Saturday, October 31, 2009

On the mend

We seem to be in a mending phase. M has repaired the big dining table, which has been becoming more and more wobbly over recent months. I had this table made about 8 years ago. It's wider than usual for its length so one can get plenty of dishes in the middle (and two people can sit at the ends if necessary) and has two ends which pull out to extend the length considerably. Fourteen people sat round it comfortably when we got married in April. The overall table top makes the whole thing very heavy and the leg joints have suffered over the years. The maker had repaired one leg for me a while ago so M reglued all the other joints and copied the repair. It feels solid and reliable again.

In the washing machine at the moment is my big white embroidered tablecloth being rewashed in an attempt to get the red wax stains out from, er, last Christmas. I'd used my usual methods and it hadn't come clean and there wasn't time to tackle it in the spring before we went away. I've now used boiling water and gentle bleach and it is in a hot wash. I don't think all the red is coming out, but I will be leaving it at that.

Why the picture? Well, it's not quite mending, but it comes close. The last piece of sitting room regeneration is done. I have made a new loose cover for my armchair. We pulled the old one off in several pieces! It had gone through in many places and recently you could feel fabric ripping every time you sat down, which was a little disconcerting. I did have the whole thing covered with a throw so it didn't look as bad as it sounds. It took a long time to find the right red fabric; it had to be fairly similar to our new red sofa, but the end result is very pleasing.

And finally, I seem to be on the mend. I know rib injuries take weeks rather than days to mend but I do at last (almost a week later) feel that things are improving. I've had acupuncture, been to A&E (it got worse, and M was worried, though I knew there was no need) and am using every remedy recommended! I put the getting worse partly down to brushing the dog, partly to grinding the bases of some pots but perhaps mainly because rib injuries apparently often do get worse before they get better. Now, though, if I pace myself and take paracetemol I can do quite a lot.

Unfortunately, making pots is going to be the last thing I am able to do so there is a little worry around because I really need to be producing right now, but I am being reasonably philosophical and getting on with things I can do.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Officially Autumn

So the clocks have gone back and it is officially autumn but it really doesn't feel like it yet. I think the autumns have been starting later recently as this is not the first time in recent years that I've suddenly realised that I should be well into producing pots for Christmas sales before I've had time to think of the summer as really being over. It is very mild at the moment, of course, and then I have been 'settling in'. Last week I got back into the pottery and found enough pots to glaze and fire that will just top up stocks of, for instance, blue spotty pots before I am able to produce any more.

While the kiln was firing on Sunday, M and I were tackling shrub/tree pruning. He's about to buy a new car and it seemed sensible to do trips to the tip with trailers full of messy garden rubbish with the old car. M was pruning the buddleia by the gate and I was in the front pruning the escallonia. It has got a bit out of hand and some of the branches are now rather thick. Too thick for the lopper, some of them. But one of those needed to go. Rather than interrupt M to come and saw the branch, I decided to have a go anyway.

I used a technique I've used before - rest one handle of the loppers against the upper body and use both hands to pull the other handle towards you. Don't try this at home, folks. The lopper handle holds your ribs nicely in place while your arm pulls the muscle away! Well, not quite away as in detached, but away in direction and pulls certainly. I've had pulled rib muscles before. This one isn't as bad but it is certainly stopping me doing most of the things I would otherwise have been doing at this point in the autumn.

No more garden clearing. More seriously, no making pots. I'm not sure how long this injury will take to mend but the muscle I've pulled is one I'm most aware of using in the pottery. I'm taking arnica and rubbing in arnica gel but other than that I suppose it's a matter of wait and see.

I've got other work and jobs to do, of course. Yesterday I designed the flyers for my Open Day which I can take with me on Sunday when I go over to work in By Local. I have been printing out photos from the last twelve months, some to go in albums but some to make cards with and I can be getting on with those. I shall be getting stressed, though, if I'm held up for much more than a week.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Getting a life - 2

Yesterday I still had four quinces left. What to make? H asked, couldn't you just eat them. You can't, not raw. Quinces are rather unpromising raw - pale and uninteresting skin, white flesh, hard and rather granular. The shape is pleasingly curvacious, granted, but that's about it.

I had found a recipe for quince tarte tatin but I didn't like the sound of it so I decided to use my usual recipe for apple tarte tatin but adapt to quinces. Quinces do take much longer to cook, so there was a degree of experimentation in all this. I worked out that I had to mess with the quince pieces. This is what you absolutely must not do with apples but it was going to be the only way to get them cooked through.

