Tuesday, 29 December 2009

More snow

Since early this morning it has been snowing on the mountains, and sleeting and snowing down in the valley.

We are mainly cold and damp, but places within ten miles of here have much more.

Up on the mountain here we have over nine inches of snow on the flatter fields.

This morning at 9am I went to the feed merchants for dog food for the Mountain Man. Had I gone later I couldn't have made it there, despite it being a main road.
As it was I met him a third of the way up the Mountain road and he came down in his Landrover.

I couldn't have driven any further up!

Down here in the valley it is still sleeting, up there I know the snow is getting deeper.

I tried to work yesterday, after the sun had been on the workshop for a while-

but despite the sun, and a heater, and being dressed like Bibendum....

after four pots I decided that you really need to feel your fingertips to do this!!

Canalside snow and ice

Sunday, 27 December 2009


With relief I managed to produce a decent pair of loaves-so all is not lost!!

Mountain Man has taken his back up the mountain.

All the foals have been chipped, the forms completed.

The snow has mostly gone, so now we have been tidying, cleaning, drying washing and being busy before the next snowfall slows everything down again.

Saturday, 26 December 2009


Slow Food is one thing....Dwarf Bread is another!!

This batch was definitely worthy for entry into the Dwarf Bread Museum.

Oh Dear.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009


The Geek Wizzard left his car lights on whilst at work yesterday.....

Result, one dead battery.

Also he made myself and the Oily One a very nice supper after being rescued!

It continues snowy and cold.

The dough isn't sulking as it does when it is cold and damp,but it has slowed considerably....ah well, Slow Food is good for you....but it can try your patience!!

Saturday, 19 December 2009

job done

The last Farmers' Mart before Christmas was today- not many sales, but we are grateful for all, whatever we sell.
The baker sold out, as usual!!

The ponies are all in off the mountain. Now Colin waits for the vet so that the forms can be completed and the foals microchipped. Then we can return the forms to the Society for them all to be registered.

The Geek Wizzard and The Carpenter have started sorting The Front Room-aka The Black Hole!!

Hopefully tomorrow work will start on the kiln chimney- weather permitting!!
No more markets until February, now I must concentrate on throwing- and on keeping warm!!
The weather is getting colder, friends in all directions have snow-none here yet.

Friday, 18 December 2009


No snow here, just ground like stone.

Good thing I lifted vegetables from the allotment yesterday and brought the last of the pumpkins in from the greenhouse.

The voles had found the potato store in the shed, so they are now safely stacked in crates in the larder!

The mountain here is clear and frozen, if anything that is harder on the stock than snow.

I should be throwing pots....but a cold workshop is not an attractive idea!!!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

pottery progress....or not....

The kiln flue should be in place today....

On the other hand both the Oily One and The Carpenter seem to think that cars are more important than getting a kiln going.

My stock is reducing, I will have orders in the New Year.....

You say something and it is forgotten or ignored.

You remind them and it is called nagging! GRRRRR!!!!!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009


I now have seven pots in the Gallery Shop at Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre in Cwmbran, and possibly orders for jugs in the New Year!!!

Definitely getting somewhere!!

Sunday, 13 December 2009


The Victorian Day of the Winterfair in Usk went very well indeed.

I found that Victorian Dress is warm and comfortable! It is also very smart!!

It also helped sell quite a few pots!

The day was long, but lightened by the company of new friends, all local craftspeople.

Thursday, 10 December 2009


I am busy today making a Victorian costume and blouse.

Then hopefully an apron.

I have the hat and boots, need to make a mobcap......

Winterfair is in Usk this Friday and Saturday, Victorian dress requested for shopkeepers and stallholders.

I hope I sell some pots!

Sunday, 6 December 2009

For A Mouse


I have sorted and weeded more papers. It is a relief to see the shelf full of files reducing.

Perhaps I have been afraid to throw things away .
I remember my mother throwing some of my belongings in the bin.
I remember my ex throwing out a box of letters from friends around the world spanning fifteen years.

Well, we started in 1997 by throwing out my ex.....

Since then I have moved to a smaller house several times, reducing more belongings.

It still hurts!! I don't like losing old friends either!!

