Wednesday 30 August 2023

On and on

 One day just merges into the next at the moment, keeping up with the ordinary, trying not to miss appointments. 

Pushing on with cleaning and describing bike bits, with the occasional...should be more Some different shape chainrings this time..the oval being an idea that it was more efficient, that you never had a dead point in the idea that has returned many times in the past hundred years!

Doing bits in the garden..tonight we had our own beans and carrots in our meal!

I rummaged through the freezer and made a large batch of mixed berry cordial...ten 330ml bottles! 

I cool them on their sides..apart from ensuring that the cap is properly processed, it shows any that leak..and get used quickly.

Another batch of chutney made with our friend's dark plums, foraged apples, home-grown shallots...and the finishing touch of homegrown jalapeno peppers!!

And we have, at last, the first butternut squash!! Only an inch long so far.....and a bit late...must start earlier next year....and find out why there have only been male flowers until now!!

Pirate has had one bit of good news... PSA level it looks like the radiotherapy has done some good.

We met the regular District Nurse today....she is a nae messin' cracker!

A farmer's wife...a long time nursing...and means business..she takes no prisoners and cares for her patients. 

She also knows Pirate's specialist nurse communication should be even better from now on.  With her about, he now feels more confident in dealing with what is happening to his body. And I feel that I am working with someone who is backing me too.

Saturday 26 August 2023

Keeping up with the garden

 The garden has been left to its own devices for a bit, apart from watering the greenhouse and polytunnel.

I have trimmed the outdoor squashes back..despite having rampaged everywhere, there aren't many decent squashes on them. I should have been more organised and stopped each plant after three fruits developed. However I am glad of those that are developing. The tomatoes have at last started ripening..those that are there. Pollenation has been low.

The butternut squash in the greenhouse gas at last got round to flowering, despite being sold as a quick grower for our climate...and they are all male flowers!

Yet another cucumber hiding at the back!

Mixed runner and climbing french beans
Carrot and beetroot thinnings

Pirate mowed the No Mow May Meadow. That will lay for a couple of days for seeds to drop, then as it has Mare's Tail (Equisetum) in it, it will be chopped finer and put in a tub to make liquid feed, instead of composted.

He has managed to develop a cold..not surprising as his immune system has been compromised. So he isn't a happy bunny, but is making sure that he still can do jobs around the house and garden. He still prefers to start and carry on to finish, but I have to make sure that he takes enough breaks. Having to work to do things he could once do easily comes hard.

Wednesday 23 August 2023

How housework takes up time....

 1. Sheets and towels wash...and dry outside while we had a neighbour's morning..Paddy over for his regular morning cuppa with Pirate, then over to see Nan to swap a jar of plum chutney for a dozen empty jars...and back with half a bucket of Victoria Plums from Paddy!

2. Start yoghurt, lunch then off out when Pirate went for a siesta

3. Do the shopping that got missed yesterday... don't go without a list! and forage apples in our usual seaside place...a full large shopper of cooker-ish apples and half of the eaterish apples. Both needed thinning out, the crops are heavy but smaller fruit than usual...not enough rain at the "right" time....

I will share these around here and hope to get back to pick more in a week or so for keeping.

Started a batch of bramble and apple jelly which will drip overnight.....

And plaited the shallots that had long enough "tails" to plait!

You end the day feeling yes, you have achieved a fair bit....but much is just day to day, day after day stuff!

Tomorrow will have to be preserving day before some of the fruit goes over!!

Tuesday 22 August 2023

Bike bits and foraging

 Cleaning and sorting continues...I have got this lot clean, just needs checking, describing, do nearly thirty chainrings that have had their first clean.

It takes time... but it is worth it.

We have been on one forage

The greengages and cooking plums came from a friend's garden.

Today should have been apple day.... But I couldn't face getting soaked getting through grass and bracken on the way to the trees!

The apple trees are in the area in the foreground, between the promenade and the dunes.

You can see Dunure Castle and the Heads of Ayr behind in the distance and the Carrick Hills hidden in the clouds

We are both looking forward to Pirate's many questions to answer...what did the treatment achieve, why the pain, how long for, what next? I hope they will give him some sort of scan to compare before and else will they be able to judge?

Friday 18 August 2023

Morning leaves

 It is worth catching the morning. I woke just before six this morning...and wondered what the point would be of staying in I am quietly getting on with things..there is a nice blue sky, but it is breezy with gusts of nearly I am staying indoors until it gets nearer to 15⁰/60⁰ than 10⁰/50⁰ !!

Tuesday 15 August 2023


 Our neighbour brought over ten pounds of plums from his tree, picked before the wasps got in them..he has lost quite a few already. These six pounds are spread out to ripen before use...the other four pounds are in the dryer

Pirate is slowly learning to pace himself and break jobs up and take rests in between...the middle day job today was mowing the grass...

