Tuesday, December 2, 2008

so it comes down to this....the last night in 335.

i was kinda hoping for a quiet night to reflect and think back over the past 3yrs 1 mth, but due to the hold up with the removal men, i shall instead be running round like a headless chook....with wet hair trying to get as much crossed off the to-do list as possible, so i can be away from here at a reasonable time tomorrow.

todays prompt for JYC is about weather, so i'm going to do something about hot and cold xmases....not sure what yet....will ponder in the bath in a wee while!.

with moving out tomorrow i'm not sure how often i'll be able to update yet, but will do as much as possible.

Monday, December 1, 2008

that kick worked Emma.......

having said they would turn up at 4pm, they rung at 1345 and said they'd be here at 1430!!. hooray!!.....my life is now in storage!. am a bit panicky about being finished by wed, but know i'll get there in the end. got the kidlets all day here tomorrow, so will put them to good use....duster and cloth at the ready....nothing like a bit of child labour!!.

visted my mate Ann today in her sick bed.....ouch, it hurts to watch her move. she was in good spirits and has her wonderfull hubby home this week to help out. Bless him, he even made me a cup of tea....i havent had tea there since......oooh....cant remember the date, but do remember the maker ;-).

1st Dec today and the prompt for JYC is to write a dedication for your album. i shall work on that shortly, just writing down the words, and will do the page on saturday at the crop. have decided to do a dedication page and then a 1st dec page, since my stuff went today...so have photos of a flat full of boxes, and will photograph it in the light tomorrow virtually empty!. have had a sneaky peak at Anns journal and its gorgeous as per normal...shes such a talented lady!.

right, off to run a hot bath and soak this weary body, then settle down for an evening of JYC inspiration!.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

good things and bad things.....

first the good.....i made the cover for my 'Journal your Christmas' last night whilst babysitting and am thrilled with it today....was a bit unsure last night, but happy today!. the colours are better in real life...i had to play round a bit to try and not get loads of reflections on the overlay.
am seriously thinking of taking it away with me now to do as and when i can, and am also thinking of taking my laptop, so i can sort the photos whilst i'm away also...will ponder that some more...never travelled with my laptop before!.
JYC starts tomorrow....cant wait to read the 1st prompt and make notes.....roll on next saturday when i can sit down and do some more!!.

now the bad news.....the sodding removal men cancelled me today, cos the job before mine was longer than expected. so now they are coming at 4pm tomorrow....has really set me back....tomorrow was cleaning the flat time, so now i'll have to work round the boxes and try and catch up on tuesday when one of the kids is here in the morning. (insert loads of rude words!).

Saturday, November 29, 2008

4 nights left in this flat.

i've begun the major pack up today.....i have 2 men and a van arriving tomorrow to take all the 2 people/heavy stuff to storage, so have been busily packing everything up so they can cram the van as full as possible and save me some runs!. when i moved here 3 yrs ago it all fitted into a transit van, so i'm hopefull alot of stuff can go tomorrow.
am taking a break to watch the rugby.....wales v oz on tv, and all blacks v england on an online match tracker!. after 1/2hr both oz and nz are leading their games!.

am all excited about doing the JYC, and have finally nailed down the album, so am happy about that.....just want to sit and cut pages now, but i cant til next week!!.

am being disconnected on wed, but will check in from time to time and will check emails as much as poss.

oh!, and 3 wks today, i'll be getting ready to head to australia....i leave around 10pm sat 20th.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

isnt it always the way.....

my mojo has come home and i cant scrap yet!!. i have another week to get shifted out of the flat and cant even begin to break out the stash, so i just have to sit and look at the bag and wish!.
i have bagged up stash for Shimelles 'Journal your Christmas', along with tools and my folding table, and plan on taking the lot with me to stay with LM, and to the hotel i plan on staying in, in 3 wks time when i go have some hermit time!.
cant wait for the prompts to come and get started on this journal....theres alot to record this dec/jan.

4wks tomorrow i see my parents again, after 2 yrs!.
am beginning to get all excited now!.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

i feel a one year on post should be the order of the day.....

'cept i havent thought much about it yet....will mull it over and post tomorrow or monday.

think i will shelve the new blog til the new year, but have had lots of feedback on the idea, so will still do it once in the new flat!.

a week late, but a huge hug and thanks to my mates Ann and Ally for taking my to see Joseph.....it was just brilliant....i had no idea the Elvis lived in the time of the Pharoes(or however you spell it!)
will get the photos off the camera and post some as well!.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

i've started a new blog!!!


click on the above link and it will take you there. i love blog hopping...i quite often do it on a sunday morning before starting my jobs for the day!. anyway, this morning whilst reading a forum post somewhere i came across a photo of someones bookshelves and i spent ages looking at all the books(recipes ones...even better!), and it got me thinking. so i have decided to try a blog about your bookshelves. it will require sharing pics of what you have on your bookselves....hehe!!. great nosey factor me reckons.
i have also tried a new blog place cos i'm not liking this place much anymore and when i move into my new flat next year i plan on starting a new blog so am trying out a new host and will see how that goes!.

i hope some of my friends will play!.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

i love my crop!

today was spent in the local church hall along with a handfull of fellow scrapbookers and mates. i did my one layout, and i'm quite chuffed with it. however what i take from today is inspiration....Ann had her Shimelle xmas album from a class she did last year and everyone was talking about it. then Sonia went and got hers, and it all got me thinking.....bit of a worry really!!. anyway, this dec/jan will be full on, busy and exciting for me what with moving out of this flat, going to Oz for xmas and E's christening, seeing Lynz over new year and just being in another country!. so i have just been to Shimelle.com and brought the class and then popped over to an online stash store and brought some xmas goodies for the class.....erm....did i not just try to sell stash today!!.
so, thank you fellow scrapmates, for inspiring me today, and for providing the usual gags and laughter!!.

