Thursday 31 July 2014

An update on my vegetable growing.

I was despairing a few weeks back that the garden did not seem to be coming to much and I thought all my efforts were going to have come to nothing. But things seem to be coming on in leaps and bounds and I feel a lot more hopeful.

The sweetcorn is starting to grow, not overly large yet, about leek size but plenty of growing season left.

The potatoes have grown well,

so I tipped out one bag of them 

and we got just over 5lb, not a huge amount but a few nights tea, very nice they were as well. 

We have tomatoes in the greenhouse

and some near the greenhouse as there was not room for them all

and there are plenty appearing on all of the plants 

The herbs are coming along nicely, and we have been using these in cooking

I potted the runner beans into larger pots, 

stapled some netting to the fence and have placed them where they can climb up.

I thinned out the peppermint mint

and the spearmint both of which seemed to be dying off 

We have various pots of strawberries which have been producing fruit for a few weeks, now and get picked and eaten straight away, be that by OH, daughter or granddaughter, they don't really get into the house.

Finally I have topped up the second lot of potatoes, these were from a few I found in the cupboard that had sprouted so I decided I may as well plant them.

The broccoli has been devastated by the caterpillars, some of which we have brought in and watched them pupate. The radishes so far don't seem to be doing a great deal. The carrots have also come to nothing.

So as you can see not had a huge harvest yet, but it is early days and we will see what else produces edible fruit and veg.

You can see our starting post here  which is about saving money by growing your own.

Sunday 27 July 2014

Project 365 week 30 20th - 26th July 2014

What a week it has been weather wise, far far far to hot to be alive, I am not a lover of this type of weather I have to say, but it has been great for the school holidays.


Could not believe the mist we woke up to this morning. Normally through here you can see the hills of the outlying countryside. Today you can see nothing.

foggy over the hills


Another hot hot day. But we decided that we would go for a walk round a few more caches and finish off an area we started a few weeks back. Sadly we had to mark one of them as a did not find, was far to over grown to see the ground properly, will need to try it again in the winter months when the 5 ft high nettles and brambles have died back.

Saw this butterfly while we were out.

butterfly on a fence post


Needed to do some gardening  but it has be far to hot. So I took the bull by the horns and went out just after 7am to do it before it got too hot. Really rather pleased with how its coming on.

quite a few tomatoes


Took the children out for the evening, we went to do some geocaching and to play in the park. They had a fab time. You can read more about it here. Here is Fifi with the GPS on finding a cache under a bridge.

picking up a cache


Another very hot day, so again after tea time we took the children out. Fifi decided today she wanted to go to Dumfries house as she likes the park up there. It was out of the direct sun as it is built under the shade of the trees. Have to say since the other week I have invested in a deet based bug repellent which seems to work quite well. We took the twins with us as well. Here they are exploring the textures of the wood, and eating the chipped bark.

sat on the climbing frame


OH and I decide we would go for a drive along the coast road, doing some geocaching along the way. It really was too hot but nice to go off and do something together.We had hoped for a coastal breeze but no such luck.

Anyway one of the places we passed was "The Electric Brae" wiki tells us

The ELECTRIC BRAE, known locally as 'CROY BRAE'
This runs the quarter mile from the bend overlooking Croy railway viaduct in the west (286 feet Above Ordnance Datum) to the wooded Craigencroy Glen (303 feet A.O.D.) to the east. Whilst there is this slope of 1 in 86 upwards from the bend to the Glen, the configuration of the land on either side of the road provides an optical illusion making it look as if the slope is going the other way. Therefore, a stationary car on the road with the brakes off will appear to move slowly uphill. The term "Electric" dates from a time when it was incorrectly thought to be a phenomenon caused by electric or magnetic attraction within the Brae.

There are sign posts telling you to expect cars stopped in the road as you go round the bend as people try it for themselves, I would imagine one of very few places allowing you to stop on a 60mph road or the fun of it. Not really sure how somebody came up with this phenomenon, I mean why would somebody have tried it on that spot in the first place?  There use to be signposts with this information on but people kept stealing them, so they replaced with this rock.

