Thursday, 16 April 2020


Good morning!  It's another very cold start to the day with a frost on the car but not, thankfully, on the plants.  The apple blossom is in full swing so a really hard frost wouldn't be great!

The redlove apple looks beautiful at this time of the year

I started yesterday off with a trip to the allotment to prepare more ground for planting, to dig the trenches (is that what they're called?) for the potatoes and to water the seeds.  I succeeded in two of the three but, to my dismay, the water was off at the allotment.  I have no idea why - it's been fine all week and there was no notice about it on the hut or on the gate.  Fingers crossed that it will be on today - those seeds need water.

Three trenches ready for the seed potatoes which have been chitting merrily away on the side for a while now.  I'm no expert; doing the potatoes has always been Beth's job, but as she can't this year, the responsibility falls to me.

We're not planting a lot of potatoes and just one kind as we decided, well before this current crisis, that we would keep it small and manageable this year.  Better a bit than none at all.
I have about a third of the uncovered area to turn over, clear of any visible evil weeds and try to break up any large lumps of clay.  That will be the space for  potatoes, runner beans, baby corn and, hopefully, a courgette.
Then I start on the larger area, uncovering one bit at a time so it is manageable.  On that we hope to have more courgettes and a squash.  They are both good for ground cover so perhaps that will keep all but the worst weeds down.
I know it's a bit limited in terms of vegetables but a little is better than none at all and I am confident that even if Beth stays in isolation all summer, I can manage it for us both.

I expected to say RIP to the baby tomato this morning but it is still - er - not totally dead. shall we say.  I don't hold out much hope though.  Of the other baby plants, the corn is coming on nicely, I have several yellow courgette seedlings, the stripy heritage tomatoes are poking their heads up and all the gherkin seeds are coming up - which means I have eight plants when I only wanted two so maybe I will have to plant a few at the allotment too.  I think I'll have too many courgettes too but I have a larger planter doing nothing in the garden right now so one could go in there.

The rest of the day was spend doing bits and bobs.  I finished the algebra course - cheers!  The last bit was hard - hard for me, I mean - but I was encouraged that even though I was very unsure as to whether I was doing it right, when I checked the answers, I was, and I had found a different way to do one of them that worked just as well.

I looked on my OpenLearn profile because there was another course there that it looks as if I started several years ago but didn't get very far.  I don't actually remember but it seems to be my sort of thing.  It's called Grammar Matters and has the following sections:
Why does grammar matter?
What do we mean by 'meaning'?
Ideational meaning - talking about what's going on
Interpersonal meaning - interacting with and relating to others
Textual meaning - organising messages to make sense in context
Summary of the types of meaning
Grammar in the real world.

Some of you will be reading the above in absolute horror while so some it will look good.  It looks good to me and I've ordered some pads of file paper (not having any to hand) to make my notes and answer the various questions that are scattered about.
I meant to look for what else there was in the mathematics section but that can wait now.

Today looks like being more of the same really.

Something energetic:
I'll be getting those potatoes in and covered over and doing more ground preparation.  I want to finish that section by Saturday at the latest.

Something for house/garden:
In Daily Kitchen Live (are you watching it?) they showed a clip of Nadiya making baked bean falafels and I'd really like to have a go.  I was intending to make falafels anyway so this is just a variation.

Something social:
I have a vid-chat with Val lined up this afternoon.  Yesterday's chat with Beth didn't come off.  Her neighbour was not a well man and had certain ongoing treatments which were delayed because of the virus demands and he died on Tuesday evening.  He won't show in any virus statistics but he was just as much a victim in a way and Beth is, obviously, very sad.  I wanted to go over and give her a hug but couldn't.
He was a good neighbour.  RIP, D.

Something creative:
Well, I finished another pair of socks!!  Today I might look at how to sew up that other side seam but if I don't get round to that, no problems.

