Monday, 29 May 2017

Mystery Kale.

My very good friend Margaret gave me a packet of 'mixed' Kale seeds, and amongst them have emerged these plants which I've not seen before.

As far as I can tell they are a new British breed of Kale, and are called 'Fizz'.

They look healthy enough, and are growing at a good rate amongst my regular Cavolo Nero and Curly Kale plants.

Has anyone out there grown these? What did you think of them? 

I think I have 6 of these Fizz plants amongst the others, I'm just hoping they'll give me the same quantity of leaves as my more standard Curly Kale.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

28th May; Fred's Birthday.

                           Fred relaxing in the Quince tree.

Today Freddie is 13.

For the past 6 years I've been 'training' Freddie to tolerate dogs. I started by holding him whilst Monty licked the bejeezus out of him; he wasn't all that keen. 

Since then I've slowly encouraged him to be as near as possible to the dogs, and now that we only have Bok, I've tried to show him that he means him no harm. It's taken a long time, but they're now on nose touching terms, although Fred is still a little wary of him. 

These days I often find them lying side by side out in the sunshine; they ignore each other.

He's quite a nice cat. His main fault is wanting to come indoors, then go outdoors, then in again, then out again, throughout the day. He has two cat-flaps, but prefers to make me run about opening and closing doors for him all day long (which I do).

He's a brown Tabby, and was actually BOUGHT by my oldest son for British legal tender money (a very rare thing for a cat).

Happy birthday Fred, you old misery. I love you really, and there will be a birthday treat for you at lunchtime.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Our flower girl.

How many children do you know who bring you flowers when they visit?

Our neighbour S brought us a bunch of Daisies when she came to visit recently.

She really is the most charming and delightful girl, she brightens our day! She's been a regular visitor since she was about 2, and has always felt at home here. She just cycles the 300 metres or so from her home, comes indoors, has a chat for a while, plays with Bok, then goes home; almost as if we were her grandparents. She feels totally at home here, which is wonderful. 

She adores Bok, and Bok adores her. 

Everything is good when she comes to visit.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

We breathe again!

It's always a nerve-racking moment, opening the pool for another season; you literally never know what you're going to find after nearly 8 months underneath all its Winter coverings. However, we decided that today was the day!

There's quite a rigmarole to follow before everything can start to operate again. Then when all is completed you hold your breath, and flick that main pump switch.

Luckily this year everything worked. There's quite a bit of cleaning to do, both inside and outside the pool, but as far as the pump and filter and pipes are concerned, they're doing what they're supposed to do.

There's quite a lot of muck at the bottom of the pool (which you can't see), but it tends to gather into 'islands', and isn't that difficult to vacuum up. 

You never know, we may even get to swim before June. It's showing 19 C at the moment, so I think we'll wait a bit.

Suddenly Summer is here.

The life and times of a small picture.

'Man beating his best friend, who's trying to bite the hand that feeds him'. Circa 1990.

This (above) was the first of many rough sketches for what became a small dark painting. It was intended to illustrate the world's dilemmas.

It finished as this (above). Sorry about the awful photo.

The picture later appeared in a drawing I did of Wills sitting at his old Amstrad computer.

I wonder where it'll appear next? Answers on a postcard please...

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Almost Veggie.

I've mentioned previously that we are slowly becoming veggie; 'slowly' being the important word.

Take last night for example. We ate a simple tarka dhal with basmati rice, and a very small amount of tandoori flavoured mushrooms. A simple dish that really required no meat.

I blame Lady Magnon for all this common sense. She's not a big meat eater, and would happily eat very simple pasta or rice dishes every day; actually so would I. 

When Haddock's starts to supply a good variety of vegs, we shall no doubt return to our Summer Compost curries, Cumin flavoured Compost fry-ups, and other 100% Compost meals. Maybe by the end of the year we'll be fully fledged veggies (apart from the occasional roast Turkey, of course).

It might sound a strange thing to say, but I really wouldn't mind becoming 100% veggie, other than I would find it difficult to give up that Christmas roast Turkey!

Just for info; The dhal was cooked with spices, yoghurt, and spinach, and the fried halved mushrooms were sprinkled with tandoori powder and garam masala, with a splash of lemon juice. Lovely.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Master Tiggy-Winkle Jnr.

Bok and Lady Magnon found this lost baby Hedgehog, fed it, and returned it to where she thought it's family lived. Then they found it again looking lost. Another day went by and they found it yet again still looking lost.

So, what does Lady M do? Of course she fills a hot water bottle, makes a bed for it, then when it had revived a bit she took it down to the Vet's.

If Lady M has anything to do with it, he'll be King of the Hedgehogs before long; well fed and thriving. We presume this one is an offspring of the adult we found recently.

She returned from the Vet's with bottles of milky 'Recovery Liquid', and a small syringe. Looks like we've got our work cut out! He seems to be feeding OK.

We reckon he's about 4 weeks old. He weighs 100 gms. 

We'll keep you posted!

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