Sunday 25 April 2021

A beautiful Sunday


We've had a run of beautiful sunny days here in Central Scotland just as schools have gone back  although we've also had some below freezing nights too!  I spent yesterday re potting my tomato and chilli plants and weeding my back garden in glorious afternoon sunshine.  I was delighted to find that my 5th asparagus crown has survived and is shooting up a tiny spear already.  The other spears were frost damaged so I had to cut them off.  I hope there's enough growth to keep them going until next year's harvest πŸ˜‹

I'm running out of space to keep my seedlings before they can go outside into my mini greenhouse to harden off.  So this is the current batch in my living room πŸ˜‚ It's only for a few weeks but I think I'm getting quite obsessed with my plants! πŸŒΏπŸ…

I was up sharpish and at the plot bright and early.  Stunning views as always towards the Wallace Monument, Dumyat and The Ochils.

And here's Stirling Castle up on the other side.  Not the best view of it (better from the other side, more castley!) but it still makes me smile.

I'm sore tonight from moving slabs and fence posts, digging trenches for potatoes and filling wheelbarrow loads of woodchips.  Better than a gym workout and free!!  I'm also developing a lovely tan!

I realised I didn't have a pen with me to write in my notepad so I've started noting the planting dates on the notepad function on my phone.  Get me!  I'm finding myself using technology more and more especially at work.  It's now officially known that I'm one of the P1 teachers next session so I now have control of the Transition from Nursery to School online "stuff."  Apparently I'm the admin but as yet I haven't been able to access any of it!! πŸ˜‚ Better brains than mine are 'working on it!'

As it's the summer term I've treated myself to some new clothes, mainly long floaty dresses to keep me cool in my furnace of a classroom πŸ‘— So many people this week commented on how lovely I looked which made me think I must have looked pretty scruffy before!! πŸ˜‚  I haven't set a clothes budget for this year yet.  Last year I hardly spent anything as I lived in jammie trousers with a smart top for those online lessons!!  But I've already bought myself new walking boots πŸ‘’ 2 pairs of jeans πŸ‘– and some nice underwear πŸ‘™ All sensible and much needed but I'm scared to add it all up!! 

Monday 12 April 2021

Day 11 - Words and pictures


I've been working on my art wall.  Panorama photo courtesy of my phone! It's a mixture of photos, pictures, cards etc that mean something to me.  Most of these were already lurking somewhere in the house, I've just collected them into one place.  I'm especially loving the flower watercolour painting.  It came from my uncle's house and was hanging in what was my Gran's bedroom.  I originally thought I would just reuse the frame but there was a wee gallery label on the back.

In the top right corner written in pencil is the price paid that says £3 and 14 shillings, making it pre decimal times!  I looked up the cost for 1960s (might even be before that). £3 and 14 shillings was the equivalent of 2 days wages for a skilled tradesman. I just couldn't upcycle it knowing that so gave it a good clean and hung it up.

It's actually quite pretty and it's a wee family 'heirloom' now!

Edited to add:  I googled the artist and found some info on the painting, scroll to the bottom and read the product details CLICK HERE

In the end I made 2 pictures with Scrabble tiles and boards.  They were fun to do but very fiddly and faffy!!  And took aaaages between all the drying stages!

But I quite like them also knowing they came from my Uncle's house.

I've also been knitting away at my sock, working on the heel flap now.  The colour is a much more vivid turquoise than the pic suggests.  Still keeping my hands too busy to stuff my face!!

Friday 9 April 2021

Day 8 - In black and white


I had to wait in today for 2 separate deliveries.  I knitted more of my sock, watched some YouTube videos and played around with some Travel Scrabble tiles I rescued from my late uncle's house.  I love the effect of the tiles, just not sure about the green background.

I have 2 wee boards so made 2 different ones.  This Oscar Wilde quote made me smile!!  I'm thinking I might paint the green background black to fit in with my collection.

I've been collecting black framed pictures, sayings and photos (I have more than these!) to decorate the white walls on my stairs.  I've had an idea in my head for ages but then I saw it on a TV programme this week.

This screen shot is from the opening credits of the new series of Scotland's Home of the Year (available on BBC iPlayer if you're in the UK)  This is exactly the effect I'm going for.  On a budget, obviously!  I've been gathering and painting old frames with black chalk paint and varnishing them with glitter varnish (as you do!)  I see in the picture there's a few gold ones dotted around.  I might copy that idea too as I have a few gold coloured frames already.

