Monday 31 July 2023

Eating Out

 Just some pictures from recent days on the theme of Eating Out
A sculpture of a cheerful diner on the pavement just round the corner for Jess's nursery
A cheeky pigeon who came and ate the crumbs from my scone as we sat on the Terrace at Tate Modern, having visited the Mondrian exhibition

Strumpshaw Tree Fair with Julian - excellent burgers, huge portions of chips, served in the sunshine

My pastel de nata in Leon looked rather like an alien, with those almond eyes

Sunday 30 July 2023

Pax Et Bonum

This Latin phrase was beloved by St Francis, and means "peace and all good" - something he encouraged those who joined this order to practise in their daily lives. Last Sunday, the Radio 4 Sunday Worship was all about the good saint, and I found it an interesting service [if a little different from the usual pattern!] And then, in the way these things come full circle, on Thursday I actually met 

this Franciscan Monk in Norwich! Samuel Terrelli is a member of the Secular Franciscan Order of Norwich and he was busking outside the Mountain Warehouse Shop in London Street. 
I heard the music before I saw him, wearing his dark brown habit, and playing a large woodwind instrument [a sort of recorder I think] He was playing "Bind Us Together". It lifted my spirits.
 I stopped to fish a coin out of my purse, and as I dropped it in his little wooden bowl, he began playing "Be Thou My Vision" "Great tune, thank you!" I said.
"Which one?" he enquired. I said It was Bind Us Together that caught my attention, but I love the other one even more.
Samuel said that someone had told him that Bind Us Together was not originally a Christian Song, but had roots in Druid Handfasting ceremonies.
We chatted about the things that bound us together - a shared concern for others, a concern for creation, and a shared faith in God. We spoke of belonging to the worldwide family of Christ - and of our local churches [mine is at a little Baptist Chapel out in a village - his is the Roman Catholic Cathedral in the middle of the city]
I went on my way feeling very cheerful to have met him - may God bless the good work he is doing in his community. 
I checked up on 'Bind Us Together' - it seems that Samuel was misinformed. Although some handfasting ceremonies do have songs with similar lyrics, itr seems that this one was written in 1974 by a guy called Bob [who had actually attended the same secondary school as cousin Gillian] 
May your Sunday be blessed with peace and goodness, and filled with love

Saturday 29 July 2023

We All Want Beauty...We All Need Space

So said Octavia Hill, one of the the three founders of the National Trust [officially registered in 1895] I have learned much more about this lady since I went to the talk on Thursday, given by her fellow philanthropist, Robert Hunter
Hunter was a lawyer, who worked with Hill and Canon Rawnsley through the second half of the 19th Century. He was primarily interested in preserving access to common land for the ordinary people.
Hunter was the solicitor for the Commons Preservation Society, and enabled he drafting of laws to ensure restrictions on developing open spaces. The three were also significant in maintaining "The Green Belt" around London. 
The role of Hunter was re-enacted by Dr Rob Knee, who is passionate about Norfolk History [picture left] . He has spearheaded The Paston Project to raise awareness of, and preserve the legacy of a significant Norfolk family. Dr Knee gives many costumed talks, recreating various historical characters.This helped make Thursday's lecture very interesting. We learned about Octavia's childhood, initially in Wisbech  On our visit there, 4 years ago, we went to another NT property in the town, but Octavia's home was closed that day. Now I am really determined to go back and visit.
OH's family moved to London when she was a child, and from her early teens she helped her mother in various activities [Mrs H was totally committed to social reform and care of the poor] Liz took me to the Red Cross Gardens back in 1910, another of OH's projects.
OH and her two friends realised that many of those living in the cities had no access to green spaces, and the beautiful countryside. The National Trust [full name NT for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty] began by purchasing open spaces and making them available.
Some of her views would be considered controversial today - she was against free school meals and a state pension for all, believing that private enterprise and charity could solve social inequality. But she did believe that enjoyment of creation, the beauty of natural things, could make an immeasurable difference to people's health and wellbeing.
There was time for questions and comments at the end. Dr Knee handled them deftly. It was remarked upon that visiting NT properties is expensive -entrance fees for a family are quite considerable. That is hardly 'accessible for all' - Dr Hunt said that the NT tried to make all their outdoor properties free entry, with just car parking to pay for. Someone else pointed out there are no buses to Blickling Hall*, and not everyone has a car! I'm not sure there is an easy answer to that. 
I learned a lot more about the early days of the NT and all that OH achieved. She deserves her plaque in Westminster Abbey
When we came out, the beautiful MHH Bentley was parked in front of the Hotel. We had a quick, cheap lunch in a nearby coffee shop, then Bob went off to work at the Hospice, and I had fun mooching round CS, and bookshops, then ended up in the Forum Library as usual. [*picture is blogfriend Jean with me at BH 2 years ago]
Do you belong to the National Trust?
Do you think you get value for money?
How can we ensure continued access to green spaces and beautiful places for future generations?
One of the people in the audience said she had just come back from a transatlantic holiday and was surprised how many beaches and forests in the USA and Canada were privately owned and not open to the public at all.

