Thursday, 26 May 2016

Taking it easy day

Yesterday I had planned to take the day gently because I was going out last night. This is the first time that I have been out in the evening since the start of September last year and I knew it was going to be a long and active evening.

What I discovered is that it is very difficult to take it easy when one is so excited about everything at home. I really love being here, it was such a good idea to buy this home. So in the spirit of not doing too much in one day, I made sure that between activities I sat down and rested for a while.

Before breakfast I took a barrow load of top soil that was delivered on Monday, half a large bag of peat-free compost, a barrow of homemade compost and a small bag of top soil purchased from the garden centre a week or so ago in to the greenhouse and created a bed on one side of it. This is where I plan to grow tomatoes and some salads and herbs. I then planted the young plants that were started in the greenhouse. I have a cordon variety (the name of which I can't remember) and Money Maker which I think is a bush variety. I also have some Red Alert seedlings which aren't ready to plant out yet. I also plan to plant  a couple of each variety in the raised beds in the kitchen garden, which will allow me to compare how they well they do in each environment.
The greenhouse is slowly getting emptied of seedlings and young plants as they are being moved out to their permanent places in the garden or to outside the greenhouse to harden off for the next few days. Several trays of plants are outside waiting for their raised beds to be created. While I find it very frustrating that the beds don't just magically appear when I need them, I also know that Mr J and I can only do so much in one day and we have to prioritise tasks as we go. I hope that we can get a second ton of topsoil at some point next week, which mixed with the homemade compost that we have left, should allow us to create another 4 raised beds. The homemade compost is now in fairly short supply and I am hoping that the last compost bin that we made will be ready soon. If my three week compost formula has worked again, I will be delighted.
 I spent quite a lot of time sitting on a sun chair in the chicken's field, just watching them go about their daily routine. I find it so interesting to watch the dynamics of their group relationships. The new rooster has become part of the group, I am surprised at how accepting the girls were of him, but he seems to be failing to impress some of them. Despite his very best efforts to appeal to Diesel's sense of femaleness, she is almost disdainful. The Cream Legbars have taken to running fast, really fast, in the opposite direction, the poor little chap is certainly having to work to do his job.
The perennial border that Jane and I created at the start of the year is now full of weeds. I haven't given it much attention, other than to water the flowering plants that we planted because food production has to take priority. But on Tuesday evening, I settled down on a couple of kneeling mats and made a start on weeding it. There are a lot of plants that I have grown from seed to go into the perennial border and, when they are large enough, I will transplant them into the border in drifts. And then, over the next couple of years the planting should spread enough that weeding becomes a short, occasional task.

Late yesterday afternoon, Mr J drove me to Bristol to go and watch Bristol Rugby v Doncaster Knights in the second leg of the Championship Final, the winner of which would be promoted. Having not seen many of my former colleagues since I became ill, it was lovely to see so many folks again. It was a very long evening, but an exciting one and when Bristol won the Championship I felt so proud of those lads and so pleased for them, knowing the amount of work that they have put in to achieve the promotion back into the Premiership.

Lucie kindly gave me a lift home after the match and I crawled into bed just before one this morning. As my body clock doesn't know that I had a late night, I woke as usual at five and I had that yukky, slightly acidic feeling in my stomach, so today is likely to also be one split between some gentle activity in the fresh air and snoozing on the sofa.

I ate some food with gluten in it at the match as I couldn't find anything that didn't and spent much of the night scratching myself in my sleep. It seems that it is gluten that makes me itch all over. It is good to have learnt this as I now have an added reason to remain gluten free and to grow as much of our own food as we can, so that we remain in control of the chemicals that we are consuming.

Having let the birds out of their accommodation to free range for the day and written this blog, I think it's now about time for a cuppa.

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