Quiet time

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Busy, busy, busy

This week has been crazy busy and I’d promised a little too much for the weekend, so no relaxing.

Work has been bonkers, including a few extra hours. It was back to school this week so early mornings for a grumpy, tired boy. At least he’s getting back into routine.

Also I promised to take him shopping, with his birthday money. Now I’m not a shopper, in fact, I think I’m the only person in the family who finds the thought of wandering around shops boring, especially window shopping. Oscar had dragged me round the shops a few weeks ago to check out things he might like and had written a list. Once his money was in and tallied he narrowed down the important things he wanted. So Saturday morning off we went to shop ’til he dropped. It was a successful visit, he got most of the things from his list, with a few discounts and some money left over. He also learnt the value of money by having to prioritise which items were important to him and deciding to go with a cheaper option to get other things or an expensive item but at the expense of something else. I know that by handing over his own cash means he will look after the items he has chosen.

One other thing I accomplished this weekend was sorting out a phone upgrade for myself and a transfer for Oscar. Although with limited time I decided to do it myself at home, the phone part was easy however re-logging into apps was a nightmare, especially as I had to do it for both of us ! (and one reason this is late being uploaded)

I had a quick couple of visits and harvests this week, and I made a leek and potato soup and filled the freezer with lots of tomatoes and french beans. The pumpkins are starting to turn orange finally. I also took a huge bag of pears into work, much to the delight of my colleagues.

I promised (before the birthday shopping event was planned) we would make a pineapple upside down cake, I tried to put him off whilst I sorted the phones out, but no ! So while the soup was simmering, I put the oven on and got everything out. Oscar weighed, measured, mixed and followed step by step the recipe. It turned out pretty well.

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Another busy week lies ahead, but the next weekend doesn’t have a lot of plans, however the allotment needs a ton of work so weather depending, the weekend will include some hard work.

 

A….

I have mixed views about social media, I use Facebook and Instagram. Mostly to keep in touch with family as most of them live far away from me so it’s an easy way to share info and see how they are doing. I hate all the ‘rubbish’ and fake news you have to endure to keep this contact.

The one I like the most, but probably use the least, is Instagram, I enjoy taking photo’s although I’m not the greatest at it, and love seeing other peoples photo’s, and what they are doing. One of the people I follow is an account set up by a lovely lady, @fatmumslim, she runs a photo a day challenge every month, and I’ve tried to complete as many as possible but never managed a whole month (yet). So every month she posts a list and anyone can join in with the #fmspad

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This month is an easier challenge as it’s alphabet based. So I thought I’d combine it with some of my posts on here. As today is the first, the letter is A and I thought I’d share my photo’s and reasons.

Two of my aunties, who have been an important part of my life, Audrey was my great-aunt and I lived with her for a time. She was a lovely person, she gave good hugs too. And my auntie Avis, who we lost earlier this year and has left a huge whole in the family. Again a lovely person who never failed to make us laugh.

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Alex, my baby brother. Always an inspiration and a fantastic role-model for Oscar. He never followed the ‘norm’ and often followed his heart but this lead not only to his dream job but also his wonderful wife.

Lastly no A could be complete without my allotment. It’s my haven and little slice of heaven on earth. Today I harvested the first, and only apple from my tiny tree.

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If you are on Instagram then why not have a look and join in. What A’s are important in your life ?

I won’t be posting all the letters on here, unless you want me too but will keep you updated with how the challenge is going.

Back to reality

After 10 days of relaxation in the Portuguese sunshine it was back to the lovely sunshine on the allotment.

Apparently there was plenty of rain but also warmth during our 10 days away and everything has gone bonkers.

The day before we went away I harvested as much as I could, some I gave away and everything else we used, cooked and froze. So you can imagine my surprise (horror) to find 4 arm length courgettes, enough ripe tomatoes to fill 3 litre containers, 14 sweet peppers and a few handfuls of birds-eye chillies.

And that was just the start.

Finally I had a cauliflower, my first ever and 2 tender heart cabbages (that the slugs and snails haven’t munched). The leeks are growing really well too. The rhubarb has made a miraculous recovery and is better now than earlier in the year.

