Thursday, August 30, 2012

... on lurking, and noisiness.

I've been lurking about in the front garden, as it's been a bit noisy out the back.
The everlasting daisies that I planted last year have finally decided to do something spectacular. 
Inspired by this post over at Bungalow Bliss, I looked carefully for bees. I was delighted to find a little pack of native bees rummaging in the poppies. I've been thinking about getting a hive of native bees, but if they're here somewhere already that might not be such a good idea. I don't want to start a bee war!
Just about everything I planted in the herb garden next to the driveway is bolting to seed! It's looking very lush, and I'm loving the look of the emerging seed heads. The dill makes an incredible cut flower, don't you think?
And the noisiness? Well, you know how C told me the roof would be on by the end of the week? It was!
A few days ago a chap I've never seen before walked by with his dog when I was checking the letterbox. He said "I hope your new shed isn't going to shade your lovely garden out the back!" I assured him it wouldn't, and I really liked that he called it a shed!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

... on an exciting thing, underway.

A while back I mentioned a possible solution to the how can I not take over the whole house when I am making something problem, and I'll admit, it has become a problem. Before we moved in, I had envisioned that it would be fine for me to spread out on the kitchen bench or the dining table, and it's turned out not to work so well. The whole house gets covered in a fine layer of plaster dust, and I've been having to pack everything away because someone is coming to dinner quite regularly. More often than not I wouldn't get it all out again the following day, or even the following week.

So, the solution. This house is small, and C had planned from the start that perhaps he'd build an extension to add another bedroom and bathroom. Substitute the word bedroom with studio and watch my enthusiasm levels!

So, what's this? A little building with a skillion roof containing one bathroom, and one large room. Entry is via a full glass door that opens out onto the existing deck. There'll be a tall louvred window in each end, one inside the bathroom. The main east-facing window will be very large, and set low, at bench height. The subway-tiled bathroom will contain a full-sized bath, and a lab sink instead of a basin, for washing brushes out in. A tank set out the back will more than double our water-holding capacity, and it'll block the view of both the high-tension power lines and the very ordinary houses that you can currently see from our living room.

Two weeks ago, the excavator arrived, and things started happening fast. Now, C assures me, the roof should be on by the end of this coming week.
Photobombed by three Pekin tails.
I really don't believe my own eyes, nor the notion that I'm going to be able to fill it with plaster dust. Pinch me!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

... on why the Ekka was good.

I flew solo to the Ekka this year. This meant I could linger for an embarrassingly long time in the poultry shed, and leave in a couple of hours once I'd had enough. Perfect!
For a while, I had the Pekin Bantams to myself. I was interested to compare them to my ladies (I think Shirley could be a real beauty on the show circuit... if I was into that kind of thing. Wait...!) and noticed that the exhibited Pekins seemed much larger than mine. Then I realised that they'd all been blowdried! which could account for it.

This First-Prize-winning Birchen lady seemed desperate for some human contact, so I gave her a good scratch behind the ear while I congratulated her.
The Pekin roosters were such handsome, charismatic-looking fellows. I missed Boyd.

Over in the Budgie section the ribbons on the tiny cages were so voluminous that they sometimes obscured the winners within.

Although I spent quite some time with the birds, I did have an ulterior motive for visiting the Ekka on Monday: it was long-haired cat judging day. I had the absolute delight of meeting this Maine Coon, Sebastian. I have admired him via the website of his breeder for some years, so I was extra excited to finally hold one of his (enormous!) white paws in my hand.
Apart from the dissatisfaction of not being permitted to stuff this cat in my bag and make off with him, it was a thoroughly good half-a-day!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

... on new potatoes.

Yesterday I noticed that one of my Sebago plants had quite suddenly gone all yellow. There was only one plant left in that bag (the others having been lost to rot), and I figured as it had gone all yellow it wasn't going to be doing any more producing. I didn't have great expectations, to be honest.
I got a surprise.
650 grams (or about 1.6 pounds) of Sebago potatoes!
A modest, but encouraging first harvest, and I have another five bags of robust-looking plants still growing heartily away.
So, I now have an empty potato bag. I've never tried growing sweet potatoes in bags, but it could be time to plant out these little slips I've had growing on the windowsill. Let the sweet potato experiment begin!