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Friday, 25 September 2015

Friday, 25th September 2015 - Gorgeous Autumn

Five days later and my right breast is still sore from a bee sting. Michael Smith has won a Nobel Prize concluding that the most painful place to be stung is the lip, nostril or penis. What about the breast? He seemed to have omitted that body part from his research.

The house smells pickled. Today it was damsons. 

I had a glorious walk with plenty vitamin D enriching sunshine. 

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Thursday, 24th September 2015 - Possibly Sulphur Tuft, Hypholomafasciculare.

I have made Bullace Chutney.

Tim and I have completed the task of moth (plus a multitude of other beasties) prevention to the bee frames ready for next year. It involved acetic acid. The area surrounding the greenhouse now smells of salt and vinegar crisps. 

Whilst trawling through the television channels this evening to find something to amuse myself whilst ironing sheets, I cam across Being Human. Aiden Turner features. I was fully occupied.

I have see some amazing fungi on my walk. They are sprouting from all sorts of nooks and crannies.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Wednesday, 23rd September 2015 - Sarah and her Pickles

Sarah and I have spent an afternoon together. When I was in my teens I would never have envisaged I would be occupied pickling fruit. We walked amongst the orchards gathering crab apples and Bramley apples in baskets.

Following a lovely lunch, the rose was delicious and helped our task of preparing spice infused vinegar to submerg the quince and crab apples into. It was a rather sticky affair and I hope Sarah's kitchen recovers. 

Thankyou my friend for a delightful and unusual afternoon.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Tuesday, 22nd September 2015 - David not 'Carr Taylor'

It has been chucking it down today.

This did not stop Tim and I going on our wine tour of the Carr Taylor vineyard but it did prevent us from wandering amongst the vines at any length. It is an old fashioned set up. Chapel Down is very sleek in comparison. We spent a lovely few hours learning about and tasting wine followed by lunch. Thank you  Harriet, Brett, Hetty and Bella for our lovely present.

A trip to Jempsons secured 30 packets of sugar. Hopefully enough to keep the bees I sugar syrup for a while. We topped up their feeder this afternoon without incident.

Harriet and I went to a busy life drawing class. The model, Lydia, struck some beautiful poses. 

Monday, 21 September 2015

Monday, 21st September 2015 - Add Another One

I have a new rubber seal on my washing machine. Just what I need after a hard weekend.

I went with Harriet to collect Hetty from school. I was absolutely touched by her delight to see me. Especially as I only live next door.

My tutor at my art class was delighting in the difficult exercise she set us this evening. It was a still life. OK not so bad. It was when a new piece is added every twenty minutes. Incredibly absorbing.


Sunday, 20 September 2015

Sunday, 20th September 2015 - Brother and Bike

I have been stung on my breast by a bee!!!

Tim and I were topping up their sugar syrup. I put my naked hand on a bee which flew inside my top. Tim was pleased to see that on removing the bee from my breast, due to the silky material of my bra, it had not lost its sting and would probably survive. I am pleased to have caused Sunday morning amusement for Tim. I like to oblige when possible. 

We had a birthday tea at Mum's this afternoon. Waitrose supplied a fine spread. Chris spent the weekend with Mum. He was the first to leave on his bike. 

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Saturday, 19th September 2015 - The Peacock

The sun has kept me in the garden for much of the day. Tim and I have both ordered bargain plants from T&M. Two boxes contained 36 tiny plants. The other two had 48 even smaller plants. I have potted the whole bloody lot and left them in the greenhouse to flourish.

When the sun started going down we met Ă…lan in The Peacock for a drink. We had another as the sun set. One more as Alan cannot drive his MG with the sun low in the sky. A last one just to make sure it was fully dark.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Friday, 18th September 2015 - Hopbine

Tim came home trailing an enormous hopbine this week. Today we tried to hang it artistically from the kitchen beam. It still needs a bit of attention as we have to duck to get under it. The smell is amazing.

My mad mother is 84 today. She gets little joy out of life it seems which I find quite sad.

I sold my first jar of honey to a guest today. It was a proud moment. Yes, it is our honey, from our bees.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Thursday, 17th September 2015 - Amazing Reproduction

Why oh why do I feel guilty. No guests means I get to get up when I want and not when the alarm dictates. Tim was up before me and I feel bad for staying in bed. Get over it woman.

I have been gardening and painting floors today.

I found this tiny seed pod on a geranium that curls up as it dries to reveal the seeds. It is quite beautiful.



Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Wednesday, 16th September 2015 - Building Ingredients

Work continues on Little Holt. Brett has put up an enormous tarpaulin so work can carry on whatever the weather.



Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Tuesday, 15th September 2015 - Honey, Honey, Honey

Tired, bloody tired.

I between showers I took a solo trip to the hive. Well not quite alone, Tim was present at a distance as his back was not quite up to hive work. The bees have done a fine job cleaning out the sticky frames which I removed. They need to be treated with acetic acid before winter storing. Not looking forward to another job I have no experience of yet. The bees now have homemade sugar syrup to top them up before the winter.

Tom rang this afternoon. It was great to catch up with his news. Not sure I liked the bit about him spinning a car on a race track but he assured me it was better than on a motorway. I suppose there is some sort of logic there.

This evening we put the honey in jars. It looks amazing. I am quite proud of our honey achievements.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Monday, 14th September 2015 - Art Tools

This evening I had a lovely time at my art class with my patient tutor Caroline Clough. Trying to draw silver foil was incredibly challenging and I love it.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Sunday, 13th September 2015 - Bouquet from The Blakemores

Another day laced with gifts. Russ and Dilys gave us an amazing bunch of flowers accompanied by a bottle of wine. They have put some drainage through our garden and it was a thankyou.