Monday, October 27, 2008

this is the real post for today.....

yesterday was a ikky wet grey english day so i decided to do some blog and forum hopping round various places i have bookmarked. i fell upon a forum from the USA that a couple of threads about people building their own homes in remote locations.
i read the first thread yesterday and the other one today.
the first thread is 61(yes you read right) pages long detailing the building of a brem(may have the spelling wrong...will check after) built into the side of a mountain with the most incrediable views imaginable. the lady who writes it is so thorough in sharing what they are doing, and how they do it and its incredibly inspirational and makes you think you just do it!.
the second thread is 25 pages long and describes a couple building a non electrical house again in a fairly remote location, and again the lady writing it descibes it with such passion. she is aiming for a more self sufficient lifestyle than maybe the first couple are.....she certainly describes the need to gather and store food and collect wood more than the 1st couple. her dream of this lifestyle is/was coming true until a very nasty turn for the worst happened a couple of weeks ago, and now she is on a knife edge as to whether she can hold onto her dream. i cross everything things work out for her.

both threads have piccies, with the 1st couples house views being truly amazing and worth looking at if you do nothing else. this is a link to the forum both those threads are on. i'll come back with the names of both those threads in a mo.
1st couples thread is 'off grid in east tennesee', and the 2nd couples is 'non electrical homestead McMinn county'.

oh how i'd love to be able to do that....build something in some remote location that would provided me with all of lifes neccesities. i yearn for the simplier life more and more.

well blow me down with a feather....

i have 3 readers....but one my blister...does that count??!.

see, no edited post there lol!!.

will soon need one of them counter thingamebobs!!!.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

wooooo hoooo......

i have a reader!!!!

g'day matey!!. no blog for you anymore tho???.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

thought i'd share......

i have no idea how many peeps read my blog.....few i suspect, however there will be some scrappers amongst you so thought i'd share this link that my buddie Ann sent me.
theres a free online class over at Jessica Sprague.com about gathering your stories.
sounds interesting, and while i'm still not scrapping at the moment, i still believe in the concept of preserving your memories.

ermmm.....just noticed another little thing that i dont like about blogspot....just having to click on lines that appear at the top of my screen.....seems they have changed some things.
i may move the blog to another place next year when i get my new flat....new flat, new blog?!.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Is there anything those blasted slugs dont eat?!.

Grrrr......i planted 35 leek seedlings last weekend and today there is only 18 left. Those bloody slugs.....this is war now....am going to have to get out the big guns and go on a slug murdering rampage!.

on the plus side....i planted 3 strawberry plants a while back and they are madly having babies for me so next yr i'm going to have loads more plants. not sure any of them are early strawberries tho, so may have to get some of those so that i get lots of yumminess all season long!.

In other news, i have to find a new home in the new year as the rent on the flat i currently live in is increasing by £50/mth, and isnt worth it in my opinion. So i am moving out early Dec, staying with one of the famillies i work for for the 2 1/2wks before i go to Oz for a month, then staying with them again once i get back whilst i find a new place. this time i'm going to find a cat/chook/kid friendly place and see if i cant work from my place.

thats it for now...hope to plant onions and garlic this weekend!.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

so chuffed with myself!!.

hmmmm.....blogger is acting very strange with its picture upload...its all text rather than the actually photo that i can drag around the post!.

so from the top.....some of my spuds!!.

my compost bin that i built this morning from 4 pallets and some wire to hold it together. i figured the wire would make it easy to take it apart later to get to the compost and move it around....we'll see!.

no's 3 and 5 are my tomatoes....never grown them before, and they arent red yet, but still i managed to grow toms!!. the little one fell off when i was weeding so brought it home to photograph!.

no 4 is one of my strawberry plants....might get another couple of s/berries before the end of the year!.

fingers crossed this posts ok!.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

ok, this is a bloody worry......

You Are Australia
You have an a great life, and you consider yourself very lucky.
Although you're thankful for what you have, you know you're also a bit of an underdog.

You are modest, authentic, and sincere. You don't boast... if anything, you're self deprecating.
You aren't formal, and people consider you to be very approachable. You remain relaxed and casual in any situation.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

trying freecycle!.

Today i'm offering my first load of stuff on freecycle....some magazines that i've had piled up here. i finally went thru them and sorted them into ripped and unripped and am now seeing if i can give them away before binning them!.
if that works, i have a few other things to put up and get rid of!.
freecycle...its a great idea....giving away perfectly good stuff you no longer use, instead of sending it to the tip!.

getting lots of spuds from the allotment now.....definately got to get to grips with successional planting next yr, altho spuds keep well if stored correctly!.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

nostalgic music.....

I dont often venture over to youtube, but did so this arvo and 'got lost' for about 3hrs finding songs and clips from various stages of my life. I had a wonderful time and decided to share a few things i found.
Thought i'd try and make it in cronological order......

things from my early years.....
the goodnight kiwi (not a music clip as such!)
the mockers 'one black friday'
dance exponents 'victoria'
dragon 'are you old enough
dragon 'april sun in cuba'
jimmy barnes 'working class man'
patea maori club 'poi e' (well, its gotta be there....lol!!)
herbs 'sensitive to a smile'
shona laing 'glad i'm not a kennedy'

then came the U2 era......oh how i loved Bono.....
with or without you ( best listened to in the dark with the volume sky high.....lol! 2nd fav)
one tree hill (this came out around the time of my godsons death and it always reminds me of him xx)
where the streets have no name (this clip is from the movie 'rattle and hum'....i went and saw this movie on the big screen soooo many times!)
sunday bloody sunday (the red rock concert version from 1983)
the unforgetable fire ( my all time fav U2 song)
a sort of homecoming (3rd fav)

