Friday 31 May 2019

May Finances, the Ins, Outs and the Frugal Bits

The "In's" in May were the usual things. My spouses pension from Suffolk County Council, repayments of money loaned, small bits of interest.

+ Car Boot takings of £94.50p - Very Pleased with that.

There were all the normal "outs"......  Food for me (rather a lot this month - I've gone crazy for fresh fruit!) and the cat, direct debits for phones and charity.
Diesel for the car.....rather a lot this month as I've been in and out all month.
Other things that needed paying were car Breakdown Renewal and I made a new will with a donation to the local hospice instead of paying the solicitor. Plus a birthday gift for Eldest.

Having a holiday early in the month wasn't frugal but that didn't matter! Lot's of "outs" on holiday for visits and meals (some meals better than others!)
I also bought myself a new duvet, mine was looking rather ugh and had lost all its duvet-fluffyness. I had been struggling to change the King-Size on my own for more than a year so bought a double and new covers too, much easier to manage.
For the garden I bought the Olive trees and more compost, some more lettuce plants and spring onion plants and a small Bay tree.
Replaced the house phone which had become unreliable. It's not used much so I just got the cheapest possible from Argos.
I was so pleased with the Asda jeggings bought last month that I got another pair ready for autumn and winter and some leggings and a couple of new vest tops because I couldn't find any in charity shops.
My spend at the Suffolk show was kept to a minimum, just donations for coffees at the church tent and a cake with a free coffee at the East Anglian tent + one card from the art show.

Frugal bits
  • Did a big store-cupboard + weekly shop at Morrisons to use a 4,000 Morrisons More points voucher
  • Used a Morrisons 5p off a litre of fuel to fill up the car
  • From the garden.........chives, rhubarb, and the Little Gem lettuce plants, bought from a car boot in early May have grown big enough to use- 10p each lettuce.
  • More bargains for the grandchildren, dolls cot, doll for Willow, another doll for Florence, clothes, books
  • Another flip top Kilner bottle ready for Christmas hampers - 20p from the only non-chain charity shop in Stowmarket which is closing down - sadly.
  • And then another one from a car-boot for 50p
  • And another bigger one also 50p
  • 2 Big flower pots from car boots one for 50p and one for £2.
  • Won two bottles of wine for £1 draw ticket
  • First strawberries at the end of the month
From the plants that came with the T&M offer earlier this year

  • Flowers from the garden and WI for the house
  • A whole Bank holiday weekend "entertainment" for £11.60 
  • Free coffees at The Suffolk Show with vouchers

Still clearing unwanted "stuff" out of the house. Apart from all the things sold at the car boot. I also got rid of........
an old plastic linen bin to Household waste centre,
roller blind left here by previous owner, ditto
2 old Pyrex roasting dishes ditto
old duvets, ditto
old pillowcases to textile recycling.
few items of now too big clothes to charity shop
jelly mould into next car boot sale box (I'll do another sale and include some workshop stuff later this summer)
mouli grater ditto
some children's books ditto
some storage jars ditto

Last month somebody asked me how I remember all these things - I don't! I just add them to the page in drafts whenever I think of something. It's more of a record for me to keep and probably totally boring for everyone else - but it fills a blog post!

Back Tomorrow

Thursday 30 May 2019

A Church Flower Festival

Apart from car boot sales, and an Art exhibition, watching French Open tennis on TV, reading, cutting grass and painting bits in the kitchen the other thing I did over the holiday weekend was to  pop out to a local Flower Festival in a village church.

The theme was Pastimes. I brought home the leaflet of who did what and the subject but now can't find it anywhere - a mystery.
I know this one below is celebrating 150 years of Palmer's - the village bakery. In the same building and owned by the same family - quite an achievement.

This one below must be to represent gardening

 This one below is bird watching. I think it was done by the daughter of PatC who I was at school with in the 1960's. She comments sometimes and came into the charity shop on the last morning I was helping there, I hope we will meet up for a coffee and a catch up sometime.

 This next one is to represent going to Movie Nights which they have in the village hall each month

And finally - the joys of foraging.

