Sunday 31 August 2014

Home again, Home again, Jiggety Jig *

Hello, hello, hello. I'm back from 2 and a half days in Ipswich Hospital ( thought it was longer but seems it's still August)
Pneumonia was was it was.
"How did I get that?" was my first question to which the doc answered " that's everybody's first question."
" How long will I take to get better?" --  " That's everybody's second question!"

But I'm feeling really well, just lacking in energy, so not too long to get back to normal, I hope.

Thank you to everyone who left comments and wished me well again soon, as my Penny Pincher friend Mary said " when you two get ill you do make a good job of it!"

*In case anyone under the age of about 55 wonders about the title, it's from a rhyme for jiggling small children about on your lap
'To market, to market to buy a fat pig
home again, home again jiggety jig
To market, to market to buy a fat hog
home again, home again joggety jog'

Maybe people still say it?

Back Tomorrow

And how annoying is this- Our first blog reading campsite visitor and I'm not here to say hello! Sorry I missed you Julie .

Wednesday 27 August 2014

I tried

No more mention of illness?
I tried
Had to go back to doctors today, luckily it was my favourite Doctor who always listens properly. She said she thinks I have pleurisy!  AGH!
Different Antibiotics, more tests, proper rest.
Will return ASAP

Tuesday 26 August 2014

Up-right - mostly, and exciting news

It wasn't just a back ache or even just proper flu, it was both those  then  add in a kidney infection too ( I only have 1 so it needs looking after) plus a touch of Dash In A Real Rush, Hurry Or Else Accident!  That's such a good  mnemonic!
So I won't trouble you with the joys of getting the local  Out Of Hours health company ( playfully calling themselves Harmoni ?) to send me to their Out of hours doctor/nurse in Saxmundham (2 miles) to get a prescription. This involved them calling out an  ambulance with paramedics so They could phone them back to say yes I did need a prescription for antibiotics. Instead of just sending me there in the first place or.......... I could have chosen? to go to A & E in Ipswich ( 25 miles) instead !
So whichever you 'chose' they make you feel guilty for taking up the time of Very Important Emergency people who could be doing something more urgent, but don't let you do the most obvious thing.

2 days of antibiotics so far and I managed to remain upright for longer today.

I'm horizontal again now.

Poor C has been taking care of the campsite and chicken and egg things for a whole week and a bit.

Anyway the exciting news is our son M proposed at the weekend and his girlfriend R  accepted. So that's all three of our lot either planning( H & J in May 2015).  Sort-of planning ( A & B in 2016 probably! but they are always a bit vague about things ) or thinking about an actual wedding sometime.
 Heck, is that 3 posh frocks I need?

More thanks for the  get well soon wishes. I will not mention illness again...........I Hope.

Back Tomorrow

Friday 22 August 2014


I don't usually tell anyone when I'm not well ( I once spent a week in hospital having tests and the only person that knew was C), but if I'd not posted at all  friends and family would have wondered what had happened, now I feel I'm  turning into a moany old women, I'll come back when this B painful flu bug thing has gone.

Thursday 21 August 2014

What WAS that?

The backache turned into aching all over, horrible headaches and a tight cough which is not nice, now it's on it's way to going I hope, though I'm still feel hot or cold with no energy. Thank you for the 'feel better soon' wishes and I'm a bit worried as Mikemax has moved us to Sussex!

So better catch up on what's been happening here.

It really was the wrong few days to be feeling grotty as C was out working first at our neighbours on Monday and Tuesday then at his customer in Leiston ( which include lifting the greenhouse frame from here onto the trailer and then over the fence into her garden) and then typically the phone call came for him to bale the barley straw too. All that meant I was struggling up off the settee to answer the door  for the campsite AND over the last few days someone has been coming along early and buying almost all the veg all at once. That wouldn't matter as their money is as good as anyone's but it meant we had people coming to the door all morning asking if - A. had we had forgotten to put the vegetables out for sale? or B. were they too early for the veg? or C. were they too late for the veg?

I was surprised that C was able to get the greenhouse moved all in one piece( that was Sundays job) as it's been there for 20 years. There are just a few broken panes of glass which will need replacing. First he pressure washed it with the glass in, took the glass out, pressure washed again, used the angle grinder to cut through the bolts that were holding the base-plate down onto the concrete base and Hey Presto! one greenhouse to sell to his customer.
And of course he will get paid for fixing it at her house - And she didn't even know she needed a greenhouse until he suggested it!!

