I have a bad cold at the moment and am feeling really poorly…come on I need a big collective AWWWWW! It started off just as a cough, which got worse and as a few people at work have been off sick with nasty chest infections, I made a doctor’s appointment for Wednesday this week. Yesterday the cold started, streaming nose, blocked sinuses, sore throat and coughing like you wouldn’t believe. I left work a little bit early to miss the traffic and did nothing all evening apart from a bit of knitting whilst sitting with my feet up, covered up with ‘The Poorly Blankie’. I still feel very rough this morning but have come into work because I simply have too much to do to just leave it. Thankfully I have my own office so I hopefully won’t inflict my germs on all of my colleagues. The frustrating part of this is, I’ve struggled to get myself ready and in here this morning and our computer system is down so I can’t actually do any of the work I came in to do until they sort it out. This is why I’m writing a blog post at 9.10 on a Tuesday morning!
I really, really want to keep up with this blog mallarky, I enjoy putting my thoughts down and keeping track of what I’m doing and how I feel but I just never seem to have the time. Yet, I never seem to get things done either so what do I do with my time? This week for instance, Monday – No idea what I did once I’d finished cooking and eating, there was no knitting done as I’d temporarily lost my mojo, I didn’t watch anything on TV, so what did I do? Probably got lost in time browsing ravelry or reading blogs. A waste of an evening? I don’t know about that because I have a busy job so sometimes I just need to chill in the evening but then I feel guilty because the ironing is screaming at me or the house needs a clean through. There’s another post in that I suppose, should one feel guilty about relaxing? Tuesday, I went to my knitting group, got my mojo back by starting a lovely cabled bag, came home at 8.30 and knitted until around 11.15 then went to bed. Wednesday was my eldest son’s last ever parents evening. Again, there’s another post in that about how proud I am of him and how lovely it was to hear his teachers praising him to the hilt. I got back home at about 8 and flicked a cleaning cloth around the bathrooms, then knitted and watched football on TV with youngest son. Thursday, my mum who will be 90 this October, comes for tea on Thursdays, so after I had taken her home I fully intended to tackle the ironing mountain..did I? Nope, I knitted…again! I think I’m seeing a trend here of why I get nothing done!! The point I am making I suppose, is that other people seem to be able to knit as much as I do, but also do the other things they need to do. With me, it’s one or the other. I need time management lessons I think!
However, I listen to podcasts, like for instance the very wonderful Electric Sheep (you can find the link in my side bar) and despite working full time, in London where half of your day is taken up by travelling to and from work, never mind the 8 hours you spend at work, Hoxton still manages to knit lots of stuff, put together and publish a brilliantly entertaining podcast each week and still have a life. I think she’s actually got one of those gadgets that Dumbledore gave to Hermione so she could be in two places at one time and therefore take an extra class. Yes, that must be it, all of these seemingly organised people who work full-time, run a household, knit umpteen items to my one pathetic effort and still have a social life, well they all must possess a time travel gadget!
On Sunday, I decided that it was time to start off some of my seeds in my little electric propagator. I got this propagator last year from our local Freecycle along with loads of plant pots, too many for me ever to use and I ended up Freecycling a lot of them myself. Freecycle is a great idea and most areas have a scheme going. The idea is that if you have something you no longer need, you post on the Freecycle site and if anyone wants it, they contact you and you can then arrange to give it to them. Similarly, if you are in need of something, (say a small electric propagator) you can post a wanted message and if anyone has one they no longer need or use, they can contact you to arrange to hand it over.
