Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Christmas (ish) harvest!

Hiya!

Okay okay so it was the day after boxing day, but I'm still pretty impressed with my winter harvest!

LOOKIE LOOKIE!  I got baby leeks (okay they were supposed to be full sized but failed!) Cabbage (my first EVER!) Jerusalem artichokes, two sorts of lettuce, mizuna, endive (tried some blech), and a brussell top for experimentation!

Not bad Mrs B, not bad!  Also the broad beans are showing signs of life!  YAY :o)

So that was an eventful year!  HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!  I'll see you on the other side (in 2012 not the afterlife!)

Chat soon X

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Christmas crossness

I have been at my new job for just over 6 months now.... a 6 month contract that is due to end on the 31st December.  I've worked my nuts off for 6 whole months, (not that I was planning on relaxing) and you rewarded me with advising that "YES you are worthy, you can join the fold with a PERMENANT position"  or until you change your mind and tell me YESTERDAY that you can only give me a 6 month extension.

Swear words Swear words SWEAR WORDS!

I do understand the reasoning - I am after all a reasonable adult after all.  HOWEVER - did this just occur to you yesterday?  17 days before the end of the contract when I am truly fucked in terms of finding something else!  YOU SHITBAG!  I cant even yell at you you're my boss for gods sake.

Yours pissed off......

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Round up part 2!

Hi there

You may well ask what happened to Round up part one?  Well I wrote it all out and managed to loose it!  BAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!  So now you are just getting highlights!

Broad beans - planted a few weeks ago - not up yet what to do?  Does it really matter can start again in spring!

Garlic - Sprutting and sprouting allllllll over the joint!  Brill

Lettuce - still lettucing - liking the oak leafed type but not the curly so much....

Trying to think of what to do next year.... Will try a few different things but have to realise most of the rest of the family don't really like "different" coloured things - if Mr B points at ANOTHER yellow tomato and asks me whats that - I shall killim!  I shall stick to "tried and tested" for ordinary things - but shall try a coupla new things like kohl rabi I think....  Oh and the squash were a marvellous hit!  My mother and brother scoffed em all!

Anyhoo - less than two weeks till Xmas - do not think I will get any veg on the table on the day - sprouts (curly and regular) are a severe disappointment!  Will take advice from an old timer next season.

Anyway - I'm off to look at the catalogues - may get to the lottment this Saturday - may have to as some thieving beggar has plundered my bank account - "crappy sprout for Xmas anyone?" 

chat soon X

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Vampires begone!

Hi there

No I haven't invested in a crucifix and an wooden stake!  I have just planted out about a hundred garlic cloves!  A FAB collection of different bulbs I purchased from Thomson and Morgan.  I have in the past been slightly dissapointed with T&M offerings but this was marvelous in quality and price (IMHO anyway).  The pack consisted of one bulb each of the following:

Albigensian Wight, Chesnok Red, Early Purple Wight, Edenrose, Germidour, Iberian Wight, Picardy Wight, Lautrec Wight, Messidrome, Wight Cristo

or two in one case!  And 5 elephant garlic cloves (6 to those of us that can count!)  Not bad for £20 less a penny.  I had looked at other garlic collections from other places but this seemed like the best value for money with plenty of varieties to plant.  They all were in good nick too and big fat bulbs too so hardly any scrawny cloves!  I planted them all in any case.  I do reckon that I perhaps should have seperated or distinguised the hardneck and softneck varieties... but being me I have just bunged them in willy nilly!  I have however learnt from my onion calamity earlier (well not a disaster) to leave plenty of room for a hoe inbetween rows.  Not necessarily the same as the planting instructions.  Imagine the space a massive garlic clove takes up then a generous hoe space then another large clove... This should be plenty.  I ended up mostly hand weeding my onions - bad times!

Apart from preparing the bed for the garlic and getting them in, the mother has weeded the lettuces for me.... FAB!  I even let her have a couple... Generous moi n'est pas?

I have been brave this week.... I auditioned for the solo in one of our choir songs... Walking on Broken Glass!  I think I did okay despite not being able to stop my hands shaking.  I would just get them under control and my mic holding hand would flip out again!  I either looked like I had Tourettes or Parkinsons, the choir is divided.  Anyway the singing was tolerable, just have to work on the nerves and have another try next week... :o)

So fingers crossed for me and as I have planted so much garlic - I won't have use of crosses over the threshold to keep the vampires away!  Good times :o)

Chat soon X

PS  - I also have bulk mouthwash on order!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Look what I made (Oh yes ME!)

Hi there

Now as the allotment is starting to gear down for the winter months, my mind is moving on to more practical matters of how to make the place more attractive/functional.  Now I DO have a chair on the lottie (borrowed from an abandoned allotment!) .  However the chair does get plonked wherever and the allotment isnt exactly a level wonderland!  We've already broken one chair by falling off A over T :o)  So today I took some of the abandoned slabs that I had forgotten about at the back of the garage and made this....

  TA Daaaaa!


Yes I know it doesnt look like much (it isnt) and this picture makes it look like its on the wonk (only slightly) but I did that!  And it give the chair a really solid base!  Well, its enough for one chair and your feet!  Maybe a bag too :o)  I do have some more so this will get extended over to the right.  It is sited just in front of the goosegogs for easy picking and scoffing while sitting...

Another thing that I have coveted on other sites was a tool store... Not a locked one but just a few pallets nailed together to keep stuff off the ground, upright and together (and not under the gooseberry bushes )  So after having liberated a few pallets from work I made this...


It was going to be a 3 sided affair but the third side was too short and long... but two sided is enough I think!  Prolly siting it by the shit heap was a mistake too....It also might be slightly wonky but I tried to take the pic in the most flattering angle!  As you can see my tools fit neatly in the pallets themselves and the bottom palle can hold my compots, pots and watering cans are threaded over a hoe handle! 

No - sorry never going to be a carpenter but a slightly tider garnener maybe!  At least I wont going for a tumble just yet!

Chat soon X


Friday, 14 October 2011

Harvest Festival

Well hello there!  Long time no blog.

I seem to be nearly as crap at this blogging business as I am at allotmenteering...  well worse actually as I am still eating loads of fresh stuff and have a freezer packed full of fruit and veggies.  So allotmenteering wins hands down.

Now where were we?  Oh yes, beans!  I have bags and bags of em in the freezer enough to last us for a few months if we have beans once or twice a week!  I must do more (YES MORE) next year and will try and do them more in a successional fashion.   I know that some people have only just finished picking whereas mine were finished all at once in Aug/sept - and blimey they all needed stringing and blanching all at once!

The Potatoes have all been dug up.  Well I say they have all been dug up but I was reeeeeeeeeeally reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally careful doing them (as instructed) and went over the area thoroughly.  YEP all done.  Dug out a few weeds a week or so later... YUP more potatoes...  So last weekend I thought I would give both potato beds a final dig over just to be sure and yep every time I turned around another bloody potato was there either on the ground (as if from nowhere) or more usually speared on the fork.  BAH anyway - I'm not doing it again.  They are all dug and covered with cardboard and they are going to stay that way until I next plant something...

My aubergines produced.... absolutely nothing... What a waste of time.  I will go back to B&Q and buy a grafted one next year.  About £2 each but got loads of fruit so well worthwhile.  Cape gooseberries (Physalis) did well, would have done better I think if I had watered them better but still have lots of fruits.  I may do them again next year but may save the space for indoor tomatoes or cukes.

My spaghetti squash were the stars of the show!  The largest weighing in at 5.5 lbs!  The smallest weighed just over 4 and I have 6 to store for the coming months - I also have about 4 mini pumpkins and a tromba d'albenga and some red kuri.  I loved the patty pan while it was producing (so did the family) and will definitely do this again. 

