Monday 28 September 2015

Autumn arrives and Labrador Rescue

Hello All
It's starting to look and feel Autumnal here in Derbyshire. It has been warm and sunny today while this morning there was a decided nip in the air and an early fog covered the valley
Here is the view from our paddock up the valley.
 Somewhat different from my colorful photo yesterday!

There is still much to gather in the garden meaning that autumn has rather crept up on me! My kitchen is littered with buckets and bowls of apples, tomatoes, beans and damsons. The spinach, kale and Romanesco caulis need picking and processing. I guess that as the weather is cooling now the maize and the butter beans are unlikely to ripen properly. I suppose I will use the maize as animal fodder and the beans as a large flagolet.
 I shall be jam and jelly making in earnest this week, having also put many pounds of fruit into the freezer to make into wine when I have more time later in the year.

 A couple of years ago I wrote a few posts on getting ready for winter. I intend to do something similar this year. I hope you will join in and add your own spin on "Getting Ready for Winter"

A few weeks ago we were at the Ashover  Agricultural show. This is a great old-fashioned show which we visit most years. The weather was scorching and we were sat outside the beer tent (really? surely not!) with our friend, our daughter and her son and their rescue lab, Sammie. A gentleman was fussing Sammie and saying how he missed his old lab that had had to be put down a couple of weeks before. My grandson told him that his mother worked for a Labrador Rescue society and the guy showed some interest. Our daughter, realising how raw this guy was, gave him her phone number and told him that if he ever felt like having another Lab give her a ring.
 This weekend he rang her to say that he was missing having a dog- the daily walks and the company, and could she help him to find an older dog that needed adopting?
She arranged an assessment visit and was pleased with the home that this man could offer. He had a good size secure garden and  he wasn't bothered if he took on a dog or a bitch, but felt he couldn't take on a young dog.
This sounds like a really positive chance for one old dog. I'll keep you posted.

A Warm welcome to Pioneer Prepper (much to learn from him I'm sure) on the follower bar and Elaine Baron on Bloglovin.
Back Soon

Saturday 26 September 2015

More Colour

Hello All
Quite s few of you enjoyed the pictures of colourful carrots, So here is another colourful picture from the garden. While late to flower there seems to be no stopping them now. Dahlias and Calendula to the fore, with pink spray crysanths' just starting to the right and nasturtiums to the rear. I sat on a bucket with my camera and a cup of tea and looked at this scene for some time.

 The tomatoes were a little late starting too and while the main crop is coming to an end the "Sweet Million" are still going strong. There are lots higher up..rubbish pic I know.

 Here is Coda and Sammie playing with a large Sticky Stick. They help themselves from the pile to be processed outside David's workshop and though we give them a smaller one each they prefer to share.
When David saw them he said "I wondered where the scratches on the car were from" oops!

Just a quick one today. I'm off picking more Damsons as they are selling well and I haven't even put any down for the wine yet, though  have made a few jars of jam.
Back soon

Tuesday 22 September 2015

Thanks Weaver and Parsnip

Hello bloggy friends, especially  Pat "The Weaver of Grass" and .Angry Parsnip of "Two Little Square Black Dogs"
Earlier in the year Parsnip, who lives in the Sonoran Desert (North USA) sent Weaver who lives in Yorkshire Dales some multi-coloured carrot seed. Weaver can't grow carrots in her soil so sent them on to me.
Here is the first pulling...

The reddy/purply ones are different in size and shape and I was surprised to see are only that colour on the outside (what do I know about these things?!) I peeled the big carrots but just scrubbed these little ones.
Here they are ready to cook with tonight's dinner....

I won't post this until we have tasted them and I can give you my verdict.