The old shed is ready to take down and the idea is to use a chainsaw where its standing to cut it into kindling sized bits ready for me to chop. This will be a bit noisy so we are waiting until the campsite goes quiet after Bank Holiday weekend. Then the two concrete bases to break up and shift, bring some soil around, sow grass seed and that will be another job done, with the outlook from the kitchen window much improved.

This morning he has had to go and load our 60 small bales on his own. Our farmer friend is baling a lot in big round bales to make life easier and the 150 small bales that C did for the farmer in return for getting the straw cheap will be collected by him. The barley straw is what we use for litter in the chicken sheds - it's more absorbent than wheat straw and cheaper than any alternative.

Right, I'm now going back to hot water bottles and blanket on the settee as typing this has worn me out - Poor Old Woman.

Back Tomorrow

Post number 495 - still planning on the book giveaway for post 500

Tuesday 19 August 2014

For Tuesday, read Monday but worse

The back ache has moved to aching all over
So annoying.
Paracetamol, rest and drinking lots of water.

'Back' Tomorrow!

Monday 18 August 2014

The weeds have gone... but so's my back!

Thank you one and all for  the comments yesterday and welcome to Julie a new follower on Google friends.
I've nothing to post about today because yesterday I idiotically did some weeding of the flower garden early in the morning in a cold wind and, although my back objected a bit yesterday I slept OK.  I woke up this morning thinking it was alright but after walking round the field to let the chickens out I found I could hardly move.
So I've spent the day with hot water bottle behind my back, wheat bag around my neck laying on the settee. Sounds good, but daytime TV is rubbish and holding a book was painful.
 I've been a bit lax about doing the back exercises so it's my own stupid fault -No Sympathy needed!

Should be a bit more mobile tomorrow


Sunday 17 August 2014

The Food Programme

In yesterdays post I wrote about Home Farmer Magazines features on Cooking with Rations, the Plant a Victory Garden WW1 campaign and the better known Dig For Victory campaign of WWII.
 I discovered today's Food Programme on Radio 4 was all about rationing too. Apparently it's 60 years since rationing completely ended - 9 years after the war finished.
Sheila Dillon - the presenter of The Food Programme - had a few days living on war time rations and really struggled mainly due to the lack of fats that were allowed. I suppose this is why we have an overweight population - more fat in the diet than really needed. I'm Guilty as Charged!
 One of the people Sheila Dillon spoke to on todays programme was Clare Millar a nutritional therapist who runs a Nutrition Consultancy in Bristol which organises courses aimed at coaching,educating and inspiring people to eat using the diet approaches of the 1940s. I don't know what she charges for her courses but I bet they are not cheap. During the war the government produced lots of information for free and a lot of the leaflets were reprinted in a little book called Eating for Victory and of course another place to find info is Dcs blog at Frugal in Norfolk, she really did do it properly back in the mid 1990s.
For several years I worked with a lady who,  as a child growing up during the war, had lived in the East End of London. She said they were better fed on rations during the war than they had been before.
I think I heard that the UK still imports about 40% of the food eaten in this country. So I'm glad we are able to grow a lot of our own food and to sell some in the hope that it saves a few local people from buying imported stuff.

Back Tomorrow


Saturday 16 August 2014

Hollyhocks and nasturtiums, crocus and dwarf narcissus.

We went out early this morning to a car boot sale that's usually just the first Saturday of the summer months but I discovered they have an extra one in August. It was more or less a waste of time/diesel because C found nothing and I just got a new tee-shirt for £1 and 3 packets of nasturtium seeds and a packet of salad leaf seeds for 10p each. The nasturtiums will be handy for the containers on my shabby chic ladder next summer and to fill gaps in the big flower border.

We were home again by 9.30 and after a coffee C went off to work for his Leiston customer, he came home at lunchtime with a bag full of Hollyhock seed heads. So they will be sprinkled around the flower border too. The Hollyhocks that I had all went rusty and I pulled them up, but I think someone said they could have been left and would have flowered OK.

