Potting On and Growing Up

Another missed post from Thursday…

… There have been about ten instances over the past fortnight or so where I’ve really wanted to sit down and write on this blog post. But something has always managed to divert my attention (most likely something a bit bunny shaped), and I’ve missed my ‘window’.

So I’ve made a decision on this somewhat cloudy Thursday morning to sit down and just bash it all out. Because there’s quite a lot to tell – hurrah! So let’s break it down into manageable chunks – I’m trying to avoid one of my signature mammoth posts, but let’s face it, this is probably going to turn into another one. OK, here goes…


I was once a county athlete, and a combination of an accident in a PE lesson at school, and the lazy teenager disease soon put a stop to my athletic inclinations. But I’ve decided enough is enough – I will not finish my twenties as a slightly-too large strapping lass (can’t help the height or the broadness, but I can shape up) who eats a tonne of biscuits at work and then does nothing about it. I want to be fit and healthy and actually feel it.

So I’ve made a commitment to start running. My goal is to be able to run 5k non-stop, and I want to enter a 5k run for charity. I started my running plan this week – walking and jogging intervals for 20 minutes. Not too bad. I hope that within a couple of months I’ll have my fitness back, and I’ll be reaping the mental and physical rewards for it.

New Bunny

If you follow my Twitter account (see sidebar on the right for links), you’ll have seen that a week ago today, we had an RSPCA home check. This was a routine check to see whether we were set up to take on a new bunny that was being fostered by an RSPCA volunteer. We passed with ‘flying colours’ apparently, and our new bunbun named ‘Ozzy’ arrived on Saturday. I’d only seen pictures of him, and was surprised to find that he was much smaller than I’d anticipated. In fact, he’s pretty much the same size as Moppy, who is a dwarf lionhead. He was found wandering the streets of south Bedfordshire, with overgrown teeth, poor condition and very very thin. He was in foster care for a good 6 months, 3 of which he wasn’t up for adoption because he was in such a state.

But because his front teeth kept causing problems, the vets decided to take them out. It’s left him looking a bit slack jawed at the front, but as long as we cut up his veg, he manages absolutely fine with just his set of back teeth. He has problems grooming himself properly, so that’s something we need to keep on top of. He’s a scrap of a rabbit at the moment, so we’re helping to build him up with hay and a few excel pellets, and hopefully his coat will be back in order with some regular grooming, once he’s finished his moult.

Moppy, used to the giant, lazy sloth-like Snoopy, hasn’t seemed too impressed with or bothered by little Oz so far. He’s the happiest rabbit I’ve ever come across, though. He’d never really had a run on grass before and a double-tier hutch, so since we’ve had him, he’s been doing circuits of his run at high speed, and binkies aplenty. Especially when he sees Moppy. Good grief, he’s in heaven when he’s got her in sight. But, who wouldn’t be? She’s a catch. I’m hoping once we’ve gone through the bonding process (which looks as though it might take longer than we anticipated, given Ozzy’s tendency to become somewhat over-enthused by Moppy’s presence), Moppy will realise the potential of our incisor-less wonder.

Argh, stress. I hope it all works out.

So that’s that in the bunny department. We’ve got some visits to the vet on the cards, with cats and bunbuns alike. A couple of the cats need some dental treatment, so I can see a few months of spaced out expensive vet treatments ahead of me. Oh the joy of keeping animals. Rich often grumbles that we should have had one dog and left it at that. But he loves all our animals really. It’s just times like this when it all gets a bit stressful.

But, there we are.

Smallest Smallholding Vegetables and Things!

Yes, after all, that’s probably why you come here to read my ramblings.

And on the vegetable/fruit front, thinks are much less stressful!

In the conservatory, I currently have a few trays of various squashes, chillis, peppers, primo cabbage, and echinops flowers that seem to be going well. So far they’ve managed to elude the greenfly attacks that sucked the life out of them last year. And, one small factor that might just be helping is my ability to remember to actually water them regularly. Yup. Think that’s definitely helping. I have a lot of potting on to do this weekend, something that I’ve been putting off for a week or so, just because I really don’t like doing it. It’s boring and tedious, but it has to be done. I think someone should invent plant plots that grow with the plant, from seedling to full-blown fruiting wonders. That would be handy.

In my unheated, half roof-less greenhouse, I have some cosmos flowers growing strongly. They started off a bit leggy in the conservatory, but I’ve found that if you pot them on into large pots and leave them to grow steadily outside under glass, they straighten themselves up and grow up to become really sturdy plants. Although, goodness knows where I’m going to put them because I went a bit mad with my ‘free’ Honesty, foxglove and opium poppy seeds last autumn – my borders on one side at least are jam packed. Which is good, really. It means less weeding, for one thing.

In the greenhouse the runner beans are finally making an appearance, and outside, despite being frosted a couple of weeks ago, my potatoes are making a comeback. They’ll probably be ready for digging up much later than I anticipated, but I’m not bothered. I can wait. It will be worth it.

In the past week or so everything seems to have come on in leaps and bounds, and I’m thinking I could probably start planting them out over the weekend. I just love coming outside and seeing my veg plots bustling with plants at various stages of growth. It definitely feels like an achievement, and something I can keep building on. I don’t think I’ll ever become tired of growing things. It’s one of the things that actually makes me feel a bit capable.

I don’t really care about neatness, or producing prize-winning flowers and vegetables (although I may have a go at entering a few novice categories in my local veg show this year, just for fun!). What I really care about is being able to produce my own, enjoy the taste of growing my own, and pulling in some extra wildlife whilst I’m at it. At this time of year I start to buzz a bit – something gets under my skin and I’m just so glad that I set myself onto my self-sufficientish journey a few years ago. There’s a kind of peace and satisfaction that I don’t really find anywhere else.


  1. Great to hear that things are going well. I love running and it really does make you feel better about yourself. If ever I’m having a boring or stressful day at work I’ll go for a quick run over lunch or when I get home and it all just melts away (well it’s hard to be stressed when your legs are burning and you can’t breath!).

    It sounds like Ozzy what just what The Smallest Smallholding needed! I’m looking forward to hearing about how he settles in, hopefully Moppy will be happy too…

    I really love this time of year, it is so full of potential as all the plants are just about ready to be planted out and the sun is shining. Enjoy it

  2. Everything is looking very healthy including Ozzy! Great time of year loads to do and lots of potential.

  3. Well done on the running! The first four or five workouts are the worst – then it gets much easier.

    Why not enter a 10k event some time in the autumn to give yourself something to aim for (if you can do 5k, you can do 10k)? In fact, if you do I’ll sign up too… and we may actually meet!

  4. As I remember rabbits have something like 4 different sets of teeth? It’s a faily complicated grinding system 🙂 If the teeth is not worn down they may need more fiber in their diet..

    Good luck with the running project – it takes willpower to get started but once you’ve been running for a few weeks the body will demand it and motivation comes much easier.