I started on a very large tarte tatin, in an effort to finish the quinces off. (I almost managed this, but have one half left that wouldn't fit.) Once the quinces were cooked and I turned up the heat to caramelise the butter and sugar, I could see the pudding was going to be a success. The quinces were working their magic in turning pink and for good measure were tinting the caramel a lovely dark red as well.

Now I had a successful pudding (well almost) I rather regretted making it for just the two of us. Pastry doesn't keep well for long and although I planned to freeze the leftovers, they would never be the same as the freshly cooked pudding.

Luckily, A & N came to the rescue. They are almost unique among our friends in being able to be flexible and completely spontaneous when it comes to food. They were delighted to be asked round for a meal at the last minute, even when I asked them to buy some bread to go with the lentil soup I would make to eat before the pudding. A good time - and most of the tarte tatin - was had by all.

We were talking about getting a life and A asked me what sort of Life it is that I want to get. I answered relatively briefly, for me, that it's a life that contains not just work.

It's so much more than that, though. At the risk of tempting fate in saying so, I still feel I have kept the life I got when we were in France. Getting a life is really about the sort of things I've been writing about here.

proper cooking
impromptu invitations
growing stuff
making stuff

but most of all enjoying.

I do need to work, obviously. I need to earn money and I also need to do the work I do to satisfy my creative impulse. The French Experiment was a success. I made so much stock before we left and shops sold enough in my absence that I still managed to make a living and didn't need to draw on any capital to survive. Now it's time for the English Experiment. This experiment is to get a better quality of life by not rejecting opportunities or desires to do things I love just because I think I haven't time.

It probably won't be easy. Let's face it, most of my goals aren't easy to achieve. I do always get there in the end, though.

Yesterday I swam half a mile. I finished the first textile "canvas". Clay was delivered. I used up the rest of the quinces. I cooked for friends.

Today I'm in the pottery glazing and decorating. I've just enough pots to fill a kiln and then it will be weeks of making again. This will be when the real challenge comes. Putting some flexibility into the rhythm of making tableware will need some dedication, but I am determined to get a life.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Quince Pickle

H told me that quince pickle is delicious, especially with cheese. K said that it seemed a bit of a waste of quinces as they are so expensive and you can pickle any old stuff. But I had made plenty of quince in vanilla quince syrup, a batch of quince jelly and still had lots of quinces left.

I searched around for some days for a quince pickle recipe, never finding quite what I was looking for. Eventually I realised that what I was looking for was a recipe devised by me, using components from recipes that had caught my eye.

I managed to leave enough on the sides of the preserving pan and the wooden spoon for us to have a little taste and it was delicious! It may change with maturing, of course, but the initial impression is of a fairly tart pickle, followed by rounded, mellow flavours, one of which is most definitely quince. The quantities below made the jars above. I can't say how it will keep but there's no reason to suppose it won't keep about as long as any other chutney or pickle containing both vinegar and sugar.


1.5kg quinces, washed, cored and chopped
500g onions, chopped
500ml cider vinegar
200ml white wine
500g light brown sugar
6cms length of ginger, grated
12 garlic cloves, crushed or grated
2 tsp juniper berries, crushed
½ tsp ground cloves
1 tbs sea salt


1. Put all the ingredients apart from the quinces into a preserving pan. Heat gently, stirring, to dissolve the sugar then bring to a simmer.

2. Add the chopped quinces to the pan. Bring back to the boil and then lower the heat to a gentle simmer.

3. Simmer for about two hours until most of the liquid has gone and the quinces are soft and dark pink in colour.

4. Ladle into sterilised jars and seal.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Nothing nasty in the woodshed ...

...unless you count a few bits of rubbish destined for the tip. But the exciting news is that we have a woodshed.

I'm sorry that this is probably not a very interesting post for those of you who read my blog but don't actually know our house, but for those who do and who may have been following the development of Shed City (as it is known), you will see that we have now converted some semi=detacheds and a detached to a terrace, by joining the green shed (which, yes, is the one on the left looking rather brown) to the blue shed and making a place for firewood.