A bit later the postman brought a small parcel of bulbs. I had sent for a few cheap plants from one of those catalogues that comes unasked for through the post. The Trailing Pansies came a week ago and some teeny weeny Polyanthus plug plants arrived yesterday. The pansies are also for containers on the ladder over winter and the Polyanthus will be to sell in spring. The crocus are called Cream Beauty and were on offer for £2.99 for 50 bulbs. This will be about the 10th time I've tried to grow crocuses here. Snowdrops and primroses are fine but crocus just vanish. Also in the parcel were 50 dwarf narcissus bulbs which were free with any order.  I shall probably plant them in pots and also sell  them later - that's the plan anyway.

While we were out this morning I wanted to nip into the nearby WHS for a copy of  Home Farmer Magazine. When it first started I subscribed for a few years but now I only buy a copy if we are somewhere with a WHS - nowhere else seems to stock it. I had looked at the contents list on their website and was interested in reading the articles on Dig for Victory and WW2 cookery. I also enjoyed the diary by Dot Tyne who is a VERY self sufficient smallholder now living in Wales. She seems to have more hours in her day than I do!

You know I've been huffing and puffing about everyone else having lots of blackberries whereas here we have none, despite having brambles all round the hedges, well we hope to have solved this annual problem by digging up some runners from a friends cultivated blackberry patch. That was a couple of months ago and they are coming along nicely so that C has put up stakes and wires to train them on.
Next year we WILL have blackberries right here on the smallholding - fingers crossed.

Welcome to several new followers on Google friends, Debra, Jibberjabber and Lynda and Tricia, Rona,Stephanie and Debijanebell, Belinda, Shellw and Leisha who have clicked the Bloglovin'button.
I hope you all enjoy reading about our quiet life here in the beautiful Suffolk countryside.

Back Tomorrow

Friday 15 August 2014

Chicken feed

Our chickens are fed  layers pellets ad lib but to get them out of the way when we are collecting eggs or filling up water troughs a scoop of wheat is really useful. They soon associate the appearance of a person with some wheat chucked in which is handy if they get out and you need to get them back in again.
Last year wheat prices were high, we bought some off a friend who was giving up chicken keeping and paid £180 for 32 sacks- and that was cheaper than the feed mill. This year the feed mill have wheat at about £8 for 25kg but luckily C spotted a farmer selling some on ebay for £3 a sack and went off today to collect 20 sacks.The price has dropped so much that some farmers may not bother to combine it especially if the weather doesn't improve.

While he was out I spent a couple of hours sorting out the onions which have been drying on the floor of the of the greenhouse. I rubbed the skins and dirt off and put the good ones into net bags to hang in the shed. The ones that look doubtful will be used by us or sold to be used straight away. It's a poor quality crop this year but if the decent ones keep alright we may have enough until the end of the year. We've already sold enough to more than cover the cost of the sets.

How annoying is this:- We had a one year investment bond at a local Building Society finish at the end of July and decided to move the money into  ISAs at Barclays that was paying a slightly better rate. Then in the post this morning a letter from Barclays telling us that the they will be unable to continue that ISA at that rate after November so will be changing it to a lower rate of interest - No mention yet of how low.
Honestly, saving money is blinkin' hard work. Perhaps we should go out on a wild spending spree and blow the lot! on the other hand maybe NOT.

Welcome to new followers on Bloglovin' and thanks for comments yesterday.
 The copy of Diary Of A Provincial Lady that I have on loan from the library has 4 books in one volume ( Diary of a PL, The PL goes further, The PL in America and The PL in Wartime) and is the Virago edition of 2011. I'm trying to find out if the Persephone reprint that was out in April is just the first one or all 4. ( The fifth in the series PL in Russia is not included in many editions, don't know why)
 This is post 490 and I will be doing a giveaway of some books for post 500. You will need to click the Google friends button to be in with a chance.
Counting down...............

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Thursday 14 August 2014

A tree fella

Sometimes C knows what jobs he's going to do when he gets up and sometimes, like today, he just suddenly decides on something completely different.
 So when I got back from a quick trip to Leiston he was just about to take the tractor onto the stubble field to pull down a few dead elms from our hedge boundary. He said it would be much easier to pull them onto the empty field rather than onto our land.  Fields are only left as stubble for a couple of days unlike years ago when they were left bare all winter. So he decided to get it done before they turned up to start cultivating and sowing.