I have planted out some kale and cabbages for over winter and in an experimental bid to keep the weeds down, I have planted them through cardboard.  Its a bit ugly but.... its working so far so we will watch this space...  I have also got a winter lettuce collection in so we should be able to harvest some of that soon.  :o)

I have made traffic light chilli jam!  The chilli's have been fab so based on an idea from the vine and a recipe I found on the net (like Nigellas but with more peppers for the colour!)

I made the green one mild, the amber slightly hotter and the red one OH MY GOD I'M HOT!  I am going to give them out at Xmas in baskets with some cheese, crackers and a packet of chilli seeds!  Cool, even if I do say so myself!  :o)

I picked all of the remaining tomato's at home yesterday.


I made loads of green tomato chutney last year and still have quite a lot, so having done some googling I made green tomato soup!  A taste sensation!  I will be making the rest up shortly and freezing for a comfort meal in the cold winter months - also highly diet friendly.  So a winner all round.  I will put the recipe on shortly.

I did think that as autumn came and winter started that things may slow down on the allotment (they will) but at the moment I seem to still have loads to do!  I am clearing and pruning and digging - This weekend I am taking some pallets over and hopefully making a tool store.  Get me.  I do hope that some good preparation will put me ahead for next year.  Yes - I am going to do it again...  I will try to bitch less next year about how hard it was... and how I had to do it all on my own etc.  I think I've learned a good few lessons which will help me so here we go. 

Must go and do some work for which I will get paid!  Mind you gardening is more fun and I haven't bought a tomato for months.  GAH - I'm going to have to buy some soon though.

Gadzooks :o(

Chat soon X

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Ive bean going mad!

Beans beans they make you .....

Well you all know how that one goes!  My runner beans are now producing like mad and I spent an hour or so stringing beans on sunday and putting them through my snaztastic bean slicer ready for blanching and freezing.  They are now frozen in two person portions in eight bags!  and I know I'm going to have plenty more to pick!

Also feeding us are the courgettes - I spent Friday night pickling these to a fab recipe from the pages of  grow your own magazine http://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/grapevine/making-most/pickled-courgettes_21316.html  Thanks to Di for that one its delish!  I only now need to grow more so I can make enough!

I also pickled some gherkins and beetroot.... Phew my life is soooooo rock and roll!  Apart from that I picked french beans, beetroot, two patty pan and allllll of the first early potatoes. 

The tomatoes at home are fruiting like mad too and I picked three Red Kuri too!  Never had those before either.... also the biggest cucumber to only produce one cuke is throwing out two more... still not worth it I think.  The Aubergines in the little blow away greenhouses are now massev and one looke like it may well fruit so that will be cool!  I had one last year that produced quite a few, but  I bought the plant... This one was grown from seed.

My plot neighbours kindly gave me a marrow on Saturday it was mahoooosive.  We had baked marrow for dinner and it was yummy.  Still got the other half to eat...... :o)

Anyway, this old has bean ought to go off and do some housework for a change!

CIAO X

Friday, 29 July 2011

Little and large

This made me chuckle, I had to share


Now I know that neither is enormous but the large one is about the width of a coke can!  This was supposed to be a Long green ridge... the one on the left is a cucino a mini variety which is cropping fairly well!  Better than any of my other cukes.... I've only had the fat one above and my other cuke is the crystal lemon featured below.  LOL

Apart from that I've had and eaten my first beef tomato, well the first one that I;ve grown myself,  I HAVE eaten other grown beef tomato's...  I ate it so quickly I didn't photograph it!  I also had my first yellow tomato from the allotment YUM really tomatoey!  sorry ate that one fast too!  In the next week I should start getting a regular supply as I have a few that are blushing through to red!  YAY.

I seem to remember posting that I had just picked my first courgette a week or so ago... I picked eight on Tuesday... Five fairly good sized green ones and three small yellows.... PHEW  then another at home last night... God knows whats in store at the allotment tomorrow!

I have caved... In the slight panic of what to put in the ground next... I have ordered plants from the tinternet webbamy bob.  I ordered an autumn winter brassica collection (Kale, broccoli and cabbages) a winter salad collection and an autumn winter oriental veg selection.  I now think that was too much at 64 plantlets per collection (sweating slightly) one has turned up already!  Others not due till end of August!  So tomorrow Mum and I are digging up the onions and we ARE going to plant all 64! 

I have also had a brainwave....  coffee grounds are good for the garden no??? I work in an office with its own costa NO???? YES and for the past coupla days I've been taking a bucket of grounds home!  Get in... I have also taken loads of cardboard.  I plan to weed and plant through this in an attempt to  keep the weeds down....  I would have taken more than one pallet too but I couldn't lift them on my own... I will get them though!  FREEBIES are great aren't they! 

I have to finish at the Lottie tomorrow by three as I'm having my hair done at 5.  I also need my eyebrows doing....I will need to de-allotment myself too (hose down) so the hairdresser doesn't take three paces back on sight!  I then need to make sausage rolls for 50 for a christening on Sunday... Phew  then I think I will collapse (pastry IS a good way of cleaning out finger nails tho....)  I'M KIDDING!  :o) 

Anyway things should start to be really busy at work from next week too  EEEEK!  Wish me luck!  :o)




Thursday, 21 July 2011

Is it Chilli in here?

Well as mentioned in some of my earlier posts, I have a few chilli plants on the go .... (okay 20) and as I haven't really done anything at all plant wise due to all the rain, I thought I would share some pics as they are all starting to fruit!

 This one is labelled Hot Rainbow.... But

So is this one and as you can see they are completely different!

This is facing heaven schezuan



And this is a Hot Chilli Shake!  Kindly given to me by a friend!  :o)



  If you can see them, these are Ring of Fire :oX

 and on a completely different note this is my Crystal lemon cucumber!  Whoever said I was growing tooooo many cukes was clearly mad as I've had about four "Mini" ones and I have this and one ordinary one on the way!  This plant is over 6ft tall so this cucumber had better be DAZZLING!

 And this is my one indoor Aubergine, you can't see on this but despite being ignored, in the smallest pot possible etc etc, there are two YES TWO fruit coming on it!  The outdoor ones are doing nothing, its far too cold and wet.

I do hope the weather will dry up a little so I can get to the allotment and so some work, and that things will start to ripen too.  In the meantime I hope you've enjoyed my indoor show and tell!

I'm off to put the heating on (YES it IS July) cos it IS a little chilly round here after all

Chat soon X

Friday, 15 July 2011

Evicted!

Hi All

I hope that you've not given up on me!  I've been terrifically busy in my new job and trying to work at the lottie on my days off and keep the level of dirt at home down to non plague proportions.... :0)

Anyway it was with great relief that I went into my mums yesterday as we were babysitting for littley, and my brother dolefully said he has had a call from the allotment committee who said they are taking half of the allotment back and are going to give it to someone else!  "YIPEE" says I!  "What!"  Says he...

YIP bloody PEEEEEE... I've lost sleep over the state of the bloomin' (literally) place!  Never mind the veg, the weeds are as high as an elephants eye!  I shall be sad as I have planted some Jerusalem Artichoke in that area but that was all - I shall hope that the new person will agree to share!  I will move a few strawberry plants down to my end but I think that's all!  I may even take the hedgetrimmer down and have a little tidy round for them!  So brother dear  You can be as sad as you like but no work means no lottie!

The bottom half is nearly all in use (nearly!) and in production but it really is all I can manage by myself and I've said so for AGES!  In fact every time I go I'm embarrassed so YAY someone else will now benefit from having an allotment which is always good!

I went for a quick look yesterday to see if there were any courgettes worth picking (not really but did anyway) - So impatient I was to pick my first courgette!  I also picked a little gem, peas, some oregano and TWO sticks of rhubarb!... I had to balance it all in a pouch made in the front of my Tshirt by folding it up as I hadn't taken a bag!  LOL I must have made a sight.

