Fri 13th Apr 2018

Coffee and chat with Steve in the kitchen while he cooked pancakes and Erika and Charley slept in, slowly getting myself together, and then a no-pressure trip into town by myself to wander all over trying to find various things. Thank goodness I was on my own because I went everywhere (almost) trying to find stuff. Kind of gratifying to know that the high-end yarn shop in town doesn’t actually stock any cheap acrylic brands, but frustrating that suddenly everywhere else is out of season for aran so I can’t finish my cardigan without either ordering some in from somewhere or risking adding wool blends into it (and then remembering it’s wool and to treat it accordingly gently when washing).

I did come home with a chainsaw though…!

And this really yummy chocolate – gonna be hard not to grab a couple of bars of this every school night…

Also managed to find the perfect pair of trousers for Charley who hates buttons and zips and tight fitting things: lightweight denim colour baggy trousers with a stretchy drawstring waist! And they fit and he is so pleased with them!

And I also snuck in a 20-minute sit down at the cafe, tempted in by a rhubarb muffin… that was pleasant.

Back home, Steve unpacked the chainsaw, re-fitted a lock on the back door so it is actually useable now, and set to with the chainsaw cutting up the bigger logs that we’ve basically both run out of energy to saw by hand as we’re both under the weather. I really just wanted to curl up and go to sleep but needed to be out in my garden – Erika granted half my wish and demanded to go to bed so at least once she was asleep for a nap I was able to potter a little, which turned into a full-scale attack on the nettles at the back of the cold frame. This led to wondering what on earth to do with the roots, if I’d ever be rid, or if there was a better way – and I am lucky enough to have some amazing friends back in the UK who have pointed me in the direction of no-dig gardening.

Honestly the nettle root system is immense, it was like some alien ganglion and I half expected it to start fighting back. It had already spread across the coldframe area since I removed the sycamore leaves but only surface deep, but at the far end the roots went much deeper and I confess to burning at least two motherlodes. Eventually I’ll get some appropriate biodegradeable garden waste sacks to rot the perennial weeds down in but for now things like the ivy and nettle are getting burned on the bonfire.

And then there’s this thing. Now see I’m writing the day’s journal entry a week later and, knowing what I know now, it seems ridiculous but I honestly could not think what this was and when I saw the taproot wondered if it was horseradish. Of all things. It does indeed look similar to horseradish. But it doesn’t smell like it so… well, unless you know, you’ll have to wait until the day’s entry when finally my mum put me out of my misery!!

The bog-rhubarb is flourishing in The Swamp and also by the ash heap,

this pretty little purple ball is opening up more and more,

And the sawhorse has been moved next to the garage so it’s out of the yard and also closer to where the chainsaw can be plugged in.

Meanwhile indoors, the kids were some kind of space knights, with their fortress wall! Even Erika was joining in with a lot of enthusiasm, brandishing her sabre and yelling yarrrr!

Fun all round!!

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