Just tasted them and the orange and red ones taste as I expect carrot to taste, the yelloe one is a little bit swedie and the white one is a little bit turnippy, both with overtones of carrot.
Very Very Tasty.
 Thanks Weaver and Parsnip xx

Monday 21 September 2015

Bright and Beautiful

Hello All from a wet Derbyshire
I am so please it is raining. We have had so little over the pasts few weeks and the gardens needed it. We seem to have been on the edge of the rain as it came north and then again when it came south and it never really got to us. Whereas my friend in Cornwall reports a rainy summer down there. Time was, the Cornish weather was sunnier than ours, but it seems to be turned on its' head the last couple of years. Anyway..
We are now in the midst of harvesting (in our small way!) Here are a couple of views of my favourite dahlia "Bishop of Lllandaff". I grow this everywhere in the garden, the flowers and foliage are bright and beautiful and because it is a single the bees love it.
 A couple of views of the middle garden.

I dug up the Pink Fir Apple potatoes and was amazed at the amount I got from this one plant. They weighed 3.5 kilos which I think is pretty good for an old fashioned potato. The other plants weren't quite as fecund as this one, but still pretty good.
I tried to take an arty photo of the maincrop potatoes Sarpo Mira, which are still growing strong. As you can see I missed the potatoes and got a pic of the back of the house instead!  At the back of the plot  you can see more Bishop, some cactus dahlias , Jerusalem Artichokes and a huge teasle that has self seeded and looks magnificent, the bees think so too. It looks as though we will get flowers on the Jerusalem  Artichoke. If you have never seen them they are of the helianthus family and look like small single sunflowers way up ten feet (and higher) up in the air. Yet again, loved by bees.
Quick update on the sheep. Biscuit is now completely healed. All five sheep aren't particularly big, tho' very healthy. we have had no problems with worms or strike (maggots) and they fed and weaned really well. They are part mountain sheep which will make them smaller. I have suddenly remembered a poem from my school days 
"The mountain sheep are sweeter,
 but the valley sheep are fatter.
We therefore thought it meeter
 to carry off the latter"
from the"The War Song of Dinas Vwawr (?)"
Many thanks for your comments about Traffic Wardens. It's always nice to have people agree with me!
And what about Corbyn?! Thought I would throw that one in!
Back soon
PS. hello to Frederique on Bloglovin
PSS Why is this post centering  itself like this?

Wednesday 16 September 2015

Traffic Warden

Hi All
I rarely go into town either early or at the weekends. I remember when I was working, feeling well p****d off with the Wrinklies buying their half pound of butter and two slices of ham on a Saturday at the supermarket or early in the morning when I was on my way to work and buying some milk for the office. I would stand behind them in the queue thinking "Why didn't they go in the week when workers were at work?" They had all week to do their shopping and here they were fumbling in their purses for the right change or forgetting their pin number and saying !I'm a silly old fool aren't I?".while the queue of folk on their way to work stretched ever longer. Well now  I AM THAT WRINKLY. I do try to give the right change though I do forget my pin number occasionally, what I try not to do is be that shopper either at the weekend or early in the morning.
There is a reason for this preamble (bear with me)
Last week I went into town at half past nine on a Saturday. I needed sugar from Farmfoods (39p a kilo!) for some jam making,and to take some money to the bank with some urgency for my granddaughter. I'll just pop in I thought. Outside a short row of shops is free short-term parking, where I often park as it is close to the bank and I was lucky enough to find a spot there. As a traffic Warden was leaning against a shop window I made a mental note of the time so as not to over run the parking time. I always think that Traffic Wardens get a bad press and a hard time from the public, so I gave him a little nod as I sped off. Banking done, sugar bought I returned to my car to find a parking ticket on the windscreen . The Traffic Warden was now leaning on another shop window a few yards away. I looked at him and said "WHAT!?" He pointed to a sign high up on a post and said "There's no parking allowed between 7.00 and 10.00 I'm afraid" I was extremely angry and didn't trust myself to speak to him again. I tore the ticket off the windscreen and threw it with my bag in the car and drove away.
NOW I know that ignorance is no excuse so I have paid my fine. HOWEVER, I really feel that the Traffic Warden could have informed me that there was no parking at that time. He watched me park and get out of my car and walk away, I even nodded to him. A couple of words or a meaningful look up at the sign would have sufficed surely. I can't believe that traffic wardens are there purely to give out tickets and not advice.
What do you think?

