Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Finished and no more about allotments for a while.

A sort of add on from the last post. I promise this will be the last look at bare earth for a while. Well, until next spring and the broad beans are sown.

Benjy finished the winter dig today, lots of empty space ready for next spring. Potatoes and beans on the right, corn, cabbage and carrots on the left. Many different things in between, squash, beetroot, lettuce, parsnips, tomatoes. I couldn't get on with raised beds, they were never the right size. I now lay down paths, where I need them, each season. 

This is our friend George Hicks who lives in the bottom field of the allotments. He enjoys a carrot and a scratch behind the ear and even has his own page on Facebook. George and I play Farmville together sometimes, I've often wondered were he keeps his computer or maybe he is very modern and has an iPhone.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Getting stuck in.

I have lots of help on the allotment from this chappy here. He's my digger, shifter and general dogs body. He likes the allotment to look neat and tidy. With all the rain we have been having lately he's been annoyed that he couldn't get on with the winter dig. Yesterday he got stuck in and finished one complete side. As you can see it was a little muddy but not cold as the sun shone all day.

Here we are all ready for next season.  The other side has been started, with one area dug. I have leeks in another and the burning bin is in situ on the third area. 

We don't burn lots of stuff but the straw and old tomato plants I like to dispose of this way. We also had some wooden pallets that had seen better days. Despite the wet Benjy got it smoking away and burnt some of the rubbish. I only burn in the winter, don't want to upset the bees or the other allotmenteers. Pampa made me this incinerator a couple of weeks ago, it has his own patented lockdown lid. No more going home with the bonfire still smouldering away. Something that used to wake me in the night wondering if I'd set the shed on fire yet. 

"Mother, will you put that camera away". Well, I was only taking a snap of that lovely bag of leeks.

By this time I was a wee bit chilly and what better way to warm up than a spot of baking. Chocolate was the dish of the day, with chocolate buns and chocolate covered flapjack. I still have a few baking supplies to use up before I go away. Pampa cooks respectable meals but draws the line at baking. I'm afraid, when I'm away, all their bread is from the bakers. 

And to end the day a chat with granddaughter no 2. Thats a yawn not a yell by the way. Can you tell what my favourite children's' book is.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Frost and sun.

It's been quiet here, not that I'm complaining but I haven't had much to blog about. The weather it has been awful so nothing done outside and as I haven't been out I've done everything inside, in the way of housework, I want to do. I have been sewing, knitting, baking and reading. Nothing I can show you I'm afraid as the sewing and knitting are presents and the baking has been eaten. I'm actually  conserving energy for the big trek, 14 days 9 hours till take off. 

It was cold this morning, we had a clear night with a frost. Here is the valley this morning at 8 o'clock, frost on the putting green and mist rising from down in the dell. My poor boy is out there swishing the grass and raking the bunkers. Golfers are a hardy bunch and it takes far worse than this to keep them from the greens.

The day has turned out far better than I imagined and this is the lighthouse at midday. Sunshine and hardly a breeze, fine for a little stroll down the hill to the beach. No paddling today, even the hardy ones are keeping their shoes on.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Winter Beach.

This is my local beach, just a short walk from our home. Crowded with people during the warmer months but not so much now and particularly after the easterly blow we had last night. The sea would have come all the way to the road, which is behind me, covering the beach with all this mess.

The bay is full of ships sheltering from the force of the wind, A sail training ship limped into port on Monday after loosing it's mast in a force 9 gale while on it's way to the Caribbean.  A ship full of youngsters from eastern Europe on a sail training expedition. All safe and well I am thankful  to say.

 To the North, through the murk is St Anthony's light, known to us as Fraggle Rock. One of our favourite picnic spot is on the headland above the lighthouse.

Also to the North but on our side of the River Fal is Pendennis Castle. Built by Henry VIII to defend us from the marauding Spaniards. The mast you can see is from Falmouth Coast Guard station.

Even on a dull grey morning the beach is still very well used. These jackdaws are having a good old scavenge amongst the seaweed on the upper part of the shore. I don't know what they can find to eat but it didn't smell that nice.

 Some one else likes the seaweed, how about this for re-cycling and being frugal, all there for the taking. I suspect it will go to his allotment a little way up the road from the beach. I've been meaning to bring a few bags down and collect some of my own.

People well wrapped up against the east wind are taking a stroll, along with a goodly collection of pooches. The beach can only be used for dog walking between October and March, after that they have to make do with the fields above the beach.

Not everyone is afraid of the cold. Here's mum having her daily swim but I'm not so sure I would have let those two below  strip off and go in.

Mind you these youngster also seem to be enjoying a tumble in the surf. I wonder if it was shrimp they were after? What ever it was they were in the same spot all the time I was on the beach. Meanwhile this young herring gull is standing guard.  Look at that vicious beak, just right for whipping your pastie from under your nose. 

There was even a few surfers, well if you could actually see any surf. Just a gentle swell by this time but earlier I believe there had been a few good waves. If it's surf you want you need to go over to the north coast of Cornwall, Newquay or Perran where they have the competitions  and championships. Big waves over there.

I enjoyed my half hour of fresh air and my nosey at the inhabitants of the beach. It cheered up in the afternoon and we have a dry but windy night. I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A new camera and some tidying.

I have a new camera, it's a point and shoot type that I can keep in my bag or pocket ready for those quick pics. My old camera bit the dust a while back and I've been borrowing various ones from family. At last I saved enough pocket money and yesterday went and spent the lot on a camera and card. A snazzy blue one called a 'coolpics', makes me sound young and trendy. LOL. I've been sitting here for a while studying the instructions and charging the battery. Now clicking away to have a go and see whats what. 

Here is my work area, where I sew and craft. Well what a mess and I hadn't really noticed until I looked at my photos. Time for a sort out and tidy up. 

It only took about 30 mins but all is put away in the right place and ready for a little sewing this afternoon. I just need to keep it is way. While I was sorting I turned up some lovely fabric a friend sent from America. I am going to make a couple of tote bags, the kind that can be rolled and fastened together and then I can keep one in my handbag ready for the market. 

I love my crafting space,everything is to hand, I even have a portable ironing board to press seams etc. Pampa build this for me last year while I was away visiting my daughters. He used several old desks and shelving units that we had in the workshop. The only thing he had to buy was the electric sockets on the back board behind the sewing machine. It was all a surprise for when I arrived home. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sitting in front the fire.

Today here in the UK it was Samhain, Halloween, All Souls Eve, different things to different people. I'm drawn to the celebration of Samhain, the turning of the wheel. It helps me understand how things are supposed to be. It was a typical late autumn, early winter day here in Cornwall. Rain and wind, the lanes littered with leaves and fallen twigs. Not a day for outside work, no digging today.

Instead I lit the fire early. It is one of the joys of my winter, the open fire. As a small child we moved into a large old farmhouse, untouched for many years. In the huge kitchen there was a Cornish range at one end and an open fire at the other. It was nothing more than a big black hole in the wall with a mantel over but Mother made that hearth a cosy place to sit.