 There were very few people in the church looking round and I didn't stop for a cuppa and cake.

Last year this was one of the first things I visited (with Son and DiL) after Colin died. Looking back I can see how numb I was still feeling although I didn't recognise it as such at the time.
I can also see how much better I am now - one year on.

Many thanks for comments yesterday. I didn't get round to replying or even reading other blogs because of a long tiring day out at The Suffolk Agricultural Show. It was a tad chilly but as interesting as always. I took several photos so lots to share next week when I get round to uploading. Thank goodness it didn't start raining until 7pm when I was home - with the heating on!

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Wednesday 29 May 2019

An Art Exhibition

 Had a short wander around the Stowmarket Art Club Annual Art Show last Saturday

(looks like someone got the dates wrong)
 It was in the URC church

   the light was reflecting on the paintings a bit too much for good photos.
Didn't notice any red dots for sold paintings.

All visitors were given a slip of paper to vote for their favourite.

Without knowing who it was by (didn't have my glasses on) I choose the one below (some were quite honestly awful! - not that I could do any better but..........) I think I'm a bit boring when it comes to which art I like.

When I looked to see who the artist was I discovered it was a local man.......... Brian Lilley. I have one of his early paintings  - found at the big Lowestoft car boot sale several years ago.

I paid £2 or £3 - un-framed. I took it to a framers who also do Mr Lilley's framing for him and they asked him if he knew how long ago he had painted it - he thought probably way back in the late 70's or early 80's when he was still an insurance man for the area in which we then lived and where I now live again. The painting at the Art Show was a lot bigger than mine and for sale for £250. 

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Tuesday 28 May 2019

Didn't Do Much

In the end I didn't go very far over the Bank Holiday Weekend.

Car-boot sales of course -  the Big one at Needham Market was HUGE and I came home from that via the Art Exhibition (photos tomorrow).  The small local boot sale wasn't as big on Sunday as last week when I was there selling, I was home after looking round  by 9am and they've started having sales on Bank Holiday Mondays too and that was even smaller - home by 9 again.

All together at all the boot sales I spent a grand total of £10.60p

I found...........................

A bright pink ceramic pot  for 50p to put my money plant in on the bathroom window-sill. The plant had been in a brown -glazed flower pot (with a bit of plastic in the bottom to cover the hole) and I'd been searching for a replacement for months - it's still not big enough but better than brown.

The brown glazed flower pot now has a baby Bay tree (£2) in it. I've got a Bay tree that came here in a pot and is now nearly four feet tall so it will be too big to move when the time comes. This new one can be potted into increasingly larger pots for several years ready for whenever I decide that an acre is too big.

Someone had lots of  my everyday crockery - Johnson Brothers Summer Chintz - for sale. I wasn't short of plates and didn't need teeny coffee cups, a serving dish or very small bowls but she did have one breakfast bowl, which seem to be the thing that gets broken more often- so that was 50p.

I picked up this little set of lift-the-flap books for £1. Willow loves lifting flaps in books.

Any minute now I'm about to become a Great Aunt when my nephews partner gives birth, she's a few days over due already poor girl. I found this (for £1.50) to send down to London when my sister goes to visit her first grandchild.

 This, below, is a plastic "float" inside a net. I bought it for 50p in the hope I could get the net off and use it for the green glass globe I bought from an antique shop when we were on holiday. But no - there's no way to undo the net so I've hung it up outside looks like glass from a distance!

 Is there anyone out there who knows how to make a macrame net like this?

Another Kilner flip-top bottle to use for the Limoncello I'm planning for the Christmas Hamper presents - another 50p.

I bought a big tub of strawberries for £1 - they needed eating so no picture and a large  slice of banoffee cake - that's gone too so no picture of £1.10p worth of cake either. Yes I'm a greedy guts!

And then this,  ahem, yes it's another bit of Portmeirion Holly and Ivy ware. Its rather large - that's a £1 coin in the middle -  and should have a bowl in the centre making it a plate for things - crudities?-  to dip in something - hummus?.

