Short update on the veg patch and a jigsaw :)

June already ! Less than three weeks to the longest day. That thought is so depressing that it has no place here and we won’t mention it again.

Click here for Joe’s jigsaw


Joe is very proud of this radish. It’s the only thing we’ve harvested so far this year, although we did pick the first two strawberries yesterday and netted them up before the birds spot them !

We managed to plant sweetcorn and squash this week.

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Everything we plant has to be protected now from rabbits. Our allotment site must be rabbit paradise, there are so many of them.


Not again !

When Joe escaped from the sweetcorn patch he ran into the polytunnel to show you how tall the tomatoes are now….

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…and for Aunty Janet, this is the heritage variety we’re growing this year ๐Ÿ™‚

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The peas and beans are doing well..


…but so are the weeds, sadly, because we can’t get the strimmer to start.


We need a mechanic !!

This is the tidy view of our veg patch. The bit to the left, out of shot, is a head-high jungle.


I hope we’ll be able to show you a neater plot next time.

Thanks for looking in on us ๐Ÿ™‚ x




Our own Springwatch catch-up ….


Springwatch returns to the TV tonight and reminded me that Spring is rapidly turning into Summer and we haven’t shown you what’s been happening on the veg patch for a while.


We’ve been digging and weeding and generally getting the soil ready to plant fruit and veg, and also, having fun in between the hard work. Some of us work harder than others ๐Ÿ™‚

Some of us like climbing trees. This was a few weeks ago when the apple trees were in blossom.


The trees have now set tiny fruit.


We were lucky enough to win some new toys in the SCW raffle and so the kids play cricket…


…and toboganning in between the jobs.

The potatoes had to go in first, but the soil was still cold and wet so digging was no fun but we’re very pleased to say that they’ve all popped up now and are about to flower so we’ll have more digging to do in a few months when we dig up all those lovely potatoes.


The broad beans went in at around the same time

and since then they’ve grown taller and taller,

Joe is our yardstick,

until now, they tower over his head and have flowers on, which is great because flowers mean beans.

We’ve planted other kinds of beans too, the kind that climb up canes and if you climb up their beanstalks you’ll find giants.

Everyone seems to think the idea of leaving Joe inside the wire is very amusing. They all do it. You’d think he’d know better than to fall for it every time.

Lots of things are flowering.

Strawberries are nearly here.


The blackcurrants are small and green ๐Ÿ™‚


Joe has noticed that Spring is in the air…


but others just like to climb fences.


Some things are already good to eat. These are our first radishes of the year.


The polytunnel was dug over and prepared for this year’s tomatoes.



And now we’re growing several varieties, including a heritage variety we’ve never grown before.

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And we have back-ups ..


They’re all growing nicely and have given us another job to do. We go every evening to water them and check that we haven’t trapped any bees or butterflies in there.


The skies above the allotment are full of screeching and swooping Swifts


and it’s a joy to have them back.ย  The bees are enjoying the Lavender and we’re enjoying the sun, and the Buttercups..



Some days though have been so hot that we have started the day at 7:00 am to beat the heat. Joe said he was willing to start that early but when it came to it, he seemed to need more sleep.

We all hope you have as much fun this Summer as we plan to doย  ๐Ÿ™‚ x

Easter fun & Jigsaw

This morning the Easter Bunny has been busy hiding eggs all over Sashaland,

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with the help of three little bears who hope there’ll be a few eggs left over for them after the babies have their fun.

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Now remember not to make it too easy ๐Ÿ™‚ ….


All hidden ?

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Yes, all hidden ๐Ÿ™‚ !

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Then we can let the babies in !


Click here for their jigsaw

The babies were into the garden in a flash, squeezing underneath bushes and scuffing their little knees, not minding a bit how much of a mess they made of their nice clean clothes….the most important thing was to find ALL the eggs and not to leave any for the big kids who would come later. It turned out they had inside help too. Little pink Ty Beanie Bear (‘Easter’) offered to tell them where the eggs were in return for a few eggs of his own to keep.

