Saturday, 30 April 2016

Busy Retirement

I haven't caught up with my blog in a long time because I seem to have been so busy.  We have had some glorious weather so needless to say I have been getting the garden in order. (see the video at the end of this post).

Sad news from the hen house, one of the ex-battery chickens has dropped off her perch.  We didn't know how old she was but she actually looked healthier than the other one.  She sat on her own for a couple of days and wouldn't eat so I decided to put her in quarantine which seems to have paid off because the others all seem OK.  Our neighbour came to see us with two small packages which she had written on and we subsequently translated, the contents of which were some sort of powder which we had to add to water and we had to make sure the remaining chickens drank both lots.  Anyway it all seems OK and we still get about 3 eggs a day which is enough for us.

We have been doing a bit of socialising, we had afternoon tea (and Rakia) with our two friends, Stewart and Barbara.  Barbara had made some lovely scones and the sun made it a lovely afternoon.
And one evening we were invited around to Warren and Sylvi's house for drinks and nibbles along with a few more ex-pats and a jolly good time had by all.

 
Karen having a giggle and Sylvi looks quite perplexed





Chris tucking into the nibbles

We have finally had the gate erected (see last blog for the start of the project).  The big test came when we tried to get Kevin the Kontiki into the garden.  We had asked Radko (our neighbour who manages a building company) to put down some stones so that if we didn't want to bring the car in at any particular time, we could park it on hard ground.  Unfortunately, trying to get the camper over this ground without 4 wheel drive was difficult because it just dug itself in.

Radko arrived home from work as we were trying to get out of the stones and he offered to drive the camper whilst Graham towed it through with the Range Rover.

Graham just explaining the controls on a UK vehicle
As the Range Rover burnt rubber trying to move the camper, I noticed that the back wheels were not turning on the camper and Graham thought perhaps the brakes had seized.  On further inspection it seems that Radko hadn't removed the hand brake................ well we did laugh.

 Very happy with our beautiful gates and now Bracken has the full run of the garden again.

We have been having some trees cut down.  This particular one was a rather large walnut tree that was actually growing into the back of the wood fired oven (just behind GJ on the picture below).

Chris, Ivan and GJ


I go them to fell a few more.

Chris and Ivan also arranged for us to have a delivery of wood.  This meant us agreeing with our other neighbour to clear the area behind the barn so that the wood truck could get in.  They were very obliging and even said we should go over for a meal with them sometime.  No dates and times mentioned.
Waiting outside the barn for the wagon (nice picture of the fence)


The wagon was able to back into the barn thankfully because otherwise we would have had to carry it all in.

Looks like a lot of work to do before winter...


Other news, we have ordered our kitchen from a supplier in VT.  They came and measured up and after a decision was made on what I wanted where and what colour and design I wanted, they are now building it and it should be in within the next four weeks.  We have a little time to bring in water to the room and a drain, (Radko again) and GJ has to do his thing with all the electrics.  We are due to have a few days of rain next week so we will make the most of that and do some decorating in the room and the sitting area adjacent to the kitchen area.  The company that is supplying the kitchen do not supply solid wood worktops so we have had to source them from somewhere else.  The easiest place was Ikea.  We checked on their website and after a conversation with somebody who spoke English, the worktops were delivered a few days later.

We have also purchased some nice garden furniture and a plunge pool.  This is apparently a necessity for summer.  When pottering around the garden in these and higher temperatures, you definitely need somewhere to chill so we have decided to place it beside the straw bale house and close to the well for access to the water.  Both Bracken and GJ are missing being by water.

Some more random pictures:

 The lilac bushes that follow the path down to the new gates
 The rapeseed is maturing well.  It appears to be grown in abundance here but would you believe it, we cannot get rapeseed oil.  It all seems to go abroad.

 My first harvest......


The tulips and daffodils were taken over by white iris

 The blossom on this tree is actually staggering in 'real life'.  Not good with trees so I will have to wait and see how it develops 
Even though the above photos have been taken over the last month, the change in the poly tunnel garden is amazing.  I have included a short video which will help me to remember what was where this year so I can rotate my crops next year.  Today being the last day of April (Happy birthday Anna), I thought it significant to show me how things should be developing by now, for next year.
video video
Til the next time................
H, GJ and Bracken x

8 comments:

  1. Harvesting already, still getting over Fridays snow storm here!

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    1. I've actually picked some more and in the space of a few days, they have more than doubled in size. First tomato is showing and lots of strawberries.

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  2. Looks like the garden shaping up nicely and love the gates, a must to keep Bracken safe. We have gone over to Rapeseed oil from olive oil for our cooking, much prefer it too. Exciting new kitchen as well. XX

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    1. Can't wait for the kitchen. We have a few drizzly days from Tuesday so we are doing the decorating in the forthcoming kitchen. Not looking forward to that bit.

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  3. Garden is looking great. Love the new gates. You are several weeks ahead of us for weather and growing. Rape fields are fantastic for Bees and honey so perhaps you could ask Dave to bring a hive for you?!! Best wishes, Michele from Somerset

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    1. We have a week of drizzle now so confined to decorating inside. Nice though when the temperatures are in the 20s. Rape is in abundance here but would you believe, we can't actually buy rapeseed oil.

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    2. We have a week of drizzle now so confined to decorating inside. Nice though when the temperatures are in the 20s. Rape is in abundance here but would you believe, we can't actually buy rapeseed oil.

      Delete
  4. Garden is looking great. Love the new gates. You are several weeks ahead of us for weather and growing. Rape fields are fantastic for Bees and honey so perhaps you could ask Dave to bring a hive for you?!! Best wishes, Michele from Somerset

    ReplyDelete