Wednesday, May 12, 2010's even got a washing line!!!

My new house that is!. in 2 weeks i'll be in what i hope will be my final UK home, for the next 2 1/2yrs. My flatmate to be and I saw a house last night, liked it lots and went and put down a deposit for it!. its a 3 bed terrace, with an extended kitchen and a converted loft, so lots of room, lots of storage, and a patio and garden!.
I cant wait to get back into some of the things i was doing before, and adding some new skills to my list!. Not sure C realises what shes let herself in for.....mooncups(for ally!), wee wipes and food made from scratch!!.
cant wait!!.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

lets try this again!.

on monday evening i wrote a lovely post about where my allotment was at, posted piccies, hit 'post', and the cyber gremlins ate it!.
so i shall try again, all be it in a shorter version!.

ok, this is the current state of the allotment....lots of rain = lots of grass!. my neighbouring plotholder has given me use of a push mover to keep it in check, and he even checked it would worked on my plot....i tried to get him to check it works on the WHOLE plot, but he caught my drift and just laughed at me!.

next we have my strawberry bed, and my beautiful tulips...the babies left from the ones i dug up to shift, never did and were eaten by the mice!.

my blackcurrent bush....might produce some currents for me this year.....a glass of ribena coming up!.

this is my sale rack apple tree from last year. its going great, but hasnt flowered so wont produce an apple this year....perhaps i should prune it this year!.

and finally a shot of the strongest of my 4 peony roses. not sure it will flower, altho i think it should....its been in the ground for 18mths now.

finally.....i came across a new forum this week, which is right up my street. called Down to Earth, it's full of all kinds of interesting posts and info for people wanting to lead a more simple lifestyle. the links over there on the side if you wanna peek!.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


its ANZAC Day, and its a sunday, and i should have put 2 and 2 together and realised there was probably an ANZAC Day parade and service at Westminster this morning!. oh well...another year!. i must also add 'trip to Gallipolli' to my 'must visit before 2012' list!.

in other news!....finally got all the rest of the spuds in at the lottie, altho not in the bed they should have gone in, but a combination of weather, assignments and ill health have prevented me from getting that bed dug in time. so i have used another bed and corner of a second. i have 5 varieties in now. i also turned a growbag on its side, cut it open and sowed 2 rows of carrots. my ground is to stony for carrots in the ground. i was going to spend time de-stoning a bed but the combination factor mentioned above stopped me, so i came up with this idea last night. i've only used one half and will sow another 2 rows in about 3 weeks.

i brought home some of my tulips today and put them in a vase....beautiful 'Queen of the Night'....deep purple. i'll photograph them when they open a bit more.

been looking at houses with my flatmate to try and find something to move into....not much luck so far....either small rooms or bad parking, or crappy area!. got a month to find something, so fingers crossed we will!!.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

'ello, 'ello, 'ello......

Yep, its been a while....figured people might be getting bored of the tom pics, so i wont post any today!!.
Not alot has been going on....getting back into the swin of 5 day weeks is not proving fun!!.....i find i still have a load to do on a sunday evening, and end up all stressy!. still....'welcome to the real world' most will be shouting at the screen!.

Finally managed to get 2 rows of spuds in at the allotment today....finished the bed yesterday, and it bloody near killed me....i should have stoppd, but there wasnt much more to do, and it was psycological.....when i went today, i knew i didnt have to dig!. ended up with heat stroke i think also yesterday, as well as dud back and backs of thighs, from bending over lots and digging wet ground!.
bad news.....still one more bed to dig!. will do it in small doses over the next few weeks....thank goodness for lighter evenings!.

Today i had a mammoth seed sowing session, as i've been a bit remiss with that....partly due to circumstance here, so i've set them in a growhouse on the lottie and hope they will be ok....looks like the wind has given it a bit of a bashing....i noticed a broken part today. fingers crossed it'll last this summer!.

not much else going on....i have to come up with something for a handmade swap i'm in on ALS....but cant say to much more as my blog is featured in the blog roll call on there!!.

glorious weather for a change...i was in short sleeves at the lottie...the sun was warm, birds were singing and a beautiful old warbird went over.....gotta love the rumble of a warbird!.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

9 hours to go......

