Thursday 29 July 2010

All just peas in a pod

We can all rely on Mother Nature. She gives us what we need whether we realise it at the time or not. I needed that rain yesterday, I needed to turn my face away from the world and into her arms. She let it rain and that was the tears I could not cry.

She is always there for me making beauty appear all around me, giving me storms to cuddle up under a blanket with and feel safe, warm, protected. Looking into her eyes I am calmed, her voice is the bird song, the waves breaking; her smile is hope.

Nothing like a biological mother, she is much more -stronger, wiser, ever knowing. She tests me in ways that help me learn, to appreciate. Never malevolent, she pushes me to the limits to experience unease and heartache but only in order to feel the extremes and enjoy the beauty of laughter and peace all the more. She takes and she provides and there is a home in her heart where I am free.

I look around today and see the same mess, the same dull grey clouds; hear the same droning noise of cars and trains, the almost unbearable sound of my own breath and my fingers taping on this keyboard, alone in this room. Yet somehow today I sense the magnificence of simply being. One of many billions who have walked this earth, I am still unique and so are you.

(The last of our sweet delicious peas, now all gone, all done for another year)

Wednesday 28 July 2010

Bloomin' weather - grrr

I'm dying inside. It's raining again, hard and I have the worst headache but I am determined not to lie down as that's what I have mainly been up to this week so far - depression has knocked me for 6 recently. I really want to go out, to do something, maybe even visit the lottie alone for once in my life (it would certainly be quiet today with this heavy pour down). I. am. miserable. Where is the sun?? If I'm going to be stuck in the house by my own fear and depression at least let me look out onto a blue sky, with these attic windows the sky is all I ever see and it's mainly a very unattractive, framed view of grey/white.

So what shall I think about to cheer me up? Why the beautiful blooms and colours on my lotties. We were there last night and had a lovely dander and spoke to Bill for ages, but more on last night later.

These are just from all over the past weekend and they are doing a good job of making me smile, just a little....

Tuesday 27 July 2010

No more owls

Thank you to the 8 people who took part in my poll. It has been decided my you that the owls are gone and Grow Our Own is now offically grown up and trying to be more sophisicated. Hugs, I like the new look but didn't want to hurt any feelings. To the 2 who loved the owls best, sorry.... xxx

Monday 26 July 2010

A little nosey around the fields #1 (A and B)

We wanted to take dear little Maggie for a walk but couldn't face the usual routes we take and the tide was in so a trip to the beach wasn't happening - so what better than a dander and a good looking at other people's plots?! It's been ages since I took a walk around Eden Allotment Gardens and saw what was going on, what others were growing and the interesting details about how one puts personality into a plot.

We started off in our own field, field A where I feel most comfortable.

This is the plot right beside us, it used to be a friends but he had to give it up due to work commitments, now it has been carved into 2. This is the part we are next to on two sides (the bottoms of both 24a and 14b are next to this). It's a little bit very annoying with all those weeds but look at the super work a lovely married couple have managed to do to that other half in just a matter of weeks! Wow - well done. Gives us all new hope and a little spurt of energy (have to keep up with the Jones').
So, then off on our travels we passed by Davy's wild flower border which is just stunning and onto a fun sight of a scarecrow (in Halloween costume?) looking after a load of potatoes. Then beside that on the same plot, we noticed the presence of  a disease is hitting a lot of peoples' strawberries this year, especially if they are new bought ones. This patch is just gone as one one across the path and it continued around the fields :(

After this I fell, yep, totally wiped out and landed on  my side, mucked up from toe to face in Colin's plot. Lucky for Colin it was only the edge of his plot and straight into some very good quality, dark and composty soil (I was looking at it very closely for a moment, haha). I don't think anyone but Andrew saw and he picked me up sharpish. However the camera was dirty and there are few photos from here as I had to allow the muck to dry off. I do have a very impressive bruise though......

Into Field B and instantly it is bogland, there appears to be no drainage in this field at all and I really do feel so sorry for the plot holders here. Thank goodness we were wearing our wellies, I wonder, can you get small dogs wellies??.....
However there was some very impressive sights such as this ingenius idea. It is a shed or a greenhouse? It's both! Hoorah for inventiveness. Plus look at Ricky's plot, it's like something made up for a movie set.

