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…


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


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,


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.


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


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..


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


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 ?


Ah, mystery solved.


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.


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



Here’s Bunny – Don’t cry Baby -we didn’t lose him – Jigsaw

When the sun came out for a while one afternoon this week,  Hannah was quick to volunteer to take Baby out for a walk in the park…and luckily she remembered to bring Bunny 🙂  Click on the link to solve the jigsaw.


Joe has a secret..

Joe’s been practising a special song  on his guitar all week. So far only Ted has heard it.20161127_172906

We think he might have a special someone to play it for because he’s just asked permission to leave off practising and go out to the post-box. He put on his new, extra cosy winter jumper and disappeared…





He wasn’t out for very long because it’s cold and frosty here today and when he came back he had a pink glow to his cheeks  🙂

Bean pickin’

The beans pods are turning yellow and dry and perfect for podding. We’ve podded and frozen lots of beans over the last few weeks and today we picked another basketful along with a few raspberries, the last of the outdoor chili peppers and a small cabbage. 20160924_123852The kids thought they’d worked hard all morning, climbing bean poles and braving prickly raspberry canes so they climbed into the basket for a rest and said they’d never bean so comfortable.20160924_123230These are funny little beans !20160924_123223They can’t have many beans in them. I’m going to try one and see if they’re nice…

I really think you should check with Mum first ! 20160924_123212

And luckily he did. Instead the kids made campfire tea with their very own Gwenda kettle they’d brought from home. It was a very breezy day today and the fire took a while to start but soon they had  a fire and a cup of tea to warm them up.

It’s bean a very nice day, they both agreed 🙂20160924_120524


Harvest time

20160918_125054Joe and Hannah came along to the allotment to help me pick beans and pumpkins today. The spirit was willing but there’s only so much a 16″ vinyl kid can lift and pull. There are so many berries to pick we don’t know where to start…20160918_125215We picked sloes too but the kids are too young to understand what we do with them.

They were keen to see how big the pumpkin was….and what colour it was….would it be orange enough ? 🙂20160907_170748Yes it would !! They took their mini pumpkins along for comparison. The little ones are for their Halloween party. Now, if it’s ready to pick, how will we move it ?20160918_122140Well I can lift the little ones…20160918_122128I don’t think I can lift this by myself………Mum ?20160918_122121Ok, now what do I do ?20160918_122700Hannah ….?20160918_122825How do we do this ?20160918_122832Puuuullll!!

The beans were a lot easier. Again it just needed a little cooperation..20160918_124831I can pick them if you can catch them20160918_124905Ok, that’s filled the basket so that’s enough for today.20160918_124749Let’s check the tomatoes……yikes…what’s happened?20160905_133907They all got blight…every single one had to be pulled up and burned…..the kids didn’t have to pick them, Mum did it this time. No chutney this year. This was a few years ago…

Nothing like that this year. Ah well, there’s always next year.

So we had another bonfire 🙂20160814_131822



And Rufus came too..

Rufus doesn’t like being left at home when the kids come with me to the veg patch so today he was allowed to come with us, as long as he promised not to dig any holes in the wrong place….like all over the place ! …like last time. He promised.20160829_121027He really enjoyed picking the squash that were ready and got very attached to the big orange one that looked just like his ball at home.20160829_121031

Do you think Mum would mind if we played football with it ?   He won’t let go !20160829_121058

I know she’d mind. I don’t think pumpkins like being kicked around like a football. Let’s find him something else to play with..20160829_122752You can help us put these in the basket Rufus, look, they all have a handle  🙂20160829_122840He’s more interested in these little tomato ‘balls’ now …let’s keep him away from the big ones..20160826_182049Rufus was beginning to think this was no fun at all. There were no real balls. Until he thought of playing Hide and Seek. He forgot to tell Hannah and Joe that they were all playing though. Hannah went off to see if the beans were big enough to pick.20160829_125540She thought they were so she went to look for Rufus to give him his very own job to do. But where was he now? Not digging a big hole I hope..20160829_130930She asked the dragonfly if he’d seen Rufus. He’d been watching them carefully. He said he did know where Rufus was and that Hannah just had to go back to the last place she’d seen him.20160829_123219And there he was. He’d been hiding in the basket and then found he couldn’t get himself out. How long have you been in there? asked Hannah.20160829_123231Ever since we started playing Hide and Seek but I’d like to get out now.20160829_123137Oh, we’re sorry….we didn’t even know we were playing. We didn’t mean to go off and leave you.20160829_123122We have the perfect job for you to do. Do you remember Joe’s wheelbarrow ? Of course Rufus remembered it…and he suddenly remembered he wanted a turn being pushed around the plot in it !   20160829_125454-1Faster ! Faster !20160829_125438-1

Faster !20160829_125415-1Ok, once more round the plot then we have to do some jobs !  Hannah has a good one for you. Ok Rufus, I need you to stack these pots up tidily… 20160829_125118-1What ? That’s not a job for a Rufus !! What kind of a Rufus stacks plant pots tidily ??20160829_125031Meanwhile Hannah and Joe went to check the big pumpkin..20160829_125727-1Well Mum, it’s a bit of a jungle in here. We (you) really need to clear some of this so we can find the pumpkins, btw. I knew I shouldn’t have let her have a mobile phone. But look, it’s starting to turn orange !!! It will definitely be ready for Halloween  🙂 !!20160829_125733And just look at the leeks we planted a couple of weeks ago !20160829_123734They’re much bigger because of all the rain we had this week.20160829_123649And even the cabbages we planted last week are twice as big. Mum wants us to stay here and scare away the Cabbage White butterflies. 20160829_123449 She says they can get through the nets and lay their eggs and then the caterpillars hatch and eat all the cabbages so we have to make lots of noise and run up and down ! That’s something we’re good at. That’s also something that Rufus is good at. Where’s Rufus ?20160828_111518-1They went to ask the duck family at the end of the plot if they’d seen Rufus….they hadn’t.20160829_130722-1They found Rufus near the pots he was meant to be tidying. Instead of that job, he’d found a much better one. He was a wheelbarrow dog now. Even a wheelbarrow full of beans. Actually it was a bit of a struggle to push, but that pile of untidy pots was in the way.20160829_130801-1Do you need any help Rufus ?20160829_131431-1You are a good boy ! Mum will say you’ve worked very hard. It’s time to go home now. Can you push that all the way to the car ?  🙂

