Thursday 27 August 2020


Was it a bird?
Was it a plane?
Was it Pam on skates?
It was half the plants from the nearby gardens being whirled around by the latest storm.
One of my friends said that she was washing up and saw the runner beans, complete with netting fly over the back garden and land on the shed.
The worst part was that it was their next door neighbours shed. They had not had a single bean off them, next year it will be dwarf beans. For me also.

My garden has suffered and I will be adding to the compost at the weekend. I cannot do anything like that when the dogs are here and all 5 have been here today again.

My friend starts her treatment in 2 weeks but has to have it over a longer period as her heart is not functioning well enough. she will be on blood thinning meds for some time if not forever.

I have been busy with my spindle and hope to finish all my dyed fleece this week, I just want to dye some blue and red and that should give me enough colours. I was tempted to warp my loom up but knew that I would start weaving.

Michael has made me some great drop spindles and I have got fibre on one of them so far, there will be another in use later. They spin far better than the ones that I bought.

My frying and saute pans needed replacing, they have had a long and hard working life. The cost of replacing them is prohibitive so I have bought a set of cast iron ones. Not those posh orange or red coated ones that cost their weight in gold. These are plain black and will need seasoning before I use them. The glory is that once ready to use they will not need washing up, scraped of any detritus and then cleaned with a soft cloth (paper towel will do but not in this house) they will live on the hob or in the oven. If I am totally happy with them a dutch oven and a roasting dish may well join them.

I have to buy replacement lids for my mason jars, so far they are a wicked price. I will be doing some research, it may well pay me to import some from the US. 
I have no idea why preserving supplies are so expensive now. I used to have stacks of kilner jars, I still have some, but over the years I worked longer and bottling went out of the window. Now I have the time and not the money, well not that I want to part with to that extent.
I may bite the bullet ( I seem to be doing that a fair bit) and import a pressure canner at the same time. When I had the pub near Mildenhall I could have got one of my customers to bring me one from the USAF base there. But of course I had no time to use one then, far too busy "slinging hash" for them.

Anyhow, I have to empty one of the smaller apple trees and process the fruit tomorrow, they are ripe. It is an early eater but the fruit is tart enough this early to make wonderful apple sauce. The next one to ripen is better for apple butter, wonderful with peanut butter, or in a pie, or off a spoon.

I also find that buying many things in bulk here to be difficult if not impossible. When you do find them the delivery costs are massive unless you spend a very large amount. Of course no one supplier sells everything on the list so it is a non starter. There are a couple of shops in Swansea where I can get dried pulses in 2Kg bags but there is no way that I would venture there at this time.

Next year I want to grow black beans as they seem to rarer than rocking horse manure here. I can get them in tins from 1 supermarket but they take up so much room. I do buy them at odd times but far prefer to soak and cook the dried ones.

Oh dear, this has turned into a moany pity party.

Not really soap box material, but I feel better for getting it off my chest.

Dinner is in the oven, a tray of veggies and sausages, another of Charlotte potatoes. There is a dish of fresh made apple sauce and a jar of preserved cranberry sauce to go with it. So looking forward to having fresh cranberries again.

I really fancied biscuits and gravy but went for the healthy option. Once it gets colder I will be making biscuits again.

Now I have to get a wiggle on, I want to get the apples picked and washed tonight so I can start prepping them first thing in the morning.

Keep safe.




  1. I'm looking at growing cranberries, I have read loads but as yet not purchased the plant. We are all feeling much the same as you, and we are not going to eith Portsmouth or Southampton, our local town is big enough and we only go there when we can't get things local.

    1. That has been in my mind, my soil in the front garden is fairly acid so would be suitable. I believe thatb they like boggy ground but that's easy enough to achieve.

  2. I need to start processing windfall apples or they will go to waste and I hate waste.

    1. I was so lucky not to lose the apples, the trees were whipping about like the Womping Willow.

  3. Just found you again after your hiatus. Lovely to be reading your blog again.

  4. I have used this site, not for beans - I can’t eat them- but for baking ingredients and buckwheat and found them very reasonable .
    Pam (Pembrokeshire)

    1. I will be looking at them and at HodmeDods, I have used them in the past and forgot.

  5. I get a lot of my bulk supplies from a company called Whole Foods and they sell in amounts from 250 grams to 25 kilos and when you spend over 65 pounds its free delivery. I just had my latest order including dry black beans.

    1. Thankyou for the suggestion, I will have a look.

  6. We need some rain here desperately. The farmers would hate it as they are right into the middle of harvest.

    God bless.

    1. We do not need rain for a while, the land is well soaked, luckily my garden is fairly free draining.


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