 He then took the trailer round onto the field and loaded the trees with the tractor. They've been put up near our bonfire heap so that when we cut the trunks all the small twiggy bits can go straight onto the fire.
More free wood for winter and as it's dead we can use it straight away.

 We had thunder, lightening and pouring rain this afternoon, luckily I had got the washing in just after lunch and it was nice and dry. The rain has filled up all the water butts and given the runner beans a good watering. I thought it might have knocked some flowers off but they look OK. People keep asking us when we will have more runner beans for sale but they are really slow this year.

Everyone who said I would enjoy Diary of a Provincial Lady by E.M. Delafield were right. It is very funny despite the life of an upper middle class woman in the1930s being a whole world away from a simple Suffolk smallholder in 2014. A good fat book too, I think it will be added to my wish list as a book to keep.

Back Tomorrow

Wednesday 13 August 2014

Warmer but very noisy

It seemed several degrees warmer today, the wind has dropped and there was blue sky between the clouds. So of course the farmers were out in force getting some more wheat harvested. For a couple of hours there was a combine two fields away, tractors and trailers collecting the grain and going up and down the track and backwards and forwards past the house. The ginormous big baler over to the right of us going gallumph, gallumph and they were picking up the bales with the weird picky-up trailer thingy and then taking them down the field and out past the house as well.
The peace and quiet of the countryside!

I have no idea what I've been doing today apart from  the ironing, the day seems to have whizzed by without any great achievements. I searched for and found the iron instruction booklet to do a self cleaning thing as it seems to have lost its hissiness. I hope next time I use it it doesn't deposit yucky scaly stuff all over the clean washing - time will tell.

Maybe tomorrow will be more interesting

Tuesday 12 August 2014

How many more windy days?

This is the 4th day with quite strong winds, they've not done any damage except to the runner beans which don't like windy weather and stop growing, and a few pears knocked off the trees, but I've picked them up and cooked them. The wind hasn't stopped the Climbing Green beans which are coming towards the end now, by that I mean 5 bags out for sale every day instead of 7 or 8. They really have been a wonderfully prolific crop to grow for sale.

Here's what was on the stand this morning
1 bunch of beetroot
2 bags of onions
5 bags of tomatoes
5 bags of green beans
1 bag of runner beans
1 mini cucumber
1 normal cucumber
3 bags of red peppers
1 bag of courgettes
1 marrow
1 bag of chili peppers
2 bags of aubergines
2 cauliflowers
and not forgetting 16 boxes of 6 eggs

C was working at our neighbours again this morning and after a couple of indoor jobs I made a start on pruning the summer raspberries. I got the row in the garden finished so just the two long rows in the fruit cage left to do. I find this quite a satisfying job each year as it has a proper end ( unlike weeding) and I can see where I've been and it doesn't need doing again for a whole year ( unlike weeding!)
All nice and tidy, this years fruiting canes removed and all new growth put between the wires

We had another 'No Show' on the campsite yesterday. A family of 2 adults and 3 children emailed back in June and booked for a tent pitch for 3 nights. Did they forget? Was it the weather put them off? Was somebody ill? It would be really good to know. That's the 3rd lot who haven't turned up in the last 3 weeks. Quite annoying, although I've given up worrying about it. We have a caravan, a motor-home and a tent booked to arrive today.

Thank you to Julee, Claire, Jean, Kev, Chickpea, Dawn, Morgan, Vee, Cro and Knitbakecultivate, Sue and Sadie for  comments about blogging and swimming.
I was quite surprised to find that I wasn't 'stiff as a board' this morning, obviously didn't do enough! or maybe shifting hay bales uses the same muscles as swimming?

Back Tomorrow

Monday 11 August 2014

Blogging is good for you

Thanks to reading/writing  blogs I have

Found that there other people out there who live the way we do
Remembered how to knit so I could make dishcloths
Been given  lots of ideas for good books
Appreciated our free library request service more than before
Never felt isolated during the winter
Tried some different recipes
Discovered Approved Foods
Tracked down the best places to buy value range foods

And my newest achievement thanks to the world of blogging is :-  I went  Swimming this morning and I've not been for about 10 years.
(Although I really need a new swimming costume as my very very old one has gone a funny colour!)

