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Spring Life In The Garden.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

What's To Do Wednesday.

Hello! Just totting up what we have been up to over the last few days.

Today is Wednesday and we are in one piece after storm Angus. We just had a really windy day with leaves blowing horizontally but not really a lot of damage.

I saw in my Country Living magazine last month a wellie boot taker offerer! I asked Jon if he could make me one and this is what he came up with....

It is perfect and for a fraction of the cost they were advertised at!

Now today is Wednesday but not sure what day I have done things anyhow I have been getting my plan for Christmas sorted out. I have a calendar sheet for both November and December; nothing much to do in November but make and feed the cake and make the mincemeat.

I have a couple of other lists to keep track of things....

I have my old faithful recipes which I really enjoy making including Delia's cranberry sauce, Mary Berry's pastry for mince pies and a couple of seasonal flavoured cakes when a full on Christmas cake is too much. My mincemeat recipe is sort of my mum's but with a few tweaks of my own.

In and around the Poly House the Pak Choi is about ready to be put in the raised bed; temperature in there the other day was 50 degrees.

The Oca looked as if they had died back enough to be taken up and the sweet potatoes seemed to be ready, too (no photo).


However, you can see in relation to the egg how small they both were!! I think this proves I am just not good at growing things in bags as the Oca was water logged - another lesson. 

However on a happier note the raspberry bush is looking like this...

and more closely like this - I think it is coming on well. Not sure but I hope it is a summer raspberry bush.

Yesterday I finally got round to some preserving and pickled the beetroot! I washed them, as I had stored them in moist compost in the cellar store room, boiled them and once they had cooled I donned my rubber gloves to rub off the skins and sliced them up.

I made up my pickling liquid, a simple mix of malt vinegar, water and salt.

I bought my malt vinegar from Charlie's in Aber at £2.75 for 5 litres.

I then poured it over the beets which I put into sterilised jars...

and they are now sitting on the shelf in the cellar store room.

When we first moved to Bronllan there was, to my great pleasure, a clothes airer in the kitchen. However, because Jon had to take the ceiling down and put in a new supporting beam we could not keep it. However, he has finally got round to putting it back up. I admit the nylon rope is not the most attractive but that will be remedied as we need to tweak one side which doesn't move as smoothly as we would like. 

However, I used it yesterday and dried some things moe than effectively.

There is the issue of the Rayburn being lit most of the time and we ARE dust central. However that is the price you pay for NOT paying for most of your heating and eating, if you know what I mean.

When we were in Aber on Saturday we popped into a couple of the charity shops and I found this fab jar; I absolutely love it for £1.50. Jon suggested I put lime, lemons and cherries in a light sugar syrup ready to go in drinks at Christmas so that is what I will do!

So I think we are up to date. I have just given Jake a good brushing as he seemed to get something a bit stinky on him yesterday. As the weather is not that good for giving him a wash/bath outside I hope this will do the trick in the meantime.

Just to say thank you for all the comments regarding my wobble last week. Feeling a bit better now and taking things one at a time.x

Bye for now.



  1. I have just been rereading your post "Panxiety".
    One thing that was not mentioned was how you can feel guilty for not going out to a "real"job.
    The country brainwashes us into thinking staying at home to run things and be there for the children is not a proper job.
    Many families have two parents who go out to work because they need the income. You earn a living by growing food, making things and running the home so that it is a safe welcoming place for all the family.
    Never feel guilty or that you have to justify your every move. You are on duty all day every day so if you want to sit and read for half an hour with a cup of tea do so.
    Your boys will not be young for long. The bonds you forge by being at home for them now are invaluable. Enjoy! No more guilt! Sue

    1. Thank you for your very kind words, Sue. x

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Richard. Makes things a lot easier especially for my two boys but my Bogs wellies are a devil to get off, too.

  3. Love the welly boot offer could do with one of those here, the airer is looking good as well, there always seems to be a lull in November then suddenly whoosh its busy busy busy christmas time.

    1. Thanks Dawn,it is just the ticket. Managed to dry all the washing on the airer and the radiators yesterday. Relalised December 1st is a week today so going into planning mode now!

  4. You have been busy again. I love filling up jam jars and putting them in the pantry. Something truly satisfying about it. We have a similar boot remover. My husband made ours. Best one we've had. Slightly envious of your airer. I'd love one but our ceilings are too low.

    1. Hi Cheryl. It IS very satisfying starting to get things on the shelves in the cellar store room; something I have dreamed of doing for eons! I'm just starting on some onion relish/chutney after lunch but I don't think it will make it to the cellar! Yes, love the boot remover; you are like me with a handy hubby! The airer I was worried would get soot on from the Rayburn but all seems ok.

  5. The dust is a small price to pay for being self sufficient in heating and cooking as you say - I think it's fabulous.
    Loving the airer - Jon is super handy.
    Also loving all the photos, I know we don't always get time to do loads of photos but they are so good to look back on aren't they?
    You're doing amazing with your jars and pickles! Tracy x

  6. Oh I love a before and after photo! Glad I'm doing ok with my jars when the sweet spuds and oca were a total dis-as-ter dahling!x

  7. I love the welly tool, how handy, what a clever idea. The airer looks good, nice and practical xx

    1. Hi Cheryl. Yes the wellie tool is fab! The airer is something I have dreamed about having for years! It works well for anything up to the thickness of a t-shirt and as far as I can see the soot from the Rayburn does not get that high up!


Thank you so much for finding the time to comment. I really appreciate it and will always try to reply.xx