Glorious Day on the Veg Patch

We’d been waiting all week to visit the veg patch so we were very excited this morning when Sunday finally arrived. The twins won the ‘name in the hat’ draw that the kids organise so it was their turn to come along and help.  Little did they know that today was mostly about digging a bed for the beans. Bless them, they were willing though 🙂

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even when they saw how much they had to dig and all the weeds they had to clear.

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This whole bed ? I hope you’re going to help a bit, Mum …

You start at one end and I’ll start at the other then we won’t hit each other with a shovel, or soil, completely be accident , of course, Hannah grinned  😉

Much digging and weeding later, the whole bed had been dug over and every last weed pulled up. The kids had a right to feel very pleased with what they’d done and thought maybe the next job could be a bit more fun since this one had been really hard work.

The next job was quite hard too but they found the fun in it, as usual.

They carried over the long canes that the beans were going to climb up..

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…and  untied all the ribbons holding them in a bundle.

Hannah had a good idea…..she saved them to use them later as ‘bird-scarers’, to be tied onto the canes and flap in the wind.

20170423_151508Next job was to space the canes out evenly along the edges of the bed.

20170423_152119and then climb up to the top, with a bit of help, and tie the canes together to make a strong frame….or was it the upside-down hull of a Viking raiding ship? Yes, it was definitely that one 🙂

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You get the best view from up here !

20170423_153751Then they carefully tied string around the canes to give the beans something to hold onto when they were still small……… but they decided it could just as easily be a great big climbing frame for them..

 

20170423_161116..and Hannah remembered to tie the ‘bird-scarer’ ribbons on while she was up there.

We decided we wouldn’t plant the beans today because the weather is going to be very cold this coming week and they might not like that, so we called that job finished for today and the kids went to check on the broad beans, the ones that Mr. & Mrs. Vole and family had munched their way through last week.

20170423_124116Hmm. Some are growing but some have been discovered and turned into a tasty meal and all there is to see now is a  hole where they were ..

20170423_124051..and a few top shoots that weren’t as appealing as the beans themselves. Never mind, there will still be plenty for us to eat in a few months.

Is it time for a rest now and a sunbathe ?

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I think you two would be more comfortable under the little apple tree

20170423_123922 (and then Mum could have her flask of coffee)

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Very last job was to cover up the little baby apple tree with fleece so that all its blossom doesn’t fall off in next week’s mini ice-age, even before the bees have had a chance to visit it.

Poor thing, good luck little tree x

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A quick trip to the veg patch tonight

Joe and Greg will have to find a new place to play hide and seek….

…because the leeks are about to go to seed, like this one  😦

20170413_181744with a flower head about to open up. They’ll all have to be pulled up this weekend.

Hmm, I wonder if you can freeze leeks….?

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Well, that will free up a lot of space to plant climbing beans and sugar snap peas so it’s not a disaster.

“I did so pull this up by myself !” Greg looks sceptical.

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And these  🙂  I planted these last year you know, nearly all by myself. Me last year…..

We could play hide and seek in this field .. the oil seed rape is really high now.

I’m not so sure about all these bees though…

20170414_112254Have you seen the broad beans are popping up ?

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The first sowing of beans was all eaten by a very well-fed family of voles so these are going to be a bit late this year and will start their lives under netting 🙂

And the Duke of York potatoes are peeping through after just a week. It will be a while before we can dig them up but that was definitely Cam’s favourite job last year so Joe will have to share that fun in a few months.

20170413_182321 (1)Cam last year..

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Now home for leek and potato soup, all weekend probably.

Happy Easter Weekend everyone – I hope the sun shines on you and your loved ones x

 

Spring Picnic

The kids took advantage of Mum’s trip to the allotment today to have a quick, Spring picnic while Mum pulled some leeks.

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First they chose the spot, then worked together to spread out the blanket.

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The bears just couldn’t wait to see what was in the picnic basket and jumped up and down for Hannah and Greg to PLEASE open it up !!!