Electric Brae sign


Got a winning tweet during the week.and today when I got in from work here was my lovely little hamper. Very pleasant Summer fruit flavour fillings.  Thank you @experienedays for the prize. Its a while since I have had a win so is much appreciated.
Not actually a bad buy (if you were buying it) considering it comes with the hamper as well.

the hamper I won.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Saturday 26 July 2014

Two fun sunny evenings with the grandchildren

Like the rest of the country we have been sweltering in the heat this week. The kids are crabby and argumentative. Fifi is grounded to the back door and has had her phone taken off of her for her "attitude". So I thought I would take them out give mum a break from them. So we headed off to Eglinton Park in Irvine. Never been before, passed it often enough over the years, and as there are some geocaching events on there this week I thought we would go and check it out. 

There have been quite a few new caches placed round the local area due to the Mega event that is being held locally so we decided to do some of the drive by ones on our way up. They have all been placed in lay bys along the bypass, so with due care and attention and being very vigilant of the children we managed the ones on the way up.
We arrived at the park and had a look at the layout before we wandered off. 

First off we wandered round the park doing some caching. The children took it in turns with the GPS to track them down. We managed to pick up ten in total.

there was a cache under a bridge

Some of them were easy to get at, other involved getting wet - so we gave that one a miss. But this bridge looks beautiful.

the bridge

We wandered round past the castle

different views of the castle

Once we had finished picking up some of the caches we headed to the play park. It  has equipment suitable for all age groups. Fifi likes the trampoline best. We wiled away nearly three hours in the park in total, and I drop them back off just before 9pm, both hot and exhausted.

Took a bit of video footage, love how Bob jumps at the end so he didnt loose the race. 

posing on the concrete horse. 

As Thursday is my day to have the children I asked them earlier in the day where they wanted to go. Offered them the river, the beach,a park, and so Fifi decided they would go to Dumfries House, a local property owned by Prince Charles who rescued it and paid to renovate it a few years back. 

There is quite a bit to see up there but to be honest it was too hot to do much walking round and as daughter and the twins came with us we decided to stay in the shade of the trees and play in the play area. There is a seat there carved out of a log and I got them to sit in it and have their picture taken, Bob was not amused and put a scowl  on his face. 

This looked like a giant Jenga climbing frame. They climbed up and then slid backwards down the poles. 

I had hold of Dinky quite a bit of the time we were there, and did various things with her. Both of the twins liked feeling the different textures of the rough bark and the smooth pieces of wood, to standing on the chipped bark. 

They both liked the round swing, and were giggling when being pushed. 

Fifi was happy to go on with her brother and get pushed gently

Took a bit of video footage of the twins on the swing and see saw 

There was also a zip wire swing there, Bob insisted on pushing his sister really fast on it, but then he could not keep up safely and fell over and hurt himself - not once but twice. He has a lovely bruise on this hip.

The only piece of equipment  that was toddler sized was a small climbing frame, so we sat them, both inside for a while. Again they were intrigued with the smooth texture and had too try eating the bark.  They are getting comical now as they hold a conversation with each other and babble away.

We went up to see the sundial. 

The surrounding farmland as part of a Morrisons farm and they have sheep and cows there. We discussed how they would be available to buy in Morrrisons shops for people to eat. 

It is just a shame really as both places offer parks and play areas open for the whole family till dusk, but close their toilets and cafes before 5 o'clock, never understand why.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
fun as a gran

Saturday 19 July 2014

Project 365 week 29 13th - 19th July


Not being at work and not feeling like going far the garden was as far as I got. This is the plant Bob bought Granddad for decorating his room for him. Sadly it has gone a bit brown, but if you look it up on t'internet it tells you only to water with rainwater, never tap water, and it was quite wet when we got it so not sure if the garden centre had watered it with tap water or not, will see how it goes over the next few weeks. Hopefully it will recover.


