Thursday, 17 June 2010

Allotment Update

Well we have had our first couple of weeks there and apart from a couple of people who sadly are being a bit horrible (“we’ve been here 15 years you upstart...” you get the idea) we are having fun. Have managed to get some beans and pumpkins in which have been grown from seed at Dads. The ground turns out to be clay so a lot of work to be had turning that into useable ground, compost by the wheelbarrow load being added.

We have cleared the potatoes which were there already though I think they might not be any good, they weren’t planted properly and I think will be rotten but are trying our best to salvage the situation. We also have some tomato and cucumber plants to put in this afternoon.

One of the sheds turns out might not be mine so am looking at the ramshackle one that is to see what we can do to make it into a storage area and potting shed. If we want to put other sheds up seems we have to get permission from the council so watch this space...

Am looking forward to getting some herbs in soon and some late crops, though not sure what yet, keep changing my mind. Littleun is insistent that I clear the ground as soon as possible so he can dig for treasure, has so far found a £1, not sure how that got there hehe.

And the best bit, have lost some weight and found some muscles, ouch!

Sunday, 13 June 2010

The Race for Life...

Today I ran the Race for Life. Well I say ran, walked is more like it, not because of any unfitness or injury but because I met a lovely lady and we got talking.

The area started filling up about an hour before it started, all shapes and sizes and shades of pink. Normal hair, pink mad wigs, no hair. Symmetrical and non symmetrical women though you couldn’t initially work out why, thinking perhaps funny costumes. And the signs. The ones on everyones backs. That tells you why. Why they were running, why they had funky hair, why it wasn’t in some cases cool costumes. It was a gathering of women, and their supporters who had one major thing in common, the desire to give to a charity the much needed funds to help the fight against cancer and whilst doing so, remembering those who had lost the fight, or because they were the ones still fighting or who had at least for the while won.

I had been warned by someone that it was a day I’d find very emotional. They weren’t wrong. As the atmosphere was charged with tears of excitement and happiness tinged with sadness I was pleased I came, the money I had raised ( thanks to those who sponsored me) wont on its own be much but with us all there today they hoped to raise over £150000 which will help. And in a personal selfish way this will help me, the research hopefully finding a cure for my problems as well as all the others.

The lady I mentioned above that I walked with is one of the brave fighting ladies, on her second fight with Breast cancer she has a chemo session tomorrow morning. She told me how she had been wanting to do this race, before maybe she couldn’t again. That in order to do the 5k she had to co-ordinate with her care team, to make sure her immune levels were good. To avoid the sniffs and sneezes of everyone here, and there was over 2500 of us running, so that she could have her chemo tomorrow. The grace and determination in her to win, not just today’s battles but the big one was very humbling for me.

So for those of you who haven’t ever done something like this, do try to next year. Its worth the couple of hours you will spend doing so. In our small individual ways we can help.

My memory list: Grandma A. Cousin Iris. Shelley.
Still Fighting: K and Rhonda

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Versatile Blogger Award

Wow well this year I have been lucky to be given a few awards and this last week Kathy over at given me the Versatile Blogger award. And very kind of her it is too!

In her words there are these rules:

The rules for Versatile Blogger are:
1. Thank the person who gave you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers whom you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic.
4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.

(Rules are flexible in case you're not good with rules. Or you can look at them like the Pirate's Code...they're more like guidelines.)

Well I can do number one, in fact have, see up top. And number two, well see down bottom, but three and four, I'm rather useless with, find it difficult to choose from so many great blogs that I read so have decided to say if you fancy doing this then link back and let us know about yourself! (yeah cop out but in my defense I'm bogged down with work!!)

So as for the seven things well here goes:

1 I really hate peanut butter, I mean really hate it, would rather cover myself in marmite and lick it all off than eat peanut butter!

2 I hate Marmite.

3 I have decided that I am going back to college in September when Littleun starts school.

4 I am reading three books at once, but only because I cant find the first two.

5 I rather like sitting in my allotment looking down on the town and eating the cake that I can eat because I walked up the blooming steep hill to the allotment in the first place.

