Monday, 28 September 2009

thanks - I've been tagged!!

It's a great honour to be tagged by Leatherdykeuk

I've never been tagged before.

The "Your Blog is Fabulous!" Award stands for: Integrity. Commitment to Excellence. Stubbornly Optimistic.

The Rules:List five current obsessions:

1. My allotment - digging and weeding. I get excited when I pull a bundle of bindweed roots out of the earth.
2. Writing. I have many poems at different stages of completion. I have lots of notebooks but for some reason seem to end up writing on the back of old envelopes. I also have a novel in progress that i've ignored for a while but it's not going away.
3.Tea - I'm drinking an awful lot of it out of my favourite mug (I have 2nd and 3rd favourites too incase 1st not available)
4. China or porcelain plates. Even the kids eat off them- visiting mums look anxious but if they break they break.
5. Crystal glasses. I love the way they sound when you ping them and how they look as delicate as slivers of ice.

I love all the blogs I follow so please take up this tag if you wish.

Elderberries, starting school and harvesting

Sorry have not posted for a while have been going through the trauma of my youngest starting school. It is like taking off a plaster slowly as she started for one hour, then a couple, then morning, then staying for lunch then finally fulltime. I am amazed I have picked her up at the right times. I can't understand why a four year old needs to be at school all day though I'm sure I will savour the hours when she is. But I'm not sure it's for her good really. Anyway will see how it goes and if she needs to go part time longer at least I am lucky enough to be able to do that. We have loads of elderberries growing at the end of our garden and this is the first year I've managed to do anything with them. The berries made me feel quite errie as I pulled them off their stems. I could imagine generations of women doing it and cooking them for a cold remedy. And long ago some of those women being seen as witches. I was on the edge of society cooking. I do get a bit dramatic sometimes but pick those berries and have a good look at them - they have a silver glint on them that is quite mesmorizing. I tried to make cordial but heated it too long- now have a jar of delicious goo. As recommended by fellow blogger Rachel I put a spoon of it in hot water with honey for a delicious drink to sore sore throats. I also just eat a spoon of it when I feel like it.

This is an allium seedhead from my front garden. In spring I will try and grow some plants from seed. I wonder if you need to soak the seeds first - they look very hard and dark.

I have been getting quite a lot done at the allotment. I'v dug up most of my potatoes. As I dug them out I dug in some compost so that the ground is ready for spring next year.
If you really stare at the picture on the left you should be able to see the very start of brussel sprouts forming on the thick stem. There's a lot of white fly on them - the butterflies have been busy.

The sunny weather has given the courgette another burst of life. My friend grew one in her garden. I think they are great as have lovely floers and produce a lot of veg per plant(you only really need one -maybe two as back up).
My climbing purple beans and lovely and tender even when I leave them too long. Any runner beans that have been left to grow too long(and are still green) and hence are tough - I recommended shelling them and using the beans in casseroles. Or you can boil them till tender then drain and fry with onion and garlic in olive oil.

Thursday, 10 September 2009


Haven't made it to the allotment for a while - hopefully go soon and dig up the rest of my potatoes and see how the leeks are getting on. I love the silvery green of the leeks' leaves - I also love eating them though they are still a bit small for that. My youngest starts school on Thursday and I feel a bit sad though she seems very happy.

Above are photos of my beloved Echeveria coming into flower. I keep it outside in the summer but bring it in when it gets cold as it cannot cope with frost.
I need to get to the allotment shop soon and stock up on Japanese onions, aquadulce broad beans and maybe peas as these can all go in the ground in Autumn for earlier crop in spring. I need to start digging horse manure into the ground soon - except where I'm putting carrots and parsnips next year as they hate fertile ground- it makes them fork.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Ukrainian dancing

Driving to a 60th anniversary celebration of a Ukrainian old people's home I suddenly remembered lying in the hot sun next to a field of potatoes turning my 11 year old legs red. I was pleased with my sunburn as we were in those days till someone pointed out my white ankle socks. It was a lovely day - the home had put on free food and entertainment which was very nice of them. I wanted to show my son some of his roots. He says he is English. I waiver between envying his certainty of his identity and grief that he feels disconnected from his ancestors. Many of the people at the celebrations are bringing up their kids speaking Ukrainian(they are third generation) but I have taught my children a few words. I speak to them in Ukrainian sometimes but more to stop me losing it. I do find the whole concept of identity confusing. My son watched the concerts - he said he liked the dancing a little bit. The blokes get the best dance moves and boy did they dance well.

I loved the yellow of my son's fried egg sandwich we had at Ally Pally by the boating lake. I pedalled him around in a pedalo boat - not been in one since childhood.

Have had loads more tomatoes - so wet today did not pick them. Used the ones we picked the other day to make delicious pasta sauce.