Football and The Neighbours

The previous football party was so successful it got bigger for the semi-final.

I wonder how many people we could cram in for the final…

I love my neighbours.

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The New, Proper, Composting Toilet

Gosh, it’s been a while. But for once it’s not because I’m depressed, it’s because I’m busy.

I’ve been building a downstairs composting toilet with the stated aim of not freaking out people who are not used to such things.

I found a sink in a skip last year and brough it home. Had to build a custom stand for it.

The tap on the sink leaked (which might explain why it was in a skip) so I changed it for one I had lying around.

Raided the leftover free tile collection for a nice looking combination of tiles,

Filled cracks, painted everything and…

It looks very nice now. Hardly hippie at all.

There’s still the composting toilet to contend with, but I hope even the most stalwart of Normals will feel reasonably comfortable in such a white and blue haven of tidiness.

And when I was done with that, I made jam, because I haven’t in a while and I took a fancy.

The lovely next-doors hosted a small, covid-safe football party for the England-Germany game.

And I’m cooking up some Todmorden themed bunting for the neighbourhood. You can’t have too much kindness, I think.

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A Selection Of Recent Photos With Little Or No Theme

It’s been raining and I’ve been unfocused, although I have been doing things! So here is a selection of pictures of nice things that have got done or are getting done.

Julian dug over and/or filled in with topsoil this lovely border along the path to the house, and it is at that point that JulianĀ  generally abdicates gardening responsibility.

Luckily, it is at this point that I begin to kind of like gardening, when there’s a prepared, empty bed for me to fill with whatever I fancy trying.

Morrissons have had a great selection of very reasonably priced plants again this year, so I can’t help but pick up a few every time I go. Above is an allium which I am very excited about, and it seems to be relatively excited about itself.

The slope we started last year has filled out a lot, though it still has big bare spots and some plants are not super-happy there. We probably didn’t improve the soil enough, so I might dig up some stuff and try harder on the second slope.

The bulk bag of horse manure has been joined by a bulk bag of bark chippings. Gardening life is pretty good, when it’s not raining.

I finally moved all the tools into the new tool pantry, which is where the downstairs toilet used to be, and am building a proper, nice composting loo in the place where the messy toolstore used to be. But now I’m waiting on some leftover plasterboard from Andy, so that’s sort of stalled.

Upstairs I am trying to make sense of the storage space by sorting out all the boxes (which I finally did recently! NO more un-sorted crap at all!) and building some partition walls.

In the kitchen, I finally found a use for these cute hook things that I think I found in a shed when we first got here. They needed a lot of cleaning up and a paint job, but now they are in the kitchen with implements hung on them.

And I found my aebleskiver irons in one of the aforementioned boxes of junk, so we celebrated with some aebleskivers, 3rd generation American style… real Danes would laugh. In fact read Danes have laughed… hi, Linda.

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The Stables In Use (For Their Intended Purpose)

In the last two days I have been on FOUR horse shit outings with my neighbour. Time was when Fiona and I would go, fill one car with about 10 bags and that would do us for the season. Turns out if you make a lot of progress on a large area of garden, you go through a lot more. So Alex and I probably each have a bulk bag’s worth to show for our efforts. I mean, I know we do because we literally put it in a bulk bag, what we didn’t put straight on some bed or other.

And it looks so lovely in the stables! Almost as if I’d designed each stall to hold a bulk bag.

Meanwhile the leaf mould teapot is also getting some use. It looks a bit less graceful being full of leaves, and I definitely should have used a bigger gauge wire for the frame, because it distorts alarmingly if you try to roll it, even a quarter full as it is, but hey, it’s cute and THAT’S WHAT COUNTS.

Also cute are our tulips:

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Teapot Leaf Mould Bin

I made a teapot out of chicken wire in order to more efficiently (and attractively) turn the collossal piles of leaf fall we get into garden-enriching leaf mould. Isn’t it cute? It might be less cute when it’s all deformed from trying to roll heavy, wet leaves around, but we’ll always have its baby pictures to refer to.

The spout and handle do come off, so at least they are unlikely to be squashed…

More about the making of it (though not much more) at my other blog, www.imakeeverything.co.uk

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