Upon dandering out again we stopped by Andrew's Uncle's plot and look - I thought it was rather funny. Never seen anything like this before carrots in love - awwww, how sweet.

Tuesday 20 July 2010

Garlic time again :)

It's come around again, how quickly time flies! On Sunday Andrew lifted the garlic, the whole bed and now they are all lying in the shed drying. Oh, golly the smell is gorgeous but a little over powering as there are so many and each one is a fabulous size this year. There won't be a beautiful plait like last year when we had both soft and hard necked varieties; you can plait soft necked varities and it does look very pretty, we'll have bunches this year, a bit more homely, hahah

After last year's harvest Andrew took cloves from the largest of the new bulbs and set them to one side, oh the delicious be planted again. The best, biggest, beauties came from our 'Solent Wright' hard neck variety and lo and behold we now have lots more of perfect fat and juicy Solent Wrights again this year (for free). I have heard it said that over the years you get your own variety of garlic by doing this over and over with the same children. Best get the old thinking hat on for a future name :)

On a sadder note, all the rocket had to go. This weather with all the rain and the heat has sent some of the crops a little loopy. Poor things don't know what is going on (not that I have a better clue), or what time of the year it is. We'll grow more, it's okay.

But I can't end on a sad note, oh no! We started off our Sweetcorn this year with the usually very trusty F1 'Swift' but it completely failed - disaster! Then we (and by that I really mean Andrew) planted F1 'Sundance' and now, oh happy days, we have wonderful, glorious red tassles and the healthiest, thickest stems and leaves. That makes me excited. I love sweetcorn and we didn't get to eat much of ours last year because we went away on holiday when they were ready. Luckily they weren't just pilfered, they were picked and frozen by Mamma. However, we forgot all about them and when we did, well they were so tasteless. Nevermind, this year shall be different!.

Monday 19 July 2010

All's change

Okay so Meredith changed her gorgeous blog background plus I had just made another new blog myself and enjoyed picking all the new elements. Anyway, I had the itches and changed the page- hope you like it! You can tell me if you don't, but I will find you and try to cry in front of you just to make you feel bad......;)

Berries everywhere!

Arrghhh, I can't eat them fast enough, the berries are flooding into the chamber and I am raising, raising up to the rafters, soon there will be no oxygen left, I shall drown or suffocate (I'm not sure which at this present moment, I have other things on my mind and sementics, though usually important to me will have to be pushed to one side) in sweet berry goodness!
That's how it feels on our plots at the moment. A joious, if slightly overwhelming bounty of strawberries, raspberries and red gooseberries with the blackberries looking at me, ready to pounce. I can't ever eat this many berries! So apart from jammin', we be freezin' these days and having summer pudding and 'fools'. We were even considering making wine - does anyone make raspberry wine?? Have I just invented it?; am I an evil genius? I must go and TM this....

On top of that I was surprised by Andrew this evening as I when  came out the bathroom he was there with our first 2 blueberries from the back garden. We have a fabulous plant in a pot out there :)

Berries galore, plus I have (almost) forgiven the birds for eating all my white and red currants. Hope you had a happy weekend, I was at my lottie so I have photos to for you x..

Friday 16 July 2010

I was at my Lottie (on Monday)

Okay so I'm only getting round to writing about it now - but it did happen, I was at my Lottie. Here, in Northern Ireland we had the 11th and 12th of July off for the Orangemen parades etc so Andrew was able to have a shortened week at work (I can't believe it's Friday today) and we spent some lovely extra time together. It was also sunny, not sure where that sun has gone now though as we have had heavy rain ever since.

So, yep I was weeding like crazy, 5 trugs full to the brim; that's a lot of weeds. And then pulling out a good few plants that had seriously bolted, a wheelbarrow full in fact - eek! All the Rocket had bolted and something else which escapes my mind at the minute and they had to go. Half of the Broad beans were also lifted having done us proud, and the goodness filled (nitrogen) roots left in the ground for the subsequent planting of the perpetual Spinach.

Proof, if it were needed, that I was in fact, there!
I started this this morning but, there is no chance of me finishing this post today, I have too much to say and no energy to say it. I went for a walk today by myself, my 2nd solo one in the past 2 weeks, after over a year! I thought it would make me feel good, proud and bouncy - ready to take on all those little jobs I have wanted/needed to get done, but instead I feel terrible, I pushed too hard. And now, I can barely talk, move or give a damn about anything. I have more though, and will be happier the next time I assure you.