then i came to the UK and found irish pubs......
well...one pub in particular....The Swan in south london!. i listened to many bands in there over the time and have my favs.....'the storm'......*sighhhhh.....james mcnally*. i, along with a friend used to go see the storm where ever we could, and got to know the guys....james and tommi. james has the most gorgeous voice and is an extremely talented musician. at first i used to ask for requests, but after a while(see we were clingons!), he used to just sing for me....always saying these next two songs where for his friend from NZ!(any kiwis present would cheer....but it was all for me!!!). i've tried to find clips of james singing on youtube but cant, so the best i can do is find some of his more recent work. he plays in Ronan Keatings backing band and also in the Afro Celts.
RK's 'when you say nothing at all' (he's on key boards and tin whistle...in the dark shades!)
AC's 'when you're falling' (with peter gabriel....hes on keyboards and bodhran)
and, these are the 2 songs he used to sing for me, as sung by the talented men who made them famous....
Paul Brady 'the island' ( i wanted a concert clip for this, but felt this was the strongest vocal performance i could find)
Christy Moore 'the voyage' (unfortunately, not the whole song, or good vid....just listen!)

Christy Moore soon became a firm fav of mine....many bands in the Swan covered his songs and his concerts were amazing....another incredible voice. heres a couple of more of his songs...
Ride on ( james used to sing this beautifully as well!)
city of chicago

now, heres some other irish music that has happy memories for me....
fields of athenry
grace (i always loved this song, then in the mid 90's i went to the irish tenors in CHCH with mum and she got all emotional when this came on...it turns out her mother used to sing this all the time. so it means more to me now. this version is sung my the wolfe tones....a republican band that i have to say, were brill in concert.....so much passion in one room!.)
streets of new york ( another fav wolfe tones song...the others i like of theirs are probably to much for my listeners....lol!)
usta love her ( a sawdoctors classic....many a night spent dancing...yes me....in the swan to this!)
N17 ( as above!)
las vegas in the hills of donegal ( goats dont shave is the name of the band and i have be known to boogie to this as well!!)

finally i want to end with a few songs that i enjoy......from men who can sing....strong voices (am discovering i have a thing for mens voices!)
elvis 'kentucky rain' (has there ever been a better voice?)
garth brookes 'the dance' (such a beautiful song!)

right, i wonder if blogger will let me post all these links!.

Monday, August 25, 2008

the photo post!

little E at 3 weeks old, in the outfit i sent her.

groovy blurry photo of the allotment next to mine....altho those are my spuds just beyond the toms.
i can grow tomatoes!!!.

errmm....demijohns...and ermmm...there were 2 more in the car plus 2 boxes of stuff(which i still havent looked at!).

this post could have various titles.....

a) 'how cool is freecycle?'
b) 'let the winemaking commence!'
c) 'OMG, what was i thinking!!!'
d) 'hope my mother doesnt read my blog!'

a couple of weeks ago i noticed on freecycle someone was giving away some demijohns and winepress, so i sent off my email saying yes please, but was to late. i had noticed some others before but never heard back from the guy. at that time i posted on SSish that there was some on my freecycle and other than wine, what else could you make in them. everybody said grab them and you can make anything!!. so i was gutted the guy never got back to me. then this lot came up and again i was too late......or so i thought....
on saturday i got an email from the guy saying the 1st offeree hadnt bothered to turn up and the haul was mine if i still wanted it!!. so i said yes please and could collect sun or mon. the wife rung me back and it was arranged to collect this morning!.
and i have.....i now have 15 clear and 6 brown glass demijohns, and 2 boxes of wine making equipment which i havent explored yet!. the wife said they were just sitting in her dads shed and should go to a good home!.
i notice on SSish this morning, there's thread about blackberry wine, and there's loads of them at the allotment, so maybe i should try that....free berries in free equipment.....very little to buy....would be an excellent start!.
will post a pic of the boot full of bottles, as well as some other pics from the allotment once i have taken them off the camera and resized them.

oh!, and if anyone(read ally!!) is wondering why????????......its all part of the whole self reliance thing hunni...i havent really lost my marbles!.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

first ever harvest!!.

this morning i harvested some potatoes......WOW!!....how amazing is that!. i took the girls up to the allotment to plant some runners (gonna give them another go and hope for the best!), and noticed one of the potato plants had alot of yellow leaves, so decided to lift it and see what was underneath!. there was a couple of green spuds, cos i didnt earth up at all!, a couple that housed some slugs and the rest were fine!. i gave one to LM for her dinner...and had a mouthful, and have brought the rest home....and they are cooking now!!

this is big!!!.....i have never eaten anything i have grown before! i have taken a photo of a couple of them and will upload it later, plus a report on the taste.....which we all know will be outstanding.....spuds fresh from the ground.....underground 12hrs ago....etc etc etc!!.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

SSish Day and Freecycle

Yesterday was the 1st ever Self Sufficientish Day.....a day when we were asked not to spend on the forum(not that i spend ages!), and to do something that follows the whole self sufficiency ideal. so i cut up the bassinette sheets i had got at the car boot sale and made wee wipes. OMG....how wonderful are they?! flannelette instead of toilet paper!.....theres nothing else you need to say!. (for those worried about visiting the ladies at my flat....i still have toilet paper!)

today i finally got a positive result from freecycle!. i've tried a couple of times before to take some items that were offered. the 1st time the person didnt reply to my email. the 2nd time i was to late for a old push mower....would have been good for the lottie, and finally yesterday i got the goods!!....well, got the call, and collected tonight!. i took a pile of 'grow your own' vege gardening magazines.

have the week off work and have visited the lottie a few times...so much so, that i have overworked some muscles in my legs and back. so have done a few chores round the flat, then will go back to there tomorrow or over the weekend.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

and here she is......