However in the end your belongings can hold you back.
I am finding a good home for what I can. Disposing of what is no use to anyone.

But today I have struck inertia again.
The rain is no help either.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Market Day

Today arrived cold and wet, but at least not freezing.

On the way to Usk Farmers' Market the sun came through dove grey rainclouds and shone a pale yellow.

The rain held off for most of the market time, until after I had packed everything back into the car!

Getting known is a slow process- I need more sales- but at least I am covering the cost of doing the market.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

brief respite

Today as it was dry- and even showed a little blue sky...we bought sacks of pony nuts, oats and pony carrots for the ponies, and dogfood for- well, yes, the dogs!!
The leaves are all down, and make a copper carpet in the layby.
Where you can look back down into the valley.
Then the sun began to disappear again behind the clouds and the rain started gently spotting again.


Last night was cold!

This morning all is chilly and white, and even though the mountain is getting more sun than the valley, it is seriously cold up there.

Now I must contemplate a chilly studio...but at least this morning it is not raining, so that pots can be brought into the frost free house to dry safely

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Kiln Opening

Heavy rain, hailstorms, and a massive rainbow on the way to the kiln opening!

Steadily unbricking the wicket, with the inner hard bricks as warm as toast, keeping our hands warm in the cold and damp....

To see a kiln full of cracking good pots!!!

Monday, 23 November 2009


The Carpenter and The Mechanic (The Oily One's friend) are sorting my workshop today!!!

Also The Carpenter's garage.

I am keeping a low profile and providing refreshments :-)

Meanwhile, the rain pours down.

A friend found

in the kitchen.


Sunday, 22 November 2009

lost friends

Where are you, Mouse?

Your blog has disappeared


Saturday, 21 November 2009

firing day

The kiln was packed a week ago, and fired on low to dry out for four hours last night.

This morning I rose at 5am, to start the bread for lunch, whilst in Abergavenny at nearly 6.30 am the kiln was re-lit for the firing in earnest.

As forecast the rain came back before lunchtime, and as forecast it eased in the afternoon ready for the salting of the kiln.
This happens every ten minutes for two hours, when a large serving spoonful of damp salt is put into the fireboxes through two spyholes each side. The salt vapourizes and reacts with the pots to form a glaze.

We tried different burners this time, using the gas at a lower pressure....and it fired better, quicker, more controlledly and also.....cheaper!!
This also meant that after a twelve hour firing we had supper and could relax, instead of firing into the late night or early morning.

Kiln opening next Wednesday...........

Going for a walk

The gardens were damp and uninspiring after all the rain, but the weather held good on Friday.

We took the chance and went for a little two hour walk! We judged right, from the wind direction, and found most of the ponies


Tuesday, 17 November 2009


Yet more wind and rain, but at least today the washing got half-dry on the line between showers!

Mountain Man still has a cold and a runny nose, but as he has to keep going out in the cold and wet, it will take longer to get him well again.

My mobile phone deal means that I pay nothing for calls to him...talking is better than nothing.
It is no substitute for a hug, or a walk together.

Today I tidied even more!! Now I have a bagful of papers to recycle, a tidy stamps box for making impressions on pots and a lot more waiting to be fettled and fired.

We still don't know where the ponies are. They will be sheltering in the edge of the forestry where they can keep out of the wind and find forage. This makes them even more difficult to see!!

Saturday, 14 November 2009


We managed to nearly half pack the kiln on Friday, but failing light and increasing rain put paid to any further progress.

I travelled home as the light faded and the rain increased, and turned to go over the NorthEast end of the mountain to avoid the traffic. There by the sheepfold was the grey mare and her grey daughter and granddaughter...they looked well, if very wet!
So where are the other twenty three!!

We should have finished kiln packing today, but the weather has ruled that out.
Gales and heavy rain have kept us at home.

The bowls I threw on monday had dried well, so turned and cut beautifully.
It is not too late to rewrap one and make it into a colander....

I could do with a working kiln to keep the workshop warm and dry!!

More rain and gales tonight. I hope everything is still in the garden!!

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Pots again!!

There will be no gardening today, the weather is cold,wet and foggy on the mountains.

On the mountain itself it is raining.

