notes from Somerset

On an afternoon of sudden downours of hail, wild winds and seasonal ‘swamps’ (fields under water) it is good to spend a few minutes giving an update on matters around the Rectory.
The Kenyan hut has withstood all the gales (so far) but the flooring was untouched until yesterday – when kind folk from the next village arrived with several boot-loads of bark.  The liner is now elegantly covered with a layer of bark and both looks good and provides a much more durable foundation.  Excellent.  All we need now is an old tent to extend the waterproofing under the thatch.  This would mean that the hut could be used much more on Saturday mornings when the Honey Pot is open.
Plans are afoot to dig up part of the lawn and plant a range of Kenyan vegetables to crop later in the year.  I have been researching this on my laptop – it’s surprising what came up on my search.  Look out for further entries on this subject + (hopefully) a photo diary.
One sad discovery over the weekend concerns the gypsy caravan (made out of recycled materials and fixed in one place in the back garden) as seen above – before the steps were built and the wheels added. (I’ll try to find a more up to date photo soon.)  Unfortunately there are problems with the roof, which has been leaking slightly for several months.  The mildew and damp have disfigured the interior and I fear that the old doors which form the side walls, may have been seriously affected.  Stupidly I used a staple gun on the roof and so turned the roof felting into a sieve!  This will now exercise my little grey cells – working out how to fix it ‘on a shoestring’.
As I have been restricted to the house while I have been ill, I already have plans in hand to repair the steps up to the caravan, improve the soil around it and plant it up with cottage garden plants.  Oh well, Rome wasn’t built in a day!  Plenty to do when we get suitable weather.
Today I took part in the Great British Bird Watch – watching garden birds for an hour and feeding the information to the RSPB.  I spent a contented hour watching the usual characters enjoying the new feeder and all the expensive mealworms and the ‘disaster bread’ (my breadmaker is playing up!).  Later in the day a whole lot more birds turned up – all the ones who weren’t around when I was counting (typical!) and I was delighted to count 7 long-tailed tits and 6 blue tits – wonderful!  Just think of all the garden pests they will gobble up in the next season!
The highest number of any species was 9 – counted very quickly as the crow gang swept in to clean up the crusts.  They really work very well as recycling agents, disposing of unwanted food without contaminating the compost heap or wheelie bin.  Brilliant.
Now back to my sewing – making cushions for the ‘Tiddlers’ to sit on for story time – the floor is very cold this time of year!
Keep warm and dream of summer days – only 5 weeks of my winter left!

About apthomas

I love books, reading, writing, baking, chocolate, painting, sewing, people and fairtrade - not necessarily in that order. I am a lazy gardener - who loves the garden, and a lazy housewife who likes the place to be warm and welcoming. I live in beautiful Somerset. I am enslaved by Sherpa-the-cat. Saturday mornings find me 'playing shop' in the Honey Pot - a second hand bookshop, run from my garage, where along with the books you'll find fun, friendship and refreshments - all in a good cause.
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