Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Wading through jelly


 On Sunday we spent a few hours with my sister and brother in law. We live only twenty minutes' drive away from her home which means that we can see other much more often than we used to. If my sister wasn't related to me, I'd choose her as a friend as we get on so well, share the same sense of silliness and have a similar outlook on life.

I took a box of fresh vegetables from the garden, a few frozen runner beans (because they are amongst her favourite vegetables), some duck eggs, hen eggs, a jar of blackberry and apple jam, a jar of apple sauce and one of the smaller pumpkins that are still ripening.

After we'd caught up with each other's latest news, we gathered some rose hips from a rose that had originally been a hybrid tea type, but over the years suckers had grown up from the root stock and now it is a wild rose with no sign of the grafted rose bush. I'm going to use these to make some rose hip syrup and add a few to some hedgerow wine. While we were picking fruits we found a few elderberries, which I will add to the berries in the freezer ready to make into some wine.

We also came home with some wooden battens (that had been on their roof, but have since been replaced), some other wood off-cuts that may have ended up rotting in a corner of their field, wire mesh, a bale of bedding for the ducks.

I felt that we had a much better deal from our swap until I remembered that, except for the bale of bedding, we had taken away items that they considered to be rubbish and would need taking to the local tip eventually, so we have saved them the trip. 

The wood battens and off-cuts will get stored away until we are ready to use them, but to have some spare bits of wood around is very useful for those days that I say 'can we just...?'.

By late afternoon I had started to feel a bit wobbly and irritatingly I have now spent two days on the sofa feeling somewhat worse for wear. I have booked an appointment with my GP to have my blood tests done again to check the level of hormones for my thyroid, unfortunately the first set of appointments that I can have aren't for another two weeks. My hope is that I will be feeling better long before then and the appointments will just be a routine check-up.

Being knocked sideways gives me little to write about in terms of activity on the smallholding as I haven't been up to walking outside, which means that nothing has progressed in the garden or in the kitchen. I've put all the picked fruits straight into the freezer and will deal with them at a later date when every step feels less like I am wading through jelly.

Mr J has been looking after the birds and of course, this is the week that the smallest chickens have worked out how to break out of their field and head straight for the 'all you can eat buffet' that is the vegetable garden. We have foiled their fun by confining them to their house and large run until we have completed putting up more chicken wire netting to prevent the small birds slipping through the flexible netting that surrounds the chickens' fields. Hopefully Mr J will feel up to doing this when he returns from work today.

I did manage to get outside for a short time this morning, but it didn't last long before I needed to come back in and lie down again. However, I got to enjoy the late summer sunrise for a few minutes. I wish my camera could pick up the intense orangey-red of the sun, but suffice to say that the sun and the pumpkins looked beautiful together.

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