Monday 28th July 2014 – Oh I do like to be beside the seaside….

There are two things that the British do better than anyone else: 1- Queuing, we do like a good queue, and know how to behave in one. And 2- Enjoy our selves on the beach what ever the weather. Today myself, Emily, George, my sister Michelle and her youngest Sam we all went to the seaside. We’d spoken about this last week, but as Sam broke up from school later than my two we waited til this week instead of going last week. Now me being horribly organised, I checked the tide times at West Wittering beach to make sure that we were on the beach when the sea was going out and not coming in. The day started rather oddly. I was woken up just before 7am by torrential rain and thunder, not very good beach weather at all. But I checked the weather where we were going and it looked ok for the time we’d planned to be on the beach. The rain stopped after about and hour, but we were still planning on going ahead with our little trip. I picked Michelle and Sam up just after 10am, and we firstly drove to Petworth House and Park. Michelle is also a National Trust member, so it was great that we could all get in for free. On the drive down the weather was dry…ish. We had a few spots of rain, but nothing major. But when we arrived at Petworth, the heavens opened, so on went the water proofs, and we headed straight into the house, which was dry. After we’d had a good old nose around, it was lunch time, so we sat under a tree on a fairly dry bench and ate our picnic lunch. The sun had come out now, and the sky was blue, so we were optimistic about the rest of the day. It wasn’t completely dry under the tree, because every time the wind blew the leaves dripped blobs of water on us, but we didn’t mind, because we’re British and we don’t mind a bit of rain, we get so much of it anyway.

Picnic lunch under the tree at Petworth.

Picnic lunch under the tree at Petworth.

After we’d eaten loads, we then go back in the car and headed for the seaside. The sky ahead was blue, so we were all very happy. We did take a bit of a detour, as the postcode on the beach website was wrong (either that or I put the wrong one in), so we turned round and headed in the right direction. But we finally arrived at the seaside. As we were walking to the beach with our chairs, rug, bags, and fishing net (George wanted to catch a jelly fish, don’t ask). I asked Michelle which is the boys would be the first in the sea. This we couldn’t decided. But when we’d set everything up, I rushed down for a quick paddle. So I was the first one in (only up to my ankles, but that still counts). Once the boys had got changed they were straight in, and disappeared for ages. The sea is so shallow and you have to go out for miles to be even up to your knees, and also there’s no under current, so we weren’t worried and knew they’d stay together.

Off they go into the sea...don't get too cold.

Off they go into the sea…don’t get too cold.

Later on Emily went in, and Michelle also had a paddle, so we all got to have a go in the sea. After we’d been on the beach for about an hour and a half, rain started. It wasn’t heavy and we saw it coming. Michelle and I tried to blow it away, but we didn’t succeed. About three quarters of the people on the beach left. Emily went to the car to get the umbrellas, so we sat on our chairs huddled under the brollies and waited for it to pass. It didn’t last long, and then the sun came out again. So play resumed and the kids were back in the water. Michelle bought us all and ice cream, which was fabulous, so we all sat and tried not to get sand in our treats.

Yummy lollies and ice creams, thank you Michelle!

Yummy lollies and ice creams, thank you Michelle!

We finally left about 6pm, and just as we did the grey sky dropped loads of rain down, so we got back in the car at the perfect time. The journey home was very easy, and the kids were very quiet, I think we’d worn them out. Sam fell asleep for most of the journey. Once we’d dropped Michelle and Sam off at home the kids and I got take out Fish and Chips (well it has to be done after a day at the beach) and also took some home for Mark. As the kids didn’t have any shoes on I had to leave them in the car when I got the fish and chips, but as I couldn’t see them I locked them in the car, but the alarm was still on, and they set it off. Emily sent me a text to let me know and I told them to sit very still otherwise it would happen again. Emily’s reply was “Sitting still sucks!” Once we got home, had eaten our Fish and Chips, we all had a shower. Sand gets everywhere!! And then it was off to bed. We were all very tired after such a wonderful day. We’ll have to do that again soon, it’s been a while since I’ve gone out for the day with my sister.

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Sunday 27th July 2014 – Long walk to Winkworth Arboretum.

