What the hell is going on? Seriously – have you lost your mind? Snow in May? Frost in June? Monsoon rains in Lithuania?
You are playing HAVOC with my vegetable growing endeavours and I am not pleased.
Allow me to explain … Read more
The first signs of autumn – the browning of the leaves and a slight chill in the air – used to herald the end of fun and relaxation and a return to the grindstone of school or college. Mind and body were refreshed from summer adventures and pockets were heavier from summer jobs. It was time again to knuckle down to some serious work. Read more
I can’t believe it took until my early 40s to realise that we sleep for about one third of our lives. When this first dawned on me I was horrified – what a waste of time! I’ve been asleep for over 13 years – think of all I could have done with that time! But then I thought about how much I love my sleep. I love where my head takes me (most of the time) when I’m asleep. And I love the rejuvenation and reenergising that happens while we sleep. I awake refreshed and restored, ready to go again. Really not time wasted. Read more
There are a few condiments that I always have in my refrigerator. The first is mayonnaise – I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t need it for something, especially in summer. The other is half-sour pickles. Those tangy, crunchy pickles are so versatile, from adorning a burger to adding zing to tartar sauce. Read more
It never rains but it pours. It’s a phrase that has both literal and proverbial meanings, both of which apply to my life at the moment. After a total drought in May and just 10 days rain at start of June, the countryside was beginning to look a little parched and my vegetable beds were rock hard. Buckets of water were no longer enough – it was time to unravel my hose and do some deep watering, biceps bedamned. Read more
Boy, have I been busy. Since May 1st I have been in the garden every day prepping, planting, watering, weeding and protecting this year’s selection of vegetables. I have developed shapely upper arms from carrying countless 10 litre (10 kg) buckets of water from the house to my vegetable patch. I have acquired in-depth knowledge on the burrowing habits of moles. I am tired, I am tanned and I am happy. Read more
Winter changed to spring overnight, like someone flipped a switch. One day it was dark and grey with a distinct chill during the day and ground frost at night. The next day the sky was clear blue and temperatures hit 22˚ C (72˚ F). It was time, finally, to get out into the garden and start planting. While I was ankle and wrist-deep in earth, life sprung up all around me. The grass grew thick and lush, heavily peppered with blazing yellow dandelions. Here and there, pockets of blue and pink flowers added colour, while large white daisies looked pure and serene against their tangled green backdrop. What a beautiful office I have. Read more
Spring has finally arrived here in Lithuania. At least, it’s spring today. The weather has been very temperamental so who knows what it will be like tomorrow, but for the past few days it has been warm and sunny and there has been a corresponding explosion in growth. All of a sudden fruit trees have burst into bloom, the grass has become lush and green and the dandelions have finally started to appear. Read more
I was born for this life. I can’t explain the joy it gives me, watching seeds grow into plants, then watching them flowering and fruiting. I have spent many happy hours watering and transplanting and already I am getting dividends. My herbs are on fire – I can barely keep up with them. My tomatoes are growing taller by the day and my cucumbers have begun to flower, giving me my first tiny cucumber of the season. Read more
My conservatory is a sea of green. My tomato, cucumber, pepper & chilli seedlings have now been transplanted and fill one set of shelves. My windowsill is covered with red vases containing an assortment of fresh herbs – rosemary, melissa (lemon balm), basil, coriander, tarragon and mint. The smell of the herbs is intoxicating, particularly when the sun shines and warms the leaves. Read more
Since I began my journey towards self-sufficiency I have become more and more aware of waste, whether it’s water, energy or food. I hate seeing even small amounts of leftover food going to waste, even if I don’t have an immediate use for it. I will put it into an appropriate container in the fridge or pantry and try to use it within a few days. Read more
I love Thai food. It is a feast for the senses – fragrant and aromatic with a heady mix of spices, a touch of heat and a balance of flavour across sweet, sour, salty and savoury (umami) . It is vibrant and colourful, with fresh vegetables and herbs just as important as the meat or fish component. And it uses a variety of textures, from crunchy vegetables to soft meat and sticky rice. Read more
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