Friday, 11 March 2011

Was this the cloudiest winter ever ?

We have FINALLY had a few days of sun . One day it was even warm and the lawn has dried out from being just a muddy mess to a hard grassless mess . Thats clay for you . Still . threw some grass seed on , soon that will be all good again . Cant wait for the smell of cut grass.
I planted some tomato seeds today . Small cherry tomatoes and the opposite , HUGE beef tomatoes . Im trying them for the first time as ive never grown big tomatoes before . Apparantly last years tomato blight wasnt unique to me , everyone got it . SO im trying again .
Im also growing some ruby chard if i can find a place ot put it and im going all out for fruit . its so expensive in the shops that i have to if we want to eat any .
Ive added some raspberry bushes and a gooseberry bush that i suspect may be dead , to the front mimi veg patch along with strawberries .  The strawberries im trying under a cloche to see if i get earlier or better fruit . Must remember to water them .
On the balcony , well i dont know because husband is building a new balustrade that has glass panels . i want them seriously strong so i can hang window boxes from it . Im hoping anyway . I want to grow black beans up it somewhere but the steps need moving .
I made some plant tags because i cant tell what fruit tree is what in winter , I painted some slate with the names and when the sticks bear fruit again ill add labels .
At least i have some plants in flower now   , Spring wont be long !

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Spring is sneaking about at last . Just a little bit .

Spring definately isn't here yet . there is ice in the water and frost on the roof . BUT buds are showing and spring bulbs are sending out green shoots . Its so cold and damp and coudy here , has been for weeks but when it does warm up , this year i think spring is going to be a riot . Cant wait  , i need to drink coffee on my balcony again . Last year i did it all winter . This year its been so wet and cloudy and damn cold that i just cant and i miss it . A lot .
I have a new plant pot that i bought really cheaply . Its purple with a wavy edge and i filled it with bright pink , purple and white cyclamen and put it in a corner of the balcony . A strong corner . When it does get sunny it will be ready for me to sit next to and admire . Ive bought tomato , purple bean and Brussel sprout seeds to try this year . Im thinking though it makes more economic sense to grow fruit rather than veg ,. veg is quite cheap , fruit isnt . Maybe i can fit in some raspberry canes .
Im under new doctors orders because i still keep collapsing which is making things a bit difficult . I had my diet all sorted out and they went and changed it . Im banned from a lot of fruit as well as a million other things and thats been hard . Im also not allowed stress or stressful situations . How do i avoid that ! Stress is by definition a situation that happens to you that you cant avoid , which gives you stress  . Hmm . cant sell my kids so ill do my best .  Im also banned from excercise and undue exertion in case i fall over . for THREE MONTHS . I have a shed to help put up .  Im reduced to standing on the sidelines and feeling helpless . I hate that . But i also hate falling over so i guess ill just have to stick with it . we need to know for certain whats causing it . one way to find that out is to see if we can stop it happening . hence all the banned things .
We have at last had a few moments of sun , it had been absolutely WEEKS without any . At one point the entire British Isles was covered in FOG . everywhere . when its not fog its clouds . unrelenting clouds . So any sun , even a flash is really really welcome .
seed packet time ! yay :-)
Sometimes i write .

And make jelly . This is my new pie dish but its great for jelly hearts .

This Lemon Geranium i grew from a cutting from a friend of mine . She went to hospital so i aquired a bit while i was round her house and it smells delicious !
Sunshine ! only a few seconds but it really helps .

Lexi cat with her mouse toy .

Shocked at sunlight !

She was scared of this mouse at first but we took the bell out and now she loves it .

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry christmas

Lexi is about to have her first christmas with us . Im fairly sure she has settled in well ;-) its relax time for us now  , or it wil be as soon as the kids GO TO SLEEP ! :-)

Saturday, 11 December 2010

really bad day .

Today has been challenging . The car is dead . totally dead and with money troubles looming (temporarily i hope ) this was not welcome news . Also ive managed to injure my back and every part of me hurts  . At least its the weekend ! 
I spent some time making mince pies with my daughter but im so out of energy today . Still , got pies , can eat !
And my laptop is fixed and my dishwasher works  , ive never had one before and it makes so much difference to my life . I have a little problem with low energy an the fact that i fall over sometimes . sometimes quite a lot  . Im tol there may be something in my brain causing it . more tests..... . The dishwasher is a life and energy saver .  it saves me so much time in the day .
random kitchen image , this made me smile because its got a camera lense in , some whisky and a mortar and pestle for the curry spices :-)

Friday, 3 December 2010

Its december again and we have SNOWWWWWW

Its snowing and its amazing and i love it , apart from the fact that my car is broken and my laptop is supposedly fixed but i now cant reach it , so ive decided to try and blog using the house pc . Husband is being very good about me putting his hard drive into the red with my photos but i really need my laptop back .
Im off my depression tablets for now . I can feel my moods are unstable and on many days i have a depressed episode . Im trying to recognise them as such and that makes them easier to deal with ,  telling myself that they are not real . Snow makes it easier , this morning it fell as a fine mist and clung to everything . We have had several days worth of it now and its nearly a foot deep .  My balcony is deep under it , if it continues i may have to invest in a snow shovel :-))
we have had
temperatures of minus 8 degrees centigrade at night here but it hasnt felt that cold , even out in the snow . I have seen a wall hung fire that is on my wishlist for christmas though , id love to read my book snuggled up in front of that :-)
Today is house tidying time hampered by the new cat we have . Her name is lexi and she is a rescue cat . she is two years old and was abandoned by her owners when they moved house . She is a warm weather cat and does not approve of the snow , at all . She spends her time sitting on the bit of floor the hot pipes run under and snuggled on my lap .
OR on my favourite blanket .  She is very comfortable in our house and settled down within minutes . I let her out of her cat box and she sat on my feet and purred .
This is my balcony and garden under snow . Also my herbs , fruit trees and strawberries . The strawberries are totally buried they are just a hump of snow :-)

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Missing mountains

It rained here , and stormed . Times liek these i miss Swiss balconies . English doors and windows were not designed to be opened in a downpour . We got that wrong because when it storms the air smells delicious ! The Swiss overhanging roof is a wonderful invention ,. it also means you can dry your washing in the rain :-)
This is a pastel sketch of a photo by Jessica Burnett   , thanks Jess !

Friday, 4 June 2010

beach day ,pastels and driftwood

This afternoon we wandered down to the beach . We looked for fossilised sharks teeth , millions of years old , we dug for baryte crystals in the cliffs .

I did some sketches in soft pastel

My best driftwood find . i found lots of smaller bits too that im thinking up plans for , its so light ! This piece has silky silver branches , i love it .

My new Clematis flower with my driftwood

my tomatoes and my grapevine . these are next to the new lawn . we have lots of bunches of grapes coming on the vine . The other tomatoes got scoffed by slugs , these ones surrounded by gravel are fine . i need to plant up some more tomorrow .

This butterfly went and laid eggs on my olive bush after this , i hope we get a new generation of them , ill sacrifice my olive bush handsomeness for munched leaves and more of these guys  , they are deep blue inside their wings .

Last thing in the evening , the scent of cloves and vanilla on the balcony