I’m continuing with my training for my Shine Walk, which is only about 2 months away now!! If you would like to sponsor me, here’s the link to my Just Giving page. So today after bell ringing I walked the 21 miles to Winkworth Arboretum. I’ve taken the kids to this National Trust place several times. They just love it. George calls in the place with all the bridges. It’s very important when you want to play the bridge game “What is your name?” and so on. I set off about 10.15am by the time I’d programmed the route into Google Maps. So off I went, knowing the first half very well, as I’ve walked that part quite a few times now. It didn’t seem to take me that long, about two and a half hours. But then I suppose it’s because I knew where I was going. Once I’d turned off the main road onto a very posh road, I stopped very briefly to get out my water bottle and the first part of my lunch (Ham croissant, very tasty). Then I ate as I walked, which is what I usually tend to do. The road I was then walking down didn’t have any paths, but was a fairly quiet road. Now you’re supposed to walk towards the traffic, which I was a good girl and did. But loads of cyclists were coming towards me, and a few cars behind them, and some cars coming from behind me, so sometimes it got rather busy. The cyclists gave me loads of room (what they thought I would do I don’t know), which I guess they understand, and there were several nods as if to say “Morning!”. The cars on the other hand didn’t seem to have any patients. Taking this road through loads of over hanging trees was rather exciting. But as I was walking on my own, I wondered if it was really safe. Well I’m still here, so obviously it is. Then I came to a rather busy A road, which I needed to be on the other side of, so that was interesting to cross. Then after walking the final part I arrived at Winkworth about 3.45pm, which I was rather pleased with. When I arrived I was at the back entrance which was only allowed to be used by the disabled and badge holders. I was neither, but I am a member of the National Trust, and I’d walked 21 miles, so I think I was entitled to use the “special entrance”. I called Mark to find out where they were, and they hadn’t quite arrived yet, so I suggested that I would meet them at the entrace. It was only then that I realised that I was at the bottom of Winkworth and had to climb right to the top. This isn’t normally a problem, but my legs were rather tired, so with my last bit of energy I bravely climbed all the steps (I have no idea how many there are) to the top. I was huffing and puffing by the time I reached the top, and over took a couple walking up (they were older than me), so I think I’d earned the lolly that Mark bought me. We then went to a gentle stroll round the grounds, and Mark and George decided to play lightsabers with some sticks they found, where Emily and I wandered round like ladies of leisure.

Boys will be boys!!

Boys will be boys!!

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A Tour Of My Allotment – Claire’s Allotment Part 245

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Putting your sorrel in the soil – Claire’s Allotment Part 244

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Thursday 24th July 2014 – A view of my garden.

Several of you have asked if I can show you what my garden at home looks like, well, I’m now going to bore you with several photos now, and hopefully you’ll find them interesting. I thought this would be a more interesting way of doing it, rather than making a little film. So I went out early this morning when the sun wasn’t too hot and snapped away. My garden at home is only 17 feet by 48 feet, so very tiny. In fact my allotment is over 4 times larger than my garden!! So hear goes. Firstly down the right hand side I have a flower bed about 3 feet deep and about 20 feet long. In there are a variety of flowers and plants from Aquilegia, heather, lavender, Agapanthus to Climbing roses.

My main flower bed full of all sorts of goodies.

My main flower bed full of all sorts of goodies.

Then moving further on up the garden is my herb patch, which consists of a huge variety of herbs from Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Marjoram, Bay and loads more. On the far left of the picture are some Crocosmia that I planted last year. They seem to love it there are the flowers are either deep red or yellow.

My herb patch, full of all sorts of fabulous herbs.

My herb patch, full of all sorts of fabulous herbs.

Then we come across the greenhouse where I had a bit of a tidy the other day so now it’s all beautiful and tidy. In here I’m growing Tomatoes, Sweet Peppers, Cucamelons and Melons. They all seem very happy and are growing really well. I know that it looks a bit like a mad house, but they seem to be all getting along.

My happy little greenhouse.

My happy little greenhouse.

Then at the end of the garden I have a small Apple tree. I’ve had it for about 10 years now, and every year it produces some lovely eating apples. I can’t remember what variety they are, but they do taste wonderful. Behind it I have a compost bin, but you don’t really want to see that, the tree is much nicer to look at.

