I have to confess to not having cleared out the wardrobes yesterday, but I did get round to trying on the sale items and I’ll tell you this – I am amazed, because they are all OK. Usually I buy something, it comes for a little ride with me up the motorway, and then, two days later, it goes for another little ride with me back down the motorway and is returned to the shop.
My time yesterday, after the physio, was taken up with pruning a massive buddleia and slicing and freezing enough runner beans to feed most of Leicestershire.
I pruned (hacked) back the buddleia with a sadistic satisfaction. Over the summer, it had attracted every butterfly within a twenty-mile radius. You might be forgiven for thinking that sounds lovely. And to a degree it was, however, half the butterflies it attracted were of the cabbage white variety, and after taking nectar from the purple buddleia, they nonchalantly flitted over to lay their billions of eggs on my cabbages! Just how they managed to do that when the cabbages were double netted is a mystery. But sure enough, just as the sweet-heart cabbages were developing their sweet hearts the caterpillars hatched and ran amok, nibbling, crunching and munching their way through the precious leaves. Bloody things.
I couldn’t even give the remnants to the chucks because the caterpillars filled the cabbages with green pooh and they looked disgusting. They all ended up on the compost heap, cabbages, pooh and caterpillars, and the heap is now the size of a small hill. I swore that I wouldn’t grow any more cabbages and then, what did I do? I bought twenty spring cabbage plants and put them in the garden. This time I have triple netted them – not that there should be any butterflies around through the winter!
The runner beans have also gone ballistic this year and Richard is now terrified of them. And I mean terrified. Five weeks ago he was heard to say, ‘I love runner beans. I can just have a dish full of them with butter and black pepper and eat the whole lot.’
Now if I cheerfully say, ‘do you fancy a veggie curry tonight?’ he pales, backs away and mumbles, ‘er…what are you putting in it?’
I say, ‘courgettes, onions, mushrooms …those left-over runner beans.’
He says, ‘No thanks!’
I say, ‘so what will you have?’
He says, ‘anything that doesn’t include runner beans!’
I had strongly stipulated that all beans would have to be eaten fresh this year because there was no point in picking, slicing, and freezing them, only to repeat what happens every year I pick, slice and freeze them; two years later they are hauled up from the bottom of the freezer, needle-sharp, grey, sporting freezer-burn, and then they are thrown in the bin. But because Richard has gone soft and can no longer bear to swallow the smallest bean I had to freeze some and there are still more on the plants. His aversion had better be short-lived because I do not intend to throw those away in two years’ time! I don’t know what the problem is frankly, he never tires of nachos and chocolate, no matter how many or how much he consumes.
Yesterday I said I would tell you about my new pet, Arrow. To be honest I don’t think I can class him as my pet because he is a wild creature. He’s a frog. A not very old frog – probably enjoying his second summer? I’ve seen him quite a few times over the summer; he’s been living in the pots of succulents which were in the flower garden. Being a glutton for punishment I decided to remove that section of the garden, thereby giving me more room for a veggie patch. I’ve been working on it for the last few days, each day removing a bit more of his domain. As the flowers came out, and were either binned or replanted, Arrow moved along. Each day his world has shrunk a little more but he doesn’t seem to have minded, sitting happily watching me, and now and then moving along the bus. I’ve now finished and his area has been massively reduced but he has a choice…stay or move across the narrow path into the fruit garden. Just now he seems happy to be where he is. He also has a friend. He/she is tiny, this year’s spawn, no bigger than my small finger-nail. I noticed that he/she had decided to move out and was last seen crossing the path and hopping under the runner beans. I am glad that they are this side of the gate because the chucks lurk the other side and both Arrow and friend are small enough to become a tasty snack.
So…that was yesterday …and today I must trot off and continue with the novel. I must be blinkered and not let anything else distract me. I must …I must…I must …
Take care my lovelies x