Friday 28 July 2023

That's Shallot!

Lots of harvesting going on in the raised bed at the minute. Rows #1 and #2 have yielded 7½kg of potatoes- I really had not expected the Red Duke Of Yorks to be so crimson in colour. Only 150gm of runner beans thus far, but surprisingly tasty and a vivid green hue. There are more to come. I pulled up the 'volunteer nasturtiums' whose orange blooms were nestling among the foliage of the shallots and potatoes. They add a bright accent to the dining table.
Monty D and Alan T have both said it is time to harvest the shallots. The greenery had started to go over, so I pulled them all up. Maybe they would have got bigger if I'd left them a little longer, but I am happy with my crop.
I laid them out in the sun on the garden table - then later in the day I tidied them up.
I remember watching my FIL plaiting his onions, so I did the same with the shallots. About a dozen shallots in each string. I've suspended them from an empty hanging basket frame in the old garage.
I hope they'll keep ok there
I'm looking forward to cooking with these in coming weeks.
Those unexpected tomatoes in Row #10 are coming along nicely. I do hope they ripen soon [you can just see the salad leaves behind them] The perpetual spinach continues - Liz took a bagful on Saturday afternoon. I'm glad the girls seem keen to eat vegetables. Rosie declared my spuds the best potatoes she has ever tasted. 
I'm sure all this fresh air and exercise in the garden is doing me good - and eating home grown crops is so satisfying.
If you are a gardener, what has been your best crop this year so far?

Thursday 27 July 2023

It's Norfolk Day

Since 2018, July 27th has been marked as Norfolk Day. Various people in various places have organised special events to celebrate our wonderful county. Bob and I love the place- but have never actually done anything on this day.

Cycle rides [too lazy], cribbage nights [cannot play] beach clean-ups [we live in the middle of the county] But I admire all those who are putting on fetes, and tea-parties, and craft fairs... 
The Women's Institute are doing lots of things [no WI in our village though] and others are dressing up as local heroes for the occasion.
But this year we have found something. It being Thursday, we planned to be in Norwich [Bob's at the Hospice in the afternoon] and I saw an ad for an event at the Maid's Head Hotel. I have always wanted an excuse to go in there!
So we have booked tickets for this ticks all the boxes [Norfolk, history, environmental and social issues, National Trust, tea and coffee - and it is free!]

Join us for this special talk to celebrate Norfolk Day ! Dr Rob Knee, in the guise of Sir Robert Hunter, will relate the remarkable life of Octavia Hill. In 1895, Octavia Hill co-founded the National Trust with Sir Robert and Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley.

Octavia was born in Wisbech and became a leading campaigner on social issues, many relating to improving the environment for the disadvantaged and to provide access for all to beautiful places. In 1912, Blakeney Point became one of the National Trusts first ever acquisitions.

I will report back...

Wednesday 26 July 2023

Bags Of Fun For The Children

Five years ago, down in Ferndown, I was very busy preparing  teaching materials for use with the children on Sunday mornings at Church. Last month, at chapel here, we had a meeting of the Sunday Club Staff. What to do over the summer, when the 'regulars' may be away one holiday, and visiting children may appear? "We need some sort of ready prepared storybags, which we could use as and when necessary" said one friend "And they could be on a table at the back, so we don't have to go out to the back room" said another. [visiting children often wand to stay near parents, and our Safeguarding rules mean two adults must staff the group even if there is only one child present]
"I think I can help with that" I said, "let me make a phone call or two" So I rang Mim, the Youth Minister back at UCF. No, they have not used the storybags since the pandemic. They do Messy Church on Sunday Afternoons, so of course I could have the bags back. Friends coming to Norfolk on holiday kindly acted as Posties. Thank you all. I spent Monday morning sorting out the packets
I had quite forgotten just how much work had gone into them. Worksheets, story scripts and simple crafts for each Bible Story.  Plus carefully stitched little finger puppets, royal crowns, and other story props. And now we have enough resources to keep us going over the summer - plus materials for me to use at our CafĂ© Church in the Autumn. All this effort has not gone to waste
And in the autumn I shall have to start putting my mind to Holiday Club 2024 [which will be happening in the February Half Term] 

