Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Distraction and Strawberry Jam

Depression ~ summarizing the concept in a single word may give you the misguided illusion that you can have a hint of a notion of it's enormity, of it's power. A single, overused word to describe this pain, uncertainity, isolation, fear and longing!

I have the black cloud over my head but also experience a sense of suffocation, of throttling by strong hands around my throat, around my heart. My hands. I want the pain to end, I want to breathe but I am caught between the two worlds. I cry for peace; the light of hope is being snuffed out. I am too small to fight this.

What can an ant do against the might of a tank???
Distract itself until the fear goes away....

So.

Last night Andrew made the first batch of sweet, delicious Strawberry jam from our own lottie. Joy heaped upon joy; the sight of those perfect, rich red babies, their smell and all that sugar (naughty). It all bubbled away in the pot whilst I sat post-shower-calm in front of this laptop. Later, much later, I got to try some still warm out of the jar - oh it was good. We discussed it's merits in between - uummmm sounds.

It was a fabulous colour
The smell was divine
Andrew had left it very whole fruity so you got bite and body to the perserve.
It was warm, which was lovely in itself.
Not too sweet but as Goldilocks would say: 'just right'.
The consistanty is a little runny, but all the more sensous for it as it drips off the spoon.
There's lots of it!!
And there's more to come :)

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

The war continues!

I have just been to the GP and got stronger more muscly (well they are steroids) meds to fight this blasted hayfever. I shall win this war with the triadic power of antihistamines, nasal spray puffs and pure grit (a pincher movement of devilish reckoning)!! Resolutely I sit here with the window open (my eyes are so itchy and my nose is constantly running) just to show Mother Nature I ain't letting her get the best of me! Ggrrrr.

In a couple of days I shall be back at my lottie, just you wait and see. Until then Andrew is bringing home delicious strawberries by the small bucket load and jam making is on the agenda for this evening - photos and review to follow.

It should start raining soon (oh, please) which will be great for the plants (and don't let on, but great for me too as it keeps the pollen down), the ground here is drying out so quickly these days.

Hugs to you all, especially fellow hayfever suffers - we shall overcome!!

Monday, 28 June 2010

Friday, 25 June 2010

Don't worry, don't hurry, don't forget to smell the flowers #2

I just saw my psychartrist and she thinks I'm doing well :) We're putting it down to a mixture of blogging, allotmenteering, my photography and mainly, shear grit and determination. She's happy - I'm exhausted, hahaha.

Anyway I wanted to take you on another little dander, this time around some of the flowers in 14b. Of course there are plenty of other things to coo over too but I need this right now. I need to make a collage of pretty things and try not to think of any bad stuff - visits to ones head dr can open up a whole can of worms! Hey, that's not fair on worms, makes them sound evil, henceforth ~ it opens up a whole can of sawfly!

These are not my best photos by the way. If you are interested in photography as an art form do check out Etsy.com. Full of very talented independent artists of many types plus I'm there - http://www.etsy.com/shop/cherryblossomtattoo

and I'm also on Facebook with a modest fan page which, say you and all your friends wished to join, will get you exclusive previews, special offers and prizes! -  Cherry Blossom Tattoo Photography on Etsy. com

Shameless self promotion I know, but I promise it will not become a feature, it's just when my psychartrist thinks something I'm doing is good, well I like to make sure I keep at it.

Hugs to all for the weekend. My steriods for this blasted hayfever (ggrrrrr) seem to be working so, yippeee, I may get out this weekend :) And it's Andrew's birthday weekend so we have a lovely dinner with friends planned. Thanks for the birthday wishes guys - you rock! xxxx

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Happy Birthday Darlin'

Today sees the day when I really get to celebrate the birth of the man I love more than anything in the world, yes, even chocolate and red wine. This is the one person on the face on this planet that has kept me alive, literally. Without him, without our love there would be, quite simply, no Carrie as there would be no hope, no reason, no desire. To think that every single thing in the history of the world that came about to make him and everything that came about to make me and for us to meet and fall in love - well, it's so huge and mind boggling that well, it makes my mind bloggle.

Today I celebrate the birth of Andrew and sorry for being impatient, waiting for you to get home honey but I just want you to see the silly decorations and the surprises I have made for you. For only you.