Thursday 8 April 2021

Day 7 - Busy fingers


When I was talking to my Lovely Mum on the phone last night I mentioned that my finger joints had been sore, probably thanks to this spell of damp cold weather.  Arthritis runs in the family so I do take a few supplements to help.  Mum asked if I've been knitting recently as it helps keep her joints mobile.  I had to admit I haven't knitted anything for aaaages!  I rummaged around in my yarn drawer and found my wee portable project bag, thinking I might have a part knitted sock in there.  To my surprise I found an already completed sock with a second one just needing the toe shaping!  I think these were the ones I started when I was travelling to Australia last Christmas (2019).  Just a Regia 4ply sock yarn.  I finished the toe shaping while watching a cheesy Netflix movie and wore my new socks today!

I also found 2 skeins of fancy sock yarn.  The turquoise one was bought at the infamous Stirling Knit Camp in 2010 with my friend MrsL from Anarchy for One blog.  Now she's a prolific knitter!! 🧢

I cast on this morning while waiting for a parcel to be delivered.  It's knitting up beautifully soft.  Just plain old vanilla socks, nowt fancy.  I also found a completed grey man's sock with the second one just ready to start on the heel.  DS has claimed them when they're finished.  🧦

So I'm keeping my fingers busy to ward off arthritic pain and it also stops me wanting to snack!  Win win!! πŸ˜†

Tuesday 6 April 2021

Day 5 - Fabric, fire and fat

It's been rather chilly here with quite a few snow flurries yesterday and today.  I stayed inside and added more hexies to my quilt.  I worked out I've got about 300ish stitched together, all by hand.  I think I'll need about 1200ish to make a double bed size quilt.  So not a quick fabric project then! πŸ˜‚

It was exactly a year ago today that I got my proper allotment plot.  By coincidence the Spring newsletter arrived by email and I was glad to see that unlike the council run allotments nearby, our annual rent remains the same.  £26 for a full size plot, £13 for everything else.  My plot isn't a full size one πŸ˜‰ Costs are low because it's run entirely by volunteers.  I popped down today to finish clearing some rubbish and cutting back the old woody raspberry canes.  I do like a good fire πŸ”₯

In the corner underneath some overgrown grass and canes I found a wee rose (not a great pic.)  I'm assuming some kind of rambler so fingers crossed it grows now it's got light and space.  If it thrives I could train it along the fence as I'm trying to create a prickly hedge as a natural barrier to the deer and any would be trespassers.

I made this ridiculously tasty nut loaf for tea tonight.  It's from the Fast 800 cookbook.  In an effort to shift the belly fat that has been gradually accumulating since I turned 50, I'm trying the Fast 800.  If you've not heard of it you can Google it or click on the link below.  In the last 5 years (seriously the minute I hit 50 I've become a walking middle aged clique!) I've tried to lose and keep off some excess weight.  And failed!  I keep reading about how age/hormones etc etc make it harder for women in their 50s to maintain a healthy weight so the science in this way of eating makes sense.  It's a tough 2 week start but then after that it becomes easy.  I've already lost 2.5kg (5.5lbs) quicker than any other way I've tried.  It's not for everyone but so far so good for me!

Some info HERE if anyone is interested.

Sunday 4 April 2021

Day 3 - Easter Sunday


HOORAY!  I was allowed back out today but as it was rather cold and windy I didn't stay out long!!  I popped down to the plot just to check on everything.  I'm so glad all was ok 😊

I took Emma with me.  She just loves sniffing around, pretty sure she smells mice/rats! πŸ€πŸ  Luckily there seems to be no sign of any rabbit activity on my plot.

She plopped herself down at the open door to enjoy the sun out of the wind while I made myself a coffee on my wee stove,

Real coffee! πŸ˜‹

I took this photo to show the quirky shape of my wee shed.  I think it was a bespoke build, designed to fit into a certain space at the house I got it from.  The front is brown (yuck!) but the rest is forest green.  I love the shape, it's very me!!

As the day was rather cold and windy to be outside I spent the rest of it sewing some more hexies and reading.  I'm steadily working my way through the bags of fabric scraps my lovely mum gave me.