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Sunday 10 August 2014

Extremely quiet Sunday

No car boot sale, quite a lot of rain, some windy gusts.
Baked scones and a fruit cake, wiled away an hour perusing books on Amazon,finished a crime book.
Cleaned campsite toilets, discussed the beginning of the football season with an incredibly knowledgeable 8 year old.
Had a haircut
Ham and salad for lunch,followed by 2 figs and 3 plums.
Waited for rain to stop and collected eggs, sorted eggs.
Talked about the chances of getting a holiday next year, wiled away another hour on Welcome Cottages website.
Ate a scone and fruit cake to check they were OK
More reading
Back tomorrow

Saturday 9 August 2014

Omniverous thoughts on a Saturday

I bought a small gammon joint from the butchers yesterday, it's Christmas since we last had one so that's been cooked up today. Proper ham sandwiches, roast chicken and the fact that I can't eat pulses are the three reasons I could never become a vegetarian.
 I don't know how many people saw Ilonas post over at Life After Money the other day when she had been reading about all the nasty bacteria that can be in chickens, she avoids this hazard by not eating chicken or any other meat come to that. It sparked a huge number of comments which - had the people been face to face looked as if it would have come to blows!
I'm all for live and let live and if people want to eat meat or not it's up to them and I've no intention of getting into any of the debates about how much grain/water etc it takes to raise animals or how much CO2 is given off by cow manure or what would happen to upland farmers if they couldn't raise animals. I'll leave that to people more knowledgeable.
For most of the years we've lived here we raised all our own meat. I've eaten our own pork, lamb, goat and dozens of chickens. Since the children all moved out it has never seemed worth keeping sheep and pigs just for us, then along came double tagging, electronic tagging and the paperwork got more complicated so we'll not be keeping animals here again.
Over the last few years we've cut down on meat eating and it's more usual for us to have a veggie curry rather than a meat version. I can't remember the last time we ate roast beef and a leg of lamb is a special treat for when we have friends around.
Our son's girlfriend doesn't eat meat so when they visit we all leave out meat, although I'm not at all keen on some of the replacement 'pretend meat' products available which they use regularly, although I've probably not given them a fair trial.

One thing we never go without here is fresh vegetables and fruit. I was reading Dawns ( Doing it for ourselves) post on Thursday when she mentioned figs. FIGS I said loudly, put the lap top down and rushed outside. Our fig tree is near the now empty chicken shed and not needing to go there for egg collecting I'd forgotten to look for over a week to see if any figs were ripe . Drat it! 2 over ripe and squishy but 5 ready to eat and delicious. C doesn't like figs, which bothers me not one jot as I get to eat them all myself. Mmmmm. The worst thing ( no probably not THE worst thing , but nearly) about being in England is all the baby figs on the fig tree that never get to ripen each year. Such a shame.
I'm keeping a much closer eye on the Victoria plums, squeezing a few gently everyday to find the first ones ready to eat. C made three props to keep the branches from breaking. We lost 2 branches one year because of their heavy load.
I've picked up some of the fallen pears and picked some that the wasps have had a go at off one of our small pears trees. They are rock hard and nowhere near ripe, but hopefully cooking them will make them edible.
We've sold the first of the cauliflowers for £1 each, they are supposed to be autumn ones for cutting September/October. 16 plants were purchased for £6.50 from Marshalls, that makes them a tad over 40p each.  I always buy cauliflower and Brussels  sprout plants because every time I grow them from seed they seem to get too leggy, yet I have no problem with red cabbage from seed.

Thank you for comments about the library book haul, I do read quite quickly but may not get through all these in 4 weeks and I never bother to finish a book I'm not enjoying.

Welcome to Mikemax and Freyamae who are new followers on Google friends.

