Monday, 24 April 2017

Hello?


*Peers round corner*

Hello? Is anyone there?

First of all, i would like to apologize for being so long updating here! It's been pretty busy around here, especially in the past month or two, and i have been updating mostly via Instagram. 
We discovered that The Bearded Wonder has been having quite big heart issues , so much so that he was initially referred to get a pacemaker fitted, but on the day of his surgery the surgeon decided he was too young for a pacemaker and ended up fitting him with an under the skin monitor instead, which shall be in for 3 years, then he'll be re-assessed to see if a pacemaker is more suitable.
He is doing well, and recovering nicely from the surgery.



In other news, today is the day that Angus has been in our lives for a whole year!
He was so tiny then.

Somehow, out of nowhere, he has turned into this really fat, obnoxious fluffball!


We are still enjoying going out and about on the bikes, and we are looking forward to when The Bearded Wonder is stronger and we can go for longer rides again 






The garden is starting to wake up and show signs of life (though mostly in the form of bloody weeds!) My blackcurrant, tayberry and loganberry bushes seem to be thriving, and i can just see the buds forming ! I'm so excited and am hoping for a good first harvest :D 

I netted them over on Saturday, in the hopes that the birds won't get to the, though i have deliberately left a gap at the bottom so we won't have a repeat of last year and get a hedgehog caught up in it.

Most of the garden is looking a bit like steptoe's yard at the minute, with lots of wood, cardboard and carpet in the vain hopes of killing the weeds for NEXT YEARS growing season. I didn't want to, but i think raised beds may be the way to go :( 


Last week i made a wee wheelbarrow from an old shopping trolley and an unused glass recycling bin and for the moment i have tied it down with yarn as i have lost my string. 


I am also starting a new project, a compost tumbler.
I put  a hole in the top and bottom of a fermenting bucket, popped a stick through the middle, added air hole and propped it between to old chairs. According to research this is the quickest way to get coarse compost in months, so i'm looking forward to seeing the results.(if it works!)


I also have a very exciting new addition to my kitchen! 
Given to me by a very dear friend from my knit and natter group, a few months ago, i still go into the kitchen to just gaze at it and smile.



This weeks bargain was this amazing old enamel mincer for £5. I have been searching for one of these for years! Though it is not going to be just ornament. i plan to fully utilize it as a kitchen tool. I  used it today, in fact, i tested some potatoes to see how it would fare and it made the smoothest mashed potatoes ever! much better than mine! (though not better than the Bearded Wonders') i also feel it would be great in processing apples for chutney, and suchlike. 


Wednesday, 19 October 2016

A Good Ol' Catch Up!



Hello there!
Wow! Its been two months since my last post! I just don't know where the time went!

So, what's been happening?

We are now the proud owners of 2 blackcurrant bushes, a tayberry bush and a loganberry bush, i've planted them and so far they seem to be surviving haha, fingers crossed!

We have a "new to us" rug, which covers almost the whole living room, so no more cold floorboards! Woohoo! Thanks to lovely Jayne for helping to cart it back for me :)
Also, thanks again to Jayne, we have a wee hoover called James :)

The Bearded Wonder and i have been making the most of the lovely weather and have been exploring on the bikes 



That day was sooo hot!

I've been getting crafty and made a matching seat cover and bar bag for my bike out of an old backpack , and a face cover/neckwarmer for the cold weather from the bottom of an old t-shirt, though i have a feeling i may need to make a thicker one!

Angus is getting so big now! He's 9 months old already.
He loves to climb my curtains and thinks he is ever so clever!

A fortnight ago we took him to the vets for The Snip, and he has only just started to speak to me again! Whoops! 


Giving me The Glare




I made some new pantry shelves out of some old drawers bolted together, as our kitchen is so tiny we need all the storage space we can get!
I drew out some labels so i remember what's in each jar 


In very happy news i won a giveaway on Instagram! A rather gorgeous looking cycling jacket, which is 100% waterproof and windproof , which is perfect for our village, being so windy and cold! 

Last week a friend gave me some surplus apples from her tree so yesterday i made some apple chutney, which was...um..fun..as the apples were quite small and a bugger to peel and now the kitchen stinks of vinegar haha

She will get a jar back as part of her Christmas present, as it should be mature by then :)

The jars look so pretty sitting on the shelf :D





Thursday, 18 August 2016

The Fence is almost finished!