Anyway the home garden is coming along - nearly some courgettes here, squash are growing apace (inches daily) with some fruit showing... we will hope they are fertilized.  I have a "proper" cuke growing at last!  AND a red tomato!  I may ACTUALLY get a whole salad!  Chilli's are coming along well too and seem to have decided to fruit all at once.

So all is going well at the moment...

No Not a bit ashamed at being evicted WOOO HOOOOOO :o)

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

I feel like a right gooseberry

Hi all

Well I've been so busy in my new job I've hardly had time for anything else!  I've certainly nearly given up with FB and haven't read any of my favourite blogs for AAAAAAAAAGES..... :o(  So I thought I'd catch up and do a quick round up before Mr B  gets home!

We finally managed to paint the "bit on the side of the garage" (which I use as a potting shed)  I started to scrape it ages ago but its just rained since!  Well we got one coat on.  It does need another but its not bare naked and covered with a plastic sheet any more!

I managed to plant out all of the rest of the squash and courgettes AT LAST so finally we should get something fingers X'd.  I also got loads of grow bags so over the next day or two I shall plant out the aubergines and peppers.

Oooooh and if anyone has any recipes for gooseberries - that would be a MASSIVE help!  I've picked over 2KG then Mum went yesterday and picked 6lbs without really moving along the bushes very far.  Masses left to get.  I'm going to make some wine with some but any ideas would be great.  I've just been open freezing them so far.

Tomatoes at the allotment all seem to be unhappy but my ones at home seem to have perked up a bit... I really need some sun now please.

We had my Rock Choir summer show yesterday... Really enjoyed myself once we got going.  All the hanging about to begin with was annoying though... Or shoud I say all the moaning minnies took all the joy out of it!  Only one more session then we stop for the summer break Booooooo!  Bet we have loads of new members after the documentary!  We'll have to wait and see.

Anyway I will leave you some pics of my Cape Gooseberries!  The fruit and the flower!  Can't wait until they are ripe  :o)

Again - apart from eating them - What do you do with yours!

Chat soon X

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Hi I'm the new Girl!

Hi everyone!  Sorry it's been ages but I've been a teency bit busy dontcha know!  Well I started my new job last week and fingers crossed, its all going well so far!  My boss is nice (if a bit fly by the seat of his pants and hectic) and the lady I'm working with is loooooovely  :o)

As I'm working in the Facilities Team (for those of you that dont know what that is, facilities looks after the building and the services into a company like heating, stationery, security catering and any maintenance)  So since I started I have been trying to get to know all of the coordinators or pa's in each section and all of the contractors and other people to boot and my boss has given me some projects to start to look after.... phew, my head is spinning.

Anyway I managed to get to the allotment this weekend (dispite the rain!)  Weeded loads on Saturday and got loads of my squash and courgettes planted.  Then on Sunday I managed to get there early and plant my sweetcorn around the squashes - so its going to be a kind of two sisters section,  I will have to see how these work as I know  I am quite late getting these in the ground.  I came home with an impressive smug trug though!  New potatoes, raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries and onions!  also picked some thyme and oregano!  So the best pickings to date!

At home my chillis are coming into flower and my cape gooseberries started flowering yesterday!  Also I noticed this morning that one of my aubergines and a HUGE purple flower on it!  Its only small (I must pot them up, I am terrible!)  In fact, I dont know what I'm doing on here! 

TTFN XXX

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Do you want the Good News... Or the Good News???

Good News #1

YAY - My tomatoes, cukes and all other veg survived the winds we had last week and "seem" to still be growing quite well.  I even have a baby cucumber coming on the Cucuino variety of cucumber (v small bite sized cukes!) so all is well...

Good News #2

I went on an interview on Tuesday - (drumroll please) and I was offered the job yesterday!  WOOOHOOOO.  The Agent that called to tell me was a bit naughty and acted all game show on me (think who wants to be a millionaire when they are trying to build the tension).  I wasn't expecting to hear until next week either way so when he said "you thought it had gone well" - big pause........   "Well they have come back to me with some feedback"  longer pause, serious tone......   "Well they thought so too and they would like to offer you the job!"  ha ha gotcha tone.  I nearly fainted with excitement.  I may have wee'd a little.... I was bouncing about the office all afternoon - I thought that they may have to call an ambulance.  Mr JB was just as excited as was Mummy JB.  We celebrated with a nice dinner and a bottle of pink n fizzy last night!

So that's worked out so well - I was finishing here on Friday as they have a permanent person starting on Monday - I get a weeks holiday and then start on the 13th.  Its the best job by far that I've interviewed for - not in London, so not so far to travel.  The largest (V well known) company.  So its a brilliant opportunity and in Facilities which is what I LOOOOOOOVE doing. 

Its been soooo stressful being made redundant and job hunting, and temping and interview after interview.  Not to mention dealing with the job centre, then getting this temp role, earning not even half of what I was in my perm role etc etc etc  I can't tell you what a relief it is... :o)  Mr B has started looking at holidays already... I've told him not to put the cart before the horse!  I do however need to buy shoes....

Anyway Garden/veg news... I planted out some lettuces and beetroot at the allotment on Monday - Never grown "hearting" lettuce before so we'll see how that goes.  I picked my first Strawberries and Raspberries too... I am eating them with my morning cereal Mmmmmm.


Apart from that, I've just potted a coupla things up... Did I mention I've got a new job...???

Monday, 23 May 2011

A problem with wind...

Hi all

I'm sat here a bit scared folks - I have a big wind problem.  No I don't need charcoal tablets - but I would like to dash home and bring in all of the tomatoes and cucumbers that I put outside yesterday!  The wind is so strong today and gusty I'm terrified of going home and just finding a few pots with snapped stems with the plants being whisked off to oz!  My pooooor baybeeees!

I've had a busy busy weekend.  Got to the allotment on Saturday.  As we all know, I am struggling a bit with the allotment, but I have some new rules I think.  I shall firstly take care of what I have planted already - so the first job each visit is to weed and maintain the stuff that is already there, and secondly I will only dig a bed just before I plant it up.  This way no bed will be waiting for weeks and weeks and getting all horrid and weedy again (like they are now)...  so that's what I did.  I weeded all through the potatoes and onions and the beans and I could NOT resist seeing what was happening with the potatoes while I was at it!  LOOOKIE LOOOOKIE

I know its daft but I'm sooooo proud of them!  I AM the first on the allotments and the old fellas are all scratching their heads!  Woo Hoooo I'm going to boil them and eat them with a knob of butter!  YUM :0)

I also planted out my leeks I have grown in a bucket 2 rows - I didn't dibble them in , I kind of made a trench and plopped them in along the length of this and then filled this in... We will see if this works or not!  I seem to have read a post somewhere about Amish farmers doing their leeks this way and them getting a good crop... oh well they have 2 chances.  I also thought it was time for the Brussels sprouts to be planted out.  Not sure if these will come to anything as I have pretty much neglected them.  I've bunged them in next to the leeks and thrown in some broccoli too (shop bought plants! Couldn't resist them)  I netted the Brussels and the broccoli and watered everything and then went to my Mums to get changed.

Guess what people!  I had a play date with a new friend.  Another garden/vegetable mad other person who I made pals with on the Grow Your Own website.  I  had a lovely late afternoon coffee and natter and cheese straws were all consumed, cats were petted, seeds were looked at, allotments inspected and elderflower's were picked!  I had a FAB time.  Its great to get together with another enthusiast and have a proper full on veg chat.  My husband seems to get a glazed look and I'm wondering if he is listening or thinking about football or the crack on the ceiling.... :0)

Sunday I hoofed it to Morrison's on the quest of the flower buckets.  I got 32 for £3.96!  WOW now that's a bargain.  Now you could ask at your supermarket as some seem to give them away some sell them and some dont do either and it seems to vary from shop to shop, but Morrison's are consistent and seem to sell them at every store.  I few holes in the bottom of them with a hot nail and BOB is most definitely your mothers brother and FRANCES is his wife!  A perfect home for a tomato or a cucumber... So that's what I did for most of the rest of the afternoon. 

