Thursday, 24 February 2011

Jerusalem fartichokes

I have had a very busy day for me today. The best part was after lunch when, having seen the first proper warm sunshine of the year out the window, I went round to my neighbour's house to dig up his Jerusalem artichokes. Some people nickname these fartichokes, for obvious reasons!

But this has all stimulated me into thinking about the veg plot for the year. I now have 4 bags of the fartichokes, some to eat this year and some to plant, so I need to find the appropriate spot for them.

My first job today, bizarrely enough, was to put tea on. Just browning chicken and sweating leeks (from the garden [smug]!) and then I put it (with a bottle of wine, mushrooms and potatoes added) in the Chasseur in the oven on gas mark half. It will come out when my lovely hubby comes home from work, in about an hour from now - but a good 8 hours from when it went in the oven. Its been brill knowing all day that tea will be ready whenever we're ready for it. And not a 'convenience' food in sight! I guess this dish would be a Coq-a-Leekie-au-Riesling.

Tomorrow's job will be to get the kitchen back up to scratch as its been allowed to slide for a couple of days and I've put too much effort into cleaning it to let that happen. And after that I really need to plan this veg plot for the year, get sowing the first lettuce and chit my seed potatoes.

Oh yes, nature is just starting to stretch its legs for the year.

Monday, 21 February 2011


Well it looks like I'm overdue for my approximately annual blog update!

However, things have improved from this time last year - not that they could have gotten much worse - and I'm starting to feel more comfortable with myself. Feeling okay just to be me.

I did set out in the beginning to write a blog about non-commercialism and how I can withdraw from consumer society and have a more sustainable life. Well, to an extent, I've not done too badly there.

Last year I grew quite a lot of vegetables and fruits in the garden. I learned a lot and its coming up to time to do it all again this year. Just need to wait for some sunshine and I'll be back in that garden.

We also keep some hens. We did have a good flock of Light Sussex and Warrens, but the fox got them all the other week. A highly distressing time. But they were overcrowded a bit in the space we had and we were going to let the numbers naturally dwindle to about four, but Mr Fox put paid to that. So instead we got another four anyway, after a thorough scrubbing out of the henclosure. We have a Rhode Island Red and three Buff Sussex, although only one's proper buff, the other two are darker, one a kind of caramel and one a proper dark brown, like the Rhody but it has the Sussex black feather tips. I'll post up a pic when I can be fussed to.

And of course I have my bees! Love them to bits and right now just hoping they've made it through the winter. A friend phoned today to say all her bees are dead. They just didn't survive the cold winter. Mine appear to still be alive, but that's on evidence gathered a few weeks ago. I just need a nice sunny day now and I'll go out and give them a Spring feed. If they're still there! Fingers crossed.

So that's me. You never know, if anything actually interesting happens to me I may let you know.

I realise that by saying 'you' that nobody is actually reading this though! Maybe might see one or two other kindly bloggers who's blogs I've posted on, but nobody really cares what little ol' me thinks at this point in time anyway.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Just popping in

Well its very queer reading my blog up till now. Its not at all as I'd intended it to be. I wanted it to be about the kinds of things I do to withdraw from consumerism, but its just been a big ol' whinge about nothing in particular as far as I can see.

I have to say, (here I go again), things have been bad lately. No, I really mean it this time. And I won't even mention any of my health complaints that have popped up as a result of all this stress.

1. I've been the subject of a workplace bully and as a result have been signed off sick from work. Damn, I tried!! I had to find a new job from the soul-less one I had before and found an even worse place.

2. My husband (aged 41) had a heart attack just over a week ago. He's out of hospital and doing really well, but that was a huge shock for me and I was useless whilst he was in danger.

As a result, my employers appear to be sticking up for my bully, who is the most manipulative person I've ever met. We'll see on that when I get my hearing for my grievance. But I'm not going to go on about that too much because its got to the stage where that's not really important.

I've just totally lost any will to be a slave to this god awful system any more. I feel like something's snapped in my head and I can't work any more. I just don't have the attention span or the same kind of cognitive ability. Things like I miss the ends of words when I speak, which is really SO unlike me as I'm very particular with the English language. Its a bit like something's short-circuited. Its very weird - I've never had anything like this before. I feel a few sandwiches short, if you know what I mean?

My husband will freak if he reads this as he thinks I need to be in full-time employment so we can have more money, but in all honesty I think we can manage on his wage any any little bits I manage to get together but I just need to convince him of that. If I'm running the home on a frugal framework, I've no doubt we'd thrive.

And no, we've not got any kids yet. The money is still the reason. I figure it always will be.

But at least I made some lovely bread last night, and I must make some more tomorrow cos its nearly all gone. The chickens are laying eggs are a rate of knots and we're going to have to put a sign up and sell them. We've got about 2 dozen I reckon!

Saturday, 11 July 2009

A New Phase

Well its been yonks since I posted - I'm not very good at this keeping up with a blog thing!

On the plus side, I have now got my motorbike running, and I've been out on it quite a bit these last couple of weeks. There have been a few tatty mechanical bits on it it has appeared, but these are slowly being put right. For example, I have a swanky new air filter to fit tomorrow (the old one had a dirty great hole in it) and a new clutch cable (should solve the 'grabbiness' when pulling away). I'm getting the hang of twisty roads and cornering - I've done the Cat & Fiddle road, the Nantw Garth Pass (no idea if I spelled that right) and the Horse Shoe Pass all in the last week. As my confidence grows I'm enjoying it more and more.