So today I am making more pots- cream jugs and bud vases, perhaps some soup bowls.

It is disconcerting , however, when one washes one's hands after a throwing session, and the water from the cold tap feels warmer than one's hands.....

Monday, 9 November 2009

Pots again!!

It has been foggy and chill today, when gardening was good for a half hour warmup.

We went to one corner of the mountain in case the ponies were there but no sign. They will be sheltering somewhere out of the wind.

So home after lunch on the mountain and out to the workshop, weighing and balling up clay.

Then starting to throw and a dozen small coffee cups came easily-what a relief!!

As I finished the last one, the solar powered garden lights outside the workshop window flickered on-definitely time to finish for today.

Now I am reluctant to take my overalls off- I am nice and cosy in them and it is beginning to freeze outside!!

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Market day!!

Today I went to market- the Farmers' Market in Usk.

I sold enough to cover some costs of setting up, and had a lot of interest.

I'll be back next month!!

Now to fire more work, and make more too!!

Sunday, 1 November 2009

New Year

The Celtic New Year, Samhain.

I had my own fire....I baked bread. The house is clean and tidy. (well. tidier!)

Then Nature is having her cleanout too, with strong winds and heavy rain

Day Out

The weather was good, the housework done, so Mountain Man and myself went to the first Pony and Horse sale in Talgarth Market for between thirty and forty years.

Many were there just to see how it went. Others catching up on old friends.

Some ponies were being sold for" pocket money" prices, nothing compared to the cost of transport, entering into the sale, passports and microchips.....

Quite a few did not reach a decent price and were withdrawn.

However it looks as if this is back on the calendar, so there are hopes for better deals next time, and an upturn in the market.

The car, having had a general service and a brake service decided to pop a small clip, leaving us with half throttle a mile from Talgarth.....

It was mended with the Farmer's Friend....six inches of binder twine!! It did the job and got us home well

Thursday, 29 October 2009

weather and gardening

The unseasonal weather continues, so we are tidying and weeding before the weather turns.

The mild weather is not a friend to the garden, with mildew growing fast.

We need some good cold weather to kill the bugs and slugs!!

Still we think of next year. The spring cabbages have been planted out, the onions and garlic are showing green shoots. Today I sowed nine large pots of Sweet Peas as the seeds had started to germinate.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Out with the old....

I am reducing my paperwork, getting rid of my demons that hold me back.

Recycling and composting, putting a waste of paper to good use.

Sunday, 25 October 2009


Today is a mixture of showers and sparkling sunshine.

The house is tidier and calmer because of that, and I will have another go at pushing the tide of paperwork away!!

The clocks went back today, and I have daylight at "my" end of the day for a while.

I baked cakes, made crabpear and crabapple jelly- very nice with an aftertaste of pear.

The egg delivery has been sorted.

Mountain Man was in a hurry today. I wonder what he was late for!

The garden can wait for tomorrow, I don't feel like getting cold, wet and grubby!!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

saving money

My costs have reduced- I have cheaper house insurance, thanks to the National Farmers' Union, added insurance for workshop, public liability and some other stuff- and ended up paying £3 more a month overall.!!

Then I asked them for a quote on the car insurance- £80 cheaper, which made my present company say they would reduce my bill to only £3 more than the NFU quote....£3 a year that is!!

This makes life feel much better!

Better still, if that is possible, the Geek Wizzard and K won some shelves and The Carpenter has constructed them for me- life is so much better with a tidy room :-)

Saturday, 17 October 2009

going to market

will cost about £100 to start with, then £20 a time for the stall however big.

For three hour's selling.

Go for it!!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Kiln Opening

Beautiful pots, pots to learn from, glaze tests and shape tests.....

Each firing sends you on to the next, aiming to do as well, or do better!

I find that I am using the wrong sort of porcelain for saltglazing-but it might do well mixed with the stoneware clay body I use.

Next step is a local Farmers' Market, and more glazing for firing in a month's time.

Monday, 12 October 2009

A shock

A shocking sight greeted me today at the allotments.
Mountain Man's polytunnel had been set alight at 7pm last night

It could have been a lot worse, but the Fire Brigade arrived in less than three minutes of the call.