I also started the "Armpit challenge" featured on the GYO website.  Basically the idea is to see who can get the most producing tomato plants from ONE seed.  You do this by planting up the side shoots or armpits as they are fabulously also called!  My Tigrella tomato plant had 5 armpits potted up, my Marmande four and a Gardeners Delight just the one.  I am going to photograph all of them at various stages and monitor and record how may fruits etc they all produce.  I think that these three plants will be the only ones I keep at home.  The others can go to the allotment.


Along with one yellow cherry variety that I wont bother for this experiment/challenge I think that fourteen tomato plants is enough for the time being!  And I'll need to armpit the armpits too and the original plant.... Phew I'm gonna have a Lotta toe-may-toes.  Ketchup anyone???

Mind you.... That's if they have survived the wind....

Chat soon X

PS: Saw a lovely film last night - WIN WIN about a lawyer who also coaches the local wrestling team.  Loved it.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Big and little things

I had a wonderful weekend just gone, and it was full of big and little joys.

Have you ever been back to a childhood haunt and found it to be so much smaller than you thought it was?  It was my primary schools 150th Anniversary celebrations this Saturday and my SIL and I wandered down (we were just down the road).  This must have been how Gulliver felt amongst the lilliputians - Gigantic.  Teeny tiny rooms and desks, and the loo's too (no trace of tracing paper loo roll these days we checked!).  Teachers who we thought were old when they taught us were there and gasp - still alive (in all honesty some of them have only just retired!)  It was wonderful to visit and see some old faces.

We also had my Nephews christening - which I shall hasten onto next - at the church I attended all through my childhood until about 14.  Again it felt much smaller - but large in grandeur, high churchiness and incense.  Quite a serious service by modern standards, but the vicar was light and joking and just right.

My Nephews christening, Mr B and I as Godparents!  Such a small thing, but how big an honour, how huge is my love for our dearest little boy, our godson!  Such a tiny bundle of enormous joy.  Already his wish is our command and only 9 months old...

And from the sublime to the ridiculous - flowers on my Tomatoes at last.

Happiness can be found in many places but don't over look the big or the little things!

Chat soon X

Monday, 9 May 2011

I drowned a Bee!

It dived into my tea yesterday while I was in the potting shed!  I promptly threw the tea out but it was already deeeeed... I hadn't even drunk any of it!

BAHHHHH on both counts

I did however fill up my own hanging baskets, sowed some more beans green and yellow bush french beans and some green kale (thanks for the Kale seeds goes to Jono at http://www.realmensow.co.uk/ a truly fab veg growing/allotmenteering site with added geekery and excel spreadsheets - awesome!)  So all was not lost.  Thinking about it I think the big looser here was probably the bee..... :0<

Chat soon X

Ooooh I did however buy new shoes for the me nephews Christening next Sunday!  :0>


Friday, 6 May 2011

Return of the Triffids

Okay, it seems like ages since last weekend but its also gone in a flash and its Friday again.  Seriously suffering from Bank Holiday Lag.  All week I've been thinking that Tuesday was Monday the Thursday was Friday.  I'm glad to get a lie in bed tomorrow just to stop my head from spinning.

Last weekend of course was the Royal Wedding!  Absolutely FAB I loved it.  I also went to B&Q in the morning to get something for My Brothers 40th.  Had a nice chat with the reductions guy and he cheekily asked if I'd like 50% off the herb planter I was eyeing.  After a second thinking "OMG" I spluttered out yes and he did!  Waaa heyyy! With a 10% voucher also I properly felt like scrooge! 

After the TV event we went to the local hall and had tea and cakes with the local biddies, then over to my Mums for a birthday takeaway for my brother.  Saturday we went to see Mr B's Mum and Dad, MIL took me to the Sweeps festival (Which seemed like a Morris Dancing meet up) and she also found time to stuff us full of food (practically from one end to the other)  Don't know how they are both so slim.  Sunday we visited TWO national trust properties and on Monday we had a full on Xmas dinner.  Tuesday I cried and begged to be allowed back to work for a rest...

I had a spare hour on Friday so I have started off all of my squash.  I was lucky enough to be included in one of the seed parcels on the Grow your own website (http://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/grapevine/forum.php)
My very favourite place on the web to hang out.  So I had lost of varieties to try from there and I had some of my own too.  I have sown, jack be little, spaghetti, hasta la pasta, red kuri, yellow courgette and green courgette, tromba d'albenga (I've probably forgotten some too).  I also sowed some runner beans.  Now peeps I sowed these in small peat pots in a heated propagator.  Don't do this!  The seedlings were up in days and now need potting up (yes in one week)  I could virtually SEE them growing.  Some are about 6 inches high and some of the beans are in a right 2 & 8 sprouting every which way.  Also I was careful to plant 1 squash per pot I do have some with 2 seedlings in.  I now have a grand total of 27 squash seedlings.  I don't know where I'm going to put them either!  I guess I can sneak some to my mums and some at the allotment.  I'm going to try and get some Trellis to grow stuff up and maybe build some sort of wooden obelisky type things for the garden and allotment... we will see!  If I cant place them then I will have to give them as presents... I love presents (giving and receiving!).  I also sowed 12 little gem lettuces, 12, Webb's wonderful lettuces, 24 beetroot, and 18 french beans (three different varieties which have NOT Germinated).  I have also done during the week most of my potting up, so no more cukes languishing in starter pots.  It does mean I'm running out of space so currently the poor aubergines are in the blowaway greenhouse outside with the non germinating beans and the lettuce/beetroot.

It's like we are being taken over by Triffids... If I don't post next week, alert the police.... Or the Royal Horticultural Society or summat... I don't fancy being plant food much!

Chat soon X


EDIT: Oooooh we saw Thor at the Cinema - Chris Hemmsworth - HUBBA HUBBA!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Easterama

Hi guys

Well Easter has been and gone.  We have been having such FAB weather we had two (YES TWO) barbeque's in the four day Bank Holiday weekend... If I even look at more BBQ meat I shall turn into a sausage... Blech its enough to make me turn Veggie (yeah right) for about two minutes!

I have mightily calmed down since my last post, and having made the decision to only work on half the allotment I have made my opinions known and others can take/leave as they wish! 

I have also hit the interweb job boards about the chops again and have two interviews lined up - one tomorrow (near Piccadilly circus!) and one next Wednesday, and another to be arranged.  If something does not come out of this flurry of activity, well I may have to rethink the whole working for a living scenario and bag myself a sugar daddy/investigate bank robbing/some type of insurance scam. Although the last may involve me wearing neck braces rather a lot, the second however could take care of the mortgage as I would probably end up living at HMP.

Royal wedding this weekend!  I for one can't wait - oooh I know its controversial - but I LOVE WEDDINGS... I'm all sentimental in "me ole age" and I love all of it.  So there.  Like the Royals or not, there is something about young love so I wish them all the best.  It's not going to be easy, but what marriage is.  PS I have royally forgiven Mr B for unfeeling, man suggestions mentioned in my last post.  Well I say forgiven, I probably sulked for an hour or so, gave vent on here and then forgot about it....   :o)

Anyway I have finally potted up all tomatoes and all but three cukes, the final counts not in but I think I went a TEENY bit berserk...  I will count them and finish potting up tonight.  May sow my squashes too...  Also completed are my Mums hanging baskets.  Pretty good if I do say so myself!  I used the new snazzy baskets and am going to attempt to put up a pic or two to illustrate the snaztasticness of them...