Back Tomorrow

The forecast for tomorrow is awful - car boot sale visit unlikely :-(

Friday 8 August 2014

Library Day already

4 weeks have gone by quickly and it was time to cycle down to Friston to meet the library van. One problem on the way - an irrigation system ( not the one C moves) was watering the field where they are growing turf, right by the road. I had no way of avoiding it because the wind was blowing quite strongly. I got soaked and then soaked again on the way back. The library lady had to dry all my books which were in bags on my bike, then she found me some carrier bags to wrap them in on the way home. I needed a complete change of clothes when I got in.
What fun!
Anyway, here are my books

I'm going to try Derek Tangye's Cornish books again, I have tried them before and didn't get on with them. There are several crime fiction mostly by authors I've read before, a couple of cookery books to browse and a  few ideas for reading taken from The Year in Books Link plus E.M Delafields 'Diary of a Provincial Lady' which has been around since the 1930s and is supposedly very funny, a friend recommended it.
A busy day with the campsite, 3 phone bookings, a caravan and 2 tents arriving and people  coming to ask if they could stay an extra day. We are full up tonight and something has gone wrong with our booking system next week because we have 7 people wanting an electric hook-up and only 6 hook-up points - Whoops! We shall link up the two tents that both want electric off one hook-up and hope that everyone doesn't put their kettles on at the same time.

Thanks for comments yesterday
Back Tomorrow

Thursday 7 August 2014

My Tree in August and not much else.

A very quiet day here on the smallholding. We had sunshine then rain and then sunshine again. C worked at our neighbours- more hedge trimming, here doing various odd jobs and also went to collect feed. I just pootled around here, housework, scotch eggs and trying to get a book finished before the library van comes tomorrow. The only excitement was finding a cauliflower ready!

Here's the pink Horse Chestnut in August. It's leaves are darker green, one or two brown patches on some leaves probably due to lack of rain over the last few weeks. As I said last month very few of the lovely flowers turn into conkers. I can only spy about a dozen or so over the whole tree, they're still quite small,  so you really can't call this type of Chestnut a Conker Tree and it would be very disappointing for small boys wanting to take part in a conker match.

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Joining in with Loose and Leafy; Following a tree through the year

Wednesday 6 August 2014

Wet morning, hot afternoon

Luckily the rain didn't really get going until after we had picked everything that was going out for sale, but by 9.30am we were having some really heavy downpours that went on until after 1o'clock. Then the sun came out and by the time I went around the field to collect the eggs is was sticky humid hot.

C got the big hay bales shifted to our friends field, and now we can be paid! We've already settled up the rent with the owners of the two fields, so we are just waiting for the bill for cutting and round baling. There will be a good profit when everything is sorted.  In a couple of weeks time we will get the call to bale the barley straw.

I said yesterday that we had no blackberries, it's not because we have no brambles - they are everywhere in the hedges. Its because instead of the flowers turning into plump juicy berries they are just small brown shriveled things with maybe just 1 tiny drupelet forming.

Welcome to 2 new followers in the Google Friends pictures and thank you to the 8 people who commented yesterday.

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Tuesday 5 August 2014

Moving hay

 16 big round bales of hay, from the field at Saxmundham  have been moved to their new home this morning.
 17 big round bales of hay, from the field up the road have gone to the same place this afternoon which just leaves 10  to be shifted tomorrow.

I had to drive the jeep and trailer to and from Saxmundham this morning so that C could take the tractor  there and back but as he's only up the road I wasn't needed this afternoon and I spent some time putting some more of the huge tomatoes into the freezer and did a bit more housework.

I see Ilona at Life after Money has a lovely picture of blackberries and someone at the car boot last Sunday had lots for sale, yet around our field where we have plenty of brambles that were covered in flowers, there are NO blackberries - and this is for the second year running. I may have to get on my bike and see where I can find some. Tonight while I was searching for a wasps nest I came across a small pile of hazelnut shells, so the dratted squirrels are after them already. The shells were under the walnut tree, they'll probably have them for dessert!

Kev at An English Homestead has asked everyone a question.

What book changed you most?

I thought I knew the answer to that one - John Seymour's Complete Self Sufficiency, but then I thought again and now I'm not sure. Did it change me? or was I already heading in that direction? What about the Magazine called Practical Self Sufficiency that appeared about the same time or maybe Hovel in the Hills and Garden in the Hills by Elizabeth West. I wanted to live somewhere quiet and remote  and grow our own fruit and veg but then we had 3 children so it wasn't practical to be halfway up a mountain and we eventually ended up here (NOT quiet - the B* great big combine was running on the fields around our plot until midnight last night! and combining and baling nearby all day today) Or maybe it was even earlier - Arthur Ransom's Swallows and Amazons, that's about being self sufficient and doing things for yourself too.
So I give up - no idea is the answer to the question.

