Tag Archive | postaday2011

A small reprieve for the woodlands!

An update to the Great Woodland Sell-off Crisis: partly in recognition to the massive “don’t touch our woodlands” petition and widespread deep feeling about the issue, the government have put their current sell-off plans on hold for a few months!

Of course, there’s no breath holding going on: it’s likely that in the wake of the very recent high level and high-profile indignation at the government’s determination to consign a whole other civic asset to history- libraries, that they are just keeping their head down for a moment in the hope that we’ll all go away so they can get on with decimating everything we hold dear!   However,the more folk that sign the petition between now and when they press play on the process again, the better, because they are still going at full throttle to change the law that actually paves the way to the sell-off, so anything that can be done to continue to try to defend our country heritage should still be done in the meantime.   If you’d like to sign the petition, or find out more about the campaign, please follow this link to the 38 Degrees website! There, and you thought Himself’d chopped up my soap box for kindling!  Thanks for listening! 🙂

Did you say chit or ….?

Well, no sooner have we started preparing produce for the allotment and having happy thoughts of harvest-time (not that I toddle around in some rosy coloured existence or anything) , than do we succumb to the very threat that reduces self-sufficiency efficiency: pests!

No, not Himself or the dogs, a whole other critter entirely!   Himself just went into the garage to check on his chitters  (I know, they were only lovingly nestled into egg boxes last night) when he came back aghast (for the uninitiated this involves a lot of frowning of brow and hoicking up of waistband in a varied range of movements including simultaneously and consecutively)!

“Something’s been at my spuds.”  As this declaration co-incided with a hoiking movement, I was about to respond with a glib, possibly rude remark, but thankfully the depth of Himself’s ensuing frown prevented me.   Instead, with a grimace that barely disguised the smile beneath, I managed to communicate a quizzical “do tell, dear” look.  Just as well because the telling was already on its way ….

“There’s been nibbling and there’s a dropping!”

“Dropping?   Perhaps it’ a chit?”

“Well it rhymes with chit, come and see….” so into the dark depths of the garage we ventured.   Now whilst a garage has a designated role to a house in town, do remember that our house in town is becoming a virtual cottage in the country, so instead of being for the purpose of housing our car, our garage is in fact our ‘outbuilding’, housing the freezer, my veg baskets, my carefully stacked paper logs, our coal and our home-made preserves: that is to say the remainder of my jams and chutneys from last summer and his sloe gin and chum vodka (needless to say we have more of the jams left than the spirits).   Oh and the garage also houses our decluttered stuff from the house because everyone knows that having a decluttered house means having a seriously cluttered garage whilst waiting for that Ebay free listing moment!

Anyway, we fought our way to his egg-box-bottom-bound spuds where Himself indignantly indicated what looked like a liquorice torpedo without its colourful sugar shell, alongside what was a seriously nibbled spud.

“It’s a mouse” he proclaimed.

“Looks more like a potato” I shrugged, turning my attention to the licorice.   “Is this a chit?”

“No, it’s a  …..   mouse poo!   We’ve got mice.”

“Isn’t that what happens when you’re growing your own food though, you have some for yourself and some for livestock?”

“Mice aren’t livestock” the frown was back, with both thoughtful and menacing effect at the same time  “Of course, it could just have been passing through.”

“The mouse or the poo?   Well, clearly the poo…..”

Ok, dear reader, the frown was now menacing, so I changed tack and tried agreeing with the theory.  “Ahh, passing through!  You mean like the Town Mouse and Country Mouse?   Nibbling your spud on its way to the good stuff at Marks and Spencers?”

“Well, as in not nesting here, but taking an opportunity for a nibble wherever it can find it!” Himself added soberly.

“Ahh, well … at least we know it’s a male then!”   I added brightly.   I meant this to cheer him up, in a “so we needn’t worry about it being a female with lots of babies to feed” kind of way, but he didn’t really take it like that.   So, now we have one less potato and a moody Himself who thinks I am not taking seriously the fact that his lovingly tended spuds have been interfered with.  I, on the other hand, am quite cheerfully practising both a positive attitude and solution based approach; indeed I am multitasking by happily looking up homeless local cats on ‘tinternet with one hand whilst teaching Seamus the skills of being a canine mouser with an old toy Tigger puppeting the other ! 🙂

Postaday 2011

I read somewhere that content is everything, but I don’t really feel like I’ve much to say today, but don’t want to be out of the Postaday habit.  So  I’ve installed the badge and am posting to say I’ve done so!

High spots today:   Went to the hospital today, feeling rubbish and came away feeling considerably better,  not because of any miracle cure (or even any treatment, come to that) but just by comparison to some of the sights you see.  Feeling humble and lucky in equal measures!

