Thursday, 26 June 2014


14th June
HOT, HOT, HOT ... 36 degrees in the shade!!!
It’s too hot to work; though we are trying to weed the vegetable garden and Brett is finishing off the barbecue, ready for our decking christening party on the 21st June.
The pool is no longer a luxury it’s an essential, I don’t think I could cope without it.
Looby spends all day under the decking, it’s cool under there, it’s her kennel.
The garden is very productive atm; we’re snowed under with courgettes and mangetout, the beans are just starting and soon we’ll have ripe tomatoes – we’re not buying any fruit and veg!
And we have HUGE apricots, they’re as big as peaches, oranges and peaches ripe for eating (the loquats didn’t do well this year).
The fruit on the right is an Apricot, it's HUGE

16th June
Every morning I let the Muscovies out and Mrs Muscovy bustles off to the stream with her brood, she brings them back a couple of times for food and then she comes back for the night around 8.00 – she’s such a good mother.
We went to the bar with Chris & Di to watch the Portugal v Germany match – we arrived 4.30ish and got home after 10.30 (and I don’t even like football)!!!!! It was quite a feat getting the ducks and geese away in the dark whilst ‘slightly’ intoxicated ... we’re back there on Thursday for the England game.

17th June
The barbecue is finished and looking good, and it cost about 100€ less than buying one readymade.
Our chickens are laying well, some days we get 10 eggs; so today I made an egg storage system;
it’s my version of one that Brett designed and made when we lived in Wales, mine is far more ‘rustic’! It means that we don’t have to sort through a bowl of eggs looking for the one with the oldest date, each section takes 21 eggs and I’ve made 3 – by the end of today it was full, 63 eggs ... we had Courgette Frittata for dinner!

18th June
I went to Claire’s today to get some lemons and came away with two bags of lemons and one bag of plums (and I could have had more) – she has so many different types of fruit trees and it’s all fruiting prolifically.
Then this afternoon it was back to the weeding, the vegetable garden is starting to look rather good.

19th June
We decided that we would eat before when went to the bar with Chris and Di (on Monday we didn’t get any dinner), to line our stomachs, so we invited them round to test out the barbecue – we had the most delicious sardines and octopus ever, it was really good and cooked to perfection. Then we went to the bar ...
Oh dear ...
We arrived just before 8 and left at 2.30!!!!!!
Pam & Mark, Josh, Jamie & Vince, Andrew & Baptiste all came to the bar as well, we had a very jolly evening but my goodness we were all so drunk; I blame it all on Chris & Di – they are a bad influence on us!

20th June
Hip, Hop, Happy Birthday Mel!!! XXX
Oooh we both felt so ill today! I had a long list of things to do in preparation for our gathering on Saturday but hardly anything got done. I didn’t get up until 11.00 and I could so easily have gone back to bed, Brett did go back to bed this afternoon.
We had our first ripe tomato today; it was a Tigerella – yummy!            

21st June
Happy Summer Solstice
There was so much left to do for this evening, after doing nothing yesterday; so I just left out a whole bunch, like ‘finish weeding the tomatoes’ ... it didn’t get done, and nobody really gave a toss!
The barbecue was lovely, everyone brought masses of food and drink (so Brett was right - I didn’t need to make so much!). After the excesses of Thursday evening everyone was quite restrained, so it wasn’t a drinkfest! ... but we still didn’t get to bed until after 2.00a.m.
And I’m so proud of our dogs, they were so well behaved (apart from Looby trying to sit on peoples laps!!!). I’m not proud of our geese though; one of them bit Gypsy on the bum (obviously thought she was too small to retaliate) and then they attacked the ducklings, so Jamie (my hero) had to rescue them.

22nd June
The nights are drawing in!
Good old Brett insisted on paper plates and cups yesterday, so there wasn’t too much clearing up. I had chocolate mousse for breakfast – it’s a tradition, homemade chocolate mousse always tastes better the day after the party!
Despite not having hangovers we had a lazy day today, after all we only had about 6 hours sleep. We didn’t have to cook, as there was so much food left over, thanks to the generosity of all our friends.
I made plum chutney, with some of the plums from Claire.
This week I want to make plum jam, peach chutney, green bean chutney and courgette chutney too – I like chutney!
So much food to process!

23rd June
Hoorah, at long last, I’ve planted out my sweet potatoes ... it’s been on my ‘to do’ list for ages. I also, nearly, finished weeding the tomato bed and found the peanuts hiding under all the weeds, until a thunder storm stopped play – I got absolutely soaked walking back to the house ... but we didn’t have to water tonight!
It’s Pam’s birthday on Wednesday, so I spent the evening making her present.

24th June
And this morning I finished her present ... and I want to keep it!

So now I have to make myself one.
Finished weeding the tomatoes, uncovered the peanuts which are flowering like mad.

25th June
Happy Birthday Pam!
Pam hung her mobile up on her decking – it looks good there.
I spent the day being very homesteady ... I made Plum Jam (I even managed to ‘lose’ some courgettes in with it, it was a proper recipe I didn’t make it up!) and Peach Chutney (who would have ever thought I’d have so many peaches that I would need to make chutney with them?).
The flowers at the back are my bolted leeks
Brett strimmered around the boundary; so we now have a walkway and a firebreak – of course the shepherd will now turn up to ask to cut the hay.
Brett found an interesting Beetle tonight!

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