Love you more than I know how to express. Happy Birthday and I wish you (us) many returns of the day. xxx

How could you not love that cake?? And the flowers are from our plot, the dark blue thing in the top corner is a birthday rossette and beside it there is a special birthday pin - for the popping of birthday balloons :)

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Don't worry, don't hurry, don't forget to smell the flowers #1


I think it would just be delightful to spend some time looking at the beautiful blooms in the lotties. Today I shall focus on 24a, our first little baby half. These are all from that 10 min dash at the weekend when my hayfever was really trying it's hardest to kill me - blasted hayfever, ggrrr.

So come dander with me as I walk from the shed to the fruit arch on 24a, stopping to look at the flowers (it's not all fruit and veg and toiling in the soil).








Hope you enjoyed - 14b tomorrow xxxxx

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Food, glorious food

I should be having my nap right now whilst Andy is at the lottie. I have a walk later, a trip to Tesco and then a late night taxi service pick up scheduled for my neice and her boyfriend. I am going to be tired and maybe even grumpy - oops...BUT I have to share some more of the delightful harvests we are having at the minute. Oh boy this is good stuff.

Okay we shared a Chinese take-away last night and yes, you may all point your fingers at me and say 'shame, shame on you' and shake your heads, I deserve it. However that badness aside we have been eating like super healthy Kings (erm King and Queen, I mean).

Apart from the delicious strawberries we had that I showed you earlier we have been continuing to eat a lot of fresh lettuces, seriously peppery rocket, lovely new potatoes, mint, super citrusy sorrel, very dill-y dill and lots of sweet and delicious broad beans. Feast your eyes my friends...

Oh we've had some great salads and risottos and tonight we also had our first beetroot. Oh how I love the beetroot, the smell when I walked into the house got me all a flutter. The taste (with the much loved brown sauce on top) was divine - a little bite of heaven. I love Allotments!!!

The potatoes have been eaten boiled, bashed about a bit with dill and rocket and some sea salt - I heartily recommend this. Give a taste, you won't regret it (for legal reasons I must point out that you may find in fact that you do regret it but I can not take the blame - your taste buds are obviously just faulty).

Off for that walk now and the hayfever meds seem to be helping a bit - today saw the highest pollen count in the UK and I didn't die - so, erm, that's good :)

To those of you how may be visiting me via Meredith's recommendation I heartily welcome you. Isn't she the best?? Namaste x

Monday, 21 June 2010

Beclometasone ~ could it be I'm falling in love?

There is someone cutting their grass outside, I can't see them but I can hear them and I've had to close all the windows even though it's roasty toasty today. My nose is sniffily and my eyes weeping - why, why must they cut the grass - do they hate me?, what could I have done to deserve this! Oh! Hahahahaha - I just heard them sneeze - revenge is sweet (and I am evil, hahaha).

I saw my lovely, ever wonderful pharmacist on Saturday monday and she was able to prescribe me a sterodial hayfever nasal spray called 'Belcometasome Hayfever Relief' under the minor ailments scheme. She uses this one herself and says it will take up to 10 days to get working but after that I should be fine. That idea = a happy Carrie.

I was at the lottie last night for 10 mins and ran around taking quick snaps of things and trying to look and appreciate all the hard work Andy has been doing on his own. You have to imagine some sort of frantic car chase music and a human shaped blur (that was me). Things are looking great but as I won't be going too much this week I'll have to spread those photos out over a few posts! I was there 10 mins and it took 20 to recover and stop wheezing again.


Grass has become the new enemy - grrrr. At the moment I hate it more than sawfly and that's saying a lot. It looks so pretty too, I guess that's part of it's evil plan. Well, it's all going from our plot and bark mulch is the way forward my friends. *sniffs* - argh Beclometasone and I will beat you hayfever!!

Friday, 18 June 2010

As close as I've gotten to the lottie magic


This divine thing was brought home to me about an hour ago - joy heaped upon joys; our first Strawberry!! Well Andrew had one too but as I am feeling so poo with this hayfever he gave me the big one and had a wee tiny one himself....It was GOOD!


I was at our little deli today and asked about local honey. Unfortunately the local source has none. The harsh winter had had a nasty effect on his bees and they just didn't make any beautiful amber honey. He said that the deli is in touch and just waiting hopefully for a phone call someday soon (I'm now anxious for that call too). I have a secret desire to be a beekeeper though - maybe I should look into this, ummmm....

Thursday, 17 June 2010

little happy harvests begin

I just very quickly wanted to mention that last night we thoroughly enjoyed our first broad beans of the season - yuuummmmyy!!! I was so hungry and so happy to see them come out of the harvest bag brought home by Andy that there just wasn't time to go upstairs and get the camera! They were delicious.