About a third of the length has lost its plastic across two thirds of its width.

We have enough plastic to mend it, and take it through the winter, but it really needs a new cover.

We worried more about the fumes of the burning plastic affecting the people in the terrace by the gardens.

I know we needed to tidy up that corner, but he didn't need to lose two pairs of wellingtons, two pairs of walking boots and a pair of shoes, besides spectacles, hand tools, scissors and knives and all the seed trays.

After clearing the mess we adjourned to my house for a cup of tea and lunch.

We had had enough for one day, so we went to check the ponies on the mountain, and found ten on Twmbarlwm.
Also two lads letting their dog run loose and chase the ponies as they sat and talked.

As Mountain Man said, good thing for them he didn't have a gun with him. He would have been within his rights, especially as it was going for one mare and scaring her down a steep rough slope. One stumble, one broken leg.... You don't let Rottweilers run loose on a mountain with horses cattle and sheep about.

The ponies calmed down, thankfully, and we looked across the mountain for the other sixteen-no sight of them, and at four o'clock, no time to go for a four hour walk looking for them!!

Sunday, 11 October 2009

kiln firing hangover

Not from alcohol, just adrenaline!!
Perhaps I should have stayed the extra two hours until the kiln firing ended.
From being really tired and driving extra carefully, I landed at home, pootled around to wind down- but couldn't sleep till 2am.
Having done that I woke at 8am, and managed to get a loaf baked for Mountain Man by the time he delivered the egg order (up to ten trays this time).

It is a damp day, so no excuses I am staying in and trying to de-clutter...in short bursts, interspersed by a short time on the computer.

It is still a soul destroying activity, especially as without my cupboards and shelves I cannot finish the job properly. However I have at least a half tidy , clean, kitchen

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Kiln Firing

Yesterday we finished packing the kiln.
It was a damp day, going to dank as we finished!!

So the kiln was fired on low for four hours or so- until it stopped steaming!!
Then close all vents and turn off until 5am.

I had a profitable morning, freegling two spare old mobile phones to match Mountain Man's old phone- spare bodies/batteries/chargers :-)

Then I joined the firing crew by 11.30am.
We are firing using bottled Propane gas. Firing by wood would be better, and give far better results, but what we get will be (hopefully) good and be a lot less hard work!! The youngest of us firing together is 54 years old....
Today was beautiful, and quite warm until mid-afternoon. I was out in Tshirt and jeans, collecting windfall apples and pears in the orchard in the Walled Garden there.

The kiln "did its stuff" and fired far better than half a year ago, and salting started, every ten minutes for two hours after a supper of salad from the garden, cheeses French and Local, Hummous, fresh baked bread.....

I left at 10pm, with a forty minute drive ahead of me, made longer by being dazzled by drivers with over-bright and/or undipped headlights.

Roll on Wednesday and kiln opening!!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

life, baking

Yesterday I made bread.

Life is better.

Stress is making me fray at the edges, so I got some ointment and a smile from the doctor, and a hug from Mountain Man.

My 'Mother' (dough starter) needs caring for and feeding every day, and so makes better bread.

I think that applies to me too!

The nights are the worst- I long for his company, and to wake beside him, wherever and whatever the time.
I look forward to when he can leave his past behind and step to the future with me.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

A rainy day

Today I started to get help with the battle with The System .

It is, for me , getting what I am entitled to.

For The System it is about reducing numbers, statistics and politics.

It stresses me when I am already too stressed.

Hopefully getting help will succeed, at least having someone there to "hold ones hand" in figurative terms.

Then after a couple of hour's respite, the rain started again in earnest.

So we had our sandwich lunch at home with a hot cup of tea and I took Mountain Man back up his Mountain.

From the mountain the mist was flowing down Cwm Gwyddon like a river, as we said goodbye for today in the sun.

Coming back down through the woods the cloud was sliding through the trees in an eery manner.
Then at the foot of the mountain I came back into the sun.


Today we were both tired, Mountain Man and me.

Housework took TOO long, so I was not in the Garden until after 11am.

He was tired after a long day fetching a friend's pony then taking it, with his friend to be sold at the sales, sixty miles away.

