July 2006RSS feed

First crops

Sunday 2 July, 2006

by Rosemary at 9:30pm in Growing 2 comments Comments closed

We had our first new potatoes of the season for dinner tonight. The variety - Red Duke of York. They were so yummy. It was a bit early to lift them and we'll lose some yield - but it was worth it.

Our strawberries are also cropping well - best we've ever had. The varieties are Florence and Pegasus. In fact, we're struggling to eat them so I'm going to make jam tomorrow.

Dan also picked the first ripe raspberry tonight and let me eat it. Lovely man.

Elderflower cordial

Sunday 2 July, 2006

by Rosemary at 9:39pm in Recipes 7 comments Comments closed

Dan made elderflower cordial last week. It was abit of an impulse thing and when it was ready, we discovered we had no bottles. So we used 4 pint milk cartons, instead, which worked well. We're getting through it quite quickly so he's going to make more this week, while the flowers are available. The cordial can be frozen, so we'll do that. It's a lot cheaper the the Dule of Cornwall's!

The most difficult part was getting citric acid. Dan tried Boots. The assistant asked him what he wanted it for. He explained. She explained to him that heroin users cut the drug with citric acid so Boots don't sell it anymore. "Try the Co-op", she said. The Co-op didn't sell it either, but the third pharmacy did. That's the one where the methodone is dished out so maybe they're more used to disreputable looking characters than the other two - and Dan did look a bit disreputable. Anyway, he ordered a kilo off the internet today, which should see us through the cordial season.

Cassius, the hero

Sunday 2 July, 2006

by Rosemary at 9:44pm in Cats 1 comment Comments closed

A couple of days ago, I entered the kitchen to find Cassius, our big, black cat, on the cooker hood. I called Dan - I'd never seen him on there before - it's stainless steel and sloping, so it's not the easiest surface to stay on.

A quick investigation by Dan revealed a baby sparrow trapped in the hood. Al animals were sent from the kitchen while the rescue was completed. After a few minutes on the windowsill, the wee bird flew off.

I rewarded Cassius with a little saucer of cream, even though Dan suggested that Cass's rescue might not have been entirely philanthropic...


Sunday 2 July, 2006

by Rosemary at 9:47pm in Composting 5 comments Comments closed

We bought multipurpose compost from Homebase. Nothing grows in it. The plants don't die, they just stay exactily the same size. Dan planted four wee lettuces in a pot of the compost and, I swear, three weeks later, they were exactly the same size. Also French Marigolds and a wee climber that Dan'd mum grew from seed - last year the plants were rampant. This year, they have three leaves.


Hatching eggs

Thursday 6 July, 2006

by Rosemary at 9:53am in Poultry 1 comment Comments closed

For those of you waiting with bated breath for an update on our second attempt to hatch eggs, I can confirm that it was not a success. Once again, the incubator broke down. It really is most disappointing. It was working fine, apparently, then the heating element packed in, same as last time.

We are now waiting for Parcelforce to pick it up to return it to Ascott to be repard again.

Four out of the six eggs were fertile, too.

Ah, well. Third time lucky, maybe.

Henry, no more

Sunday 23 July, 2006

by Rosemary at 9:24am in Poultry 2 comments Comments closed

Unfortunately, epecially for him, our cockerel, Henry, has been killed by a fox (we think). He was there at 10am when I left the house and, by the time Dan came home at noon, he was gone. All that was left was a pile of feathers. Dan followed the trail of feathers along the hedge and found the body under the brambles, headless.

It was a short life but, I think, a happy one - corn three times a day and unlimited sex. What more could a boy ask for!

So we'll have to think about a replacement, but not just yet.

The Famous Alva Games

Sunday 23 July, 2006

by Rosemary at 9:50am in Anything goes 2 comments Comments closed

The second Saturday in July is the day of the famous Alva Games. 2006 was the 150th anniversary of the event, so Dan and I went along for the afternoon. Dan had never been to a highland games before and I hadn't been to Alva Games for about thirty years. It was smaller than I recall, but enjoyable nevertheless.

There are a number of foot races, mostly handicaps. The Open 90m is the highlight with £400 going to the winner.

Unusually for a highland games, Alva hosts cycling events. Dan was surprised by this and was even more surprised to see racing bikes being used on a grass oval track. So we have a group of cyclists gong flat out round a grass oval, with highland dancing and heavy events taking place in the middle of the oval. There are six races, four open cycling competitions from 800m to 3200m, organised on a handicap basis, and two youth events at 800m and 1600m.

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