Monday, October 26, 2009

Market in rain

This weekend we decided to do our shopping at the local market rather than the grocery store. It was a bit wet, but that didn't stop us or the usual market-goers. There is all sorts at the market, not just food, but a lot of it is stuff I wouldn't bother with like cheap clothing, shoes, and accessories.

From our list we were able to buy everything except milk, butter, and dog food. But we did manage to get some lovely potatoes, beef shin, and pork belly, and I got some bargain books. Oh, and I got my hair trimmed, though that wasn't exactly in the market. It looks a lot neater now; she took about three inches off and it's still mid-back length.

While waiting for my turn, I had a long chat with a young mother of a five month old baby. I don't really know anybody locally who is pregnant or has a new baby, so I asked her all sorts of questions. Which leads me into the strange world of not-so-shyness.

When I was a child, I was really outgoing, but when we moved to a new area at age nine, I suddenly became very shy. From then on, I have always considered myself a very introverted person, not at all comfortable meeting new people, or speaking to strangers. But over the past few years, this has gradually changed. I don't mind speaking to strangers, if I want to. I don't really go out of my way to chat to people just for the sake of chatting, but if I want to know about something or someone, I feel perfectly comfortable asking.

I think it's part of considering myself an adult and an equal of people around me. I'm older than a lot more people than I used to be, and talking to a younger person is just like talking to a child, really! There are some younger people I work with who are pretty shy and I can remember being tongue-tied if an older person tried to make conversation with me. Well, I'm the older person now.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Of all my broccoli plants (somewhere around 40 survived), only one has florets. I just don't know if the others will produce. Partner told me we shouldn't bother next year. I'm still hopeful for the rest but...we're really getting into autumn here. He's been working on that concrete patch out back, and has maybe broken up a fifth of it. It's back-breaking work, and he can only do about fifteen minutes at a time, and only at weekends: it's now dark when he gets home from work at 6.30. I will be happy so long as it's done before next spring.

Today I attended my first lecture of the academic year. As the course I'm taking is self-study, I only have lectures about once a month. Last year I really enjoyed them; they are in Leeds, a big city about 30 miles from us. Leeds is great to visit: lots of shopping, and a really fun market--I love going to the fabric stalls, and browsing the fish and butchery stalls. If we lived a bit nearer, I would totally do my weekly grocery shop there. Since Partner works in Leeds, he occasionally picks up some good deals on meats, but it's impractical for him to bring a full shop home with him on the train. Unfortunately.

I gave the doggy a bath earlier this week, set down her collar, and lost it. I haven't been able to take her walking since. Partner accused me of carelessness. Turns out, it was lurking in her bed, where she stashed it after stealing it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ah, weeds. Once again, I have many. In established beds, the weeds are not discernable. But in partly bare beds, such as the asparagus plot, below (those long, feathery stalks), weeds have taken over. As my goal is one bucket a day, I thought I'd show a contrast between the actual amount of ground weeded compared to the volume of the bucket. That's about a two foot square plot of earth.

Notice the bucket is quite full, even overflowing.

It's going to be an uphill battle.

Speaking of battles, Partner has been waging one out back on an old greenhouse foundation. Whoever laid it was a silly bugger: it's about a foot below ground level (don't ask), and right smack in the middle of the lawn. Not up against the edge, where it can cast a shadow against the garage, or against the neighbor's garden. This is the same clever person who put the garden shed in the sunniest spot; there is a lot of non-utilized shade at the back. Shade which is not good for growing anything, even grass. So anyhow, Partner has been breaking up concrete. When it's all up, most of that section of the lawn will be turned into a vegetable bed. I want to plant potatoes there next year, among other things. Also, said shed will be a bonfire this fall. It leaks. Badly.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Sweet peas in autumn

So my first trimester, in which I was entirely miserable (I had to take four weeks off work because I kept fainting), I kinda let the garden go. As in, I didn't step foot in it for about three months. Above, my poor neglected sweet peas went to seed because I stopped deadheading them.
But now I'm feeling great (and guilty...), so I decided to do the only possible thing to save them: harvest the seeds!
Altogether I think I got about a hundred of them. I can't wait to see how they grow next year. I've never collected seed before.

There has been a real change in the temperature from last week to this, and it suddenly feels like fall. Not only that, it smells like fall. I had forgotten how much I love that smell. I spent some time weeding today and also took the dog out walking and it was absolutely lovely. The nip in the air called for a cardigan, but the sun shone and the air was very still.