Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Riding the Waves

A very rare occurrence of good weather and a day off happened yesterday so I grabbed the chance to go to the beach.  It seemed that everyone else had the same idea, it was good to see people with a smile on their faces.

It was cold and windy but the beautiful blue sky made up for it.  With my coat pulled tightly around me I stood to watch the surfers making the most of the big surf.  They fought against the huge waves to get further out to sea, often knocked back in again ending up where they started in the first place.  Undeterred they turned around and headed out to sea again, holding tightly to their boards.  Once out far enough they waited and waited until the perfect wave, then paddled furiously trying not to miss the opportunity, trying not to get left behind to drift.  When everything came together they would be lifted by the wave and rush towards the shore, leaping to their feet to balance on the board.  For a few seconds they would feel the exhilaration of riding the wave before being dumped into the shallow water.

Life feels a bit like that to me.  You work hard, get knocked back a few times, get back up again and continue to fight towards your goal.  Sometimes the waves seem so huge you think they will wipe you out.........and then if you are lucky, you catch that wave and for a short perfect time it is all worth it.

We continue to work towards our time on that wave,  we have worked all our lives for this moment. We search for the house that will be the start of our new life.  There is a huge amount of work still to be done but one day you will see me on that wave whooping with joy.

Chickpea xx

Sunday, 7 February 2016

The Disappearing Lump and Other Things

The little stream through the woods has doubled in size.

I have had a lump in my neck for months, it felt like I swallowed a golf ball and was uncomfortable when lying in bed.  Of course I didn't get around to doing anything about it.....yes I know.  Anyway the doctor referred me for a scan.  On the morning of the scan I woke to ........ yes you've guessed it, no lump!! It used to be there I protested pathetically to the doctor as she slathered the gel all over my neck and clothes (deliberately I suspect for wasting her time).  This isn't the first time something like this has happened.  Is it just me this happens to?  So embarrassing.

The other thing that has disappeared is my nice big jam making pan.  I put it away somewhere when I cleared the house for viewings, and can I find it?  I have found things going back to my school days stashed away in the attic but the pan which was put up there a few months ago is nowhere to be seen. I seem to spend my whole life looking for things.  If I added up the time spent looking for things it would probably be years of my life.  Keys, phone, glasses all hide from me.  Oh well the Seville oranges will have to stay in the freezer for another week.  We are eating the last jar of marmalade from last year so it looks like I will be buying another pan if we are to have homemade marmalade any time soon.

My other failure is my lack of self discipline.  Hating shopping I decided to just do a supermarket shop once a month.  We get our veg, dairy and meat from our local food box company which is delivered weekly and I support another local greengrocer by buying all my fruit weekly on my way home from work.  If I'm organised and make a list I could get a whole months supermarket shopping delivered and never have to go near the horrible place.  Good plan I thought, but that wasn't taking into account my lack of control when it comes to crisps.  If they are in the house I have to eat them, I'm addicted!  It looks very unlikely that my months stash of crisps is going to last more than a couple of weeks. The bearded one did comment that 'they aren't going to last you a month'  He was right damn it.  I'm determined not to buy anything else until my next payday so I will be suffering serious crisp withdrawal symptoms until then.  Is there anything you can't resist?

I have looked at another house which was lovely and but the land was separate which didn't work for us so the hunt continues.  I'm afraid I am very behind with my blog reading at the moment so I hope you are all keeping well. We have had some flooding down in Cornwall, places that have never flooded before, nothing like the terrible floods up country, but for those affected still terrible.    It is driving me mad being stuck indoors, we ventured out on Saturday only to get soaked before we walked very far.  Everywhere is muddy and waterlogged and the poor birds look so bedraggled.  It wouldn't be so bad being stuck in if I could sit by the fire  and catch up on War and Peace, but it has been a constant stream of cricket, rugby and football much to the sport lovers delight.

I'm not sure where we will be living in the summer, I will miss getting my veg patch and greenhouse planted up but thought I could at least grow some early potatoes in bags, so they are in the window to chit.  Pots of herbs can be planted for the summer and lettuce leaves in pots, all things that can be moved.  Any other suggestions would be appreciated.  Preferable things that will be ready early summer and transportable.

 I will pop around to see you all when work madness dies down a bit.  Off to make some pasties for the family, you may hear some swearing when I am trying to get my gluten free pastry to stay together!  I'm afraid there's nothing exciting happening at the moment, work, housework and nothing much else to report.

Chickpea xx

Monday, 1 February 2016

Nearly Going up in Flames!

Handmade trug and home grown veg

Hi all, hope you are all muddling along, flipping wet in the U.K. isn't it!  I think I'm developing webbed feet.  I thought I would pop in and give you an update on my exciting life......well my life.  Mostly it's been same old stuff but I did book myself on a Willow Day at our local 'Eco Park' .  Of course it was blowing a hooley as we traipsed across the very muddy field to the willow patch and then starting hailing as we were cutting the willow but it was worth the cold hands (and pulled muscles in my gluteus maximus) Why put myself through this I hear you ask?  Well sometime in the future......who knows when, we haven't found anywhere yet, I would like to grow willow in my future fields.  Not being very green fingered I was pleased to find out that they happily grow away and need coppicing from January to April when you cut everything right back and in the spring they grow away again.  I think I may be able to manage that.  In the afternoon they showed us how to make either a trug or an obelisk for the garden.  Being the practical person that I am, I decided on the trug and as you can see I have already put it to good use. Yes I know handmade trug, picking home grown chard. How smug do I sound, I want to slap myself sometimes :)

The trug is a bit wonky, but I like wonky.

I have been following a really interesting blog My make do and mend life which has all sorts of tips about reducing our impact.  The blogger spent a year not buying anything new, so learned how to make the most of everything she had.  I am increasing worried about our impact on the planet, we only have one, and having watched The Martian over the weekend, I don't fancy living on Mars.  (though if Matt Damon is in residence....) I know my little contributions don't seem much and often have my family scratching their heads at my attempts at being green, but it makes me happy to be treading as gently as I can manage at this point in time.  One of the tips from the 'make do and mend blog was putting your old orange and lemon peel into a jar of white vinegar to make a cleaner.  I had the vinegar, I have satsuma peel so it has cost me nothing.  I will be putting it into a spray bottle later and giving it a go.

I have also bought some soap nuts. I have to say I was very dubious about these and did resort of my usual stuff when the grandchildren were here.  I'm not sure how they would have coped with food and poo splattered clothes, but for everything else they have been great.  I am a convert!  I put a few drops of essential oil in the rinse and Bobs your uncle as they say, Green washing.  I feel so virtuous haha.  The nuts go in the compost bin when finished with.

You are probably wondering about the title.  Well here's a little health and safety warning for you all. Don't be a numpty like me and cook while wearing one of your favourite scarves.  I thought I could smell something burning........it turned out to be me.  Burnt scarf, burnt carpet where I threw it down and stamped on it and the tips of my hair singed.  Apart from that, I was very very lucky!

Stay safe everyone,

Chickpea xx