Catching up at last

We’ve been keeping busy since our last post, that’s why there hasn’t been an update recently. Our major project has been carrying on with the workshop which has been coming on slowly but surely. All the main framework is now up and the ceiling is in along with insulation and half of the loft floor has been laid, the rest is waiting till all the wiring has been but in for lighting and sockets.

We are really pleased with how the garden is doing. This year we have managed to grow a decent mount of gherkins, cucumbers, onions and red cabbage, we’ve never done very well with any of these in the past and for a nice change we ended up with a decent amount of apricots. Our most disappointing failure this year has been green beans, they did really well last year but this year have been a disaster. We still haven’t managed to grow okra, sweetcorn,  rocket or chives all of which we have tried each year but still no success; maybe next year. The squash tunnel has been very successful, we have more squashes than in previous years and they are ripening quicker, we also grew our cucumbers, gherkins and courgettes in the tunnel and they have all done really well, so we will be using the tunnel again next year. We are also really pleased with our tomatoes this year, they are huge, this could be due to the soil conditions improving and or that we had a cooler start to the year and we have had more overcast days than in previous two years so they are not getting as stressed by being in the sunlight all day. The garden is looking the best it has ever been, that has mainly been down to the hard work of Amanda and Josh ( our current volunteers ) who have worked really hard weeding all the beds including the flower area so we now have somewhere nice to sit and chill out in the evenings.

While Josh has also been helping Joe in the workshop Amanda has been helping me catch up with food preparation. We had run out of sausages so spent a morning making 16 pounds of them, that should keep us going a while. The beetroot and potatoes have been dug up and are being stored in the cellar and we have made plum jam and plum wine. The pea-pod wine we made last year was very popular so we have increased production to 3 demijohns this year 🙂

We’ve had our first big harvest of tomatoes and because last years method of juicing them, freezing the juice then making our sauces in one big batch towards the end of the year worked well last year we are doing the same this year.

Now we have some help we decided to carry on with double glazing the windows, so at the moment we have no bedroom window until we finish sanding, painting, getting them routered out and the double glazed units put in them. Hopefully we won’t get a problem with flies in our bedroom!

We managed to have a night away with the pensioners club, which consisted of a festival and a bit of sight seeing. It was a bit of a torturous journey because the buses air-con packed in and we were travelling down to the Greek border, but we all survived ( just). The festival was near Svilengrad, on the Turkish/Bulgarian/Greek border and was very hot! On the way back we visited Haskovo to see the biggest statue of Mary, and also called in to visit an ex mosque, now a church in the village of Uzundzhovo. They’re a very religious group, our pensioners!

A group of us also hired a mini bus for the day and went up to Ruse to see the sand sculptures, unfortunately a couple of days before we went there had been a thunderstorm so some of them had got a bit damaged but that didn’t spoil our day, we even managed to catch an open air rock concert being held on the banks of the Danube, which was a very pleasant surprise, it was just a shame we had to leave before it finished.

The kittens, Sooty, Sweep and Sue are doing well, growing fast and venturing out and about more. They still like to be around us, but are definitely getting more daring! We also had an unexpected guest, as we looked after a donkey called Peter for a few days. He was lovely to have around, and enjoyed his carrots and evening strolls though the village.

  10 comments for “Catching up at last

  1. Cathy
    August 2, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    Great to get an update! You must give me your recipe for plum wine…. we have an absolute glut so wine would be good!!!

    Cathy x

  2. Anonymous
    August 2, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Amazing read xxx I love your progress and your home and how your are enjoying life here well done x can not wait to read the next article 🙂

  3. Alan Whittam
    August 2, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    Looks fab, you have come along way since your allotment days, I would love to visit one day. X

    • Julie
      August 4, 2017 at 5:36 pm

      You’d be very welcome, all though we haven’t got many chickens at the moment.

  4. Anonymous
    August 3, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    The squash tunnel looks fabulous, did you write a post on constructing it that I’ve missed?

    • Julie
      August 3, 2017 at 6:05 pm

      No we didn’t, it’s some lengths of metal rod hammered into the ground, then some plastic piping pushed onto the top of one and curved over and pushed onto the metal rod opposite.There’s 6 of the hoops, we then got 3 sheets of the metal re-bar mesh you use for reinforcing concrete floors and bent those over the hoops and wired them in place. Hope that all makes sense, we will be moving it for next year so will take some photos when we re erect it.

      • diane
        August 6, 2017 at 8:06 pm

        Thanks-going to try making one for next year. I guess with polythene sheeting it could double as a polytunnel too

  5. Alan & Jenny
    August 3, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    Your garden sounds wonderfully productive. We look forward to peapod wine when we visit next year!

  6. Margaret VT
    August 4, 2017 at 12:20 am

    It all looks so idyllic and relaxed I am so pleased for you both. It must be wonderful getting up each day. Could you send some of your sunshine please?

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