Low spots:  Have realised that I have been keeping the dog shampoo in the bathroom cabinet aside the stockpile of toothpaste, Himself’s razors and to-be-used toiletries whipped from hotel rooms.  I’m not sure what kind of person this makes me.  It is possible that it is actually my brain that is downshifting.

Tree Year and saving trees, plus nose news is good news!

First up:  I’ve managed to dodge the showers to take photos of my trees for the tree year – at least the triple apple will be well watered in by the time this weather’s finished!   So, here’s the birthday tree, complete with birthday ribbon and bit of carpet to stop Seamus digging it up (seeing as it looks rather like a very large stick)!:

Here’s a close up to the only bud I can find so far, but it’s safe to say that I have high expectations of it!

Secondly, we have the Mimosa tree, which is just a couple of months off of flowering (you can also see it behind the apple tree).   It’s flowers got a bit lost last year because of the weather, it suffered quite badly from the outdoor equivalent of freezer burn, which I guess is frost-bite for trees (I’m no horty culture -ist I can tell you – or is it botanist for trees?  I guess my point is made either way).

Mimosa in the South of England!I’ll try to find its better side by the next photo!

Whilst we’re on the subject of trees, please take the time to check out the petition for the sake of all trees, that Himself and I have signed tonight.  It’s against the government’s proposal to sell off national woodlands and forests, so do check it out if you are interested in trees, saving the planet, preserving our nation’s heritage, conserving the habitats of local critters or hating a bureaucracy who are so short-sighted about cuts that they can’t see the wood for the trees – any of these are more than good enough reasons!   You can find details here at the 38 Degrees website, a group partly founded in honour of Anita Roddick and whose aim is to amplify those individual voices of us small people by bringing them together to be loud  to be heard about those issues that really count.  No heavy politics (them or me) just a need not to be ignored on issues that do matter, like our lovely trees.

And finally, the nose is not smelling any better but is on the mend,which is good news.  The poor boy’s had a quiet day resting it today but is back to work tomorrow for a bit, so all’s as well as it can be there!

My son’s got no nose … so how’s he smelling?

…..  not too good actually!

It’s true, despite my having more positive vibes than is good for a person, disaster has befallen the eldest Boo-bubby, who passed out and landed on his nose! It’s not what you think – well, it is if you were thinking that alcohol was  possibly involved: he’s 26 and was having a pint to celebrate moving into his new digs, but if you were thinking that he must have a nose that makes Steve Martin’s look subtle, then you’re wrong: Ben’s nose has always been the smallest little button ever attached to a face, so how on earth could he land on it?   It’s a mystery how it could manage to hit the ground first as he swooned!  However, bounce off the pavement it did and of course, being a fragile piece of face, it’s a clean break, now nicely packaged with what look like tampons!   He lives and works in a different town to home, so we’ve spent much of the day on the phone comparing nose-break stories (he remembers the spectacular fall down the stairs that was responsible for my own D.I.Y rhinoplasty twenty years ago) so we now have a whole new range of humourous conversation opportunities, on the lines of:

Bubby:  “I’m not smelling any better today”

Me: “Don’t worry if it still feels like it’s bleeding, it’s not” (say it quickly and you’ll appreciate the humour – possibly better than he did)!

Post a day? That’s another challenge failed then!

Ok, so I’ve managed to be unsuccessful in posting daily – somehow daily life just cuts across things too much.   Although, in the spirit of all things positive, I have probably still managed to post more already in 2011 than I did in 2010!

High spots since last post:

:o) Allotment plans all looking good- hopefully going up there next weekend: this weekend’s full of post-birthday catching up with visitors and such, so no chance of getting my wellies out just yet!

:o) My birthday present from Himself has arrived and is …. an apple tree!   One of the multi-fruiting variety, three different apples from the same tree.   Ceremonial planting took place this afternoon,  complete with hip flask of home-made sloe gin (the actual gin wasn’t home made, well not at our home but Mr.Lidl’s – we’re not quite that self-sufficient yet, but the whole adding fruit bit was very much done here, very lovingly and on a one-for-the demi-john-one-for-me gin allocation basis last October) – all good but probably single handedly responsible for the fact that I now have blood pressure at a very tender age!   Now just have to stop dogs causing havoc to the tree before it takes root!   Unhappily we won’t be able to allow it to fruit this year, so the chutney cauldron will have to make do with the fruit of the old tree and my haphazard courgette growing, but in the meantime am going to take a leaf from Mo’s book (well, blog, thank you Mo x) and use the birthday tree as my Tree Year tree!    I was also thinking of doing our Mimosa tree as this is quite an unusual one for the South of England!   May get my camera out again tomorrow!