So we were both subdued, and he went back up the mountain soon after an early lunch.

I have applied myself to tidying, sorting and reducing, starting in the hall.
Now the clutter is that on the way to be freegled or recycled.
Before supper I dug out a quarter of the new greenhouse site and topped up another bed with the earth.
I have made not a list, but a board with sticky notes on that can be removed when done, and jobs can be prioritized by where they are.

So I am feeling more positive and constructive.

I would still rather be going home with my man, away from all the noise and people.
To have someone and somewhere to come home to.
I still don't know what is stopping him from letting himself be happy again, which makes me sad.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Pots again!!

Today was the AGM of the South Wales Potters' association.

The bread took AGES to rise, but at last was baked in time to take for lunch.

The Carpenter is off to Germany to work for a few days.

The Oily One is at last getting oily again, and is restoring a car ready to sell it.

This morning's demonstration was by Joanna Howells who throws with porcelain and stoneware clays, and facets and alters the shapes. This is emphasized by fluid blue, white or green glazes.

Lunch was splendid, a simple buffet, mostly home-made.

Then thankfully a fairly brief meeting!!

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Pots again

Today we reached the threequartersfull point on the kiln.

I arrived late, after starting the bread which will be baked first thing tomorrow.

As I drove towards Abergavenny, there appeared a huge rainbow- firmly rooted at the spot I was heading for!!

We had a marvelous lunch- Homemade (and grown) tomato soup then homegrown salad and eggs from the chickens in the orchard.

Rosemary has to bisque fire and glaze a few more pots, so packing finishes next Friday and firing starts early next Saturday.

I drove home with a large bag of huge cooking apples and headed straight for the allotment garden!
Sweetcorn to be picked, and chillis, rasberries, alpine strawberries, broccoli, and a few leeks lifted then the last of the carrots before the carrot fly decimates them.

Now I can smell Sweetcorn, Potatoes and Apples baking in the oven, just on ready......

Friday, 2 October 2009

Pots! and some gardening.

We have been glazing pots and mending the kiln for two days now and have started packing the kiln too- hopefully finishing tomorrow. Then we should be firing in a week's time when we have the gas.
This has meant the garden has taken a back seat in the order of things.
Today I have forgotten to shut the slightly open greenhouse and of course it is a cold night-
tough-I am not walking to a cold dark allotment, nearly ten minutes away!!
All the potatoes are lifted, the bean beds dug over. I need to decide where the alliums are to go, but the planting has been a little haphazard this year, tending too the "see a gap and fill it" method of rotation!!

I have been sorting and freegling some of the Geek Wizzard's excess belongings. I would like my living space back!!!!

Now the Carpenter is back from London, having had to drive there and back for an hour's work...how crazy can you get?! At least he is getting paid for it.

Life seems to be moving in the right direction, but I dread the winter.
Not just the shorter days, the rain and gloom, the frustration of not being in the garden or out on the bike.
The knowledge that Mountain Man will be staying up on his mountain for most of the time.
I miss him enough now, and I see him nearly every day.
Seeing him walk away up the track is hard.
Giving him a lift up to the edge of his fields and having to drive back down the mountain alone really hurts.

One day I will stay up there.

The sooner the better.

But I don't know how, yet.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

getting organized!!!!!

I am looking at what seeds I have- what needs ordering afresh, what haven't I got?
More "investment"!!

This afternoon I will be packing a kiln for bisque firing, as preparation for more saltglaze firing.
A pity it isn't my kiln and I have to risk packing and carrying unfired porcelain pots first.....
The kiln here is NEARLY ready....so near....it would be so much faster and easier with a little more help at home (as would sorting the kitchen, etc!)

Looks like I am getting things done slowly without a lot of help, or it is coming from unexpected places- a relief indeed.

I am building dry brick walls on the allotment and sorting out the site for another (!) greenhouse.
The Allotments site is gradually looking cared for at last, although the committee has had to resort to a few warning letters to some plot holders.

Then there is Autumn. Then Winter.

The Vernal Equinox has just passed.

I must spend as much daylight as possible out of doors, to ease the passing of this time of year.

Monday, 21 September 2009

gardening and preserving and baking

Harvesting is relentless!!

