Monday 4 December 2023


 We have just returned from a two week break in Sri Lanka, staying in Waikkal on the beach.  I have done a post on my travel blog which is *HERE!!!!* if you would like to read.

Two weeks away from the allotment and, despite sun and sand, I thought about it a lot! couldn't wait to get down there and check it out.  All ticking over nicely with leeks, parsnips and sprouts for Christmas.  

My oldest son stayed at the house while we were away and his brother stayed over and cooked for him on days off.  Mollie stayed at kennels and the boys brought her home the day we arrived back. 

It's good to be home and the first thing on my list today after making a start on the suitcase unpacking, is to go for a swim at the local pool - back to work tomorrow!


Wednesday 29 November 2023



The past month was restful, I used my car less and walked to my allotment, spent more time with Mollie, who likes having her chin brushed.  I took everything at a slower pace.

My youngest son left home, although he had been planning for some time I wasn't really prepared and am feeling 'empty nest syndrome'  He's sharing a cottage with a friend nearby and sends pics of what he has cooked for dinner (I used to send pics to him of what I was cooking for our dinner entitled  'daily stodge'! I'm glad he's keeping it going).   To get myself adjusted I painted his old room white and made an office space for my work from home days.  It's really nice to have a quiet room to work in but I miss him, of course.

I loved looking out of my kitchen window during the first few weeks of October because my shed was covered in the most beautiful red leaves entwined with flowering ivy which attracted bees.

On the allotment I took delivery of  a tonne of manure, it was hard work shovelling it from 100 yds away to the plot in wheelbarrows but worth it.  I moved my composters around a bit to make a square space for growing pumpkins next year.

Wonderful news:  the plotholders who applied to keep bees on the site have been granted local council permission, the hives will arrive in late April.  I have asked to help as would like to learn as much as possible.  After a year helping I intend to do a bee keepers course and then maybe keep my own.

 We have eaten something from the allotment every week - most recently an assortment of pretty, purple green and white heads of cauliflower, delicious roast or as cauliflower cheese.  My sprouts are coming along nicely as are parsnips and leeks.  We had some good size pumpkins, a glut of beetroot and pattypan and plenty of salad leaves. 

It has been a productive Summer on the allotment and I have spent many happy hours not only tending but just sitting and enjoying the space.  As someone who suffers anxiety it has been very therapeutic.

Having watched Gardeners World recently I was inspired to plant saffron crocus, they arrived  with shoots and I thought it may be too late planting to expect flowers this year, but the flowers bloomed only a few weeks later and I  harvested about 40 saffron strands. 2 strands per flower.

 As the Winter creeps in there may be less work to do on my plot but I will still visit regularly and can be busy planning for next year.

I joined a gym thats more local to me and go swimming when I can.  Just started back with a pump class (weight lifting) and use the rowing machine which we have at home.  As there is less to do on the allotment this will provide the exercise I need during the winter months.

I am reading Raynor Wynn's third book, Landlines -  this latest is very much like the first (Salt Path) and is a good read.   In the background is the challenge of her husband's irreversable health condition, their walks motivate and empower them.  If you like wild camping and walks in adverse weather and challenging terrain, you will enjoy this.  

Sunday 27 August 2023

Taking a Break

I am finding so much to do in the real world that I can't keep up with it all! 

there are some travel plans ahead, my allotment needs some attention, my house needs a bit of decorating and then there's always work to fit in as well - something has to pay the bills! 

So, I am giving my blog a rest for a while  but I will still visit yours when I can.

See you in December :)

Monday 21 August 2023


I have had some lovely days out this month:  Brighton and then Kew Gardens.  Brighton first,  below is The Pavilion  - it's a nice walk through the gardens if you want a bit of quiet early in the morning.

Behind the train station and a short walk from the main tourist area is Seven Dials, there's a small open market along there then I browsed the charity shops/

Brighton has got a large wholefood shop here you can fill up your own containers with cereals, pulses and so on, avoiding plastic waste.

Paper flat packed for recycling on the street - almost a work of art... (below)

Back at the beach I didn't sunbathe that day - the sea was swollen and choppy, I haven't seen danger signs and red flags up along the beach like this often, nobody was swimming and life guards were out with their binoculars.

In the open market there was a Freecycle shop - I've only seen them online before -at this one you can help yourself, its full of donations that are free to take:  books, bric-a-brac some clothing.

Cafe's where you can eat for a fiver - a lot of students from Brighton University come along this way - Indian food here.

Inside the undercover part of the market are local hand crafts, fruit and veg and a small houseplant shop.

Below is the link for my video of

Hubby took me to Kew Gardens, Surrey yesterday.  He drove... we arrived about 10am before it got too hot and saw all the glass houses - the Princess of Wales Conservatory is my favourite but also the Palm House and the Temperate House are packed with fabulous tropical plants - many of them are recognisable (when sized down) as houseplants but seeing them at their full potential is wonderful.  Many plants were in flower and I made a small Youtube video - the link is above.