 I didn't really intend to buy it but as it was £2 - it seemed a shame to leave it.(poor excuse!)

Problem - it won't fit in the dining room cupboard! Too wide..............

I now  have 5 Holly and Ivy things, 4 from boot-sales/charity shops and one was  a Christmas present............ officially a collection?...............bother!

Many thanks for comments yesterday.Smoked Paprika is now on my shopping list

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Monday 27 May 2019

It Must be the Smoked Paprika..................

........that gives this recipe some flavour.

I like to look at a different cookery book now and again, vegan, vegetarian or whatever. (Only library books - I don't buy them).

This recipe sounded easy and then I found yellow-sticker-reduced chestnut mushrooms at the Co-op so had to give it a go. The only thing I didn't have was smoked paprika so I used ordinary paprika and  a fresh onion instead of onion powder and ordinary long-life single cream instead of soy-cream.

It looked right, just like the photo in the book

But not a lot of ooommph................. Need to try again with the smoked paprika.

Cooking for one is sometimes a faff but this is simple enough to do, there's lot's of recipes that I just can't be bothered with anymore.

I brought home this book below from the library van, it's got some nice things in it - if someone would cook them for me! Each recipe had about 20+ ingredients, often using part of a tin or packet or fresh item.....not much good for one person.

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Saturday 25 May 2019

Last Week and the Bank Holiday Weekend

After 4 years I've just about got used to being able to go out and about on Bank Holidays. 2015 was the last year we were at the smallholding with the campsite open for what was always the busiest weekend of the year.
I can remember one sunny year when tents just kept arriving - and we ended up putting some on the hay-field, there was even a yurt!

Actually I haven't yet decided what to do this weekend so not sure where my out and about will take me, it's all weather dependent. What I really should do is get the paint out to do all the bits that got damaged when the kitchen was fitted, the scratches and scrapes are beginning to annoy me.

Anyway before that there's a week to look back on..............

Monday morning started with no electric - bother. I discovered something had tripped the trip switch which is out in the garage so spent ages going round indoors, turning things off, going out to the garage and trying the trip again........all with no luck. Had a think and decided to turn off all the fuse things which are in a cupboard in the back porch and then try the trip, and it stayed on. So one by one I switched the fuses back on and found the one that made the trip flip off was the one that said 'Upstairs Sockets' .
So back upstairs and check round - Nothing switched on. Looked all round the house AGAIN - by which time I was getting a bit fed up - and found the fridge switch that I'd forgotten about because its under the kitchen worktop with just a little junction thingy with a light that shows the fridge is working on the wall above. Switched off that switch and Hey Presto! But WHY is the fridge plug on the upstairs socket circuit??  Just one more thing to sort..........was it the fridge or the plug on the wall? Answer = Sadly it's the plug on the wall. Electrician needed,  which will probably cost more than buying a new fridge and a darn sight more difficult to arrange although I was quite pleased that I'd found the cause and got everything back on and working again, even the fridge -  by using an extension lead. Another thing that in the past I would have left to Colin to sort, he would have found the problem in half the time!.

One morning this week I went to the surgery to pick up.............................2 bottles of wine! The week before I'd popped to a Friends of Mendlesham and Bacton Surgeries coffee morning. I had £1 worth of draw tickets and left my phone number and got a surprise when the phone rang later to say I'd won 2 prizes. I don't drink but there are plenty of family who do so they won't go to waste.

All the small plants that were in the greenhouse in my photos earlier this week are now planted out and protected from pheasants, ducks, pigeons, cat  and any strong winds that might come blowing across the's a complicated business!
 The sweetcorn, chard and parsley are well protected
French climbing beans with a sacking wall around the bottom and a fleece tent pegged to the canes.
I'll take the fleece off when the plants get going.
Beetroot seedlings under wire frames, lifted on flower pots

The courgettes are under a fleece tunnel at the moment, just to stop the wind rocking them about until they get well rooted.  I think they'll be OK when I take it off, can't remember from last year  if any of the local pests eats them. I'll need to use the tunnel over the squash plants when I put them down the other half of the bed.

