Friday, 1 October 2010

October Picture

The harvest is coming to an end. The sweetcorn has been eaten - yummy, and the runner beans are coming to an end - just a few more and that'll be it. Good thing too since some of the poles snapped in the recent winds and the whole lot have collapsed against the fence!

Just a few beetroot ans the winter squash to be fetched in. And last will be the parsnips but they need to wait until we've had a good hard frost!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Creepy Crawlies

It’s raining - absolutely horrible out there. The ground is sodden and claggy and all I can hear is rain rain rain, lashing against the windows.

There’s not a lot I can do outside.

So I decide to clean the daughter’s bedroom instead. I put on my gas mask, radiation suit and rubber gloves and, clutching a large bottle of disinfectant, I venture into the hovel.

It’s not as bad as I feared. And so I decide to tackle under the bed.

Well I pull out the usual assortment of knickers and socks, mouldy apple cores, crisp packets and sweet wrappers.

Then I pull out two small Tupperware boxes. I wondered where those had gone. I’m not too sure about that brown semi-liquid stuff that’s slopping about inside them though. Good job they’re sealed. I put them to one side to deal with later.

And then I spot the box.


The lid is askew and I can see some shrivelled up leaves and a few twigs in it. As I pull it towards me I notice… the airholes.


I make a hasty retreat.

Exactly WHAT is loose in my daughter’s bedroom?

Monday, 13 September 2010


I’ve sent my husband out blackberrying with the kids. They return with several enormous tubs of berries looking very pleased with themselves.

“Excellent,” I say taking the tubs. I start to sort them into bags to go in the freezer. Then I pause.

“Hang on a minute,” I say pulling out a sloe berry. “What’s this doing in here?”

“Oh,” says my hubby. “I saw those in the hedgerow and I thought they looked nice. So I picked them too. I don’t know what they are.”

I eye him suspiciously. “Did you pick anything else?”

“Oh yes.” He’s looking really smug. “There were all sorts of berries along the lane.”


I spend ages sifting through the blackberries really carefully before freezing them.

I think I’ve removed all the sloes and deadly nightshade.

Sloe gin and blackberry pie anyone?

Thursday, 2 September 2010

September Picture

I'm harvesting like mad at the moment - the potatoes are in, the sweet corn almost ready and the runner beans still cropping - the weight of the plants is starting to pull the poles over!

Anyone know any good runner bean recipes?

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Wasps 2

We're sitting in the garden, drinking beer and watching the sun sink towards the hills while the cousins bounce on the trampoline.

Our husbands are teasing my sister about her wasp sting.

Another wasp starts buzzing around us, dopy and groggy with windfall apples the way they are at this time of year.

I yelp and jump about flapping my arms.

My husband laughs at me.

"It's not going to sting you," he says.

I scowl at him and sit back down, keeping a wary eye on the offending insect.

He reaches for his beer.

Takes a sip....

And spits it back out.

"Aaargh," he says pointing to his mouth.

I look at the spat out beer. A dying, slightly bitten looking wasp is struggling in the froth.

"Aaargh," says my husband again.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Wasps 1

My sister is over with her family and we all head out into the hills behind my house.

There are some early blackberries in the hedgerows so we stop to pick them.

I suddenly feel a sharp stabbing pain on the back of my hand. I pull it back and there's a wasp - a black and yellow venemosity of viciousness stabbing away with its sting.

That's the last thing it ever does.

There's another on the collar of my sisters top.

"Stand still, I'll knock it off for you," says her husband.

He brushes at it with his hand.

He knocks it off.

It falls down the inside of her top and gets trapped in her bra.


Monday, 9 August 2010


I'm very fond of butterflies. I love watching them fluttering across the lawn or studding the flowers on my buddleia bush. Every so often one flutters into my greenhouse and bangs against the glass a few times before finding its way back out.

Unfortunately I think one of these butterflies has left me a little present.

Over the past few weeks I've been noticing holes in the leaves of my peppers and tomato plants. The holes have been getting bigger. One day I spotted a hole in one of my unripe tomatoes. I pulled it off, but the hole was empty.

Today I spotted the droppings. Unmistakable caterpillar droppings - and not small ones either!

I tried turning over the leaves but I couldn't see anything. Wherever these caterpillars are hiding they're too clever for me!

I looked in my book under common pests and diseases, but there's no mention of caterpillars eating tomato plants.

They're munching their way through my greenhouse!!