Wednesday, 15 April 2015

I built a storage bench

During the winter months some nasty little pilferers took our lovely kidney shaped wooden bench from right off our plot, gah! What with that and the fact that our storage box looked to be falling apart, I was utterly delighted when Keter asked me if I would like to review their Eden Storage Bench. That it was called Eden (like our Allotments and the village they are in) tickled me pink and you just know the answer I gave, with much gratitude.

Keter Eden Storage Bench on the plot ~

*** A few weeks later ***
I was really glad Andrew happened to be home when the most massive of delivery lorries pulled up outside our home, blocking the light like a solar eclipse! And voilĂ  - there it was, on a free pallet too :) (Andrew has since made some use of this free wood - there is no stopping him and his DIY ways)

Keter Eden Storage Bench ~

It was expertly packaged up and oh what joy I had unwrapping it, so much bubble wrap to stomp on!
Keter Eden Storage Bench ~

So we loaded all the parts up into the car and drove right down to the back of the lottie shed. Off loaded here, we were able to get the instruction booklet out and place everything neatly in order of assembly; the only tool needed was a star headed screwdriver = awesome.

Keter had designed this so well that once the basic framework was made (note: frame re-enforced by steel), there was a lot of simple assembly by clicking into place. In many cases it was great to have a helper, especially as I'm not that tall, only have 2 hands and the wind was making the whole experience that wee bit wobblier to begin with.
Building the Keter Eden Storage Bench ~

However sometimes my helper got a little carried away and the DIY King within him broke free. It was not a bad thing at all, with my double vision there were times when the assembly was painfully slow and I was driving myself bonkers with trying to put 10 small screws in to secure the base.
Building the Keter Eden Storage Bench ~

But I loved making it and as I did so it was easy to sense the strength of the piece and know that it was well designed and sturdy. These are feelings you may not get when you think it's plastic and not solid wood. This is going to be a fabulous asset on the plot, with lots of lockable storage space, long lasting plastic material, strength enough to comfortably hold 2 people, their dog, plus picnic and a nice finish without painting every season.

Maggie and I relaxing on the Keter Eden Storage Bench ~

10 out of 10.

Now we just have to hope that no one steals it *rolls eyes*


Monday, 13 April 2015

Finally planting the potatoes

Okay friends, let's talk about the Easter week work we Gaults achieved at the allotments; if I don't get it documented I have a terrible fear I'll forget - I have been super forgetful the past few months, thank goodness for cameras and camera phones!

Remember I showed you the two spud varieties we had chitting beside one another? The ones on the right were hollow to the touch and had been in a too hot environment for too long; they were Sharp's Express. As Flighty rightly pointed out, we could have planted them and probably had a good crop, but as we were only planting two rows this year, Andrew wanted healthier looking specimens and thus we planted the Pentland Javelin lot instead.

So, first task on our Easter break was planting those spuds (a little later than we usually do due to the poor weather, but it won't make much difference to the end product). I stood by with  my camera and Andrew did the hard grafting :) Here he is preparing the soil...
preparing the potato bed ~
* Using an adaza to make a nice deep V trench
* Flattening out the bottom with a spade 
* Adding a layer of good fertile wormy manure to the bottom

planting rows of potatoes ~
* Next the potatoes were placed about a foot apart (chitted eyes upwards) onto the yummy manure
* Lastly some organic blood, fish and bone was lightly scattered into what would be the back fill

two ridged rows of potatoes ~

And here are our spuds for the coming season. Two rows all planted and ridged up; looks a little like two burials but I promise no animals or indeed humans were buried in the making of this blog post! 

PSB, Maggie and blue anemones ~
Plus here is a sweet little vignette of some other lovelies spotted on the plots that day. We cut the biggest of the Purple Sprouting Broccoli and ate it that night - gorgeous!!! Maggie was very vigilant in her supervision of our activities and these lovely blue anemones opened up in the sunshine.

Hugs and love - more soon
Plus a hearty thank you to those who commented on my last post xx

Sunday, 12 April 2015


My levels of anxiety are at fever pitch these days. It's pretty much continuous until I fall asleep, exhausted. I do take sedatives but they only make it slighter easier, in that I don't scream or punch things (myself included).

So the very fact that I was at the allotment at all this past week is somewhat a testament to my bloodymindedness, my grit, my moxie. I have worked every day and though my contributions may pale in the sight of Andrew's, in a way they are that much greater.

I am free and easy to write about having chronic depression and acute chronic anxiety. But did you know that if you were sitting here beside me I wouldn't be able to speak at all? If I even tried it would be so quiet, so mumbled you wouldn't hear me. On those rare days like today when I can write, I can express myself and feel like I am actually talking to someone, it feels a little less of a lonely life. But you don't see the fear in my eyes, you don't see me shaking as I type.... 

But enough, I am a fighter and you shall metaphorically 'hear' me roar this coming catch up week.....

Oh, I have stories from this Easter week, my friends! Stories of great progress made on both the two half plots (24a and 14b), that there are loads of seedlings in the greenhouse, that we have been eating produce we've grown, of Maggie's continued cuteness and the revelation that I built a bench! 

I shall write about them all with joy in my heart and I do hope you can spare a moment to share in the journey with us.

Love and hugs

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Just so you know...

I'm working so hard at the allotment plots I haven't the energy to write up what we have achieved over the last days. Watch this space :)

Maggie and me at the lottie - ''
Photo taken by Andrew with our super cool old polaroid camera (Supercolour 670AF)

Sunday, 5 April 2015

The Greenhouse and Ecotherapy

Well here she is - our beautiful little lean to greenhouse :) Oh how long my poor hubby has waited for a more permanent greenhouse than those little plastic covered ones you buy and have to throw away after one year. This is a true treat! I have a feeling that he may even have named it, but that's between him and the greenhouse ;)

As you can see it's not that big but it is marvellous (size isn't everything); just the way it fits so perfectly under the shed guttering and still there's room between it and our back garden fence so a cold frame and lots of pots could sit there and we'd have a full little nursery :) The plastic is sturdy and thick and though it was all flat pack, Andrew didn't have any problems at all; it was up in a jiffy.

The hubby also made the tiered shelving yesterday whilst I sat and watched - there was a lot of geometry going on which would have made my brain melt if I'd paid attention, but luckily I know maths and I are fierce enemies, I just don't go into it's territory. Anyway, I'm so proud of him, it fits so neatly and there's a feeling of lots of growing space now.

Above: Super happy little broad bean seedlings

Below : Our potato collection.
* On the right are our Sharp's Express which chitted perfectly but then the weather went a bit nuts on us and there was much rain, gales and even frost so they are dried out and useless :(
* On the left lies our hope of spuds this year now, they're Pentland Javelin and though they aren't fabulously chitted, they will have to do, hoe hum..

So, yep I did nothing to help yesterday at all, whilst Andrew worked and created and planted seeds and what not. No, a big part of Ecotherapy (at home or the allotments) for me is to allow myself to simply sit and breathe. The very act of being outside can be such a push that it is therapy enough to merely experience nature. Look past those weeds, ignore the work that needs done and instead listen. Listen to the trees rustle, the birds singing, the voices of others, your own heartbeat. And just be in the moment.

That's not what I did today, my friends! But it's what I needed yesterday and I feel all the better because of it :)

Love and Hugs