Two steps forward . . .

Miles walked: 275.5                                Miles left to go: 37

It’s been another busy week and we have made some real progress. After several days of hurling rocks  around in a way that would have made Obelix the Gaul proud, Roger has finished building the Great Wall. It is a great wall, too, and will make such a difference to the vegetable patch next year: a much flatter and more useful planting space where the soil can’t slide down the slope plus a perfect habitat for the lizards and slow-worms we have. We might build a second one lower down at a later date, but for now it’s a big step forward.

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I’ve started clearing the patch under the pear tree by digging out the jungle of raspberry canes.

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I’ve replanted the best eight along the fence in the veg patch; hopefully, in an upright position instead of lying flat on the floor and bathed in a lot more sunshine, the fruit will have a much better flavour next year.

DSCF9201.JPG The patch is in danger of looking like a proper garden . . . well, almost!

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I’ve dug over the bare bits in the salad patch and mulched with well-rotted manure – there’s still plenty of food coming out of there.

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The broad beans are growing well . . .

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. . . as are the onions and  garlic: I’m hoping curved rows might catch on.

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We’ve harvested the last of the kiwis and laid them out in the horreo to store.

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Now we can see the pergola again, Roger has removed the rather lovely tuna tins that were nailed to the end of the beams. Just another of those five-minute jobs that makes such a difference.

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A trip to the local timber yard for supplies: this can only mean Ceiling Renovation ‘The Sequel’ is looming. Oh good. 😦

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After over three weeks of wall-to-wall sunshine, it rained – really rained – yesterday. The valley becomes so atmospheric.

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Water, water everywhere . . .

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. . . but not for long. Today, it was back to sunshine. (Note the Spanish car in the second photo – that’s another shopping trip we finally got round to, another big step.)

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I’ve been walking and walking, trying to notch up those miles but I really am my own worst enemy: I find myself so distracted by the beauty of this place that I end up sauntering about with my nose in nature. I think I need to leave the camera at home and find some brisk marching legs over the next couple of weeks. No stopping to admire the flowers!

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I love this spot at the end of our forest track: it is a suntrap and so peaceful. A great place to linger and listen to the river.

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This walk reminds me of a line from ‘The Kingfisher’ by W.H.Davies: I also love a quiet place that’s green, away from all mankind. It could have been written for me.

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No kingfishers here but I was very excited to see a crested tit, something I have never seen before. Gorgeous. Stand and watch.

https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/bird-and-wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/c/crestedtit/

The eucalyptus keeps the valley green, even though it is now shedding its brown papery bark to reveal the tender green beneath.

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There are plenty of deciduous trees, too, in their stripped-back glory. This is a great place for bird-spotting. More dawdling.

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Oh come on, woman – stop gawping and get walking!

In my world of woolly things, I have finished the ‘Midwinter Fire’ socks.

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My next sock project is still on the spinning wheel . . .

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. . . so I have started knitting a sweater for Annie in a Drops Merino/cotton yarn. I am the first to admit this could be a huge mistake as the pattern is beautiful but requires a lot of lace knitting and this has never been my forte. (Actually, that’s a massive understatement – I am appalling at it.) How can making holes in knitting be so hard? From past experience I know there’s a good chance that after the fifth time of unpicking, I shall abandon the pattern and look for Plan B. However, eternally optimistic, I’ve made a start. Don’t hold your breath, Annie!

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Now here is the biggest excitement of the week: we have a new sink! A lovely, clean, functioning, wonderful sink which is 10 centimetres higher than the old one so no more bending double to wash up. Even better – wait for it – it has a draining board. After seven months without, this is all too much.

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I’m even looking for dishes to wash . . . and that’s a first! 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Two steps forward . . .

  1. What a crop of kiwis! How well do they keep? And less than 3 miles a day left to walk – sounds do-able. The walls never show all the work that goes into them. Looks really good and nice steps, too. All the broad beans have popped up here, too, and yesterday I spotted the first garlic sprout. I will try the Wizard field bean next year. So organised to already have your manure. We must ask our neighbour for some… Sink looks great. What a change from the original kitchen.

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  2. I think there were 500 kiwis at the last count! We’ve been told that if they are picked and stored hard then brought into the house a few at a time to ripen, they will last as long as June. We were really lucky to be left with two big muck heaps, should be enough for next year as well but I don’t think we’ll have too much trouble finding a supply when we need one. It’s always good to see the beans and garlic up, isn’t it? A little bit of promise for next year. I’m so excited about the kitchen, it’s been a long time coming. Will post some ‘before and after’ photos when it’s done.

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