Friday, August 1, 2008


I'm an auntie to a girl baby, who i heard bleating when she was an hour old!!!.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

phew!, its still sunday night in NZ!!.

I promised Squig i would update over the weekend, and i'm cutting it fine!!.
I havent really updated cos there hasnt been much to tell.....i've been working or babysitting, and not getting to the allotment as much as i should due to rain. however i make strides each time i go. the spuds are all flowering, i have one pea left, but suspect the slugs will eat that!. i have some french beans that have come up since monday, and a sweetcorn plant. most of the toms have survived the transplant and my rose is full of new growth, so hopefully i'll get another couple of flowers from it this year!.

so to pics....
this is the most recent allotment pic, altho its from about a month ago and alot has changes since then.

this is my rose....Abraham Darby

heres the girls enjoying a dip in the lid of the sandpit.....LM got a swimming pool for her birthday a week ago, but this photo was taken before then. it wasnt quite warm enough for them to be it it, but they insisted, hence they've still got clothes on!!.

and just for Ian.....just to prove the aussie hat you gave me for xmas does get worn......

so thats the update. i'll get a more recent lottie pic this weekend after i've done some work on it!.

next update should be from auntie rachel in a weeks time to announce B or E's arrival!.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

allotment, week 3!.

well not alot to share really!. i didnt go to the lottie last weekend as i had a sore throat and wanted to just get better, so tuesday was the next time i got up there. i spent an hour or so there about 730pm, which was a really nice time of day.....cool enough to not get heat stroke!!. i turned over the 2 beds i started the previous thurs and started another as well as water the spuds and rose. i noticed that what i thought was a spud last week, was infact a weed, cos next to it was a spud!!!.
then i popped up last night to lay another strip of black plastic and all my spuds had sprouted above ground!!. today i've been up twice....to fix the plastic- its very windy today and the plastic is a bit airborne, and to work on the beds. I turned one of the beds a third time and weeded it, so its pretty much good to go now, plus marked and turned the remainder of beds in the half of the plot i'm going to use.
i want to get up there at least twice this week, so that next weekend, i can start planting the stuff from my living room!. some of the plants are now started to show signs of having had enough in their pots and really need to get into the ground. i just hope they'll last the week.

in other news one of my 'kidlets' turned 1 yesterday, and his big bro will be 3 on wed!. cant believe i've looked after big bro since he was 4mths old!. that means LM will be 3 in about 3 wks!.
have got some photos to take off the camera of the plot, and my beautiful rose!.
til then, cya!.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Allotment, day 7!

I popped up to the allotment after work for an hour last night. When i got there i saw a new pile of compost, so grabbed my large blue IKEA bag and shovel and hauled 3 full bags to my plot before it all went this time!. Last week there was some as well, but it was all gone be the time i was organised to get some!.
After i got the compost, i inspected my lot....lol!!. my rose is going well, altho it has something...will need to do some research. theres spots on its leaves!. i have one potato plant coming thru as well!!!.
I marked out and dug over 2 more beds...no weeding, just turned it over and will go back over each of them this weekend.
I've decided my plan is to get the beds done and planted in the first half of the plot, covering the other half as i buy the plastic, then weed out the paths and get them tidy.....then slowly work my way thru the covered half!!. I think alot of that will be done in the autumn and winter as i wont plant anything that will need dealing with in dec/jan, as i'll be away for a month.
While its a big job, i'm not daunted by it at all....i can't wait to see how it all goes and what food i can grow!.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

First weekend on the allotment!.

blimey! tis hard work, especially today, when i reckon we had the hottest day this year!.

Yesterday i went and got my compost from Anns and headed over to the plot. i started digging a patch but found it is riddled with ants, so need to find some cornmeal. Apparently the cornmeal is a humane-ish way of getting rid of the ants, because if left, they will undermine your plants. So i outlined the size of the plot and gave it a rough weed, then moved onto the next one for the spuds that need to go in. Whilist doing this i meet the man(Jim) who has the plot next to mine, and who lives in one of the houses mine backs onto. Nice fellow...gave me to allotment lowdown and the history of my plot!. My plot was held by the same old man for about 20yrs, and has only been lying idle for 2yrs. seems it always had plenty of produce!. Jim's not a gardener, just potters around!. He offered to strim the edge of my plot, so i decided to give him some spare spuds, as he'd mentioned he might try some if its not to late.

I worked for about 2hrs then went home for lunch and felt ill(headache) so decided not to go back.

This morning i went up at about 830 for about an hr and a half....got the spud patch ready....turned and weeded 3x. then went home for a loo break and off to Crews Hill for some black plastic to control weeds and a rose bush!. ( i'd been talking to mum about Abraham Darby, thinking it was a climber, but it isnt...mum has just trained it that way!!....happy dance from me...its my fav rose!)

Luckily for me there was one Abraham Darby rose left so i brought it, along with 10ms of plastic...thats gonna have to be brought each week, cos its not cheap!.

Went back and met Sarah, the lady who had made contact with me via the Grapevine. We had a natter, then i went and planted my rose, and potatoes. By then it was 130pm and boiling hot, so i went home. Feel like i have a touch of heatstroke, so didnt go back to work, only to collect the stuff that i didnt want to leave overnight.

heres some piccies...

this is the plot about 130pm this arvo.....since then Jim has strimmed the edge, so its looking a little more tidier around the edges!. I plan on covering the bottom half with black plastic while i get this front section in order, then slowly work the rest.

The first thing i planted on my allotment....Abraham Darby rose!.

the potato patch.....2 rows of about 7 chitted spuds!!.

I'm really looking forward to turing this into a productive garden.....full of vegetables, fruit, herbs and cutting flowers.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

i'm offically have an allotment!!!