What you can see stacked up is the wood that M collected last spring. Some of it has dried out and is probably burnable now, but some could not be protected over the summer and will need further drying. We may end up buying one load of ready-to-burn logs to kick-start the system, but M hopes in future to rescue enough wood by the spring to then dry out enough to last the whole of the following winter. Fingers crossed!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Jane Vernon's real deal artist's statement

I've been asked to provide an A4 artist's statement for customers and yesterday I put together a piece based on earlier statements but including the kind of details which had been asked for. I showed it to M. He said that far from showing the kind of person and artist that he knows I am, it portrayed me as a rather boring dilettante. This would not do! I've therefore cast aside conventional formats and written my real deal artist's statement. I'm rather pleased with it. Enjoy!

If you’ve been to Stroud and seen a large, talkative woman dressed in purple, it’s likely to have been me. I’ve always had plenty to say and that’s at the core of my work as an artist. Wrapped up in each piece of work I make, is something I’m passionate about.

Since I was very young I’ve wanted to make things from fabric and threads. I trained in Textiles at Bath in the seventies and for a while followed the fashion of the times for hairy weavings in muted colours. Eventually, in the mid-eighties, I found time to explore embroidery and Colour. It’s astonishing to me that it took me so long as all my textiles work since then has been inspired primarily by the never-ending possibilities of colour. Since the mid-nineties I have been making wallhangings, influenced equally by the textiles of the East and the natural world. My fish, birds, lizards and flowers are represented in rich colour blends by silk-painting, appliqué, machine and hand embroidery, beads, sequins and metallic threads. Each piece is finished with hanging ceramic pieces or beads or tassels.

Many of my hangings are reproduced as photographic greetings cards. I also make several ranges of silk-painted cards where I can indulge in a little frivolity and humour, painting birds with wacky hairstyles and cats and pigs in greens and purples.

Immediately after finishing my textiles training I went on a course at Douglas Phillips’ Ridge Pottery (in Somerset) and discovered an affinity for clay. After some years attending courses during the holidays, I changed from full-time to part-time teaching, set up a small pottery workshop at home and began producing tableware, which has been the focus of my pottery work ever since.

When you use one of my pots you are using something made by someone who loves food. No mug is made without my imagining the taste of tea, coffee or cocoa, no bowl without the smell of home-made soup, no oven dish without the sight of lasagne or plum crumble being presented to eager guests. Robust and practical, my pots are designed for everyday use and decorated in a way which I hope makes them visually pleasing but not overwhelming.

I’ve been a keen photographer since I had my first Brownie at the age of eight and in recent years photography has been an increasing part of my art work as I try to pass on in an image the essence of something that has thrilled me when I’ve seen it. Some of these images are available as greetings cards or prints.

I now work full-time as an artist but use my teaching experience in occasional workshops where I really enjoy the enthusiasm of the students for the materials and techniques that I love.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Perspective used to be just what was taught about horizons, vanishing points and how things are smaller when far away. (Some of you will now be remembering Father Ted. Sorry I could only find a 28-second clip.) These days I think we use the word 'perspective' where I'm sure we used to talk about point of view. Perhaps this is because "you are seeing this from a different perspective" is rather more cuddly than "you are seeing this from a different point of view". Points of view can be rather didactic and all-encompassing and are very often immovable. Perspective sounds a little more open and you can imagine someone stepping to one side to see things from a different perspective far more readily than asking them to see things from a different point of view. Some people find the latter very difficult or impossible.

I'm very good at seeing things from someone else's point of view, to the extent that I think I can give the impression of being a little undecided. I suppose it's part of my moral code to be fair. I do try, therefore, to see where decisions have come from and whether they serve the interests of the majority. (For those who like to think of things this way, philosophically, utilitarianism is probably at the foundation of my moral code, though it may not represent the whole picture. That's a topic for another time, though.)

On Friday I went swimming in our local leisure centre. (I went on Monday, too, but I didn't blog about it as one swim didn't seem to make a kept resolution.) I used to go to the Early Bird swimming sessions three times a week but have got out of the habit for years. The last few times I had tried it had resulted in bad bouts of back problems, but during the summer when we swam in the river I began to build up the number of 'circuits' I swam each time without ill effects and I'm hoping to continue regular swimming now we're home.

