Tuesday, 14 July 2015
We make a good team
Self-sown Nasturtiums flower happily by the Damson tree.
This was one of my weekend jobs: clearing the 10ft high Snowberries, and the 15 ft high blackberries which had climbed up into the apple tree (early eater) in the last couple of years, when I was too unwell to tackle them.
My husband was also busy whilst I sawed off dead branches, and ripped out long lengths of brambles - which didn't help matters by getting through to the tree canopy and then branching out into a bouquet of branches and fresh growth which defied all attempts at dragging through the apple tree and had to be cut up (with me hanging off the ladder to reach) and pulled through. A selection of tools was called for - secateurs, a hoe, a long-handled pruner, stout gloves and determination.
He was busy preparing to make a corner repair on the lid of the 1740 coffer . . . First straighten broken edge.
First he needed to check through his Wood Resources (e.g. a LARGE stable which is the dumping ground for all Useful Bits of Wood) for a piece of suitable age, size and thickness.
Possible candidates - but discarded.
Then the corner of wood needed to have holes and dowels fitted. The "lollypop" dowelling here came from the old piano we burned the other week. These were the felt bits which eventually attach to the keys. The wooden "dowel" they were on was just the right size . . .
The cats are not interested in gardening or furniture repairs . . . Theo (above) and below is Fluff.
Here is the finished coffer down in my mum's. This is as far as the improvements go - the brighter brown along the bottom below the panels is old lead paint. Whilst we could take Nitromors to it, we aren't too bothered at the minute. Both sides are also lead painted. My husband quite likes the authenticity of it in its present state, so who am I to argue?
The repair is there (far back left) but unless you are looking for it, it's difficult to spot. My OH wasn't too happy with it, and said perhaps he should have spent another day making it perfect, but he wasn't feeling 100% so "bodged" it, as it's for us to keep rather than to sell.
With the light of the flash, it is more obvious here as the wood isn't so golden-looking with the light on it, but tbh, without the flash it just seems a tiny bit darker. He's reasonably happy with it anyway, and since this only cost me £50 at auction, and it's now a useful piece of furniture for storage, no complaints here.
Here is some Hasty Jam. As you can see it's Hasty because I didn't let it boil long enough and it's a soft set, with Floating Strawberries in it. That's what you get of being in a rush, but that said, it tastes gorgeous and it's a good colour! Just not show jam . . . and at least the strawberries weren't wasted. They weren't good enough to eat - hard and not ripe. Two punnets for £1 though, so no complaints.
Here's my copy of Carla Emery's book which I showed to Dawn recently and had her reaching for her Amazon one-click! I've not looked at it for a while, but already is has seen me cleaning the loo successfully with White Vinegar and Bicarbonate. So now I can ditch the bleach entirely. It doesn't do septic tanks any good whatsoever.
I bulk buy my Bicarb. on-line - I think this was an Ebay purchase. I use the bicarb. and vinegar for cleaning generally but didn't realize it would do what bleach does down the loo as well.
Finally, above and below, two books from a selection on offer at £2.99 each at Aldi at the moment.
Other titles in this Made at Home series include Breadmaking, Vegetables, Curing and Smoking, and Eggs and Poultry.
As you can see, we keep busy.