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We can see you hiding behind that bush, Little Easter ! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I like all the colours…..

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..but I especially like the gingery ones ๐Ÿ™‚

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Happy Easter Everyone and the babies hope you all find lots of chocolate !


Back in the wellies again….

Joe and I managed to do a few jobs on the allotment this weekend….. much more to do over the long Easter weekend but at least we made a start.

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First Joe left lots of birdseed around the pond where we know the birds expect to find it. We saw Partridges and Fieldfare this weekend, as well as the usual Robins and Blackbirds, Starlings, Thrushes, Rooks and Pheasants.

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We were hoping for frogspawn in the pond but we were disappointed.

We left half a coconut in the hawthorn too.. there’s still a pigeon’s nest up there from last year. I wonder if they’ll come back…

Our big job this month is digging over the soil and taking all the weeds out, ready to plant potatoes…we’re hoping to get them in next weekend. They’ve been chitting for weeks to develop little roots so that they get off to a good start once they’re under the soil.

I can’t dig it all by myself so Joe helped out with his own shovel and his own wheelbarrow…and of course…

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……his own mug of tea ๐Ÿ™‚



Snow Day

“Morning !ย  Lovely day for a walk. ”


“Yes, this indoor park is nice and warm but have you seen what the weather is doing outsideย  ?! ”




“I think the dogs would like to stay indoors today and get to sniff each other for a while. ”

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“Ok, well, I’m meeting the others outside…. I’ll see you out there. If you dare ๐Ÿ™‚ !! ”



“It’s really snowing !!!ย Can we make a snowman ? ”


Caleb’s busy making a snow angel….

“I might have known you boys would start a snowball fight, ….. ”


“What me ? There’s nothing in my hand …..”


…. “well this one’s for you !!”


“OOps, sorry, that was meant for someone else ๐Ÿ™‚ ”

“Where’s Spot…. ? Your little legs are too short for snow this deep.. “”



“Fido will dig you out, won’t you Fido .. ”


“I’m out !!”

“Come and see what we’ve made !””

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“He’s borrowed one of the boys’ hats and a scarf and Mum gave us a carrot and some buttons for his face. I’m not sure he has a very happy face. He’s probably just cold. ”


“Our hands are like ice now…I think it’s time to go in, say good bye to Mr Snowman, Spot.. ”

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“Bye Mr Snowman. I hope you like the cold. You’ll meet birds and squirrels today and they might just try to eat your nose so watch out !””

And so everyone came in for cocoa and there was a scramble for best place on the mantelpiece ๐Ÿ™‚


We can’t remember when we last had so much snow so we made sure to take lots of photos to share with you. Hope you liked them ๐Ÿ™‚



The girls came to the lottie today to check on Bill & Ben

There’s not much happening on the allotment at this time of the year, but we check in from time to time and drop off compost for the bins and make sure the poly-tunnelย  hasn’t blown away.

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Today we just went to see how Bill & Ben are keeping warm in their buckets (they prefer them to plant pots – they’re shinier apparently ๐Ÿ™‚ )


They were fine, of course. They love it out here in any weather. They have all kinds of animal and bird friends to playย  with. And lots of little weeds ๐Ÿ™‚

We noticed our plot neighbour Trudy has got the Christmas spirit so we might have to come back with something just as festive to brighten up our plot tomorrow.


*ย  *ย  *ย  * Trudy’s Shed *ย  *ย  *ย  *



Merry Christmas Everyone xx


Latest knits and lots of chutney :)

These two are the latest knits and we’re still carrying on with the purple and green theme it seems.

20170902_111225 Both knitted in 100% alpaca and modelled by the sisters with a secret ๐Ÿ˜‰

In the polytunnel the tomatoes are ripening as fast as I can roast them and make chutney with them.

