Thursday, January 14, 2010

Non-gardening and survival

Last night Partner said to me in a hurt voice, "You haven't written a new post yet."


Not that anything momentous is happening. The whole garden blog thing has completely gone out the window since it began snowing a month ago. Of course, winter isn't usually the big gardening scene anyway. I think this time last year I was quite ill with a lung infection (I could have sworn it was pneumonia, but apparently not) so not much garden action then either. I guess there are a few seeds which can be planted indoors this time of year--I definitely planted snapdragons and nicotiana a few years back in January. No fresh flower arrangements either--but I've been buying cheap flowers from the grocery store. Like seriously cheap. These carnations had been reduced from £4.00 to £0.40. Last month I bought two bunches of flowers for £0.75 and they lasted two weeks.

We have not had such a prolonged cold spell since I've lived here (five years now) and I have a feeling some of my plants which normally survive the winter will not. I think the shrubs and bushes will be ok, but I'm worried about the herbaceous perennials (like snapdragons, lilies, etc). I was a conscientious gardener and dug up my dahlias, geraniums, and gladiolas after the first frost in December; they at least are safe in tubs in the garage.

The weather has also changed my outlook on survival, to some extent, on two key points: heating and food. We've heard on the news that some people are tripling their gas and electricity bills this winter because of the extreme cold. For the most part, this is just ridiculous. I guess if a family has a newborn baby, maybe they need the heat cranked up full-time, but honestly: do what I do and put on another sweater, wrap up in a blanket, whatever. I haven't changed my heating use and I haven't got frostbite yet. If we lost our gas or electricity supply, I'm sure we wouldn't freeze to death.

And food. We normally have enough food in the house for one week of good quality, fresh-made meals; or two to three weeks of rationed meals (for instance I got creative recently with some spagetti, olive oil, garlic, mushrooms, and a can of salmon--and Partner thought it was great). We generally go shopping once a week; I never realized how much this depends on us having a car and access to the roads. Last week the roads were virtually unpassable for the likes of us, so Partner took a canvas shopping bag to work two days in a row and bought some emergency supplies during his lunch hour to bring home on the train. When I saw the weather last night, I decided we had better go shopping while we still could and get plenty. I might do some research into dry food storage, for occasions like these. It's our joke that when we run out of food, at least we'll still have fish in the pond and grass on the lawn; but now both grass and pond are iced over!


Gilbrides said...

I love the carnations and what a bargain! I LOVE getting a good deal :)

Yes, I'm definitely one of those people. My blog is devoted almost entirely to my children and I really don't have much of my own identity at the moment. I really don't mind it. I'm having too much fun reliving childhood. I know I only get this special time for a few short years before I have to try and find my own identity again. ;)

However, I did have a goal this year of not making every post about the girls this year. I thought it would be fun to write about some of my own things as well as more of the simple things we do.

Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog. It is so fun staying in touch with you.

PS> I watched your videos of Christmas you look so cute (and I love the accent)!!

Kim Clawson said...

I'm deciding to start a blog! I think it would be fun...and there's cool wildlife stuff I could write I guess. You can give me some pointers if you want, of what to write.

Gilbrides said...

You are so sweet! I understand what you mean about peoples blog, and I have really just been feeling like writing more about myself.

You were so sweet to remember my birthday. I feel sad I didn't remember yours. Isn't yours the 19th? I hope you had a great birthday--one more year until the BIG one ;) My birthday was so fun!! This year was probably my favorite (although last year when my family surprised me with a party in October that was pretty spectacular as well) I woke up and had time for myself to get ready, then a pedicure with my sister-in-law. Then shopping for a new outfit with James and lunch. Then came home and had the family over for Christmas Eve dinner. It was really fun. I hope you had a very special day as well!!