  I've been weeding too, mainly big stuff like cow-parsley that's around all the shrubs, I really need a strimmer but the battery ones wouldn't be man enough for cow-parsley and nettles and I'm not man enough for a great big machine. Colin's brother has been asked to come over with his big strimmer but I'm on a job waiting list!

The Chelsea Flower Show has been on TV all week, I'm not a huge fan of  TV gardening  programmes they make me feel inadequate.  But no one can expect to compete with the Chelsea show gardens, they are mostly so un-real, make it possible to watch without feeling hopeless. My sister and her husband are off to visit the show today and for a moment I was envious, then thought - no - all that walking about - all those crowds - better off watching on TV. (Like Wimbledon tennis!, which reminds me - The French Open starts on Sunday, it's on ITV 4 I'm pleased to say)

Swimming, shopping, visiting youngest and Florence, sitting in the sun and my week has gone by - alone - but still getting through.

This week I'm grateful for
  • Solving a problem by myself
  • Beautiful gardens on TV
  • Fine days for gardening
  • Juicy nectarines back in the shops for them

Have a good weekend, hope the weather isn't too disappointing.

Back Monday

Friday 24 May 2019

Will Month

Went and made a new will yesterday but I didn't pay the solicitor. Instead I made a donation to the St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich.

A couple of charities (I think Age UK and many hospices) do this, you have to book up in advance as the solicitors who volunteer to give up their fees only have a limited amount of spaces available. Where I went today they gave 5 appointments for wills to be made in May and I put my name down in early April and took the 4th space.

Didn't take long to go through a questionnaire because I'm doing something very straightforward, then they draw up the will and send it through for me to read and then I go back to sign.

Job Done

Back Tomorrow

Thursday 23 May 2019

WI Again

As I mentioned last week when writing about talking at big WI, May is always Resolutions month, when we discuss the Resolutions that have been chosen to be voted on at the National AGM and then campaigned for during the next year.

There is always much more discussion at small WI compared to big WI which is why I like going to two such different WI groups.

We had 2 things to discuss this year

A call against the decline in local bus services
Over the last decade there has been a massive decline in the number of bus services, particularly of those in rural and semi-rural areas. In order to alleviate loneliness, improve health and wellbeing, as well as promoting sustainable development, the NFWI calls on the government and local authorities to increase subsidies and work in partnership with bus companies and community transport operators to enable an adequate provision of services.

Rural buses are virtually non existent  around this part of the county now. Back when the children were small and we lived in the village of Bacton I could catch buses to Stowmarket several times a day, and to Bury St Edmunds  and Ipswich  every day.  Then came cutbacks, changes to funding even free over 65's bus passes haven't helped as that slows down the income for the bus companies.

I haven't used a bus service for years. At the smallholding the nearest bus stop was a mile away in the opposite direction from the town which was just 2½ miles - so I often cycled or drove for the big shopping. Where I live now there is a bus stop 2 miles away with two buses a day going to Ipswich.
We agreed that not many people would choose to live in a village nowadays unless they could drive.

Protesting to local councils probably won't help as the money for bus services comes from Central Government.

We instructed our representative ( a lady from another WI who will be voting on behalf of 5 WIs) to vote FOR the resolution, in the hope that the new push for greener transport might encourage government to help councils take cars off the road by providing buses. None of us were very hopeful!

The second Resolution this year is

Don’t fear the smear
Cervical screening saves around 5,000 lives a year, yet attendance is currently at its lowest for a decade. The NFWI urges WI members to attend routine screening, to take action to raise awareness of the importance of cervical screening and address barriers to attendance to help eradicate cervical cancer.

This seemed a no-brainer but there was still lots of discussion.We all said we should check that our daughters had been.

We instructed our representative to vote FOR the resolution. Sometimes their are changes when it comes to the actual AGM so we gave discretion for them to abstain if necessary.

I won the bunch of flowers (with awful vase) in the draw again. But left the vase with the president as I'm not sure I'll go to the June meeting - it's a garden party so much sitting around talking - I'm not good at that anymore (actually I never was!).

