Sunday, 27 September 2009

It’s supposed to be Autumn

Last week was the start of Autumn but here in sunny Norfolk you wouldn’t think it.  Again today dawned clear and bright and we had lovely blue skies all day and warm sun.  After doing a few chores in the morning (log chopping for the winter) we had some lunch and headed off to Cromer on the North Norfolk Coast.  We had a drink and a piece of carrot cake sitting on the verandah of the Rocket Cafe overlooking the beach.  Nigel took some photos of the crab boats hauled up on the beach particularly the only wooden one amongst them, all the other being made of fibre glass.

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There were a few brave souls frolicking in the water, loads of people sitting on the beach, people flying kites and dog walkers.  We walked along the beach which was a bit pebbly as the tide was well in and so not much of the lovely sand was exposed which makes walking easier.  Nigel was very brave and paddled about in the surf but I preferred to keep my feet dry.  Further on towards Overstrand we let Rocky our new foster greyhound off the lead as there were not too many other dogs about.  On the lead he has shown a little aggression to other dogs so we were being very vigilant about meeting other dogs.  Mostly he stayed close by which was good as his recall is virtually not existent.  Tillie as always ran about like a maniac until she wore herself out.  We nearly made it to Overstrand but decided to turn back just before and by the time we reached the parked car we were all glad to clamber in for a sit down.

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Monday, 21 September 2009

Greyhounds Galore

Yesterday we picked up our new foster boy Rocky.  He had been adopted 2½ years ago but due to a relationship breakup the lady was unable to keep him any longer.  Rocky is a super, gentle giant, much bigger than Tillie but very quiet and laidback. 

After picking him up we dropped into the summer fair and dog show at Worsted hosted by  Kerry Greyhounds the charity where we adopted Tillie from and who I usually foster for. This time I am fostering for Action for Greyhounds.  I entered Rocky into to the Bonniest Boy category but unfortunately he didn’t get placed.  We then had a picnic and walked the dogs a little way on the Weavers Way, stopping to look at the derelict lock at Ebridge and the also derelict mill nearby. 

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Once we got home we went about showing Rocky all the garden and house and introducing him to Ali the cat.  Rocky was VERY interested in him so we will have to take that relationship slowly.  He is used to living with a cat but obviously it is different with a new cat.  I had to do some jobs in the garden and Rocky had a lovely time wandering about inspecting and sniffing every inch outside.  The chickens he didn’t seem bothered in at all.  We had a bit of a restless night with him which is to be expected and I had to get up and let him outside twice but on the whole he did really well with his first night away from his old home.
Today Sophie the greyhound was also dropped round to the yard for a couple of days by a friend who has to go into hospital for a couple of days, so we have quite a pack to look after for a while. After work (by the way they all come to work with us!) we walked them up the Bure Valley Railway footpath even letting Rocky off the lead.  Once we were home they all polished off them food and are all now comatose whilst I type.

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Thursday, 17 September 2009

Can you guess what it is yet? Part 2

Introducing Rainbow the greyhound! I finished him on Monday and already he is taking advantage of the facilities as you can see!
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Unfortunately his stay here was very short and he is now on a transatlantic voyage to Pittsburgh USA. I crocheted him from the most wonderful pattern by Lenora Conlon who has graciously and generously allowed me to sell the finished greyhounds on the internet for greyhound rescue fund raising.

One member of our household will be leaving tomorrow, Sam is back off to Uni. Today we went shopping for mainly purple! clothes. We have loaded him up with some store cupboard staples and given him a huge steak supper tonight, so that should keep him going for a bit.

We will have a new member joining us on Sunday – Rocky the greyhound (a living breathing one) who we will be fostering for Action for Greyhounds. The dog I had previously to Tillie was called Rocky so that will be strange to be using that name again – more on how he settles in the future.

I had a quick look at my bees yesterday and as I thought, one of the hives is empty so I am down to just 2 hives now, and one of them is a very small colony. There was a few dead bees in the bottom but no sign otherwise of what had happened to them. Of course the wax moths had taken advantage of the empty hive and had moved in. I have made some autumn feed up for the two remaining hives and at the weekend I shall remove the honey supers off and put the bucket feeders on along with the varroa treatment. I will try and take some photos when I do but it is a bit awkward operating the camera with big leather gauntlets on!

