Monday, 13 April 2015

Rural Bygones AKA Rusty old stuff! and other news

We popped over to the auction yard first thing on Saturday morning just to have a look at what they were selling in their special Rural and Domestic Bygones Sale. Col had already looked at the catalogue  and  there wasn't anything he wanted but I was curious to have a closer look at this -
"A late 1800s Willcox & Gibbs treadle operated sewing machine". It really looked that old and so very small. Got me thinking about how much smaller everything was in the past. Homes were 2 up and 2 down yet lived in by families with up to a dozen children. The first cars were very little, now we run around in big 4 by 4s. Shops were often in someones front room, now we are used to huge supermarkets, think how small the first TVs were and now? Why is bigger now better?

Anyway, lots of the items for sale was old farm stuff but someone was selling a collection of old spectacles and then there was German militaria and lots of horse brasses, old railway signs, chamber pots and all sorts. When we came home Col listened on line to the bidding just to see what prices things sold for. Why would someone pay £60 for a sign " Public Conveniences 100yds" and a very old wicker potato hopper basket that looked  like this below, only much more fragile - as if it would soon fall to pieces -went for £16.  Surely they would let the light in to the spuds. A new one is the same price!
The Potato Storage Basket hopper  

  I hope whoever paid £220 for this coracle knows how to paddle it, as far as I know coracles are not often used in Suffolk. We've seen them being used on Welsh rivers and visited the Coracle Centre in Cenarth falls in Carmarthenshire with the children a long time ago.

 On Saturday afternoon I was just thinking that I ought to put the new filter, which had arrived in the post, in the hoover and clean up everywhere when we had some visitors pop in for a cuppa, I knew I should have hoovered up earlier! Once they had gone Col went out to do the watering - we had rain before lunch but not even enough to measure in the rain gauge. The beetroot, parsnip and broad beans need watering to get them going and there has been so very little out of the sky for weeks. He is already moving water from the big tanks near the workshop to the small tanks near the poly-tunnels.

Sunday dawned sunny but cold. Col looked at emails and there was a yellow weather warning from the Met Office for high winds. High winds? it was quiet and still outside but on the weather website the winds were due to get really strong just after lunch.An early walk was the decision. I forgot the camera - Duh - but we went around a footpath that we hadn't walked since well before Col's heart problems, only 2 ½ miles but we were pleased. His 'new' walking boots were comfy ( bargain!), mine ( very expensive) are the best I've ever had and we are slowly building up strength again.
It did get windier after lunch and we had more visitors calling in for a while.

We had another whole 1mm of rain overnight but Monday was sunny and dry again. Col went and topped some grass at the second-home-across-the-field then did our hay meadow too, partly to give it a boost and also to flatten the molehills. Later he went and fetched the baler that makes small bales, so we can turn the giant round bales of straw that no-one wants to buy into small ones that hopefully we can sell more easily. My Monday jobs were bread making, seed sowing and plant potting on. BTW our bread has suddenly got a whole lot more interesting thanks to Approved Foods who had sacks of 16kg of Malted Wheat Flour for  £5.49 - Bargain. And a free delivery code- saving £5.99, probably because I hadn't ordered anything from them for several months. I've just looked and they still have it for sale.

Look at this chopping board full of pink lovelyness pulled today. First of the season forced rhubarb.

 Cooked up and then mixed with custard and a bit of cream makes a delicious rhubarb fool. Has to be the best way to celebrate something  fresh from the garden.

Did anyone else get a Thompson and Morgan garden catalogue in the post today. There was a leaflet included about a new tomato -  Gigantomo - " each tomato weighing upwards of 3lb!". It would take a while to eat one of those. I've borrowed the picture from the leaflet so you can see the size. I'm not really tempted to try them as they are selling for around £9.99 a plant. It says each plant produces up to 11 tomatoes but I'm thinking they would need quite a lot of feeding.

Tomato 'Gigantomo'

Solanum lycopersicum L.



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