I've harvested loads and loads of french beans, there's so many packets of them in the freezer I certainly won't be short of a veg to go with dinner :). The peas are coming along too, lovely and sweet, though the pods don't look very inviting, they seem a bit mildewy. I tried one of the purple cauliflowers and I must admit I'm not that taken with it. It tasted ok raw, very strong flavour, but cooking it - well!! I made the mistake of putting it in boiling water to blanch it for freezing. It went a sort of bluey-grey colour, not a feast for the eyes at all. The water turned bright blue too. Wonder if it'd make a good dye? Might try that one day when I've nothing better to do.
September 2nd saw the most awful hailstorm I've ever experienced. It lasted a good 15 minutes, and the hailstones were almost the size of a 1p piece.
The chickens all hid under the laurel hedge while it was going on, but once the hail turned to rain, they all came out to investigate all this white stuff!
The weekend of 5th, 6th and 7th September saw Adrian and I at Whiteley Village Outlet Centre near Gosport where we were selling our jewellery. It wasn't a bad weekend sales-wise, weather-wise rain, rain and more rain interspersed with showers. I didn't take my fleece off all the time we were there! The B&B we stayed at though was wonderful, I can highly recommend it. A thirties house restored as close as it could be to the period, perfectly cooked breakfasts, and really comfortable rooms. The Art Deco style gave Adrian lots of inspiration for more jewellery designs, one of which was a piece of Whitby Jet with fine silver bands inlaid into it - sold within half an hour of it being finished! Steve and Angela Macauley are the owners of Milvil Corner in Lee on the Solent.
Beccy phoned me on the Saturday to tell me some sad news. Petunia, my hop-a-long chicken had died. She was soooooooooooo loving, always the last one in to bed, always waiting at the gate for me to pick her up and give her a goodnight cuddle. I've buried her in the garden near Rose. I'm getting paranoid now! Every time I go to the chicken run, I'm counting them all and if there's 1 not visible I steel myself to look in the coop hoping that I won't find another one has gone to chicken heaven. I know it's bound to happen to them all sooner or later, they've had a really stressful life before coming to retire with me, but I love them all dearly - even Hyacinth when she pecks at a thin shelled egg to try and steal the contents.
I didn't go to the allotment today. Instead I started clearing a pile of composty rubbish in the corner of the front garden to make into a flower bed. Got loads of small plants that have been ready to be planted out for ages. After shifting 3 wheelbarrow loads of soil and compost from the front to the veggie patch at the back, I was exhausted! Anyway, it's all been spread over one of the raised beds, then a good thick layer of compost from the "dalek" before I covered it all with weed-suppressant membrane. I've planted lots of my strawberry plants through holes cut into the membrane and hopefully, slugs and snails permitting, I'll get a good crop of strawberries next year.
I've thinned out and potted on some Kale and some of the Ailsa Craig onions. They're looking quite sturdy little seedlings, but they're not going out into the allotment until I've got some fleece or something to give them some protection from critters and the elements.
Right then, think that's all for now - till next time :)