And here is what the allotment looks like, as of 430pm this afternoon!. I dropped in to check the key works and take a piccie. I'll be in there in earnest this weekend, clearing and planting the stuff that desperately needs to go in the ground, then work on the rest after that!.

one happy bunny here!!!.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

i have news!! i have news!!.

well well, it certainly pays to have a moan now and again!!.
Ms Lottie officers supervisor rung me today and advised me my paperwork was back in the post to me, so its a couple of days away for my keys!!.

Also, this morning on the grapevine, i had a message from the other new lady at the allotment site. she was my photo of the plot, recognised it and contacted me to say hi!!. thats really cool. she even offered to let me in to the site to check the state of my plot, but now that i've had this call, it should all be ok!!.

i'm a happy bunny this evening!!.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Allotment update number 478!

wellllll......i'm still waiting!.
Still waiting for the keys, still waiting to have the complaints officer ring me back!.
so, yesterday i rung in again to speak to a complaints officer again....which i managed to for all of 30secs, before she put me thru to the allotments officer...who i was laying the complaint about!.
the upshot is.......apparently it takes 6-8wks to process an application at this time of the year, and the poor love has been sick again. she has been working on the april applications this past week!.
i suggested that if it takes 6-8wks, that information should be added to the website. nowhere along this waiting road has anyone said 6-8wks to me!.
anyway, my complaint has been laid and her supervisor will ring me back, but i shall not hold my breath. having never had much to do with councils before i see the only thing they are actually hot on is making sure you pay your council tax on time!.
i'll let you know when update number 479 is ready!.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

First Harvest!!.

i just ate my first bean and strawberry!!. yummy yummy yummy!!!.
turn away now if you are sensitive to bad language......
"(^*&%^$£")()*^$%$" council!. its been 7wks and still no keys. the deposit still hasnt come out of my bank account, and i have laid a complaint as of yesterday afternoon.
!*&^%W"*()&)^^$""!*&))£! is all i can say!.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

some photos....

here are some of the veges and fruit i currently have growing.....

a french bean in various stages of growth....


and 2 cucumbers....don't know about you, but i have never seen cucumbers growing before, so am really intrigued by watching them develop!.

as of the post today, still no news on the allotment keys.....they'll be getting a phone call from my on thursday as i take wednesday as the middle of the week, and Ms lottie officer said the middle of this week!.

Monday, May 12, 2008

some news!.

i just rung the council, yet again but didnt speak to the allotment officer. then i missed a called on my mobile from her to say she has my application....* does a small dance*...and she should have it processed by the middle of next week at the lastest.
so, at least its in there, and it should all be ok, cos i need to start planting these seedlings!.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

1st ever car boot sale!!.

I've been here 5yrs this time, and lived here twice before, but have never been to a car boot sale.....until this morning!. I was told about a big one 5mins up the road from me last yr, and i went one morning to find it, but couldnt....i didnt travel far enough i later found out.
well, i woke up this morning and knew i wouldnt be able to go back to sleep, so decided to go and find it again. I did...its huge....altho, for those that know Riccarton Market in CHCH, its about 1/2 the size!.
I spent £5 and came home with another 3 strawberry plants....i have 12 plants now, plus one has a runner, so i really do think i have enough strawberrys!!!!!.
I also brought 5 flat bassinette sheets that i'm going to cut up as wee wipes....instead of using loo paper for number ones. And i got 4 napkins to use instead of paper towels and a lovely pressed glassed bowl.....cos i dont have many bowls......LOL!!!.( errmmm....i have a bowl fetish and would hate to think how many i really have between here and NZ!). nothing cost over a £1, bar the strawberrys which were .50p each.

Then right at the end i found heaven in a stall.....beautiful vintage tablecloths and linen sheets. Luckily for me( more like my wallet and storage capacity!), she had sold out of most of it bar some pillow cases and table runners. However, she is there every week.....*rubs hands together*.

Tis Mothers Day in NZ today.....Happy Mothers Day ma xx.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

lookie lookie.....

lookie.....a lil strawberry!!. i cant wait to be able to pick it and eat it....no sharing!!.

errm....below is the state of my living room.....looks like a garden center!. i am still waiting for my allotment...i spoke to the office yesterday and asked for the allotment officer to ring me...she didnt yesterday. i shall try again today!. tis been 4 1/2wks since i sent in the paperwork and deposit.

not much else to report at the moment....the weather has finally decided to warm up and its beautiful at the moment.
hopefully the next post will say.....'i've got the keys'....but dont hold your breath!.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

show n tell !

this is what the 'scrapmates' do when they get together for some event other than the crop....have a mass photoshoot!!. this was from friday night at Allys ( 2nd from left! ), where we had gathered to take part on the UKS cybercrop. I'll spare you any pics of me in a blond wig and feather boa!.

Below is more veges growing and a lovely snapshot of my condensation. ( tis not safe to leave the windows open at night). from left...beetroot, a cucumber and a bean, cherry toms and sweetcorn.

oh hurry up allotment keys!!.

Soapnuts......they seem to be going well....the washing doesnt have a nasty smell or anything like that....almost like it has been hanging outside. I'm on my 3rd wash with this 3rd bag and after the next was i'll boil this lot up to make washing liquid for the dishes and also try it as shampoo. will let you know how it goes.

