Garden review

With Richard away in California, I had a very sociable weekend involving loads of people coming around and lots of nice food. I even spared time for a steady 18.5 miles on Sunday morning which involved the second running of the the Four Counties run, this time with Mark.

Given that the only real adventure was running into an invisible electric fence, I decided that a review of the garden was in order. This is timely because in the last couple of weeks the garden has started to look past its best with autumn on it’s way. I have therefore put together a selection of pictures taken over the summer.

The veggies have been amazing this year thanks to the horse muck I dug in during the winter. We have been supplied with runner beans, squash, courgette, carrots, spinach, rhubarb, cucumber and potatoes throughout the summer. The tomatoes have faired less well, but not through lack of care. Notice the squash in the bottom left picture that decided to grow over our gravel alpine garden!

We now have loads of green tomato and also beetroot chutney too… yum!

Our flowers have also been beautiful. The alpine flowers looked amazing in the spring and the petunias in the hanging basket have been no less than stunning the whole summer.

Felicity the frog has also enjoyed the garden and we hope she returns next year 🙂

It was an adventure for us

We planned a different kind of adventure for this weekend–we actually planned to stay at home and not do very much! We managed it as well on saturday, going no further than to the shops, and having Rachel’s sister Sarah over for lunch and our friends Tony and Catherine over for dinner. In quite unusually domestic manner, we trimmed the hedge and pruned some trees, mended the fence in the back garden, repotted some of the house plants, varnished the back door, cut down a small tree, and most importantly made cake.

A bevy of Rachel's swan profiteroles (yes, I looked up the collective noun).
A bevy of Rachel's swan profiteroles (yes, I looked up the collective noun).

The profiteroles were lovely. Rachel toiled long and hard making perfect little profiterole swans. The raspberry chocolate cake was also good (and best of all, there’s still some left).
Rachel's raspberry chocolate torte. Yum!
Rachel's raspberry chocolate torte. Yum!

We also introduced ourselves to the frog that seems to have moved into our garden.

We just couldn’t manage two days of domesticity, so on sunday we went orienteering at Baggeridge and Himley and visited our frinds Richard and Carol. I should say that I went orienteering. Rachel helped organise things and sat in the sunshine reading her book. She might just be capable of two days of domestic bliss, but I’m clearly not!

Our new tenant. Now, how do we get her to pay rent?
Our new tenant. Now, how do we get her to pay rent?

Black and Light

At last … we went to South Wales, we aimed to go into DYO and for the first time ever, the weather allowed us to go in! We did the round trip with a few add-ons and were very impressed with the wallpaper. The entrance was interesting; through the showcave and then through the lakes where the water is literally up to your neck. Richard, Brendan and I had chosen to swim the Green canal and so were clad in wetsuits which helped the situation a lot. Keith and Chris were not and so got a little chilly! Caving in wetsuits was so tiring – a good way to get fit! The Green Canal was fun too (although less so for Brendan!!!).

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We stayed at SWCC and in the morning set off for a run. The weather was rather nice with good visibility and so we set off to places that we had run before but never seen before because of the mist. We ran from the South Wales caving hut at Penwyllt, across the valley up the hill above DYO, then out to the edges at Picws Du, then down to Llyn Y Fan Fawr, then all the way down to the valley and the hills in between to the slopes above Crai Reservoir and then we followed the dismantled tramway back to OFD Pant Mawr National Nature Reserve which is just above the SWCC cottages. We met a nice frog or two along the way too 🙂

In the end we ran about 16 miles – no wonder we ache a bit today!

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Bramcrag Quarry

We intended to go to Sandbed Ghyll Crag tonight – the approach is described in the guidebook as “painfully steep but mercifully short (15 minutes)”. When we got there we realised that either the guidebook writer was having a laugh or is an Olympic standard hill walker! You can see the crag from the road – it’s miles away – vertical miles!!!

So we quickly changed plans to the adjacent Bramcrag Quarry – which really does have a quick approach, about 5 minutes. It’s not the most idilic Lakeland destination and very midgey on a still and hot summer evening (luckily we had our insect repellent spray with us. 😉 ). But we salvaged an evening’s cragging from the certain sweaty doom of slogging up to Sandbed Ghyll…

Plus, we found lots of these amazingly small frogs hopping around the base.