Friday, 31 May 2013

Third Generation Shovel

Sometimes small achievements just make your day don't they?  Today I got some wire wool and spent some time rubbing off as much rust as possible from my Little Nana's shovel, then I wiped it down with a damp cloth, let it dry and rubbed it all over with olive oils (the metal and the wooden handle).  The oil's had time to sink in and now it's looking much better.  It's still got rust on it but is usable and it's nice to know I'm using a shovel my Little Nana used for years and years.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

The Real Cheeky Vimto

In March I started this Vimto wine.  After it finished fermenting I transferred it to a fresh demi john a put it in the cold basement for a couple of months.  I have to say it's really quite drinkable.  It tastes how I'd hoped it would; Vimto, but alcoholic.  I've no idea what the abv is but it's certainly warming and looks lovely in our charity shop decanter and crystal glasses.

We've started off two more wines tonight; plain grape juice, as it's always turned out well with £1 a litre grape juice, and Ocean Spray cranberry and grape juice, which was on offer at Fultons.  The cranberry could be a triumph or a disaster; it's mainly grape juice so it should be ok, but cranberry juice is quite unpredictable in fermenting and could just die off.  As always, time will tell.

Sunday, 19 May 2013


This weekend I've been excited and daunted by the prospect of sharing an allotment with a couple of friends.  Actually it's half an allotment but is looks huge to me.  It may have looked bigger because it's an overgrown wilderness of foot high grass, thistles, thorns and mystery weeds.  

We had a look on Friday, the four of us plus one baby standing in the grass looking a little lost before trying to figure out how to tackle it.  The consensus: cover most of it in plastic sheeting to kill everything off, test the soil, weed, feed and dig a corner of it and try to get some late cropping potatoes into said corner to break up the ground.

It's going to take a lot of work and I'm sure at least one of us will put their back out at some point, but I'm looking forward to when we've got the space cleared and the soil up to a good standard, ready for planting.  With it being so neglected we'll have a blank canvas to play around with and when we actually start growing our own food it will feel like a real achievement, especially as gardening in an allotment is a step into the unknown for all of us.

Next steps?  Get a pair of dungarees and headscarf for the Felicity Kendal look and decide who's car to use to fetch manure from the local stables...

By the way, we'll be blogging about our allotment at Don't Know Allotment.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

The Right Choice

As I started for home from town on this cold, wet, blustery day I had a choice to make; take the bus or spend the bus fare on a big bunch of red tulips from the market and walk home.

I made the right choice.