Something entertaining:
I started watching Jane Eyre but decided it wasn't my sort of thing so didn't carry on.  Instead I watched an old documentary about Rudolph Nureyev and then started watching a performance of Romeo and Juliet, the Macmillan version which is my absolute favourite.  I'll carry on with that after I have watched my daily diet of Daily Kitchen Live, Homes under the Hammer, Keep Cooking and House of Games plus whatever else is on today.
I'm not going short on entertainment, am I?  

I'm really sorry - I seem to have gone on and on and on today.  A sign that I'm feeling a lot more cheerful, I guess.
Take care, stay safe and enjoy your day.  xx


  1. Hope the water is on at your allotment. Weather forecast is for no rain again all next week. Weeks of wet now turned into weeks of dry.
    Have a lovely day. Two wax wraps now in use - thank you again, Think I might make some for the Christmas Hampers

    1. Hi, Sue. I've solved the mystery pf the missing water - tell you about iity in tomorrow's entry!
      I thought we were expecting rain over the weekend. Ho hum!
      So glad you are using the wraps and I think they would make an ideal addition to a hamper. :-) Lucky recipients.

  2. Sad to hear about Beth's neighbour it just brings home just how fragile life is and that we have to make every day count.

    I been following Daily Kitchen live and some of it find useful, might try the baked bean falafels eventually but at the moment cannot get baked beans for love nor money . I'm going to try the coconut curry sauce today as I have all the ingredients(except the coconut milk and am going to use the dessicated coconut in the cupboard- would be interested to know how you get on.
    Hope your day goes well . Take Care

    1. It does, doesn't it, Jane. An important thing to realise.

      If I give them a go, I'll let people know. It will be adapted but that's in the spirit of the whole programme anyway.

  3. I haven't been watching Daily Kitchen. What time is it on and which channel please? Nadiya's baked bean falafel recipe is online so I'll have a go when I can get some chickpea flour.

    I gave up on Jane Eyre as well. It's Treasure Island this week but I'm not sure if that's for me either. Phantom of the Opera (tomorrow) is definitely on the watch list though!

    I think the grammar course sounds interesting but still haven't completed the algebra one yet.

    1. It's on at ten every morning, BBC1, this week and next week - but as it looks as if lockdown is continuing, it might carry on longer than that.
      Is Phantom on YouTube. I definitely want to see that.

      The nice thing about those openlearn courses is that you can do them at a pace that suits you and in a way that suits you. I like the lack of pressure.

    2. Phantom is the Andrew Lloyd Webber release for this week so will be available for 48 hours from 7pm tomorrow (Friday) on his channel on YouTube.

      Thanks re the Daily Kitchen info. I'll see if it's on iPlayer as well.

    3. I'm pretty sure it is on iPlayer and the recipes are on BBC Good Food, I believe - some of them anyway.

      I'm really pleased it is Phantom this week. One of my favourites.

  4. Hi Joy,
    sorry to hear about your daughter's neighbour. Its so sad. Anything Jane Eyre turns me away due to having to study it for my O'Level!!

    1. I liked the book although O level study was guaranteed to put most people off, I agree. Me too, at the time; I came to it again many years later.

      It is very sad about D.

  5. Glad to see you're feeling more cheerful. A night of really bad sleep is always enough to ruin the next day for me, even without being followed by sad news and not being able to give and receive comforting hugs.
    I wanted to thank you for talking about the open learn stuff. I haven't had time to start yet but I had a browse after you mentioned it and found a forensic science module that looks interesting so it's bookmarked for the weekend.
    Enjoy the grammar studies. I'm sure it's obvious I could do with looking at that one too!

    1. < chuckle > Not to me!
      I'm really glad you like the OpenLearn choices and have found something that suits. It's giving me something fresh to think about and do but without the pressure that a full OU course imparts - and without the cost as well.
      I haven't really explored the wide range - something to do when there's not a lot to do, maybe.

  6. The apple blossom is beautiful. Hopefully there will be a bumper crop this year. I'm so sorry to read of Beth's neighbour.X

    1. We're hoping so, from all four trees, fingers crossed.
      And thank you. It's very sad, he was such a good neighbour and an all round lovely man, says Beth.