Monday, March 24, 2014

Missing Season Alert!!!

This is a formal alert to help find a missing season.

Name; Spring
Description: Bright and cheerful with a sunny disposition.  Has green fingers and been known to frequent gardens of all description
Missing for 9 months.

If you know where this season is please, oh please, let me know so I can bring her home!

Sorry, a bit of silliness but as I watch the sleety rain and listen to the thunderous wind (not my own, you realise) then  it is so hard to feel the optimism and happiness which normally accompanies Spring.

We had a grand total of fifteen minutes sunshine yesterday and I took the opportunity to take some photos in the polytunnel.

 Here it is, a bit messy and cluttered because I don't want to put my pots out until the danger of frost has passed; we are about a month behind the UK season wise here but it does mean we get longer growing time the other end of the year.

The big view of green at the back is my spinach which has wintered well and we have eaten lots of it!

 Just as well we like it! Behind it is our winter lettuce which has also thrived.  I am letting it come into flower now so it can feed any insects daft enough to think it is spring and who might shelter in the polytunnel and need a feed.

The coriander has done well as well.  It has lasted all winter and because I let it go to seed last year we have lots of seedlings coming up.  As I love Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi food, it is my all time favourite herb!

All the pots you see without plants in are actually home to my early potatoes.  I decided not to plant them outside in the beds this year because it is just too much work and I need to be careful of my back now.  So they are in pots, containers, buckets and even hessian sacks.  I am only doing earlys because I can buy organic potatoes quite cheaply from lidls so that means more growing space for the things we really, really like.

Which is why half the polytunnel is now dedicated to strawberries: because we like them and because the buggers grow like weeds and I've been finding them everywhere!  Am I a bit weird because I can't stand to kill anything?  I just didn't have the heart to pick them out of their inappropriate homes and throw them out! So they are now in the whole of the left hand side of the tunnel and in pots, containers and anything I could find.

I had to put some slug pellets down yesterday which I do sparingly, and I do mean sparingly but even then I picked out the slugs on the end of the hoe and put them outside!  I hate using the pellets but when the flipping things have a whole acre outside plus the entire Irish countryside which surrounds me in which to feed, then I think it is ok to just have my little tunnel slug free, don't you?

I gave them a stern talking too and told them to avoid anything blue if they came back in.  I do hope they listen!

The geese seem to think it is spring too.  The female is laying lovely eggs.  One egg is the same quantity as four shop bought eggs.  We can't let her sit on them because we know they aren't fertile.  Geese are dedicated mothers and they will sit and sit and lose weight and condition which is fine if at the end of it she will have babies, but she won't.  Our gander has hip displasia: he is our special needs goose, and as a result he can't enjoy a full and loving relationship with his wife.  (I think I put that rather well, don't you?)

Because she is laying he has turned super protective: the Gander from Hell!

He then puts his wings out and ruffles his feathers to make himself look larger.  The technique is to do it back, so you look larger and then he backs off.  You wave your arms that is, unless you are lucky enough to have feathers.

I don't have the heart to do it back to him right now as he is trying so hard to look macho. I quietly back away and he honks happily because he has won.  As you see, his lady looks suitably, er, not impressed?  Or maybe she just feels completely safe with him around so she leaves him to it.

Saying that the begger did nip me last week on the arm. Left one heck of a bruise!  Normally he lets me feed him from my hand: apparently this isn't going to happen while he has spring fever so he tried to eat me instead.

He is also on a mission to eat poor Titan.  Seems the wee pup has learned to bring the eggs to us in his mouth.  He doesn't break them, just fetches them over.  He must wait until she gets off the nest and then sneaks in to get them.  It appears Napoleon (the Gander) has spotted him doing this so now he waddles behind the puppy and tries to nip him on the bum!  Bearing in mind that as he waddles his legs get further and further apart until he has to shuffle them back in, he hasn't managed many nips but we are keeping an eye on the situation.

Mad house right?

And while we had sun I thought I would try to get yet another picture of my Cookies and Cakes.  So balanced on a tea towel and trying not to crush the coriander seedlings..I tried again.

