Sunday, 14 April 2013


Oh dear, I appear to have been neglecting my blogging duties. I don't suppose anybody will have noticed, though? Anyway, here's a quick update on what life has been all about over the last month. It has been busy busy busy!

The highlight? A wonderful relaxing trip back to the UK to see my gorgeous new grandson, 3 week old Rufus James. He is absolutely adorable and both my son Jamie and his lovely lady Emma are doing a fantastic job with him.
While I was visiting them, we were able to meet up with my sister and her family for a lovely walk around Delamere Forest Park - SO good to see my sis again.
We returned to Jamie and Emma's village to find that the thatch of their local pub had caught fire! Fortunately the pub which dates back to the 15th century was not completely destroyed as it does great beer and traditional pub grub.
My visit up north was over far too soon. But while I was in the UK I was able to catch up with my good mate Trudi in Paignton and managed to get in a 10K run around Abbotsbury in West Dorset on the way back. It was far harder than it should have been (how unfit am I?!) but it was very pretty

The weather was fortunately dry for the whole of my visit but it was bitterly cold. I returned to wet, cold, horrible weather back at home which didn't exactly do the spirit good. But fortunately a lovely big high pressure area that has drifted up from Africa has now brought hot sun and clear blue skies. At last I can get some serious work outside. We have created a little herb garden at the front of the house in a space that was previously just overgrown and full of rubble....
... and I have got to work on the potager, preparing it for sowings and plantings. In the medium to long term I am hoping to adopt a 'no dig' approach, but this requires the addition of lots of organic matter to our heavy clay soil which is going to take time as it is a big plot. But where I have managed to enrich the soil already, I have now planted Charlotte potatoes, sown parsnips, carrots, florence fennel, spinach, mangetout, dwarf peas, French beans, beetroot, rocket and salad leaves. The capsicum, chilli peppers, aubergine and tomatoes won't go in until June and I also have some brassicas, leeks, red onions and celeriac in modules that will be planted out later in the year. I have also got strawberry plants, raspberry canes, gooseberry, redcurrant and blackcurrant bushes. I really can't wait until everything is cropping. Exciting times!

With the fine weather, we have today had our first ride for a few months on the road bikes. I felt surprisingly good, all things considered, although my energy appeared to disappear after we stopped for a slice of pizza from a boulangerie when just 12kms from home .... weird! But it was a lovely figure of 8 circuit up to Saint Lizier and back, 70kms/670m+/3 hours. Hopefully we will get out on the bikes much more often if this lovely weather hangs around a bit longer. It's looking good so far :-)

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