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They’d brought drinks, snacks, fruit and cake and biscuits and shared everything with the bears…because this was also a Teddy Bears’ Picnic 🙂

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……then sunbathed in the gentle March sunshine. Nice work if you can get it  🙂

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Picnic Jigsaw

Click on the link below to solve the puzzle

//www.jigsawplanet.com/?rc=play&pid=16e8fea1516f&view=iframe

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Latest knits..

This week I’ve tried to scale up this simple, cabled cardigan ….

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…to fit a Studio doll. It sounds easy but I don’t have a Studio or a Course doll so until its new owner tries it on I won’t know if it fits. Crossing all my fingers 🙂

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Then I tried using an alpaca and silk blend yarn (70% alpaca + 30% silk)..

20170319_133552 for 16″ Sasha and loved the feel of it and the soft sheen.

Here’s Fleur modelling and exercising Chewy at the same time 🙂

And here’s the difference in the two sizes..

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Today the kids tagged along for the ride

Two kids were keen to come out to work with me today, especially since the sun was shining  and it was a lovely 16° C.20170314_154629

My first call was to a very pretty village, just outside Stamford, called Easton-on-the-Hill…

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…where the kids noticed a tempting patch of grass to run around on.

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They quickly found a likely looking pond and spent a good while ‘pondering’ the chances of finding frogspawn in there.

Hannah thought (new boy) Greg should jump in and go right to the bottom and have a good look,

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but Greg has been a new boy before and he wasn’t falling for that one again. Then they spotted something else that looked like a little stone cottage, just the right size for them.

It was a memorial to the Polish  paratroopers who were stationed in the village during the war and who had flown from here to take part in the Battle of Arnhem in Holland.

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And then they spotted a tree they could climb 🙂 What took them so long ?

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The blossom was just opening up and smelled lovely.

Next we drove through Stamford but didn’t have time to stop. Hannah chose the perfect moment to photobomb my attempt to take a picture of the George Hotel while waiting at the traffic lights..

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The next place we came to was another picturesque village called Bainton….with a KEEP OUT  ! sign. We had to stop.

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They weren’t sure why they had to KEEP OUT ! of this tiny but interesting area so they needed a better look. They might not really need to KEEP OUT ! , maybe ?  🙂

It looked like a hole with a cage in it. Was there a big bear down there ?

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Ah, mystery solved.

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Mum likes wool and that comes from sheep, doesn’t it, so we should tell Mum all about this when we get back to the car.

And they did, and all about how hard it was to climb all those fences and trees today and how nice it was to find a bench that belonged to the Queen…..and it had been quite hard to climb up on that too..

20170314_141209 ..and how sleepy they were now, back in the warm car, in the late afternoon sunshine.

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And then they both went very quiet for the rest of the journey home 🙂

 

 

Spring is when thoughts turn to Babies …

..and this Spring we have had two new Gotz Babies in the space of two weeks 🙂

From left to right we are ..

Baby Simon,  Baby Meike (who joined us a few weeks ago) and Baby Lars

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and our two big sisters are (left) Stella and Yvette so now we are the Fabulous Five . We know there are still a few members of our family missing so we are looking out for them wherever we go.

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But then, just as we were starting to settle and get to know each other, another little one came to live with us and she was a bit younger but she can already stand up and walk ! She’s not like any of us.

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She says her name is Lisa and her Mum/maker is Sieglinde Frieske who makes dolls for some nice people called Schildkrot. She’s tiny;  only 28cm tall, has real hair (!) and hand-blown, glass eyes. She looks ok now so maybe that wasn’t as painful as it sounds.

She arrived all ready for an English Spring, with a raincoat and an umbrella..

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but then she noticed the other little ones were enjoying the sunshine and didn’t have raincoats OR umbrellas so she took hers off and set them down.

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She has very nice manners. When she noticed that  both Simon and Lars had sun-hats but Meike didn’t, she offered to make some room under her umbrella – now re-purposed as a sun-shade – for Meike.

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Will you come and sit with me Meike?

We’ll leave them there for now, getting along very well in their own secret sun-hideaway, while the boys enjoy playing with their toes, the ways boys do.

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Welcome to the family Lisa, Simon and Lars ❤