Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Exciting news

This morning I took some artwork to a local gallery and framers to be mounted and framed. It's a lovely little gallery called L'Bidi in Abbots Ripton and I use them for all my framing.

Anyway, I have been talking with the owner about the possibility of having an exhibition of my photos at sometime. Well I think it is going to happen next June to coincide with the Abbots Ripton flower show. It's not definite yet but I have a good feeling about it. My next problem is finding a selection of my botanical work that I feel happy enough with to exhibit, I am a terrible self critic. Then I have to decide what value to put on them? To be honest I haven't a clue what they are worth, so if anyone out there has any suggestions please let me know.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Ashes, films and fresh eggs.

Firsty so as not to upset our friends in Australia who read this blog I am not going to mention England's great win in the Ashes yesterday. It would be churlish of me to gloat as I know they would never do such a thing had the result been reversed ( yeah right!).

Anyway I actually spent a lot of the weekend in the garden (with the radio on) enjoying the lovely weather. We even went to an outdoor film so next door on Saturday night. I read in the gardening magazines that this is a new craze, you just need to hook up a projector to a laptop and find a suitable screen, in this case the back wall of a garage. It works really well and is great fun.

As you can see our blackberries are ripening well at the moment. I think my decision not to chop the hedges back as much over the winter has paid off as it looks like we are going to get a bumper crop this year.

After a barren couple of weeks the hens have started laying again. I have no idea why they stopped or for that matter why they have stared again. I am sure the is a reason, someone said it may be the autumn moult but I haven't seen any evidence to suggest that. All I know is the quality of my breakfast was suffering!

Friday, 21 August 2009

They've gone!

We have finally got the house back too ourselves, we have had various visitors staying with us for about 3 weeks. It been great fun having them here and I have really enjoyed the company but it does interrupt your set routines , one of which is writing this blog and taking the photo's for it, so hopefully it will be back too business as usual next week!

One of the things I nearly missed in the garden over the last few weeks was this little flower. It is a hardy climber called Condonoysis tangshen I planted it earlier this year with the hope it would be a spectacular display along a fence, well, maybe next year! I found this flower hiding behind a lavender bush.

I published a request in the village news letter this week for people to save seeds for the seed swap event I hope to run in the village next year. I have no idea what the take up will be but hopefully people will take part. I think it should appeal as in effect it is something for nothing, but the problem with all these things is motivation, we will see.

Sunday, 16 August 2009


We took our visitors to Norfolk yesterday, Sharron was officiating at a tennis tournament in Cromer, so we thought it would fun to take them and Boris with us. After dropping Sharron off I took them to Sandringham, they toured the house while Boris and I explored the estate, it's actually quite a nice place the Queen has there.

I really like Norfolk, it has become quite trendy in the last few years and this was obvious with the number people on the roads yesterday. My favourite time to visit though is in the winter. When the north wind blowing straight in from the Arctic cuts through you. That is when you can get the huge sweeping beaches to yourself and you understand why it has been a favourite place with artists. It is also one of the best places to go wildlife watching, the marshes around Cley and Titchewell teem with birds and the flocks of geese and waders at Snettisham are a spectacular sight.

Anyway yesterday everywhere was full of day trippers enjoying a lovely sunny day. I can't really complain as that was exactly what we were doing! But I will be back later in the year when I can get the place to myself again.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

A busy week


This last week has been pretty busy, we have had some friends of our staying with us while they are over from Australia. I have been trying to fit my tour guide role in around work and everything else. I took John who is an ex world war 2 pilot to the aircraft collection at Duxford on Monday and we all went to Cambridge yesterday. We seem to have spent most of the time dodging the rain.

On top of all the other things we had an 'In Bloom' meeting on Tuesday evening. I cannot say much about it here as things need to be formally announced to the village, but suffice to say they are going to be some major changes in the next few months. There were some strong but sensible views put forward which I think will go down well.

Out in the garden the flowerbeds are looking great but do need a good weeding. The grass needs cutting about twice a week due to all the rain, but of course the rain prevents me doing it.
As I write the sun is out so hopefully by mid afternoon it will have dried off out there.

We have had a mass of Large White butterflies in the garden in the last couple of weeks, such as this one on my valerian. I am pleased to say that the netting I put up this year seems to have kept them off the brassicas.

I am also picking some very nice Raspberries at the moment and have harvested all the discovery apples before the wasps got to them.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Rain rain go away, come again another day.

I remember that rhyme from when I was little and how true it is at the moment. We live on the highest bit of Huntingdonshire (250ft above sea level, so not that high!) and with the rain we have been having that might be crucial! The farmers are having a terrible time we can hear the grain driers running at night and the tractors and combines are running all night when it's not raining.

The good news is that the roof repairs we did last week held, the bad news is we have another leak in the main roof around the chimney.

Despite the weather the flowers are still blooming in the garden. The Dahlia's are coming into their own at the moment. It's strange the have been out of fashion for a while, too big and flouncy, mind you this is not unusual Gertrude Jekyll wrote in 'Colour in the Flower Garden (1908)

"It is a matter of great regret that the best kind of Dahlias for garden effect have lost favour with nurserymen"

This did mean that I managed to pick up some tubers extremely cheaply from a local market this spring and I am now reaping the benefits as you can see from the photo's.

Monday, 3 August 2009

A bad apple

As you can see this is not an apple you would want to bite into, even if it is a Discovery!

We are having a busy time here, we have our third visitors in a week staying with us which is fun. I have lots of trips out planned for them this week so I am hoping the weather stays good.

Last week Sharron's niece and nephew came to stay. Jarrod her nephew helped me fix the roof over our utility room as it had been leaking during the heavy rain we have been having. So far it seems the repairs have worked but I won't know for sure until we get a heavy storm from the south.

Due to all the rain and the visitors I haven't been able to do much in the garden and was horrified when I saw how much the weeds had grown in the last few days, hopefully I can get out there this week and do some weeding.