Hmmm that's taking longer than expected - I will try again later.

Never mind the RW - Its also my brothers 40th birthday.  I am going to get him some B&Q vouchers as this is what he wants to do up his garden.  I have to get these and a birthday card QUICK - running out of time...  We are apparently having a takeaway on friday then a Christmas dinner on Monday - random.... Mr B is pissed off as he wanted to go and watch cricket, but I am forcing him to go.  Also hope to get some allotment time, tidy the house and see Mr B.  Seeing the in laws on Saturday - but that's a whole other food issue...  Someone line me up a new diet for Tuesday, I'm gonna need it!

Have fun everyone

Chat soon X

Edit: 28/04/11


You can see how easy these baskets make it to get your plants round the sides of the baskets with the little snap in gates!  Should be great when the plants (lobelia) have grown a bit bushier :o)

Monday, 18 April 2011

Madness this way

Okay peeps - generally I'm quite a happy go lucky sort of a gal - but a few things get my goat.

1. When I'm upset, never ever tell me "Cheer up you're not dying or starving - lots of people are you know" or "Well I don't know what you want me to do about it" - sometimes all you have to say is "What idiots, they made a huge mistake, of course you are the best... Why let me go bop them on the nose!"

2. If you ask for my help... say oooooh with an allotment, don't rub your hands chuckle and think "What a mug" and sit back and watch me work myself to death and  invest all of my time, worry, energy and money into it!  Its supposed to be a joint project.. and you live two minutes walk away.  To only have been there once and only have done one hours worth of digging is taking the piss, and you know it. 

3. Being turned down for the job in Uxbridge which I seemed to be stupidly pinning all of my hopes on and for which I would be paid quite a bit less than I am used to and for which I had to dumb down my CV.  (Which quite neatly leads back to get my goat point number one).

Solutions for these

1.  You just wait until your football team are relegated (a very real possibility this season!)  I can't bloody wait Mr B... When that tear rolls down your cheek - I will save up that GEM and serve it straight back to you!  

2.  I can only cope with half an allotment and will never take on a project with you again. Mug I may be but a repeat offending mug I am not. 

3. Gaaaaah - send a crawling email to the nice chap who interviewed me and thank him for his time and should anything else come up Please consider me again....

Well I can only do soooo much....  I will be back soon in better humour

Chat soon X

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Do you dig it?

Hi Everyone!  Soz for the two week hiatus!  WOW how busy have I been - let me count the ways.

I went for an interview last Thursday for a Maternity Cover position with a FAB sounding company in Uxbridge... I get the warm fuzzies about this one so keep those fingers crossed (YES again!)  You know when you get on well with someone when you start saying the same things at the same time and laugh about it... Well that's how it went so.... They have one more person to see today and then they will let me know.

I have done loooooooooooads at the allotment (digging and I have the blisters to prove it!)  As the weather has been really fantastic for the past week or so I quickly booked off Friday and Monday so I could get stuck right in.  Mum and I had dug out the Beanery area (to our horror FULL of bindweed roots).  So I redug over this on Friday and buried some newspapers under the area where the beans will be planted (hopefully will be able to water less this way)  I also put up the poles and even tied most of them up... Spotted a couple the next day that I missed!  I also grabbed the communal mower and got three quarters of the way up one path before stalling it.  So not too shabby.  Saturday and Sunday consisted of me digging over three new beds in a slight revision to the plan. I also planted out my first few broad beans - Although my Mum and I got very confused in one of those conversations that went ....

"How do you plant broad beans?", "What Runner Beans?", "No Broad beans", "do you know the difference" "Errrr, yes of course I do, now do they need a support or not", "yes"  .... Later Mum says "were they runner beans you planted...?", "No Mum Broad beans", "why did you plant them by a pole then?" !!!

Monday I went to visit a pal and got some interesting bits from poundland (gardening fleece and a minitunnel cloche system) and some herbs from Wilkinsons!  Went back to the plot and planted them straight away in front of the beanery.  Oregano and Thyme - my favourites. 

I also picked more Rhubarb... MORE RHUBARB... I currently have some Rhubarb wine fermenting, Rhubarb and Ginger Ice-cream - Ive given some away... I will open freeze this batch.. Or maybe some more wine... Hmmmmm.  I have picked about 8lb - Yes Eight..  That's Nearly £10 worth...  Rhubarb Schnapps... LOVELY.

My brilliant seedlings are coming along a treat at home in the conservatory and looking really healthy although I havent potted any up yet - naughty mummy.  I have stumbled upon the brilliant idea of putting them under the coffee table and covering the coffee table with newspapers for some shade... Brilliant eh!  Up here for thinkin', down there for dancin'.  I haven't lost a plant yet - which is a revelation as I make a mean frispy seedling and have to run out and buy plants most years!  A thing I just can't afford to do with the allotment and no real job to call my own...

Anyway I now estimate that I have about a half of the allotment in shape with a third being dug over and the other bit being fruit bushes and perennials.  I have dug a bit of the top beds but they are now covered in dandelions, which as pretty as they are - can not stay!  I made a few new allotment friends this weekend and think I will have gone up in the "old guys" estimation since being there at 8ish on Friday morning and working alllll day.  I have never slept so well.  I'm still tired now - back to work for a rest.

I must go I've been gabbing on for aaaages, thanks for reading this far!  Chat soon X

Edit 28/04/11
This is the SECOND digging out of the Beanery area.  The bindweed roots filled the wheelbarrow several times the first digging through - Sadly the weed is still growing in this bed!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Spanish omlet anyone???

Hello everyone

the FAB weather continued all weekend and I got to the allotment both Saturday and Sunday!  I had a really busy day on Saturday - beginning with an extra choir practice as Caroline  - the lady who formed Rock Choir - came to visit, talk to us and hear us sing.  She is being filmed for an upcoming documentary at the moment and we thought the camera's would be with her, but twas not to be.  They filmed her on the way there and then went home BAH... (How scary and competitive are 100 women in one hall all in full makeup and hair done - all vying to be in the front row??? <<<shudders>>>)

Had a lovely lunch with some of the ladies then dashed home stuck on me gardening kit and got to the plot at about 3ish.  I was armed with a box full of my seed potatoes and a back with my shallots and onion sets in, and various other implements and rammage I can not live without!   I delusionally thought that I would be able to get all of those in the ground in the few hours I had left of the day...  Oh well you live and you learn!

I did manage to get my Arran Pilot 1st earlies in (well I think they are Arran's - I might have got them mixed up with the Nicola salad potatoes...) and one row of the Nicola's.  Now don't faint people but when I got home... Mr B offered to come with me the next day and help me to dig!!!  After I fainted I gladly accepted and he did indeed help muchly on the Sunday!   He redug two of the beds (weeds that had been missed) and then dug up some of the paths - which were awful.  I finished planting all of the potatoes and shallots and Red Baron onions and Giant Stuttgater white onions!  I hope I've done the onions right.  They say to leave the ends poking out - but I was worried about birds pulling them all out so I have nearly covered them.  I only get to the plot at the weekend so I can;t get there to check on them and replant them... Oh well - they have two chances.

Its made me chuckle all weekend ( a sign of my lunacy) an imaginary conversation between my seed potatoes  Arran - "Hi Nicola, pleased to meet you... Fancy hopping into bed?"  Nicola "And you've not even bought me dinner!  Oh go on then!" 

Anyway after all our efforts Mr B had a rosy glow to his bald head and the Lottie looked marginally less neglected... Good work done.  At lease we will be able to make a Fritatta or a Spanish omelet!

Ooooooh and I pulled the most eeeeeenoooooooormous parsnip up that I didn't know was even there!  I thought I'd got them all out!  Mmmmm Soup me thinks

We saw The Lincoln Lawyer on Saturday - BRILLIANT film - Go see - go see.  The first film in a long time when I didn't know what was going to happen until they spelled it out!  Edge of your seat stuff.

