Thursday, 27 August 2020

Not so lockdown week 22 - the one with two cucumbers 🌱

Days 150-157 (20th-27th August)

Howdy gang, here we are again. Much like last week I am sat looking out at the rain, I don't mind except it did mean we had to call off a sibling bike ride today. C'est la vie.

Here is me in my cosy home doing some cosy crochet:

This week I harvested two cucumbers:

And Ed and I made an excellent sourdough loaf:

I also made some flapjack to use up some muesli we had in the cupboard, I wouldn't allow myself to buy any yummy granola until I had made a dent in the muesli mountain. This was a good solution. 

On Friday night I finally picked up a pencil after a very long time and tried to warm up by drawing some pictures I'd gathered on pinterest. This dreamy scene emerged:

Here are a couple of pretty cats I've spotted this week:

Remember this? A little embroidery piece where I've been counting the days of lockdown. I put it down a few weeks ago and so had to spend some time catching up on it this week. I'll pass it down to my grandchildren and they can keep it as a precious relic from the corona days.

An update on our one and only, spectacular, sunflower extraordinaire:

It is tall and splendid, and almost every time we look there are bees busy at work. Next year I want to have a whole bunch of the brilliant yellow beacons bedazzling the garden.

Remember the moth chrysalis I found whilst digging in the soil? Well here is the furry, brown fellow that emerged from it after a week or two:

Speaking of digging in the soil, we had a chance to make some progress on our garden makeover this week. We (mostly Ed) finished digging the border and adding some manure, and we've started planning which plants will go where. That's the fun bit! But due to the rain it might be a while until it gets going properly.

However, I did finally get round to planting something in my old, retired Dr Martens. They served me well but are now destined to live out the rest of their days as decorative planters in the garden, currently housing some nasturtiums (which I'm happy to say are recovering miraculously after the caterpillar infestation).

Here is a friend we made, he tried to come in from the garden with us:

And that brings us to the magnificent feast we created yesterday, a Nandos-esque meal for our last house group before two of my siblings move away for uni and work. It was very fun and we now have lots of leftovers in the fridge, win win. 

Finally, as has become tradition, we shall finish with a picture of the the legend, the sweetest boy, Mr Tom the cat. He may look grumpy, but don't be fooled, he's just camera shy.

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Lockdown...ish week 21- a sunflower on a rainy day 🌻

Days 143-149 (13th-19th August)

Last week I wrote my blog post whilst sat in front of a fan, looking out the window at blue sky and blazing sun. Today things could hardly be more different, I am listening to the pouring rain and feeling slightly soggy after nipping out to the garden to photograph my newly opened sunflower. It is chilly enough to wear a hoodie and I am glad to be able to stay cosy inside.

I found out I'm possibly going back to work in September so this could be one of my last few lockdown/furlough posts! But I've said that before and it all changed again in a matter of days so I won't say anything with certainty. 

Here is the sunflower in question, it chose the wettest, windiest day to say hello.

Whilst I'm at it, here are the latest additions to the cucumber family.

I know I say every sourdough loaf we make is the best, but this one truly was THE BEST. It turned out really soft and squidgy, unlike the other loaves which had a crust so crunchy that making toast was dangerous. Sadly it was gone far too soon, hopefully the next one will match up.

On Thursday I went to Falmouth for the day with my sister to see her new house, we left early in the morning so I got to see the lovely warm, orange sunrise glow at 6.30am.

Along with Imogen we cleared out this crazy shed in the garden, cutting back the ivy, clearing the ferns, sweeping away the dust and cobwebs, and discovering some massive spiders and centipedes. By the end it resembled a more useable space, to store bikes and things.

Pretty kitchen light.

I also met this cat which I used to see around all the time when I lived in Falmouth, a sweet, serendipitous encounter.

I also found my first grey hair that day...

There hasn't been much garden makeover progress this week, due to the rain and other more pressing jobs, but here I am admiring my tomatoes.

I went for a drizzly run on Monday and stumbled across a new path with lots of blackberries. I am not 100% sure whether I was on private land or not.

Feeding and watering (literally) the snails. They turn one year old this week!

Ed's fish tank turned propagator which I mentioned last week.

I made a slow cooker curry, featuring sourdough starter flatbreads (not bad but not as good as naan).

Little brother playing with nature (who needs toys?)

Ed + I having a candlelit admin sesh.

Enjoying being able to wear a turtleneck and a cardigan (yay Autumn is coming!)

Yesterday afternoon we went for a lovely walk nearby so that Ed could collect some moss, also just to get outside and have a break from writing thank you cards lol. We discovered a dreamy green wood with a trickling river and it was nicely warm and moist after the morning's downpours so it felt like a Studio Ghibli rainforest. The sun had come out and it made pretty light thought the trees. We saw a fish in the little river.

