Monday, October 9, 2017

September - muy bien

In September I mostly:-

- Read books
- Started cutting back customer's gardens
- Put the heating on!
- Had a knitting lesson with a nice (patient) lady called Heather in a sumptuous shop called 'Born to Knit' 
- Swam with fishes
- Bought some harem trousers for €5
- Drank Sangria - bought and homemade!
- Watched Flamenco dancers
- Saw Tony Robinson (Baldrick) enjoying a meal in Javea
- Had 18 mozzie bites, Sarah had 24.  NB.  NOTHING STOPS MOSQUITOES!

The tomatoes are still coming thick and fast

Wish we could grow tommies all year round

I cleaned up the onions for storing

The chillies are struggling to ripen

Frank likes to sit on the bonnet of the car whilst we have coffee in between jobs

If only I had time to pick some!

The Brewster with barrel no. 30!
Woodford Bure Gold 4.3% with Amarillo and Cascade hops

I made chocolate brownies

More moody skies and unpredictable weird weather

Shooting season has started.  There are pheasants and partridge everywhere.  Luckily, Eddie can't see them!

My Mum took up some trousers for me.  This is her lovely sewing room.

And some of her gorgeous art work.

In action!

I have been learning to knit and glad I still had my Ladybird book!
I have been making some rather strange shapes but it is soooo relaxing.

Autumn is here

Mr Eddie Balls

Nice view

We ran away for 10 days to Spain.  No rain (well only 1 hour of monsoon), no nip in the air, and no gardening!  Bliss.

Gordon the Gecko on the bedroom window

Sarah did do some gardening on our arrival.  She cut back the bougainvillea but I went on strike!

I read the paper instead, gazed at the view and enjoyed the smell of jasmine from the garden below


Not sure what this orange flower was.  May be Campsis?  

Sarah got the giggles in a supermarket.  How childish.

I swam in the sea and read my Tristan Gooley book on the beach
14 degrees at home and 27 in Javea (in the shade)

It was a pleasant temperature for walking.
'Cap de Sant Antoni'

Parc Natural de Montgo

We visisted Calpe for the first time

The huge limestone rock in Calpe - 'Penon de Ifach'

A view of the rock from the beach

Benissa was new to us too - one of the oldest medieval towns on the Costa Blanca
We had a look around the church and nearly ended up at a funeral!

My nature table after a trip to the beach

Trumpet vine

We revisited a mirador (viewpoint) called Portitxol that we loved before but it had been too hot.

We walked out to Cap Prim and looked back at Javea and Montgo

One day I found a Praying Mantis on my beach finds!  Agh!

At the weekend we went to the tapas festival in Javea 'Tapeo'

A jazz band called 'Los JazzMatics' played whilst people danced the Lindy Hop

Of course I had to have a Cafe Bombon whilst in Spain

A beautiful Hibiscus spotted on a walk

I can never get tired of walking on Montgo

Very happy person on the mountain

Very happy person with wet feet

Two happy people with Sangria

The waitresses at this bar must know us by now!  'Spasso' has the best spot on the beach.

'Octopus' has quite a good view too!  Woops.

Reluctantly leaving Spain - Benidorm below

and begrudgingly arriving in Southampton - humph...

Unfortunately, I arrived home without any reminders of my relaxing holiday.  I left my beach finds in Spain with Trish (Patricia the Praying Mantis) even though she was gone when we left I didn't want to chance finding lots of babies running around the house!

'' The strandline is an unpopular spot for a beach towel as the density of decaying matter and the small creatures feasting on it make for strong smells and yelps, but they are well worth investigating.'

- 'How to read water' by Tristan Gooley (the God of the natural world)

Sunday, September 10, 2017

August - Autumn arrived early

Butterflies in the garden
Combining in the village
Eddie enjoying the seaside
Our first apple

In August I was mainly:

- working in all weathers, even a thunderstorm!  You've never seen me weed so fast.
- walking the dog in clouds of dust - see combining.
- killing flies.
- making courgette soup (after washing one's hands).
- filling the freezer with beans (various).
- trying to get a bat out of the bedroom at 5am.
- spotting three barn owls, one hare and a polecat!
- reading in my steamer chair at the end of the garden under the lilac tree and then falling asleep.

I had a self indulgent trip to London on the train to meet up with Maisie one Saturday.  We had our favourite vegetarian fish and chips in the Chelsea Potter pub on the King's Road.  Apparently the pub was built in 1842 and Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones were once visitors.

Chelsea Potter pub.

Nice pint.

We strolled up Bywater Street

We then went on to Notting Hill

Love this shop!

It was very busy

By the end of the day we were exhausted.

Back in Salisbury for a very grey, cold picnic outside the Cathedral whilst listening to big band music.

Swing Unlimited Big Band with dancers dressed in 1940's gear

The weather has been so changeable that we haven't sat outside as much as earlier in the summer. 

Summer colour


Oi!  Get off!

Cosmos - Pied Piper Red

Achillea brightening up a grey day

I was determined not to waste a single home grown courgette, no matter how many we had!  The freezer is full of soup for the winter.

Courgette and lemon soup
Courgette and Parmesan soup
Courgette and ginger soup (favourite)

I made a (stiff!) batch of marmalade.

We took Eddie to Hengistbury Head again

It was freezing, windy and raining but it didn't dampen Eddie's enthusiasm

I picked a few things to identify once back home in the dry.

Pink Sea Aster - common on salt mashes, cliffs and rocks
White flower is some kind of mustard, cress or cabbage plant.  Forgot to bring a leaf home so couldn't identify it!
Rock Samphire - not very common plant of rocks and cliffs by the sea.  You can use the thick, fleshy leaves for making pickles and the carroty taste makes it good in salads.  The leaves really smell of lemon oil.

I've also been in the hedgerows at home.  This is Old Man - before the beard

Basil brought over delicious chocolate brownies and had a cuddle with Frank

We have been inundated with house martins.  One morning there were hundreds in our tulip tree, on all the telegraph wires, even on our washing line!  The next day they were all gone, back to Africa. They've got the right idea.

House martins getting ready for the off

The roses seem to have survived being moved when we had the front garden re-done.

Gertrude Jekyll

Alderley Park rose

We have been arty farty whilst listening to tunes.

Esme helped with the 'cuttin and stickin'

Oliver came over for a gossip over a massive dish of maccy cheese

A typical August sky!

Autumn has arrived early - I don't mind in a way as there's more to spot on my walks.


I would love to try making rosehip syrup.  Add to long list of things to do!

The strange Bedeguar Gall or Robin's Pincushion on a Dog Rose

I'm now on the lookout for fungi and looking forward to woolly cardy and scarf wearing - yes!

Looking down in to the valley and I've lost the dog.....

'A nomad I will remain for life, in love with distant and uncharted places.'  

- Isabelle Eberhardt (from Tristan Gooley's 'How to read water')