Sunday, August 28, 2011

Freezers, Doorways and Silver Linings

My freezer died.

Yes, I know... it's something we'll all have to deal with at some time in our lives. But, the freezer is the appliance that we probably take for granted the most - until it dies. And, of course, they never seem to cark it when they're empty.

So, in the midst of my freezer grief I had to decide if:

  • I'd live without one (tempting until I remembered the wonderful berry sorbets we made last summer)
  • Get a chest freezer (better for tall people)
  • Get an identical upright freezer to match the fridge (and then, no doubt, watch the fridge die a year later)
  • Get a fridge and freezer in one unit and retire the old fridge to the shed for parties (this was the winner).

After parting with a hefty sum of money, I took delivery of a space-age, stainless steel, side by side, fridge/freezer. Totally gorgeous and swish and... too big to fit through the doorway into the lean-to kitchen. 

Apparently when they were building houses 130 years ago they didn't consider refrigerators... who knew?!

So, after much squishing, squeezing and a decent dose of lateral thinking the delivery guy and I gave up. Now we're back to the fridge and freezer being tucked away in what is currently the dining room, waiting for the time that the room is renovated and becomes the kitchen. Which is exactly where the fridge and freezer were before the temporary kitchen was constructed.

The silver lining though, is this: I am now fully committed to getting the next stage of the renovations started. That means, saving in earnest AND expanding my means. The most shocking bit of all? I'm actually excited about it!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Creative Projects - Knitted Patchwork Blanket

This project has turned into a MONSTER. My original intention was to make a throw rug until... it needed another column for balance, another shade to add depth and texture and cream strips to add definition. Now, it's closer in size to a bedspread!

Created from pure wool, it will be very cosy - on a couch or a bed. Riley likes it already and I haven't finished putting it together yet!

Friday, August 12, 2011

De-cluttering – One Area Done – 17 to go!

Remember the out of control book case I wrote about in De-cluttering, still...? Well here it is. 
Not perfect, but considerably tidier.
It took hours to sort through all the old papers, magazines, photos and junk that had been shoved into any and all available spaces on the bookshelf. There was a sizable box load that got dumped into the recycling bin, too.

De-cluttering really is seriously cathartic. Choosing to let go of stuff that no longer serves you is empowering. I’ve always had a problem throwing out photographs. Not sure why, but there you go! During this sort out I found a couple of envelopes of photos from a long, LONG time ago... and a heap of them were truly awful. Blurry, over(or under)-exposed, chopped off heads... why was I keeping them? I’ve given it a lot of thought and I still can’t come up with a good reason. Actually, I can’t even come up with a bad reason. So, into the bin they went. Talk about liberating!!!

Now the question is, what’s next on the de-clutter schedule?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Global Warming in My Backyard

Around the middle of July, three or 4 blossoms appeared on one of my apricot trees. That’s blossom in mid-winter! I guess this could be dismissed as a freak occurrence and I did dismiss it as such, until I was looking at the tree the other day and noticed that fruit had set.
Global Warming - Winter apricots!

It’s easy to dismiss the so-called debate in the mainstream media about our changing climate but as a gardener, it’s pretty clear to me that something is going on with our weather and it’s probably not going to end well.

The real questions we need to ask ourselves are: “How much will it change, and how much will we need to adapt the way we live and grow our food in order to prosper under the new conditions?”

Monday, August 8, 2011

Rambunctious Raspberries

Who knew raspberries were trying to take over the planet? Not me... I had no idea my raspberries would turn into triffids and attempt to take over my entire yard.

To be honest, I was completely naive to the tenacity of raspberries. Their cousins, the blackberries, seem to get all the publicity on that score. So it was a bit of a shock to find that raspberry shoots were appearing outside the area I’d allotted them. And, that the area itself had become a tangle of old canes, rampant grass and the odd self seeded flat leaf parsley.

Cleaning up this area quickly became a priority task and I’m on the clock, because spring is not far away.

One of the first things I did was remove some of the smaller shoots and put them in pots. The plan is to sell them from my garden gate once they’re nicely established.

The next task was to put down a heavy mat to stop any grass or weeds reappearing - I’m guessing it won’t stop the raspberries. I used thick layers of wet newspaper to smother the grass and weeds then put a thick layer of mulch over the top.
Newly mulched raspberry patch

The area looks a lot neater now and I’m pretty sure I’ll still get a good crop of lovely bright red, juicy raspberries this season; perfect for the fresh jam that goes so well with lovely light scones, still warm from the oven. Something to look forward to!