Not sure who won flowers and vase last month, but the bunch they brought for this months draw were already looking sad when I got them.

Wednesday 22 May 2019

Squeezing things into the Greenhouse

All the pots I could find have now been planted up and the greenhouse is full. Not only have I got tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and aubergines in their big pots there are also lots of things waiting to go outside as soon as I have time.

Above are 5 'pointy' Pepper plants plus five Aubergines in big pots. French Climbing beans to go out as are the Sweetcorn - baby ones for stir-fries. One more big pot ready for another yellow tomato. 2 trays sown with mangetout peas. 2 pots sown with nasturtiums - no sign of them yet. Some small tomato plants to go in the hanging baskets and at the end  are 2 cucumbers. Also some squash seedlings just emerging.

Down the other side are 9 various tomato plants with French Marigolds also in the pots to encourage insects in for pollination and another cucumber in the big pot at the end.

It's been lovely and warm in the greenhouse compared to outside where there has still been some chilly wind. I love having open fields all round but it doesn't do much for blocking the winds.

Now have to hope for  a good harvest. Fingers crossed.

Back Tomorrow

Tuesday 21 May 2019

Car Boot Selling and Buying

The boxes of unwanted things came out of the cupboard-under-the-stairs, went in the car on Saturday afternoon so that Sunday morning after making a flask and a snack, I could head off to the local boot sale at Stonham Barns Events Centre which is just 5 miles from me down country roads.

This is an aerial view from their website, as you can see it's not a huge boot-sale and has the added benefit of not starting too early and only charging £5 per car.

Stonham Barns Car Boot | Stonham Barns

I got there just before 7am and soon unloaded. The jigsaw puzzles that I'd done over autumn and winter soon sold and someone bought a huge box of all my crafting bits all at once.
There were several things that had been in the caravan to clear as well as bits and bobs from the kitchen. I didn't bother to take many books, they don't sell well anymore.

There are two lots of people who sell at boot sales. Some go every week and charge higher prices,  and then people like me who do a clear out once or twice a year and just want rid, so sell for whatever we can get.

Son and DiL and Willow popped over to have a look round ( they found a lovely little wooden chair for Willow) and to let me zoom round a few stalls. I just found a new wash-bag for £1 and a the last big flower pot I needed for the greenhouse - cost me £2 but still cheaper than new.

Just before noon it began to spit with rain and everyone started to pack up very quickly. There wasn't much rain but by the time it stopped everyone had cleared away, including me and I was home before half past twelve.
(We had really good rain later at home........ several hours of steady stuff just right for the plants)

After I'd packed my left-overs in the car I dashed  across to the cake stall and bagged myself one of their delicious looking cake slices - a treat for Sunday tea.

I came home with lots of coins and a few notes so I was very pleased.(Details will be in the  end-of-the-month financial round up!)

Back Tomorrow

Monday 20 May 2019

Watch Out For Frosts

Watch out for late frosts around the third week of May.

 In Devon May 19th, 20th and 21st were once known as Frankanmass, the feast of St. Frankan, (or Franklin) who is a saint unknown anywhere else. Not surprising as he seemed to have sold his soul to the devil.
Exactly the same story in other parts of the country says it was St Dunston........... St Dunston's Day was 19th May.
The story goes that Frankan/Franklin/Dunston was a brewer who had severe competition from the cider-makers so made a pact with the devil that he could have his soul in return for the guarantee of a frost every year on the 3 days in May, just the right time to attack the blossoms of the  apple trees in the orchards so that the cider makers would have less cider to sell.

This year the blossom has mostly been and gone and as yet it's impossible to see how the fruit has set and how many apples there will be

Little apples be gone away avore sheep-shearing and won't be back 'til harvest.

Other sayings about the this time of May I found

Saint Urban drives his mother form the fire
Urban brings summer.

St. Urban's day was 24th May and hopefully by then all frosts have finished and Urban's mother can venture outside instead of sitting by the fire!

