Monday, December 30, 2013

It's been a while and I'm back!

Life as been busy for us at home - I've been working longish hours and have had long journeys to work. Our young people continue to keep us busy- having four children very close together has often meant lots of attention needed all at the same time and I had in my foolishness thought that the times when they were young were going to be the hardest!! I had no idea what was in store for us.

Start of the 2014 preparations- onion and garlic bed
Last year despite my best efforts, my trips down to the allotment were few and far between.
You've guessed right - one of the plans for this year is to spend more time down there. I really find it very therapeutic to be there - away from home, work and back to the simple things in life. Children, work, life will just have to wait - I need my 'Me ' time and the allotment so fills this need.
Over the Christmas holidays, hubby and I had planned to get to grips with the allotment and make it ours again as opposed to the wild wilderness it has become.
I'm rather ashamed at how bad it was!

 So over the last couple of days we have both been down digging sometimes together and sometimes separately and how lovely it was too. One of children asked recently what were we going to do when they had all left home- ' as you don't have a lot in common!'. Well how wrong they are - and we are trying hard to spend more time together - and the allotment is a great place to start! Just as long as we don't get like other allotment couples - some of which can be heard bickering away very loudly at times! 

This is my neighbours plot - we think he works overnight on it - it always looks good!
We divide our work Mr H is in charge of structures layout and buildings and general up keep .We agree on what we are growing and I am responsible for sowing  and planting. It seems to work well for us !
 So lots of digging being done - the soil is lovely now after years of  applying manure and lots of digging. Even after all the rain we have had, it's an absolute delight - its dark, crumbly  and lovely .
When we first started it was full of stones, rocks and flints! It's just the weeds we need to keep on top off and that's an on going battle. Even after a couple of days digging things have improved so much. 

It was a very cold and frosty start yesterday!
It was soo cold after yesterdays digging I was inspired to make some "new" wellie socks from old woollen jumpers destined for the charity shop ( sorry charity shop- I have sent you other things !!!) . There are lots of sites giving instructions and I had to look at them all for inspiration. Beware some sites offer instructions for leg warmers instead of socks! It was my toes that were cold not my legs!!
Tubular socks made from woollen jumper sleeves
Eventually I went for the tubular ski sock idea, using the sleeves and the ribbed cuff as the sock top. I tried the sleeve on inside out and pinned the garment so that it fitted around the leg, ankle, around the foot and toe area. I have made two pairs a shorter pair and a longer pair and  I am so hoping I don't have cold feet next time I go digging. I was on a roll and I had  previously thought about upcycling mittens  so whilst the jumper was there and the machine primed I also made these:

Mittens made from up-cycled woollen jumper sleeves
So hopefully no cold hands either!
 I am already starting to plan what I will grow and watching Nigel Slater on his new years day cooking programme ( I do enjoy watching his programmes ) he has further inspired me to get planning. So onto the Internet I go! I love looking for new seed packets  and  deciding what I will grow so that's what I'm up to  for the next few days ! I'm so glad to be back and have missed talking to you  and catching up with old friends! Looking forward to seeing what 2014 brings !!


Thomasina Tittlemouse said...

Lovely to see you back, Nikki! your allotment plans sound really good and I love your jumper upcycling! I always walk in the countryside in wellingtons and need good thick socks inside so I might give this a go. Hope you've had a lovely Christmas and wishing you a fab 2014! E x
PS please tell your Dad his blackberry gin recipe is the bees knees - I made lots as we had so many blackberries in the hedgerows this year and it's gone down a storm as Christmas presents and in this house too! Thank you so much for sharing it.

Mrs H said...

Hi Elizabeth thank you for welcoming me back - I have been following you on the quiet - if sporadically ! My dad will be sooo delighted especially as he is well known for his lack of culinary skills!! Funnily I was looking at the stats for all my posts and this is the one that leads by far !!! I am so looking forward to 2014! Wishing you a very happy and healthy 2014! With best wishes Nikki x

Janie said...

Yay, glad you've found the time to come back ;)
I think you may have inspired me to have a clear up in the garden too, my gardening excitement never lasts a whole year sadly, the first six months I'm really on the ball, but the latter six I'm rubbish!
Have a fabulous 2014, big hugs xxx
Janie x

Beth of The Linen Cat said...

Welcome back!

Nice to read your plans for the coming year, I agree that it feels good to spend time outside digging and away from the house. I am envious that you work together with your husband, mine has no interest at all in gardening or growing food, I can imagine it's nice to both enjoy being out there.

I hope that 2014 is a wonderful year for you and yours.