:o)  Lovey birthday dinner out with Himself yesterday.   Was all very lovely until an old man arrived for the party dinner at the table next to us.  He wobbled a bit on the small step down to our cosy nook and then farted like a fog horn at the shock of the wobble! We were mortified on his behalf (fortunate really because he seemed entirely unbothered by his mis-timed trumpet heralding his arrival).   We did try to be mature about it but for all of my significant years of age I have still hung around with far too many 12 year olds (oh happy classroom days), although happily we did manage not to laugh out loud.   Have to say, put me off my spinach and ricotta crepes a bit!

Low spots since last post:

:o)   None, such is the power of positive thinking coupled with the ability to find fun in the simplest things, such as Himself and other people’s unfortunate incidents in public places!

Older and wiser?

Have I failed in the postaday2011, because I had to miss a day? I’m still aiming to try to post a day, but as with all things, I sometimes really fail to meet the moment!   Will an update from yesterday’s thoughts and actions suffice?

So then, from yesterday’s movements (as it were) … retro moments continued last night -watched City Slickers on DVD, now a fabulous 20 years young!   It’s a funny film to watch just before one’s birthday (yes the countdown has begun) and even more bizarre when I remember watching the film years ago and whilst Billy Crystal was angst-ing over that whole ‘being 39’ thing, I was smugly content that the whole issue was light-years away for me!   Bit of a shock then to re-live that moment yesterday and realise that whilst he – at least in that captured celluloid, dvd or whatever it is moment -will be eternally only 39, I have galloped way past that and am now considering the age of 39 with a tinge of nostalgia in the same way that I enjoyed the Jackie mags with my sisters over Christmas-time.


Allotment a-go-go

Hurrah!   Himself has decided that we should take up the offer of the half allotment as a temporary plan B (reference The Quest), so it’s all systems go when the rain  stops!   He’s hoping that being part of an allotment community will give us access to group discounts on seeds and whatnot, whilst I’m hoping that it’ll give him another place to stick his free manure (as it were)!

I am pondering the kind advice in respect of the gift that belongs to another, and I am considering opening it on my birthday next week, in the absence of any further correspondence from the mysterious Giles!   Incidentally, is it just me or is Giles a bit of a let down as the name of a man sending mystery gifts -shouldn’t he be more of an Adam, or even a Clint or Heathcliff ? Apologies Giles Coren and anyone reading this who’s called Giles or has bestowed this name on their son, but it just doesn’t fit the persona I appear to be creating here as I ponder the mysterious delights of the postal system!

Hmmm – more gifts today!

Well, for the interested few, I still haven’t unwrapped the gift, feeling a bit ooo-er about it!    Am willing to submit myself to public consensus so I’ve been trying to insert a poll into ma posts but have been unsuccessful so far!   Trying again now.

Where’s the poll gone?

Still – today bought more gifts.   The magazine subscription bought for me by Himself has finally arrived, so he is now cuddled up reading it, hmm.

Anyway, remember The Quest – our constant pursuit to be more self-sufficient and recreate our homestead as something of a tinyholding (the smallest type of smallholding), on a tiny type of budget?   Happily we’ve already achieved that country-type smell, despite living in town, as Himself happily covered the garden in several sacks full of free horse manure last weekend and it’s constantly rained since, so basically the garden is a pool of liquid excrement, which the dogs are happily playing in then running back through the house!   Still, in respect of The Quest, the best gift of the day has been the offer of half an allotment just down by the local park -an elderly family member wants to downsize what he’s doing so he’s offered us the chance of using his ‘spare bit’ in the absence  of any real progress on what would be the growing area of our garden!

Himself is thinking about it, whilst he’s reading my Christmas present.   Kindly, he is reading extracts out from it to me – I feel another hmmm coming on!

oooh,my first moral dilemma of 2011

Now then, I have my first moral dilemma of 2011 (so obviously I’ve been very saintly so far)!   The postman came today and delivered a little jiffy package.  Goody, I thought, as I was expecting a small item still outstanding from Christmas shopping.

On close inspection, the package had my first name written in full (although spelled wrongly, but this was no matter – many people get it wrong, including members of my own family, sigh) but the surname was not right at all although I’m quite used to people also getting the surname wrong when  I make online purchases, especially as my surname changed within the last year – bizzarely the surname given could vaguely sound like a cross between both my old and new name!   The address was perfectly correct including the postcode (I always check this as where I live is XXX Avenue, whilst there’s also a XXXX Road in the town – if the postcode’s right I know that it’s intended for the Avenue).

So, I opened it and found inside a Xmas present, without label (feels distinctly like a DVD to me).  There was a scribble on the back of the envelope which I then found which read;

“Sorry it’s a little late- actually that’s a lie, it’s late and  I don’t care that it is!! Enjoy! Giles x”

Now, I don’t know any Giles and could find no return address so I don’t know what to do, seems wrong to keep it but can’t pass it on (the name is definitely not that of the lady we bought the house from).

So, do I open it or don’t I?