You do have to be careful of car drivers (they don't seem to see anything more than a few centimetres beyond the end of their bonnet) but there are safe tips and tricks and I'll be reading Road Craft shortly to get to know these to be safe as possible.

All in all though, its been great, and I'd recommend that everybody in the world gets into riding as its really good brain and body exercise, relatively cheap (compared with a lot of sports you could do that give you the same level of excitement) and just brilliant fun. And you get an enormous sense of achievement from doing it. And the fellowship of other bikers. The list goes on.

See you on the road!!!

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Its been a while

Its been a while since I checked my blog, and its also been a while since I rode my bike. After the breakdown, it turned out that it was the alternator at fault, not the battery, and having little money we had to find second hand spares as brand new was astronomical. I only just got it all sorted about a month ago, but now its cold and its dark and I've lost my bike mojo for the winter.

I'm quite gutted because I just composed this post about what's been going on with me lately and then my computer had a fit and I've lost the lot. Tra-la-la.

I've had quite a down on lately, about many things. Things going back to my childhood that have been haunting me, but mostly about my current situation, with work, with the world, with my aching bloody joints and about my lack of children. That's just an overview - I shan't bore anybody with the details.

I've been knitting a lot lately which has really helped my mind settle and refocus. I'd say I've started to brighten up the last few days, but the problems still remain. I guess I'll cope better though if I see the good rather than focus on the bad.

I've not been on the blog for ages for one reason and one reason only. I used to access it in my lunch hour, sat at my soul-less desk in my soul-less job. But the lovely people in the IT department put up a new firewall and now my blog is blocked from my work computer.

So, I'm here, on a cold Sunday night, at home with the open fire roaring behind me as I type. I should really be more organised though and have a think about what I want to say before I come here and just talk rubbish.

Anyway, if anybody is reading, I hope you all have a lovely week.

Monday, 28 July 2008

My first bike ride! - Saturday

... was a bit of a double-edged sword to be honest.

I had to get a new mirror last week as there was no right hand mirror on the bike (by the way, its a Kawasaki GPZ500), so we got this one from a breakers cheap, and before I'd even got off the driveway, it had broken! I literally just adjusted it and it came off in my hand. It had some damage when we bought it, but you couldn't see that until it came apart. Hey ho!

So I set off without a mirror, which wasn't too bad as dear Hubby is on his big, bad Aprilia so I felt safe following him.

We hit the back of a traffic queue, so this was my first opportunity at filtering. I was a bit scared, but Pat set off but I bottled following him. Once a few other bikes came past, I though I'd follow them through, and after about 5 minutes I saw him in the Somerfield car park, so I pulled in and we stopped for a little rest. My first time out on my bike, and I had been really quite nervous! Had a quick drink (it was INCREDIBLY hot on Saturday) and saddled up.

Pat had got on and started, I pressed my starter button, and.... click, click, click. Poo. That's the starter solanoid, meaning my battery's gone flat. Poo, poo, poo.

Some helpful chaps came and after 3 attempts to bump start it, they got it going. So being as my battery's dead we decided its best to just get home and set about working on it. So I'm back on the bike, clutch in, knock it into first gear and the engine cuts out. Bottom!! I'd left my side stand down and the cutout switch was activated. And it wouldn't start again.

Well Pat totally lost his head at this point and he was this close to getting a belt in the chops. I felt totally stupid, and there he was telling me what an idiot I am. Nobody needs that. I could have cried, I really could.

I had no breakdown details on me either so we went back home to get them (on the back of his Aprilia) and phoned the RAC. We were only 10-15 minutes away from home, so they said they'd get the recovery guy to phone when he's nearly there.

When we got back to the bike, he was already waiting for us (we'd come in the car this time). He'd confirmed the battery's not running on full charge, so its either that, the alternator or the regulator rectifier. Its just not charging properly, so its going to keep doing that until I sort it out. Got to get it done by Thursday as I need to ride to a bike meeting 20 or so miles away. I'm determined to make it there under my own steam and not on the back of the Aprilia!

We shall see.

On the bright side, I did at least get to ride it for a short while, and its got rid of my fear of it, as that was the first time I'd even moved the bike under power, so I'm now champing at the bit as I really, really enjoyed it!

And I got to do a bit of spannering on the bike to get the battery off and charging. Hopefully its just that, as its not holding a charge. A new battery is quicker, cheaper and easier than either a new alternator or a new regulator rectifier. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Better now!

Hi all,

I'm feeling loads better now. Anusol is a miracle cream! Thanks for all your good wishes, its appreciated :-)

I'm feeling really good today as my tomatoes are getting huge, although staying green for now, and I've got a medium sized courgette promising loveliness from the plant, and a few little baby cucumbers. We'll be eating home produce in a few short weeks!

And my motorbike passed its MOT on Monday and its being delivered tonight! Getting very excited - I'll be riding it at the weekend, so if you're anywhere near North Wales, hide in your homes and lock the doors, cos the roads won't be safe!!!

Love to everybody xxx