Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Soil and clouds

From the dark cold earth to the misty white clouds, the last weekend in January saw the first of our visits to the Allotment and the first hike of the year. What a year we have planned as well! The allotment is going to get some serious loving and our wee legs are going to do some serious walking - my new camera was gifted to me at just the best of times.

With renewed vigour we intend to smash this year of 2018 into shape and make a heck of a lot of good memories while we're at it. Of course there shall be the usual mental health monsters to slay each day but we can do this together and I am not ashamed to fail (now and then). It's the year of learning self care, exploring new places and of the rebirth of our wee plot. The 10th year of plot holding; the 20th year of us being in love.

* That 1st visit *
the plot after 3 months of winter neglect - Carrie Gault
okay, it was very bleak but not too bad looking, right?
It wasn't as horrendous as we had feared - virtually no winter storm damage and the weeds had not succeeded in conquering every last inch of soil. Plus the shed was still there.

We had to plant our garlic and luckily the 'Andrew of November past' had thought ahead and left an area covered over in black membrane = gorgeous weed free soil to plant into.
garlic planting at the allotment - Carrie Gault
back to basics - remember to plant your cloves a good hand span apart and not too deep

I found signs of hope all around our little half plot and here are just three ...
- the glint in Toby's eye (plus he was very good and quiet)
- new buds on the apple trees
- gorgeous red blueberry buds

Toby the dog and some other buds - Carrie Gault

And I was able to harvest leeks too, we have loads that I had forgotten about.

* That 1st hike* 
Sunday started out so bad but there came a little moment in the afternoon where I just had to grab life by the shoulders and take control. I ran upstairs and got dressed; we left the house before I could even think about changing my mind. Off to Ballyboley Forest for a walk, in the rain. We literally drove up and up into the clouds and then walked inside them, it wasn't the most pleasant visit ever.
Ballyboley forest in a cloud - Carrie Gault
a very damp walk indeed and some shocking deforestation (forest service owns this area)
Ballyboley hike stats - Carrie Gault
Andrew has a cool app on his phone that records all our hikes :)

It wasn't a long walk by any means but it was a good start after the holidays and all the sickness and snot we'd suffered. I had not thought clearly in my rush and thus had jeans on which got soaked and left me freezing but other than that we all kept good pace and took photos as well. Toby was just running back and forth all over (he walks at least twice as far as we do) but always came back when called - good boy.

So very glad I managed to get this published before the end of the month - though you can ask Andrew, I have been cussing away at the photo app I have to us - I'm always wanting to be better at everything.

Got your potatoes yet? We got Sharp's Express again - what's you favourite???

Love and hugs


  1. So glad to see you back on track! Please keep them coming, I enjoy them so much!

    1. oh Monique how I do love you. You are so kind. I really do want to keep up all my interests this year and blogging is huge one especially when I get to read comments like yours xxxx

  2. Well done and try to hold on to those positive thoughts. Yes potatoes are bought - our most favourite early potato is Casablanca.

    1. Thank you, it's bloomin' hard but I can but try x
      Oooohhhh I've never tried Casablanca, that sounds very exotic I haven't seen it in any of our shops. Hope they are lovely!

  3. MMMMmmm Leeks! Keep going....... love

    1. ah, another leek lover. I have a severe intolerance to onions but a little leek is delicious and doesn't make me sick. Hurrah for leeks (we grow musselburgh) xx

  4. Nice post and pictures. Good to see the plot is looking okay. It doesn't matter if it wasn't a long walk, or that you got a bit wet and cold, but that you went out for the afternoon.
    All my potatoes are chitting on the windowsill in the spare room, including my favourites Charlotte.
    You've mentioned your new camera a couple of times, can you tell the make and model as I'm thinking about buying a new one. Take care, keep warm and hugs. xx

    1. Oh we hovered over the Charlotte potatoes but they were really rather soft, so we made our other choice. You are right - I WENT OUT :)

      My camera is a Sony a6000. It is very similar to my large DSLR only this one is mirrorless and thus much lighter and easier to put in any bag and take it out any where. I have found Sony to be really fabulous over the past 15 or so years and love this one so much.

      Mine was from Jessops -

  5. Just a question. I got bipolar and just found out about MBCT. Have you tried it? It seems very effective for depressions and one can study with a book.
    Only gardening I've done this year is prune fruit trees and sow somethings inside.

    1. thank you Mikia, I have already tried all the cognitive therapies and Mindfulness but to no avail. I appreciate you putting the idea forward though. I hope it works for you though and wish you strength and optimism.

      You've done just about all the gardening there can be done at this time of the year - you're doing great. We haven't sown anything yet xxx


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