Sunday, 26 July 2009

Cats - Sleeping Experts

For anyone thinking of getting a kitten don't bother spending money on nice fancy cat beds like this...
We bought this lovely bed for when we brought home two rescue kittens from the Cats Protection League. I believe they have used it about a dozen times. They were 10 weeks when we got them, they are now almost 3! Instead of the fancy pants bed they choose to sleep here... Or here...
Or indeed here....
This is one days worth of snoozing. The towel shelves is the newest in the array of non-cat issue beds!!

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Bug Spray for You - Bug-B-Gone

Thought I would share this little nugget. Some people know this trick others don't so I shall do my part in getting the information out there.

Everyone, at some point, has problems with bugs in their gardens be it black fly, green fly or whatever creepy crawlies take a shine to your prize vegetables or beautiful blooms. Well instead of expensive and "what the heck's in that then" shop bought bug sprays, why not make your own?

Find yourself an old spray bottle, one of those pump-the-handle things, or of course buy a new one, they don't cost much. Fill with plain old tap water and put in the magic ingredient - washing up liquid. Not too much, just a decent squirt, shoogle it up a bit and there you have it, instant bug spray.

I use it on everything, and the best bit is not only is it cheap but it is also inexhaustable... as long as you have washing up liquid. The plants don't mind it, and are clean aftewards!
Advice though, as with all watering, don't spray the leaves before the sun gets on them, just incase it causes burning.
Seems to kill ants too, just so you know..

Friday, 24 July 2009

Latest Recipe

White Chocolate and Raspberry Tart

The latest of my recipes is for a great White Chocolate and Raspberry Tart. This is so tasty I am pretty sure it'll become a favourite in your house like it has in ours. And what a great way to use your own home grown Rasps!!

Find out more at my recipe blog....

A Walk Around Our Gardenings..

Thought I would take you on a tour around the current vegetables and fruit that we are managing to grow in our 'no flowerbed' attempt at self-sufficency! Well, possibly not self sufficiency, but we are trying to get some produce from a garden that needs to be transported!!
Lets start at the front of the house with our 'Toms in a Basket'. We decided that we would attempt to grow tomatoes in a new way this year. Our greenhouse blew down so we had to come up with new idea so we bought a trailing species of tomato and are growing it in a hanging basket at the front of the house. It is making a great display and will hopefully give us a good crop.

The sweetcorn is doing fine after its confrontation with the wind. It has been producing flowers and looks great. Having never tried growing sweetcorn we have no idea how this story will end but it has been looking good so far and plenty easy to do so even if it doesn't go as planned it is something that we would be keen to try again.

The strawberry pot is looking good and we are getting a few strawbs off but not as many as we would like but it is doing fine for carrying them to the new place. We have managed to keen the slugs at bay this year hich is the most important thing.

We got some runner bean plants from my mum and they have been doing great guns in a pot on the decking out the back. There appears to be a rogue dwarf bean in there too which is quite happy with its runner bean pals. The plants have already started to give flowers so hopefully there will be a load! My mum is an expert at runner bean growing, a couple of plants and she has POUNDS of beans! I will have to get her to write a guest post on the blog about how to grow a years supply of beans from your pots at home!

So I hope you are all being as successful at your veggies in pots gardens and I will keep you up to date the the 'growings' on!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

The Specialist Report

Well, we got the Specialst Report through on the house. We already knew the outcome, of course, as the solicitor had already been informed and has let us know. But it was good to actually get the quote and the problems in writing. Essentially, one of the upstairs bedrooms and a section of living room is needing to be treated for wood worm. They don't think there is much damage so far but of course its best to catch it early. They also want to add some chemical dampproofing to the living room and part of the kitchen. This will involve them removing and replastering the walls but that should be fine and was included in their quote.
We are lucky with the work that needs to be done as it can all be done before we move in as we will most certainly still have our house on the market at that point.
We headed off to look at the farm once again this past weekend and we are still loving it, I even got some more ideas (WAY before I should be thinking about them but it is difficult to stop!). There is an area of land to the side of the property that could be easily fenced off to form a small paddock, too small for a horse but plenty big for a couple of goats or sheep. This would work on various levels, first - I want a goat!! But second this land is essentially waste, its covered in weeds so you have the option of leaving it, but that isn't very attractive or maintaining it, which seems like a lot of work to OH who complains about mowing the small lawn we have at the moment. So by putting some critters on it you get the best of all worlds! See, country life is ALL about compromise!

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Corn Disaster

Well, we almost had a terrible corn loss in the house today. The corn plants of 'Sweetcorn in a pot' fame have grown seed heads and poked out their heads ready for pollenation. So I thought, I know, I'll put them outside in their pot its raining too so they will get some nice fresh rain water and a chance to pollenate by wind or bug or whatever. Whatever method it is it is going to be better than what I can manage!!

Well all looked well and they seemed fine. Went off out (to the cinema no less) and when I returned I had my own four stalk crop circle! Completely flat! One stalk had completely snapped off. Well, I thought the end had come and that operation 'Sweetcorn in a pot' had been tragically cut short... but... upon checking them they appeared fine (apart from Bobby the stalk who was snapped off), it was the darndest thing, they were horizontal but the stalks hadn't broken and they hadn't bent, it was like they just grew sideways!? Can't describe it, wish I had taken a photo! But they are now propped back up and I have stuck Bobby in the soil, he might grow roots, he might die, he might just sit there but I felt a duty to give him a chance! So the sweetcorn for the moment appears saved but I will keep you posted on its recovery!!

Monday, 13 July 2009

The Next Step

Okay, just to keep you all in the loop. Things are still going well, we are to meet with our solicitor sometime this week (to be confirmed) to go over the exact wording of our proposal and make sure that we are buying what we think we are! Then our offer will go to their agents and we have to wait for them to (hopefully) agree!
There are a few bits of missing paperwork from specialist surveyors and part of the Title Deeds that are still to arrive but things are still very positive and we are confident this should all go through smoothly!

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Anyone Want to Buy a House?

So, we are getting the estate agent in tomorrow to take pictures of the house. So hopefully, once we get the guy organised for coming in to do the Home Report we should be able to get this bad boy up on the market!

It is all being nicely timed so that it coincides with our holiday in September - you see how that works, yeah? ... no neither did I. But as with everything nothing happens and then it all happens at the same time!! But it is looking good, the place has been valued at more than we paid for it so that is a good sign in this current climate! And we have managed to get the sellers of the new place to accept slightly under the value price as there is some work that needs doing.

More on that...
we got the survey back on the new place seems that there is some water damage and they reckon the whole thing should be treated for woodworm!! Sounded pretty horrendous but turns out it is a precautionary measure as there is signs of past woodworm damage. We are still pretty happy with the place and keen to continue! I am looking forward to being able to post some pictures up of this place but I don't want to jinx it!! Stay tuned to see the pictures... we should get the keys mid August so you'll have to hang on till then!!!

Until then it is mad packing by us and wondering where on earth we got all this stuff and where are we going to put it so the house looks like the show home required in order to sell a property nowadays!!!!