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

Thursday, 3 June 2010

umm , ok its been ages.

Ive just been living life I guess and not blogging  . Totally lost track of where i was so im just going to start from now and not try to catch up , because i cant ! . Today we went to a country park to let the monsters loose for a while . As soon as we opened the car door they escaped .
There were wild animals in the grass

doing strange things

The flowers were beautiful . There were lots .

After the country park we went home for a BBQ

Glorious day ;-)

Friday, 21 May 2010

missing in action

I havnt been blogging because ive been far to busy , which is great ! my lawn is growing , but my plants are not however the sun is shining and ive given everything a feed . I lost a courgette to cold , and one squash honeybear and half my tomatoes to slugs , other than that all is well :-)
my potatoes are growing out front and getting curious glances from passers by .

my peas are growing but i found out i shouldnt have planted them next to the garlic . ah well  .

Prunus Kanzan in my front garden . turning my veg patch pink .

a little bit of fun i brought back from switzerland :-)

Friday, 30 April 2010

Switzerland sketches and peach leaf curl

I did some en plein air sketchesd whilst up in the peaks in Switzerland . These are intended as aids to me and i do them for the fun of sketching . They make snese to me anyway , each one captures something that intrigued me at the time .
 On another subject , my peach or nectarine trees have peach leaf curl . no fruit this year , a disaster but i think i can fix it for next year , i like a challenge . The rest of the garden is still going crazy , i had to make a new veg raised bed for some borlotti beans (i think need to check the packet) some cabbage and a courgette . Its all planted too close but i can always harvest young i hope or transplant the cabbages to the front bed when the peas are done . im juggling but its fun . the lawn is nearly levelled and ready for sowing with seed and the strawberries are full of flowers . ive learned they can slow or stop cancer tumours forming and since both my parents have had  , and recovered , from cancer strawberries are on the diet big time .
Im loving my life right now , it rained lst night and the garden smells fabulous . i have scented stock overwintered and flowering and the violas are suddenly full of scent , delicious after rain the scent floods the gardens . cant wait for the sweet peas to flower on the balcony !  

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

back from Switzerland

Well , Switzerland , France , Germany ,Luxembourg and Belgium . We missed out on Italy and Holland narrowly .  Strange how a trip to the Swiss alps was nearly stopped by a volcano in Iceland . My flight was cancelled so we jumped in the car ad took the ferry . Great decision it was fantastic and the sunsets were amazing . Ill update the blog with photos and info as i process them . Now im back and my garden exploded while i was away ! everything needs either potting up or planting out and i still have that lawn to seed though its nearly flat now .  i have piles of laundry everywhere but im happy ! its spring and its beautiful . I looked at all the Swiss gardens i could find and they filled out during the week i was there . Full of blossoms and dandelions and trained fruit trees . The garden centres were amazing but i dont think i can bring live plants to England so i didnt buy .  Ive got ideas for my fruit trees though.....
 Im struggling settling in . Im dizzy . I wasnt dizzy in Switzerland but i am here . stress? dont know , im ignoring it .  I woke up filled with dread for the morning BUT happy also , i know , weird . I got the kids ready for school . oldest is still off with a torn muscle , (yesterday) and it was stressful but then when we strted walking my sons hand slipped into mine and my daughter walked nicely beside me and it was all ok . I echanged conversation with school mums , a friend of the kids launched herself into my lap for a cuddle and the sun was shining . I realised i NEED this walk to school , wanting to opt out holds me back . Its nice . Its good , i can look at peoples gardens and see the Abby on the hill . I can think on the way back and clear my head . Nice . I must remember that tomorrow . 
It was amazingly special there but its also amazingly special here . full of smiles :-)
Swiss houses are beautiful .

Monday, 12 April 2010

Bee cake

My daughter , the smallest one is six ! and she wanted a bee cake , well , two bee cakes , a big one and a little one so we made them together ;-)
Little bee cake ;-)
and they were delicious . My kids dont like shop bought cake and they LOVE to stick their fingers in the mixing bowls . So do i :-)

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Digging and more digging

I need a new lawn , i had one once , sort of but i dont now because im on london clay and it dries and cracks and bakes and only weeds survive in it . Last week i looked out of my window and thought , dig the lawn . So we did and i still am . Why is it if i plant a carrot i get them with torsos arms and legs usually twisted but every single dandelion weed had a root like a perfect parsnip ??
I was told i need lime so i bought lime to dig in .  I need topsoil but i cant afford that BUT i discovered the bottom of the garden is black gold leaf mulch so . Dig from bottom , mix at top and see how we go . im hoping to work in some used compost from pots i have to make the ground more friable . i love that word friable :-)
So far the weather has been cooperating but the ground is beggining to dry out . if i dont finish this now i wont get the chance so dig and dig some more :-) Im finding it really therapeutic and im getting much stronger . My muscles ache but i like it . I ve also been signed off by my therapist  ive gone from severely depressed to mild , im proud of that . ;-)
My new strawberry planter i found in a discount shop . Wilkinsons i think . Al the strawberry plants in it i dug out oif my flower border and from under the decking where they had propegated themselves from runners . Im hoping for a good crop from this .
My husbands Magnolia Stellata is flowering beautifully i love the way the light shines through the flowers in the morning . The weather has been beautiful here , hot sun with a fresh sea breeze  . We had a first unplanned BBQ of the year on the balcony .
With bread rolls fresh from the oven
And pork with special honey glaze :-) We made homemade potato salad and chicken and vegetable kebabs too and it was delicious :-)

Saturday, 3 April 2010

How my garden grows , in between rain and hailstorms and high winds...

Spring is here , even if the weather is trying its hardest to go back to winter  .
This is my front garden veg patch , i had to pull half the wall down as it was becoming dangerous and this white hump is a homemade cloch made from the poles from a beach tant , some fleece and some clothes pegs . under it is garlic , peas , and possibly about a million tomato plants , or maybe california poppies i cant tell andyway , they will succumb to the hoe once i find out what they are . Next to this are a row of potatoes under fleece but you cant see them in this shot .
One of my mini orchard trees . I still dont know what it is exactly .
this is the  bottom half of my olive tree , im hoping this trunk becomes all gnarly and twisty as it grows . its living in the pot though i found out how big these things can get .
My grape vine is in bud :-)
This one i THINK is either apple or pear . im hoping for apple .
This one , i havnt a clue :-)
My balcony plant hotspot
The violas are romping away now i gave them a feed and they seem to like it
Sweet peas and nasturtians  outside and surviving , mostly .
strawberries in flower . well , one is anyway the rest havnt got the idea yet .
courgette seed it was yellowing slightly so i gave it a feed and its greened up aagin nicely , wow these things are hungry !
Soring onions and lettuce . getting there , a few more weeks before i can harvest though .
Lupin , waiting to go into my flower border . i want it to get big enough to withstand the slugs . the last lot got chomped .