Good morning, everyone.
You know those days when you seem to be bustling around for hours, yes not doing much. Well, that was yesterday! However, there is now a stack of things waiting to be packed, the kitchen is comparatively organised and I'm nearly ready so maybe I achieved more than it seemed.
On Monday, Beth brought round a bucked load of final pickings from the allotment. Courgettes, squashes and apples. No potatoes as I have my own and no runners because ditto. The other stuff has been given out to lovely people who have helped Beth and me with the allotment as neither of us have been able to give it much attention in recent weeks for differing and very valid reasons.
I shall take courgettes and a squash with me but the apples really did need dealing with. Some were bad and needed chucking while some were far too small so ditto. However, there were a number of sound ones, some more than others. I sorted out six to take with me - they have a lovely tangy/sweet flavour and I think they are Coxes although Beth can't remember. Anyway, whatever they are, they're worth having and it's very exciting to get a small crop the year after it was moved. The other fruit trees didn't yield anything this year. The plum and pear got caught by a late frost and the redlove had apples but they all dropped, sadly. Still, in gardening there's always hope so we look forward to next year.
The other apples were peeled, cored, cut into wedges and blanched for the freezer although I was naughty and used some to make an apple and strawberry crumble for lunch. It was delicious and there's some left over for today.
Amazingly, the Ruby Ann strawberries are still cropping. Not loads as there are only four plants but enough for a picking now and again. Also in the garden, the runners are all over and done, as are the montello tomatoes, but the sungolds are still going strong and I shall start on the potatoes today. Not bad for a summer's effort. The garden is starting to look bedraggled now so I need to set aside a couple of mornings to give it the annual autumn haircut!
In the late afternoon I went over to Beth's for dinner and to say goodbye to Alex. He's off to university on Friday. When I think back, his life journey has been astounding and inspirational. Diagnosed with autism as a toddler, non verbal until around five after losing all his developing language in a typical 'crash' at around 14 months, attending a local 'special school', the only pupil ever at that school to take KS2 SATs and getting level 4s and 5s, despite not having done the mainstream curriculum, transferred to mainstream secondary to enter Y9, getting all his GCSEs including English, Getting all his A levels with high grades and now . . . off he goes into the next phase of his life and education!
The autism hasn't gone away, of course, it is pervasive and lifelong and creates 'issues', but wow, he has done so, so well. And so has Beth. I'm so proud of them both.
It's sad, very sad, to have to say goodbye and not have him around but changes happen and life moves on. I just wish there weren't quite so many changes happening right now.
I need to get a move on. By the end of today, I want to have everything packed and by the front door, ready for loading tomorrow. I want to have a neat and tidy house for my lovely house sitter and for the cleaners so that I can watch An Extra Slice this evening with a clear conscience, always a nice thing to have
But first - of course - coffee . . . as always!