I've lost my original template sheet so need to figure out how to make more paper templates the exact size.  I think they're just 3 inches so I'll find another one online.

I'm currently reading Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now.  It's been around for a while and felt like a good follow up to The Road Less Travelled.  Apart from the tiny print (probably need reading glasses now!!) it's easy to read.

I've watched a few of his videos on YouTube.  I like his calm voice.  I might download the audiobook version to help me sleep at night. I do like to listen to a nice soothing voice as I drop off. 😴

Saturday 3 April 2021

Day 2 - last day of self isolation


Another lovely day here so being stuck at home isn't too much of a hardship.  I pulled on my new short wellies (recent birthday present from youngest DS) and spent a few hours evaluating my back garden.

Tuppence was very interested in what I was doing.  Penny not so much.  I hadn't realised they'd not been mentioned for a while but they're still here, still laying a few eggs.  

I wanted a good look at my perennial edibles to see what had survived the Winter.  To my delight everything has made it and is starting to bud 😍  This is a wee pear tree I've had for a few years now.  Always blossoms but the wind then blows them away so never had any pears yet.

This is one of a pair of thornless brambles (blackberries) destined for the plot to create an edible hedging barrier.  It was a tiny wee stick last year!! Part of the B&Q fruit bush bundles I bought last year.  CLICK HERE  You can see the difference in just 1 year!!

This is a fig tree I bought my mum but it was getting too big for her garden so I've got it back.  Not sure where I'll put it yet but it's healthy and in bud!

Blueberry bushes and strawberries are all healthy and in bud!

Blackcurrants and gooseberry bushes also looking good!

Patio apple trees are in bud but like the pear tree their blossom always blows away before it sets.

Sage (mint and chives out of shot) looking good

Rhubarb almost ready for a first picking.

And some rogue raspberries along the back fence.  I removed these 2 years ago as the birds and the squirrel got to them before I ever did.  But they self seed everywhere so I'll let them grow and see what happens.

Without realising, I seem to have made my back garden the fruit garden!  Some of the pots are destined for the allotment but for the rest I'll need to find a way to stop the wildlife getting all my fruit before me!  I don't mind sharing a wee bit but they're like locusts!!

Friday 2 April 2021

Easter holiday - day 1

It feels so good to be officially on holiday at last!  I slept until 9am this morning 😲 Not like me at all so I must have needed it.  The weather forecast was sunny for today (still a bit chilly at 11C) so I'd planned to be in the garden.  But in my sleepy state I reached into the bathroom cupboard and somehow managed to accidently touch my safety razor (the irony!!) and taken a huge chunk of skin off my middle finger.  Several hours later it's still bleeding and very nippy! 😬 Best to keep it out the dirt then especially as I don't have any plasters to cover it. *adds first aid supplies to shopping list*

I was thrilled to see that my asparagus has survived since planting last year.  4 of the 5 crowns have started to produce spears so I harvested a few (you can take 50% in the second year).  Next year I should be able to harvest freely πŸ˜‹

Still 3 left on that crown to develop strong roots for next year!!

So I made myself a wee omelette for lunch.  Eggs, asparagus and leeks all home grown with peppers and broccoli (hopefully grow these this year) and a sprinkling of goats cheese.  Unless I can find a way to keep a goat in my back garden, I'll just have to keep buying cheese!! 🐐

Being able to eat what I produce myself is a great feeling and it's given me the motivation to get cracking with my seed planning and planting.  Even though the weather forecast is snow(!) on Monday, I'm hoping to spend much of my 2 week holiday outside in the garden or on the plot.

The wee video yesterday shows my 'new to me' shed and slabs.  It's amazing what you can find for cheap or free if you're willing to put some time and effort in.  Luckily I had help as there's no way I would have been able to do it by myself.  I still need to paint the shed and fill/repair some wee cracks in the wood before Winter.  I got some cheap metal shelves from B&Q for inside so it's starting to look organised.

One more day of self isolation then I'm free to leave the house πŸ‘

Thursday 1 April 2021

On the plot last month


I completely forgot I took this wee video at the start of March.  Even since then I've done a lot more work.  Unfortunately as I'm self isolating I can't get to the plot until next week so I'm doing wee bits n bobs in my back garden over the Easter weekend.