Plus last week (I totally forgot) we had our first baby turnips, more early potatoes and our own mint with dinner. Happy times.

Andrew has gone round there for a while now - I'm still being attacked by pollen at every turn so it's inside for me :(

P.S. Today is our 5th Wedding anniversary - Love you till elephants lay eggs honey!!x

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

I hate all things garden-y

*Sneeze* I am not happy today *sniff* as the pollen count is too massive to even *blows nose* give a number to. *Wheezing now* I am upstairs with the windows closed, boiling away in my t-shirt and rolled up pj bottoms *wipes running eyes* and just wish today that pollen did not exist!!!!! (shakes fist at window)

Yes I know that would mean there wouldn't be any veggies, trees, fruit, flowers etc but *sniffs again* I DON'T CARE *rubs left eye furiously*

See you tomorrow; I need to put a wet cloth over my face and dream of the Sahara..... *tries to relieve itch on palate with tongue*. Arrgghhhhh!!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

A message for my Maggie

If someone could just pass this wee picture message to Maggie I would be very grateful...
If she doesn't understand it right away you could help her by saying it means -

'Bee back soon sleepy girl'.
Bee back


Spoon

sleepy Maggie
I thank you xxx

Saturday, 12 June 2010

RED

I love the colour red in any garden/allotment, the stunning bold colour against the green just makes me happy. So as I am being whisked away to Co. Meath for my 5th Wedding Anniversary tomorrow (until Tuesday) I thought it was a perfect time to share the fabulous reds in my lotties.

Red can to some seem brash, I don't agree with you but I believe you have your rights to feel that way (though this is my blog and therefore you are wrong, I make the rules here, hehe). So I am sorry to any out there for whom this post is like a harlet shamelessly baring all. BUT before I add my photos I wish to also say that our Blue Tits have all flown the nest (bird box) and we even happened upon the vey last one to leave taking 'his' maiden flight! Oh joy; so clumsy and ungraceful the whole event was, but so beautiful and we are very proud parents indeed. I quickly named him Terry, he quickly fell off his first ever landing perch, we tried not to laugh but...*blush*

So amorous, ardent, erotic, fervent, impassioned, lusty and seductive (I got the thesaurus out) red.... I think this may even call for a collage :) But this one first, I was just sitting on our bench when I glanced over at my Poppies - oh so pretty!



My you all have a lovely weekend. A virtual cuddle is sent to you all x

Thursday, 10 June 2010

A scandalous affair

Yes, I am having a wild romantic fling with alpines - 4 of them at once! Oh er Mrs.

At the Malvern Show you may remember I discovered that instead of just being small insignifcant plants or 'plantlets' as I used to call them in my head that are in every mothers' little (usually wick looking) rockery, they are instead utterly fascinating little worlds all of their own. I am astonished at myself, nay, ashamed that I didn't give them the credit they are due much sooner.

We live very close to where Johnathon Swift worked as a minister, yes he who wrote Gulliver's Travels. I could dander to his (sadly very must ruined) house in 30 mins if I so choose. He is where he saw the floating islands (the Copland Islands - and yes they do look like they are floating just above the water)and the giant laying on his back (the Cave Hill/ Napoleon's Nose). With my fabulous alpines I feel like Gulliver towering over a normal sized world that just looks so small to me but wherein life plays it's merry dance and doesn't have a size complex at all - for goodness sake I and my other plants are the freaks!!

So I have 4 new best friends:
Silene 'Mount Snowdon'
Sempervivum hybrid 'noir'
Saxifraga 'Winifred Bevington'
Aquilegia flabellata Cameo Red and White

I can't pretend I know my friends full names of by heart as of yet so don't be too impressed ;) I have their little name tags beside me.  But I do know I love them and I love to get down on my bum beside their container and send a little while touching them and if I'm honest, having a wee chat.

Here they are in their new home on the patio of 24a.
(There is more, I blush - we just bought 4 more for another container, for the 14b plot, oh I'm in love, hehee.

More photos will undoubtedly folllow :)

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The dreaded sawfly....

A battle is raging at the lottie, a fierce, no mercy kind of insurrection. My soft fruit bushes and mostly the gooseberries are being attacked by a voracious, hungry, hungry catepillar. I'm talking the dreaded sawfly.

They are evil, pure evil, look up evil in the allotmenteer's dictionary (someone should really write one of those) and you would see their photo. They start off at the very bottom of your beloved plant and leave little tiny pin holes in the leaves. Turn that leaf over and you'll see teeny tiny almost see through catepillars, probably lots of them. grrrr!

