Sunday, 17 January 2010


I went to the allotment this morning for the first time since the snow has gone. I had to repair the brassica cage which had collapsed and harvested some leeks and some curly kale. The allotments all look very sad and brown, but there are green shoots coming through - my onions and garlic seem to have survived the frosts ok, although the tops are a little curled.
I am now sitting with my tin of seeds planning what to grow where for the coming year. As well as the allotment I have raised beds in the garden, which I didn't really use to their full potential last year. My idea is to grow the things that I will want instant access to in the garden - salads mainly, and use the allotment to grow the crops that take up more room.
I always get carried away when ordering seeds, usually duplicating things that I already have, so this time I am going to be better organised and catalogue what I have already before ordering.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Coat finally finished!

I spent this morning, feeling slightly bleary after last night's wine intake, sewing up and finishing off my coat. I'm very pleased with it and it is really warm and snuggly. It is rather comically large, partly because I over estimated what size I needed to make it (as it knits up big anyway) and also because I have taken so long to make it I have lost weight since I started!
I am looking forward to wrapping myself up in it on the sofa tonight with a good lentil dhal and glass of wine.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Scar tales

This seems like a very strange thing to be blogging about, but this is just another bit of me and I thought it make help to explain to people who know me why I suddenly grab items of cutlery or large knitting needles and suddenly ram them down the back of my neck!
A few years ago I had a number of operations on my lumbar spine which have left me with a thick scar about 8" long. I've always had quite a fondness for this as it marks part of my journey through life. When I was 40 I had the tattoo (that shows partly in the picture above) done, to celebrate my skin - scars, lumps, bumps and all. What I didn't realise at the time was that the patch of eczema below the tattoo actually wasn't eczema, and was a skin cancer.
After some failed treatments it was finally excised with the promise of a small, insignificant scar which would eventually be virtually unnoticeable. However my scarring decided to take a different course and became a keloid which basically means that my body doesn't realise that the wound has healed, and so the healing process continues which means that the scar just keeps growing and is also extremely itchy (hence the need to press cold objects against it!).
Various options have failed to make any difference, and now I am so used to it, that it is yet another part of my body history. I have some exceedingly good Aloe Vera gel that helps to ease the heat and itchiness. The biggest drawback is that I have to rely on Nigel to apply it for me as the keloid is in a position that is almost impossible for me to reach (slap bang between my shoulder blades).
So if I should grab one of your spoons, just ignore me and be assured that it is helping!

Friday, 1 January 2010

Dem bones

The high tide line was strewn with a large number of human bones. Nigel was reluctant to believe me, but my theory was that they had been dragged up carried by the winter storms from further up the coast (places like Dunwich and Covehithe) where the old churches and graveyards have long since fallen into the sea.

...and looking the same way in daylight

Shingle Street is a wild and desolate place with an ever changing landscape. The martello tower at Bawdsey (seen here in the distance) is hanging onto its continued existence by its fingernails - despite some innovative community action having earned it a reprieve for the immediate future.
Every winter storm that bashes this bit of coastline forces irrevocable change on the environment.
Every trip to Shingle Street guarantees a change - either to the shape of the vast shingle beach or to the seascape of shingle spits and islands that come and go. One of our pleasures this year was watching a family of seals bask on one of this islands, until the tide finally forced them back into the sea.

Sunset at Shingle Street

With due deference to Thomas Dolby.....this is why I love this place so much