Wednesday, 16 February 2011

12 months passes fast

On Saturday it was 12 months since my Dad died.  The year has flown by, and it doesn't feel like 12 months.  I went to the allotment with my Mum and we left 12 red roses in his memorial garden.  We also placed a notice in the local paper.  I still find it hard to process what happened.  But I'm finding it easier to accept things now that a year has passed, the pain has eased, but it's not gone completely, I don't think it ever will.

I dug over and tidied the top greenhouse on Saturday afternoon and it looks miles better. I planted 6 rows of garlic in the greenhouse (for the last 2 years I've grown garlic in the greenhouse border soil and it's done really well).  I also planted 2 rows of garlic in one of the narrow raised beds outside. I initially ordered the garlic variety pack from Thompson and Morgan in October last year, I think I got 8 varieties plus some elephant garlic for £18.99.  But the garlic didn't arrive until the end of November by which time I'd lost the motivation to plant it because the weather had turned cold.  So I decided to leave the planting until February because it said it would be OK to plant the garlic in February.  When I came to look at the garlic about 3 or 4 bulbs had sweated and rotted, so I lost a few varieties, but it worked out OK as I just had enough room for the remaining cloves. 

I fed the birds whilst I was there, the niger seeds and the mixed seeds needed topping up again.

I sprayed the peach tree with Bordeaux mix and it turned blue.  I hope it gets rid of the peach leaf curl and doesn't harm the tree.  The figs on the fig tree are swelling nicely, I think we'll have a good crop this summer.

A lady called Barbara who helps run a community garden next to the allotment site has secured £250 funding for the allotment association that we're setting up.  I've been nominated as secretary for the association, but I don't really have much free time for any more extra curricular activities at the minute, I might just say I'm happy to help with posters and computer things, but suggest that someone else might be best carrying out the secretary role.

I ordered the 'Rough guide to Britain' to help us choose somewhere to go for our holiday this summer.  I've been looking at places in North Wales, as it's not too far for us to travel, and has some nice sandy beaches.  Abersoch and Harlech look cool - but only if the weather was sunny.  I looked at the Centre for Alternative Technology which is near Harlech, and it looks worth a visit.  Devon and Cornwall look lovely, but they're such a long way away to travel over land.  Or we could maybe go to Silverdale in the Lakes as it's very pretty there and not too far.  We need a cheap flexible option to kick in when the weather turns nice, ideally somewhere close enough for me to drive to.

I also ordered a book called 'Screw work, let's play' to encourage me to think about redesigning my career and working for myself.  I don't believe in spending the majority of my life in a job that doesn't inspire me.

A huge delivery of free manure was dropped off at the allotment at 8.30am on Sunday morning.  I went down with Chris to collect some bags for our plot.  The bags weighed a tonne and my arms felt like they were going to drop off for days afterwards.  I'm obviously out of practice with physical activity!  The manure doesn't look very well rotted though, so I don't think we can apply it to the soil this year, we might need to let it rot down a bit first.

After sorting out the manure we nipped home and got changed and went to the flea market.  I got lots of books, the subjects covered: herb gardens, wild flowers, pressed flower pictures, country herbs, exotic spices and I also got the 'Covent Garden soup for all occasions' book.

Because I'd got so many new books off the flea market, I decided to tidy my bookcase on Sunday afternoon.  It took a while but I did a thorough job, being the geeky perfectionist that I am.

I went to Duckworth Hall on Sunday night for tea with my Mum, I had my usual cheese and onion pie/sticky toffee pudding combo.  I also tried a wee dram of Ardbeg whiskey, which is a smoky Islay whiskey, but I wasn't overly keen, it seemed a bit pale and watery, my Mum tried it and she thought it was awful and tasted like medicine.

I bought a bottle of Rioja Ramon Lopez Murillo from Aldi for £5.99.  It was pretty good, but not the best I've had.  I'll keep trying Aldi wines though as I've tried most of Asda's mid range priced Rioja now.

The weather has been very wet, and the storm display on my weather station has been flashing on and off.  I found out that weather forecaster Rob McElwee has gone and I never saw his last forecast.  I wondered why he hadn't been on telly recently.  Bye Rob!  I will miss you and your cheeky one-liners at the end of the forecast.

My Revo Pico Radiostation broke so I've sent it back to be repaired.  I wasn't impressed because I've only had it 7 months.  It cost a fortune too.  So much for buying quality and it lasting longer.

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