Tuesday 25 July 2023

To Dye For

The answer to last week's teaser photo. Well done Catriona, the only person to guess correctly that I have been learning about Rust Dyeing. The art of taking rusty pieces of metal and using them to create wonderful colours on fabric. Jane, at our Craft Group is something of an expert, and led a great workshop last Monday.
Lay your rusty items out on a sheet of wet cotton. Roll it up tightly, and tie firmly with string. Spray with a  water & vinegar solution, and wrap and tie in plastic. Write a "billet doux" to remind yourself to turn the bundle every two days, then unwrap, dry and rinse in saline solution. 
It looked strange as I took off the plastic  Saturday evening. My note [on the Shredded Wheat card scrap] had dyed itself too]
It was raining, so I hung the two A2 sized cloths [and the string, as Jane suggested] over the bath to dry. Rubber gloves, aprons and plastic sheets are recommended during the whole process, to protect clothes, skin and furnishings! Note the box of screws, washeds, nails and hinges which I had used. Once dry, I cleaned the bath, and ironed the fabric
Jane was wearing a rust-dyed apron at the workshop, and  dyed trousers! I am not sure what I shall do with these yet.
Have you any ideas?
Have you ever done rust-dyeing?

Monday 24 July 2023

Sleeping Beauty

We did work very hard last week, getting all the new furniture sorted. As promised, pictures of the new bedroom. It has been lovely sleeping in the newly redecorated space. There is adequate space in the drawers, and everything is properly organised.
I have got rid of a lot of clutter - and moved non-bedroom items to their correct locations. I already had some Skubb storage boxes, and I purchased a couple more sets. They fit IKEA Malm units perfectly, so it has been easy to sort pants/socks/hankies/tights into tidy units within the drawers. Similarly, my hairdryer, brush, comb etc fit into the largest size box, and no longer clutter the top surface.

The set of drawers on the left display my Great Grandmother's oil lamp [in a high, safe place away from inquisitive children and clumsy grans] and in the summer months, a cooling fan.  Also a small phial of 'fragrance sticks' and an Echo Dot. On the 'long run' of shelves there will be no clutter. I can put a tray with our morning cuppa there though. 
Currently the little blue vase holds some amazing dried allium heads. I bought four allium bulbs at RHS Bridgwater last September, when I was staying with Steph in Manchester. The blooms lasted ages, then dried on their stems in the pot by the front door. I cut them and brought them inside- they're 7cm globes, [imagine the skeletons of tennis balls, if there were such a thing] 
The repainted blue chair looks so good, and in the space to the side of the wardrobe, we've stashed four folding chairs, ideal when we have a lot of extra dinner guests.
I have also relocated the ancient plastic laundry bin [purchased in 1977, before I met Bob] It is now in the loft, holding fabric. After much searching, we found this neat little bamboo model in Homebase. And if you are wondering why it 'interrupts' the run of units, it is because the electric socket is behind it - and with the bin there, we can get easy access. It all feels so fresh and airy, and I hope it will encourage restful sleep for us both.
What is your best tip for a restful bedroom?

Sunday 23 July 2023

Do What You Can

Matthew 25;40Matthew 5:16

“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”

― John Wesley

[thank you Sue, for this graphic]

Saturday 22 July 2023

Whatever Is That?

What an exhausting end to the week!  On Wednesday afternoon we both had our regular dental check up. It is 45 minutes away. We dropped Julian off en route, so he could explore Wymondham - but then had problems getting on tot he A11 - roadworks, holdups and diversions left us driving down country roads. We got to an unmanned level crossing - only to find the roadgates padlocked - access only available to pedestrians. Bob reversed up the quiet, narrow road till he found a safe place to turn the car round. Then the heavens opened - and heavy rain made driving so hard. I finally managed to get a phone signal, to call the dentist and explain we'd be late. They were so good about it - and fortunately no treatment needed "And are you planning another holiday in Scotland?" he joked! When we finally got back to Wymondham, we needed tea and cake. Thursday was good, visiting the Castle with Julian, and then a meal at my bro's place. And Friday, more sorting out of the new bedroom drawers and taking J to catch his train home.

