Still picking and painting… thank you Sally, Rod… and geese for Linda

(The random nature of my posts reflects my state of mind)

My much neglected vegetable plot and greenhouse are managing fine without me, and still supplying pickings. dscn9938

In August I meant to clean and re-stain all our external and internal woodwork. I finally started a couple of weeks ago. dscn9898

There’s an awful lot of it, and a lot of other important commitments, so I am like a jack-in-the-box – out if the sun shines, in doing other stuff the instant it looks like rain. I have become weather alert, but this had me foxed. dscn9902 dscn9901 dscn9900

The bits that are done look good, but most of the porch and the left-hand run of windows are still to finish.dscn9948 dscn9949

In between my other commitments there are the other, other commitments – four lectures in four different towns (I’m getting a little less fearful with each one) – and one more to go (with others in the pipeline).

Surviving the Death Railway is travelling the world – thank you to all my fellow bloggers who have bought copies, and to Sally Cronin for generously writing about my work and to Rod on Fragmented Mind for his wonderful review.

Photo for Linda – what I did when I was told to be careful of the geese.hilary-chasing-geese_2


The approach of Autumn

A week ago I was depressed at the idea of the end of summer, today I am cheered by the approaching autumn. I have planted broccoli and spinach and the vegetable garden still looks amazingly orderly. DSCN4246The potatoes plants were all zapped by ants so we only had one colander full. The sweet peas fried in the heatwave, but everything else has been OK. The leeks are growing and there are plenty of runner and french beans, tomatoes, courgettes and salad to come.

The maples are beginning to turn.

Acer palmatum Sangukaku

Acer palmatum Sangukaku

From now on until leaf drop they provide me with almost daily excitement. Another happy event is the first fruit on the apple tree (sold to us four years ago as a plum!) We have no idea what sort of apple this is, so it has been a long wait. They look on the small side, but I like the green/orange colour, as I’m not a fan of red apples. I pulled off a tiny one and ate it today.DSCN4250





It has a lovely scent and is thin-skinned and crisp, but with only two tiny bites it was difficult to assess the flavour. Any suggestions about what they might be?

We still have martins feeding young, there have been at least three broods. I hope they have not left it too late to raise them before the cold weather arrives. I made a brave attempt to take a photo of them feeding.

House martins feeding

House martins feeding