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Chilly Tillie

My friend Barbara made these super jumpers (sweaters) for fund raising.  Tilllie was very patient and let me put them on her and pose for the photo shoot.  Mind you, it probably won’t be long before people’s thoughts turn to wearing winter woollies as today the weather has really changed to what it has been like.  Last Tuesday we were experiencing temperatures here in Norfolk of 29c but today it is windy, and overcast and only 15c.
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I am still picking runner and french beans albeit small amounts as the french beans have sprouted at the bottoms again.  The ground is really dry though and much as I hate to say it we are desperate for some rain.  I harvested all the pumpkins today as I didn’t want them to rot where they lay.  The tiny tennis ball sized one was grown in a container, so next year I will only grow them in the garden.  The plants were given to me by Steve a work colleague who bought a pumpkin last halloween for his children and when he had carved it he saved the seed.  Not many tomatoes left now but I still have a couple of cucumbers growing in the greenhouse.  I pulled my first leeks today which were massive!  Looking forward to eating those.  We have been eating sweetcorn all week as well.  This year has been the best yet for yield all due to my wonderful raised beds built for me by Nigel in lieu of a holiday (long story!)
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Whilst pottering about in the garden this morning, three lovely almost grown cygnets came to say hello.  Luckily there was plenty of bits of bread and rolls going stale in the bread bin, so they had a little snack.  Mind you they had to contend with Tillie eyeing the bread up hungrily as this is one of her most favourite treats.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Greyhound Snoods

Myself and a friend have been knitting  greyhound snoods for selling to raise funds for some local greyhound charities.  Here is a selection of them modelled extremely elegantly by Tillie and her woolly chum Nellie.  I have linked to this pattern in a previous post. You can find my current selection for sale HERE
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Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Can you guess what it is yet?

Ok, I am working on this crochet project at the moment.  Can anyone guess what it is likely to be when it is finished?  IMGP4905-1024
Watch this space for a completed photo.  I am crocheting it with Patons Smothie DK which I will not hurry again to use as it is multi stranded and easily seperates when you are working with it. 

Monday, 7 September 2009

Sunday’s Harvest

I just thought I would share the lovely produce picked from my veggie plot on Sunday. I have loads more pumpkins and butternut squash ready but decided to pick this big old pumpkin as where it was, the ground was damp and I didn’t want it to rot before Halloween. The tomatoes I made into Smoked Tomato Chutney using smoked paprika, which smells lovely as it is bubbling away on the stove as I type.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Purple is the colour of the day

I harvested what was left of my beetroot crop only to discover that ‘something’ had been gnawing on it – no idea what though? Never mind as I was making it into chutney anyway so once I had cooked the beetroot, I cut the affected bits away and then peeled the skin off, making sure I had disposable gloves on this time as I didn’t want purple stained hands (I am off to my sister’s wedding on Saturday). I was pleased with how the chutney turned out, not only because of the vibrant colour but because as well as my own home grown beetroot, I also used my own apples and onions. It smells delicious as well, so I am looking forward to trying it out when it is ready. The recipe I used is below.

Beetroot Chutney
1kg (2lbs) beetroot, cooked
2 medium-sized onions chopped
500g (1lb) cooking apples
250g (8ozs) granulated sugar
625mls (1 pint) vinegar
15ml (1 tablespoon) lemon juice
2.5ml (½ teaspoon) ground ginger
2.5ml (½ teaspoon) salt
Makes about 1½kg (3lbs)

Peel the beetroot and cut it into small cubes. Peel and core the apples and chop them finely. Mix the onions, apples, sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, ginger and salt, and bring to the boil. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add the beetroot and simmer for 15 minutes. Put into hot jars, cover and seal.

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Yesterday I picked the last of the Victoria Plums and made a huge plum crumble and then made the rest into Plum Jam. The colour was beautiful but the set wasn’t great – I am not bothered about it being on the runny side, I am sure it will still taste just as good.

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Whilst we were out walking late Sunday afternoon, we spotted on the footpath a row of plum trees with greeny/yellowy plums. I tried one and it was delicious. We vowed to come back with some suitable receptacles and pick some, which we duly did today but alas other people had the same idea as all the ripe ones were picked, so we left disappointed. I will have to remember this time next year and get in there quick.

Today was our 22nd wedding anniversay!