Friday, 1 May 2015

Small But Perfectly Formed, Colour all around and getting on with things.

The small but perfectly formed in the title are our last cauliflowers.We had one each for dinner on Monday night along with a pie using the recipe that I borrowed and stretched from Frugal Queens blog last year. ( It's here if you want to look) This time I used a tin of condensed mushroom soup and made 8 pasties and a pie.
I should have put something beside these to show their size  but they were about 2 and a bit inches across.

 The sun was shining all day Monday although we had that horrible East wind back again. I thought I would share some of the colours from the April garden.
Dark green is a Bay tree in a pot that I've grown from a seedling and grey/green  is a birthday present I had from Cols Sister and husband. It's a standard Lavender, a Cotton Lavender? I think.



Above is a Red Hazel, also grown from a seedling, from a nut, buried by a squirrel from the original Red hazel which is now  nearly 15 feet tall.
Below is the absolute opposite of a seedling as it's a Mahonia that is at least 30 years old. Originally about 6 foot tall  it looked very sick 2 years ago and we cut it right back. It's sat there doing nothing much since then but suddenly produced a wonderful show of yellow this month. Whoops! there's a nettle on the right - missed when we weeded.

I wasn't keen on wallflowers until I got some perennial plants for free in with an order of shrubs and plants bought for the new front flower border two years ago. These  bright orange  and dark purple will be in flower for months IF we get some more rain.


Here is something that will be red/ purple in a couple of months - a bed of beetroot seedlings, under the fleece is a newly sown bed of more beetroot. We love beetroot! when I was young it was always called red beet, was that just in Suffolk or generally? I think it was to distinguish it from Sugar beet which was grown widely in Suffolk and known just as beet.
Plenty of white blossom on the old Conference Pear tree in the background - I hope the flowers set.


The first pink blossoms on the big Bramley Apple are just showing.

Below is the beginning of something Green which will keep me busy - I hope. Last year I picked and sold 233 x 500g punnets of gooseberries! Fingers crossed for a good crop this year.




All around our little 5 acre plot is a Field of Oil Seed Rape, now in flower. I don't mind the flower smell, it's when it dies off and smells like rotting cabbage that is not so good! 
And look at our Big Blue Suffolk sky. 

On Tuesday my bike was squeezed into the back of the car and I drove down to Leiston to take the car to the dealers garage for repairs while it's still under warranty. They have been brilliant at sorting out all the small and larger things that we have found  wrong. I did a bit of shopping, paid a bill at the bank and then it was a windy bike ride home. Col was working at our neighbours while I was out. Later I tackled the rubbing down of skirting boards in the small bedroom, I had done the walls on Sunday, we are not in a hurry so it's being fitted in with other work.

Wednesday was grey and windy and ideal for getting a load of compost from the bins into the poly-tunnel ready for the cucumbers, I loaded the wheelbarrow, pushed it across and Col dug it in. It's all about division of labour here! We have rather too many cucumber plants this year as I had 11 out of 12 germination which is Very unusual ( well, for me anyway). The 5 biggest are now in the tunnel and 6 smaller have been potted on. I'm not sure where they will go later, big pots probably. We should have enough cucumbers to sell at the gate this summer!
 We also had an hour cutting wood in the shed so as to clear a space for our youngest daughters furniture, she is moving back here for a while soon.
Later we got the dust covers all down again in the small bedroom - after giving them a shake outside - and Col put a coat of paint on the ceiling. We found we didn't have enough white left from the living room so we are using pale blue left from the kitchen instead.

Thursday - last day of the month, time to do the accounts. A few big expenses in April  - Campsite Electrical test, Cols 2 new pairs of glasses, the TV License and the birthday meal and of course Council Tax Direct debit kicked in again after our two months off.  Thank goodness for the small spending  -  Meat £4.50. Washing soda for clothes washing 99p.  A new clock for the living room - 50p.
 Meat £4.50? Yep that's all that was spent on meat this month. A Co-op off-cut ham pack is £3.99 and did us for a week of lunches, a variation of a spaghetti carbonara main meal and ham omelet for Col   ( I had a herb omelet) The other £1.50 was for 4 chicken thighs. Other meat used this month was from the freezer -  two half pound  bags of Sainsburys "cooking bacon". Half went into the pies and pasties on Monday and the rest was used earlier in the month in a Mac/Cheese/bacon meal and a quiche.  A roast chicken early in the month which fed the two of us for 3 days main meals and 2 days lunches. Bacon chops, also from the Sainsburys pack and 2 portions of Bolognese sauce. We ate veggie meals or Fish from the freezer the rest of the month. The freezer is starting to look a bit sparse in the meat department so I may need to spend a bit more next month.
The small bedroom had another coat of emulsion on the ceiling and one on the walls and now looks clean and tidy. The carpet is NOT so good but it would be daft to spend money on a new one if we are selling so I shall position the single bed to cover the worst of the marks, ( Don't tell anyone!). Just skirting boards and window sill to paint.

Which brings me  around to today, and I have to go to the Dentist, my second worst day of the year!  (The worst day of the year will be if I have to go back for a filling.)But like everything else here, I had better just get on with it.

Have a good Bank Holiday Weekend and I'll be back soon.
Sue