Monday, April 28, 2008


i just rung the council to follow up on my allotment this morning. I was getting a tad worried cos the deposit cheque hasn't been banked yet and its already 3 wks since i sent in the form and chq. anyway, the allotment lady has been on leave for a week and a quick check on the computer told me that my name wasnt yet on plot 21!. i have to ring and speak to the lottie lady directly and see whats what, otherwise its back to square one and i'll be pissed!. at least plot 21 doesnt have anyone elses name on it!.

i have some photos of growing food to share once i get them off the camera and also have washed with soapnuts for the first time and all seems fine so far!.
will update with photos over the enxt few days.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

boysenberries and property porn!.

whilst at the farmers market this morning i came across a boysenberry plant. it was the last one he had, so brought it, along with a blackcurrant plant!. boysenberry ice cream here i come....lol!!.
really need those lottie keys now...hopefully will get the letter this week!.

on one of the forums i visit i came across a link to an estate agents that deals with rural farms. i had a wee browse this morning and came across an 8acre croft on the Isle of Lewis. *sighhhhhh.........*.........its on the coast, has a river boundry with unlimited fishing rights for salmon and trout, a lovely wee whitewashed cottage and some other outbuildings. obviously, i wont be moving as i dont have a spare xxx xxx lying around, but its a nice wee thought for the day!!.

love the term property porn!!.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


I've just brought some soapnuts to try. They are the 'fruits' of the soap nut tree and the shell contains a natural soapy substance that cleans your bits!!. You can use them in the washing machine, or boil them up and use the liquid for the dishes, your body and hair, as a household cleaning product. and.....once you've finished with the shells you can chuck 'em in the compost!!.
i've been reading a couple of treads on various forums and a few people have found seeds in some of the shells(ones that have escaped detection by some bigwig type!), and have planted them!!. apparently tho, it takes about 10yrs to actually get a crop, but no harm in planting and germinating the seed....you never know, you could become self sufficient in soap!!.

allotment update....there is no update yet....still waiting to hear back from the council re collecting the keys!.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

wooo hoooo......

one of my friends has brought a mooncup!!. one down, a few more to go....hehe!!!.

Al, you asked if i'd my allotment planned....yep pretty much, just need to do some fine tuning, check what crops can companion plant etc and find out if i can get some compost from the council...i can get compost bins for a fiver, so am hoping i can get some compost as well, to give my veges the best start possible!!.

not much else to say at present....just waiting for the paperwork to be done and get the ok to collect keys!!.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

do you wanna see it?!!!.....

i sent the cheque off for my allotment this morning. theres about a 2-3wk wait for the paperwork to be done, then its collect the keys, and away i go!!.

here it is.....this was taken at 1030 in the morning, and i'm standing on the westen boundry. it looks like it gets good sun for most of the day. its bordered by an allotment to the north and one to the west and thats it....kinda perfect for me...i dont like being in the middle of things!. I'd have liked to have a shed left or a greenhouse, but never mind...considering the state of the other vacant plots on the site, i'm lucky cos the council man cleared it for me off his own bat....i hadnt requested that. 2 plots to the north is another new plotholder, altho her site hasnt been cleared yet, but its good to know theres someone else new on site. also the water tap is opposite her site as well, so not a huge trek to fetch water. i'll keep an eye on ebay and freeserve and see if i can pick up a cheap shed so i can start to harvest my own water.

Now i am going to sit on the sofa and plan all the things i want to grow there. I am excited, but also a little daunted....however, you have to start somewhere!!.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

plot 21!!

plot 21 has my name on it!!!!. and the council guy has rotovated it as well. i meet him and see it on saturday morning. i wont moan about the council for at least a week!. if all goes well, i should get my allotment in 2-3weeks!!.....theres paperwork to do!!.
i'm sooooooo excited!!.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

nature, butchers and mooncups!!

*warning* this post contains a review of the mooncup, so dont read the whole post if you dont want to know anymore about them!!.

these are my carrots, from my first round of planting on the 15th march....i just smile everytime i look at them...the beauty of nature to provide us with food!. I've since read that root vege dont like being transplanted, so i wont be sowing anymore carrots now, until i have some ground!. I'm waiting for a call back from the council re allotments....apparently its up to 10days for a call back!. i finally heard back from the other person i was waiting to hear from re his allotments, and he has 16 already on the waiting list. so basically i'm back to square one!. i have 2 runner beans that will have to go into Anns garden this weekend i think...not sure how much longer they can survive where they are, altho...they seem to love it...they have taken off like noones business!!.

Last week i made contact with a lady on the Downsizer forum, who lives nearby, and she was telling me about butchers near us. Well this morning i went to one i didnt know exsisted! and found it was great. nice guys and the meat looked good. i brought a mince pie, cos i felt i should buy something, then decided to try their sausages as well, so brought 2 pork sausies...total came to £2!.


well, i have now used it for a whole period and think its great!!. one of the things i was looking to see was the reduction in cramps and pain i get on days 1-3. no pain whatsoever!. i couldnt believe it, even tho i had read other women say this is the case. apparently commercial tampons and pads have chemicals in them that draw out the mentrual flow, which seems to be where the pains come from....for some anyway. for me, days 1-3 were painfree!. i had no leaks which sometimes happens with tampons in the first few days and reckon you could go without pads if you use both at the same time.
you do need to come to terms with the putting it.....fold it up and slide it in....much like a tampon, and the getting out...which is what leaves alot of people squeemish!. yes its a bit fiddly...you have to slide a finger in and break the suction then pull it out to empty.....you could just empty straight into the toilet never knowing what was inside, or you could look, like i did!. (ally will be screaming gross!!!!.....serves you right for reading after the warning missy!!!). as you get used to the taking out, it doesnt take any longer than taking out a tampon in my opinion.
its completely comfortable and infact you forget about it after a while. there is a stem on it when it arrives and its suggested you cut that once you get an idea of how it fits in you. i cut half mine off to start with, then found during this 1st period i have to cut more off as it seem to settle into place and began irritating me. so i now have a very short stem that i dont feel at all.
i'll end by saying, if you can get over the taking out and emptying, then i'd highly recommend it....its comfortable, painfree, and doesnt harm the environment.

here endth the review!.

