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Monday, 13 January 2014

It might be a bit early......

.....but we have started planting our first seeds of the year. The weather has been absolutely glorious so finding jobs outside is a must. I know we still have a couple of months when we could have severe weather, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it. So in the little greenhouse (picked up in Tesco, reduced from £60 to a tenner a couple of years ago) we have broad beans, peas and sweet peas in toilet rolls, and carrots, beets, kale and salady things in cells to get an early start. In the house we have herb and flower seeds in little mini greenhouses.. If the weather does turn bad all the greenhouse stuff can be brought inside. We will have to have a trip to Polski Trambesh market to see what they are offering, a good indicator of what we should be planting now. Unlike in the UK when bulbs and tubers, trees and shrubs are available well ahead of time, the market here is more seasonal, even on-line garden supplies.
It's good drying weather too with a bit of a breeze, excuse the undies!
 The little boxes are what we bought for the Christmas biscuits.

We were a bit surprised that Venka didn't come over and tell us we were doing things too early. But while we were busy her and Jordan went into the English neighbours' garden (which they plant as it is not used) and were digging trenches and planting something. No idea what, but will find out. Jordan had an implement which 'ploughed' three furrows as he dragged it along. Once they had finished there they started on their own garden. I want to be independent, but would like to know what they are doing. The trouble is, if you ask, they come and do it all for you and that makes us uncomfortable.

Dave has also had the rotovator out and given the chicken pen a make over, much to the delight of the chickens. We all like clean sheets! They are not taking kindly to being split into two groups, typical chickens, always after what they can't have! The boys have taken over Venus' favourite resting place on the window ledge now she can't get to it, and black boy is especially fond of this higher lookout place which is wide enough for a nice rest.

What with the constant attention from chickens and wobbly glass, the windows are a sight!

And on the subject of chickens....wait for it....we had an egg! Cagney had been in and out of the nest box all morning and eventually presented us with the first egg in over three months. What a good girl. Hopefully the others will take the hint and follow, she was the first to stop and go into moult, even though she was not 'supposed' to in her first year.

Dave has lost his keys. As we only ever lock the doors when we go out, it is difficult to know when he lost them, only that he couldn't find them when we went to VT to get some DIY stuff. The house has been turned upside down, all cupboards and drawers emptied, underneath all furniture inspected with a powerful torch. The garden has been quartered and he retraced his steps on the hill looking for them. We have even been in touch with the builder to ask him to check all his boxes. It's a bit worrying as the car key is a Nissan one which means it will be easy for anyone finding them to work out where they belong. A search on the internet for a new car key will have to be a priority, you can break a door down if you lose another set but a car is a different matter. I still think they will be in a 'safe' place, Dave doesn't have regular places to put things, any drawer or cupboard, box or basket will do as long as things are put away. I, on the other hand, have a place for everything even though I don't always put stuff away immediately, and as you can imagine, the two methods can cause tension. The things I find in the kitchen drawers ...... But of course I am supposed to know where everything is!

While he was looking for the keys on the hills, he did manage to get a couple more photos of the roe deer, and also established that there are at least two small groups in the immediate area as there were some in some scrubland at the same time as the ones he saw in a field. He also came across some huge mole hills, much bigger that he has seen before. It would be interesting to see what the moles look like!
 A little blurred, but it was a long way off!
 The little dots in the distance are the second little herd in the scrub.
 The mole trail...

In the kitchen, I have been starting to use some of the preserved tomatoes which I avoided as didn't fancy them. They are sun dried tomatoes in oil and some chunks and whole tomatoes I bottled in a 'dry'pack, with just a little salt and sugar. I will certainly be making more of the dry packed ones, they are delicious and better than any you get in a tin, sort of fresher tasting, lovely with toast or fresh crusty bread. The sun dried were a bit over dried, but fine chopped into a bean salad or in bread to go with pasta, giving a really intense tomato hit. Next year we will be more careful to not dry them too much. Of course, some people say you shouldn't eat tomatoes if you have arthritis, but how can you live in a hot country and not? I like tomatoes!
A few pics of the village. Our house is here somewhere!

And finally, as Dave has seen me get so much enjoyment out of creating this blog, he has decided to start a Flora and Fauna blog on his art web site. It will be a good incentive for him to get out and take more I can use them too!


  1. I know the pain of lost keys. My partner lost his set and after much searching in vain decided to replace the car key. $385 later, new key. 2 months later I find them under a cushion seat of the lounge on the front verandah. Grrrrrr. I am envious of your rotovac work. We call them rotary hoes. Our place if really a gravel quarry in disguise. Rocks and stones every where under the grass. Good luck with your seed raising. Cheers.

    1. We are going to leave it a week before ordering a new car key, but door locks are cheap so will change them.

  2. Sunshine and short sleeves, you're making me jealous :o)

    1. It's been lovely. We had our first al fresco meal yesterday. No doubt we will pay for it later, but for now we will enjoy the sun.

  3. Al fresco in January! Guess what the weather is like here in sunny Wales. I'll give you a clue - it's not sunny!