Gin & Compost

Adventures in Life

New Year soon! December 21, 2012

Filed under: Home,Plans — Cath @ 2:33 pm

Last day at work today, and I’ve been thinking about all those jobs in the garden/yard that need doing that might actually get done. Like sorting out the front garden (tidying it up, pulling up damn couch grass, killing some weeds, that sort of thing) and tidying up the back yard. Then my thoughts came to this blog, and how this too has got completely forgotten this year. So here we are again. Photos to follow. To do list to be tackled.


It’s just taking some bricks up.. April 1, 2012

Filed under: Home,New Stuff,Plans — Cath @ 12:17 pm

The weather was thankfully not too bad, the task seemed achievable. Equipment hired (cement mixer, angle grinder, skip, just small things) and boys lager stash at “workmen” levels

Impressive isn’t it! I can’t thank Pete enough – there is now a french drain around the slabs to try and ease the damp in the kitchen (as the bricks were far too close to the damp proof course before) and it actually drains to the drain and under the gate, and not towards the dining room door as it did before!

So I guess you want to know how it looks now? Well, Rich is just finishing clearing the winter debris off the slabs and I’m waiting for a delivery of a new trough and hanging basket then you’ll get your photos!


Farewell Plot, Hello Yard

Filed under: Allotment,Home,Plans — Cath @ 11:03 am

So, as you will have worked out I’m sure, I never had time to go to the allotment and what with going back to work I decided to give it up. It wasn’t an easy decision but it is the right one. I need to be able to enjoy life rather than adding more and more to my to do list.

So instead I’ve been working on finishing off the back yard. Pete and Rich (mainly Pete let’s be fair) relaid the yard last summer. There are some posts on this blog about the yard from 2010 showing off the plants. Well it’s had a fair transformation now!

A few pictures for you – first, the yard as it was in 2010. Very red brick, very old looking, very battered too.


The job was only small (HA!), take up the old bricks off the floor and replace with some slabs that would make it a nicer place for Lizzie. The bricks were masonry bricks and were very porous so the yard was an algae ice-rink for 8 months of the year and it was a constant battle. I got tired of that battle and last year flipped. Pete very kindly offered to help as he knew what he was doing and together we came up with a plan.

Well I say together, I pointed at things that I liked and he did the rest :o

So they set to it, Pete stayed for a week and I had Lizzie to entertain. Easy eh? Well, no……..



Coverage July 20, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Cath @ 5:58 pm

So, after the letter from the Council telling us off for doing nothing with the allotment, I ordered some black cover sheeting stuff to try and help everything die on the plot whilst we’re finding time to go and do more.

So the lovely Pete came up for the day, and he and Rich set to the plot. Me and Lizzie toddled off to go to baby massage – I think we had the better deal!

So before they started it looked like this:

And from the top you can see the bit of black stuff we had put down to keep the path clear – it works! Shame the rest of it got so over grown!

So the boys set to work, and they did good!

Halfway through and it’s really obvious how bad it had got! It’s made up of a 2m, 1m and 2m wide pieces (my plot is 5m wide) so we will always have a path up the middle even when we create the spaces to plant :)

Admiring his work

And Pete, who seems to be doing an impression of a teapot :confused:

So, we think the Council will be happy, and we hope it means the Irish blokes next to us are no longer contemplating setting fire to the weeds :D




























This allotment! February 20, 2011

Filed under: Allotment,Plans — Cath @ 3:26 pm

So having woken up, tried to rest/take it easy and got monumentally bored, we tried to work out what to do with our day. It wasn’t nice enough weather to go out for a walk somewhere but after a short while we thought “oooo we could go to the plot”. Given it’s been 7 months since we’ve been to actually do something there this was quite the novel idea.

So with spade, fork and gloves in the car we set off with a sense of purpose/guilt. This is what waited our arrival – the poor poor place

The grass has taken over, the beans were still on their poles and it looked so sad. Deciding where to start wasn’t easy – dividing the tasks up much better – Rich digging and anything heavy duty, me pulling up plants and general tidying. Not to mention a little whip cracking here and there.

Thankfully it seemed to be quite a quick job emptying some of the beds, mainly the beds Pete dug in the first place that were dug well. Not walking on the beds also made it lighter work than it could have been otherwise.  After a short while, it looked like this

You have to agree it looks better already! As we were digging and clearing we started to think about what to plant this year. We planted lots we never ate (or got fed up of eating) and didn’t plant enough potatoes. So we’ve allocated the spud beds, decided where the fruit is going to go (I didn’t take a photo but you should see how happy the rhubarb is!) and agreed that beans aren’t our thing (nor are peas, for those of you who read the blog last year).

At this point pickle started to seriously get in the way – bending down isn’t so easy with a 7 month bump, and getting back up even harder, so we decided to stop where we were, pack up and head back next weekend with renewed energy for the place. We spoke to one of our neighbours, met some new ones (though we still have 5 empty plots) and had a nosy at what everyone else is up to.

So when we left it looked better- the grass is insane and we need to do something about that (we covered the path in weed control stuff to try and help a bit) and I need to work out what plant food fruit bushes need and what food rhubarb needs given I can’t be arsed to find a supplier of manure (or want to get it to the plot, or dig it in). If you know please let me know!

Annoyingly today has reminded that what’ I’ve not learnt since having this plot – that blackberry bushes have very VERY sharp thorns, and that they scratch. *nurses arm*


What Allotment? February 17, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Cath @ 8:30 pm

So, another month seems to be drifting past and we still haven’t been to dig over the allotment – ever get the impression it’s not going to happen this year? I’m reliant on Rich to dig, which may be my problem……

Anyway, I have been busy honest! Only not with plants but with crochet. Thought you might like to see!


I love this wool, suggested by the lovely Maxine it looks great. It’s just a simple treble crochet stitch but it’s giving me good practice for yarn holding and tension etc. It also stops me getting too bored. The balls of yarn though are never ending, and so far I’m still on the first ball.


I love this wool too (I may be developing a wool issue). You may remember it’s the Cashsoft Baby DK I found in the sale bin. It’s a lovely relaxing pattern to crochet but I need to (desparately!) block the squares. No, you don’t get bonus points for pointing out one square is much smaller than the rest. And you certainly don’t get any points for saying “tension square” at me. No.

Then, no matter how pleased I feel with myself for the above, a friend of mine has sent this beautiful blanket for pickle.

LOOK AT IT! I’m so jealous! I wish I could knit but I lose track too easily with the counting and get too frustrated. My brain clearly isn’t for knitting (it’s why I love crochet so much!)




Bulbs and Muffins January 23, 2011

Filed under: Home,New Shoots,Treats — Cath @ 8:22 pm

A sunday spent supervising Rich planting some bulbs (crocus & tulips) into the front garden and making chocolate muffins is, I can report, a lovely way of spending the day.

I’ve had the bulbs since the end of the summer, maybe early Sept time. I was going to plant them then but someone told me to wait so I did, then the snow came in Dec and I’ve only just got around to it. Who knows if they’ll actually do something or not but they’re in now. Some had started to shoot, they made me feel quite guilty :o

The weekend was going to consist of going out to Lichfield but it was too cold. Bump is now big enough that none of my winter coats fit/do up, so it’s miserable being out in cold weather (and I refuse to buy a new coat that will only get worn for 2 months tops) so Lichfield was shelved in favour of a relaxing weekend instead. Although I’m not good at doing nothing hence the muffins, and 2 more squares of my crochet.

Shame it’s work tomorrow …….



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