Seedlings all doing well (not killed any!)- most are spending time in the conservatory.  Must sow more aubergines and chilli's.  Also am going to sow some more broad beans, peas and start on cucumbers and gherkins!  Can't wait.

Chat soon  X

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Spring has sprung - BOING

Just when you turn your back.....  Spring springs itself into full on spring springyness and all is right with the world! Out come summer colours and SKIRTS people.... some would say that ladies day has arrived and with it more leg than you can shake a stick at!

I have seeds popping out all over the house and got loads of sowing done.  These seeds I am determined to keep alive.... Well I'm going to try reallllly hard this time...  I was very excited to see my artichoke seeds pop up.  I've never even eaten one (well a fresh one anyway)  They are really large seedlings not spindly at all.  The cape gooseberries on the other hand are weeeeeeenie (but the seeds were microscopic too)  Only one pea up so far so I'm going to sow some more this weekend and not a sign of leeks.... Should I bring the bucket inside?  Tomatos and chilli's are all over the place and brussels are out too.  No parsnips but these are apparently awkward to germinate and I will perhaps try to pre-germinate some or "chit" the next lot...

All well so far though.  My only worry is where to plant everything (yes I know I have an allotment!) as I only have a few beds dug so far and it does look like no one is going to help (bloody boys)... (they will be there when the crops come in I suppose the buggers)  I will just have to get a shift on and dig more beds this Saturday and Sunday.

I did have a lovely day at the Allotment last Saturday and met both neighbours on the neighbouring plots (its two half plots on both sides)  They were delightful and friendly and offered me lots of advice.  How brilliant...  Have not seen either plot holder on the other side yet but I am certain they will be there next weekend due to the fabby weather - in fact my phone now tells me it is 16 degrees! practically sunbathing weather!  :o)  I will have a summer tan before all my non gardening buddies. In fact the day was still light enough to get out in the garden at home when I got back from work yesterday - so I started on the clearing up I should have done at the end of last year!

Hubby and I went to the Ideal Home exhibition on Tuesday - I recommend you go, but only go once unless you are after something in particular!  Once you have seen one vegetable slicer or mop, you've seen them all.  What did I come back with - Four hanging baskets!  They ARE special ones I promise!  Look here  Hanging Baskets of Loveliness  Yes give me a shopping opportunity and I still come back with something for the garden... Is there a therapy group for this...???

Friday, 18 March 2011

Bugger, Blast and B@ll@cks

Hey peeps - Hope you're all having a good week.

Well in reference to the title, it was a NO for the job.  Apparently its not my experience or that they don't feel I could do the job oh no its just my personality.  They didn't think I was sparky apparently.  Well lets hope that the "Sparky personality" they did hire is one of those types that is FAB for five minutes but then gives you a really intense desire to stab him in the head.

Anyway moving on - the weather was not so good last weekend so I didnt get down to the plot - but I did catch up on lots of seed sowing!  I sowed - Peas, parsnips and peppers in loo rolls, Brussel Sprouts, flower Sprouts (V Exciting) more chillies, 16 tomato's, globe artichoke (never eaten one), cape gooseberries (actually sowed about a million as the seeds are microscopic) and Leeks in a bucket (makes for easy transportation down to the allotment when they are big enough to plant out!).  Phew.

I also potted up my poorly looking Bay tree.  Well it has been in the same pot for four-five years - shame on me.

Now considering I did all this sowing on Saturday, it completely amazes me that half of the tomatos are up already AND one of the chillies poked its head up this morning!  YAY  plants are sooo amazing.  I also ordered some colourful flowers on offer from T&M (used my voucher which just covered my postage) - this is an attempt to sop the feelings of my poor hubbie who just wants some colour in the garden - veggies be damned!  Either that or a golf course - he's not fussy.

I ordered a Wine making kit from ebay and this arrived yesterday!  Cue great excitement from me and a raising of the eyebrows from Mr B.  I have been looking through my wine recipe book but I think I will make a Rhubarb wine I saw on the "Grow Your Own" website  http://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/grapevine/juicy-gossip/quick-nice-wine_2365.html  (the best forum there is in my opinion!).  Watch this space.  I love that it is entitled Quick Nice Wine... I needed no more selling!

Anyhoo - going to sow more seed this weekend and get more aubergines and tomatos on the go (yes more) and some caulis and cabbages.... I will have to check on my reminder list of what I should be doing...

Till next time :o)

Chat soon X

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Busy Bee

Hiya!  Here I am.  WOW I've been busy over the past week.  I had a FAB weekend as it was wonderfully sunny and DRY!  First weekend in about three that there was no rain at all.  I even managed to get my first load of washing on the line (boring I know but I always love that feeling of victory)

I spent a good few hours on Saturday and Sunday digging at the allotment.  I have taken some pictures on my whizzy new phone but will have to look at the instructions about how to get then on the computer and to be able to attach them here.  I will do tomorrow when I have some free time for a change - no scratch that I'm booked already.  I know I haven't put up the plan yet either - smack my wrist if you ever meet me!

Anyway I dug over the remainder of one bed and Dan (the brother) dug over another.  I have tidied and degrassed the Gooseberries to (they fought back)  I look like I've been fighting off tigers!  However I thought while I was at it I would do them properly as I certainly don't want to have to do them again - So they have been weeded and pruned and thinned out a bit and look much happier for it.  We also took out all the old canes that have been sitting in the ground since last year and tidied all that was left on or in the ground.  Just some potato plants left but slowly slowly catchee monkey.  All in all its looking much tidier and I am starting to feel a bit more hopeful about whipping it into shape :o)

Three tomatoes survive this week.....

We saw the Adjustment Bureau at the cinema this weekend... Brilliant with a disappointing ending for me, Hubbie liked it so don't let me put you off please!

Anyway - The BIG second interview - had it yesterday... I feel it went well but basically its me VS the other candidate... So now its in the lap of the gods as it were.  I feel a bit blue now its over and there's nothing more I can do...  Oh well.... I should know by the end of the week... Keep those fingers crossed.

I'm off out to meet a friend tonight for dinner - Thai - my fave.  YUM YUM YUM cant wait.

Then its the weekend (as near as dammit anyway!) - It's looking a bit grey today so I hope the rain hods off for the weekend.... Oh wait - My phone tells me rain today and Saturday but some sun on Sunday.. So maybe some seed sowing Saturday and Digging on Sunday  TADAAAAA

Anyway must go and do some work!

Chat soon X

Friday, 4 March 2011

Tomatocide? Or suicide?

Okay we're down to four tomato seedlings left now.  This has to stop.  I think I have potted them on into to large a pot.. and they were leggy to (due to being started off too early)  Either that or its a conspiracy...  I am going to sow more tomorrow or on Sunday.  Aubergines are suffering too - although I have not potted these on - I think there isn't enough soil in the small paper pot I started them off in and they are just getting tooooo dry...  Seriously maybe they are just depressed - perhaps I should leave the radio on to keep them company during the day?  Its obvious the cat isn't providing any TLC while I'm out.

Okay I completed a "PLAN" on the http://www.growveg.com website.  I will try and scan in a copy later to show you.  This website is AWESOME (in my opinion anyway)  It works out planting spacing and has pretty pictures of all the fruit and veg and hints and tips - AND it emails you with reminders... Just what I need!  Not for everyone I know but being forgetful and rubbish at excel etc etc I need all the help I can get.  Anyway this is beginning to sound like an advert - I am not affiliated to this site (other garden planning tools do exist! :oP ) anyway...