Sensible shoes for a lot of walking!

Carnivorous plants  below 

We went into the art galleries too - the Marianne North gallery houses her life of botanical art.  The pictures are oil painted, quite heavy but depict detail and accurate colour, painted in the 1800s were personally arranged by her own hands - it's hard to imagine a woman in her era travelling to so many far flung places around the globe such as Brazil, South Africa, India...  to capture what she saw on canvas, some plants were not known or documented until she painted them.   We were not allowed to take pictures in the Marianne North Gallery.  The art whilst admirable was a bit heavy handed for my liking. 

Pics below are of Shirley Sherwood Gallery guest artist displays...this gallery was full of botanical art more to my taste,  - the work on display is by modern day artists, on white background.  True botanical depications... a great skill I think.    I liked Sue Wickison's work - Plants of the Q'uran, where flowers in the Q'uran had never been identified and depicted until she questioned this and decided to paint them all.  There was a short video of her discussing her work.

Below is part of a temporary display by Anila Quayyam Agna- a whole room of shadow/light box that you can stand in.  Not my cup of tea and it was difficult to find the door to exit!

My favourite - below - painting on glass by Yanny Petters. Nice and simple.

Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art | Kew

There is plenty more to do at Kew, the Sky Walk over the trees was closed for maintenance so that's a good reason to return.

My own garden is looking very pretty and I have had a second flowering of my roses and wigela.  Considering I spend more time tending my allotment, I think the garden has done well this year.

Indoors I have been experimenting with houseplant cuttings, I was given some recently and as they rooted quickly, have been inspired to test out some other plants.

On the allotment I have been digging up potatoes and beetroot this week.

Everyone at the allotnent got together last weekend to compete for the biggest tomato and onion grown on their plot, I didn't win but it was fun and the bbq made it a really nice afternoon getting to know the other plotholders better.  We also had a visitor from the local beekeeping association who is helping our group to make an application to the local council to have hives at the back of the site - fingers crossed!

That's all my news... what's been happening in your corner of the World?

Friday 4 August 2023


 I have had a weekend break in Devon with my oldest brother, who lives by the sea.  It was lovely to spend time together and explore Dartmoor , we both have an interest in stone circles, so visited some in the area

Scorhill - Wikipedia

Scorhill is one of the biggest stone circles on Dartmoor, Devon and dates back to the Bronze Age.  The North stone is the tallest at over 7 feet.  Whilst we were in the circle, whenever I turned North, my hearing aid went off making a lot of noise and interference!  Some ladies walking their dog commented that the dog was making noises they hadnt heard before,  he was whining.  We had  walked for several hours and were tired, so lay on some of the stones (that had fallen flat over the years) and rested for a while.  It's a beautiful place, used for grazing in part by sheep, cows and Dartmoor ponies.

Before we reached the circles, We stopped at a  stream to eat our picnic lunch then on to Chagford

village as it is so pretty and has several nice art galleries to browse.  This lovely building above is the public toilet!

Warren House Inn - Wikipedia

We drove to a higher point on Dartmoor for more walking,  then stopped for some dinner at the Warren, it is in a very remote part and has lots of history, claiming to have an open fire that has never gone out - it was certainly smouldering away when we were there.  At 7pm it was getting misty on the moors but we still had more to do..

Merrivale, Devon - Wikipedia

We wanted to see Merrivale stone circle and lines at sunset as it has a magical atmosphere.  Nobody knows what the long lines of stones either side of the narrow stream, heading towards the circle are for.   I wish we knew more about these mysterious places, built on ley lines and near water . 

Below are pictures of a small church we stopped at.

Above is one of several standing stones near the church walls, there is a stream running through the churchyard, churches were often built on sites of pagan or earlier significance, it's likely this one is a stone circle.

The church was advertising Lammas festival, also observed by pagans as the harvest festival on 1st August.

There was an honesty box on the roadside, selling teacups and flowers...

A phone box library:)

My allotment (above).is doing well, I have a lot of produce and am very pleased with my first complete year.  My garden has been a little neglected but is full of gladioli,  lavender and roses so I am happy.

Thank you for stopping by - apologies to you if I haven't left a comment on your blog lately, Blogger is not letting me do so on some, even as 'anon' and tells me to log in when I already have, anyone know how to resolve this please?

I will leave you with a picture of my little cat, Mollie, she's been with us for over 2 years now and has changed from the frightened, biting, scratching little creature we adopted,  to a gentle, shy little personality who sometimes jumps and reacts but is not intentionally hurtful.  She has put weight on (weighs 3 1/2 kilo now) and although I doubt she has forgotten the cruelty she experienced before she was ours, she has moved on to trust the men in the house, venture out in the garden as long as I am nearby and even sits on my knee very briefly if I pick her up.  She's come a long way, her nervous regurgitation of food has also become very occasional and I think she is probably her best self now.


 We have just returned from a two week break in Sri Lanka, staying in Waikkal on the beach.  I have done a post on my travel blog which is *...