Post-Bank Holiday Blues

A sunny Sunday

August Bank Holidays in August are supposed to be damp and full of broken promises. But for E’s first birthday – which fell on the bank holiday weekend – it was hot, the skies were dry, and at times, even fine. We couldn’t have asked for much better, really.

We celebrated her birthday just with family; Rich sweated over the BBQ and I ran backwards and forwards with trays of food and drinks. E played happily with her aunties, uncles and grandparents, unawares that it was her special day of course, but thoroughly enjoying herself. It was the first time we’ve really shared our garden with family for a celebration, and although the garden isn’t picture perfect, it was good to invite people round and say “come and celebrate with us.” I finally feel confident enough to open the garden gate to other people, as we’ve worked hard to do many of the clear-up jobs that had been on the To Do list for years. It’s starting to feel like the garden I knew it could always be. My little slice of the good life.

For a week before E’s birthday, we used every available spare hour to rid the garden of years of accumulated guff – neat(ish) piles of wood, old broken chairs and benches, frost-damaged pots and seed trays, broken bricks and paving, old runs and fence panels – as well as tackling some of the denser, weedier patches of scrub and cutting the hedges back down to an acceptable height. It was tough to get it all done, but so worth it. I now feel we have so much more workable space, which allows me to concentrate on planting schemes this coming Autumn and Spring.

But after the bank holiday celebrations, and the initial satisfaction of a job well done, I’m starting to feel a little blue. It’s this feeling of only just getting by; treading water, getting from one day to the next without any solid progress that’s returned. It’s a bit ridiculous as we have made SO much progress in the garden, and the house too (after about 10 years, I finally have a full kitchen floor down, a kitchen table back in its rightful place, and four matching kitchen chairs). The house feels a little less like a renovation site and a little more like the home it once was. I think these blues are stemming from general feelings of insecurity and not feeling in control of my finances. The “treading water” is financial too; I don’t think I’ll ever feel free and settled until I have it sorted. And that is going to take a heck of a lot of hard work too.

I have to keep reminding myself that it’s up to me. We’ve already proven that if we set our minds to a task, we can achieve good things. It’ll never be easy, but I need to stop sinking and start believing my goals are actually achievable.

 

 

Thinning out Autumn King carrots

Bunch of carrots
For me, the Autumn King carrot is truly a regal offering from the veg plot. It’s always been a winner; a reliable grower with strong, straight roots with plenty of flavour.

Last night I began thinning my carrots out from a thriving patch of haphazardly sown seed. The carrots are approaching maturity and size ready for harvest – maybe they’ve got another 3-4 weeks to go before they’re really ready –  but even the thinned out baby carrots were a decent size.

And the scent as they were pulled from the earth! There’s nothing quite like it.

Little E loved the cooked carrots with her dinner, eating the whole lot along with some other fresh veggies and mashed potato. That’s always been part of my dream – to provide homegrown, fresh organically grown food for my family.

And if our little venture (see previous blog post) comes into fruition, I might be able to start making a little living off the land too.

Goodbye, Ozzie. We love you xx

Today we had to say goodbye and let our brave bunny boy go 😢 We adopted Ozzie when he was 2 1/2, and he lived to 10 years old. He was found wandering the streets with terribly overgrown teeth, skin and bones because he couldn’t eat properly. He had all his front teeth removed and lived happily from thereon in. He shared our house with us, and after his friend Moppy passed away in 2014, he developed a friendship with our semi longhair cat Pudding. He really loved snuggling with Puds when we had a fire on, and enjoyed sunny days running free in the garden. He was feisty and funny and such a big character – he’d been through so much but had so much courage. We were blessed to have such a lovely boy in our lives and will miss him so much.

It’s going to take a while to get used to no bunnies, not seeing and greeting Ozzie when I come in the door, not saying goodbye to him when I leave the house and checking he has everything he needs. I’ll miss him running in circuits around my legs when I get up in the morning, as he waits for his breakfast to be served. I’ll miss seeking out dandelions in the garden for him, and his head nodding upwards, as I give him a cheeky bit of micronised pea as a treat. I’ll miss cutting up his carrots or apple in the evenings and watching in satisfaction as he tucks into his bedtime treat. Miss him lazing in the sunshine or stretched out blissfully in front of the fire in winter. I’ll miss tickling his head and hearing him snore and snooze. I’ll miss coming across him hopping through the kitchen on an exploration. Good God I’ll miss that droopy lower lip.

Rest in peace Ozzie, we love you xxx