Hugs galore - off to eat some beetroot, cabbage and erm, something else from the lottie. Andrew's cooking  :)

Thursday 15 July 2010

oh NO!!

I have somehow lost half of my blog list!!! What happened there. Sorry if you aren't listed at the moment I am going to have to think super hard about who all I love - eeekkk. I will try to get you all back :)

Oh. my. goodness. If you aren't there and you usually are please leave a comment and I'll get your address again xx

Wednesday 14 July 2010

We be jammin' again, but this time with Raspberries

Oh lordy, the 6 raspberry canes have all exploded in the glorious ruby red colour that can only equal one thing - berry joy!! Okay we're having a bit of trouble keeping up with the glut but there are no, I repeat NO complaints here - Raspberries are one of the Gault's favourite fruits :)
So here is a truly mouth watering photo of one of the big seed trays Andrew came home with on Friday night past. Oh, look at the colourful-ness and the cheeky little catepillar, hahaha. We didn't make jam out of him, honest!

So this is what we did do -

And with a little left over we did THIS - oh I'm antsy thinking about it now, I NEED more. I just need cream, biscuits, the jar of jam and a darkened room where no one can disturb me. I hope to be back blogging tomorrow (as I was at the lottie at the weekend - yipppee for me) but I guess that depends on whether someone finds me in said darkened room in a joy induced deep sleep, covered in jam and crumbs.

Sunday 11 July 2010


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley

Of course I can not take any credit whatsoever, I watched the film of the same title tonight and this poem is of course integral. It transends any Hollywood movie. Read it, share it and take strength from these words xxx Love as always

Saturday 10 July 2010

Let's be honest

I haven't been the alloment since 'that' Friday when I worked really hard and wrote that post about all and the coriander that wanted to kill be, slowly, wrapped up in it's sent and sweet leaves and flowers. The weather here has been very bad, raining heavy and dull and windy.

I have been more depressed and anxious than I have been in a long time. I even started to hurt myself again. The new house is upsetting me as it just feels so stressful not having my own home to feather and nest in. To have my own sense of indepence and that joyful feeling of being someone's wife and being there for them when they come home. It the moment I am not growing in myself, I have stunted, need moved, watered liberally and, damn all these cliches, I just feel like a plant covered in aphids dying.

Don't get me wrong - Mamma has/is wonderful and her generousity simply knows no bounds. Plus she kicked Cancer's ass and I still feel so happy for her, though I knew she'd do it all along (ask A.)

What I really want to say is I'm going to take a break, try and enjoy the time Andrew has off and please Mamma Nature - some good weather!? Please?? Though all I want to do is sleep; there is a deep and constant pain evident in each day and I am tired, too tired to fight anymore. And feel weak and embarassed at all the sedatives I need in my blessed life where I never want for food or a roof but feel like dying anyway.


Friday 9 July 2010

Plus to add the the fabulous news...

My Mamma G took on the Big C and today we found out she WON!
Really I could not be happier and tried to pick her up and swing her round but thaat didn't work, hahaha. Then I fell coming up the stairs cause I was dancing, hahahaha. I have the most stupid, inane grin on my face.
Horrah for Mamma G xxxx

A good news story to round off the week

An ancient Chinese proverb tells us that with patience a mulberry leaf eventually becomes a silk gown.....

Rowallane Gardens is one of our favourite places and their patience with a tree has finally paid off. Here's the story from BBC News N.I

Have a great weekend everyone. For us this is the time of the Marching bands and 'celebrating' the 12th - you know all that Battle of the Boyne stuff. I'm more interested in the beach and the allotment personally. If it isn't one it's the other that can boost my soul :)

We were at the beach last night in fact and what do ya know, loads of the weeds we've been pulling are growing there are little plants everywhere - we must have got loads of seeds in our seaweed mulch from the autumn - ggrrrrr! (looks okay there, but not in my veg beds!)

hugs xxxx

Tuesday 6 July 2010

We be jammin'

Okay first off I just want to say I have had the crappiest past couple of days and feel exhausted. I don't want everyone thinking I can keep up that happy, emotionally stable sense of being I had last post, all the time. No one can and although it was a fab night, it has been rather hellish since. I have been terrified to go outside, very anxious all the time and quite severely depressed.