Sunny and breezy today – perfect :)

So many things are ready or almost ready to pick and eat now……

the kids are so excited ! There’s no hard work to do today, just tidying and picking so Hannah and Joe didn’t wait to ask permission to go climbing trees.

Come up Joe….it’s really high !

We’re not allowed to pick any because lots are on the ground already.. they’re called ‘windfalls’ and we’re going to make apple pies with them 🙂

Some  of these are a bit bruised but it doesn’t matter…they’re going to make lovely pies !

Let’s go see if any raspberries are ready….

Ooooh!  golden ones !! We have lots of juicy raspberries to take home today. If we don’t eat them first. Try this golden one 🙂

This is so nice…I suppose we can’t just lie around in the sun all day though. Let’s see if there are any more things to pick….and maybe climb up ! 🙂20160821_111452Hey ! we’re allowed to climb up the bean frames and we can pick the longest ones…I don’t think these are big enough yet though.20160821_111558I can see lots of big ones from up here…I’m right up at the top. I can see for miles !!


We picked lots and we were very brave to go all the way up there… we should start training for the next Olympics.20160821_111721

I’ve seen some different beans over there and we can climb up high to pick them too…

These are runner beans and the bees love the red flowers. Look Joe, I’m just as high up as you were !20160821_112504

It’s hard work climbing all the way up here…are there any jobs to do on the ground ?

Well we can see how big the pumpkins are growing..20160821_111915-1

This one won’t get a lot bigger…it’s an ‘Onion Squash’. I think we might be able to pick this next time we come. Let’s go and see how the big one is coming along !

It’s much bigger than last time we came but it has a lot of growing still to do. This is my favourite one 🙂

Now we need to help Mum build a big bonfire. The hedges were getting really big and we chopped lots off them and now we’re going to have a brilliant bonfire 🙂20160814_131822It starts off a bit slow, doesn’t it..

Is it supposed to make all this smoke ?

It’s getting hot now. I wish we’d brought some marshmallows 🙂

Well that was fast !! Now it’s just ash and when it’s cooled down we can put it on the garden.20160814_171840 All gone !

After all that excitement the kids needed a rest. They remembered how much their tummies hurt last time when they ate far too many plums, so this time Joe had one little apple and Hannah just had a blackberry. They’d worked hard and earned their sit down. Then it was time to go home 🙂20160821_112709



Busy day for the kids…

Joe and Hannah volunteered to help out on the allotment this week. The first job, early in the morning to beat the hot sunshine, was to dig up some potatoes and make room to plant something else. They both think that they dug up the most potatoes. And that was just the beginning……

We needed to make room to plant some leeks. We bought these all ready to plant from a clever man in the market. 60 of them. 20160806_110224There’s a special way to plant leeks that Hannah wanted to learn. But first Joe needed to check that we had 60. That job was the most important, of course.20160806_113438Hannah made lots of holes (a few more than 60 in case Joe got his counting wrong) with the handle end of a rake. Then asked what she should do next…20160806_113238The trick is to just drop them in the holes….20160806_113325Like this ? Perfect. Now fill up all the holes, please 🙂20160806_113500Joe needs to help me to fill all these holes. It could be a competition !20160806_114747I’ve done all these…look, I’m really fast !20160806_114805Well I’m just as fast, if not faster !20160806_114741Ok, well now let’s see who is the fastest at watering them all… it’s called ‘puddling them in’….I KNOW I’ll beat you at this  – my watering can’s bigger !20160807_170910And so it went on. But trying to beat each other at eating the most plums was where they gave in and agreed there’d be no more competitions today. Just as well. Time to go home 🙂

Joe’s photoshoot on the allotment..

It all started when Joe and I watched Monty Don on Gardener’s World telling us it was time to cut back the herbs to encourage a good crop for next year and to prevent them getting all ‘woody’. Well, we had a look at the thyme and marjoram and they are getting a bit woody and they are covered in flowers, but they’re also covered in bees and butterflies. We think we’ll leave them for a while and let the insects enjoy them. It provided a great opportunity for Joe to get some close up shots of bees though, at least he thought it did…

Joe found himself a good spot in the middle of the marjoram where he thought he might get a good close-up shot of a bee…
Nothing happened, so he thought if he held a flower that would definitely bring a bee to him…
So he picked a flower and held it still for a long time and a bee did come a bit closer….
..and a bit closer….
…and flew away.
20160729_135706 Joe tried his hand at ‘still life’. He swears he could see it growing.
He was very still watching the hole in the top of the mole hill. But nothing came out.
So he climbed up as high as he could go to get a better view..
He was very glad these were thorn-less blackberries..
What he saw was a very mysterious and uncharted jungle area. Can you see me now? he asks..
Well how about now ? 🙂

 I found a beautiful butterfly in here ! We better start packing up though, I think the weather’s changing…..

I’ll just pick us a lettuce for tea..

And do you think these tomatoes are ready yet ?

No? Ok, I’ll jump in the basket ready for home…Can I take this broken bird’s egg shell I found? I want to show the new boy 🙂