Thursday, 31 May 2012

. . . and the winner is


. . . chosen by his own fair hand. So, Kayaker Katy, please email me at joy@treetopsystems.co.uk with your details, so I can send you your surprise prize. Thanks to all who entered, its good to know so many of you read my blogs regularly.

(Sorry Nifty, the draw was made about two hours before your comment appeared)

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

I haven't forgotten . . .

. . .  about my 500th post giveaway, there have just been a fair few distractions over the past few days, I'm hoping to get round to it by the end of the week.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Getting to know you

Now that the weather has taken a turn for the better, I've had a chance to get out and make friends with my new garden, and as I wandered around looking at everything I couldn't help but sing to myself - the lyrics from the song "Getting to know you" (sung by Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music) seemed so appropriate.

I love my new garden, I really do. Its not very big, although it starts out quite wide at the back of the house, it tapers off almost to a point, so that at the other end, away from the house, its only about 10' wide, but its certainly big enough for all our needs.

Just outside the back of the house is a fantastic pergola over a decking patio, and we've already eaten several meals there, its just such a lovely spot, in the sunshine, listening to the birdsong.







There is wisteria, which is just opening out, and some honeysuckle, although I'm not completely sure about the dominant growth, I think it just might be winter jasmine - if thats the case it should be in its full fabulous yellow glory next February!

I've started off some seeds on the conservatory windowsill, radishes, spring onions, and lettuce,



there's a bag outside where I'm growing potatoes,



pots with runner beans and dwarf beans,



and another pot in which I've sown some carrot seeds.



I took several cuttings from my fig tree last autumn, but only one of them survived the winter and the move :-(  - although I suppose one is better than none :-)



Here's one of a couple of tomato plants I bought last week . . .




. . . and here's one I bought earlier.


I hope you've enjoyed the introduction to my garden, I'll no doubt be showing lots more as the season progresses.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

500th Blog post and a giveaway

Wow, 500 blog posts, thats a lot of rubbish sprouted from my typing fingertips over the past two and a quarter years since I started in January 2010. Bloggers statistics tell me that I have 126 followers, and that on average 30 people view (and possibly even read) my blog posts every day. Now I have no idea if this is the same 30ish regular viewers, or 30ish odd random people, so in an effort to find out I am having a giveaway.

If you regularly read my blog (I dont mean every day, but now and again) even if you aren't a blogger yourself, please leave me a comment at the end of this post, saying how often you view (read) my blog, and after a week, i.e. next Sunday, I shall put all the names in a hat and pull out a winner for a surprise giveaway - meaning I haven't decided the prize(s) yet, so it'll be a surprise for me, too.

Whether you read my blog daily, or weekly, or monthly, or only very randomly, I do appreciate it, thank you - and good luck!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Home-made burgers

I really love home-made burgers, and I love making them, too.

I use 500grms of best (steak) mince, the rest of the ingredients are a bit slap-dash and can be changed to your own taste! I use about half to three-quarters of a medium onion, chopped, salt and pepper, a sprinkling of mixed herbs, a couple of tablespoons of oat-bran (you could use breadcrumbs instead) and an egg to bind.




Put everything except the egg in a large mixing bowl . . .


. . . and mix well.


Then add the egg . . .


. . . mix well again, flatten and divide the mixture into six portions (roughly, by eye, will do).


I'm fortunate enough to have a burger press, but I suppose you could use a round bun or cake cutter instead, if you have one the right size . . .


. . . they need to be firmly pressed into shape.


Six burgers, I'll put four of them in the freezer (I should mention here that its vital to use unfrozen mince if you intend to freeze some for cooking later) . . . (and, by the way, the Murphys which appeared in the first picture with the ingredients is for drinking, although you could add a little drop to the mixture for taste, if you like)


. . . and cook two for tea.


Serve in lightly toasted pitta breads . . .


. . . with a touch of salad.


Sorry, no pictures of the finished objects, too yummy!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Challenge 26 Unseen perspective

I've been pretty remiss at joining in with Karen's Challenge 26, but now we are settled into our new home I think I'll have time to join in more often. The current challenge is to capture things from an unseen perspective, so here are my three.

1. Along the bottom of the towel rail


2. The sink from below


3. The over-table light from below

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Sewing/sowing

Today I used the bench in the conservatory for sewing, but yesterday I used it for sowing - look 


I'll show you the results of the sewing when I've finished (stitching the final length to the curtains in the TV room)

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Bank Holiday Weekend

Sunday was dry - no rain at all!! So we took advantage of the conditions and spent some time in the garden, tidying up. I even put some washing out on the line. We have this lovely area of decking just outside the kitchen.


Rog gave the daisy field its first cut since we arrived, and we positioned the (inherited) compost bin.


. . . and I finished off the leftover-from-yesterday wine


Monday was wet, so it was back to the unpacking. Where on earth am I going to put this lot?


When can I go outside, Mum?