|The field stood up well despite the massive amount of rain we've had|
|Dave chatting to the friend we got the first two geese from.|
The only fly in the ointment is trying to communicate with Bulgarians. I can understand a fair bit at home, and if we are with the neighbours I can work quite a lot out, but my insecurities come out with my shyness and my brain goes in to freeze mode when out and about. I'm the same if someone tries to test me. Total brain breakdown. Hopefully by the end of the season I will gain a little confidence.
On the way home from the boot sale we called in to see a couple who are wanting a hand with building jobs about their home in return for teaching Dave how to do more in the way of DIY. It will be good for Dave to have some new company occasionally and actually learn something too. He must get bored pulling up weeds and walking the geese.
Last weekend was also the annual Village Day, when the square fills with stalls and rides for the children, the fountain is filled and the week preceding it the streets are given a trim and tidy. Saturday morning was sunny and the day started well, with people going to the church and stirring a cauldren of something. Dave had a wander and chatted to a few people but didn't feel he could go into the church on his own, which is a shame. Later Venka came round with a couple of meals on a tray, our share of the village feast. It smelled lovely but was full of lamb, but Dave really enjoyed his.
There was a concert planned for the evening with a live band, usually a loud and joly occasion. Unfortunately the weather deteriorated and we were 'treated' to the most incredible storm, with roll after roll of thunder, constant lightening and torrential rain. So the celebrations were called off, such a shame after all the planning. Bonnie was beside herself, she didn't know where to be. Dave went to the village to have a beer with some friends while I stayed with the girls. Poor Bonnie. To cap it all there were fireworks too. I love a good storm but not when our girl is so distressed. Bella more or less takes things in her stride, with just a small wimper at the very loud bangs.
On Sunday we were invited next door to Venka and Jordan's, with our English neighbours, to their family celebration meal. It was nice to see their daughter, her husband and (English speaking) son, we see little of them now we are so busy. They are such lovely, warm, people. So an exhausting weekend.
No rest for the wicked though. The sun came out on Monday so it was out into the garden, weeding and planting, picking the last of the peas, a mountain of broad beans and an equally huge mound of chard, which I have frozen like chopped spinach, chopping the thinner multi coloured stalks and keeping the thicker ones for braising. The freezer is looking quite healthy with veggies. There is also a good amount of courgettes already in there. I also made a couple of batches of chutney but have now used the last of the larger beetroots so there will be none of the beetroot chutney for a while. We had the rather large peas braised with chard stalk and onion in stock, and added chard leaf at the end, very yummy.
The flowers are really coming out now. The dahlias have joined the poppies, antirrhinums, nicotianas and roses and the smell at night is incredible. Dave was a bit scathing of the poppies at first, but with the lovely bright colours and constant fresh flowers he is a convert. And, of course, the bees love them so all good.
|Frilly pink poppy|
|A stunning rose|
|A pumpkin has self seeded under the flowers|
|Our first dahlia|
|We have a very satisfying amount of hoverflies this year, good for pollination and pest control|
|Bella, not wanting to miss anything|
|Smothered in babies...ugh!|
|Scary Mary, all puffed up|
|Our boy Sevi, the white in his wing (a fault apparently) showing|
With the better daytime weather we have been eating outside. After a lovely leisurely salad the other day Dave went into the run to collect eggs and yelled for a camera. There was a snake caught in the chicken wire on the chick run, which is inside the main run. Luckily there were no chicks in there (could this solve the mystery of the disappearing chick?) as it was huge, nearly five feel long we reckon. The ark was just by where the hens were dust bathing...not a peep out of them, totally unconcerned! Which is more than can be said for Dave. He doesn't like snakes. He tried keeping them to try to get used to them, but it didn't work. But he was very brave, even though it struck at him, and climbed into the run to cut the wire to let the (non-venemous) snake free and it shot off to the wall. What a beauty. Nice to have natural vermin control....but I hope he stays away from the chicks.
|Yummy lunch, mostly home grown or local, cheese salad with beetroot home made cheese and garlic bread and tzatziki, local honey to go with the village cheese which was lip-puckeringly sharp.|
|Poor stuck snake|
Short vid of a shaky Dave freeing the beautiful snake
We had the first taste of globe artichokes yesterday. Graham, from Morgan's Plants, had told us he had some and said if we wanted some to message him, but with the weather we were not sure if we would be going to the car boot sale so we didn't bother. But bless him, he brought some anyway. We wanted to know if it was worth growing a few plants and I think we will. We will get some from Graham later in the year. We were not bowled over exactly, but they were nice and a change for a simple lunch, with some home made herb and lemon mayo to dip into.
Also in the kitchen, I had a total disaster with my usually easy carrot cake. I had used our own precious carrots and six eggs...which are in short supply at the moment...to make the cake and had waited for Dave to come back from the shop with sunflower oil. Cake made and cooking in the oven, and on clearing up found the measured out oil on the side! The cake looked lovely but is chewy and not at all what it should be. It is more like a teabread so we will use it up with butter. So easy to get distracted. But I had some disappointed friends who like to buy some at the car boot sale. But alas, no more eggs.
|Hard to see why such a cake is a fail!|
I have finished making the glace cherries but will not be doing any more. I have tried leaving them to dry but they are very tender and I can't believe they are robust enough to be mixed into a cake.
The video link will be put on tomorrow. Right now I have chutney to make!