Apples will be ready soon.

Apples will be ready soon.

Then coming back down the other side of the garden I have a narrow thin bed where the Honeysuckles, more Climbing Roses, Clematis and various other climbers grow. I’m trying to create a lovely piece of privacy between us and our neighbours. I had to cut it all back this time last year as we had new fencing put in, but it seems to be growing back well.

Hopefully by this time next year I will have a wonderful privacy screen.

Hopefully by this time next year I will have a wonderful privacy screen.

And finally my patio where there are either Tomatoes growing in pots or flowers growing in pots. In the white container are my White Strawberries (Pineberries) that didn’t flower this year they just sent out runners. These I’ve potted on, so now I have loads of little plants growing. Next year I’ll cut off the runners and hope that fruits will grow.

Excuse the water butt and the hose. Both are in constant use at the moment.

Excuse the water butt and the hose. Both are in constant use at the moment.

So that’s it. My little garden at home. With that and the allotment that’s loads to keep me occupied and out of any mischief that I could get myself into. It keeps me busy, but it’s great fun. Here’s the view I have of my garden from my back door. The tree at the very back of the picture (that is actually in my garden, just) behind the trampoline was bigger, until yesterday when it was hacked by my neighbours father. I wasn’t told, and needless to say I got incredibly cross!! But that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Please excuse the washing on the line.

Please excuse the washing on the line.

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Tuesday 22nd July 2014 – Everything is awesome!

Today I continued with my garden tidy. I did the front garden which didn’t take long as it was fairly sorted anyway, then I moved on to have a good tidy of the wooden shed. It’s been a little while since I’ve had a good sort out of this, and I was very wary of any spiders as I was wearing my flip flops (I didn’t come across any thank goodness). I got rid of various bits that I just don’t need any more, and have started to make a pile in the garden of bits that need to go down the tip. This I’ll keep adding to and then take it down to the tip on Thursday, as tomorrow is a bit of a stressful day in one way and another. I won’t bore you with the details, but as soon as that day is over I will be very pleased. After I’d completed the wooden shed, I had a good sort out of the greenhouse and harvest some wonderful Cucamelons. There are loads more growing and the Tomatoes are growing really well too. No sign of any Melons growing yet, but loads of flowers, so I’ll have to find a paint brush and start to tickle the flowers to move the pollen about. Then it was time to tackle the bike shed. Tackle is a slight underestimation of the word! I was not looking forward to this as I knew it would be rather tricky. Still I’ve started it, but not quite finished it. There are a load of plastic pots that I just don’t use, so I’ll take them to our local garden centre where they recycle them. My old strimmer will be going to the great lawn in the sky, and various other items that I no longer want. I didn’t quite finish the bike shed, so will have to continue that tomorrow when I finally get home. Later in the evening we watched the Lego Movie. Now when this was on at the cinema we went to watch it with the kids and somehow I managed to fall asleep (don’t ask). Unfortunately I did the same this evening, not sure if I fell asleep in the same place. One day I’ll get through the entire movie without nodding off. What I’ve seen it’s a very good film, but I’d worked very hard in the garden so I was tired!! Everything is AWESOME!!

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Monday 21st July 2014 – Tidying the back garden…again.

It’s an on going job, but I don’t mind really, you get the garden tidied a few weeks back and then it gets all messy again. Plants are like children they keep growing!! The kids have now broken up for the summer, so I won’t be going down the allotment as often as normal, but still a fair bit. They’re old enough for me to leave them at home for a couple of hours while I pop to do some weeding and watering, which is fabulous. I’m only just up the road and it would take me 10 minutes to get home if I walked, so I’m not far away. But today I spent the day in the back garden tidying the plants and dead heading (the plants not the children). It now looks lovely and tidy. It’s all growing well, and a pleasure to sit in and enjoy the sun. All that hard work is done and it’s just a case of titivating now. I was in and out of the garden for most of the day, fitting in the gardening around making bread, waffles, lunch and various other things. It’s all done now, so tomorrow I’ll start on the front garden, which shouldn’t take long as it’s rather small, but you never know what you’ll find. I came across a frog once, which was a bit of a shock especially as I was wearing flip flops at the time!!

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