July update part 1

It’s been hot, very hot so finding somewhere indoors to explore was a much more sensible plan.

So after buying a load of tickets for people at Christmas and forgetting myself, I finally bought a ticket and went to see the Terracotta Warriors. I’ve been looking forward to it since they announced it a few years ago.

Thankfully the schools hadn’t finished so the museum wasn’t too busy or noisy. The tickets have a timed entrance and started with short film about how they discovered the Warriors and the purpose of them.

Then you can wander at leisure and see lots of artefacts as well as several Warriors themselves. Every one is unique and they represent many different occupations but also many different animals, horses, birds and cats.

It was fascinating to see and they are at the World museum in Liverpool until the end of October. It has made me more determined than ever to get to China one day to see them again.

Routines and schedules

I haven’t been very consistent over the last twelve months with blogging as I’ve struggled with ideas and keeping things interesting when not much has happened. So I looked at other blogs for help, one thing I noticed in many was either an overall theme/topic or a set post on a specific day. I’m too random for one topic, so thinking along those lines I’m going to change my blog a little and possibly turn Claire’s chaotic life into (hopefully) Claire’s less chaotic life.

So here’s the idea

  •  An allotment progress update (around the 1st of the month)
  • A couple of life/what’s going on posts (2nd and 4th week of the month)
  • A 5 things post – once a month, different topics (3rd week of the month)
  • a weekly photo post, something that has taken place that week (Photo Friday ?)

 

Any way the football is about to start and it’s getting a little exciting now…..

Any other ideas, suggestions or topics for the 5 things are always welcomed.

 

2018 reading challenge update

Well we’re six months in and I’m not even half way through. I’ve been rubbish with reading this year, I can’t seem to settle or concentrate for long enough. I can happily pick up my allotment handbook and veg growing guides to flick through but have struggled with ‘proper’ books. I have still been listening to the audio books and even Oscar is enjoying them.

So here we go ….

  1. A book with more than 500 pages –
  2. A book with a number in the title – Three wishes – Liane Moriarty
  3. A book by a female author – Then she was gone – Lisa Jewell
  4. A popular authors first book –
  5. A book with non-human characters –
  6. A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit –
  7. A book from your childhood –
  8. A book with a colour in the title –
  9. A graphic novel –
  10. A book by an author you’ve never read before – The cellar – Minettte Walters
  11. A book you own but have never read – The casual vacancy – J K Rowling
  12. A book that was originally written in another language – The Leopard – Jo Nesbo
  13. A book from an author you love but haven’t read – The hypnotist’s love story – Liane Moriarty
  14. A book with bad reviews –

So far 6 out of 14 completed, not great but better than I thought. I have ideas for 1,4,7 and 8 but I’m struggling with number 14, any ideas would be appreciated also 5 and 9.

Just a thought but would the audio books but acceptable for this challenge ? or would it be cheating because it’s not ‘actual’ reading.

I would like to complete this years challenge as I didn’t manage to complete 2016 or 2017 although both had around 26 books to choose, find and read.

June on the allotment

The weather has been crazy, it’s hot, hot, hot and apart from about an hour of pathetic drizzly rain that soaks humans but dries before it hits soil around three weeks ago, we’ve had no rain for a couple of months and the dreaded hosepipe ban is being mentioned.

The allotment has stalled a little as it’s too hot to be digging, so the areas that I’ve not yet cleared have been covered and left until the weather cools down. The ponds have been very welcome. I used a cheap trellis, held down with a couple of tent pegs and bricks to make a ‘wildlife escape route’ and the little birds, coal tits and sparrows mostly, are using it as a ladder to drink, its lovely to see them enjoy it. I had great plans of planting around the ponds and creating a flower, shrub area but that’s on hold until the weather eases up.

The plants are loving the heat and everything has been growing well, including the weeds. We had a slight issue with pigeons pinching all the pak choi so I’ve sown some new seeds and will make sure to keep it covered.

I was given three broccoli plants and two Brussels sprouts, neither of which I have ever grown before and this week we’ve harvested from 2 of the broccoli plants and the other isn’t too far behind. The netting has kept most of the butterflies away although now the sprouts are getting bigger it will need to be moved soon. Another job for another day.

The second peas (after the pigeon raid) never grew very high but we’ve had plenty of pods already and still plenty to fatten up. It’s been the similar with the broad beans. The french beans are slowly making their way up the frame.

The courgettes are producing really well, we’ve had 3 and I’ve given a few away to neighbouring plot-holders. I have planted two pumpkins and two butternut squash, I’ve never grown these before, and all have gained new growth and the pumpkins are flowering.

The greenhouse is a nightmarish place to be as it’s ridiculously hot in there. I have opened the roof, both side windows and the door vent but it gets super hot inside, however the tomatoes and peppers are loving it and have grown really well and are fruiting nicely.

Thankfully before the very hot weather really started we managed to sort out around half of the plot and those are the beds which are being used and grown in. I’m looking forward to get the rest sorted and growing some new things next year. I would like to get some more fruit growing, raspberries, strawberries, and gooseberries.

 

Whilst I was busy weeding and watering my mum was working hard making repairs and beautifying the shed and the ‘bath’ pond.

Have you grown anything new this year ? Any suggestions, tips or ideas welcomed.

Enjoy the sunshine.