dear diary >> a matter of opinion

DH and I agree on most things, but it is of no surprise that we have a difference of opinion when it comes to what constitutes ‘pottering’ and how long it should continue for. He thinks two hours of minimal activity is all I should be doing at present and of course he is right but I am an all or nothing person and once I begin a job I can’t bear not to see it through.

And I get sidetracked easily.

I am a great supporter of the Lean method where continuous improvement is part of the approach. I am always looking for better ways of organising and storing things and often have a move around much to DH’s dismay! Sometimes, even I have to acknowledge a task will take far longer than I have time for in a day, but if I stop what I am doing then I know it is going to end up as another project on the unfinished task list as other urgent housekeeping chores call for my attention.

Yesterday, I maybe overdid it a bit. I only intended to sort out the collection of small plastic plant pots in the greenhouse, that I had washed before our holidays, and keep only the useful ones. Dobbies, one of our local garden centres, have a recycling point for old plant pots so I have put aside the ones I don’t want to drop off on our next visit.

We have quite a useful space at the side of our house behind the shed where we can keep our wheelie bins and bags of potting compost tucked away from view. I also put the old mini greenhouse here as it is a sunny positon but much cooler away from any direct sun which is great for potted cuttings and hardening off. I keep the larger empty plant pots here too and anything a bit unsightly but the whole area was a bit of a mess because DH had not been able to get to his ladder easily and after he put it back in position the objects he had to move did not quite make it back in their place (need I say more…). So I started tidying up this area and as I went along I found a few problems that required a little DIY from DH whilst he was doing other bits and pieces in the greenhouse and now the area is looking much cleaner and quite tidy.

Before our holidays DH put in some ‘Christmas potatoes’ – I am not sure if they will actually be ready for Christmas day but they are growing well and needed earthing up. My few outdoor tomatoes are at last turning red – it has been a long wait. I haven’t grown this variety before, a dwarf stocky bush tomato that does not require the removal of side shoots called Totem. They are very sturdy plants that stood up well to the strong winds we had a month or so ago. The Zinnias in the top photo have been battered by wind and then scorched by the sun… but are holding on, they are such beautiful rich colours and one of my favourite annuals. I have more in the front borders and they are mixed with a rather lovely colour called ‘Green Envy’. I was quite pleased to see that Carol Klein recommended this variety on her Summer Gardening program (I just love her enthusiasm for plants it is contagious) it is such an unusual colour but looks good beside the vibrant reds and purples. The plants that have done the best this year on the patio are the geraniums – they seem to thrive in hot dry weather but then they do grow an enormous amount of them in France and Italy.

Today I must, must, must make the mushroom and lentil pies to freeze and the quiche bases (I know I have been saying this all week!). I will rub up the pastry mix this morning and then do the filling in the afternoon. If I get chance I have had an idea for storing those candles I mentioned. I need to gather them all together in Marie Kondo style to see what I am dealing with in terms of space required. I do have quite an assortment of candle holders too and maybe I don’t really need all of them. We shall see.

I am hoping that DH will be doing a bit more fixing and mending. When we got home from holiday I found my watering can broken. It is a Hall’s plastic red one with a long bar attached to the spout that you hold to carry it and it had snapped clean in two as you can see in the photo…..rendering it unuseable and there was no way it could be glued back together. It seemed such a shame that it would be of no further use and would end up in landfill at the tip. However DH to the rescue – he came up with a solution…..

…… a bit of a Heath Robinson fix (just like his dad) using this strong metal strip of rust proof aluminium and some screws or maybe they are rivets. I am delighted though and so pleased it could be repaired – in fact it should be stronger than before even if it does look a bit strange.

Have a lovely restful Sunday everyone. x

13 thoughts on “dear diary >> a matter of opinion

  1. A great fix, that watering can is going to last a lot longer now, in fact that bar will no doubt still be in use as something else when the rest of the can has turned into a plastic puddle.

    Myself and Alan also have completely different views on pottering along, and ploughing ahead with jobs until you are fit to drop … a major cause of our disagreements on all our years of self-sufficiency.

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    1. My grandad bless him was hopeless at DIY and he tried to mend a water carrier at his caravan with a wadge of beer mats and some tape! The only shelf he put up was on the cellar head and it sloped so badly that the tins would slide off! Luckily DH’s father was a great fixer and he learned a lot from him.

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  2. In the US, your DH would be called a “MacGyver.” If you haven’t heard the name, it is based on a 1985 TV series about a fellow who can do just about anything with a little spit and glue–so to speak. Well done, DH.

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  3. I’ve never heard of the Lean method, but it sounds very interesting. I’m always trying to improve our storage solutions, by moving things around and tweaking things a little here and there. OH calls me Mrs Receptacle, because I have a receptacle and a place for everything. I love DH’s repair to the watering can, so satisfying to know you can continue to use it.

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    1. Lean is something introduced by Toyota in their factories post war and is used worlwide now in big companies. It is mainly for the workplace but the ideas translate well into the running of a home – the main principles are 5S, and continuous improvement. If you google 5S and lean it will come up with a load of websites and you tube that explain it more. I ran my team at work practising 5S and Lean and we had brilliant results.

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    1. How strange – maybe it is a design fault. I might get in touch with Hall’s as they do have a guarantee but mine was bought as a Christmas present so we don’t have a receipt and I am not sure how long the guarantee runs for or what it might cover, but I think they should know if mine is not the only one.

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  4. I am intrigued by the lean method, I will go and look it up. Another rabbit hole for me to fall down no doubt! It is so satisfying when you can fix something isn’t it, the watering can looks like a great fix.

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