Friday 27th March 2015 – That’s one packet down, goodness knows how many left to go!!

Today on the allotment I sowed my first seeds, I’m so excited!! I know that it’s much later than normal, but the weather has been too cold. There’s no point in sowing seeds when it’s too cold because they just won’t grow, and usually rot. So it’s better to leave them for a bit until the weather is right. So today was the turn of my Parsnips “Gladiator”. I tend to sow this variety most years as they really do well. Parsnips are in the soil until the winter, so make sure you’re prepared for this before you sow them. Also make sure that you’ve turned the soil very well and removed any large stones because this will make the parsnips split as they grow. I managed to do 2 rows which should give a good yield, and plenty of room for them to grow.

Two rows of "Gladiator" Parsnips....Are you not entertained?

Two rows of “Gladiator” Parsnips….Are you not entertained?

Once these were done, I then continued with some more weeding. The soil is still great to dig, not too wet and the weeds are coming out very easily. The kids have now broken up for the Easter break, but as my 2 are old enough to be left on their own for a while (12 and 15) I can pop down the allotment for a couple of hours and plod on with everything. I’ve got loads of seeds to sow this weekend, so I’ll keep you up dated with what I get up to. Just a reminder that the clocks go forward this Sunday, which means that we loose and hours in bed, but we’re in British Summer Time. So more time to play in the garden. The days will be getting warmer and longer, perfect after a long winter.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Robot Overlords are finally here…

clairesallotment:

Go and see, it’s AMAZING!!!!

Originally posted on unusually tall stories:

On 13th July 2010* I received an email from Director Jon Wright with the subject heading ‘Two page idea attached’. In it he outlined a movie idea that had come to him in a dream: a world where humanity had been defeated by an invading alien robot empire and everyone is ordered to stay inside their homes. Back then it was called OUR ROBOT OVERLORDS. Some of those ideas have survived through to the finished film, some have fallen by the wayside and others could still be used in potential sequels or TV series, but already the world felt strong enough to start bouncing ideas back and forth and start working on a script.

And so ROBOT OVERLORDS was born, and a mere four years, eight months and fourteen days later it’s in UK cinemas for the public to see. That’s pretty fast for an independent British movie.

Jon and I…

View original 658 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Edible Garden Show 20th-22nd March 2015.

Oh my goodness what a weekend!! If anyone says to me that they had a busy weekend and they weren’t doing what I was doing, well let’s just say they don’t know what a busy weekend is. So let’s start at the best place, the beginning. Friday 20th March: 6am up bright and early to leave by 6.30am. Now the shortest way to get to Ally Pally from my house is to go north, but that takes you straight through London. It’s just under 30 miles away. However, I’m not going to drive through London, so sane person would. So the only other way, is to get on the M25 at junction 10 and drive all the way round and finally get off the M25 at junction 24!! God that road is boring!! Once off, then it’s through Cockfosters to Ally Pally. Doing this more than doubles the miles you have to drive, but is quicker. Yes I know it sounds weird, but it’s the truth. So after 65 miles I arrived. The show wasn’t opening until 11am, so everyone was busy setting up and doing all sorts of wonderful things to their stalls. I put both my show cards up, one on “Sean’s Shed” stand and the other one in the Family Zone. For the next 3 days I would be flitting back and forth between each of these places doing readings and meeting people and chatting.

I'm on that list 8 times reading!!

I’m on that list 8 times reading!!

At “Sean’s Shed” there were a few of us Gardening YouTubers, myself, Aaron, Vivi, Geoff, and Sean from the Horticultural Channel, Rob  (winner of this years Big Allotment Challenge) and several others. When we all arrived we greeted each other as though we were old friends. It was so wonderful. There were loads of schools visiting on the Friday and it was lovely to see loads of new budding gardeners eager to learn. I met loads of people who watch my You Tube page and we chatted and swapped hints and tips. I read to some children and they really enjoyed “Lottie and Dottie Sow Carrots”. I signed and sold some copies which was great.

Signing my life away.

Signing my life away.

Then at 3pm they all left and the show then went very quiet. We finished at 7pm, and after my long drive home I walked through the door at 9pm, exhausted. The following was definitely needed: wine, dinner, bath, wine and bed! Saturday 21st March: I was up at 5.30am, and left the house at 6am. The show was starting at 9am and I wanted to get to the show with plenty of time to spare. I arrived just after 7.30am and hardly anyone was about. Not even the security guard!! The ladies loo was locked so I had to sneak into the mens (I used a cubicle just incase you’re wondering). The show was much busier today and I did 3 readings. I sold lots more books and chatted with so many people. The show finished at 5pm and on the drive home along the M25 the overhead signs slowed us down to 50 mph and said “Animals in road, slow down”. This did make me chuckle as usually it’s “Congestion”. I’m not sure what animal I was expecting, a horse possibly, but we didn’t see anything. I think they just put that sign up to make sure we were still paying attention. I arrived home at 7pm with fish and chips and wine. I sat on the sofa with it, watching Jake Gyllenhaal in “The Day After Tomorrow”. Yes I know I’m married, and very happily, but phwahh!! Mark and the kids had spent the day up at the NEC in Birmingham for Comic con. Mark was on stage for part of it because “Robot Overlords” is out 27th March!! I picked them up from the station at 8.30pm and when we got home, I finally got to open my cards and presents as it was my birthday and then we all went to bed. I’ve had some odd birthdays in my time, but this one was the weirdest one ever!! Sunday 22nd March: The last day of the show. I was up at 6am, and out the door at 6.30am, so a little later than the day before. When we all arrived at the show we wondered at what point in the day would we start to go hyperactive. I was reckoning on about 2pm, but not it happened about 11am! You just start to get a bit silly, I think it was the lack of sleep. I’m used to 9-10 hours a night, and when you’re only getting about 7 hours you start to loose it. I did 3 more readings and signed loads of books, in fact more than the Friday and Saturday combined.