Has anyone else heard the dire weather warnings for the weekend or is it just for here? Hail and gales have been forecast,the tail end of a hurricane  we've been told and we have 5 caravans and 2 tents booked in. Oh dear.

Thanks to everyone for comments yesterday.
This is post number 480, twenty to go until my giveaway.......counting down.........

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Monday 4 August 2014

4 days diaries in one post

I had better catch up on what's been happening here over the last few days.

 First job of everyday except Sundays is to pick, pack and put everything out for sale. I'm not sure which day this was, but everything is usually gone by midday.
On Friday I went to Mr Ts supermarket to use up a £3 off £30 voucher before it ran out, as usual no bargains. C was busy in and out twice to move the irrigation system down the road.Just after 11am the female part of a family - mum and 2 small daughters-who are staying on the campsite came to the house in their jim-jams to say they had put the shower on and there was no water, just a funny noise. So what a good thing we had bought an identical replacement last time we went to Ipswich. C was able to turn off the electric and water, unscrew, dismantle and replace and get it going for them to use in less than an hour. Now we need to buy another replacement next time we are at B&Q.

Overnight we had several huge storms which has cancelled out the irrigation work for several days.

 Saturday saw several arrivals onto the campsite and one non- arrival. A caravan was due in for a weeks stay and hasn't appeared. We've tried phoning - no reply, This doesn't happen often - thank goodness.
 It was cloudy first thing and we were able to do lots of weeding in the polytunnels and decided to get rid of the cucamelons. They are rampant, prolific but nasty! Imagine just eating the seeds and rind from a bitter cucumber and that's what  they taste like.
 Anyone want a packet of Cucamelon seeds?

Sunday = car boot day of course. C found some bits and pieces, wall brackets and sliding bolts for 50p each and a roll of electric cable for £2
I found these

 2 more new tea towels for 50p each. Wooden freestanding towel rail for £10; A brand new Next hat,scarf and glove set for £2 ( this will be a Christmas gift - it's OK they don't read the blog). The books are brand new and are on the subject of WW2 Archaeology along the Suffolk Coast. I'm sure our son won't have seen these yet and they could be helpful for him for his new job. There are 4 in the set but the man only had 2,3 and 4, he said he hoped to get the 1st one soon.

C went and saw a man to get a better heavy duty hitch for his trailer so that he/we will be able to shift the big round bales for the bloke who has bought them. We thought he would collect them but he has offered to pay a bit extra if we move them to where they have to go. It's only a couple of miles away so not too much time will be taken up to get them sorted ( she says hopefully, although from experience things involving tractors always take longer than expected).

Today C went off early to drive the jeep up and down the dual carriageway to warm it up ready for it's MOT at the garage and Hooray it passed, including the emissions test, so that's done for another year.  He was then  working at our neighbours, fitting the hitch on the trailer and grass cutting.

For me it was just a normal bread baking and housework day.

Late this afternoon I had another delivery from Approved Foods I think I've got the hang of the AF saving money thing, after dissing it in THIS POST. I've now got quite into stocking up on a big scale, trying to buy enough of something when its cheap so that I never need to pay full price. Todays order included egg noodles to have with stir fry Chinesey things and more bread flour. I've run out of cupboard space so I'm using a big plastic Really Useful Box (which is now empty thanks to the doing the carboot sale.) We bought 2 several years ago when we thought we were moving house and although we didn't move they've still been Really Useful!

We will be joining in with the Lights Out Event marking the commemoration of the start of WW1. It starts at 10pm and as I'm usually in bed by then with the lights out it will be easy to take part!

Back Tomorrow

Sunday 3 August 2014

I Love Books!

C went off to see a man about a trailer hitch this morning and I spent a happy hour or two looking at what books everyone linking up with Laura at Circle of Pine Trees had been reading in the last couple of months. I've ordered several from the library  and one from Amazon( Shhhhh don't tell anyone!)
Back Tomorrow with a proper catch up with whats been happening here.