However writing and taking photographs are my ways of coping in a healthy way and thus here I am today again. Well actually this is a mixture of 3 days of blogging in my head.

All the Stawberries are ripening at an incredible rate over the past week and with out a freezer the best we can do is make a lot of compotes. Jars and jars of the stuff - it's a little bit sickening, the amount I've been eating but I am not complaining - it tastes amazing!!!

So here were are with a new for us way to make strawberry jam, this time with jam making sugar and just doing exactly what it said on the back of the packet. We usually have normal castor sugar and the pectin would come from lemons, but a change is as good as a rest - or so they say.

I really do quite love this series of photos and they make my mouth water but oh my goodness can I anymore today??  hahaha.

I'm not going in insult your intelligence with the 'removal of foam' or sterilising jars and turning them upside down to set.. you know that all already don't you. Just want to encourage you to make some of your own and please, do get a jar funnel (we have yet too) it will make filling those jars so much easier.

Just remembered they don't have labels yet - eekk.  Does that means I'm not the perfect domestic goddness after all?

The raspberries are now all ripening at the same time - eek! Again I am not complaining but gluts can be overwhelming, don't you think?

Friday 2 July 2010

Horray ~ I won!

So the battle against Hayfever is won and I was able to go to my lottie with Andrew last night - yipppee! I didn't even take a camera, I was going to work hard and help get us back on top of things. It hurt leaving my camera behind but it was for the greater good, even though I saw photos waiting to be captured everywhere, they've gone now *shakes head sadly*.

But enough of that you want to hear about the lottie, don't you?? You do right?

First thing I noticed about the place was the climbing rose, it is just a delight this year with so many flowers and new shoots, it would guess she has settled in now. I'm looking at 2 of her flowers now in a tiny vase, just lovely. They're in there with my new rose we got earlier in the year (I'm hoping A. knows the name because my head is like a seive) which is so strong smelling and BIG, it's beautiful - I really do need to keep a record of names. (Pic at the bottom)

We have started to de-turf 24a, the grass paths are just a nightmare in the wet soggy winters (and springs and autumns and....) So, like 14a they shall eventually be bark mulched, it's just so much more workable, but we have to do it slow - you would think bark mulch was cheap but it isn't and those 3 bags you buy at once always just about do the area you had in mind.

'green' garlic is mild and delicious

I weeded, boy did I weed, two buckets full and a trug! Dandelions are threatening to take over the world I think not to mention poppies *blush*, that's my fault though... Luckily they were all just babies and the soil was perfect for lifting them. The cause was of  the major raise in weeds is of course the adandoned plots around ours but joy - 2 of those have been adopted by (hopefully) lottie crazy people and it won't get as bad again.

We ate peas straight out of their pods whilst having a little break. Oh my goodness how sweet and moreish. Just looking around I was so proud of Andy, our plot has such variety growing in it and we have been eating very well over the last months. It's just getting better of course now the soft fruits are ripening. We have another seed tray full of juicy plump strawberries that need eaten and last night when we came home, Mamma was making rhurbarb compote and we threw in our gooseberries and black currants (the darn birds got all the redcurrants this year again!)

There was one point last night when I thought to myself  'I'm really enjoying myself here', it was just after the gone-to-seed corriander tried to suffocate me. The plot was just warm enough to be working in a t-shirt, I could hear the birds and kids around the fields, that low hum of traffic in the distance and the donkey braying in a nearby field which always makes be smile. I had my head in the beans (weeding) and there was sweat on my back. I felt for that moment (grateful that the corriander hadn't killed me, though that intoxicating smell and its stems all entangled with me was yummy...) connected. I was working the soil, tending my plants and they were giving back. Yes giving back food but also exuding a sense of calm, a sense that I was needed, wanted here. To tend a plant is very rewarding, don't you think?

Sorrel and peas

Anyway, enough of my ramblings - I going to see if I have any photos from harvests etc that Andrew has brought home so I can make this post pretty :)

'that' BIG rose - it's much pinker today though

Have a fabulous weekend everyone ~ hugs and namaste xxx