Well this is a stupid time to be awake but what can you do if you are wide awake. Yesterday was a really dull day it was dry and not too cold but it was heavily overcast all day with not a glimmer of sun to be seen anywhere. When I went up to let the hens out into their main run I also went round and gathered some items which were ready to be picked. There seem to be ripe tomatoes every day and then there are the runner beans. Courgettes as yet have not overwhelmed me but they are producing a constant supply. The carrots were on their last legs so I finished picking them and they went on the lunch menu along with the runner beans. The eggs and tomatoes went towards supper. The piece of beef which I thought would be no good was in fact no good it was rather tough and tasteless. However, the nice vegetables and Yorkshire pudding and gravy made up for the disappointment. The leftovers will make a decent cottage pie for us today.
In anticipation of a day dealing with my friends apples I looked up how to make cider. It seems simple enough but you do need lots of equipment in terms of demijohns and air locks etc. Stuff we used to have in our winemaking days which were pretty unsuccessful as I recall. It may well be that we just stick to apple juice and use the pasteurisation method to prevent fermentation. The other major problem is that the apples juice turns brown instantly on contact with air so it will need the addition of lemon juice or citric acid to keep it looking reasonable. Anyway no doubt we will have fun trying to save the crop.
While I was trawling around I also looked up the derivation of the word orchid, as in my previous life any operation starting with orchid, as in orchidectomy, referred to the testicles. Well imagine my delight when I discovered that in middle english they had been called Ballockwort and yes it is the same derivation apparently due to the swollen roots!!! I can't quite see it myself but it did appeal to my warped sense of humour and now I chuckle every time I look at the plants.
I try to fit in a little training with Basso every day and we discovered a new game yesterday based on the old game of hiding a nut under one of three cups. Only in this instance it is a sardine flavoured biscuit which is hidden then it is up to the dog to find the right cup and get the biscuit as a reward. It took him no time at all to work out the game and then he proved far too good at it and no matter how we shuffled up the cups he always went straight to the one with the biscuit under it. I really would love to borrow his nose for just one day.
As we had had a fairly major meal for lunch we had a simple supper of a sort of frittata/omelette with a bit of bacon and some tomatoes which also made a dent in the increasing number of eggs that were accumulating. The greenhouse got weeded which is a hands and knees sort of a job but it does look so much better and the hens like to eat the weeds so it is a win win situation.
Today, weather permitting, I would like to get some of the bedding through the washing machine and out into the fresh air. I always think washing smells so much nicer when it has had a blow in the garden.
Have a good day all and lets hope we get a glimpse of the sun!!!!