Monday, 5 December 2016

A murder of crows

A murder of crows
If you want something done, ask someone busy; they are the ones that somehow manage to get everything sorted while juggling about twelve different things all in one go.
Or do it yourself.
I feel like I am the busy one and frankly it's better to make myself more busy than to hope that anyone else can arrange any further things. Especially near Christmas. Some people actually have to be reminded that it's Christmas and 'have you got presents for so-and-so sorted?' to which the answer is that it hadn't crossed their mind. Quite incredible.
So it's been a more manic than usual few weeks recently but my hope it that it alleviates the last minute rush near Christmas. In the mean time, I've not got any posts ready for the week as my eyes stubbornly refused to stay open during the online shop last night; lids drooping in between additions to the basket. A victory in itself the order has been completed.

This picture is one from a few weeks ago when the rich blue skies sat as a stunning backdrop to the copper tones of the trees. A murder of crows swooped ominously over the treetops, caawing as they circled. Quite atmospheric.
Sophie

Friday, 2 December 2016

Time flies

They say time flies when you're having fun. When it comes to December people comment with great frequency they can't believe how fast the year has flown by. I'm guilty of it. But this year I feel like things have been different. I'm not going to say it again.
Instead, my version of the year can be summarised as busy. It's been all go; here there and everywhere. I can quantify where the time went. Some of it is recorded in pictures, some of it blossomed in a vase and much of it resulted in being able to sit here and tell you all about it having completed the regular chores.
They say that life is what happens while you're making plans.
It's all too easy to put off things in favour of an easy time; maybe slobbing on the sofa all evening and telling yourself that you'll have a better day tomorrow. Sometimes I do that.
To be fair though, it feels like I've crammed in as much as is realistically possible while allowing myself plenty of sleep. There has been plenty to look back on this year and I can say for certain that I've given it my best. Boxes have been ticked. Over the next few weeks the list of plans for next year will be collated and it will be interesting to see what direction 2017 will lead. One thing I can say for sure is that it's going to be made up of doing things and not just letting time fly by while I'm slow out of the blocks.
Sophie

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Bob's your uncle

Wearing a shirt and skirt together in autumn
On Sunday we popped out for lunch. I like to wear something nice instead of rolling out in a pair of tatty jeans which have already seen a few hours work and look a little grubby. Instead, I chose this aztec style patterned mini skirt. A little knitted skirt is so easy to wear in the colder months, just pop on a thick pair of tights and Bob's your uncle. I reach for boots, usually ankle, though I must remember to give my wider collection some attention this year. 
Wearing a shirt and skirt together in autumn
Wearing a shirt and skirt together in autumn
Shirts and a tank are fast becoming a staple of my wardrobe which suits me just fine. The snug hug of a warm tank keeps my core more toasty than anything too roomy. Over summer I have accumulated a few new pieces; this shirt was an ebay one and the label says Dolce and Gabbana which I'm unsure if it's genuine. Nevertheless it's a fabulous cut and quality which is to be relished in it's own right. The downside to knitted tanks is they hate being laundered and always come out a little bit smaller regardless of how careful you are. Wearing a shirt untucked makes a change; I'm quite flexible on how I wear one although tucking it in and seeing it all bunched under a waistband is something to be avoided if at all possible!
Wearing a shirt and skirt together in autumn
Wearing a shirt and skirt together in autumn
I dropped in on my Nan later in the afternoon who said 'that's a lovely skirt, looks just like something A would wear'. A happens to be in her late seventies. Thanks Nan.  
Wearing a shirt and skirt together in autumn
Have a lovely day.
Sophie

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

The allotment in late autumn and looking forwards

Allotment in late autumn
The last month has been a quiet one at the allotment. In fact I've not written about it for over three months now and last time we were already ploughing up the empty patches. Funny, because I feel like I talk about it all the time but apparently I don't.
Contrary to expectation, some of the flowers I planted back in spring were still in flower; the mixed assortment of 'cottage garden flowers' offering some much appreciated blooms and the one sweetpea which has grown into a tall and wonderful flowering beauty with the last few pink fronds ending with the first frost. Next year I'm hoping the rest follow suit! I had to pull out the dwindling annuals to make way for bulbs. It did need a tidy.
Allotment in late autumn

As the orchard/flower half plot has suffered at the hands (or teeth) of tyrannical rabbits we coordinated with our plot share neighbours to put in gates, move the fence and seal up the plot in the hope that it will solve the issues to provide a secure growing area. The three gates in total were sourced second hand and miraculously were a great bargain! Two are up (what a faff) and the third will have to be done at some point but is of less importance as it connects our two plots. At one point of things going not so well I did comment that it would have made more sense to pay someone to do it for us. C, looking confused, pointed out that it would be less fun. That threw me as I wasn't having fun at all. Goes to show how everyone is different and relishes completely different aspects of things. Give me a weedy bed to tidy and I'l merrily set about that but if a fence needs popping in, I'd rather make myself scarce and re-surface until it's all done.
Allotment in late autumn
C put togther an excellent manure store with some pallets which is where we plan to rot down horse manure so that we have our own supply of the good stuff. It looks nice and tidy and hasn't taken up too much space considering. I jut hope it wont be too smelly!
Allotment in late autumn
Did I mention the flower bed we have put in with the couple of paths? It happened a good few weeks ago and I cannot remember if I already wrote about it somewhere. The edging and posts were a bit fiddly but now that it's done I feel like I'm on track for flowers next year. I'm gradually filling the paths with stone as it reveals itself on the plot - it's good to make use of the surplus in the ground.

This weekend I finally got round to digging over the empty orchard beds before planting the spring bulbs which have been patiently waiting in a box and crying out to be planted. To be honest, I'd been struggling to want to organise myself for 2017 and set things in stone - I'm a ditherer and don't really like to think of committing to a whole year so quickly....
Allotment in late autumn

Allotment in late autumn

I had a word with myself and made lists. I sketched plans. I googled. I checked my book.
Finally I got myself on to Sarah Raven as Mum holds her in high esteem for flowers. The site is amazing and got me inspired to commit, though I did add all my choices to wishlist before making the bold move to buying the lot. Now that I've received the dispatch notice I'm feeling so excited for spring! It's funny but now that it's all complete I feel at ease and more relaxed about things. It will be good to read up about planting and growing so many new flowers this year. It's daunting but I must remember that it's a hobby so isn't worth stressing over. Though I do find that I put myself under pressure on these occasions without even noticing.

A few remaining winter crops are still around; cabbages, leeks, sprouts, celeriac, swede... Artichoke and some self seeding beans but there's not too much.
Allotment in late autumn

That's about lot for the moment although I could waffle on all day. I'll put it on ice and continue in mid winter.
Sophie