After the events of the last few days we are slowly settling back into normality….. such as it is here.
The heating is on when we need it, which is mainly to take the chill off in the morning, we have hot water once again so we have showered, washed our hair and the dishes are done making us respectable once more. I have hoovered the floor whilst listening to radio 4 and it is heaven to have all these facilities we normally take for granted; no wonder then that my thoughts recently have been with all the refugees that are experiencing hardship day after day. How on earth do they cope? At least during our powerless plight we had a roof over our heads and a gas cooker enabling us to make a meal and a drink.
And somehow whilst we were thrown into mayhem October crept in….how did that happen?
Yesterday we had planned for rain all day but mid-morning it stopped and the sun appeared and it turned out to be a glorious day. So we gardened all afternoon. We did far too much and regretted it later especially when with our aching backs we had to prepare and cook the tea when all we really wanted to do was
collapse in a heap sit and relax.
I didn’t even sleep well last night; we were early to bed, well early for us, and after only 10 minutes reading turned the lights out and we must have both been asleep within minutes. All was snug but then something woke me at about 2am and after that my mind began to churn over – never a good sign and never conducive with sleep.
It rained heavily again this morning so I spent a good hour updating my yearbook. It is my catchall – part notebook, part bullet journal, part task lists and diary but also filled with snippets of information I want to refer back to at some point. At the beginning of each month I go through my Country Living magazine and pull out anything of interest and stick it in my notebook. This month for instance I have cut out the snippet about Asda starting a vintage clothing section in 8 of their stores. You are able to swap unwanted clothes for vouchers apparently. I also kept the recipe for the cold remedy ginger and poached pear which sounds like something I might drink even without a cold…..and I am very tempted to buy this book ‘How to Grow Plants from Seeds’ published by RHS. Or perhaps something for my Not so Secret Santa list.
We ate the last of the mushroom soup for lunch which we made just before our power cut and couldn’t really eat because of course the stick blender is electric so it went into a large pyrex bowl to be stored in the fridge. Even though the fridge was off for a few hours during the power cut everything in there seemed OK and we have no ill effects from eating it (and of course we don’t eat meat or that might have been something we would have had to throw away).
Tonight we decided on an easy evening meal so we chopped loads of veg, tossed them in oil and slung them into a baking pan to roast in the oven. It is one of my favourite autumn meals. We had sliced Halloumi (which we brown in a hot non-stick frying pan with no oil) and couscous to go with it though it is just as nice with brown rice or often we add a little Passata to make it more moist and stew like and eat it with large chunks of Ciabatta bread dipped into the sauce.
Last night I managed to finish the front bodice of the little dress I am making for Sweetie. I was quite pleased with myself as being quite a novice knitter I am never very sure if I am actually understanding the pattern instructions correctly and I have no-one other than Google to ask. Well it looks quite even on both sides of the neck and I even managed to ‘fashion’ the decreases around the armhole and neckline, which wasn’t actually written in the pattern but I think it looks so much neater and I find makes it easier when sewing together at the end.
There are some nice little corners in our cottage garden appearing. Some planned but also some surprises. Did I mention we gave the very large and leggy pink rhododendron the chop this year and cut it back almost down to the base, then crossed our fingers.
Luckily it has started sprouting but the huge hole it has left in the garden is testament to how large it had become over the years, however, in the meantime while it is regenerating we can see the beautiful weeping larch tree beyond which nicely frames the view into the lower wood beneath.
I spent a good hour in the fernery by the pond (Polystichum munitum – Western Sword fern) a great fern for coastal areas with glossy deep green leaves that are evergreen and doesn’t die back in the winter but does require any browned and dead leaves removing every so often to keep it looking at its best. I also have to reduce the mass occasionally when is begins to creep further and further into the woodland garden, overstepping its allotted boundaries.
My little seat beneath the old Cherry tree is now completely covered in moss but I shall keep it like this and find somewhere else to sit as it has such a lovely natural appearance. I spent a few minutes picking up more windfalls from the Bramley tree and this year we salvaged one or two eating apples from the young Braeburn, planted 2 years ago. It only produced 5 apples and three of these must have dropped and rotted before this visit. After taking the photo we shared the larger of the Braeburns and it was extremely nice – not too sweet and quite crisp just how I like them. Hopefully there will be more next year.
I have a mass of daffodil bulbs to plant out – I must have dug these up prior to Covid and with all the disruptions and lockdowns last year never got them into the ground. All that lovely natural raffia attached though.
I never managed to find a rose for the garden arch either because of the restrictions so in desperation to have something, anything climbing on it this year I picked up two cheap Clematis in Morrisons the ones for £2 each. The one on the right has taken off better than the one on the left and I now have stones in place to protect it from Kelly (who cuts our grass when we are not here) and her strimmer! For £2 each though they are not doing too badly.
And I love this little ‘green’ corner with all the different leaf shapes.
And with the weekend almost over we will be back to Monday soon enough and we shall have to make plans to return home where, according to my neighbour who is looking after things for us, we have an abundance of ripened tomatoes!