I have had a grumpy day today.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Saturday, 12th September 2015 - Posy and Melon

I have had two gifts today. A posy of flowers with a note - To Kate Thankyou for looking after us, The Bees. I was very touched that someone realised that yesterday's bee activities were not an easy mission for me. Possibly Harriet was involved.

Later we went to the pub which was adundent with friends. We have been teasing Alan about his efforts to try and grow melons. Well, he produced a very fine sample and even better gave it to Tim and I. We have been proved wrong.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Friday, 11th September 2015 - My Love For You Knows No Bounds

I am knackered this morning. 

Tim is finding his back is too painful to sleep in bed. The last couple of nights I have woken at about 2pm to find I am alone. I find it difficult to sleep without Tim by my side.

Sarah and I met for coffee, coffee, tea and peppermint tea. It was very good to catch up. I miss her company.

I am very very very proud of myself. This afternoon I went alone bee suited and smoking to put our extracted frames back into the hive for the bees to clean. I thought Tim would be on hand in case of emergencies. I came back to the house after completed my task and fending off a few angry bees, to find him in his office with the door shut, dictating an academic paper. He has more faith in my capabilities than I do at times.

This evening I cooked tempura squid for Tim. I hate the beast with all those rings and dangly tentacles. I think he appreciated my effort to overcome my disgust. I had prawns. Much better behaved.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Thursday, 10th September 2015 - Tutor Encourages Student to Smoke

What a day.

Following breakfasting guests and finding two more jars of green bean chutney for them Michael arrived.

Harriet and I got bee suited up. Tim was not quite up to the standing for any period of time. Michael sternly instructed me on the way to extract, inspect and probably do something else very important with the hive. Harriet smoked the bees in a fine manner. It was all rather stressful. Michael left and I calmed down. 

My new guests sent me into a flurry arriving three hours early. Rooms sorted, guests settled. 

Next job was to extract the honey. I won't go into details but the kitchen, Tim and I were rather sticky by the end of the process. This was a rather relaxing process decapping the combs and spinning the frames. Our production was not terribly impressive. Next year.



Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Wednesday, 9th September 2015 - Last of the Peas

I am on my last jar of marmalade. I retrieved some Seville oranges from the depths of the freezer. There must be a quicker way to cut the peel. It is contained in jars and I have a night of agonising anticipation to find out whether it has set.

Just a few degrees decrease in Celsius and the sweetpeas have reduced their production. They have been disappointing this year to my failure to get them planted early in the season. A lesson learnt.


Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Tuesday, 8th September 2015 - Rainbow Balloon

I glanced out of the window this evening and saw this amazing hot air balloon descending over Benenden.

We went to Kino this evening. BOGOF on a Tuesday. We went to see A Man From U.N.C.L.E. I highly recommend it. 

Monday, 7 September 2015

Monday, 7th September 2015 - So Proud

Hetty started school today. She is one of the youngest having on,y turned four in July. Today she looked after Tilly who was feeling a unsure about starting school. Hetty held her hand.

Tim and I are so proud but where have those years gone.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Saturday, 5th September 2015 - Life Cycle

The garden is turning Autumnal with seeds being prepared for next Spring. Clever stuff.

I have collected my unsold pictures ..... All eight of them. This used to slightly depress me but now i see it as new pictures for our walls. 

Tim's back is no better so life has taken on a leisurely pace.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Friday, 4th September 2015 - Cider Apples

I did my stewarding at The Weald of Kent Art Group with a lovely man called Guiseppi Borteli. He entertained me with stories in between the few people that visiited the paintings.

We met Mike and Pippa for a few drinks at The Three Chimneys then went back to theirs with fish and chips. Pippa's cider did little for her coordination. There was a messy incident involving tomatoes, a large china plate (no longer in one piece) and red wine.


Thursday, 3 September 2015

Thursday, 3rd September 2015 - Roo Gets Demoted

The day was going so beautifully. My holiday has come to an abrupt end. I really shouldn't let Tim answer the phone. An hour and a quarter later and the room was ready for our last minute guest.

Bella has been a very brave soul following her first full morning at playgroup. Harriet even braver.

The ill chicken suffers no more. 

This evening we met baby jasper. He really is very gorgeous. The day finished with BOGOF at The Hopbine where we celebrated Si and Lesley's new grandparent status with June, Barry, Steve and Vivien.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Wednesday, 2nd September 2015 - Eucryphia Nymansay

The family have deserted me today. Tim to Glasgow. The Evans' to Canterbury. I thought I would enjoy the peace. Instead I felt like a bit of a lost soul.

I have done the second undercoat on the bathroom and studio. Getting close to completion.

We have a insignificant looking tree in the garden. At this time each year it is covered in stunning white flowers.  I managed to identify it via the RHS website.

The family have returned. I feel content.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Tuesday, 1st September 2015 - Three Birds and a Stick

As I was preparing tomatoes for guests three birds were on the table outside making a lot of noise. It seemed to revolve around a stick one of them had. I would loved to have know what it was all about.

Harriet has started getting Hetty's school uniform labelled. She starts I less than a week. Hold it together Grandma. 

Inspired by the Onion Festival yesterday I made an onion flan. Including pastry making it took over two hours. Delia did it really have to be so complicated. The result was tasty but I would have preferred stunning.