6 I dont like paaying £12 to see a film at the cinema as I think its too costly, but will drive 17 miles to the next town and pay £9, forgetting that the cost of fuel probably makes it even...

7 My Aunt became a grandma again this morning, congratulations all!

So over to you...

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Alban Heruin/Litha: Sun cake recipe

I’m always one looking for an excuse to eat cake and Lemon cake is a favourite too so thought why not make some with Littleun but instead of my usual loaf tin shape go for a round, that way when the icing is drizzled on it will look like a sunshine burst of colour. It will be a nice addition to our Litha/Midsummer picnic feast. Of course just to make sure it works we have to have a trial run so if you need to “test the waters” with me here is a scrummy recipe for you to try:

• 115g unsalted butter, softened

• 115g caster sugar

• 4 large eggs

• 180g ground almonds

• 30g poppy seeds

• zest and juice of 2 lemons

• 125g self-raising flour, sifted for the lemon syrup

• 100g caster sugar

• 90g lemon juicefor the lemon icing

• 225g icing sugar

• zest and juice of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Grease and line the bottom and sides of a 20cm springform cake tin with greaseproof paper.

Using an electric whisk, beat the butter with the caster sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs one by one, beating each in well. Fold in your ground almonds, poppy seeds, the lemon zest and juice and the sifted flour. Spoon the mix into the prepared cake tin and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until lightly golden.You can check to see if the cake is cooked by poking a cocktail stick right into the sponge.

Remove it after 5 seconds and if it comes out clean the cake is cooked; if slightly sticky it needs a little longer, so put it back in the oven. Allow the cake to cool on a rack.

Make your lemon syrup by heating the sugar and lemon juice in a pan until the sugar has dissolved. While your cake is still warm, make lots of little holes in the top with a cocktail stick and pour your syrup over.

To make your icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the lemon zest and juice, stirring until smooth. When your cake is almost cool, put it on a serving plate and pour the icing carefully over the top. If you pour it on to the middle of the cake, then let gravity disperse the icing down the sides, you get the ‘drizzle’ effect.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Alban Heruin/Litha handprints and dials

With the longest day coming soon I have been thinking of things that Littleun could do. One of the simplest was a handprint sun for Littleun to have in the window. We basically have yellow and orange paint, cover our hands and make a sun; it’s very simple but looks quite funky. Unfortunately this meant that not only the paper got covered as we turned it in to a fun game to try and print each other with it!
"human" sundial!
The other thing we are going to do now we have our patch is go for a walk along the beach, choose a few largish stones and then go up to the allotment, placing the stones out in a semi-circle we can make our own sundial so that we will always know the time without the need for a modern intrusive clock or alarm, plus it will be a gentle reminder of the turning year.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Keys to the Secret Garden

Finally got the key to the allotment today so have been to see where I will be spending my time for the foreseeable future. Its right at the top by the water, so yippee no major treks there then! Five rods by five and slightly sloped, I have a small shed and a lean to shack and a load of potato plants left by the previous tenant. There is also an established Rosemary which is great as that was one of the plants I wanted to grow as I use it a lot in my cooking and infusions.

We met our neighbours-but-one who have two lovely little dogs for littleun to get used too. Seemed like nice folk who were brimming with advice, so much of it that to be fair the only bit that sunk in is "Don't grow Carrots!!!!" apparently the local badgers sit and wait until the beautiful tops show readiness and then trundle along to have a midnight feast nabbing the lot. Look forward to meeting the others who I hope will happily advise this green newbie.

Littleun danced happily about loving the thought that this was where he can play and grow things. We haven't had our own space before, have always had to borrow the garden at my parents or at friends in order to grow things, so for him its novel to be able to call something truly ours.

Can't wait to get there tomorrow to start clearing the space back...

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

More Album stuff!

For fear of turning this month into the hunt for albums I am hoping to make this my last plead for help, plus have threatened mate that if he has cheated by taking the album out of the era again I wont play anymore (stamping my feet as I did!) so here we go, please anyone know this one?!? Again I need the band and album name.

now wandering of to look at my patch of grass and mud....