Maybe it’s because I made tea a little earlier than our usual late night feasts, or maybe it’s because it’s been sunny and I don’t really notice with the clouds that the days are getting longer, but we have an evening. An actual evening. It’s quarter to seven and it’s still light. We’ve had tea and it feels like there’s a good few hours of evening left.
It feels like it’s been a very productive last few days, not least because of the rotivator. The potato patch is ready and my potatoes will be going in over the next couple of days. Steve’s been busy planting out hundreds of seeds and his heated propagator has already been fruitful. I’ve commandeered it now to get my peppers started. I’ve also moved some peas outside, and moved some of the broad beans from the polytunnel outside so they have a bit more room. More broad beans have gone in and hopefully one more batch will see us through the summer with enough to freeze to keep us going for the winter.
We’re still enjoying the remnants of last year’s crops – I had a gorgeous piece of baguette with butter and blackcurrant jam for lunch and Steve had ham with peach chutney. The peach chutney is delicious, but we’ve only got one jar left – so next year’s peaches, which are a bit hit and miss size-wise and flavour-wise will make fantastic chutney. You’d think 2 kg jars of it would be enough, but it’s not. I reckon I need about 10 times that!
It felt good, though, getting out in the garden for a couple of hours before lunch, having a fantastic rural lunch and then going out to get even more productive. After that, about four o’clock, I spent a half hour in the garden with a book and a bit of French homework, being besieged by animals. The chickens like to come and have a nosey at everything and Marge had a swig of my coffee before I removed it from her. Caffeine can’t be good for a chicken! Steve has finished fencing in the last bit of the veg area, except for a bit at the very back that we’d forgotten about, but the chickens had not. They came clambering in over the vines as soon as they saw me go in the poly-tunnel. It was nice, though, to sit in the garden with my legs out, trying to get a bit of sun on my scarred pins, even if I only managed 20 pages.
The apricot Steve planted has got its first blossom, so I’m hoping we don’t have another frost – the last one was only a couple of days ago, but only on the cars, though the ground was cold.
But it’s lovely to be surrounded by all the animals, even if you get no peace and quiet. After I realised the back bit wasn’t fenced off, I spent a good 15 minutes chasing chickens with a spring-loaded rake and a stick. It’s like teaching. Never all going in the same direction at the same time and at the same speed. Always someone ready to go off at a tangent.