Thursday, 17 October 2019

Book recommended

I am trying to remember who recommended reading The Salt of you Out There!

It was worth reading, the story of a couple who have lost all, and being homeless decide to walk the South Western Coastal Path...all 600+ miles of it...with the added complication of illness...and mostly wild camping.
I will be reading it again....

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Not just racing

The world Masters Track Champs is not just about the racing... catching up with friends, sharing the craic!

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Going, going, Go!

Catching up with the pruning.... staying with a friend near Manchester...paying in kind for our stay!  He is the one in the hard hat.
World Masters Track cycling champs have started...Pirate starts his events at 10pm Monday night.

Friday, 11 October 2019

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Culross Walk

After a session on the velodrome for Pirate, we headed further to the Kingdom of Fife to see a friend and go for a walk...a definite better choice than heading into Glasgow rush hour traffic!
We found a source of plums hopefully next year, damsons and small green gage plums as well.
As the choice when going to the sea...well, the Firth of Forth! ice cream or beer...and the shops had just shut....they had a pint of beer each in the last public house left in Culross!

Monday, 7 October 2019


The red onion marmalade has turned out a real autumnal colour..I changed from the usual cider vinegar to red wine vinegar..and it worked!
Pirate peeled 3kg of red onions..and I chopped them..a good way to clear one's sinuses!
We have been foraging in between showers and have gathered several large strong shopping bags full of tree ripened apples.
I don't think that there has been a cottage in this corner of the community woodland, so it must just be a bird sown pippin.
The apples are crisp and sweet enough to eat, but sharp enough to be good keepers if not bruised.

Next year we will have to go with my apple picker before they fall, but this year I am juicing...16 bottles so far, just under 8 litres.
I am wondering how much I need to make to last a year?

I process them as you would bottles of cordial, in a tall pan of cold water up to their necks with the cap a quarter turn opened.
Then raise up to 190 F and hold for 20 minutes as it gently goes "blup blup...." Out of the pan, close tightly the cap and immediately wrap PVC electricians insulation tape around the cap and neck to ensure a seal.
Cool on its side to ensure the inside of the cap is also sterilised.and you can see instantly if there is a leak of air into the bottle. When cool, I dip the cap and neck in melted candlewax.

I have not long since drunk the last of last year's apple juice, so it is good to know that this works! Also good to know that it's one less thing to go in the deep freeze and rely on a constant supply of electricity.

Today the Pirate is joining in on a session on Glasgow way to ride your bike in the warm and dry!
This morning the weather was blowing fiercely after yet another night of rain and gales.  As we left, the lights were flickering...and I felt glad that more of my store cupboard is filling with jars and bottles...
I need more bottles and jars...!!

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Saying goodbye

Leaving a garden we used to work in. The house has been sold, the owners moved on...but we are still in contact.
We have the job of clearing a few things for them.
It's the last garden job in a village we moved from in 2012.

Sad, but we do need to reduce working for others.
We need time to do our own garden, I need time to make my own work....if you look at the right side of the blog you will see 'pots' on that and you will see a few examples...

Friday, 4 October 2019

Harvest, life and weather

We have collected our second batch of windfall apples, only to check my glass bottle store....and I'm running low!
I'm really regretting not bringing my stock of kilner (mason) jars with me to Scotland....but I have found one shop which stocks them at a reasonable price. They are no longer turning up secondhand anywhere, which is a good sign as someone must be using them!!
The small freezer I have is full...time to review the contents once more and make room I think.

Pirate is gradually recovering from a bout of tonsillitis. He is itching to get back to riding his bike properly, but is seeing sense, if reluctantly.  We rode the velodrome boards in Glasgow yesterday, I just do an hour's gentle riding, he does a bit more..but soon realised that he is not on full power.
We had the tail of Hurricane Lorenzo through last night and it is still cold and windy this morning.
Good for drying a whole lot of washing, but not for going out on the bikes. He will have to do his riding on the turbo trainer indoors and we will have time for some fresh air on foot this afternoon.
Staying indoors unless the weather is serious is no good for one's health, a change of air in the lungs is needed.

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

A garden welcome

The polytunnel residents have thrived while we were away!

Home again

Home again...we travelled a day earlier having seen the weather forecast!!
A good journey apart from one detour we made to escape jams where two motorways joined.... unfortunately it was just before 3pm, so we hit school traffic!! At least we had more interesting things to look at whilst in the jams through a town than sitting on a motorway.

All unpacked and tea made within half an hour.....heavy rain overnight....and a grey damp morning.
Looking at the runner beans we think that there has been a frost while we were away...just as they had got going well!!

Now the sun is coming out from behind the clouds so there is a batch of washing to do......

Grandson one had a meltdown in school after we left....we need to visit more often so that the pair of them get used to us more, but that isn't easy. Neither is life easy for Daughter, dealing with autistic/asperger twins....

Friday, 27 September 2019


Rain stopped play yesterday...hasn't even let it start today.
At least I am back to drawing.
I managed over an hour out on my bike around the lanes yesterday, mostly between showers. Pirate carried on gardening then did his riding on the turbo trainer in the garage!

The rain is coming over in heavy squalls, and not much better forecast for a few days.. possibly a thunderstorm later this morning and a rain weather warning has been issued for Saturday night to Sunday morning.

We haven't been able to do as much gardening as hoped, but we have made a good start on a couple of jobs.
I wonder how our garden is faring at home?

We are despairing at the state of low and unpleasant can they sink?

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Wandering while waiting for the train

Arrived in Aberystwyth at last!