We got back to Cornerstones and collapsed with tea [and leftover banoffi pie] At which point Liz WhatsApped to say they were coming up to their cottage for the weekend. Further messages informed us of major holdups and diversions. I knew they'd be tired, so suggested we could prepare a meal. I went and dug up a load more potatoes. Simple grub - fish fingers, sausages, peas, sweetcorn, all from the freezer, and a huge bowl of boiled spuds. And mini cornettoes as pud. Quick, easy and just what was needed. But how did those two little girls have so much energy! Grandad and Grandma were called upon to sort out toys, read stories, serve more potatoes, pour more squash [Pleeese!] Mum and Dad sat there, clearly exhausted. 

I remembered at the start of the day that it was Friday - and delivered a birthday card to a neighbour, and given my orchids their weekly drink. But I nearly forgot to deal with the important thing outside on the garden table.  
I wonder if you have any idea what this is?
I will reveal all early next week...

Friday 21 July 2023

Summer Puddings

It has been great having Julian to stay this week. We've enjoyed some good food together, both eating out, and meals at home. 
Guests are a good excuse to make fun desserts. We bought Clotted Cream and I made scones one afternoon. Seeing my splendid rhubarb growing in the garden, J. mentioned that he liked rhubarb. So I made a rhubarb crumble [or was it a crisp?] using this recipe for the topping. Served with more CC
And we had a meal round at
Adrian and Marion's place. I took a banoffi pie for dessert.
Ruby Tandoh has a version with salt, coffee and cardamom - to reduce the cloying sweetness often associated with this treat. I didn't have pecans around, so replaced the nuts in the base with cornflakes [trust me, it works] and drizzled chocolate sauce on top. 

Thursday 20 July 2023

What Did It Say?

Sometimes I see a sign and I just have to look again. And even then I'm not always sure what I just read. I keep passing this one in Sainsbury's
Have I missed my chance? And anyway, surely you can't buy beauty, can you? 
This chap on King's Lynn Market"You will not see one like this anywhere. £45". Well that's not true,  five minutes on the Internet and I found one very similar (a different colour jacket) Do people really pay £45 for something like this believing it unique? 
This was the best one. Julian and I were very amused by "Ask staff to get out of the window" It was so tempting to ask the bored looking young woman behind the counter in the Charity Shop.. "Excuse me, please can you get out of the window?" just to see her reaction. 
Still, if I am feeling glum, at least my brother, and son-in-law have joined the latest Samaritans'  poster campaign 

Wednesday 19 July 2023

A Day In King's Lynn

 After a morning of lifting the dismantled old bedroom furniture into the loft, with more help from Julian, [Bob was out till 11.30] the three off us went to Kings Lynn for the day. We had a filling lunch at Roasta, went to an art exhibition [it is KL Festival week] and walked round the town, along the riverbank, and visited the Minster. Recent heavy rains caused serious flooding in a couple of areas - and they were sectioned off, with red and white chains across the pews.
The Minster is currently celebrating the 650th Anniversary of Margery Kempe - a significant medieval mystic [author of the first spiritual autobiography in English] Born in the year that Julian of Norwich experienced her 'Shewings', Mrs Kempe visited J. on a number of occasions.
There is an interesting new statue* of Margery in the Minster. “A Woman in Motion” is a sculpture depicting Margery Kempe, created by sculptrix Rosemary Goodenough. Margery was an avid pilgrim, journeying to holy shrines across England, in Europe and all the way to Jerusalem. She is depicted as wearing a wide-brimmed hat typical of medieval pilgrims. Reflecting her arduous journeys and selfless giving of alms, Margery’s clothes are “although plentiful, very clearly torn and patched but still with an element of grace and elegance”. Although a wife and mother [of fourteen children!], Margery was determined to wear white as a sign of her chastity and devotion to Christ. This was reflected by the artist as “given her determination to wear white, for which she was persecuted and prosecuted, I have made her robes white but her dress is silvery aluminium as I wanted to give a nod to her love of finery”. Regarding Margery’s posture, the artist states that “Margery’s head is bent in prayer and her ‘top-knot’ is my way of denoting indomitable spirit, both secular and religious”.
As well as the Minster, we also went to The Fermoy Gallery - it is Kings Lynn Festival time, and we enjoyed looking at the art.
I'm not as keen on modern art as Bob, but I did see some pieces I liked, particularly those by Eric Ravilious.
There were excellent drawings from WW1 [Brangwyn's pictures of soldiers at Ypres] and art from WW2 [John Piper's ruined Coventry Cathedral]  and in between these two, art from the 20s and 30s. [Jacob Epstein, Vanessa Bell, Frank Dobson - and perhaps a little less popular these days, Eric Gill**]
We came back via Downham Market, to drop off a parcel for Bob's sister with her MIL. Then on the way home, made a quick stop at Bexwell. It is three years since we first visited the War Memorial here. Back then, I was concerned that the wooden panel was not weathering well. I'm glad to see the new memorial is made of strong metal, and much more visible. There are the two Victoria Crosses, and statistics about the different planes which flew from the nearby WW2 airbase.
A lovely day out as a family - Julian's Grandfather was in the RAF, and it was good to remember him as we stood quietly in the sunshine.