Friday, March 28, 2008

snow and beans!.

thought i would add a couple more pics....the snow from Easter Monday...or maybe it was later on the Sunday....i forget!.

plus my runner beans are taking off....really need to get them in the ground, but still having fun with the local council trying to find an allotment, otherwise it may be smilling nicely at Ann and putting them in her backyard!.

not much else at the moment....banks have put up the mortgage rates making it harder for 1st time buyers to get on the property ladder.....so all dreams of a plot of land gets smaller by the day!.
oh yes....the forum i first found....self sufficientish..... the guys that set it up have got their 1st book coming out this week....all very exciting...i've got one on the way...hopefully it'll arrive tomorrow!. The Self Sufficientish Bible by Andy and Dave Hamilton is the name and its well priced on Amazon at the moment!.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday.

I woke this morning to snow..... this is the view out of the living room window at about 0830.

thought i would update you on my seeds.....this is the tray on friday morning....2 carrots in the forground, the lettuces in the middle and the 2 cucumbers behind....

and.....this is the tray this Easter Sunday.....left to right i have early carrots in the 1st column, late carrots in the second(one seedling just breaking soil), 3rd column are lettuces, 4th back is lettuce and in front is a cucumber. 5th column is cucumber at the back and cherry tomatoes in front, 6th is plum toms at back and a runner bean just poking thru(along with something else which i dont think is connected to the bean!) and the final pod has another runner bean!. when i went to bed at midnight last night there were only 2 carrots and no toms up at all....the miracle of nature!.

tomorrow i am going to fill the empty 5 pods probably with early carrots and maybe some lettuce.

watching all this grow over the course of the week has been incrediable....i just hope i can secure an allotment soon, otherwise it will go into a corner of Anns garden!.

Friday, March 21, 2008

i'm not gonna starve.....

cos now i've got 5 lettuces coming up and 1 cucumber plant......oh the joy!.

not much else going on at the mo...am spring cleaning and clearing out the living room. was thinking of making soap on sunday....will see how long it takes to finish off the LR tomorrow before i make that final decision. 2 nights of babysitting ahead of me tomorrow night and sunday, so got to leave some comtemplation time!.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

i got babies......

3 lettuce babies have reared their heads thru the soil!!!. i was sooo excited when i saw them this morning!!.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

there is dirt under my fingernails......

......and seeds on my windowsill!!.
I may have a few to many potatoes, so will share some with Ann, unless shes already got hers.
I've planted some carrots, lettuces, tomatoes, cucumber and runner beans. between 1 and 4 seeds depending on size and what grows from each seed!. Will do the next lot of sowing on easter monday.....so every 10-14days, and hopefully that will keep me from being snowed under with vege!.

Friday, March 14, 2008

the first step along the path.....

this week i started my journey towards self sufficiency......i brought several packets of seeds, seed trays and potting mix on wednesday!. check out my bathroom now......errrm...may have got more mix than i actually needed!.

this weekend i will sow the first lot of my seeds. as its only me it wont be much....i'm going to have to learn succession planting or whatever its called!!. (gotta learn the correct term as well!)

you'll also notice the toothpaste.....this morning i'm going to Holland and Barrett to get some organic toothpaste for when that colgate finishes. no more nasty chemicals for me!.

will photograph my 1st seed tray when i do it!!.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Earth Hour 2008.

On 29th March 2008, at 8pm people around the world are urged to support Earth Hour, and turn off their lights for one hour.
We can all do this....whats an hour?. Think candle light.....nice!.
Lets make this hour more widely known than another eco day this past week that barely got a mention.
Find out more at earthhour

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I joined freecycle today!.

I decided to join the local chapter of freecycle today. for those that dont know, its where you give away perfectly good items you no longer want or need. it means you arent adding to landfills with items that someone else can make good use of.
I'll have to see what i have to offer....i know theres at least a printer in the cupboard.
I noticed a piano as i was having a look around....oh how i'd love a piano, but i have absolutely no room for one in this flat.

i need to spend the next few months de-cluttering and sorting things ready for a move later in the year. hopefully that will be to a 2 bedroom place and then freecycyle will really come into its own!!.

I found a new forum yesterday as well..... its not easy being green , i've registered there and am just waiting for my activation email which hopefully will come this afternoon sometime.

I need to start writing some things down now, as i have so many things swimming round in my head that i want to remember. things to look up, ideas for gardens, info on aspects of leading a self reliant lifestyle.
i lay in bed this morning and wondered where i'll be and what i'll be doing in 10yrs time. will i have been able to pull this new interest off?.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

i've just been shopping......

while browsing SSish this morning i came across a soap making tutorial that included links to some UK based soap making equipment online stores. so, erm, i've been shopping!. i've brought a basic soap making kit that has all the required ingredients to make some soap( doh!)....i thought it was a good place to start. from there i can buy ingredients in bulk. i also brought 3 essential oils to start finding those smells i prefer.....forests and seas. as well, i brought some ingredients for home made cleaning products....might as well fill the box!!.
cant wait for it all to arrive now!!.
i'll add a link later if all goes well!!.

On a separate note, i have posted off my cj for the Green/Eco Friendly CJ i'm hosting. My theme is 'an overview', and i'm looking forward to getting mine back and reading what everyone is doing. theres some interesting themes and i cant wait for each one to arrive every 3 weeks.

oooh, and one more thing.....my mooncup arrived during the week...infact it was very quick!. Its another thing i'm interested in trying!. I wont say anymore, as my friends just cant stomach the idea....lol!!.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

back on track!!.

Well, after a week or so of falling off the wagon, so to speak, i'm back on track and continuing forward with my goals. Theres 2 tray of ANZAC biccies cooking as i type....piccies later!, and i'm about to order a mooncup!.
wonder how many of you know what a mooncup is?.
www.mooncup.co.uk but dont go peeking if you're squeamish!!. I'm very keen to cutdown my waste as much as possible...not only in terms of what i throw away, but also what i spend my money on, and i see the mooncup as something that will help with this goal. I've read quite a bit about it, plus theres quite a bit of dicussion on it on selfsufficientish, all positive, so i'm looking forward to getting mine and giving it a go. Next on the list will be the fabric surfboards, but thats for another post....lol!!.

