Sunday, 24 May 2009

it really IS summer...

... and things are going a bit nuts in the garden...

A couple of weeks ago, just puny little seedlings. Now, a bit of warmth, sunshine, and the odd watering later...

summer veg collage

l-r: lollo rosso, chard, unnamed (I forget) lettuce, calabrese. Somewhere in the middle, but somehow managing to avoid being snapped on camera, is some cauliflower. Oh, and some leeks. Honest.

parsnips courgettes collage

l-r: parsnips, courgettes

tomato and chilli plants May 2009

tomatoes and chilli plants

For someone who's never grown anything since mustard and cress in primary school, this is all a bit of a revelation to me. Slow learner, y'see.

And now, suddenly, I find myself looking forward to the prospect of home-grown salads, and various other seasonal veg, plus endless herbs (another photo, another time), and chillis. Fab. I can hardly wait.

The only blot on the horizon is that we booked to go away for 2 weeks in the middle of June. Which is usually a good thing. Now, I'm worrying that there won't be anything worth eating by the time we get back, and that weeds and triffids will have taken over in our absence....

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

when only chocolate will do...

Y'know, we were promised a hot summer. Really. The Meteorological Office said so.

And I quote:

"The coming summer is 'odds on for a barbecue summer', according to long-range forecasts. Summer temperatures across the UK are likely to be warmer than average and rainfall near or below average for the three months of summer.... Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office, Ewen McCallum, said: "After two disappointingly-wet summers, the signs are much more promising this year. We can expect times when temperatures will be above 30 °C, something we hardly saw at all last year."

Which would be why, outside my window, it's throwing it down with rain and blowing an absolute gale. I'm not exactly sitting here in my bikini, either.


So - what to do?

Chocolate. A big whopper of a cup of the hot liquid stuff. That'll do for now. Preferably this one:

Deal hot chocolate

I had this during my trip to Deal, on the Kent coast. It was, simply, the best cup of hot chocolate or cocoa I've ever tasted. Fabulous, wonderful, lovely, unctuous stuff.

And served at one of the loveliest chocolate shops I've ever been to - Sara's Chocolates, on Middle Street. It's cute, quaint, quirky and homely all in one. And run by the bundle of gregarious energy, Sara herself, who will happily tell you all you want to know, and more, about chocolate.

sara's chocolates exterior

If you're ever down that way, do pop in. It'll be good for your soul and your sanity, though not necessarily for your waistline or arteries. But when chocolate is this good, who the hell cares?

sara's chocolates counter

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

signs of life...

Not only here, but in my garden - in my very first veg patch...

lettuce seedlings

itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny lettuce seedlings

Yes, I'm on my way back, folks.

More coming VERY soon.

AFoS xx