Two changes caught my attention. The first is that the pool is now divided into lanes. It's not a big pool, 25m long and with only four lanes. One is labelled "fast", one "medium" and the two nearest the steps form one big lane for slowcoaches. I'm a pretty good swimmer and get up a reasonable speed once I'm in the swing of it but I swim breast-stroke so although I tried the fast lane, it was soon clear that since everyone else there was swimming crawl, I was going to be a nuisance. I changed to the medium lane. I then found myself floating about in the water waiting for the person in front to get further forward. It was the fact that I could be seen at the same time as too slow or too fast that made me think about the concept of perspective in the first place.

I was on the point of becoming very grumpy when I noticed that there were one or two swimmers who would occasionally wait in one corner of the lane and let others go in front. A sort of wetiquette, I suppose, it worked well enough that for the last ten lengths of my swim I and several other strong breast-stroke swimmers were able to swim pretty much continuously. I can see why this has been done because previously when it was a bit of a free-for-all it was often difficult to swim continuous lengths because of dodging those who are slower, just want to float or go for the social chit-chat as much as the swimming.

The other change is that there are large notices saying we must not wear shoes in the changing area. If we want to keep our shoes on there are plastic shoe-covers for our use which we may recycle ourselves but must not replace in the dispenser for others to use. Of course there is the option to take our shoes off. Outside the changing room there are some chairs on which we can sit to replace our socks and shoes after swimming.

Now, Stroud District Council, among other bodies, is trying to encourage the businesses and residents of Stroud to stop using polythene bags. Stroud District Council is also in charge of the Leisure Centre and although the actual management is contracted out, I am assured that the council know of this latest scheme. As an occasional market trader I am discouraged from packing my goods in polythene carrier bags. I'm generally in favour but for very large or heavy pots I do supply polythene carriers; they're a tasteful purple (of course) and can be reused for all sorts of things once the pots are safely home. But - at the same time as the council are discouraging me from supplying the plastic bags they are sanctioning a scheme which encourages me to wear single-use plastic shoe covers. I could spurn the shoe covers, of course, but then I am left outside the changing rooms after my swim with damp feet from the wet floors and my towel wrapped round my wet swimming costume, the usual way to take such things home for a swim for as long as I have been swimming. If I want to keep my towel available to dry my feet outside the changing room I shall have to take something to put my wet costume in. What could that be? Ah, I know - a polythene bag.

What's the other perspective on this? Apparently, people had been complaining about the changing rooms being dirty and have given positive feedback about the shoe cover scheme. It seems that we may tread in all sorts of things while outside and then if we go into the changing rooms, these allsorts transfer to the floor where people's children walk with bare feet. Well, yes, I suppose this must be true, but then it must always have been true. That's the point of changing rooms - you go in with your outside kit on and come out in your sports kit and after you've done your sport you reverse the process.

I suggested a very large heavy-duty doormat area outside the changing rooms and the duty manager said she would pass this on. The plastic shoe covers are a trial measure, apparently, but I'm afraid I'm not very optimistic that my lone voice will achieve much against the no-peck-of-dirt lobby. I'm contemplating a letter to the local paper, a thing I've never done before.

This has turned into a bit of a rant. I'll come back to the subject. As well as seeing things from someone else's perspective we also talk about putting things in perspective, usually meaning not making too much of it. Who's got things out of perspective here, I wonder - me with my complaint about using too much plastic or those who are frightened of what might be brought in on our shoes?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Settling in

I have eventually realised that what I am doing is settling in. It's not rocket science or even brain surgery but it took me a while to work it out. I expected to need a couple of weeks to get a few things done but then imagined I would be back in the pottery after that. It's obviously not working out like that and for a while I was rather worried about it. I just didn't have any desire to go back in the pottery and the more I acknowledged this the more I didn't want to do it and the more it bothered me.

As is my way, I began to analyse what was going on. Did this herald a sea-change away from pottery? (Alarming idea.) Was it that I just needed to continue with the textiles work I had to leave off when we packed up in France? (Possible, but I can usually accommodate such things.) Was it because I have to start with the unpleasant job of doing a thorough clean-up of the pottery prior to changing from brown to white clay? (True, but hardly major in the grand scheme of things.) Was it part of the picture of getting a life that I had too many other things I wanted to do? (Well yes, perhaps ...) But none of these really seemed to reflect what I was feeling.

