Saturday, August 14, 2010

Harvest day and holiday musing.

The storms that we have been forecast for the last couple of days have not arrived and the garden is parched, but somehow manages to keep providing us with gluts.

Today is a glut of second cut calabrese, the first cut of the main heads was a couple of weeks ago and now all the resprouting has provided us with another bag full, and in addition 6 of the cauliflowers needed cutting. We also gathered in another large colander of french beans, several more courgettes, and 4 patty pans squashes.

I am trying to get as much of the ready to freeze stuff in as I know that whilst I am away my dear other half will forget that the garden even exists and I don't want to lose too much.

Speaking of going away there are only a couple of days left till we fly into the UK. To say I am underwhelmed by the prospect is an understatement. I don't think I could be less enthusiastic if I put any effort in. I am looking forward to seeing my mum, it has been 10 months since we actually saw each other and I know she has missed Thea, and there are a couple of fun events to go to while I am in the UK, but nonetheless I shall hate leaving my house and my stuff behind, the garden needs a lot of attention at the moment and there is so much to harvest, as well as the rabbits on deathrow to sort out, and of course my studio.  I should perhaps point out that it has been 4 years since Thea or I have been in the UK, neither of us has been back for a visit since we moved out to France in 2006.

I am also determined not to fail in my project mission just because I happen to be in the UK, but without my sewing stuff and the general clutter of my life around me I am not really sure what to do. I will also be without internet access unless I find an internet cafe to use so my posts are unlikely to be daily either. The trip to the UK was not planned until my 2010/365 project had already started.

I have been thinking of keeping a daily journal while I am in the UK. Not just because I will inevitably find some projects to complete but as a project in itself. I love the act of physically putting pen to paper but these days correspond mostly via a keyboard. It would be interesting to see what illegible scrawl my once lovely penmanship has degenerated into (years of bashing with a ruler if we did not write neatly in school has been an indoctrination hard to shed but I feel that I have finally succumbed to the slobbishness of querty..)

My trusty Canon is taking the trip with me so I am setting myself a photography challenge too. The random word challenge. Each day I will pick a word at random from a random book and photograph something to illustrate the word.

Hard to find any gardening projects to do when my mum's is mostly slabs, but I know she hates cooking so I think there is scope for recipe blog entries. I am tentatively looking forward to going to a UK supermarket and finding everything under one roof having gotten used to travelling an hour in order to buy chillies here in France because nowhere local sells anything more exotic than a red cabbage.

Oh well - que sera - as they say.

In a last ditch effort to try not to lose the runt of the chicks to a passing buzzard we have been reinforcing the grill fencing to try to prevent him squeezing himself out and roaming around the garden.

A proper bit of improvisation this, some blue baling twine (recycled of course) and some dry twigs from when I cut back the trees earlier in the year combined with a bit of nifty weaving should hopefully stop him from being someone else's dinner.
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Nearly 50 and trying to be Frugal .... said...

I know what you mean about going back to the UK. We try and go back once a year but did not make it last year. As each year passes I become less interested in going back and it's really only to see my mum that we go. Good luck - juts make sure you take lots of money with you!!
Jyst a quick question - what do you do with your patty pans, we have lots of squashes this year and as a lot of them will go to the pigs I do want to keep some- also have lots of 'turks turbans' I think they are called.

Absinthe Fairy said...

Bake them then they can be frozen in chunks or as a dish. Or puree them so they can used in soups, the puree can be frozen or bottled.

Wish I had the money for a trip to the UK really, it is just not compatible with the frugal life we lead here.

Nearly 50 and trying to be Frugal .... said...

Thanks for your comment - I did that last year with the pumpkins we had. I will do this again.
We have been in France for 13 years and it is getting more and more expensive here. How do you manage?

Absinthe Fairy said...

We live an extremely frugal life not just for the financial considerations but because we choose to live a low enviromentally impacting life.

Our electric is on the limited 3KW max draw tarif and we use approx 2000 kwh per annum, supplemented with solar lighting. We grow our own meat, veg and fruit. We have access to firewood and our own coppice, we do a lot of things by hand so that we limit the amount of fuel we burn. Our Rayburn/solar set up provides us with heating, cooking and hot water without electricity. Obviously we still have bills to pay and so we both work a few hours per week to pay for those things that require real money.

Generally we have not found life to be expensive here, certainly not more so than in the UK. But we do not live the same kind of life that we had in the UK.