If left unchecked (by that I mean, if left alive) they will quickly and I mean quickly, eat the leaves of your plant down to little skeletons in no time. They get fat - thus easier to see I suppose -  quickly too and that my friends is when WAR is declared. I not the biggest fan of gooseberries (I don't dream of them or anything...) and I'm generally a pacifist but when something is eating MY food - well, all niceties go out the window.

Andrew squishes them, I'm more girly (I hate things popping in my hands and leaving innerds and green slime everywhere, but that may just be me) and plop them into a container with water in it. I think salt would be good here too, but I haven't got any down at the plot and anyway our Blue Tit chicks are growing big and strong (and noisy) and they probably like the unsalted variety of sawfly. You can of course go down the pestiside route too but then I don't really like that.

 Be careful about the desire to just shake the plant and watch them all drop off, they just climb back up again or if they're old enough, they will thank you for the help - they go to ground in order to pupate (I hate that word!)

Here are some of my pictures of the new enemy in our plot -  I guess now we are becoming a more established allotment garden we're going to get  more of these pests....



Also, here is the RHS advice on the topic, this makes for scary reading, so don't do it before bed ;)

http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/profile.aspx?pid=517

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

when I'm feeling blue...

Okay I thought I was over the incident with the nasty man on Saturday. I took loads of photos yesterday at our plot and felt -'haha, take that mr nasty pants', but he is still blasted well winning....I can't face looking at said photos nor of course uploading them on to this computer. Darn it I'm, letting him win but I haven't any more energy to fight at present.

So I've been looking at all your blogs, dear friends (sorry if I don't leave comments everywhere) and looking at the super talented people on Etsy and all their handmade art. Wow, you are all so inspiring. I have also been reading a lot and came across this fabulous quote that I thought I would share...

'he who has a why to live for, can bear with almost any how' - Nietzsche.

It made me think of my myself with my double vision and mental health problems; I thought of my dear friends Joy and Joanne who are just plain exhausted and ache all over all the time (but still garden extremely beautifully), I thought of all of you who have hectic sometimes demoralising jobs but still try to have a fun life (especially you nurses, doctors, those in the emergency services and social workers), and I thought of the amazing (I do not use this word lightly) group of people who are close to my plot at the lotties - they are fighting addiction, the most awful fight of all, against yourself, against constant temptation.

I WILL get over this stupid bump in the road; I may not control the winds but I can adjust my sails to keep me going in the right direction.

See you very soon - with pictures xxx

Monday, 7 June 2010

Hello darlings! I'm home.

It's been a pretty weird life since I last posted a little blogette.
There have been great times, honestly - our new house has grown up out the ground and inside it looks more and more like a house and less like a collection of (albeit, orderly) bricks and bits of wood. We even have a friend who is plastering the inside it at the minute (so we know it's all being done to the best quality) and the builders asked us to pick our kitchen late last week, that's really exciting.

We did have a wonderful day at the beach together (way back when) and I have photos to follow :)

However, on Saturday I had a pretty unpleasant run in with a man who scared and intimidated me, over the photographing of a completely innocent close up of a lollypop. This lead to the last weekend being a right off, a heavily sedated affair in which I was hysterical at one moment and 'out of it' the next. This person managed to become a larger than life figure in my not so 'normal' mind thus utterly destroying my self-esteem (not that hard to do, granted) and leaving me never wanting to take another photograph in my life. It was such a terrible weekend that Andrew had to take a half day today to recover himself; after looking after me, he was left exhausted.

So today I climbed back on the metyphorical horse and went to the Allotment. I worked hard, talked with friends, engaged in battle with a much hated enemy who is determined to eat all my soft fruits, ggrrrrr! , indulged in my latest passion, had the freshest lunch ever and took photos. Yes my lovelies, I fought back; I am my camera, I don't do photography only because it is cathartic and enjoyable, I do it because I can't not do it.

Hope to see you tomorrow, we have a lot to get cought up with xxx

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Testing, testing....

Just so you know I'm still alive and kicking.

Been working very hard on the lottie and was even there without Andrew today but honestly I am exhausted and can't deal with blogging at the moment. My hayfever tablets (yes I had to give in and admit defeat by the pollen count) are working but added to everything else that's going on, I'm  rather drowsy at the mo.
 Normal service shall resume presently.....xxx
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