Friday, 22 May 2015

A taste of Scandinavia?

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When the sun shines bright, I'll roll up my sleeves and relish the warmth of the day, but knowing when the daylight fades I'll be safe from the cold.

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The cooler spring days call for a compromise between a summer dress and a good thick jumper but I think I've found a compromise. This knitted dress is every kind of awesome; long sleeves, strong material, loose casual fit and a drawstring drop waist. My very first though upon seeing it was that it looked Scandinavian, in a chilled out way. On the first outing for my new transitional piece I chose to wear it with some thick tights and ankle boots. It looks fine to me and I've got other variations I would happily try; namely bare legs and long boots or maybe my but out boots. Thicker tights and long boots with a warm jumper or a jacket when it gets cold again in Autumn.

That's the joy of buying second hand clothes; you never know what you might find and sometimes things just seem 'right'. This dress was found whilst in Ipswich on our shopathon Hazel devised for Kezzie and I.

Sophie

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Our allotment in spring

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Our allotment is calling; says it wants more attention. Out of a bit of guilt I've joined C down there a few times over the past couple of months. It's more of C's project really. Much as I like the idea of it, my time is spread so thinly on everything already that I just haven't figured out how to get over there more. Ideally, I ought to make time for at least a couple of hours each weekend, I'll try to be better. While C has plans for all the veg he wants to grow this year and has collected seeds, planted things in the greenhouse, prepared and measured out the rows , labelled, watered and tended my role is far less complicated. I'm entirely more suited to weed control. The main digging over of the plot was probably more C than I, although I did spend a good few hours helping. The on-going attempts to keep the weeds at bay is pretty arduous (we actually have a plot and a half due to the fact that C wanted the extra space for the fruit trees and bushes and that the allotments haven't been in demand. The fruit plot actually looks bang tidy if you ask me, I think he's done a great job and I've been toiling to try to keep it looking good.

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As you can see, the plot is still a country mile away from being weed free, it's our third year of allotment-keeping and it's much more of a time-drain than I expected (in a good-ish way) but still, we've not quite got to grips with the final layout and proper paths. The main and crucial element of fencing was done by C last year and that's held us in good stead against rabbits.

Our first crop of the year has been asparagus, which I had been looking forward to ever since C put them in last year. Asparagus is pretty special both in terms of eating and growing; it kind of looks like a single tentacle emerging from the ground in some kind of laboured, Jurassic way. I estimate we've had about 20 spears out so far and there might be a few yet to come, with which C made a fabulous asparagus soup and then a chicken and asparagus pie. Could there be any more exciting way to start the allotmenting year? I doubt it.

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It's likely that the next crop will be the strawberries but considering the flowers are still on the plants, it's not going to be for a while yet! The large strawberry patch looks pretty healthy by my reckoning and I've got soft fruit on the mind.

We've got quite a few bits in the ground, growing so far; the usual suspects. This time though, we're not putting them all in at once, in the hope that we wont end up with a massive glut and not be able to harvest everything in time. We've not been cooking from scratch all that much lately and I want to be constantly using the vegetables we're growing once they're ready.

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To be honest I do have mixed feelings over the allotment; I wish it was in a better location, more sheltered, as the wind is so brutal there and even a nice sunny day can feel cold and (being a most unsociable creature) I wish that it was a little more private so that some quiet time working down there was actually undisturbed. That's just me though, maybe I should stick to the back garden?!

I'd like to bring you more updates on what's growing through the year and how we used it.

Sophie

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Things I’ve seen

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Just a few things I've seen while out walking. I hope you like the pictures, no time to talk.

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Sophie

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Dressed for a daisy meadow

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Or should I say dressed as a daisy meadow? It completely bypassed me that my green spotted dress looks a yellow dot short of being rudimentary daisy meadow. Anyway, I took these pictures a couple of weeks ago on a gorgeous sunny day when bare legs seemed to be an entirely sensible choice, not like the grotty cold, windy conditions that we seem to be experiencing this week.

This pretty dress was chosen for me as part of a shopping challenge when I met up with Kezzie and Hazel recently in Ipswich for a good root through the charity shops. It was lovely to see Hazel again of course and great to finally meet Kezzie, a long-time blog buddy and correspondent. As well as having a marvellous browse through the charity shops (oh how exciting to have a whole new town to rummage through!) we also had to each pair up and pick an item for the other. This dress was what was chosen for me to style and I ruddy love it. If I'd seen it on the rail I would have bought it myself; perfect practical length, comfortable shape and fabric, pretty colour and print. Can you ask for more? Nah. I felt like wearing it free, without a belt even though it does have loops and I think it looks better than cinched. My black biker boots appear to go with everything at the moment and this dress was no exception along with plenty of bangles and a necklace.

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Thanks to Hazel and Kezzie for picking such a 'me' piece and for such a marvellous day out.

Sophie