Apples, pears,elderberries and blackberries, rasberries, yet more runner beans, kohl rabi, leeks, potatoes, gherkins.......

The pumpkins are swelling nicely and the sweetcorn wont be long now.

I hate brambles!!!!

I need thornproofs and welding gloves to collect windfall pears and apples in the orchard!

Crabapple jelly has been made, and pectin stock. Crabapple wine is on its way, and more jelly planned. Vodka needs to be bought to make crabapple vodka- New Year 2011 presents!!

The sourdough bread is improving steadily batch by batch as the 'Mother' is now about a year old and I am learning every time.

All this and I have been given the frame for an 8' by 12' greenhouse!!

The weather is steadily drawing in towards autumn but we are at last having some sun.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

weather and gardening

Schools are back!

Of course the sun is shining!!

So we madly catch up with the weeding and sowing after all the rain.

The nights are becoming chilly and the first frost looms- seems like only yesterday we were hoping for the first frost free night

Thursday, 3 September 2009


Yet MORE rain!!

Yet it is surprising how good the harvest has been. A little more sun and warmth would improve matters.
Yesterday morning bumble bees were sheltering on the sunflower heads, waiting for the day to dry out and warm up!!

Monday, 24 August 2009


The tomatoes are cleared out of the greenhouse now- thanks to Late Blight it is only half a harvest, but what there is, is good.
The greenhouse is now full of pepper and chili plants as it is warmer than the plastic mini-greenhouse.
The sunflowers are HUGE!! Some well over eight foot tall- I am dreading the storms on Wednesday. Next year they will have hefty stakes, eight foot bamboo is too short and not strong enough!!
The pumpkins are quietly lurking under their leaves, and the corn isn't quite as "high as an elephant's eye"....well, a baby elephant perhaps!!

I have had a week away being a cycling official....now I need dry weather so that I can attack the weeds!!!!


I have been out on my "new" road bike- thankyou Carpenter!! (and Oily One too)

There is too much of me- but it will reduce steadily as the miles unfold.

Monday, 10 August 2009


The kitchen is busy dealing with the harvest!!!!

Onions, potatoes, tomatoes, all sorts of berries and now the apples are joining in (and don't forget the runner beans!!)

The so called 'waste of space' is running out....I need more jars and bottles!!!

It is a relief to see the store cupboard filling up.

Meanwhile the Carpenter has a possibility of work but not a job- better than nothing.

The Geek Wizzard has found a home- good- perhaps I'll be able to reclaim a corner of my house when he moves his stuff!!

The Oily One carries on accumulating oily stuff- he needs to reduce his bits of car!!

I keep on dreaming of a tidy sorted HOME!!!!- Perhaps I'll have to move out myself and leave them to it!!!!

Monday, 3 August 2009

Another wet day

Just when we need some sun!

The Carpenter is on his high horse-' mother' is offending him- but if he doesn't say what he wants or feels, I'm into guessing- and I'm not good at that.

Let us hope he gets work soon, for all our sakes.

Friday, 24 July 2009

weather and gardening

Rain, rain and more rain.
It is warm but feels chilly.
The rasberries don't taste as sweet as they should-all washed out and not enough sun.
The tomatoes are growing fine in the greenhouse but they are still all green.
The runner beans have started cropping at least!!
The onions are drying slowly-hope we don't get rot in them.
Ah, the joys of gardening!!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009


Life with Mountain Man is good, but he wont let me go up His mountain.
Nothing to do with me-reassuring at least.

How do I get him to see that problems are made to go around?

It is lonely and noisy down here when the weather keeps him on the top.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

day out

The Geek Wizzard had his graduation day-
Large black cloak/gown, red and white 'smurf' hood and mortar board hat with tassell!

We had a lovely day out, lunch in a Cardiff arcade cafe, tenpin bowling with K (how does she organize him, I never could, lol! and she's lovely!) and The Carpenter and The Oily One.

Then a visit to a wet and windy Cardiff Bay before supper in a microbrewery in Cardiff Centre, with the addition of the Carpenter's Lady. Nice to meet her, looking forward to doing so again.

Friday, 10 July 2009


At Last!!!!

