Sunday, 30 May 2010

More country jaunts

Just getting ready for a day running chicken and garden errands. Have looked on the RHS plant finder database, and a nursery I like going to (Hopleys in Hertfordshire) is listed as having the iris (Action Front) that was used in the top show garden at Chelsea. I need to replace the Spring seasonal container in the front garden (ie. a big pot over a drain cover) and as that spot is a sun trap, I reckon a mix of iris, eryngium and cirsium would be bold and quirky enough to fit in, and stand out from the 2 foot square wild flower meadow in front of it.

Had a lovely day yesterday, despite what the weather threw at us. Went to the Heathfield show in Sussex. It was quite a journey, but it's a part of the country we love, so just being there was good. (One day, must take the time to visit Heathfield Hight Street - LOADS of charity shops). Spent the first hour or so watching horse classes - Mountain and Moorland, and an unaffiliated coloured horse & pony class, which in this instance included palaminos, roans and duns, three colours I'm a sucker for. Having finally seen on close up, Howard now wants a Nowegian Fjord pony Laughing

Shortly after we decoded to take a walk round the rest of the show, the rain started. We had a quick look round the poultry stands, but didn't see anything we could immediately justify buying. At around half past one, the rain became torrential, so we headed for the food tent, as did everyone who wasn't heading for the car parks. As it was lunch time, joined the queue for a Welsh Oggie (pasty). A lovely warming meal, with pastry that was firm enough to hold the contents without the ribbed part breaking your teeth.

Once we'd seen and bought all we wanted to, we headed back out of the tent. The show is held on a hillside, and as I emerged I could hear the clinking of chains in the mist. The heavy horse turnouts were in the main ring. Any other time we'd have stopped to watch & take photos, but by now not only was the rain torrential, it was also horizontal - going straight into my eyes and ears. We retreated to the sheep tent. I have realised that, with the exception of Zwartbles (which look and act like big Balwens), I don't like continental sheep breeds. There was one there (one of the French breeds), and it looked more like a Staffie than a sheep! Being East Sussex, there were plenty of lovely teddy bear like Southdowns, and quite a few Romneys. Made some woolly friends, then braved the outdoors again.

The rain had stopped - I think we were actually in the clouds. The horse classes had continued throughout the rain - I should think that soaked with rain, a side saddle habit must be really heavy, yet the riders still managed to keep their composure. Some of the stands were closing up, so we went for a further look round. Didn't buy much - just a couple of plants and some jodhpurs Surprised Found the High Weald Dairy stand and bought another block of the lovely St Giles. Watched a leading rein pony class, then some terrier racing before heading for the van. Sat in the back of the van for a while to dry off. Howard brewed a tea and we listened to the storm blowing outside. Once the wind died down we headed home.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

New uses for old "rubbish"

Have spent the afternoon helping Howard make raised bed vegetable planters from old Ikea shelves. We have a load of Sten shelves (like the current Gorm basic shelves, but slightly different dimensions, so the two don't fit together) which have been stored until we could think of a use for them.

Four shelves made the sides of a 90cm square planter, and the bases are made from some clean pallets that Howard 'rescued' and broke up at work. Just need to line the insides with mypex which we have stored at the allotment and they'll be ready to fill & plant.

By making two 90cm planters, I now have something to go down the middle of the garden between the extended shade bed one side, and the row of mini greenhouses on the sunny side of the garden.

Looking at the price of similar planters, we've saved at least £60, and have the material to do a few more.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Enforced Rest

Signed off work at the moment with a bad bout of sciatica.  I was made to carry the sack of outgoing post from our building to the main building reception a couple of weeks ago, and at some point twisted my lower back.  Had a good moan to my supervisor the next day, but after a week with no improvement - in fact more pain, more restricted movement, I decided to see my GP.

Having described the problem, and the probable cause, I was expecting to be told to take painkillers, or possibly get sent for a cortisone jab.  But he asked what my job was, how much of it was sitting at a desk (all of it, and the new supervisor begrudges you loo breaks), so he signed me off, telling me to spend the time lying down or going for gentle walks - as little sitting down as possible.  So I shouldn't be on the computer.  But I feel like I'm not doing anything just lying down watching TV, so I ration myself - short bursts then a wander down the garden.

Not looking forward to going back to work - expect grief about being signed off.  So I'll make sure I get them to agree to no more heavy lifting (and a trolley if anything needs moving), breaks to keep my back comfortable and a new chair that isn't jammed in an uncomfortable position.