Thank you so much for all your gardening advice and identification. So then, Crocosmia/Monbretia and possibly Hemerocallis/Day Lillies - I can't wait to see how they look when they flower. Your knowledge - and especially the generosity with which you share it - is appreciated. I hadn't thought to net the fruit bushes. Part of me thinks I can't be bothered, but then the thought of making ice cream or curd with the fruit....that does rather change things. I don't know why I didn't think of ice cream as a way to use up the fruit - in fact John was given an ice cream maker for his birthday last year and we only used it a couple of times. Imagine making blackcurrant and liquorice ice cream! Oh yes. There has to be a recipe out there somewhere for that. I'd leaf through my cookery books right now if I could reach them.
Half term has meandered along in a pleasant enough fashion here. The weather has been a bit cool and wet but hasn't really stopped us doing anything. I did have a moment on Tuesday when I thought that I might actually murder everyone in the house if we didn't all just get out and get some fresh air. You know, bickering kids, restless adults, endless requests to go on the ipad/xbox, that feeling of there being loads to do but none of it appealing so you just go and make another cup of tea. We went out and it rained constantly but we all felt a lot better. Well, I certainly did, and no-one was harmed. We've had some nice trips out to HMS Warrior and The D-Day Museum, and lots of treats like lunches out or coffee and cake, but we need to reign it in a bit for the rest of the month, for the sake of our bank balance and my waist line. On Wednesday night John and I went out for dinner to celebrate his birthday, to a quiet country pub, and the meal was really good but my dessert - orange sorbet - was one of the nicest things I've ever eaten. You see, another reason to get out the ice cream maker.
We've been cooking. The kitchen is almost, almost finished. Yesterday the gas hob was connected and we had the luxury of cooking on gas. We made a stir fry and it was so good to smell the garlic, ginger and chilli frying in the oil, and see all the vegetables and spices lined up ready to be cooked. It's still awkward as nothing is to hand and you have to hunt down a saucepan, then open another box to hunt down a wooden spoon, but it's better than before. I don't think I can even bare to look at the microwave oven again, actually, and it may stay in the garage for the time being. The kitchen floor is being laid today which is the last big, messy job. Tomorrow I can clean out the kitchen (it's still all quite dusty) and start putting things back in the cupboards. Everything - the whole house - needs such a good clean. I think I know what I'll be doing this weekend.
My crafting mojo has returned and I've been spending the evenings working away on various things. I have begun two crocheted projects - a black and white chevron bag for myself, and a longer term project which will be a blanket for Angus, in granny stripes. I really, really want to make myself a bag to carry my yoga mat. I haven't found a pattern I like yet so I might have to do my usual thing of meshing two or three together and trying to make up my own. I also spent a good few hours this morning sorting out all my embroidery threads for a new sampler. Now that tedious job is done I like knowing that the threads and linen are all there, ready and waiting, and I can start the stitching any time.