There were a couple of early morning frosts  last week. They didn't do any damage as far as I know.
In most of Suffolk we usually don't get a frost after the third week so everything ought to be OK now and there's nothing too cold in the forecast for this week.

Back Tomorrow

Saturday 18 May 2019

Saturday Round-up Again

It's been so good this week to have a few warmer days, Wednesday was the best as the East wind dropped away making it warm enough to sit out a while in between gardening and grass cutting. My gardening mojo came back with the sun - thank goodness and I spent a while clearing a huge patch of hooligan "foreign" bluebells out of the oval rose garden. What started as one small clump two years ago had got to an area nearly a metre round. They are pretty but just so invasive. I've replaced them with the rose "Thinking of You" that friends had sent last year when Colin died. Also started the big job of edging round that has two rows of bricks, laying flat set into the ground that grass and weeds grow through........ and I'm also weeding in the quarter circle muddle - it's full of aquilegia again, they are invasive too but in a nicer way.

 My shabby-chic ladder isn't so shabby this year as I gave it a coat of paint before putting it away in the autumn.

 It's almost planted up, I managed to drill holes in the clay flower pots (which were here when we moved in) to thread a wire through so I could wire them onto the ladder sides, that saved me spending more money on things to stand on the ladder. Just 50p spent on the two little square baskets from a boot sale. Must find something for the bottom rung -  perhaps 3 pots wired together.
To the right of the ladder (dreadful photo - I was in a hurry) are my two small Blueberry bushes that came with the bargain offer from T&M earlier in the year. One is looking better than the other but both are much healthier and bigger than when they arrived. Above are the two flat backed baskets waiting for Tomato Cascade to be planted. I'll need to put something else in to hold compost as the Poundland coir liners aren't big enough. Some plastic at the back and sides should do it.
 I was pleased to see a frog return to the mini pond, hadn't seen one in there since I hauled out lots of oxygenating plant last autumn

It's only a tiny pond but keeps a couple of frogs happy.

 Swimming early for the last few weeks  at a general swim-for-all session is working well, aiming to leave home by 7.45am, in the pool by 8.15 and out before 9,  home by 9.30. With plenty of morning still left to get some housework done. Such a good way to start the day, if I lived within walking distance I'd go every day............maybe.

It was nice to catch up with friends for coffee during the week, they are off out to the States in June for 4 weeks to Pittsburgh where their eldest son, wife and two grandsons live. They go out every year if they can. Their eldest is the same age as my eldest daughter and while living next door to them in 1981 we both had our second child within a day of each other! and they became godparents to our son.  I'm so glad I kept in touch through the years we were across the other side of the county.

I finished reading the excellent "The American Agent" crime fiction by Jacqueline Winspear. Such a good series, the first pubished in 2003 and set in 1929. This new book - the 15th - takes the story through the 1940 London Blitz. It re-introduced a character from three books past, which I now need to re-read because that was back in 2016 and I've forgot the circumstances in which Maisie first met the American of the title. I really recommend these books if you haven't come across them but it's best to start at the beginning with the first..... "Maisie Dobbs".

Thank you to everyone for comments about the photos of the houses we rescued. I'm sure everyone thought we were mad to keep moving but we were young, had no money but plenty of energy and didn't stop to think of the problems, we just wanted to own some land and be as self-sufficient as we could. All the house restoration programmes that are on TV now weren't thought of back then so there was nothing to put us off!

This week I'm grateful for
  • A few warmer days
  • The garden to keep me busy 
  • Coffee with friends 

And finally........
Hands up if you have ever got up one morning, gone in the kitchen and found a mole limping across the floor toward you?
T'was  a bit of a surprise,  Polly cat must have brought it in, makes a change from mice.
I won't tell you what I did with it as that would upset animal lovers!

Have a super-duper weekend wherever you are and whatever you are doing.

