Veggie Garden

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Here I am on a cold winter’s buying seedlings for a spring that it is months away.  As the weather has cooled my time in the garden draws to a close as it becomes dormant for the winter.  My creative focuses will move indoors until the days warm up.

I am ashamed to post a photo of the veggie patch.  There are signs of growth but they are minimal.  The magical combo of slugs and a stomping Airedale has meant more damage has occurred than growth.  I have found it dishearting at times and I know this it is part of gardening.  I am learning to be a slower more careful gardener and not just expect things to grow because you have put them in the ground.  Plants need attention, focus and care.  I know that overcoming my frustrations are what makes it satisfying when you can harvest food despite obstacles.  As the saying goes lessons are repeated until learnt.  I do admit some days I don’t want to learn but I know if I learn something I am better person and gardener for it.  I have been igorning the slugs and the dog and then I get upset when things don’t go as planned.  So I will admit defeat for the moment.  Acknowledge what I can change and control (Airedale and slugs) and things I can’t (the weather) and start planning a new.

We have decided to fence off the veg garden.  It was something we were going to do before we got the dog but it never happened and with him constantly plowing thru the patch chasing birds and cats becoming more of a problem it is time we actually did this.  Plans have been made for a simple fence which we can grow some roses and clematis on (girl has to make it pretty) with some gates.  Thankfully Dog is not a fence jumper so hopefully it will be enough to deter him.

Once the fence is up I will feel more confident about putting treatments out for slugs.  I will use pet friendly ones but I still didn’t like putting such stuff out where he could find it. This is one very curious Airedale and so far has been that dog that does when every other dog doesn’t.  I also plan on just pulling anything that is damaged out and then just covering the beds with mushroom compost.  I don’t think I will plant anything new until the spring.

So momentarily I will turn my back in my garden and just let it be.  Let it rest for the winter.  Let the worms find the compost and work some magic on the soil so that when I return in the spring it will be with a heart filled with joy.  In the meantime there are still treats to find in the garden.  Some spinach, kale and Caveo Nero.  Maybe the cabbages, cauliflowers and sprouts will come to something.  Maybe not.  Either way I will be ok with that.  Lessons have been learnt and I am becoming a more seasoned gardener as a result.

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Bedford Jumper

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I have decided reading a knitting pattern is like making a new friend.  Sometimes the conversation flows easily from the start and you both understand each other well.  Other times it is more ‘oh that was what you mean’.  With the Bedford Jumper  (in Long John wool  –  what a cool name for a wool) I did find it hard going understanding the pattern, perhaps cause it was a step up from what I have knitted in the past and perhaps because I am a bit rusty.  Previous knits had been from one company so you knew what they were talking about.  I was super stoked that the stitch pattern turned out like it did in the picture (I also discovered the down side of working a pattern from a PDF that had been doodled on and folded a million times it gets hard to see the pictures correctly) but given that my sleeves are super long suggests something went wrong.

I do have a problem if I don’t understand what a pattern means when I knit that I start making things up which I kind did towards the end of knit when the instructions where do this and while doing this do that as well.  Sorry I have fully embraced the I can do one thing at a time kinda girl so I suspect ignoring part of the instructions might have been part of the problem.  I should also fully admit that perhaps the pattern thought I knew more than I did and perhaps that the old saying a girl can do anything should only apply to some knitting patterns when you have a few more jumpers under your belt.  After all it is my second jersey I have knitted in a while so perhaps my expectations where a bit high.

So as I write we have had there days of rain and somehow this jersey seems perfect for the weather.  Colourful (girl loves her red), comfy, warm and perfect for snuggling in while it pours outside.  It’s oversizeness is the perfect kind of big and comfy and I have found it is the perfect jumper for walking the dog.  It’s big enough to throw on over a sweatshirt if one is feeling lazy and just wants to be warm.  So while I struggled with the pattern the over all end product is awesome.  So for all it’s wonkiness in a weird way it is perfect.

Ilse Crawford

“The senses are about being present in our bodies in time and space. Spaces that engage physically literally around us, slow us down and put our over-active, over-stimulated minds in their proper place.  They help us focus on the moment.  They make us more aware of our surroundings.  In short they enhance life.  They improve our well being.”

A frame of life p.175

Sometimes you have people bounce in and out of your life at various times.  I first learnt of Ilse Crawfordwhen I was in my late teens.  For some reason Elle Decoration in the 90’s meant a world of possibilities for a small town girl like myself.  At the time Ilse was the editor.  I subscribed for years and then moved on to other things just as Ilse did.  A couple of books followed for Ilse and the day dream of having your own space to decorate continued for me.  I lived in a number of flats and made desperate attempts to make them feel homely and my own.  Finally home ownership arrived and I have enjoyed putting our stamp on our house.

Last week I finally finished reading A frame of life.  I brought it last year for my birthday and to say I am a dipper when it comes to reading is understatement.  I have discovered I learn more when I read a bit here and there.  I am slow and I take my time to do what I call marinate on ideas I read about. So what started as a slow read became a bit of a gallop as I become absorbed in the ideas expressed in this book.

“I find truth is better and definitely stranger than fiction, no question.  It is far more interesting & I think you can learn more by studying one, two or three individuals, in all their eccentricities and then building a world around them than by looking at an abstract idea of people.  A case study of an individual is always more revealing.  My belief is that we need to prioritise the human experience.”  

A frame of life p.165

I had thought maybe being an interior designer when I was younger might have been my jam but felt uncomfortable with the idea of just making thing pretty.  This book outlines ideas and thoughts that have come from years of working in a manner which focuses more how someone lives, spends time and feels in a space.  A highly personal approach to interiors rather than concern about the latest trend in wallpapers.  I really like this approach.  It is something I have to a point tried to do in our house but now after reading this book want to think about more.  It seems to fit with the slow evolution of a house you have brought to making it your home.  I like the idea that working on an interior is something that takes time as you get to know your space, the history of the place and how you fit into it.

Cheatsheet is available in the form of a Netflix episode of Abstract which is a pretty darn cool series.