The beans have finally managed to establish and have plenty of flowers, I’m hoping they do better than the peas did. Also the seeds I kept from last years orange pumpkin have grown into the strangest things, all are green speckled, whilst 2 are small and round, the other 2 are oblong and huge.

The flowers have really taken off and have established well, I’m hoping plenty of them self seed for next year. The wildlife is loving the overgrowth, and we have seen lots of baby fish in both of the older established ponds. Also plenty of frogs and crickets.

 

The foxes are making themselves known around the site and are running riot with their youngsters. Thankfully they haven’t dug anywhere on my plot this year but I do have plenty of track marks where they’ve been through.

How did that happen ?

This week I became the proud owner of a teenager ! I’m sure it was only last week I was bringing home a tiny, but very noisy, bundle of joy. I blinked and he became a teenager…

He has been away with his dad for the last couple of weeks so I was looking forward to seeing him but wondering if I was going to get a hormonal, grumpy person back again. However, apart from growing a bunch, he’s still my lovely sweet boy.

For the last few months he’s been saving his money to buy a couple of ‘expensive’ items he wanted. So for his birthday he asked everybody for money to put toward them. And he did pretty well. One thing he didn’t know was that we had organised a holiday to Portugal for him, me and grandma. When I told him we are going to Portugal he assumed it was just the two of us, so I said ‘you have enough money to pay for grandma and still buy your new trainers’ (he doesn’t really) and he went and asked her if she’d like to come with us, which was when we told him she is already coming. Such a sweetie.

When we get home, from our next adventure, we will have a shopping trip where he can spend as much time as he needs, try on all the clothes and shoes he wants and hopefully come home with all the new things and some change (fingers crossed).

I’m leaving my allotment in the capable hands of two fellow plot neighbours, however the weather being as horrible as it has been I’ve asked them to only look after the greenhouse and the weeds can look after themselves !

 

Things are growing

It’s all happening at once. It does this every year but still catches me off guard. The weather this year has been very strange so the weeds are stupidly abundant too. I’m not planning anything after this harvest in order to spend the autumn and winter trying to clear the land (again) and prepare everything for spring next year.

I’ve started planning and organising seeds and planting for next year and which new things I’d like to try.

Anyway back to this year, and now. The tomatoes are finally starting to ripen and we have had our first red tomato, well I loving brought it home so both mum and I could have a bite each (of the little cherry) except before I had chance she had popped it in and chomped the whole thing. It was delicious apparently !

The banana peppers are starting to turn yellow and a few had already dropped off, these are lovely and sweet and I have been eating them raw as a snack. The aubergine has really germinated and each plant has around 5 fruits set on them. I’m thinking this will be enough for our family and might start removing the flowers before they can set any more.

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The pumpkin has run wild and is spreading stupidly everywhere, however it has so many leaves that I don’t think the bees can see or find the flowers to help the fruit set as I’ve currently only got two small fruit, however my neighbour (who I gifted 2 plants) has small contained plants with about 4 large fruit on each !

Finally the french beans are growing and are almost at the top of the canes, they are starting to flower too so hopefully we will get a small harvest from them, which was more than I could hope earlier in the year as they kept getting attacked by birds and mice.

I’ve planted the luffa into the greenhouse and it seems happy and has put on new growth, the cucamelon is still at home but will need replanting soon as they are getting quite big although still no fruit on them yet. The sweetcorn is still very small but covered in cobs, I’m not hopeful with these as they look very strange.

The damson tree isn’t looking very healthy and doesn’t have much fruit on it, especially after last years bumper crop. I’m thinking it might need a big cut back but unsure the best way to do this. The pear tree is doing well and still covered whilst my tiny apple still has it’s one and only baby apple.

I’m going dig out all the rhubarb in October so I can split it and move to a new location which will give us extra growing space for other things.

Any advice, help, ideas and suggestions are always welcomed also any varieties or plants you think we should try for next year. Especially as we are waiting for the next round of thunder storms to arrive and another week of warm but wet and unsettled weather, so will probably have plenty of planning time this week.

Happy growing ….