Sun 15th Apr 2018

I’ve not been well today, struggled to find energy, focus, or concentration, and felt generally poorly too. Managed to light the fire (always satisfying to know I can do that, and gratifying to know I can rescue it too! Just kind of a shame we don’t get to enjoy the therapeutic quality of a fire, as the furnace is tucked away in the workshop – but it does heat the house up nicely) and eventually I got a ball of dough made and used up the stale sourdough leftovers to make a bread and butter pudding for my own breakfast.

Eventually Steve decided to go and start Operation Stalk the Stalkers and went to chop up the rest of the wood from yesterday, with the stable door open so he could keep an eye on it.

No cats. Nice lot of wood chopped up though.

Not a peep from them when I went and poked around upstairs either.

Bother those cats. Nice view from up there though.

Eventually we figured we’d starve them out. Shut the food in the porch where they know it’s kept, leave the stable door open to let them out, and see who turns up. Smudge was the first to turn up, loitering outside the door, sniffing around hopefully; but as we’d not seen Tiger we needed to wait lest Smudge ate and then bolted back up into the attic.

And then Tiger appeared like some magician, INside the closed porch!! Apparently the network of floor/ceiling space tunnels leads all over the place, including out into the porch. Not entirely convinced that they can’t get back up into the ceiling space via the porch, so that’s another hole that’ll need closing off.

Bother those cats!! But at least we know neither of them are lost inside the ceiling space, and they’re both out and fed again.

In garden news, turns out what I thought were leeks are definitely not even part of the allium family (at least, I tore a leaf and it had no oniony smell whatsoever), but until (if) they flower I still have no idea what they actually are. Red herring, coming up in what looked like it had been used as a vegetable bed.

And what I somehow thought was horseradish is also not what I thought, and is in fact dock and I am kicking myself for not even considering that! Even its proximity to all the nettle could have given that away. Bet if someone had actually been stung properly and I’d LOOKED for dock as a remedy I would have finally recognised it. Hey ho!

There’s a lot of other pretty stuff around at the moment. The hyacinths are stunning and there’s several different colours come up,

And the rhubarb is fascinating as ever!

I did take myself out on a wander, I get obsessed with doing certain things and it usually ends up meaning everything else gets procrastinated over or unable to concentrate until that thing has been fulfilled and I was determined that I’d go and find this wild garlic patch I’d been told about. Not wanting the kids to follow me I went down the lane bordering our land instead of straight down the garden, and for the first time could see our woodland from the outside. The banks of little white flowers (again, showing my ignorance and not having a clue what they are) on the banks of the brook, and the flowers lining the hedge. So so beautiful! A little way past the (invisible) boundary there’s a track leads into the woodland and over the brook. This bit of the woodland belongs to the neighbours up the hill and is managed and cared for beautifully, in stark contrast to the chaos on our side. And it’s mostly in this managed area that there is a huge patch of wild garlic! I really need to go and say hello to these neighbours and ask if they’d mind if I dug up a few bulbs to transplant closer to us, as I’d love to have a mixed alliums border with wild garlic in there!

When I got back I found Steve raking the pétanque of weeds. We were chatting about the ground elder and the nettles and other persistent weeds (only weeds if they are where you don’t want them) and he went to see if there were any useable hoes in the selection of tools in the animal shed.

He came back out with a scythe!! Off he went to sharpen it, and Charley noticed and followed him back up the garden to watch it in use. That’s going to come in useful!!

Some of today’s reading links:

How to grow leeks

Recognising perennial garden weeds

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