Tuesday 31 May 2011

still no pictures

verdict= dead monitor :-( So still no photos and I'm sharing the laptop with The Carpenter!
I've put out a "wanted" post on Freegle....fingers crossed!!!

On the other hand I have got two large loads of washing done AND dried, including jeans!

Weeded the main onion and shallot bed and started weeding the red onion/garlic/other shallots bed!
The Carpenter came to help, put in two posts and supports and wires ready for bean row#2, the beans for which are busy germinating and starting to put up shoots.
Tomorrow is therefore, weather permitting, Elderflower picking and Digging day.

We had an evening out, saying hello to the Cardiff Hardcourt Bike Polo friends, then spending all my "divi" vouchers in the Co-op!!!

Walked up to close the greenhouse, as the nights are still chilly-not as bad as Scotland still having frost .
Yet another villager I didn't know previously to speak to, came to say "hello, how are you" and sharing happy memories of Col. It eases the ache and makes remembering happier.

no pictures

As The Carpenter's computer/monitor is/are not right.

More cool rain yesterday, but I did manage to pick my rhubarb, about 1.5 kg after trimming.
I think I should have divided those clumps . The crop is smaller, the sticks skinnier- although the previous lack of rain has something to do with that too.
I went through the Abergavenny strawberries too, picking all that were nearly ripe , and got half a kilo. Had I left them they would have rotted in the rain or been slugged or had by the peck and run merchants (blackbirds!).

2kg of fruit has made almost 700 ml of juice to make cordial (and pulp to freeze for later use) It is a beautiful colour! Tastes good too.

I shuffled plants around in the greenhouse, bringing out those ready to plant out and putting in the sown trays, some of which are germinating fast.

It is a catchup day today as it is sunny so far, there is plenty of washing and gardening to do!

Monday 30 May 2011

more art college closures

Cardiff Sculpture Department is now scheduled to close- the thin end of the wedge towards downgrading the Ceramics department?

Cardiff has the only purely Ceramics degree course in the UK


Sunday 29 May 2011

moving on

I've got Col's garden ready to hand over, and now there is a small waiting list for plots, so the time to move on has come.

I needed to finish things we had started and planned together.

It was good to see The Carpenter helping too, planting out leeks and strengthening the polytunnel walls.

My garden has been ticking over well, now it can get back to normal. The Wizzard is here this weekend and he is helping with the new shed plans. He may not always be very practical but can be very useful and kind.

We have had more, needed, rain, but now we need some sun, for ourselves as much as the garden. I can hear the cars splashing along the road outside, so no digging today.

I was lucky to gather a small crop of Elderflowers previously and they are safe in the freezer. I can't touch the next lot until two good dry days have passed. I think Elderflower and Lime Cordial could be in the making soon.

Saturday 28 May 2011



Apologies proffered.

Sometimes you say what you shouldn't, when emotions are raw.

Col's garden

Strawberry bed, one of them that is! Just waiting for a good day's sun!!
Latest sowings done, others germinating nicely and tomatoes on the way.
The polytunnel ( what was left after the arson a while ago). The red grape vine survived. Onions, lettuce , rocket and cabbage growing, carrots need sowing.
Must get these out asap! The little greenhouse, which needs recovering with plastic after the ravages of the last Winter

The Shed. Home from Home, with a comfortable chair inside that I've curled up on a few times.
Now with the patio growing as planned, at last!

It is an odd weather day, warm but with a chilly breeze, fine rain showers with gentle sun in between.
Celery and broad beans

This is where I've been happy for three seasons.

Thursday 26 May 2011

wood firing pots

Nice colouring, but...
quite a bit of crud from the exploding cone pad went everywhere. A little woodash, not too much.
The soapdish is where the cone landed!
But again, the outside shows promise
Col's dish. Never mind about the bits, I'll not sell this ever.


Time is unreal now. Six days feels an age, yet no time atall.

Yesterday I planted out cabbage on my garden, and on Col's put the flowers that he had grown from seed, plus others I was given for him.

We had discussed a month ago what should go on the parsley bed, as it needed a rest.

Then I dug over a quarter of the polytunnel, ready for sowing carrots, and cleaned half of the paths. The paths were the job he let me do initially, saying himself how much better it looked when done.

Today it is raining, and this will give an opportunity for more seed sowing.

Col's funeral is on the Eighth of June, in St.John's church in the village, where he will be with family and friends.

Two weeks to get his garden looking perfect for him.

Wednesday 25 May 2011

a short walk

I am now editing this post, now having information that I should have had at the time of writing.
Also in grief, time does not pass as normal, what seems an age is yet a short time.

Yesterday I went up the Mountain, to see YF and Mrs YF. The weather was dry and sunny after the night's rain, the wind still chill even down in the valley.