They were very attentive and enthusiastic.

They were very attentive and enthusiastic.

When we had a few spare minutes we went for a quick wander around the show to see what was going on. There was loads to see from various animals, bees, things that wiggled, garden tools and machinery, but I was straight for the chickens. The British Hen Welfare Trust were there, which is the same place where we go our 6 ex batts from. They also had little baby chicks which were only 5 days old. I had to hold one, and lucky it didn’t crap in my hand.

Now no crapping in my hand thank you!

Now no crapping in my hand thank you!

Mark and the kids came to the show in the afternoon and George loved holding the chicks and anything else that anyone would let him hold. They’re old enough to go wandering round on their own, so they can have lots of fun to. The show ended at 5pm and then it was time to clear away. I’d spoken to 2 chaps who were selling Wood Blocx. They’d come all the way down from Scotland and would not be taking any of their bits back with them as they flew. So they very kindly let me have one of their wooden beds. It’s fairly small, but will be perfect for a salad bed by the back door. I got it for FREE and some FREE plants as well!! If I’d have had to buy the bed it would have cost me £115. Bargain!! Thank you Henry I really appreciate it. I’ll make a video when I put it together. It looks very simple to do, and I’ve got the instructions. If I can put together an IKEA wardrobe, then I can do this. We arrived home at just before 8pm, ordered some Chinese food, ate and went to bed exhausted!! Now that was a busy weekend. If you want to see more photos from the show, you can view them HERE.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Thursday 19th March 2015 – Another day, another bed turned over.

The weather wasn’t what I’d call “Spring like” today, but still it was dry, but NOT sunny. Still off I went, armed with my flask of tea to my allotment. I’ve managed to dig over more of the soft fruit bed, and then started to turn over another bed where the Onions were in last year, and I think I may plant some Potatoes in this year. We’ll see when I come to plant my potatoes out in about 3 – 4 weeks time. They’re still very happy chitting away on top of my kitchen cupboards. Getting back into the routine of some hard forking down the allotment takes a little while. At the moment, I can only dig for about an hour and a half before my back says “That’s enough for today”. Give it a couple of weeks and I’ll build up those muscles again and be able to manage much more hard forking. I also took home some treats for the chickens. Firstly some Sprouting Broccoli that is just about finished. I’ve hung that up in their run and they seem to like it. Also a mound of grass. Now I know this may sound a bit strange, but they love pecking the grass on my lawn, but they leave such a mess, so I decided to bring some home from the allotment for them, and hopefully it’ll root in their run and start to grow. They seemed very happy when I put it in. I’m not sure if they were please with the grass, or all the little worms that were in the roots of the grass. I then looked in the nesting box and found 4 little presents for me. They are such good girls….most of the time. They don’t like pigeons though. For the last couple of days a pair have come into the garden, and the chickens get very defensive towards them. Maybe they want to know why the pigeons are allowed on the grass and they’re not.

Thank you my little ones.

Thank you my little ones.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Hello Allotment, are you ready for some fun?

First day back to the allotment today to do some preparation for this year. I have been up to my plots, but only to harvest various bits and pieces. But today the weather was about 12 degrees and lovely and sunny so up I went, armed with my wellingtons and a flask of tea. There were only another 4 plot holders about, and the whole site looks very naked and bare at the moment, but then what do you expect for this time of year. Give it 3 months, and there will be loads going on and the site will look very green and pretty. I spent just under 2 hours on my plot this morning, firstly digging over one bed that had potatoes in last year. I found a few that I’d missed and now they’re home with me and we’ll have them for dinner tonight. I then covered that bed with some horse manure and then moved onto the soft fruit bed. Last year this got left to go wild, and as I’ve got some new Raspberry canes to put in it needs a massive sort out. I’ve dug and weeded a substantial amount of it today, but still have lots more to dig over. Once it’s all weed free, I’m going to put some weed suppressant down and then some wood chips on top of that, so it’s then easier to look after and keep tidy. So that’s my next job to work through. Hopefully it won’t take too long to complete. The soil is a little damp, but very easy to dig at the moment, perfect really. A good workout this morning was had at the allotment, so my treat at lunch time was a homemade (would it be any other) coffee and walnut cup cake, a Mary Berry recipe. I think I’ve earned it today.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

TOO MANY EGGS!!!

Now I’m not complaining, but I have 19 eggs!! They usually lay 1 or 2 a day, but yesterday they laid 4 and today 5!! Would anyone like 6 for £1? You have to live close to me though, I’m not travelling to Scotland!!

Chick, chick, chick, chick chicken. Lay a little egg for me. Or 19 if you want!

Chick, chick, chick, chick chicken. Lay a little egg for me. Or 19 if you want!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

The Edible Garden Show, Alexander Palace 20th – 22nd March 2015

Are you looking for something to do this weekend? We are very nearly in Spring after all. Well if you are, why not come along to The Edible Garden Show! I’ll be there, but not shopping, I’ll be doing loads of readings of my book “Lottie and Dottie Sow Carrots”!! I know it’s so exciting. I’ll then be signing my books and having photos taken with those who would like them. I’ll be either in the Family Zone, see the times on the link when I’ll be there, or at Sean’s Shed reading, signing and having photos taken there. The times are on the link so you know. If you do find me wandering about and would like to buy a signed copy just ask and I’ll sort one out for you. The only time I won’t, is when I need to pop to the ladies (but then you understand that don’t you?). Well, I have everything ready for my super busy weekend, and if you see me on the Saturday just to let you know that it’s my birthday, so I might be extra excited. But don’t tell anyone it’s my birthday I don’t want the whole world to know. See you at the show!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment