Things are looking up

A fairly disastrous start to my garden had me feeling rather dejected but at last the sunny days/ frosty nights weather has given way to the usual ‘chilly with varying amounts of rain’ variety. Not nearly as nice for working in but better for growing.

I brought the trays of tender seeds indoors and put them on the living room windowsill. The window faces due South and there is a radiator underneath. At last some have germinated.

these are cucurbits of various kinds and peppers – sweet and hot.

I planted a net of first early potatoes – some outdoors and some in large pots in the lean-to greenhouse on the South wall of the house. The outside ones have kept trying to send up shoots and been nipped by frost despite a heavy mulch of paper so none have shoots more than 2 inches tall. In the greenhouse they are almost ready to flower!

Last year I ordered some plants and when they arrived a free gift of a few dahlia tubers had been included. I was hesitant because in the past slugs have munched every dahlia that put a shoot above the soil. But they were free so I put them out in pots and they came up well. In the Autumn I brought the pots into the lean-to greenhouse, stood them on bubble wrap and tied more round the pots then added a layer of shredded paper to the top. They have come back well.

Everything will be late but there should be some things to eat from the garden!

Indoors I have been decorating my bedroom. In this slightly weird old cottage that meant doing the stairs as well – we knocked 3 small bedrooms and the landing into one generous room so the door is at the bottom of the stairs. I didn’t realise that DIY stores were fully open (in my world they are useful but not essential) so I ordered paint online for collection. I knew that the colour I saw on my screen was not accurate – would I like it when I saw it on the walls? Should I order tester pots first? Since Carmarthen is 20 miles away I decided to risk it. It is paint. If I didn’t like it I could buy another can in a different colour and go over it again. I did however invest in some good quality paint that promised to cover any previous colour in one coat. So

From this

To

One friend’s reaction was ‘Oooh! You’ll have to be properly grown up now!’

I thought the pale colour would be a lilac grey and it is bluer than I expected but actually I am happy with it.

On the rut jumping front I have continued trying to expand the range of foods I eat. Yesterday I picked a large handful of ‘greens’ which included old favourites chard and wild garlic, shoots of asparagus kale which I grew for the first time last year and have been picking leaves from all winter, but also dandelion leaves and vine leaves. I had thought that dandelions had to be blanched under a flowerpot but Carolee (https://herbalblessingsblog.wordpress.com ) assured me they didn’t. I chopped all the leaves and sauteed the whole lot in a little olive oil, sprinkled with salt and they were delicious. Today I have made Soda Bread (from Darina Allen’s Forgotten Skills of Cooking), Blinis (from Michael Mosley’s The Clever Guts Diet) and Oatcakes (from The River Cottage Handbook No 3 – Bread by Daniel Stevens).

On the crafting front – wait for Scrap Happy!

At long last we are able to start meeting up with friends, have workdays and non-essential shops are open. Yesterday I met friends in Cardigan to have coffee. As it was fine there were more people out and about than usual. We cannot yet go inside but the Council has reduced the High Street to one lane allowing cafes to put chairs and tables out on the pavements and spill onto the side of the road. It wasn’t ideal with delivery lorries trundling past but a big step towards normality!

The other thing that has lifted my spirits is that my son plans to move nearer to me. He no longer needs to be able to commute to London every day but instead will be working from home most of the time. His job in IT is stressful and his health is suffering. Moving out of an urban environment should help him relax. His wife, who has very little experience of living in the country, prefers to stay put so for now he will buy somewhere small, but big enough for her and their adult children to visit, and split his time between here and there. That way she can try living down here (very different from staying with your M-I-L!) and see if she likes it after all. I have been helping him house hunt and he has made an offer on a place he saw the other side of Carmarthen from me. Of course there are many things that can go wrong between offer and moving in but knowing that he will buy that or another place soon and I will be able to see more of him is lovely.

17 thoughts on “Things are looking up

  1. nanacathy2 May 13, 2021 / 2:53 pm

    How wonderful to have your son move closer to you, bet you are excited. All that bread etc looks delicious.

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  2. claire93 May 13, 2021 / 4:14 pm

    new bedroom colour scheme looks lovely! and, like Cathy, I am so excited for you, at the thought of your son settling closer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Going Batty in Wales May 15, 2021 / 9:13 am

      Thank you

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  3. Laurie Graves May 13, 2021 / 4:27 pm

    How wonderful that your son is moving closer. Sounds as though he will have the best of both worlds—country living and city living. If I had the money, I would have the same arrangement. Great to live in the country, but it is also wonderful to be able take advantage of the many cultural opportunities that a city offers. The new color in your bedroom is absolutely splendid.

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    • Going Batty in Wales May 15, 2021 / 9:14 am

      Thank you. I think he is making a really good move.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. anne54 May 13, 2021 / 10:55 pm

    All those little green shoots that are poking their heads up, and able to grow some more. I am not only referring to your plants, but the other areas of your life too ~ a coffee with friends, new tastes, a wonderful colour in your bedroom, and best of all the hope that your son might be close by.

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      • Going Batty in Wales May 15, 2021 / 9:18 am

        I had nowhere to put them and as they were free and I expected them to be munched I had little to lose. They are big pots – 20 – 30 litres at a guess which may have helped.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Going Batty in Wales May 15, 2021 / 9:16 am

      I hadn’t thought of it in that way Anne but ‘green shoots’ is an excellent description! I wonder what the plants will look like and how will they sustain and nourish me? Time will tell.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. tialys May 14, 2021 / 7:58 am

    Love the new bedroom colour. Which brand of quality paint did you use if you don’t mind me asking. I like the idea of only having to do one coat.

    How lovely for you to have your son living nearer. Maybe your DIL will come round to the slower pace of life in the country. I’m still getting used to having my husband (also in IT) home 24/7 after years of commuting between West Sussex and London and then France and London. Now he staggers downstairs at some ungodly hour, takes the dogs for a walk, brings me a cup of tea and then starts work. It may be that he’ll have to go into the office a day or two a week eventually but I don’t think it will ever go back to ‘before’. I hope it all works out for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Going Batty in Wales May 15, 2021 / 9:24 am

      Glad you like the colour. The paint was Dulux Simply Refresh. Downstairs I had used Laura Ashley paint and found it very good but of course they folded in Lockdown. This one offers a full refund if it doesn’t cover in one. However the instructions are to apply it with a roller. Whenever I have used rollers I have got lots of spry and I couldn’t empty the room or take up the carpet so I used a brush. I did have to go round the next day and touch up spots where the brushmarks showed red through – mainly where the light was poor so I had not spotted that I was putting it on a bit thin. Even so it was a lot better than doing 2 or 3 coats – probably 4 to cover dark red with pale grey.

      Having your husband home must be lovely in lots of ways and I know you are now closer to your kids but it is still something that needs adjusting to! And moving in lockdown must have made it a bigger shock – less chance to go out (or send him out) and have some solitude.

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  6. Marie Lewis May 15, 2021 / 9:39 am

    Makes me feel so much better about my garden, this year I managed to motivate myself to get things started early but the cold weather has scuppered my plans of getting ahead. Lots of big leggy plants desperate to get outside, tried 3 marrow plants under fleece… They’ve shrivelled up and probably died.
    Love the bedroom colour it looks great!
    Good news about your son’s move, hope all works out smoothly.

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    • Going Batty in Wales May 15, 2021 / 10:17 am

      Thanks Marie. I know I am not alone in struggling with the garden this year. More frustrating for you though since you grow for your businesses. The bedroom colour was a bit of a gamble but luckily it paid off. Hopefully we can meet up soon – I miss you and Rose

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  7. tialys May 15, 2021 / 9:55 am

    Thanks for the recommendation – I will look at their range. We need to get some ridge tiles fixed first otherwise we’ll end up with some damp coming through again but, once that’s done I’ll drag himself out of the garden at weekends to help me with some decorating – he’s 6’4″ to my 5’3″ so I hide the stepladders and tell him it’s easier and quicker if he’s involved 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Going Batty in Wales May 15, 2021 / 10:17 am

      Cunning!

      Like

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