Hi guys!
Hallelujah the fence is almost done! 
2 sides just need crosses in the middle as extra support then that will be it :)



Do you like the new path layout? The Bearded Wonder has been rearranging it (again ;) ) It was originally spaced further apart with stones in the middle, but the weeds kept popping up through the stones so this way (hopefully!) they won't be as bad!

It's amazing that it used to look like this just a few months ago!

The other side still resembles a jungle, but it will get done in time :) 

The Bearded Wonder has been amazing! He's dug out the whole front garden, and has started to add stones down this side, which are all the stones that got dug out from both sides of the garden :) 
As usual, the weeds are already starting to grow back! 


In kitchen news, i'm very pleased to show you my new toy, a Morphy Richards breadmaker!
It was completely free and it came from the same lady where i got Angus, down the road .
 I must say, it has taken my breadmaking to a whole new level! It makes my other breadmaker look like a poor relation!

My old bread maker sadly wasn't very good at baking the actual bread, so i used to use it for the dough setting and bake in the oven, but the Morphy Richards produces bread so soft and fluffy there's no need to bake in the oven, which means i get to use the delay timer overnight and have lovely fresh bread when i wake up :)

It also has a cake setting, so i tested it and got a lovely Madeira sponge, a bit dense, but very, very nice :)
Even more exciting (to me, at least) is it has a jam setting! I'm looking forward to using it next week when we go shopping :)


I made my very first cheese and onion quiche on Tuesday, which was absolutely delicious if i say so myself! I've finally mastered my pastry, the trick in my recipe book is to use 115g of butter (or margarine) and 65g of lard, it makes a lovely flaky shortcrust :)


We had a lovely bike ride yesterday where we went to the next village (6 miles there and back) where we had a picnic and a scoot around the village, then rode/walked back up the hills to home, which just about killed me!

And of course, no blog post would be complete without Angus, he took over my yoga mat and showed me a new  pose called "The Mouse Killer" ;)



Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Freewheeling!


Hi guys! Remember me?
 Well...I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't!
For the past month I have been thoroughly immersed in the cycling world as we finally got The Bearded Wonder a bike!

 Some of you will remember that i got my bike last year from freecycle, and i've been patiently waiting until The Bearded Wonder got his to go out exploring together.

looking cool and unruffled, whilst i was red faced and out of breath!

i look like a hamster with its cheeks stuffed! 

A fortnight ago we ventured out on our first 10 mile ride , the problem with going anywhere out of our village is you will always have a hill to come back up!
halfway up!

A well deserved doughnut once we got home! 

I also made a wee saddlebag from an old handbag pocket with clips attached to hold the puncture repair kit, just in case :)


Last week saw us cycling to the next village, about 4 miles away, and the whole way was downhill, we've been through it before in a friends car but we didn't quite realize how steep it was!

We were going to go and have a wander about and have a cuppa then cycle back home, we got about 3/4 of the way and decided to turn back, as we weren't sure if there were even more hills that we would have to walk back up, it was only once we got home and looked at the map online did we realize how close we had gotten! 
So the way home wasn't quite as much fun as the way there.
See that hill in the distance? Well we live at the top of it. 


What i've noticed most about cycling is that for the beginner you will feel every slight incline, no matter how gentle, and it sure takes its toll on your muscles!
A fortnight ago i had to walk up the last bit of this long incline, yesterday i got the full way up! It may seem like nothing to experienced cyclists, but for me it was a huge deal and i was so pleased and proud of myself :)



I hope i haven't bored you (Hello? Wake up! I heard you snoring over there! ;-) ) with my rambling on about cycling, but it is so much fun, the sense of freedom you get barrelling down a hill, and you get fitter the further you go!

In other news, the garden has drastically changed(in a good way), but i will go into more details in another post.
My bread making is going from strength to strength, i now make all of our bread apart from when we fancy a change every now and then haha


Angus is getting huge now! He has been clamouring to go outside and explore, so he goes out under strict supervision, especially as he still needs to go to the vet and get The Snip and a microchip

He now has his first fancy collar

He has a huge naughty streak, and has taken to stealing my shoes at every opportunity, some cats like catnip, mine has a shoe fetish, as he loves to stick his head inside them, the little oddball.


He's such a handsome wee tiger :)


That's all for now, i will do a proper garden post in the next week or so (hopefully not another month!)
I'm also on Instagram, if you would like to follow me there :)

https://www.instagram.com/myempireofdirtgarden/








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