For the first time I walked up the path above the fire road, where he never let me go with him.

He was with me then, and without knowing it I followed the way to their home that he always took.

We are all following his paths up there and he is all around.

The first calf was born, that he had been anticipating so much.

It was good to be there, only half an hour's unhurried walk away, but not easy to come back down.

I tried to do some glaze mixing after lunch, but it is hard . I couldn't get on with it, so went and planted out cauliflower and beet instead.

The Carpenter is finding it hard too. Still no work, and no Col to keep him going either. He has made a start on his tax return-but was tidying his room trying to find his login number....
Lets hope he carries on the impetus and signs on as we need to pay bills.
He has tried three times and it has been a nightmare of being asked for more and more paperwork, lost paperwork, not being sent letters so that he missed appointments and got sent back to square one.
A game of snakes and ladders indeed.

I am aware that I need to look after my health, I am concerned at every little thing, but what I am feeling is normal but not normal.

Sunday 22 May 2011

firing day, Gwehelog

South Wales Potters held a firing day, firing a brick built wood-fired kiln of about 7 cubic foot packing space. As rain was forecast, it was tackle the gazebo time.....
Erm....... How many potters does it take to get a gazebo up???!!!
Ta Daaaa!!
After all that it only just rained a little as the firing finished.The weather was just right, sunny intervals, not too hot for kiln stoking.
I contributed a pony"kiln god"
The ingenious door
Which opens clear away from the firebox entrance
Steve Hozelitz busy, Steve Mills supervising, doing a grand job, with help from Kate Mills.

Stoking was two lengths of pallet at a time, three seemed excessive, and stalled the temperature gain
The wood stack
using a baulk of wood to keep the door closed
just after a stoke, you can see the spiral flow of the smoke
unfortunately a weld cracked on a flue, but it didn't seem to affect it too much
getting ready to turn the kiln off, by lowering the flues
gone, and capped with a kiln shelf
The firing only took seven hours, which was quite respectable.
Unfortunately the clay supporting the cones wasn't bone dry, AND the initial temperature rise was too fast .(blame the kiln god?!!) It therefore exploded and spread what was describe as 'crud' over most of the pots! However, much was learnt from the firing, and some decent pots emerged the following day. I had two small bowls, and a horse dish, which I wasn't going to sell anyway. It was the only survivor of the first three made, and my Man liked it!

I must thank those who knew about him for looking after me. It was a day of good food, hard work and much learning, and we are all looking forward to the next firing in July.


When he decided he was a little overweight! 2008
In the polytunnel. 2009

Col and Buster, looking over Cwmbran
Looking down over Cwm Lickey
Coming up from Penyrheol
Choosing the hard route, as ever. Going up Twmbarlwm
The day we took Buster home in 2011.
He couldn't hide being ill any more, with extra layers of clothing
Strong hands, caring hands, hands to make you feel safe, even at the end.

Colin Thomas Lloyd

My lovely, caring man, my other half.

Tuesday 17 May 2011

some people


His caravan has been rummaged in already.

YF has all his papers safe as he requested weeks ago, and he has no money.

His daughter is on her way to rescue his books and the blue bowl I gave him, which I want to keep safe.

Edited to add. Only the pony paperwork was touched, the door replaced exactly as it had been left by those who had already put his papers safe.

Tuesday 10 May 2011

"keep calm and carry on"

Making a breakfast tray for one is heartbreakingly sad. Especially after not much sleep.

Still, he needs more looking after than I can manage. Lets hope that what they have found isn't too bad news. At least it is not as big as it would have been, left unfound.

Hopefully we'll know what it is sometime today.

I have pots to turn and finish. He will want an update!!

The weather is damp. Hope I might get a little dry enough to dry the washing.

Monday 9 May 2011


MMan in hospital .

Wednesday 4 May 2011

A bit too busy

Blogging has taken a back seat for a bit!

MM is making sure that I get work done . I've made more mugs, and the jugs are developing well. I've started some slightly bigger bowls too, which need turning soon.
I'm not 100% happy with the clay body, but I think that it is just too fresh, having been mixed in the factory straight after the Christmas break. It is far too soft to throw straight from the bag, and also I'm finding little lumps of something that looks like Yellow Ochre. Yes, I do use that in glazes, and I do have some unrefined Yellow Ochre in a tub. But there is none lurking loose in the workshop.....and it isn't something you want to find in a Special White Stoneware.

Meanwhile we are still without rain. I'm holding back on sowing some things until we do get rain, but I'm wondering how long that will be. Low pressure systems are due in on Thursday, rain is forecast by the weekend. Live in hope.

All will be well, as they say.