Three buzzards circling above.

Other things of interest:
  • My enthusiastic caterpillar venture from last week sort of flopped......most of them died so I released the survivors. Apart from one which had already pupated. I guess caterpillars don't like to be in captivity.
  • I finished reading Louis Theroux's book this morning, next up on my list are The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games prequel) and also a christian analysis of yoga. 
  • A couple of days ago I dreamed that I had a beautiful, golden greyhound and I told Ed about it at 4am. It was so sweet and I wish it was real.
  • We watched Fantastic Mr Fox and Four Weddings and a Funeral this week.
  • That is all.
I'll finish with another picture of Tom from when I saw him this week, stretched out and chilling as usual.

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

(Leaving) lockdown week 20 - pet caterpillars and retro ponies 🐛

 Days 136-142 (6th-12th August)

Hello friends. I'm currently sat in front of a fan blowing a cool breeze right at my face, looking out the window at a sunny, blue sky. Today is HOT again! It's nice, but it's also nice to be indoors rather than out  sweating in it. This update is mostly going to be about gardening and mini beasts (is "mini beasts" an acceptable term to use outside of primary school??) because that's what is going on at the moment. Plus a few other things like making food and returning to the wonders of second hand browsing.

Some paintings I saw stacked up outside an antique shop.

Not sure what's happing in the one on the left.

I had my first visit to one of the two charity shops in my new town, it had only just opened after covid closures. I had to queue outside as they only let 3 people in at a time, the first time I've ever queued for a charity shop. It turned out to be worth it because I found this long, tea towel-esque skirt which is nice and comfy. I wore it for about 5 days in a row because it was so nice to have something to mix up my usual lockdown outfits.

Remember way back in lockdown week 1 when I planted a random bean which I found on the floor at work? Well here it is now (just in case you were wondering), a towering mass of vines and leaves which has finally, after all this time, produced its first bean. Hurrah!

One of my best achievements this week was my first lasagne, it was very tasty and very easy, I don't know why I'd never made one before.

Now onto the garden section. We got cracking with our makeover project this week, Ed built a shelf to house his bonsais and I started digging up the grass to make a border.

It's looking a bit chaotic right now.

Ed's handiwork 🌟

Exciting news! I picked my first cucumber and courgette this week! The miracle of life! Nature is amazing! God's design!!!

Wonky veg is where it's at.

Remember my colony of nasturtium-munching caterpillars? Well I noticed that they were rapidly declining, until I could only see a few on the whole plant! So I decided to keep them in a jar because at this rate there would be none left for me to see them transform into butterflies! (I'm guessing they were getting eaten by birds?) So say hello to my new pets! In the small jar we have 4 large cabbage whites (small and patterned caterpillars) and in the tall jar we have 5 small cabbage whites (larger and green caterpillars). 

Also! Whilst digging up the grass I found some sort of chrysalis in the soil, I tried to research but didn't find a clear answer as to what it is. I think it could be an angle shades moth? Let me know if you have an idea! I've kept it so I can hopefully see what it turns into.

Basically, I haven't changed since I was small and had pet newts. I still have this childlike desire to look after random creatures, at least I haven't named the caterpillars. They look too similar anyway.

Found this pic when I was sorting through old belongings this week.

A magpie through the window.

A lonely cloud.

Yesterday Ed and I took a trip to Proper Job where we found lots of goodies including curtains, a fishtank to use as a propagator, a pint glass, and a legit 1983 My Little Pony. There was a whole box of them but I resisted and only bought one because I am an adult who is responsible with their finances (trying).

The chosen one.

Sleepy doggo melting in the heat.

Last night I made a fruit crumble and I ended up with too much topping so I used the excess and shaped it with some Christmas cookie cutters. I think I've stumbled on a very simple and yum biscuit recipe!

Lovely evening sky.

Other things worth noting:
  • I went on a muggy, sweaty bike ride with the siblings, dad + grandma.
  • I watched About a Boy for the first time (loved it).
  • Ed and I had pancakes for breakfast on Sunday.
  • I introduced Ed to the wonder that is Mamma Mia 2 and we've been singing the songs ever since.
  • I went to a church bible study on Friday (the last one before masks have to be worn 😅).
  • My sister and I have been sorting through and packing up our childhood/teenhood bedroom, lots of memories and confirmation that we have hoarding tendencies.
  • Twice this week I've seen a bat flying around right outside the living room window!
  • I'm waiting (im)patiently for Allie Beth Stuckey's new book to arrive through my letterbox.

I'll finish with a photo of Tom because I'm sure you're all missing his presence in these posts, it's just not the same without him!


See you next time, hope you're all enjoying getting baked by the sun!