I need to get going this weekend and get my "Farty" chokes planted - Never tasted one but I like the idea of them being like tall sunflowers.  On http://theidiotgardener.blogspot.com he described his as being as "high as an elephants eye" and that rather tickled my fancy! If they are horrid I'll just dig them all up and not bother next year!  According to my list I also need to start off aubergine (check) Brussels cabbages cauli's, leeks (late I know!) peas, peppers and the infamous tomato's.  We will see if I can NOT kill them this time... sigh

How long should sweet peas take to come up do you think?  I'm beginning to think my seeds are duff... I shall have to try some from the packet and not the saved ones...

The weather is Gorgey today - What's the betting it pisses down tomorrow when I actually have time to get out and do stuff...(refer to previous post)

Did my first solo babysitting stint this week.  YAY I survived, and happily so did the baby! 

My second interview should be next week - Tuesday maybe - I have yet to hear - Keep crossing those fingers.

Anyway hope you have all had a good week! 

Chat soon X

Monday, 28 February 2011

Rain stops play - AGAIN!

Why is it that the rain could rain any day of the week - but it chooses to be lovely during the week then piddle down (literally) at the weekend?  I got lots done at home however and had a furious bed-stripping/washing/drying/buying/washing the new stuff/ironing and remaking the bed session!  I also cleaned the Kitchen - Mr B pushed the hoover round a bit and looked very pleased with himself!

Sunday was gorgeous in the morning - enough to lull me into a false sense of security and put some washing on the line.... no sooner had I left the house, got to the allotment and started digging, did it start to rain... oh well another few forkfuls of weeds out!  However Mr B didn't notice the washing and its still there now quite frankly!  Well I'm sure it will dry sooner or later :o)

I also need to re-do my plot plan.  I figure my "Squares" are approx 8and a bit by five foot and I could happily get ten of these squares in  side by side (with generous paths).  This will take me up to just over halfway up where the soft fruits are and then there are a few "long row" beds past there.  Must get busy with excel (or my trusty paper, pencil and ruler)  Lots more work required...

On the seedling front, tomato's continue to fare badly although I still have seven as a surprise one has popped up out of nowhere in a pot where one has died YAY.  I put them all back into the heated propagator for some extra tlc to see if I can keep some alive...  aubergines are a go-go though and I have one paper pot with three in and the other two have two each (the seed was old forgive me I didn't expect them all to come up) And the chilli's are okay - although I pulled one out the other day by mistake... Need to sow more - No sign of my sweet peas yet...

We went to see the film "Paul" on Friday - I cant recommend it enough - lots of swearyness but brilliant!  go see it if you can. 

Job news - I went for a job interview near Oxfordfr Circus Last Wednesday (Mr B's birthday) and I have been called back for a second interview - just don't know when yet.  I loved it, the people who interviewed me were great - fingers crossed people!!!

Chat soon X

Saturday, 19 February 2011

New beginnings

Well fellow veg bloggers!  It certainly does help to let it all out now doesn't it!  Since I last posted I have been feeling a WHOLE lot more positive!  It really is good to have a good rant and really move on...

Spent a good few hours at the allotment last Saturday, dug just over half of a whole new bed.  (legumes I think)... and formulated some of a plan of how to carry on I'm thinking of square beds and will try and do a proper plan this week (yes I'll post it too!).

I got sowing too... did five more chillis - Yellow hot wax - they never came up in the last sowing, ring of fire and hot rainbow.  And three pots with aubergines.  I did put more than one seed in these as they were dated 2008. But now I have one pot with two seedlings, and some of the chillis have popped up already!  WOW.  Looking forward to having lots of properly productive chillis this year, I felt a little cheated last year.  I ordered chillis from T&M and I feel they came really late... so with the rubbish summer they didn't get long enough to mature.  This way I can make sure they have a REEEEEEEEEly long season.  (fingers crossed anyway!)

I potted up my early tomatoes this week - and most of them have drooped and died.  BAH  I think that this is what they call "damping off" but never fear... I have seven that look like they are going to make it and I have masses of seeds so will do more a bit later on!  (yes at the proper time I KNOW :O))

Got "THE APPOINTMENT" - EEEEEEKKKK - Am now terrified - 22nd March.

Anyway have had a lovely day today - visited my Mum - went shopping for a few bits for mr B's b'day and have watched girlie things on TV (well gotta make the most of being a footie widow havent I)  More of the same tomorrow I think.

Ooooo Saw the Kings Speech - Fab,  not sure what we will catch tomorrow there is a lot out at the mo - maybe The Boxer as its been out a little while and we dont want to miss it..

I may have an interview next Wednesday so fingers crossed X

Chat soon all X

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Swings and Roundabouts

Or should that be see-saws?

So far I am getting the opinion that this blog is a little down in the dumps.  Far from miserable normally I find myself in somewhat of a slump.  Crappy temp job - paying not very much, health - arthritis and infertility (having a problem with my fingers in particular and waiting for IVF), and a stream of petty stupid little slights and misfortunes that one would normally shrug off.  So I am going to get it all out and then, if you're still there, draw a line under it all, paste a smile on it and consign it to the past (and experience).

If you ever ring a hotline - support line or similar (I know I've done it myself) please spare a thought for the person on the end.  They can not help the crappy service that you receive - all I do here is log the calls and send them off into the ether... however it is me that gets yelled at.

Why oh why is it that when I have a HUGE exciting day out planned (in fact the ONLY thing I have planned for this entire year...) that this is the very day that my beautiful nephews christening is planned for (in May can I add) - why so far in advance???  An upside to this is I am sure they are going to ask me to be godmother... a position which I have yet to hold!  Anyway I am to miss out on going to WEMBLEY stadium to sing with my choir....

This one I feel particulary guilty about - one of my best friends has had a baby this week and quite frankly there is a small stab of a jealous feeling - we used to chat about those that had gone over to the dark side of cracked nipples, nappies and weaning etc... and now I'm left behind...

Why can't people let you know if your application is unsuccessful?

Why don't my friends ever ring me? (don't say probably because she is a miserable cow :o)

And finally where are my engagement and wedding rings???  I never take them off (well I did when I had my carpal tunnel surgery a coupla months ago - but that was it) seriously I wash up with them on, dig and decorate and I look down on Tuesday evening and see a bare finger.  One would be misfortunate but both <<<faints>>>

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^^^ see that ^^^ there is my line well and truly drawn - and if you are still reading.... WELL DONE and welcome to my cheerful blog!  :o)  Now my beforementioned gorgeous nephew has learnt a new trick...  If you say "AWWWWWW Bless" - He giggles... He's only six months old!!!

My friend also afore mentioned has had a gorgeous baby girl and I am thrilled for her - I know they have been trying for quite some time and this is going to make their family complete and happy!  can't wait to meet her.

I have been working on my plot plan I have a page of A4 note book and am drawing in where my crops are going to go.  I have runner beans, peas bush/french and borlotti beans in place, onions, carrots, leeks, garlic and spring onion parsnip and beetroot!  I am trying to plan it so I know how much of everything to order and or grow indoors in order to plant out.  I dont want to grow 200 cabbages and then only have room for 10!  So I am spending time with my veg books and my ruler (and a calculator) and trying to do some sums.  I will post the plan when I have finished it! - please no laughing...

They are selling potatoes at the lottie hut on Saturday - So I am going to go and introduce myself and buy some seed spuds and onion sets while I'm at it!  I hope I can get someone to give me the low down on the site do's and don'ts too!  YAY can't wait

Its all probably going to be very wrong!  but its fun - So there!

Chat soon :o)  X

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Wet 'n Wild

The weather that is - what where you thinking!!!  So I have stayed indoors and been domestic.  To anyone who knows me this would be acomplete shock... my best friend and I always maintain that dull women have imaculate houses - and neither of us are dull!  Again I was going to pot up the tomato's and start some more things but have not got around to it.  The computermebob and the tv are far tooo distracting.  So when Mr B comes back from footie he will have a shock and a loooovley sparkly kithcen.

