Morning thoughts

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I will apologise again for the lack of articles springing forth right now, but it is only a few days until the internet will be back up and in action. In the mean time I managed, after a long wait, to upload these pics as a brief post just to let you know I haven’t hung up the keyboard quite yet.

As I was about to cook breakfast this morning, I found the cat just sitting there staring out of the catflap, and I realised that see-through catflaps are just like patio doors for kitties. He sits there admiring the scenery and watching the world go by, and when it takes his fancy, he wanders out for a closer look. Deep, man, deep!

So we have finally had some rain, which is good news for saving water on giving the plants a soak, but bad news as now the slugs seem to think they have the right to come on out and help themselves to my food. Very much open to any friendly natural ways to discourage them from doing so, if anyone has any ideas.

I will sign off with a picture of the sexiest looking bulb of spring garlic I think I have ever seen, and hope to be back to regular service in the next few days.

A Change is as Good as a Rest

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I have decided to change my internet service provider, to better suit my high usage and low budget. The downside of this is that I currently have no internet access in the house. I feel very much hamstrung and have been spending a lot of time trying to remember how I used to survive without internet.

Worringly, I have no idea without checking my online calendars and diaries as to how I got on, and they would be understandably unforthcoming as if I hadn’t any internet I wouldn’t have been updating them. Luckily I have enough mobile intywebs to post this and add a countdown to the home screen detailing when normal service should resume.

Try not to miss me and don’t read anyone else’s blog while I’m gone.

The Yellow Tomato Wins

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Following my recent discovery regarding the ripeness of my cute little tomato bush, Sylvester, I was eager to taste the fruits of his, well, fruits.

Having just finished baking a fresh loaf of cheese and onion bread, I felt a BLT was very much in order. Ingredients all very simple. Two rashers of back bacon, two sumptuous yellow tomatoes straight off the bush, and fresh salad leaves.

As the bacon grilled, I smothered the bread in mayo, and sliced the tomatoes that were still warm from the sun. The bacon was quickly ready and was neatly slapped onto a slice.

Some decorating done with the greenery followed, and then just left the prize participant, the tomatoes. As an afterthought I finely chopped some of the younger leaves of the basil plant to sprinkle onto my creation.

A twist of pepper and pink salt and the sarnie was topped off with another delicious fresh slice of bread.

I can honestly say it was the best BLT I have ever tasted, and the tomatoes are what made it. My only regret now is that sadly Sylvester is a solitary bush, so I need to brush up on my knowledge and skills so I can reproduce his amazing attributes into another bush or two. Having never been a huge fan of tomatoes, it is amazing to suddenly find some that are tasty beyond compare.

The other tomato plants are coming along, and even some of the smaller varieties are starting to ripen. There are a few beef tomatoes that already look huge, but I fear they will not have the taste that Sylvester has brought to the party. I also feel saddened that now I have tasted the pinnacle of BLT’s, no other will ever be good enough for me.

As a bonus, here’s a sneaky peak under the covers of a Bunt BLT, as enjoyed in the garden in the sun.

Always Read Instructions

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This is Sylvester, my first tomato bush. I have a tendency to name things that most people wouldn’t bother, but I feel I take more care of things that have names. Sylvester was a rescue tomato; rescued from Lidls to form part of the founder membership of the veg and fruit garden. It seems like months ago, which it was, and in all this time he has just got bushier, and he has so many teeny tomatoes that he is a delight to have around the place.

Only issue I had with him; the tomatoes don’t seem to be ripening. They have been yellow now for weeks. They aren’t getting any bigger or dying, they are just sitting there being yellow.

This has been worrying me for a while so I eventually checked back with his growing instructions. Lo and behold, Sylvester produces little yella fellas.

So tomorrow, I am looking forward to a BLT using my homemade cheese and onion bread, bacon, with the L and T straight out of the garden.

Blessed are the Cheesemakers

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Cheese

I cannot deny that I’m excited. Today I have added cheese to the list of things I am happy making at home. The list is a long one, but until today did not contain cheese.

It still doesn’t contain pesto or hummus either, because although I’ve made them a couple of times, I’m still not happy making it. In fact last time I made hummus it took me half a day and …

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I like trees

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I know this seems a little random, as there is actually so much other stuff going on that I should probably keep you up to date with, but I thought a little appreciation for trees wouldn’t go amiss. Apart from the whole oxygen thing, they are generally unique and interesting. they almost have a personality of their own, and considering the ages they can reach, this seems understandable.

The tree pictured here is a prime example. It is almost like it grew specifically to be a training tree for kids to learn to climb on. It is a sylvan delight of branches and low hanging footholds, just waiting for someone to scale its lofty heights and enjoy the view from the top, or at least as high as courage will last.

I wonder how many children living locally climbed this with nervous parents looking on. Time moves ponderously onwards and the same kids are sitting underneath with their friends from school, enjoying the shade from the summer sun. It isn’t too long before they will be sharing a kiss with a crush, then maybe a loved one, then maybe a partner. We all grow, but as long as the tree is allowed to remain, it stays, implacable against the winds of time, while we get old.

I wanted to climb the tree, and I felt a momentary pang of sadness. I realised how long it had been since I had felt the wind in what’s left of my hair, high in the branches of a living organism that had been alive well before I was born and would probably still be there for decades to come. I very nearly gave in to my temptation, but realised that in the days of social media and with everyone having a camera in their pocket, I couldn’t live down having to be rescued by the fire service when I discovered I couldn’t get down.