......til i'm on 6 days of holiday!!. and cheaply to...2 annual leave days tacked on the 4 day easter weekend...bonus!.
So much to do in that time....the spud beds are still not ready on the allotment, altho other jobs are getting done. seeds need starting, the carrot and parsnip bed needs sieving and mixing in with some sharp sand, and the grass will no doubt need cutting!.
then theres the book to finish, plus all the glossy books from the library i got last weekend!
and to top if off....gotta make something for the handmade swap i'm in on the aussie forum i belong to. plus i'd like to try crocheting a dishcloth, as i've finally cracked some stitches, so now want to turn them into something useful!.
and finally, there'll be easter eggs....i have had 2 given to me already and i wont be buying anymore....2's enough!.
What are you doing for easter?!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

'nother plant update!.

thought i would share this photo taken this evening, of where my seedlings are at. every seed that has germinated is going strong, despite replants etc. you may also spot a bean in the tray....a dwarf purple bean that i planted as part of my micro teaching session that i had to give as part of the course i'm on.
so, 3 larger Amish Paste toms on the left, 2 newer plantings of Amish Paste in pots at the front of the pic. LM's 2 gardeners delight toms in the clear plastic pot in the middle, and over there on the right, my bean!!.

And this photo below makes my heart sing......last summer i dug up what i thought was all my tulip bulbs from the strawberry bed, and didnt replant them(no excuses...lazy!), and the bloomin mice ate them over the winter. beautiful Queen of the night tulips. anyway, i was taking a wander round the plot at the beginning of the month, and i spotted this in the strawberry patch......

my tulips had babies!!. i've got about 5-7 plants popping thru the soil.....i'm so happy!!.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

tomato update!

opps!, been a while!. thought i would take a few piccies of the tomato seedlings this morning since its lovely and sunny in my room where they are. this pic is the seedlings i planted with LM a few weeks ago. in the foreground are her 2 'gardeners delight' and behind 2 of my 3 Amish Paste. the taller one on the left is the same plant as in the photo in the previous post. both Amish Paste toms need potting on and planting deep due to leggyness. they are now getting more sun cos i am moving them round the house to catch it....theres been no complaints so far!!.

this pic is of the 3 orginal Amish Paste toms growing nicely in their big pots and not so leggy now. hopefully i may not need to repot this now, they can stay here til i put them in the lottie.

my other news is that i have changed jobs now and am full time assessing. only had one week ft so far but all seems fine and i'm still inspired by the role. i am beginning to explore accommodation with a view to moving out, and may have found myself a flatmate. shes a fellow scrapper who has to move out of her flat, so we are going to explore the idea together. i need to share if i'm to save any money to take to OZ in order to start my dream of owning some land!.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

news flash!!....

one of the Amish Paste seeds planted on friday has poked his head thru the soil today!!. must photograph it, cos it wasnt there this morning as i had a good nose while opening the curtains!.
the 1st 3 are happy in their newer bigger pots and i've been giving them some sunlight when possible as well!.

only other news is that i have conjunctivitis!!!. charming...wonder where that came from? guess the public swimming pool last friday!.

Monday, February 22, 2010

tomato update

last friday i potted on the Amish Paste toms and planted a few more for good measure!.
as you can see from the photo, the seedlings are getting a bit leggy again. this is due to them trying to find light.....they arent in the best window in the house, however now, with a bit more sun around i am moving them to catch it, and thereby hoping to minimise the leggyness this time round!

this next photo is me (in)elegantly deposited on the kitchen floor repotting the seedlings, and sowing a few more seeds with my lil helper....who actually took this picture!!. we planted another 3 Amish Paste(got that seed swap in mind!!), 2 of her cherry toms that we saved the seed from last year, and 1 chilli pepper.

and finally the repotted seedlings....planted right up to their leaves!.

my mate Jude has awarded me a blog award, which i need to pass on in turn, so i need to say THANK YOU MATEY xx, and try and think of 7 people to pass it on to....she sent it to most of the friends i have on my blog list!!.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

avoiding the seed box!!