And failed again.  this time you can see the colours better but of course seedlings aren't flat and so I didnt get the fabric flat. And don't worry.  No coriander seedlings were harmed during the filming process!

About ten minutes after the photos were taken the weather returned to sleet, hail and wind.  Charming.  And boy do I need a spring fix!

A week ago I turned vegetarian.  I have been vegetarian before but to be honest I just feel I don't need to eat as much meat as I would have once.  As a biologist I  know that we in the Western hemisphere eat far too much protein and it is not good for us.  As I returned from Dublin last week we had to wait to get through some traffic lights.  In the field next door were some sheep and lambs.  The lambs were all in a group, playing together.  Ah, methinks.  They form peer-groups, a sort of society group.  I watched as one lamb butted a smaller lamb in over-energetic play.  The little lamb, obviously hurt, ran straight to his mother who then licked him on the head and then he returned to play with his friends.

Oh, thinks I.  That is like our kids coming to us with a 'booboo' to kiss it better.

I knew before the thought was even finished forming that I had just condemmed myself to a meat-free diet.

I always ensure I know exactly where my meat comes from, how it is cared for etc.  I never buy processed foods and so my conscience was clear.  Well not anymore haha.

Don't get me wrong.  My hubby and son still eats meat which I prepare, but guess what.  They see what I am eating with all the vibrant colours and textures and they end up eating mine instead!  I'm not going to lots of extra trouble.  When we have a Sunday roast, I just have the veggies and an extra Yorkshire pudding.  And on the whole I am finding that the meals I cook which are meat free take far less time, in preparing and cooking, and cost less ingredients wise so it is win-win as far as I am concerned.

I feel great as well.

Hubby did the dirty and made bacon sarnies yesterday but my salivary glands didn't even bother to wake up!  Ha, nice try hubby but you will have to do better than that!

I am also taking part in Jo's Easter Easter Treasure hunt!  How exciting!

And on a final note, I have a new release.  I have colour checked it and because I have now stitched Holmsey so many times, I know this chart will come out perfectly.  It has a new story which follows on from Easter Blessings and it is now available in my Etsy shop.  I will hopefully stitch it at some stage but am busy with a new Spring Sampler in the hope it will remind Spring of where I live and to come and visit soon!   

Oh and I am having a Mothers Day Special! Enjoy 25 percent off pdf charts through my etsy page. Simply use the voucher code HappyMothersDay when you come to check out.

Well, that is me done.  Have a great week everyone and thank you for your comments. They are alway kindly received xxx


  1. Cute new Easter chart! I love the colours & the little butterfly :)

  2. Ha! Mad house is right! I think you did describe their relationship rather nicely. ;)Poor Titan! What a clever dog.
    I gave up meat for the whole of Lent. I will tell you I am not missing it at all.

  3. Aww cute pictures and very sweet Easter chart :)
    Happy hugs for you xxx

  4. Really lovely photo's, love your geese :) Such fun to watch what they get up to I bet. I used to have chickens and they kept me amused for hours. Your Easter bunny stitch is awesome :) Smiles to you x

  5. Wonderful update! Your greenhouse looks great, lovely lettuce and herbs. That goose looks fierce!!
    Yea for you on the vegetarian side. I think that I need to do better here too.
    Lovely designs.
    Have a great week!

  6. Lovely photos. I dread the onset of spring/summer but surely did enjoy seeing & reading about your gardening plans : )

  7. Mr Gander certainly looks protective.. scarey!

  8. LOL @ The Missing Season! Unfortunately, I haven't seen that mischievous miscreant around these parts either ;) And I feel so sorry for your poor Mr. Gander - the male ego is such a fragile thing, in any species! Your new designs are lovely, and I especially like the lettering in them both. I'm not a gardener, but your little greenhouse looks like a fun place to potter around :)

  9. I did think Spring was spotted for a few days but it turned out to be an hallucination!

    If you don't want use slug pellets, how about beer - at least they die happy...

    Lovely charts. Holmsey is so cute!


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