Thursday, 14 May 2015

Being pushed towards a decision

Once again health issues are forcing us to think about our future.

A couple of weeks ago Col had an overnight stay in hospital for a small investigative operation in the Urology Department ( nuf said about that!). What he was told afterwards was no driving and no heavy lifting for 2 weeks. They did say that some people may need 4 - 6 weeks off work. Of course he didn't think  HE was one of those people. But he should have been because on Sunday evening another problem meant a quick dash to hospital and a 2 night stay with some quite nasty procedures - Ouch. Anyway he is home again and OK-ish but really must take things easy for a while.
This means that the man who had never been in hospital before 2013 has now been "inside" 7 times, and after each hospital stay we say we must cut down on what we do here, because of the way things are set up this is definitely a  two person smallholding.

We've decided that the chicken numbers will be cut again down to just enough for us and our neighbours and no pumpkins and squash will be grown out on the field after all. Once our youngest daughter has sorted out a flat rental and our eldests' wedding has been and gone -  the smallholding will go up for sale - probably!. All the internal decorating and tidying has been done and much of Col's might-come-in-handy stuff that fills the workshop could easily go in a skip, so really we are ready. We both fancy a move to somewhere completely different for a while and if we buy a house in a Suffolk town to rent out for income we will have somewhere to come back to in a few years time if needs be.

Meanwhile apart from all the mental turmoil that comes from having to decide what to do next things are relatively normal.

We are enjoying several delicious meals from the garden. Imagine home made bread toast covered with scrambled eggs with deep yellow yolks fresh from our hens and topped with our own asparagus spears. Followed by strawberries from the poly tunnel. Or we could have, also from the poly-tunnel, salad leaves with some chopped crunchy radishes and warm new potatoes mixed with a little mayo with rhubarb fool as a dessert.

The poly tunnels are all planted up.
Luckily Col had finished the job of staking the tomatoes in the big poly-tunnel before his unexpected  hospital stay.
I haven't actually counted how many tomato plants we have, I know there are 5 different types. Over on the right are 7 cucumber plants. I hope we can sell all their produce  without having eggs out on the stand to draw people in.
The middle poly-tunnel has salad leaves and radishes with the strawberries in growbags raised up on planks on benches. The potatoes we are eating are from the plants on the right, planted as soon as we got them from The Potato Day on Feb 14th. In the left hand bed are all the peppers and aubergines.
We are not growing much in the small tunnel as it is now too shady and dry from the trees. There is a circle of French Climbing beans at the back, a very sparse crop of early beetroot in front. On the left are more cucumbers in pots. Runner beans in trays and there are leeks too in pots waiting for better weather. Right at the front, all that green stuff that looks like grass is actually Garlic Chives. Whatever I do I can't get it to stop growing in here, it's very invasive and extremely hardy. Useful for Pesto too.

Not much has been done outside except I got the strawberry and raspberry beds weeded  yesterday and I've been checking for Gooseberry sawfly most days although we had that blasted  North East wind back again today and it's been really cold. No one on the campsite today so I got instructions for grass cutting and got half the site done, it wasn't a very warm job.

Two more books have been added to my Books Read In 2015 page, namely  Shadow of The Hangman by Edward Marston and Holy Spy by Rory Clements. The first was dreadful! I don't know why I bothered to finish it. Edward Marston churns out two or three of books a year. He has done many series of historical crime  starting with The Elizabethan Theatre series in the 80's through to The Railway Detective series with a new one of those due out next month. I fear just lately quality has been lost.
Holy Spy by Rory Clements is the 7th in the John Shakespeare series, set in Elizabethan England John Shakespeare is an intelligencer working for Sir Francis Walsingham on behalf of the Queen. This story is about the plot against Elizabeth by Mary, and her Catholic friends.

That's brought things up to date here and we are round to Mobile library day again tomorrow.

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