Saturday, 29 August 2009

Yesterday we went to visit Craig’s brother and his wife down in Norfolk. Now, if you know me fairly well then you’ll probably know that G and S are the only members of Craig’s immediate family that we speak to. We haven’t had any contact with the rest of them for about 15 years and they haven’t seen 7 of the children (I don’t know if they even know we have had another seven since we had Beth), I don’t know if they are aware we changed our name several years ago or where we are living. It’s a long story which I won’t bore you with and the situation isn’t likely to change as Craig is only interested in speaking to them if they pay him back the £50,000 they owe him.

Anyway, we have stayed in touch with G and S and see them on a fairly irregular basis but we email as well. They moved house a couple of years ago so off we went to see it (and them of course). The children had a great time running round their garden but it’s a very small house so it did get a bit claustrophobic when it was raining.

S has been making wine which we had a small taste of and inspired us to give it a go ourselves. Craig has gone off to find the equipment we’ll need. It also inspired me to give jam and chutney making a go as well which I’ve never tried before but it will be good use of the fruit in our garden.

We’ve got apple, pear and plum trees out there but this is the first year that we’ve actually picked any of it. Usually it all falls and gets left to rot because we’re never sure when it’s ready. We’ve got through loads and loads of the plums though, they’re gorgeous. The children aren’t too keen on the apples, simply because they don’t look as perfect as they do in the shops. There’s nothing wrong with them, the skin is just a bit blemished. The pears are rock hard though so we’re not entirely sure whether to pick them to ripen indoors or just leave them on the tree until they soften up.

We’re going to pick the elderberries as well and use them for wine. I nearly picked the blossom for cordial but didn’t so I would like to use them for something. And there’s a fantastic place for blackberries nearby so we’ll go there and pick some of those too - although we never seem to make it home with enough to do much with as the children usually scoff them all on the way back.

Next year we are definitely going to get the veg patch going. I think we’re going to dig up the grass at the back of the house for it as long as we can find a way to keep the chickens off it. You watch, we’ll dig it, get it planted up and then decide to move house, lol

Also this week, Jack had his first ever ride on a train. He was so excited about it and we got some lovely photos that I will have to get off Craig’s laptop to post here. They went from Boston to Skegness, walked down to the seafront for an ice-cream and a paddle at Fairy Dell then got the train back. He’s already asked if he can do it again one day. He is obsessed with level crossings and was very excited going over all the ones on the journey.


Pippa said...

Veg growing is soooo satisfying!! I've only done a very small amount of it really, but it's still huge fun to pop out of the house and pick something that you've grown and eat it, even if it's just a humble bean!!

Your chickens should be a good asset to you actually, they will help to keep the slug and snail population down. All my beans were eaten by snails this year.

Cybèle said...

My mum used to stew pears in wine and sugar, as a child I never liked them but recently when out for dinner with some colleagues I had them again and they were lovely. I can look up the recipe if you like, you cook them for so long that the alcohol evaporates so the children can eat them too, my brother used to love them. Perfect for hard pears!