Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The sweetcorn is taller than me!

We had a shop board meeting on Wednesday afternoon.  Since the disagreeable director has resigned things have run much more smoothly.  This is how it should have been all along -  the current directors are all diplomatic and reasonable and no-one throws a huff if they don't get their own way.  One rotten apple can spoil the batch, or however the saying goes.

We treated my Mum to an Italian meal out on Wednesday night.  She normally cooks for us on Wednesdays so we thought it would be nice to give her a break and take her out for a change.  The food was yummy, I had garlic mushrooms stuffed with cheese and sundried tomatoes, followed by tuna and onion pizza, and chocolate fudge cake for dessert.  Mmmm.  We all seemed to enjoy it.

We visited an organic cheese dairy on behalf of the shop on Friday afternoon.  We got a bit lost on the way - it was about 15 miles away in the Forest of Bowland, right in the middle of the countryside set amongst lovely scenery.    We had a brief tour of the facilities and we got to sample their cheeses.  The organic cheddar was particularly good.  We placed an order for the shop and the stock should arrive this week.  The new fridge is really boosting sales, so hopefully the cheese will help push things along even more.

My sister and her family came to stay in the Forest of Bowland again this weekend, so I was back there again on Saturday.  They booked a week in the same cottage they stayed at back in April.  I arrived on Saturday afternoon and we went to a local farmers show.  We saw some prize winning horses and cows.  We looked at lots of stalls selling locally made food and crafts and I bought a hand made ceramic squash leaf ornament.  My nieces took part in an origami workshop and made a paper frog.  They also made some sand art in bottles.  In the evening we had a meal out at a local pub, and I had scampi and chips (the veggie selection wasn't great). 

On Sunday we went to a storytelling fair at a local school.  I watched some local women spinning wool and a lady making a rag rug.  There was a hog roast for lunch and no veggie option whatsoever (unless you count cakes and sweets)!

When we got back from the fair we went on a drive into the Trough of Bowland. Driving through the winding narrow lanes we saw pheasants, rabbits and a bird of prey flew out of a hedge - I wish I'd have taken my bird book so I could have identified the different birds.  I should have taken my binoculars too, as well as taking more photos, I wasn't on the ball.  Further on into the trough it gets quite hilly and high and the views are amazing.  We stopped off next to a stream and had a paddle.  Then we drove home past the Inn at Whitewell, which looks like a wonderful place to stay.  I must save up and treat us to a night there, if I spent a little less each week at the supermarket we coud afford to stay there for my birthday. 

Outside the cottage there was lots of wildlife too.  I saw dozens of swifts, a woodpecker, and lots of other birds I didn't recognise. 

On Monday we went for a walk near the cottage and waded up a stream in our wellies. 

I also played table tennis and darts with my nieces, and we borrowed some bikes and went on a bike ride.  It's made me want to get a bike, I used to love cycling when I was younger.

I took some goodies from the allotment with me - rhubarb, gooseberries, new potatoes, cucumbers and a few broad beans.  My sister made a rhubarb and goosebery fool.

When I got home the garden seemed to have grown loads, even though I'd only been away for a few days.  Apparently people at the allotment have been commenting on how well the sweetcorn is doing, it grows so much faster under glass than it does out in the open.

I was hoping  there might be some tomatoes ready but there's only one orange one on one of the sungold plants at the allotment.  I've been taking it easy with the tomato food, I've a feeling that over feeding can encourage magnesium deficiency (leaf yellowing), and so far (fingers crossed) I haven't got any yellow leaves.

The sweetcorn is taller than me.  The onions are swelling.  Some of the broad beans are ready.  When I got back from my break there was about 8 cucumbers on the cucino plant - I would definitely grow this variety again.  In fact, I'm tempted to say it's the only variety I'll grow.  I guess I'd better give the cucumber Emilie a chance first, they're still not big enough to crop yet.  There's flowers on most of the peppers in the greenhouse.  I'm still loving the sweet genovese basil, it tastes so fragrant and strong compared to the stuff you can buy from the supermarket.  This is the only variety I'll grow next year, the other mixed basil plants aren't anywhere near as tasty,

I wish I'd have sown more night scented flowers - there aren't any ready yet.  But the sweet peas have just flowered, so I can enjoy their scent instead.

Anyway, I've nothing planned this weekend which makes a nice change.  I can relax and do my own thing, without any social commitments!

I ordered another Joe McNally book.  I got the 'Life guide to digital photography'.  It's pretty basic stuff, but it's good to hear the basics from Joe's point of view, I've already picked up some good tips and I'm only a few pages in.

I've also been reading Joe McNally's blog, and Scott Kelby's blog, both of which are great.

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