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Monday, 14 September 2009

A Change of Season

With autumn coming and all of the colours starting to fade out of the garden I was worried that I wouldn’t have anything to write about anymore. Then, this weekend, something amazing happened… I actually did some gardening. Crazy eh?

I’ve been so busy eating tomatoes and staring lovingly at my roses that I stopped doing any of the hard work bit. Fair enough really, you need a period to enjoy the fruits of your labour so to speak. It did however feel great to get my hands dirty again.

I had to bid the spiders a fond farewell. I know, I know, I felt bad too but they were taking over. The other day I tried to have lunch outside and found that I’d been beaten to it by a particularly large spider who was merrily snacking on a wasp that he’d caught in his web that spanned the length and breadth of the patio table. So I ended up sitting on the floor with the earwigs. The final straw came when I found a bee struggling to free itself from a well placed spider trap. They can eat all the flies and wasps they like, but I draw the line at bees. I didn’t kill them. I just pushed a brush through some of their webs.

Watering, sweeping, weeding, deadheading, pruning, harvesting, wonderful. I also started planning all of my winter veg. Turns out I’m too late for the sprouts. Again. Apparently they have to be planted in mid-spring. Who the hell remembers to plant sprouts in spring?

I’m going to start sowing tomorrow and just can’t wait: winter lettuce; cauliflowers; spring onions; cabbage; spinach; garlic; leeks. I could go on. Actually I can’t as I don’t think I have enough room for anything else.

I’m also looking for an inexpensive way of heating the terrace so that we can still “entertain” outside through the winter.

One Christmas our central heating broke, come to think of it, this happened on more than one occasion. Always on Christmas day. Anyway, on this particular occasion, my eldest brother and grandmother formed a bit of a tag team moaning at mum about how cold it was. Perhaps they thought that she had secretly trained as a plumber in order to be prepared for exactly this kind of situation. She hadn’t.

I digress. My wonderful mum has a limited amount of patience; as long as you don't wind up on the wrong end of it it’s great to watch. So, they pushed pushed pushed and then she snapped. Without saying a word she threw down the Christmas pudding, stormed outside and reappeared moments later dragging a bag of logs behind her. Then, right there, in the middle of our pine floored living room, she proceeded to try and set the logs alight. My grandmother and eldest brother meanwhile, rather than leaping up in horror, started cheering and helping to fan the flames.

All of this is a long winded way of saying that for once in my life I will not be taking the DIY route on this one, and I would love suggestions of cost effective, heat efficient, space saving, green solutions of warming our cockles on a cold night out of the terrace. COME ON READERS, HELP ME.

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