19 May 2019

The Vegetable Garden

Paul has worked incredibly hard since our arrival last September to make a vegetable garden from scratch.  He had to remove the turf, rotovate and prepare the soil and build a fence around the plot to keep Rick out. After all this work and some careful planting it is finally beginning to look like a proper little potager.

the spinach is producing extremely well

Paul planted his potatoes in tubs, even recycling the old water tank from the loft

hoping to get some broad beans this year

catch the dandelion seeds before they fall

Rick is convinced he can't be seen when he hides behind the cordyline pot


18 May 2019

Distracted Baking

I decided to bake something different today, a lemon drizzle cake and some almond buns.  This would be an incredibly easy task for Mary Berry but it was going to be quite a challenge for someone like me.  I was going to have to concentrate and do everything very carefully.

I had just made the basic cake mix when Paul burst into the kitchen and asked me to look after Rick while he disposed of a dead pigeon.  He didn’t actually see Rick kill it, and Rick insisted it was the neighbour’s cat but the feathers sticking out of his mouth suggested otherwise.  Rick looked at me with innocent eyes while I got back to the baking.  I poured the cake mix into the pan before realising that I had forgotten to add the lemon zest.  After re-mixing and repouring I was back on track.

I added the crushed almonds and chopped apricots to the other half of the cake mix and....what the?  I looked out of the window in disbelief.  Paul had climbed a ladder and was half way up the big poplar tree, hanging on with one hand and waving a saw in the other.  How the heck was I supposed to be able to concentrate on baking surrounded by all these distractions.

The cakes all seemed to turn out okay but I might just stick to rock buns in future.

16 May 2019

Self Image

We went cycling today, across to Brandy Wharf and back along the River Ancholme.  It was very blustery but Paul was an effective windbreak, I tucked up close behind him and he did all the hard work.  It was pleasant riding alongside the river, there were two swans on the water and a third sitting on a nest amongst the reeds.

Our overall speed was down due to the wind but we managed a couple of good sprints.  In France I used to recite the Owl and the Pussycat when I was climbing long hills.  The hills in Lincolnshire are less steep but faster so I find that singing A Frog Went A-courting is a more effective tempo.  It certainly seems to help me get up that last hill before home.

When I’m sprinting along I picture myself as a lithe, athletic figure on my bike...

 The reality is of course very different...

15 May 2019

Lunch in the Garden

What a fabulous day it has been here in Lincolnshire - clear blue skies and sunshine.  We had lunch on the terrace and it was nice to linger and just enjoy being outside.  We were entertained by the most incredible birdsong.  Our garden is surrounded by trees and hedges and we have so many song birds - blackbirds, thrushes, robins and ring-necked doves to name just a few.  It was truly enchanting.

After lunch it was time for Rick’s walk.  He decided to do his business under a hawthorn bush in full blossom.  By the time I had scrambled under the bush and retrieved his mess in the doggy bag we looked like we had both been to a wedding, we were covered in white petals. 

We are making the most of this sunshine, it’s not going to last.

14 May 2019

Sussex Trug

One of the things I had to leave behind in France was my old garden trug and Opinel knife.  I bought the trug for just two euros at a local vide grenier and it was perfect for collecting fruit and vegetables from the potager.

A country gal just can't be without her trug so Paul presented me with a posh Sussex trug and brand new Opinel knife this week.  There isn't much to collect in the garden yet, only a few salad leaves today but hopefully in a few weeks time it will be full to the brim with garden produce.

Rick supervising work in the garden

11 May 2019

Blogging Doldrums

I blame the weather.  It has been cold and wet all week, really quite depressing.  This is our first English spring in thirteen years.  Then I remind myself of the frequent wet and cold springs that we had in France, it’s easy to forget that it wasn’t all sunshine and daisies.  Earlier in the week we drove to Grimsby to visit a specialist lighting shop.  There was a north wind blowing, it was raining, it was grim!  We didn’t linger.

Today has been better, with lots of sunshine.  I took Rick for a walk along Barff Lane, it was an absolute delight, the hedgerows were awash with hawthorn blossom. 

Paul has been busy working in his greenhouse today planting up his tomato plants.  Peppers, chillies and bean plants are still lined up in my garden room waiting to go outside. Overnight temperatures are still low and there is a warning of frost tonight.  Come on summer, hurry up and get here.

Rick hiding behind the plant pot

28 April 2019


I failed miserably to find a favourite corner in our new home to enter John Gray’s competition.  The entries were fascinating – so many characterful, eclectic, enticing and colourful corners from around the world.  I could find nothing here to really compete.  I think the reason must be due to the fact our home is new, bland and still evolving.  I left all my clutter and books and stuff that had been collected over the years behind in France.  I wanted to start with a clean slate and create something new but it is really hard to recreate character, I guess it will come in time.

The atrium style hallway in the centre of the bungalow is still not quite right.  I love my new mirror and console table but the two tall buddhas make it look like an alter waiting for some sacrificial offering. I was very tempted by a tasteful horse head statue yesterday when I was out shopping but everyone is doing horse heads right now so I wanted something different.  This is what I bought.

The light shining behind his wings is effective and I think he looks suitably irreverent.  (Paul said something like "Oh gawd!")