Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Senior moment

Here is a little puzzle for you.

These are the pots on my kitchen windowsill in which I am trying to grow sweetcorn seedlings (aiming for Oklahoma-style corn as high as an elephant's eye.  Will probably end up with corn barely covering a slug's bottom.)  Can you spot the problem?  At first I was blaming the cat for the poor performance of the pot on the end.  Bellus tends to sit on that windowsill gazing out longingly at the garden he can easily reach via the catflap and I was accusing him of shriveling my potential seedlings with his atrocious catty breath. 

But no.  Turns out I forgot to put seeds in the last pot.  I checked.  I was really hoping to find cat-breath shriveled part-germinated corpses in there rather than accept that I have been hoping to grow sweetcorn from compost and thin air. 

I will try to avoid being distracted by something shiny this weekend for long enough to put something seedy in that final pot. Chances are of course that I will then forget to bring it home so I can put it with the others and water it. 

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Very easily pleased


Peas! They survived the frost and sleet and are happily thriving in our bunny-proof nursery. I reckon the seedlings are about 2 inches tall now, which makes them about an inch or so taller than any of the peas we planted last year. We are now indulging in fantasies of lush, verdant pots full of pea plants groaning with pods. Drool............

We have also (rather cheekily) popped some more pots at the end of our garden, bordering the farmer's field. It's a nice sunny spot, as you can see, and we are hoping to bring on some more varieties of seedlings down here - cauliflower, cabbage and parsnips to start with. That twiggy tree just starting to come into leaf on the left of shot is an elder from which we hope to make gallons more elderberry cordial come autumn.

And then Husband stumbled upon a squatter lurking in the undergrowth. I must confess, I find his/her gaze rather disturbing.

I am The Master. You will obey ME!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

I have a genuine excuse this time

For the past 10 days or so, I have had a lovely post composed in my head for you all. Photos and everything. And I would have had it posted last week had not the Dreaded Lurgy broken out and brought Chateau Loth to its knees. All of the menfolk were struck down, reduced to lying draped on the couches watching DVDs of classic Dr Who. And coughing. Lots of coughing. And eating soup. It appeared to be some sort of viral flu-like bug which has now, thankfully, passed on from our house and gone off to bug someone else.

Which means I can now tell you all about the weekend-before-last which I would have posted about last week had I not been fully engaged in supplying industrial quantities of iced water and liquid paracetamol to the masses.

We went down to the Corbies for the last weekend in March/first weekend in April and were rewarded with quite lovely weather. Lovely enough to allow us to sit on the patio with my favourite accompaniments:
Add a book into that photo (my Kindle is out of shot) and you pretty much have my perfect afternoon. We did venture out as well, heading down to the villages of Ford and Etal for a wander. Etal is a lovely part of the world, a little village with thatched cottages and a thatched pub and a post office that looks like this:

There is a tea room in there and we succumbed to the lure of heather honey ice cream, which is every bit as lovely as it sounds. After that, we meandered around Etal Castle and were enticed into the Castle gift shop by a stuffed toy corbie in the window. He is now called Ronald and lives on our window sill:I think you will agree that he was far too cool to leave in a shop full of souvenir pencils and keyrings. That evening, the weather stayed mild and dry enough to allow us to have dinner from the barbeque - making use of the rare native "BBQ tool rack tree" which flourishes in our garden.
We even managed to give the fire pit its first outing of the year. There is something very, very nice indeed about sitting around a fire as the sun sets, playing silly games and incinerating marshmallows. It was well after dark before we finally gave in to the cold and went indoors.

And then it was time to come home. And then the plague hit and the rest of last week was a bit of a blur. Fortunately everyone recovered in time to celebrate Second Born's twelfth birthday today. SB has confirmed that he had a good birthday, involving the receipt of many new classic Dr Who DVDs (in case we all fall ill again soon, presumably) and a steering wheel and accelerator/brake pedal kit for his XBox (no, I don't know how a steering wheel and pedals work with a games console either. Probably best I don't ask.) Oh, and we also bought him a hat he has been pestering me to buy him for months. The hat added a certain rakish je ne sais quoi to his outfit of dressing gown and slippers this morning as he tested out his new toy.

And yes, I did get his permission to post this. He's 12 now and almost as tall as I am. Best not to get on his bad side this close to the start of the teen years!