The Geek Wizzard has his degree.......AND a job!!!

Wizzardly indeed.


Monday, 6 July 2009

growing up

The Carpenter is growing up.

Unfortunately this now means leaving me "out of the loop" and I get accused of interfering and nagging when I try and find out information I need about something that affects me too.

Ho, Hum. Life and All That!

Monday, 29 June 2009


The hottest day of the year so far.

The allotment is growing well and cropping nicely.

The garden is still growing spare car parts...but fewer than before, lol!

Sunday, 21 June 2009


The Carpenter has been made redundant-despite being able to work with wood and signwrite.

If anyone will find work it is likely to be him.

I'm off to make more pots, then to garden.

One to make money the other to spend less and get something better.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009


It is still dry here. I am hoping for the right sort of rain!
Pontypool had the wrong sort of rain yesterday-only 9 miles away by road (about 6 by crow :D)
Flash flooding, thunder and lightning and power cuts.

We need nice gentle wetting rain-at night, of course!!

Saturday, 13 June 2009


Full greenhouse- it is too small already!!


At last!!

Sunday, 7 June 2009

A funny day

A 'funny peculiar' day. Bits of this and that got done, a day when you are busy and feel you have achieved nothing-until you list what you have actually done!!

At least I started throwing pots again, this time in porcelain.

I am thinking how to organize my time to get enough done in the next month before the salt kiln firing.
Possibly work in the early mornings-that way I should get few interruptions and I will be busy with pots when Mountain Man is busy with his stock, and we wont lose any of our time together!


Saturday, 6 June 2009


The weather really has turned!
We had damp air then a nice fine wet rain from yesterday lunchtime.

Last night at 7.45 pm there was an earthquake near Maesteg (3 on the Richter scale).

Now we have a thunderstorm and torrential rain, after a morning of steady rainshowers.

So today has been a baking day so far, bread and birthday cake-chocolate of course!

The youngest of my four, The Carpenter is 20 years old today...


Wednesday, 3 June 2009


I left half a pint of milk out ready to make scones, as it was a little too ripe for coffee.

I forgot it....and the next day, curd cheese!!!!

Drained overnight in the larder, seasalt and parsley added, it was very nice in a granary bread sandwich


Mountain Man's allotments are looking better now! He is catching up on the growing after all the lambing.
I am mainly clearing paths and unused patches and untidy bits! His garden has never looked so good! lol!!

There is hope of rain in the next 24 hours. That would bring everything on fine.

I decanted the last of the comfrey liquid manure-a goodly stench!! It is slightly reminiscent of mature chicken manure. Perhaps that is the smell of nitrogen?!

The Oily One has gone out on his bike, at long last-hope he doesn't overdo it.

I'll be back to the gardens again thus evening to work in cooler air until the midges arrive.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

very hot

The weather is getting very hot(for us-it would be just ordinary for other places!)

Gardening is done early and late, or in the shade!

Today's bread is on a 'go-slow'. I didn't think that would happen in this weather!!

Friday, 29 May 2009

hot again!!

This morning started early, kneading the dough mixed last night.
So the house was warm with baking, then I went to a hot allotment!!
The brassicas got transplanted to a holding bed, until the potatoes start being cleared...not long now.
We retreated to the house for lunch, where it was cool, unlike the polytunnel!!
Then planting runner beans in the afternoon, sorting plants to go to my daughter tomorrow, and planting tomato plants in tubs in the yard.

Busy busy!!

I must start making pots on Monday-we are firing the salt kiln mid-July, all being well.

Thursday, 28 May 2009


All of a sudden it is hot again!
Does that we are back to the Typical British Summer?
Two hot days and a thunderstorm?lol!!

This afternoon I am sorting leafy things- pricking out iceberg lettuce and sowing Bush Basil and Dill.

It was too hot by 4pm...so back to the garden later this evening.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009


Rain today- this saves me from having to water the transplanted small plants!!
I need to prick out the flower seedlings today, a nice job to do in the greenhouse :-)

Tuesday, 26 May 2009


I have gone back to gardening Bio-Dynamically.
Seems to be working so far, and if nothing else, it reduces the number of jobs you have to fucus on at one time! lol!!