Saturday 2 August 2014

A Year in Books Link July/August

The regular link up with Laura at Circle of Pine Trees for the year in books, where lots of bloggers are sharing their enjoyment of books and reading each month.

 The books brought home from the Library van in July were these

From left to right
Which People's War = Published by the Oxford University Press, which should have told me that this was a heavy weight scholarly book, not something for evening reading.
How To Profit From Car Boot Sales = I borrowed this just to have a quick look at, only useful for regular booters.
The Shroud Maker = Modern crime fiction, latest in a series by this author, set in 'Tradmouth' which is really Dartmouth.
Skipping to School = Memories of a Liverpool Girlhood 1937 - 1948. I haven't started this yet but it looks good.
The Cleverness of Ladies = This is from a collection of books called Quick Reads. Well known Authors have written small short books presumably for people to dip into to try a new author. This one by Alexander McCall Smith has some short stories about The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency. As it says- a Quick Read.
Denial Of Murder = The latest modern crime fiction by this author.
Casting The Net = The second in a series by Pam Rhodes. Quite light fiction about a young curate, the village and congregation of the church.
Working Class Wives = First published in 1939 by the Women's Health Enquiry Committee and reprinted with an updated introduction in 1981. This looked at how things were for women in the 1930s before the war, NHS and when women often had a baby every year. Unemployment was high, incomes were low and bread and jam was the norm for two or three meals every day. You end up thinking how lucky we are!
The Crowded Grave= Crime set in France, 4th in a series by this Author. I haven't read this yet.
We Can Take It = I'm ploughing through this. It's the one I mentioned the other day and it looks at how the memories of WW2 continue to affect life now. Comparing how memories of the war were created through films and books between then and now.
I also read a couple that were left from Junes Library Book haul. 'Falling Angels' by Tracy Chevalier, looks at the years just after Queen Victoria's death mainly through the eyes of two girls from different families. Touching on the suffragette movement and attitudes to death.
'Summer at the lake' by Erica James is light fiction  set mostly on Lake Como.

August library van due next Friday, hopefully with some more good reading plus the two left from this month.

Welcome to new readers, new followers and thanks to everyone for comments yesterday. I'm glad no one else wants high drama from my blog.

Back Tomorrow

Friday 1 August 2014

Review of the month- Looking Back At July

So how did things go on the Simple Suffolk Smallholding during July 2014?
This is my usual look back at the month just gone
  1. We had good weather once we got past the two weeks which were cold and wet.
  2. We earned more than enough for next months budget requirements
  3. Money has been saved for winter 
  4. Several good library books have been read.
  5. The campsite was busier than we thought it was going to be for most of the month
  6. Lots of free wood delivered.
  7. Plenty of vegetables in the garden to eat:- lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, beetroot, potatoes, onions, peppers, green beans, runner beans( just starting), carrots,  aubergines, courgettes, so only 49p spent on veg all month (for a head of Calabrese for a change.)
  8. Lots of vegetables for sale, everything we put out is selling everyday.
  9. Raspberries to eat all month and apricots for two weeks, so only punnets of nectarines/peaches bought.
  10. Approved Food order with cheap bread flour = cupboards full.
  11. Best ever apricot crop nearly 40lb, lots put in the freezer for winter
  12. 2 lots of chutney made- Gooseberry and Date and also Apricot
  13. 2 lots of jam made. Strawberry and gooseberry and also Apricot
  14. £10 voucher to use for Craft Creations card making bits because I had a card featured in their Readers gallery.
  15. Hay cut, baled and stored
  16. Sold lots of unwanted odds and end at a Car boot sale.
  17. We enjoyed watching several different sports on TV 
Not so good is the fact that the campsite bookings for the second half of August are few and far between.
The newest batch of chickens have gone off lay
The cucumber plants have shriveled up much too early ( should have looked after them better!)
We've been so busy the weeds are getting away from us
and there has been no time to start on taking down the old shed.
Plus I forgot to do anything about entering the village  produce show tomorrow - stupid woman!( It crept up on me, even though I've had the schedule here for months)

Overall it's been a good month, in fact every month is a good month!
  I'm sure there are some people who would like to see dramas and disasters, it would make more interesting reading but I'm just glad things jog along gently, I couldn't be doing with living in a soap opera!

Back Tomorrow


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