Back Monday

Friday 17 May 2019

Speaking at the Big WI

At W.I's all around the country May is Resolutions month. Instead of a speaker we discuss the Resolutions that have been decided on to be put forward at the National AGM. The W.I is a campaigning organisation. Every year all groups can put forward suggestions which they feel strongly about, then these are whittled down to 1 or 2 which each WI debates and tells their representative how to vote at the AGM .(More about this years resolutions next week)

This doesn't take very long and to fill up the evening Big WI  ask 3 members to talk about something interesting in their lives, somehow I agreed to take part this year and decided to talk about how we kept moving and renovating houses so that we could buy a smallholding.
To make it a bit more interesting I printed out some photos that could be handed round as I spoke.

The other two ladies had had careers, one as a podiatrist and entrepreneur and the other first as a nurse and then working with clinical trials for new drugs. They had both written down what they would say and read their bits but I decide to go freestyle and printed out photos of some interesting pictures from the house we renovated and then at the smallholding and used those as prompts to talk about our life of moving up the housing ladder from a two up two down end terrace with garden to 5 acres. I wasn't nervous but found my voice going all shaky - not like me at all! at least my knees didn't knock!

The first 3 photos are of the house we brought from being "unfit for human habitation" to a lovely home in 1984/5. Taking 2 children under 4 to live in a caravan while the work was done. Mostly by Colin in the evenings and weekends.

Then I had 2 photos of what a mess the smallholding was when we bought it in 1992, that was 7 years and two more houses later than Appletree Cottage above

A photocopy from the newspaper when we were interviewed to promote the Suffolk Smallholders Society in 1998

How the smallholding garden and campsite looked in 2013. After 21 years of fun and much hard work.

Then I had a couple of photos that were taken for my old blog of the stall we had at the front gate with some of the things we grew to sell and a photo of some of the fruit we grew. Raspberries, redcurrants and apricots.

I think all the ladies enjoyed hearing our house moving story and seeing the photos......... They said they did or maybe they were just being polite!

Thank you to everyone for comments about the colours of the trees up the lane and around my meadow. The tree that I didn't know down the lane in a neighbours garden is definitely not a Goat Willow, I have one of those at the end of the garden and we had several at the smallholding. I went back down the lane and zoomed in for a better look and have decided that looking at the leaves with their red stems that it's a type of ornamental cherry, one that gets very big!

Welcome to some more followers, hope you enjoy reading

Back Tomorrow

Thursday 16 May 2019

Up and Down the Lane in May

It was a beautiful blue sky day when I took photos up and down the lane this week

From the road end of the lane, everything is looking very green and glorious. The only trees not yet in leaf are a couple of Ash on the left
The sky was so blue I just kept looking up. In one of the gardens at the road end of the lane is a Red Chestnut and a Scots Pine

And this big tree............ I have no idea what it is?

Honeysuckle on the hedge

A Walnut tree in the garden on the other side of the lane another beautiful colour against the sky

The plants my neighbour put in opposite her gateway are beginning to flower, I'm pleased that they are mainly native things like Foxglove, Red Campion

A few weeks ago a lady from UK Power Networks was round looking at which trees needed trimming away from the power lines. Then I came home from swimming last week and couldn't get home due to two trucks and the big tree-chopper-up thingy whose name I can't think off were in the lane. He said they'd taken bits off the oak out the back and a branch off the Turkey oak and were cutting this willow right down, heavens knows why, it only needed a couple of metres off the top to take it away from the power lines. It will grow back, but has left a gap.

From the house house end of the lane looking down to the road.

"My" Turkey Oak.
 I had to look it up when Mrs F (who we bought the house from) told me what it was, info  HERE

Turkey Oak, house and the lane

Looking down the meadow, the footpath is easy to cut with the ride-on mower. I wouldn't want to cut it with a push mower!

The Poplar trees, again the colour against the sky is wonderful.

I'm so lucky to have all this to enjoy every day.

BUT oh dear, this Ash is looking decidedly sad. It was alive last year and parts may still have leaves later in the spring but I think the majority of it looks very dead. I may have to get it cut down, it might be affected by the Ash Tree Die Back Disease that arrived in this country a few years ago.
Wood for the wood-burner if it does need removing

Back Tomorrow