Kids should climb trees, but I think adults should too occasionally, just remind them that the child from your past is still in there somewhere, and sometimes wants to come out and play.

Well, what about this heat?

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To anyone complaining about the heat, please quit it. We need these balmy temperatures to continue, and have a decent summer for a change. If we continue like this, we will have to water the garden more, and those saints at the water companies wont go out of business.

I have recently installed a solar panel onto the roof of my shed, to power some garden lights, and a water pump. The idea behind this is when it finally rains, I can fill up the water butt, and use the hose with rainwater rather than tap water. This is all basically a test run for a concept house I want to buy. Somewhere cheap, as I am so skint I’ve been offered spare change from a Big Issue salesman before now. I have my eye on a place, but because it is just for a proof of concept, I am not sure it is worth the money.

I would love to go into the ideas for the concept house further, but I feel that someday I will need to be patenting a couple of those very ideas, so the less said the better. The whole idea is based around energy saving in the home, without sacrificing comfort. Unless you are one of the few people in the world who don’t feel you are doing good unless you are suffering a little. I think it is because we have made the planet suffer so much at our hands, we unconsciously feel we deserve some penance for our wrongs. In many ways this seems right, and I, for one, have no problem with physical discomfort, as long as I do not have to endure any. With this in mind it should be possible to synergise good ecological values with good living. This still might not mean you live perfectly. We all probably spend too much time on phones or tablets, watching tv or playing online games. My feeling is that by doing these things, you shouldn’t be screwing up the planet any further than it already is, so using renewable energy is a must. That and saving water, another resource that should not be underestimated.

As I type this on my iPad, it is charging from an inverter attached to the solar panel, so I feel happy that this is green blogging, as well as the fact I am saving a little money at the same time.

The pic at the top is a strawberry plant pic just showing off the real MVP, the sun itself.

Breakfast =/= Breakfast Pics

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As a new convert to the whole idea and concept of healthy eating, and growing your own nourishment, this morning’s breakfast seemed like a good example. Although obviously I had not harvested a brace of Weet based Bixcuits, nor milked Dasiy for the moo juice, I had just plucked the strawberries from the garden as an addition to my morning cereal.
I felt as an easy option for how to use a little garden produce in a meal, this was prime fodder, so sliced three extremely fresh strawbs, and scattered them aesthetically over my duplex bix and milk. I was pleased with the result, I’d pay a couple of quid for a breakfast looking that good in a hotel any day.
So this is where ‘Breakfast Pics’ may differ from breakfast proper. My next thought was that any milky cereal will always benefit from a light dusting of sugar. This does not fit in quite as well with my healthy lifestyle options, but i felt a light dusting would still look good and not interfere too greatly with the unhealthiness purge.

Now that doesn’t look so bad, a light dusting of sugar actually seems to enhance it so you feel you can actually taste the meal. You feel hungry, right? I realise I am not one of the great photographers of the world, but I am now feeling pretty happy with my work.
About now I realise that I am hungry, and my stomach has already expressed concerns that there has been lot of emptiness coupled with an excess of photography. This has been exacerbated by the proximity of the readily available comestibles that are being recorded for history rather than being heartily consumed.
The time for photos should now be over, I have achieved what I wanted, a couple of pics of a healthy breakfast. Now I can eat it. Now is the time to prepare it for the real eating, I have shown the world what I want it to see, now I can relax and throw the couple of shovelfuls of sugar on that I need to make this palatable and retire to the sofa.
Suddenly consumed with guilt, I take my final breakfast pic, the truth, shorn of lies and facade. By now the Weet of my Bix has no solid parts, I may as well have porridge.
Cold, sugary, strawberry-flavoured porridge.

I am not ashamed, and I hold my head up high, because although I may not do the right thing, I am happy to admit when I don’t.
Plus cereal tastes awful without sugar, we all know it.

Sad day for my Van

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I have owned a Bedford CF motorhome for as long as I can remember, in fact I think it will feel odd no longer having one, but despite the huge sentimental value to me, I can no longer afford to keep her, so she will have to go.

So trying to pull some positives from this tragic scenario, I am going to remove the twelve volt electrics, including solar panels, and plan to install them in my shed. The van had enough battery to keep it powered for… Actually I don’t think the internal batteries have ever run out through use since I’ve had her, so I have no idea how long they would last.

My plan is to keep the batteries and solar charging set-up in the shed, and run cable up into the house where I will use it to charge phones, iPads etc. I will also take some of the lights too and put the LEDs outside the shed to provide some outdoor light when required.

While I think about it, I will take the fridge as well, although I am not sure if I could safely install it in the shed, but I know they are tricky to get hold of, so if and when I get another van, I can always transplant it into that.

Ooh, I might even take the water pump, and fix it up to be able to water the garden from rain water.

Now I think about it there are a lot of positive things I can do with the equipment that is tied up in the van, it will just still make me extremely sad to no longer have her.

Some Quick Gardening Pics

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Peas are looking swollen and bulgy, not sure if thats a good thing, but I guess will have to wait and see.

This is the garlic, growing madly. I have now harvested some of the other garlic twice and still have growth. This fella for example has been cut down to the bulb twice and is still going. each one is as tasty as the last.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peppers are finally beginning to show themselves, and looks like there will be a lot of them. Will be making a lot of chutney I feel.

Lastly, here is my tiny little olive tree, who is bravely putting forth olives, despite only being ten inches tall.