This blog is mainly a rambling kind of diary of the transition from smallholderwannabe to smallholder.

Wednesday, September 07, 2022


 I have been missing in action for ages. There has been so much happening and some things, like this blog, got pushed to the side. I have often thought about the blog because primarily, it is my diary, but I just did not have the energy left to play catch-up.

My mum-in-law died at the end of April and it was all a bit problematic getting the requisite certificates and arranging the funeral. She was in her nineties but will be remembered as a lovely lady who was very good to me especially when we were first married. She didn't live locally to us so we needed somewhere to stay. We could not find a B&B/hotel at a reasonable price so we rented a cottage for a week. This meant that we had a bit of time to ourselves after the funeral and could also see family that we had not seen since before lockdown other than at the funeral.

Then there was a time of unwellness. A time to be forgotten, not to be remembered. And then my husband had some meetings to go to where I was able to accompany him and go wandering while he worked. The first times we have been away since before lockdown, apart from the funeral, and they were much enjoyed even if I was on my own most of the time. 

We have been harvesting lots of produce from the allotment over the summer. We did not get any peas or beans because something came along and ate the plants when they were young. We went one day and found some rows of short stalks where there had been lovely plants on the previous visit. I suspect pigeons are the culprits. I have bought lots of netting and next year the peas and beans will be thoroughly covered in netting.

On the subject of growing things, Wilco have reduced their seeds so silly money - between 4p and 25p. If you have a Wilco near you then you will find the seeds in a box beside the tills rather than in their usual place in the store.

I usually write a preserving diary to remind myself what I have made each year. We have a bit of a backlog of uneaten jams, pickles and chutneys so I haven't made much this year. I usually put some jams or something into each Christmas stocking so I have done some fresh preserves:

  • Blackberry and apple jam
  • Last of the summer jelly (little bits of everything I could find but not much of anything - crab apples, a red apple, blackberries, sloes, medlars, elderberries, rowan berries, rose hips, plums and damsons. And it has a wonderful tangy flavour.)
  • Cucumber and onion pickle
  • I have picked some sloes so very soon there will be sloe jelly too.
My youngest grandchild started school yesterday and loved it. He was just a little bit excited - understatement of the year : )  He will be going to the before school and after school clubs to cope with the working hours of mum and dad. It will the same hours as he was used to at nursery so that won't be any different for him. Mum starts work and finishes work earlier than dad so dad will take him to school and mum will fetch him. He rang me up yesterday teatime to tell me all about it. Long may the excitement last!


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