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.