20170826_155413 I have a ripening production line going in the conservatory.


You can never have too many empty, clean jam jars.

Meanwhile, we’re picking other bits here and there.

20170902_131141 The corn is helping by ripening one cob at a time so I can keep pace with them. I’m freezing a bag of podded haricot beans every day and thankfully the courgettes have eased off, finally. The thornless blackberry bush I planted a couple of years ago has been wonderfully productive this year. It’s still small but has produced a large punnet every day for the last two weeks.ย  We’re all a bit ‘crumbled’ out now since we have lots of apples too. I’m having to invest in another freezer this week. I’ve run out of space now and I would make and store so much more if I had one..

Last week, following Monty’s advice, we sowed turnip seeds and this afternoon Joe and I planted 5o baby onions and a few more leeks.

20170902_131617and now we’re podding beans and pretending they’re magicย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope you’re enjoying the same sunny weather where you are ๐Ÿ™‚ x

..And what I had a go at today

I am no seamstress. I need a manual to know how to thread my sewing machine. In my defence it’s an old one I bought a few months ago in a charity shop and this is the first time I’ve used it. You don’t need to know any more about my sewing skills than that ๐Ÿ™‚

However, I had a clear Sunday, good sunlight, Venus Dodge by my side and lots of potentially wonderful fabrics..

20170813_125806 ..and second hand baby clothes that I’ve been hoarding for years for the day when I would be overcome by the urge to sew something for Sasha.


Today was that day.

I chose a baby dress, all white embossed cotton with ready made pin-tucks at the bib. I only had a day, not a week ๐Ÿ™‚

I struggled with lining the bodice. Knowing which bits to sew together and which bits to leave open….you don’t need to know that when you’re knitting, so it doesn’t come easy. After a few flicks of the ‘quick unpick’ or seam ripper, I more or less got it right and managed to put together a very simple, sleeveless dress. Then I couldn’t find my button-holer, which I know I have somewhere (!) so I went with press-studs.

And then when they were on and it looked like a real dress I got a bit pleased with myself and probably went a bit too far and added a bit of vintage cotton lace around the neck.


I don’t know why I did it, it’s not a style I’ve ever seen or wanted to wear, but I just had some lace,ย  a needle and some white cotton and I was on a roll. I might well take the collar off, but here is the finished dress, well maybe I’ll also add a petticoat because Pintucks looks to be having a Princess Diana wardrobe malfunction silhouetted against the light. Now remember I’m a novice ๐Ÿ™‚ ……



Unrealistically mad with power now ย  ๐Ÿ™‚ ย  Next week dungarees !


What we did today..


Sasha wanted to stay in and finish her ironingย  (she doesn’t get this from me) ..


Rufus wasn’t too happy about that..


but Joe and Pintucks were desperate to get out and play and in the sunshine. Even though they know play = work in harvest season ๐Ÿ™‚ย Today was all about picking what we grow. Some things are easy to pick..


..and some need a bit more effort


and team work.



The plums are delicate so Joe wheel-barrowed them to the basket for careful packing.


The blackberries are ready too. These are the thornless ones we grow on the allotment.

20170812_140224We have plenty of apples and blackberries to make lots of pies and crumbles and jams.


The sweetcorn isn’t quite ready


..and the strawberries are having a final fling but they’re not ripe yet.


..but lots of things are ready to pick and bring home to freeze and make jams and chutneys with. I hope Sasha’s finished her ironing. Look’s like she’ll have another job when we get home ๐Ÿ™‚


click here for their jigsaw

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When life gives you strawberries…..

It all seems very quiet in here…



Ah, I thought it wouldn’t last long. Today is strawberry jam day. Not chasing a ball around the park day, apparently.

It smells lovely, but it takes so long…


…and now she needs a cuppa and a biscuit !

I won’t be too much longer……you can’t rush these things. Be a good boy and wait nicely.


click here for a jigsaw


Will it ever be time for my walkie ??