*I looked at the statue for quite a while and couldn't make it out - then I read the info panel about the hat and the topknot and it began to make more sense. Maybe if I had 14 children to cope with, I'd pack my bag and set off on a long pilgrimage of quiet meditation! 

**Seen in isolation, much of Gill's art is amazing - but once one knows what an odious and perverted person he was, it is hard to have the same appreciation of it. Can one separate the art from the abuser? 

Tuesday 18 July 2023

Living In CHAOS

That's Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome. Except of course, we do have a house guest fir a few days. Cousin Julian is here with us till Friday. And he is brilliant - on Monday whilst I was at my Craft Group, he went with Bob to collect the new bedroom furniture. The old stuff is going up into the loft to provide slightly more organised storage of craft materials. But as is the way of these things, that stuff will not fit through the loft hatch. 
So everything has to be dismantled, and will be reassembled once it is up there. The dining table was out of action all through Monday and meals eaten in the lounge
Lots of hard work, on our knees, assembling IKEA flat-pack stuff. It will be great when it is all done. It was lovely to have Julian on the assembly line with us, and made things a little faster, as we collaborated on the building.
But there is still the matter of sorting the drawers and deciding what goes where. 
I suspect odd socks and tatty pants will at last be binned. I have a bad habit of keeping them 'in case of emergency'. What sort of crisis would that be, do you think?
It was Quizzy Monday again - so we downed tools to watch Only Connect together. Such a relief to see V C-M after the trials of Puzzling, with Lucy W!  And I really enjoyed Amol Rajan"s appearance asking the questions on University Challenge. He had a light touch, and relaxed manner. This match was was a nail-biting start to the new series too. 
Now all the new furniture is built, awaiting contents. The recycling collection is today - there will be lots of large cardboard boxes outside Cornerstones. I hope there isn't another storm in the morning. 
Thank you Julian and  Bob for doing the bulk of the work whilst I was out at my craft group. 

Monday 17 July 2023

Bring Up the Bodies!

We had a fabulous time in London. I spent a lot of time on buses, ferrying Jess to and from nursery. This gave me a fair bit of 'thinking' time, in between singing [softly] Wheels On The Bus and other songs to keep her occupied.
Question 1 - bodysuits - for babies or adults? I get the point of them for Jess. They keep her tummy warm, they prevent her nappy from sagging. But not for fully grown women imho. I remember Donna Karan's fashion item in the eighties. The idea was that you got a 'sculptured look and smooth silhouette'.There were three basic sorts
  • too long, so you got wrinkles not smooth lines
  • too short, so you were incredibly uncomfortable all day
  • with ineffective poppers- so you often returned from a trip to the loo, unaware that you had a tail flapping at the back, instead of being tucked in and popped shut
So no thank you, I'm not wearing them this time round!
Question 2 - packing - why is something ALWAYS omitted?
I put trainers and socks out, plus my sandals. It was hot the day we travelled- I wore my sandals - and left my shoes and socks at home. Thus Friday I was very cold, wet feet. Meanwhile Bob travelled in jeans and took shorts. The day we returned he wore his shorts- but left his jeans behind in London.
Question 3 - why does every baby's buggy have a different folding technique? Even the lovely staff member at the nursery who helped me get Jess ready had a struggle "I have two children myself - and neither of them had a buggy like this"

Especially good moments
  1. Time with Bob to stroll in the city, enjoy art galleries, and eat falafels in the sunshine
  2. Time to read stories with Jess, and teach her new nursery rhymes. 
  3. Time to chat with Rosie about her school topic [Civil Rights] and hear her explain why she thinks Martin Luther King was a good man. 
Best remarks from the girls
As we struggled to persuade Jess to have a bath before bedtime, Rosie said "How can I help you with this, Grandma"
When I arrived at Nursery to collect Jess, she turned round, saw me in the doorway, and cried "Grandparents! Yay!" and threw her arms in the air. 