Had gone for a wander down to pick something up from daughters garage. Popped in to say hello just as she was going to bath them, so had to stay and help as best I could one handed. The two of them quite like a bath. When you have one child it is easy to hold them while you bath them and then lift them out, but not so easy when there is two of them, these seats have been a brilliant help.

one in pink, one in blue


The caterpillar has changed into a butterfly. Not sure what type, and this was the best picture I got before it flew away when I tried to give it sugar water.

my butterfly


Wednesday evening has always been babies round evening and just cos the Guides and Cubs have finished for the Summer they still come visit anyway. Minky can manage to crawl quite successfully now and is in to everything. Have to say I am not the type to move ornaments etc out of their reach, never did with my own, so he is being moved away from things he is not meant to touch. I know he is too young to learn but never seen the point in letting them when young to not allow it when they older.
Dinky is still quite happy to sit where you leave her, though we did try putting on her hands and knees and encouraging her but she not ready just yet. She is comical though can she can now blow raspberries, and if you blow one she blows one back and then waits on you doing it again.

Here she is turning round cos Granddad shouted her name.

you called me Granddad?


Was a very hot dry afternoon, and OH wanted to go fishing off the pier so we went along to play on the beach and in the beach park. It was heaving, hundreds of kids in there. Always amazes me in situations like that how so many children can play nice together and take it in turns to go on the pieces of equipment. We made a meeting so if either of them should get lost they knew where to go stand and wait as its impossible to keep an eye on both of them when it is that busy, and they are both old enough to go play themselves. They split up when they first went it, but later on they met back up ans played follow the leader up, on, under and round a climbing frame. Difficult to get pictures without other people's children in the way but got this without them knowing I was watching them.

follow the leader


OH goes out to feed the birds in a morning, and the sparrows and young starlings now expect it and sit on the fence and the shed roof waiting for him to go out. Here they are getting some brie that he had not eaten as well as their normal  bread. Its like something from the Alfred Hitchcock movie.

"feed the birds - tuppence a bag"


I did a bit of shopping on the way home yesterday needed to buy OH rolls and cold meat to take fishing with him today and while I was there I saw these and decided to treat myself. They were ok but wasn't overly impressed, were too strong flavoured for my liking.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Saturday 12 July 2014

Mixed fun in the sun.

Had the children on Tuesday this week as mum and dad were away for the night. The weather has been brilliant and as the school holidays are well under way up here there was no really need for a set bed time so we popped off into Ayr to do a few things.

First off all we decided to do some geocaching. The children enjoy this and we not been for a wee while. We decided on a trail through the park that I have done before on my own. Cant find the first in the route and thought three heads are better than one, but we could not find this at all. We had taken some swaps with us so they could swap with something else in the tubs we found.

walking through the park

I had planned which way we were walking so that we ended up where we needed to cross a main road. This gave them the chance to carry on caching or play in the park that was there. Fifi is nearly twelve and goes off to secondary school after the Summer. Some times she is quite grown up other times she is eleven and is happy to play in the park. They opted for playing in the park.

The two of them played happily together on the tyre swing.

The slide built into the hill side provided lots of fun.

Fifi asked me to video her on the side. Dont get this opportunity too often now as she usually objects to being videoed, so when she asks I make the most of it.

At this point two other children came and played with them, and it was difficult to get pics of my two without one of them in so thats all we got.

One of the reasons we had decided on playing in Ayr was because a friend of ours was going fishing on the pier at high tide and we wanted to take Bob along to watch ( and maybe even have a go). So after the park we drove down to the beach.

Sitting in the harbour was the PS Waverley. I have always wanted to go on this ship, just because its the last passenger carrying paddle ship in the world, and it sails from the local harbour during the summer months. Sadly its approx £70 for the two of us to go for a day out on it so its never likely to happen. 

We were just going to wander down to the end of the pier when our friend came cycling over, the fish were not biting and so he was giving up. Not a lot of point in going to the end of the pier now so the children went to play on the beach instead. Fifi has to take her shoes off on the beach, so the two of them removed their shoes. Bob put his back on again within a few minutes as he hates the sand but has to copy his sister!!.

Bob on the sand, with his shoes back on

Bob on the wall

Fifi on the sand

and on the wall
By now it was nearly 9pm so we headed back to the car and home. The children enjoyed the variety of the evening, and again all for free and made all the more pleasant by the sun.

fun as a gran

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall