Gardening delight

The other day I got into some hardcore weeding.  I’d let quite a few beds get disastrously overgrown and it was rather a problem.  In particular, the bed with the broom had loads of long grass which is quite similar to broom itself and was swamping all the plants.  I hate grass, it gets everywhere.

To do some good weeding, I have to be in the right mood.  Fortunately, my children had repeatedly shrieked at me for minor offences (I want a banana, noooo I don’t want help peeling the banana, ARGH!!! my BANANA IS BROKEN – I WANT A NEEEEEWWWWWWW BANANA!!!, NOOOOOO! I SAID I DIDN’T WANT A DRINK!!!!!!) until I really got rather snappy with them both and said that they were NOT TO SHOUT AT MUMMY.  Then I went out to do some weeding.

While actually weeding, I found a bunch of slugs.  I found this surprising because that bed gets quite a lot of sea spray.  Ha ha ha, wait until winter, bastard slugs.  Then you’ll suffer.  I left them there.

Once all the horrible grass had been cleared out the beds, they were really looking rather nice.  I discovered that I have some blackcurrants.  I didn’t get any last year but perhaps that was because the plant was new.

Blackcurrants!  Should I leave them for the birds or pick them?
Blackcurrants! Should I leave them for the birds or pick them?

My guelder roses all have berries on too.  I don’t think you can eat those though.

Guelder rose
Guelder rose

It’s a funny thing, the summer holidays.  The children really miss the best of summer when they are in school (unless they go somewhere that breaks up for summer in mid June).  Historically, the summer holidays were actually so the children could help with the harvest.  So I suppose it makes sense that the berries are out in the first week of the summer holidays.

Best of all, I think I saw a snake in my compost bin!  It was dark and I only got a glimpse but that thing was too big and moved far too fast to be a worm. There are lots of insects in there right now so perhaps it is a good place to lurk if you are a snake.  I won’t stir the compost until Autumn in case there are snake eggs in there.

Crocker’s Folly

The other evening we went to Crocker’s Folly with our friends B and M.  This is basically a very nice restaurant which pretends that it is a pub.  They do awesome cocktails but I stuck to wine – I’d already had a playdate at my son’s friend’s house and his mum had had the good sense to ply everyone with booze.

Crocker's Folly - the ceilings are awesome
Crocker’s Folly – the ceilings are awesome

We all had the beef tartar to start and then I had guinea fowl.  So good.  If you are in St John’s Wood, I do recommend this.

More weeding

Yesterday, we went to the Needles Park.  This is basically an old fashioned funfair – except that I think that I have never felt anything other than miserable there.  When it is quiet, it is desolate (or closed) and sort of spooky.  When it is busy it can’t really cope.

So, we queued for about 40 minutes to get my son a go on the zorbs.  Except, when he got to the front of the queue, the man said that as he wasn’t five, he couldn’t go on.  Yes, it was our fault for not paying more attention to the signs.  But he is five in a month and has been on the zorbs several times.  And he cried; proper big tears.  And I felt terrible (and irritable, I’d been standing in one spot for over half an hour).

Then we went for a terrific lunch (the food was terrific) at the Highdown Inn, where we did our best to win the Worst Family In The Restaurant award.

When we got home, I weeded the terrace, which I’d allowed to get completely out of control.  One of my hydrangeas is flowering beautifully but the rest haven’t flowered yet.

Hydrangea
Hydrangea

I thought I’d actually lost one of my hydrangeas but in the end found it in a load of long grass.  I ended up pulling up three builders’ sacks of grass and weeds (totally destroyed my hands on brambles and nettles) and uncovered it, along with some other things.

Here it is.
Here it is.

My buddleia (Black Knight) has flowered and is looking rather nice.  The Royal Red one only has one flower out so far and the white one hasn’t got started yet.

Black Knight
Black Knight
Royal Red
Royal Red

Fly tipping

The fly tipping in Islington has got really bad lately.  It must be the hot weather.

I am still using my Clean Islington app, reporting dog shit, fly tipping, graffiti and over filled bins.  My husband said that this appeals to my inner busybody but really, if I don’t do it, no one else will.

It does mean that I am sending them about five different reports a day – do you think that they will give me a certificate at the end of the year, like at school?  Or that the people in the main office are cursing my name?

Yes, I reported these
Yes, I reported these

New microfleece

Now, I’ve been told (by my Mum) that some of the people who read this blog are very worried that my children don’t get enough clothes bought for them.  Fear no longer!  I have bought my son a new microfleece for when he outgrows the current one!

Didrikson Monte microfleece
Didrikson Monte microfleece

I know it’s a funny time of year to buy fleeces but I rather went into a panic when I was packing to come to the IoW because I couldn’t find either child’s microfleece.  They have stacks of clothes but the microfleeces are about the most useful sweaters they own; unless it is absolutely freezing, they don’t need anything heavier and they fit underneath their coats.  Losing them is a nuisance.  I was getting more and more wound up, trying to imagine where they could be – still at preschool?  In the boot of the car?  Left in the park?

In the end, they were in the IoW.  That will teach me to leave clothes here (something I almost never do because then I will need whatever I have left).

During my searches, I ended up checking the Viking Kids site to find out whether they could be replaced.  Nope – out of stock in the larger sizes for all colours except light lupine (lilac / pink).  So I ended up googling them and it turned out they were in really short supply – perhaps Didrikson have discontinued them.  Or there’s a plot to make them really scarce.

I ended up looking at Funky Rascal, which is a place in Fife that I hadn’t seen before.  But they had them!  Massively reduced!  In fact, I paid £16.09 for mine but they are now £13.79.  I am prepared to be philosophical about this. Particularly as the price included delivery.

I am not absolutely certain about the colour – I had ordered it in red but the kind man from Fife rang me (on the day I ordered it!) to say he was really sorry but they were completely sold out in red.  He offered me navy or yellow so I went for yellow.  I have a feeling that my son would probably prefer navy but when he starts school, he will have to wear a navy jumper every day.  He has the rest of his life to wear guy colours!  Plus, the yellow will make him really easy to pick out at the playground.

Once he is a bit older, he can choose what colour fleece he’d like to wear.  Until then, I will choose.

Little Georgia

The other day, we went to Little Georgia with some friends.  I’d never been here before – one thing about having to get a babysitter is that it makes you lazy.  We tend to go to the same places over and over again because going somewhere new means taking a risk.

Anyway, Little Georgia was very good (and our friends had been before).  We had a marvellous cheesy bread thing and I had poussin.

This is not slimming but it is great
This is not slimming but it is great

We also had a bottle of some sweet red wine which our friend Z said was Stalin’s favourite.

Here it is
Here it is

By the end of the night, I was a bit plastered.  But it was very good.

Cricket

The other day, we got a child’s cricket set and set it up on the lawn.

Cricket!
Cricket!

I don’t really know very much about cricket.  I am vaguely aware of the rules and that it is played in the summer.  I remember someone once saying that Pakistani bowlers can throw a ball at 100mph.  That’s about it.

The kids loved the leg protectors but had to be encouraged not to wave the bat above waist height.  Whenever anyone did anything good, we all clapped.  It turns out that clapping in our garden sounds exactly the way it does at Lord’s; must be the acoustics.

We also have a swingball post set up but the kids are less convinced about that.  Also, I am useless at it – mainly because whenever a ball comes flying towards me, I shriek and close my eyes.