Thursday, 22 July 2010


At last I have a home grown courgette, and isn't it a beauty? There is another growing on this plant and my globe courgettes have just begun to put in a little effort! Yaay, I'm so looking forward to the annual glut :) I love moaning about too many courgettes and making all sorts of wonderful dishes. It's more difficult in my household as I'm the only one who really likes courgettes and the others are simply perplexed by this annual game of 'waiting for the courgette'!!! I WILL NOT buy one from the shops, but wait instead for my own season to begin. The same can be said of my affair with spinach, I wait and then fall in a frenzy onto the yummy green leaves including them in anything and everything I cook. The waiting makes the food all the tastier and then as I begin to lose interest and start freezing pots of ratatouille the season is over and I make the pots last as long as possible into the winter. Then the wait begins again, but I won't weaken and buy a Dutch, Spanish or (Gods forbid) South American courgette!

Tonight I made a rissotto and even hubby enjoyed it.

He didn't, however, sample my home made stout. Yeesh, it was strong and not terribly fizzy, but I did get the giggles, so there was definitely alcohol in it! I now have a hankering for some steak and ale pie, served with a generous portion of courgettes :)

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Getting it together.

Three hours of digging and planting gave me this unimpressive raised bed, but you should have seen it before! I was too ashamed to take before and after pictures as it was totally swamped with nettles! Now my strawberries have a lovely place to grow and produce lots of fruit! Sadly, the original strawberries were all strangled by weeds. This lot came from a garden center which is an expensive way of starting out, but the plants from the discount shop that I normally buy from, are usually weak and some simply give up and die straight off. There is of course the mail order option, which I've never tried for strawberries, but maybe this year I will. You can get some good deals and if the plants are healthy then it's worth a go. Beside the strawberries I plonked in some left over onions that had nowhere else to go! It's late, I know, but at least they won't go to waste and I could probably pickle them if they are too small.

Mabel was having a good go at helping with the weeding and this bed has just about been rescued from the weeds and just needs tidying and edging.

I think the problem is that I get so disheartened by the dock that pops up in the spring. The roots are deep and tough and this year I simply didn't have the time to battle it all. This year I'll get the beds dug and weeded and then cover them over with cardboard or newspaper to keep out the weed seeds. This worked perfectly when I did it before, but the grass mulch upset the nitrogen balance as it broke down and my potatoe crop failed. It's not rocket science, but to me it's as good as, haha!

Saturday, 17 July 2010


Thank you so much to everyone for such kind comments on the previous post. I feel truly blessed to have met such wonderful people on line and today I feel a little better. I'm really not one to sit around and wallow, which is why when it hits me, it hits hard!

I have to share this picture with you. I love this little guy so much. Doesn't he look sweet and innocent? Well, let me tell you the following pictures had to be censored and then the camera was thrown quickly aside as Merlin decided that he'd quite like to try chicken for lunch! Poor Mabel flew like an arrow with Merlin on her tail! I leaped between them and somehow managed to grab her mid flight as Merlin ran off laughing, well that's how it seemed to me. Boy is he an indulged pony or what? I really couldn't see any of our neighbours letting their horses get away with such high jinks! Still lesson learned, ponies and chickens don't mix!

Most of the morning was spent pulling the vegetable plot back into shape which is looking slightly less neglected now. We have some strawberries and the beans are making a feeble effort to grow. I think the veg plot gets a little too windy for the beans where I have them and they just seem to have given up! Tonight I have leeks to plant and if I can still stand, then I'll start Merlin on the Parelli program, he needs distracting from chicken chasing, haha!

A piece of good news is that I have another commission for a horse portrait. This is fantastic as I am now officially BUSY! I have quite a few pictures on the go, some for me and some for customers. I also have a little idea brewing in my head, but more on that later :)

Right, I really have to get cracking and finish Bailey's portrait and then another for the Eriskay Society, phewee!!!

Thursday, 15 July 2010


Life has been a terrific strain lately and I find myself totally empty of words. My usual habit of throwing myself into hard work has left me drained and I'm just about hanging on. The Studio blog has to be maintained as it's my link to sanity, but beyond that, phew..... So, appologies for such infrequent posts, hopefully I'll be back to normal soon.