i know when i start the seed box is going to be a big job, so i'm currently doing other getting the seed spuds into trays to chit. this year i am trying 5 kidney, kestral, ulster classic, setanta and maris piper. of the 5, i grew int kidney last year.

my babies have leaves!!

thought i'd share a quick photo taken just now of the Amish Paste toms. all 3 have transplanted well and have put on new growth in the past fortnight. sadly some of that growth is leggy-ness, cos they arent in the best window light wise, but i cant change that for now. each time i pot them on i'll just pot them deep and they should be fine!.

am about to do battle with the seed box and make a final decision on what i'm going to grow this year. then i'm going to do battle with a spreadsheet and try and make some semblence of order with it all!. wish me luck!.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mice! live and learn!.

Mice have got into my shed on the allotment and have had a field day in there!. they have eaten bits out of just about every spud stored in there, plus all my saved tulip blubs from last beautiful 'Queen of the Night' tulips....sob!. and they little buggers have pooped everywhere just to say thank you!.
so my lesson from this is that the shed is not the best storage place for my spuds next winter!. I'd have brought them here but didnt think it'd go down well with these folks!. next winter i wont be here, so i'll have to have food storage in mind when i go flat hunting in a months time!.

Not alot else to report at the feeling like i'm constantly catching my tail between this job, the other job and a college course the other job wants me to do.

oh, and tomato no 1 has survived its transplant and root break, and has grown a new leaf, so thats great....i've got 3 good lil tom seedlings doing well!.
which reminds me.....i noticed today at the allotment...i havent cared for my lemon tree very well, and it may have died with all this cold is protected in a growhouse, but it didnt look happy today. i'll just leave it as is til the weather warms up and i can take it out and see how it goes!......another live and learn i think!.
boy theres a lot to learn, if i want to have any chance of feeding myself with homegrown produce!.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

teeny tiny tomatoes!

heres where i'm at with my Amish Paste seedlings!.
Last year i tried growing Amish Paste tomatoes. they are surposed to be excellent cooking toms, for sauces, soups etc. my first sowing were eaten by slugs and my second sowing didnt allow enough time on the vine outdoors to fully ripen, so i cut the best truss of 5 off and brought them home to ripen. it took a while but eventually i got 4 to bright red tomatoes. i then took the seed from those to use this year.
on the grapevine forum at the beginning of the year i saw a thread about early sowings of toms and decided to try it here because this house is kept unheathly hot in my opinion!.
so on the 2nd of Jan i plant four of the saved seed from last year, and by the 10th, 3 had germinated. last weekend at the allotment i gathered 3 pots of compost and brought them back to warm up ready for the transplant. today was the transplant.

heres them before the move....getting leggy looking for light....admittedly they arent in the best window for light, but i dont think they'd be allowed anywhere else, so they are going to have to cope!!.

then here they are after....i've planted them quite deep...can't remember why you do that, but am sure its a good thing!. i should have at least 2 strong plants from this....i say 2, cos i broke a bit to much root of the 1st seedling, and it may not recover....time will tell!!.

i also need them to do well, cos i've entered myself into a seed swap and these toms are the seeds i want to offer later in the year!!.

Insomnia's not good for the wallet......however on the + side....

....there's loads of lovely books coming out over the next few months.....and my wishlist has grown by several pages!!.
i was awake for about 3 hours over night and went and had a nosey round Amazon!. when i hit a search i decided to list it be publication date and had a good look at all the books due to be published over the next year in those searches i did!. loads of cookbooks....a new River Cottage Handbook (yippee!), lots of Australian Womans Weekly ones, some lovely decorating ones.....oh how i wish i could buy them all...sadly money and space wont allow that, so i shall have to pick them over once there is more info about them!!.

During the week i received some seeds from someone on the vine offering seeds in exchange for a SAE. i asked for a packet of her purple popped pea, and was thrilled to get the packet, along with another packet of peas she rates as the best ever!. these are heritage seeds and not commonly avaliable....i love that...people saving odd varieties and sharing out the seeds, so that the variety survives, after the mainstream garden centers and seed supplies decide not to stock it!.