But now we are home again, and Julian is with us for a few days holiday. There was a parcel waiting in the box when we got home on Saturday afternoon. Someone had returned a couple of books Bob had lent - one contained this bookmark

'please return it as soon as you can' it says. They only had it about 10 years! Better late than never. I was aware these books were missing when we packed to move in 2015 [but assumed they were misplaced] then in Dorset looked for them again, and vaguely remembered lending them, but not to whom.
What is the longest you have waited for an item to be returned? 


Sunday 16 July 2023

The Other Slide

 My Grandad died just before I was 8, but I still have a few good memories. One especially - something had happened and left me feeling very sad. I went down the garden to his shed where he did his woodworking, to talk to him about it. I told him I couldn't stop thinking about the sad thing.
"You know the slide projector we have at church, Ang, which we use to show pictures. The carrier holds two slides at a time. One slide goes in, and then your Dad pushes it across to the next slide, and swaps the first one over... And the pictures keep changing?" I knew what he was talking about.
"Well sometimes your mind fills up with a sad or bad picture and you can't seem to see anything else. What you need to do is always keep a good picture in reserve. Something special and beautiful - your Dad's smile, Mum standing at the school gate, your favourite flower... Then when there's a bad picture, quickly push it out of the way and focus on the other slide, that will help you to feel brighter."
Grandad told me that Paul, in the Bible, wrote a letter to his friends in Philippi encouraging them to have another picture in reserve [not that Paul used slide projectors] I've never forgotten Grandad's advice. The media this week has been full of unpleasantness of one sort and another. I've tried not to dwell on it, but rather to push the "other slide" into place, and think of better things. It really helps me - I recommend it

Saturday 15 July 2023

Gardeners' Question Time

How are things in the raised bed?
They are going fine, thank you. The decision to be a little more relaxed and not follow Huw's book quite so rigidly has worked out better than I hoped
What have you harvested thus far?
Row #10 - lots of radishes
Row #4 - plenty of broad beans, some of which have been blanched and frozen, and the podfs make a very acceptable soup. 
Row #7 - the four colour mizuma was OK, but we decided it looked attractive in the plate but didn't deliver much in terms of leafiness. It bolted in June, and I've pulled it out. Put Pak Choi there
Row #6 - the perpetual spinach however, is living up to its name. Baby leaves in salads, larger leaves wilted in cooked dishes - lots blanched and frozen - and still it keeps growing.
Row #1 - Swift Early Potatoes, just harvested this row [more growing in tubs in back garden]
Row #2contains "Red Duke of York" - you will notice that 4 of those got picked by mistake! 2.75 kg here.
Any surprises?
Oh yes! None of the tomatoes I planted germinated*. The little pots sat, forlorn, on the window of the Futility Room. After a few weeks, I emptied the pots at the end of Row#10 where the radishes were. Now I have three unexpected tomato plants. And in the middle of Row #2 potatoes- a whole mass of nasturtium flowers. I'm using them to garnish my salads. They look so pretty!
Any Top Tips?
First - I heard this on the radio - if thunderstorms are expected, make sure you have filled all your watering cans to make space in the water butts for collecting any heavy rain.
Second - My very own idea - You remember I used the fabric from my vertical blinds to make crowns at the Coronation Street Party Well, I kept all those weights which come in the bottom of each strip.
They make excellent plant tags. They are heavy and do not blow away, and their rough surface takes marking with a Sharpie very well and it does not wash off [as it did on my yogurt pot labels last year] And there is plenty of room too.
Kirsten said she'd just planted beetroot, so I have put some in, to fill the strange gap in Row #5 where the carrots have not germinated [I have just a few plants at one end of the row]
* I bought some plants, and was given others by friends, so there are toms coming along in the greenhouse.
My kitchen is at the front of the house- I've moved most of my herb pots to the area beside the front door- it's much quicker to nip outside for a bayleaf or handful of sage now.