He still tries to do too much in one session... but it is a hard lesson.

Nice to have the place looking tidier though..and a nice square ready, in case anyone wants to stay and camp!!

Now while he is resting I must draw up the shopping list for the shopping expedition..and being later we might be lucky and score some reduced items!!

Monday 14 August 2023

Busy weekend


With a special deal for sellers on fleabay this weekend I have been busy researching, pricing , photographing and listing bike bits...and got one sale just after I listed the item just after 10pm on Saturday night!! 

This afternoon I got round to using some plums that we had been given...Plum and Apple Chutney!

And the Cucurbits are taking over....

Saturday 12 August 2023

Cycling in many nations

 One statistic I heard at the beginning of the World Championships here in Glasgow, was that of the 195 official countries around the globe, 130 are represented here.

Some just by a single individual...and bigger more affluent countries are providing technical and physical backup, either on the track, Velodrome or MTB, or on the road. With both the able bodied, para cycling junior and under 23 events all here, some team support staff haven't been able to be in more than one place at a for example, a friend who is a coach, from Wales, is working with the para team from Slovenia

Quoting the UCI press release as well, about the Refugee Cycling team" The team comprises five road athletes (three women and two men) and a male mountain bike athlete. All living in European host countries, they originally come from Afghanistan, Syria and Iran.28 Jul 2023"

There are men's and women's teams from all sorts of places...the Women's team from Afghanistan are certainly to be respected..even if they aren't amongst the winners, they, like all the others, are taking part in a sport they love.

So many languages combined in one...the love for the bike... especially in the country where it was invented by Kirkpatrick MacMillan at his smithy in Keir near Thornhill in Dumfriesshire

Friday 11 August 2023

Another day out...with bikes!

 We eventually got on the road....just in post a sale, on the way to my mammogram a trailer hiding in the corner of a supermarket car park!!..and the nurses have to use the shop toilet....

Feed the car, buy a picnic lunch and off.....heading around Glasgow, through the Clyde Tunnel and up to the foot of the Campsie Hills...and over them on the Crow Road, through Fintry to Kippen.

This was the easiest way to get to see the course of the Elite Mens' time trial in the World Championships, because of closed roads. 

We managed to park, had our lunch and found a spot to watch on the shady side of the the sunshine was quite warm...after today's wet and chilly start!! The crowds gathered, lining both sides of the road, with marshalls and a few police wandering around and chatting.. everyone anticipating the arrival of the riders....with police outriders, commissaries cars, service vehicles....and the riders...who started at 80 second intervals...

We saw them at about the 27km mark, and they had 20km or so to get to the finish in Stirling.

The first rider..the slowest although still an elite rider..was from the Refugees Cycling Team...a great thing to see.

We slowly walked back to the car.....hoping that we wouldn't be in the mad rush out of the village...we did catch that a little, as the road is very narrow.

Then back over the fells,through a heavy shower ,to see a friend at his bike shop....and home.

Thursday 10 August 2023

Dumfries, afternoon of speed

 To Dumfries yesterday, to collect Pirate's phone that he dropped in friend's car on missed calls or texts, which is strange as that phone works hard!!

Shopping first, and buying the wherewithal for a picnic lunch.

The car parks were nearly full and we were lucky to be able to use Pirate's Blue Badge to park by the river on Dock Quay. I wonder what boats came up the river to dock here?

First a picnic on a bench by the river...and this sculpture on the railings..or had there been knobs like this on other parts of the railings?

Then to the finish/start area on Whitesands, just below the river..full of bikes, riders, kit, coaches (the human kind)...we found out way to the spectating area 2, where we could see a big screen, with shots from a motorbike cameraman following riders, and from a camera on a drone, as well as results and other information on the World Championships.

The overall...and finishing..speed was impressive!! Under 28 minutes for 11.5 km..

There was more municipal art.. simple and effective in the breeze

And the river behind..with tree trunks perched on the weir

We saw all the recumbent bike handcyclists, but realised that our three hour parking limit was less than half an hour away. We saw some of the next group warming up...those without full leg length, so sort of kneeling and sitting to pedal by hand. We and cake....but at 3pm the café was closing!!...With plenty of people around needing we were turned away, half a dozen more were coming in, to be turned away...

Then past the footbridge back to the car.

Then home again on quieter roads.

Monday 7 August 2023

Jungly garden

 This was last week..just catching up on myself now!

I think four squash plants may have been too many...butt they are growing twice as much as last year!

It looks like we may be getting some warmer weather..that will certainly help the garden! It will certainly finish drying off these shallots.

I hope to sow seeds where the shallots and garlic have been, tomorrow.

I have bought phacaelia seeds for green manure, but I can leave sowing them until September, and that will hopefully make ground cover over the winter and be dug in in the Spring.