Job for this weekend....pot on the 3 tom seedlings planted at New Years!!. i'll take piccies and post!.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

more snow pics and a new hobby!

the first 3 pics are from a walk in the park on friday....interestingly enough, i didnt think there was a much snow there as we had a few streets away....maybe it had just been compacted more?.

now, one of my goals for this year is to learn to crochet, and i happened to be standing in queue at WHS and saw the 1st issue of 'crochet' magazine for 99p...including an instructional dvd, a hook, 2 balls of wool(not real wool mind..acrylic!) and the magazine, and decided for 99p, you cant go wrong. so i've been practising away with the goods and hoping i can master it!.
yesterday i hitched a ride with LM's family to Brent Cross and had a nose thru the haberdashery dept of John Lewis and decided to buy some proper 100% wool, another good quality hook and just incase i cant get the hang of it, another pair of knitting needles cos mine are all in storage. while looking around i saw the bag and loved it....thought it was a bit pricy and nearly didnt but decided to treat myself. imagine my surprise when i got to the checkout and found it was over 1/2price off, so i felt much happier about buying it and now i have a groovy place to store my knitting bits!!.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


you know yesterday i said the snow was all lovely and i take it all back!. this afternoon i had an awful experience on an icy road and its spooked me!. i had to be in central london and was going to park near a tube so that i could have the car to get home later on once i got back to the office!. yeah right!.....everyone else was parked near the tube....from yesterday when alot got stuck!. so i quickly formulated plan B and drove nearer the office to park and get bus/tube combo into town!. got to the main road near the office and stupidly turned into side road to park as i usually do and drove down it fine, found a park very quickly and headed off.
bus to tube ok!.
tube into london not ok!
F'ing nightmare to be exact....gaps in the service.....sardine can trains when they did arrive.....squashed up close and personal with others armpits......i resolved never to book early visits in central london again!. that resolution lasted 2 hrs!.
journey back to office in north london as fine.
talking to bloke in office and he says theres more snow due this arvo, so i decided to head on out!. got to car, sat in it and warmed it up before trying to move...several cars went past me so i didnt think there was a problem.....WRONG!!!. i couldnt get traction no matter where i put the wheels, so i just sat there thinking what to do, then watched another car pass me, pull over to let a car past, then suffer the same fate as me.....i thought poor him...he was being polite and now hes stuck, but he managed to get going so decided to try again......NOPE!. as i sat there beginning to panic a man appeared and said he's been watching me and came to help. he said i'd almost got going the last time so a bit of a push will help.
firstly, i nearly ran him over getting going, cos the car was still in reverse from sliding back into the carpark!. then i started out again, he pushed and i got going....yayyyy!!.....oh!....didnt last long, began to slip around!. trying to keep the car moving and straight was frightening!. i made it out onto gritted roads and expected the car to pack a sad and say no more, but she didnt!!. my old girl got me home!. with our road being an ice rink as well, i've parked out on the main road, which will be gritted as its a bus route....lets just hope noone crashed into her over night!!.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

another snowfall!

Last night the snow began to fall again, after about a two week break, and it continued falling until mid afternoon. we've had the best part of 6"'s magical!. because there was no wind it was lovely walking as the flakes fall. LM and i had a wee wander to the main road then built snowmen in the front garden.

heres a few snaps....

Friday, January 1, 2010

a frosty allotment!.

When i woke up this morning it was lovely blue sky and sunshine so i thought i would go make a start on one of the 2 beds still to be dug on the allotment!. little did i realise how cold it was and that most of my plot was still frozen!. so instead, i took some photos, and put some compost in a pot to bring home to warm up, so i can trial an early sowing of going to plant 4 seeds from the toms i harvested in the autumn, and see if i can get them to fruit earlier than they did last season.

todays view of the allotment....

i have also decided to enter a seed swap on the grapevine this year. i have to grow enough kidney beans and cooking toms to save the seed and share out with 15 other people!!. goodness knows if this was a wise idea or not, but i like the idea of swapping seeds with people and hopefully collecting seeds from plants not commonly avaliable in the mainstream garden centers.