Car Boot and the Lambs


Thank you so much for your comments on my last post. How touching and some cases heartbreaking they were. I am so glad that you felt you could share.
David and I are just back from one of our regular fishing trips to Looe in Cornwall. As usual we stayed with our friend in Callington and while David fished J. and I gossiped and visited a couple of car boot sales. I didn't buy much but was pleased with that which I did buy, this gorgeous jerkin for 50pence
and
 These delightful pincers,which David says are probably Victorian and I thought would be helpful when I am assembling and disassembling frames for the bees. Even if I didn't have a use for them I think they are a beautiful tool and it will reside in my "Woman's Drawer" in the kitchen, with all my other tools.

 I also bought a novel and a couple of soft toys for Coda and Sammie the Labs (expecting them to want the same one!)
David and his friends caught mostly Pollack and we received the spoils from his and of his friends catch too, After I had filleted the catch we had 29lb (13kgs) of fish fillets for the freezer. I cut a couple of the larger pollack into strips to make cougons for the grandchildren and will breadcrumb them, cornflake crumb actually, later and serve them with oven baked homemade chips and mayo. Some we will have for a favourite weekend lunch of fish finger sandwiches (real class!)
The lambs are still on 4 bottles a day and likely to be for a few days yet as a couple of them are not too strong and still need quite a lot of care and I'm not overly confident that they will make it. But each day is a day closer to then making strong lambs.
Here they are out in the sun after their lunchtime bottle
A Warm Derbyshire welcome to Faith Archer on Bloglovin. Do you have a blog Faith?
I have just collected all the bits and bobs of vegetables together that have been languishing in the fridge  since last week. I will see what I can cobble together this afternoon. Will try to remember to take some pics.
Back Soon
Gillx





Tuesday, 2 May 2017

What would you say to your deceased parent?

In my last post I talked pinnys/aprons and Annie of Scrappalachia said that her mother always wore one and how she still missed her mother 15 years after her death. I too still miss my mother, in many ways more than then when she died. I often find myself wanting to ask or tell her things.
 I find myself talking to her ..."Look at this mum" I say when something is happened she would have liked. or "You would have loved her so" When watching my youngest granddaughter, who is named after her. More recently " J is happy and settled" about a grandson who had a difficult early life with his Aspergers.
And as for my dear father, who never saw us move to our smallholding (which my mother did and so loved the place) " How about that view dad?" and "I wish you could tell the children one of your stories" and "Tell me about your grandma and grandma".
What would you like to say to your deceased parent if you could?
Can't see the keyboard as I am sobbing here!
Gillx

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Her life in pinnys or is it aprons?

Hello again
A couple of weeks ago YGD who is nearly 12, came to stay and as is usual, wanted to bake. Out came the pinnys. She put on  the latest one she has been wearing, which was originally made for her older cousin. This one is made of pale green cotton twill, very hard wearing and meant to double up as his carpentry pinny. As he is now nearly 25 and 6' 3" he hasn't worn it in years! When YGD put it on, she only just managed to pull it over her head and it it came half way up her thighs. Time to get out the pinny I had made for her to give her later in the year. Putting GS's green pinny back I realised that it was joining a collection of no-longer-big-enough pinnys belonging to YGD. Why did I keep them? because we often have children visiting and they like to "do things". Here are the ones I found in the drawer... her life in pinnys.

While telling Good Friend  about the pinnys, as I knew he would be interested, being a collector of many things (including tea cosies and fans) I realised that we speak a different language. He calls them aprons, while I call them pinnys or pinafores. Mmmm is this a class thing or a district thing, a bit of both, a bit U and non-U ? So what do you call them? and what is the pinafore in HMS Pinafore? Neither GF nor I knew the answer.
Off to feed the 9 lambs that joined us last week. Pictures to follow.
Welcome to Marlene Snijders and Liane Peddlesden on the side bar and Ani K. Hill on Bloglovin. For some reason I can only see the blogs you follow and not if you have a blog.
Gillx

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

"Teach me before you die"

 Hello All
Welcome to Steve on the follower bar and Bloglovin
We are still waiting fro our poddy lambs. EGD who lives with us has asked if we can keep a couple of the girls and put them to the ram next year. "I want learn how to lamb and you can teach me before you die!" she said cheerfully Now I know that 71 isn't young, but really! On reflection I AM passing on all sorts of things to EGD while she lives with us. Her partner (who is a tree surgeon and gardener) is always asking questions and showing a keen interest in all that we do too. Hope for the future eh?!

The hens are finally in the orchard, the goathouse has being cleaned in preparation for the lambs arriving.(There are two hens with their chicks ensconced in there, but in a couple of weeks time we will put them in a separate run within the orchard to gradually introduce them to the rest of the girls.) So "Hurrah"! I thought, I can finally plant out some of the veggie plants that are waiting in the cold frame and greenhouse. I couldn't  wait to get the cabbages, broad beans and peas in. I stood back admired my handiwork and retired for a well earned scotch and to watch a film that EGD and her fella had bought.
 Has anyone seen " I Daniel Blake"?  EGD and I shed a tear on a couple of occasions and felt upset and frustrated in turns. I have accompanied many people to the job centre over the years and my experience has been mostly positive with regard to the people that work there, even though the system that they work within can be flawed. I did shout at the screen a couple of time (like I do) and though I can't say that I actually enjoyed the film, it was definitely worth watching.

Anyway back to the garden... the next morning I went out to see to the hens and admire the veg plot to find that we had been visited by ...rabbits! I was seriously p***d off and wished that I still smoked!
So all plans that David had for the weekend were shelved while he firmed up the fencing to the orchard that is between the paddock and the veg garden, as on inspection the little fluffy creatures had gnawed through the paddock fencing to hoppity skippity through the orchard and into the self service salad bar.
Yesterday I replanted with some plants that I had put aside for a community allotment group that has been set up. Is that really selfish of me ?
We saw two of "our" swallows this weekend. They swooped and dived overhead, happy to see each other after their long journey. David had only swept the goathouse walls and beams the day before, so we are only just ready for them.
All for now
love Gillx