I'm enjoying reading selfsufficientish.....there is loads of really informative stuff on there. Oh how i wish i had my acre or 5 and could just get on with it!.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

bit of a setback.....by choice!.

I'm feeling very poorly at the moment....throat infection, another nasty!, extreme tiredness, no appetite(me! no appetite!), and no concentration.
the setback came about when i was in the bath this morning....nice bath, Simple bubble bath etc......but it wasnt the same...no sea or forest smells...no 'comfort' of the familiar!. so, errrm....i went and brought naughty bubble bath, with nasty chemicals in them.....yep!, them....a sea smell and a forest smell. i need comfort in my poorly days....Simples rosemary and somethingarather just doesnt cut it i'm afraid.
I guess if i get to the stage that i am making my own soap or bubble bath, i'll have to go gather seaweed!.

on another note...i have found a fantastic forum website called Selfsufficentish...link in the sidebar!. its full of wonderful info and advice from people leading some form of a self sufficient life.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I baked!.

It's offical name is 'Sour Cream Coffee Cake', although it doesnt actually have any coffee in it. I got the recipe from an American magazine many years ago and just love this lightness of this cake. It has sour cream in it and flavoured by vanilla, brown sugar and cinnamon!. DELICIOUS!.
In other news....remember all those coins a post or 2 back?. Well i got the bags to count them out on friday and completed the task this morning....in about 10months i saved £43.78 in change....just from emptying my purse every 7-10 days!. I will bank £39 tomorrow , as the rest isnt quite the full amount for each coin bag....i'll add to those and bank them, and then begin the pot all over again!. I suspect it would actually have been more than that, as i never did add back into the pot the change i used at the mega crop in Dec....maybe another £5-10?.
I have begun reading one of the books i brought over xmas....Leo Hickmans 'Yr of living ethically'. I hope this is a quick read...its very easy and lighthearted despite its important messages...i'm sitting on the sofa laughing at his turn of speech!.
......wonder if that cakes cooled down yet!.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

let the cooking begin.....

mmmmm.....i've just eaten my first casserole in ages. I havent made one for donkeys....the last time i can think of it was when i was training as a nanny 20 odd yrs ago. I have avoided having to make them cos my mum makes such a delicious casserole, so i've always eaten hers!!.
I opened my trusty old Edmonds Cookbook and followed the bog standard recipe, adding peas and parsnips and a splash of red wine for flavour. it cooked for 2 hrs and i had a plateful with lovely mashed potatoes.....yummmmmm!!.

The Edmonds Cookbook is a national institution in New Zealand.....just about every household has one edition or another!......mines about 25yrs old. It holds recipes for every basic dish you'd want, and has an excellent cake and biscuit section.....so many wonderful biscuits that are not even heard of here in the UK!.
I plan on making ANZAC biscuits after i have made a coffee cake that i love!. ANZAC biccies are made with oats, coconut, golden syrup etc and are either crisp or chewy.....which i prefer!.

will share piccies of cakes and biccies as i make them, the casseroles a bit boring to photograph, but will make about 3 other meals, so thats great!!.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

what a rip off!!!.

Sometime last March or April i decided to save all my small change....anything less than a 50p piece. I'd keep the £1 and £2 coins, the 50p and then enough change to pay for a couple of trips to the local parking building as the 'lovely' machine there doesnt give back change!.
Every week to 10days i'd empty my purse and add to the pot. I have no idea how much is in there, altho in Dec i counted out £31 in silver change to take to the Scrapmates mega crop as change for people buying things from me!. And that £31 was only half the pot!!.
I decided that as close to Dec 31st, i'd take the pot to my supermarket where it has one of those counting machines that turn your coins into cash. But i ended up with car troubles so last night was the first opportunity i had to do it.
I carried the pot to work in the boot( trunk!) of my car and then after work headed for the supermarket. Having not used the machine before i followed the demo prompt first and thereby making a small discovery.......for every £1 i tipped into the machine, the machine would kindly charge me 7.9p!. No way!.
so i put my pot back into my shopping bag, and carried on with my shopping!. There is no way after saving all that money i was going to give a chunk of it up to pay for using a counting machine!. I shall go to the bank and pick up those plastic coin bags and count it myself!.
Stayed tuned for the results!.
(thats if anyone actually reads this!!).

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Happy New Year

about 6 days to late....
(yeah i know i used that heading on the scrapping blog as well!)

Not alot has happen since my last post....i spent a lovely xmas day with my friend Ann and her family before heading home to throw xmas dinner up.....seems to much Champagne to soon can make you vomit....who'd have known!.

I am back at work and trying to sort out the new working arrangements....might have got it to where i start 3 of the 4 days from home which will be good for me mentally and for my business as well. Actually, just thinking as i type....it will be good for getting some of those boring tasks done, like sorting out the bookcase and those boxes that are stuffed with treasures/rubbish.
i have told myself that i have to do all this sorting out now before i find a new place, so i dont have to pay to transport stuff i'm ultimately going to get rid of.

i've opened my last packet of store brought cake today....ginger...its actually yummy, but i beat i can make an even tastier one!. so from next weekend i'm going to have to bake.....oooh!, could bake on a T or W as well...i'm not in that mind set yet, but give it a few weeks!.
I havent tried any new recipes yet, thats another job i've been putting off....finding some recipes to try in my mountian of recipes!.

Over xmas i placed another amazon order and got another soap/toiletry making book, so am looking forward to trying those as well.....especially since i've just started my last bottles of shampoo and conditioner.....best start reading that book!.

right thats me signed in!.
catch you later!.