What I've actually been doing this week is making several hundred cards that are needed for two new outlets and starting to organise the pots that will be delivered to those same places. And today I've begun to feel differently and suddenly I realise that I just needed to settle in. The process of collecting stock together, making up orders, preparing new artist statements and publicity literature ready for a new outlet is an important part of planning the direction in which my work is going. As I've labelled pots and decided how many of each will make a good display, my interest in making them has started to return. I've also been noting my feelings towards different designs and my reaction to whether I need to make more of them or not. Sometimes I catch myself thinking "oh, no" and then I know that's a design I'm not enjoying producing as much as I used to.

I'm not going to do anything too drastic, but I do want to inject a bit more life and passion into the actual pots. Latterly the passion had been focussed on meeting my targets rather than the pots themselves. I get a huge buzz out of meeting targets. The targets I set myself are always achievable ones, but sometimes only just and the feeling of elation on meeting the goal is immense. I started to write "if meeting the goal" but the truth is that I always do. I guess this makes me goal oriented and perhaps that's been part of the disquiet at this settling in process - no identifiable check-list type goals.

So I'm settling in. Finding my feet. Finding all sorts of things in still-to-be-unpacked boxes! And there's nothing like writing publicity material, even events handouts for the market tomorrow, for generating new ideas.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Since everything was early this year, the walnuts were no exception and we brought a huge bag back.

I'm surprised to find that fresh walnuts taste of nut rather than walnut. Neither of us knows much about storing nuts so until someone comes along to advise me differently, I'm storing them in an open box in a cool shed.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

And there it was - gone!

How lovely to find an excuse to use this title; it is one of my favourite lines. Here's what's gone.

We were delighted that someone could make use of the old greenhouse. As they separated the panels, you could see which were still pretty solid and ready to put back and which were rotten. Starting from these components and replacing some sections should mean that they can reconstruct a sturdy greenhouse which can go on being useful for a long time. Repairing it in situ had become much more complicated.

I'm being patient about what's next because for the moment M is building a woodshed and that's much more important as it is the time for collecting and using firewood and not the time for sowing seeds.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


I love yellow peppers. Here are four of the ones I've been growing nicely ripened up and ready to go in the freezer. (There are more, but these four made the best photo!)

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Today we've been shopping. Well, we've been looking at outlets, one existing, two new. The existing one is sort of on hold at the moment but the two new ones look good, in particular ByLocal. Rosie and Helen started this venture in a huge empty ex-toyshop in Cheltenham, at first as a six-week summer project. I would have been keen to be part of the project from the start but of course was in France at the time. The good news is they've got an extension until Christmas. I'm hoping to take work over there in a couple of weeks. It really is a lovely shop and well worth a visit if you are in Cheltenham.

This was a great way to finish a busy day. The shop was really inspiring and rescued me from a whole pile of indecision I was in earlier this morning. Next week can be spent sorting out stock, making plans of what pots need making and making photo cards for the two new outlets.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Thanks, Mum and Dad

Excuse me, will you, while I just play with my New Toy for a while? There's a recipe for plum ice-cream thrown in for free if that helps.

Back in April, M and I got married and Mum and Dad generously gave me - oops! sorry, gave us - a Kenwood Chef. They actually handed it over a few weeks before the event so I could use it when making the celebratory lunch, which I did, but then it was covered over and we left for France and the KC sat here patiently waiting for my return.

I've been thinking about the ways in which it will save me time and was able to use three different functions one after the other when doing things with some plums. There were two jars of plums which didn't seal properly and needed using straight away.

First, I made a big batch of crumble mix.

The flour and fat went into the food processor and within about a minute the thing was done! Used what was needed for today's crumble and froze the rest, ready to take out in whatever quantities are needed. Fruit stewed, crumble crumbled, instant puddings!

Secondly I made a batch of Plum ice-cream. An unspecified quantity of cooked plums (enough to make a good quantity of puree, probably at least 500g when uncooked) liquidised themselves while I got the cream out of the fridge,

300ml each of double and single creams
whisked themselves till firm while I found a half-litre ice-cream tub,

and then puree and cream were blended together very gently in a few seconds.

The mixture goes straight into a half-litre tub and into the freezer. The beauty of this recipe (which is loosely based on one for strawberry ice-cream from the Readers Digest "The Cookery Year") is that it is so rich in cream that it doesn't need beating at intervals once it's in the freezer.

I think the washing up took longer than the making! I shall have to read the instruction manual and see which bits can go into the dishwasher for next time.


Over at Making Good Milla has been asking whether she is organised or over-stockpiling. The things she lists as having handy don't seem over-stockpiling to me but as it happens I had been asking myself a similar question.