Sunday, 24 May 2009


The greenhouse is full! You always need at least twice the space you have!! Our garden supervisor looks happy anyway, and the rhubarb leaf spray seems to have got rid of the aphids for now.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009


Unfortunately as you can see above, the aphids are everywhere this year, and despite the cold and rain are early! I have never had them on potatoes before.
They seem to be responding to treatment (found in Lawrence Hill's book, "Grow Your Own Fruit and Vegetables") but time will tell.

Just when the work is going well in the garden, 'rain stops play' !!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

yet more success...wow!!

We had a Family Rixon get-together last weekend. They are now held every year and numbers increase every time-51 attended this time, as ever a good time was had by all, from the youngest to the oldest (88 years old and going strong!!)

Then Daughter and Husband helped with a Clutterbust!!!

I now have a livable Living Room , with the Oily One's Cat now in residence, AND a workable Workshop.

Stocktake of materials has been done, now for the hard work....re-organizing!

Work in the garden goes on steadily. The greenhouse is full, so are the two staging units beside the shed.

Potatoes were earthed up today, and the bed in front of the greenhouse got its wooden sides.

Then Rain Stopped Play...so back home and sort the workshop after refreshment!!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

after the hard work..

I am shattered!!

Mountain Man has instructed me to go home, out my feet up and have an early night....as soon as I've made supper and got tomorrow's bread dough started....:-)

success again!!

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Tuesday, 28 April 2009


I returned from a week of being looked after (!) by my daughter's cats, no housework, catching up on old friends and not running myself to a frazzle.

I returned to an untidy house! ("well, we've both been away for three days")

Today the greenhouse frame is nearly all up, thanks to friends and their sons.

Not thanks to mine....

Sunday, 19 April 2009


Yesterday my daughter and her man got married. They went and did the official paperwork with friends, then we all had a sit down lunch in the Students' Union!! Then tea...and cake...and supper!

She had made her dress (and mine) and his suit. He made the (chocolate) wedding cake.
They organized everything!!

A Grand Day was had by all!

Now I am Cat, House and Garden sitting whilst they holiday.

I feel lost....without the cats and garden I would be completely lost!!!

I wonder if the greenhouse will be up when I return?!!!!

Friday, 17 April 2009


Now the Oily One wont get his hair tidied and the Carpenter wont get a tooth filled at the dentist...

They are old enough to know better...but it hurts me to see them doing this.

saltglaze pots

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Salt glaze firing

I helped with the kiln firing yesterday.

For the first time in many, many years I am doing things I have always wanted to.

I am doing them with friends I have known and worked with off and on for thirtyfive years.

I have a partner who is delighted with what I am doing and backs me all he can. Wish I could help him more.

Still no greenhouse yet....!!

Saturday, 11 April 2009

day out?

Today I towed a trailer with a car on it for 40 miles...watched it drive in circles for most of the day...then drove back again!
The Carpenter has turned into Oily #2. Ah well.

Still he has promised to do more needed jobs now this is over'

Seeing is believing?!!!!

Friday, 10 April 2009


Glazing today, and mending a kiln roof.

Firing Monday.

Pity it isn't my kiln, but work fired is real progress!

Sunday, 5 April 2009

getting ready

Today I helped to prepare a kiln for firing!!
Not my kiln, but the experience will help WHEN I fire mine!!
A beautiful afternoon spent in a walled garden, sorting the kiln, drinking tea, watching the gardeners.
Now I have a present to use...several bags of porcelain clay...getting that kiln going is URGENT!!!!

Saturday, 4 April 2009


A couple of weeks or so ago The Oily one had about £500 worth of tools stolen. Life can teach hard lessons sometimes.
One is reminded of the poem...
It raineth upon the just and upon the unjust..
But it raineth more upon the just
as the unjust hath stolen the just's umbrella.....

Everyone locks doors all the time now. Yes, there have always been thieves. Now there is no trust.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009


Every day we are on our allotments now. Potatoes planted, Broad Beans and Early peas planted out, Runner Beans sown, Tomato plants coming on well in the greenhouse.
April starts tomorrow then the sowing season really picks up speed!

Thursday, 26 March 2009