Anyhow, I digress. So, on Sunday afternoon I cleaned up the propagator which has been lurking in the shed for the past year, plugged it in to warm up and then set about filling twelve little pots with seed compost and planting my first seeds of the year. Four each of Miniature White Cucumbers, first one on this page http://www.realseeds.co.uk/cucumbers.html, Latah tomatoes, 2nd one down on this page http://www.realseeds.co.uk/tomatoes.html and Kaibi Round sweet peppers, 2nd one down on this page http://www.realseeds.co.uk/sweetpeppers.html. I attempted to grow all of these last year, the tomatoes were a success and fruited right up to December! The cucumbers were a partial disaster/partial success in that I put them out too early and we had some really severe rain and wind and they got battered to death. I then planted another seed and it germinated and grew really well, lovely pretty yellow flowers and simply delicious cucumbers but then I went on holiday and left my 17 year old son in charge of watering them…yep you guessed it, poor thing, along with the tomatoes was almost dead when I got home a week later although after copious watering, the tomatoes survived, the cucumber alas went off to that great greenhouse in the sky. The peppers just didn’t amount to anything and never flowered or fruited so I think I didn’t start them off early enough and hope I’ve rectified that this year. It was my first attempt at container growing last year though and I’m naturally hoping for better results this year.
I stumbled across The Real Seed Catalogue whilst searching for organic seeds on t’interweb last year and was impressed by their ideas and ethics. They encourage their customers to learn how to collect seeds from their own plants and produce a free leaflet how how to do just that, which would seem as though they are doing themselves out of business but they appear to be really passionate about what they do and about growing real vegetables rather than the hybrids we get so much of nowadays. If you are interested in growing your own veg from seed, don’t go to B&Q for packets of seeds, read about these people here http://www.realseeds.co.uk/about.html and have a browse through the website. I can honestly say that the tomatoes I grew last year were quite simply the most tasty and firm tomatoes I have ever had and I can’t wait to be eating them again this year. Bye Bye supermarket tomatoes for the summer (and beyond if last years crop is anything to go by)
Two days after sowing and my cucumber seeds are sprouting already! I’m simply astounded at how quickly they have germinated. I love growing from seed, it never ceases to amaze me how miraculous it all is. A tiny dried seed has all that creation inside it. I love how the tiny plant breaks out of the seed case, it peeps up from the compost, doubled over like a little hook and gradually straightens, strengthens and grows, producing flowers and fruit, which then seed and the whole process starts again. Amazing! I feel like a new mummy watching my babies grow. I’ll keep you well posted on progress.
Well that big round yellow thing in the sky has been on show for the past three days now, what the hell is going on?! On Monday morning, driving to work I spotted the first yellow crocuses peeping through and some of my spring bulbs in containers are showing too. It must be almost Spring :-). The photo isn’t the greatest but I just managed to snap it with my phone whilst queuing in traffic this morning.
So, it’s now Saturday, weekends are my favourite times, no surprises there for anyone else who is caught up in the 9 to 5 rat race. It’s quite bright today, making a change from all the dull, wet weather of the past few weeks. I’m going to go out for a walk on our local shopping street for some fresh air and a browse. We are lucky to have this lovely shopping area full of independant shops, here is the website of a scheme that was set up to encourage shoppers to the area http://www.lovelocal.org.uk/ and I try to support them by shopping there when I can.
Knitting-wise, I’m currently knitting a sweater for my mister in Sirdar Hug. It’s going to be a large project for me and will take me quite some time as I’m not renowned for being a fast knitter! Maybe he’ll get to wear it next winter then!! I’m also knitting this http://www.berroco.com/exclusives/mayer/mayer.html for myself in Patons Jet in a gorgeous orange/purple/brown mix. I’m really pleased with how it’s looking but I’ve put it on the back-burner for a while to do the boyfriend’s sweater. As I’m not too far off the finish line I maybe should crack on with it and be able to wear it in Spring. Ah yes, Spring. It won’t be too long now before the crocuses start peeping through on the central reservations of the dual carriageways. This event never fails to make me ridiculously happy. The first day I drive to work and see the crocuses, I have a smile on my face all day long.
I’ll try to get photos included in future posts but for now, this is it. My first blog post. Signing off for now but in the words of Arnie, I’ll be back!