I might complain about having conversations with cows, because we live off the beaten track, and 3 miles from the nearest (community) shop or bus stop, but I have to say there are times when I am so profoundly grateful to live in the back of beyond. This weekend, needless to say, is one of them. Whilst I am very much aware of what is going on in the world, my blog is not normally a place where I air my views or discuss politics or religion or current affairs. Suffice it to say that the people of Paris (and Beirut, and anywhere else that oppression and murder are carried out by minority cults) are very much in my mind right now. Particularly the parents of the young folk killed at that pop concert. Any one of them could have been mine.
It was very stormy here last night - a gale howled about the place like it was auditioning for Wuthering Heights. I lay awake listening to it for over 2 hours before deciding I might just as well get up, so at 20 to 5 I was downstairs, busy with my crochet, and watching an episodes of Escape to the Country, which is my normal routine.
I went back to bed eventually, and slept until 10.20 a.m. which is unheard of for me! I came down and had breakfast and wandered outside to top up the bird feeders, which were of course empty or nearly so, as the birds have been arriving in their swarms to make the most of this largesse.
I looked up, aware that something was wrong in the hinterland of my peripheral vision. Yup, the green Wyevale polytunnel had done a runner again, but fortunately wasn't half a mile away in the valley bottom as it was last time, but instead was lieing on its back on the muddy farm track, tethered by one wooden peg. It was soon back in place, and my husband and I set to with binder twine and hefty breeze blocks, tethering it down with the twine over the top of the frame, and secured . . . securely. Hopefully that will keep it there the rest of the winter, because if I have to take it down and dismantle the frame, I know I will never remember which bit went where when we come to reassemble it (which is why it is left out.)
Anyway, I was soon raking and cleaning and weeding the pathway up to it, and sweeping the concrete path clear of leaves, and then I got the secateurs and was tidying back the last of the autumn raspberries (still fruiting, but not really enough to leave in situ). We got out the black plastic sheet to put across the veg plot, once I had removed the last row of runner beans and thank heavens, all the worst of the weeds are now hidden from view!
I need to weed the leeks (top of picture) and around the raspberry canes, but if tomorrow afternoon is dry, I will get out there then.
Anyway, after lunch I finally ripped out the huge amounts of yellow Nasturtiums, which were STILL growing and blooming. I had plans for that bed, which houses the garlic, and that needed to get planted. I was fortunate in finding some Elephant Garlic (photo above - it is ENORMOUS!) in The Range in town, so bought three packs. I also had some of my home-grown garlic to go in (all the biggest cloves) and some French red garlic. I planted 43 cloves in all, so I hope it grows as well as last year's did.
Around this point, I looked down (having just wiped my muddy hands on my jeans) to find out I had my best going-to-town cords on. Ah. NOT my gardening cords. Ah well, they wash well . . .
So here is the raised bed which is the Garlic plot, carefully covered over to dissuade cats (Ghengis in particular) from using it as a cat convenience. Progress anyway, and a job ticked on my list of "things to do."