Thursday 10 September 2015

Two types of Damage!

Hello from Sunny Cornwall
David is fishing and I now have Broadband connection, so I am able to do a quick blog.
Welcome 2Torts on the follower bar, lovely to see you here.

Our granddaughter, with support from her mother, is looking after the house, greenhouses and animals. She and her mum phoned me the other night to tell me that Biscuit (ram lamb) had been fighting with Biffa (his brother) and had lost his horns... He was bleeding profusely. We discussed what she needed to do.
Here he is poor thing

And here are the horns that they found side by side in the middle of the field!

They have cleaned him up with wound spray and then used wound powder to dry the wounds up. Phil next door has also lent them a purple spray as an ongoing treatment and fly deterrent. They then cut some willow twigs for him to eat, which they feed him daily (The bark contains a form of aspirin).
I hear today that he is doing well with no sign of further bleeding, but that he is proving difficult to catch to spray again as he is a bit spooked with the whole affair. I have suggested bribery with something really tasty.

Not to be outdone on the disaster and damage front, I have pranged the car! I was reversing in one of these fine, winding Cornish roads and didn't see the large rock that was in the grass on a verge.
Here is the damage!

As you can see each panel leading to the damage is affected in some way and we cannot open the boot. We can access the boot from the back seats, which fold down (God Bless Berlingos!)
Fortunately it is okay to drive as the lights have not been affected. So we will wait until we get home to get it fixed as it will probably take a few days bodyworking to fix it.

The girls tell me that they are processing windfall cookers and ripe tomatoes by the bucketful. - tomato puree and sliced apples in the freezer -Aren't they good?
When we get back on Saturday afternoon we will be off again to my nephew's 50th birthday party (where did the time go?!) But Sunday we will settle down to pick THE DAMSONS.. We have seven large damson trees which are full of fruit. We will make jam and wine and sell many pounds (we hope) the proceeds of which help to feed the animals in the winter and buy sugar for all the processing that is taking place.
All for now.

Friday 4 September 2015

Fishing holidayand fruit picking.

Hello All
Hello to Karen O'Brien and Kellie Steele on Blog Lovin. Lovely to see you here.
Tomorrow David and I are off to Cornwall for a WEEKS (!) fishing. Today I am getting lists ready for the housesitters. It looks a lot written down! Also attacking the huge pile of ironing left after the bed changes - friends and granddaughters have been staying here this week and have now left to be replaced by the house sitters.
 Fruit has been picked that really won't last a week - two buckets of Victoria plums, a bucket of tomatoes, two buckets of beans, two buckets of blackberries and three buckets of Cooking apples. Some have been processed into the freezer or jam, some in cold store, some put outside in bags for any passing trade and the rest given away or taken with us as we will be cooking for ourselves when we are there ( apart from compulsory fish and chips in Looe and a planned meal out with fishing friends)
I am going shopping  this afternoon for food for here and "iron rations" (whisky and good crisps) to take with us.
I am hoping to be able to regale you (brag) with my charity shop finds. I am am looking for winter working trousers, shirts and jumpers and pudding basins..
Those who know me, know that I am trying to big-up this holiday as I don't really like going away and can just about manage a weekend, whereas the thought of a whole week stresses me out. And if one more person says that I could do with the rest I shall scream!
 I am taking my laptop with me so will be able to keep up with all the blogs and also get the Civic Society Newsletter done. I might well manage a post too.

 The news is full of the those poor souls dying in the Mediterranean. I must say I'm surprised that people had to see a picture of a drowned child before they realised how desperate some people are. What I keep thinking about is those men who are at the beginning of their journey. The men who tell people that houses and jobs await them in Europe, that take thousands of pounds from them to secure a place in an unsafe boat and then abandon them to their fate. These men are the new drug barons, dealing in human misery and caring not one jot for anything other than getting rich. That's where my hate is directed.

 Off to take my daughter's dog for a run in our paddock.. This means sitting on a bench in the field with a cup of tea while throwing a ball with one of those throwy things, while looking at the beautiful Derbyshire scenery. It's tough I know!

Take care all