Part of the success of being a bon viveur on a budget lies in having plenty of storage space and freezers so I can take advantage of BOGOFs, bargain multi-packs and reduced-price-because-near-sell-by-date items. I have two freezers in the UK, one large, one medium. In France, though, I have only one very small freezer, which is turned off during the winter months. Still, after five months there this year it was pretty full. Three or four weeks before we left I set about eating everything up but couldn't quite do it. I thawed any fresh meat products and cooked them up, then brought back the cooked meat and froze it. The already cooked food was brought back as it was and we've been eating it up since. Yesterday we had chicken with preserved lemons for the third time in ten days. That was certainly not well organised.

As to over-stockpiling, I've decided that I don't.

In France it was a glut year for all fruit, as I've mentioned before, and I was determined to preserve as much of it as possible. I used to have one jam shelf, in the cupboard under the stairs. A couple of years ago M built me the broad shelf under the sloping lobby roof and that took the excess that I was building up. This year both are full and I now have bottled fruit and jam in boxes in a shed as well. The bottled fruit will become all sorts of puddings and we'll have lighter savoury courses on pudding days.

It was an interesting experience, though, eating meals based completely on what I already had. I like to batch-cook anyway so there are always meals which only need the minimum of work and it has been useful not having to cook much from scratch during the period of packing up and now unpacking. One of the strange things on our return here was looking in the freezers to see what I had. There's not much room in either, so I've decided to do a bit of eating up for the next few weeks. This will also save some immediate expenditure during the next couple of months, which are always lean ones for sales.

Working my way through the fresh produce we brought back with us, today I started thinking about the quinces. They're not over-ripe and it isn't urgent but I wanted to start planning the different things I'm going to make with them and I completely lost my recipe for quinces in vanilla quince syrup. Searched my recipe folder twice to no avail. I gave up looking and decided to do a google search for quinces in vanilla syrup. The fourth hit was my own recipe in the Umra Recipe Book, which I host on my own website! You really can find anything on the internet. (Do you think I can use the internet to find M's measuring tape?)

Mind you, I haven't found a recipe for quince pickle, which H told me on the phone yesterday is utterly delicious. If anyone out there has such a recipe, I'd be pleased to have it.

The greenhouse project - moving house

A new owner has been found for the greenhouse and he and his brother are coming tomorrow to start dismanting it, so today we emptied it not only of dead plants but all my stuff. At the end I swept the floor and gathered up most of the bits to make it easier for the guys coming to dismantle it to make their way round inside. Suddenly it felt just like moving house. Pack up your stuff, clean up ready for the next people. Clearing the whole thing out brought back a host of memories too, but surprisingly I didn't feel at all sad. I think this must be because the new greenhouse will be on the same site. Instead, I'm having to rein in my excitement because I know that, like Rome, the new greenhouse won't be built in a day.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The greenhouse project

Here is my faithful old greenhouse. It's done 21 years, (although this year nobody has grown anything in it, our house-sitter deciding it was not for her.) M1 (first, late husband, who had same name as present one) had always wanted a wooden greenhouse rather than an aluminium one and had lots of reasons why it would be better, none of which I can remember now. Some time after he died, someone advised me, wrongly, that coloured wood treatments were the same as brown ones but just a different colour, so I painted the whole thing blue, along with all the wooden fences around the garden. After a couple of years it was plain that this stuff was really paint, not good soak-it-in wood preservative, but by then it was too late to remove it and start again. I did get it redone a few times, but eventually the elements began to win and over the last few years bits of the greenhouse have needed shoring up, first with wood and then eventually just with whatever materials we could find to stuff the holes!

Now, a new greenhouse has arrived.

I almost feel this post should be entitled "Can you see what it is, yet? #2" It doesn't look much like anything at the moment, does it? But it will. Oh yes. If a wooden greenhouse can last me 21 years, I reckon an aluminium one can last me 30 years and so I have bought one most likely to be suited to my needs when I am 85!

The weather being as capricious as it is, and M having a woodshed project before he can start on levelling and re-concreting the site for the greenhouse, we can't be certain when this greenhouse will actually be put up, but progress will be charted here, you can be sure. At the moment people are coming to view the old one to see if they want to dismantle, repair and rebuild, after I offered it on what used to be called Freecycle and is now Freegle. Watch this space. Which, of course, is what I hope you're doing anyway.