Anyhoo due to lack of activity (and figuring out how to plug in the camera to the new computermebob) I have a few pics of the plot!
Okay - This is from the top looking down (there is a slope involved)


And this is the other direction looking up!




A puzzle for anyone who cares about it!  If you can identify this then there is a prize... okay maybe not a prize but I'd like it a whole lot....!

And while your at it let me know what this is too!  Answers on a postcard please!  :o)
Anyway, thats it for the piccies.  Been really bad diet wise this week EEEEK.  I'm doing the Cambridge plan which is basically three of their sachets/bars a day and nothing else... I've done the opposite today and eaten toast, chinese nibbles, crisps and pistachio nuts..  crap.  I've just started to notice the difference in my clothes - I have lost 19lb in three weeks so not too bad... cmon chalk a line under it and carry on. 

No job news this week.  My sidekick and I at the temp job I've got have been laughing ourselves silly this week at one or two of the customers and been generally adolescent about it all.  Someone from India sent us an email chasing for some support and advising it was now "too late" for one of her colleagues.  Some quick wit promptly sent round a picture of a hanged man in reference to her Ingrish and we were inconsolable.  I have to get out of there!  HELP!  If anyone know of any get rich schemes please message me, I promise not to let anyone elso know - or any donations would be greatfully appreciated LOL

No films yet this week.  Going to see The Kings Speech tomorrow.

Chat soon X

Monday, 31 January 2011

Good news, and bad news....

What do you want first....Okay

Bad news... No luck on the interview I went for... thought I was a wonderful candidate etc etc blah blah blah not enough power point was the only concrete bit... BAH

Good news? I still have my own hair and teeth!  Bah boom ;O)

Anyway - got down to the allotment on Saturday.  Was a bit on the chilly side - I wore (I swear this is true) knee length socks, a vest top, a long sleeved thin top, a long sleeved thick top, jeans, a jumper and a scraggy old cardi-jacket type thing that I have kept for gardening purposes.  I looked like a fat robin! 

I measured the plot - its about 100m by 20m and took some "before pics" So I can be a bit geeky and do a proper plan.  I've got to have something to ignore.... surely!  Then I finished the bed that I had started and got halfway down another.  I'm so pleased.  My brother thought that we wouldn't be able to manage a whole plot but I think that a few weeks hard work now and it will look like a completely different space.  Did about four hours and only left when the light was fading.  There were other people there too :oO  two of them - obviously a new plot.

Fell into a scalding hot bath when I got home and put my PJs on immediately.  Had my soup in front of the TV.  FAB.

I had visitors too...  a black bird, a robin and a scraggy looking black and white cat.  The birds came for the worms and I think the cat came to watch.  I went again on Sunday - took Mr B to look and the brother came too.  Mr B and I cleared up the dead beans still on the poles and took the poles down and the brother dug two beds over (I say dug but I can't be sure that its done properly as it only took him an hour.... hmmmm will inspect next week and perhaps go over it myself).

More good news - I got more seeds popping up aplenty in the heated propogator!  2 of my chillies AT LAST!  An AR Hot and a Hot Rainbow!  Also three cabbages and two caulis  YAY.... Can't wait.  Meant to pot up my tomato's but was knackered!

Films of the week -

127 hours - Brilliant - Superbly acted - Go see it.  Wonderful.  Lots of black humour which I didn't expect.
Black Swan - Dark, dark and darker - Good though worth watching.

Anyway  - must go.  Am at "work"  Chat soon X

PS: - I will post pics as soon as I have figured out how to plug in my camera to the new computermebob.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Another day another dollar?

Like a lot of others, I found myself being made redundant at the end of last year.  Yes I was bored in my job and yes - I had been looking for another "better" job for quite some time - But dagnammit it was my crappy job and how dare they get rid of me.  It paid the mortgage and quite nicely provided for hollidays, pressies and treats....

So I finished in the middle of November and have been FULL on job hunting since (well before I left even).  Now we aren't down ot brass farthings but jeez gimme a break.  I now find myself in temping hell.  I am "lucky" to have found a regular gig and am now to be found rotting on a "helpdesk".  As the temp I am simultaneously ignored and dumped on.  No one has bothered to explain the office niceties (exits, toilets, dress down friday) but seems to be able to find me whenever there is pointless faxing, copying and other shitty shit shite jobs to be done.

Add to this that the rest of the time I stare blankly at the screen for want of anything to do and it's pretty much driving me mental... all for £58 more than I need to put in the joint account each month.  Hence the reason that I am posting in the middle of the day...

Still waiting on the result of an interview that I went to over a week ago but who cares... I'm only a temp.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Sow far sow good

Hey - I know its early (some might disagree) but I have been unable to resist sowing a few seeds.  I have 17 Tomato seedlings in a tray by the french windows (Gardeners delight, Marmande, Moneymaker, Tigrella and Golden Sunrise) fingers crossed for the final three but I'm not holding out too much hope.  Not going to worry too much, I'm going to bring these on in the conservatory and give some to the neighbours and a friend or two.  I have also sowed 6 chillis - 3 AR Hot (long story) and one each of Hot Lemon, Spagna and Hot rainbow.  Cant wait for them to pop up, been about a week already... humph... C'mon already!

I got busy with my snazzy paper pot maker today - aided by some old newspapers and made 30 small seedling pots.  I have now sowed and stashed in the heated propogator 20 Red Onions, four Greyhound Cabbages and four All Year Round Cauliflowers! 

I know its ridiculous to be so excited but YAY!  I can just imagine all the neat rows of lovely veg set out in the alottment!  Got over there for the first time on Saturday and dug over just about three quarters of a bed.  I hope to finish this off this Saturday and get it covered up to warm up.  On the way home I popped into B&Q and spent up with my xmas vouchers!  Armed with a list I've been making at work (another story but garden planning is all I'm doing at the mo - my own - and no thats not what I'm there for)  bought garlic, white onion sets cauli, cabbage, sweetcorn, multi coloured carrots, brussels and peas.  Was tempted by the potatoes but thought it was a bit early... I'll get them later on...

Cinema - Saw Morning Glory - thought it was going to be pappy crap, I was pleasantly suprised!  7 out of ten very entertaining.  Then on sunday we saw The Green Hornet.  Lots of action, laughs, cool gadgets and  a nice story.  Loved it.  Go see it!

I'm waiting on the result of an interview.... I hate waiting.  Hope to come back with some positive news on the seeds, the job and well everything. 

Chat soon X

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Me and two veg

Hey... Welcome along!

I don't suspect that there are going to be many of you so thanks for joining me.

Me and two veg. Hmmmm, You may have caught the stunning word play on Meat and Two Veg but what does it mean and whats it all about. Well this blog is going to be about me, whats occuring in my life and the things that matter to me, and will feature quite a bit of garden and allotment chat!

Me - 36, female, married one cat. I've been married for just over 6 years and I've had the cat slightly longer. I love reading, cinema and growing my own veg. We are all novices.... (at most things actually) We're just stumbling through like most people and finding our own way.

My garden - 70' on two levels (we live on quite a steep hill). We are lucky as some previous occupant of the house arranged the garden in this way. All we have really done in this is see what was growing, dig those up and plant our own - Kill those, plant more... We're getting there. Hey we went from a flat where we had four pots outside (which the kindly neighbour watered) to all this. I have one main veg spot and I do some in pots and grow bags and forced in between the flowers.

My allotment - (well my brothers allotment) WOW....a brand new venture... There is so much I want to grow but just don't have the room for at home. I should really with a 70 foot garden but I still want to enjoy my home garden and have friends over and for it to be a pretty place. So the allotment is going to be a working veg and fruit spot. Watch this space.

Anyway thats a few tit bits to set the tone. Hope you enjoy this as much as I'm going to!