Allotment Diary

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Desk transformation


The rest of the desk top is far worse!!


I "borrowed" the idea from  The lovely Scarlet is mega fantastic at upcycling on a budget of next to nothing and sometimes less than nothing and I'm a massive admirer of what she does, so much so that when I saw her transformation of a little coffee table I knew that it was exactly what I wanted to do to C's desk, this desk has been in and out of the garage and was showing its age, it had glue and pen on it and is made of cheap chipboard stuff, far too good to throw away and far too horrid to stay as it was, so, I transformed it. Nowhere near as good as Scarlet can do but as its the first time I've done something like this I'm kinda pleased with myself :]]

Pop over to the blog and become immersed in all the loveliness


Saturday, 4 May 2013

All things lovely

Its been a busy month, allotment and crochet - the best things in my life [other than family of course]

Allotment - I finally paid for this years plot, only a month late, it costs us £48.50 a year, we have quite a large plot now and we consider it money well spent, we try not to spend money on things that can be made, K loves a good pallet!! We were lucky to take over the plot along with an 8x6 Greenhouse, the greenhouse was never going to be fully used at the plot, it would be used at home though. K and I agreed that in the Autumn, when he had some time [work keeps him busy] that we would move it home but N [my brother] needed to fill some time between jobs so I asked him to help me move it and we did. We took out all the glass, blimey, those clips hurt your thumbs after a while, only one piece was broke, by me. Then came the dismantling, or not as it so happens, N couldn't do it, all the nuts and bolts were seized so we decided that 1.5 miles isn't too far to walk a greenhouse frame, is it? Let me tell you that at the end of the 1.5 miles it is too far! N has a bigger stride than me so there I was staggering along holding a bouncing frame that either got caught up in tree branches or tipped when the wind blew, still, plenty of people got a laugh from the sight of us. When we got back home another obstacle presented itself - how to get it in the back garden, cue tipping it upside down and lifting it over a 6ft gate and then traversing 2 sheds and a sky dish, luckily for us a rather elderly neighbour came and helped out and steadied the frame as we lifted and shoved it into place. Glass was put back in and replacement glass bought £5 for 2 pieces, yes, I broke another bit! Oh how I admired it. I also washed it and then 2 days later it was groaning under the weight of the seeds that were planted - 195 little pots and 2 trays - runners, broad beans, toms, spring onions, swiss chard, lettuce, radish, beetroot and peas to name but a few. Within 6 days the radish were through and after 2 weeks everything was showing, a 2nd lot of all the seeds has been done and some of the 1st lot are away to the plot tomorrow. The plot itself is taking shape now thanks to K's hard work, in the summer it has full sun all day but in the winter it suffers from being completely water logged - last week it dried out and the digging started, whilst being careful of the frogs and their tiny babies :] 3 beds are now done - 3 more to do, a lot of weeding has been done but there is still a mountains worth to do - great compost stuff!

Crochet - I've done it, I've cracked the secret way of hooking, well, with a little help. Way back in Jan 2012 I wanted to learn how to crochet, I've watched EVERY clip on you tube, I've read EVERY book there is but no, I couldn't do it, fingers, hook and brain refused to connect, oh how I longed to have a blanket of pretty coloured granny squares :[  And then K saw it, and then K came rushing home to tell me about it and then K took me there, where? Magpie and Thimbles little workshop space above the book store, bliss. Hazel does workshops, patchwork this and fabric print that, some are priced way out of my league and if I'm honest [which I am] I'm not interested in some of them but wait, a crochet class to learn how to do a granny square is coming up. I booked it so fast you couldn't hook a 5ch in that time [see, I know the lingo] Thursday just gone saw me at the workshop sitting down worried that fingers, hook and brain still wouldn't "get it" and to start of they didn't! But with much tutoring by Hazel I walked out of there with a 2" square [we wont look at the dc's instead of the trc I did] My brain was buzzing with the terminology and trying hard to remember what to do I came home and wrote it down, next day I sat down and had a go, it was awful - half circle, half triangle lol. Out came a beginners book with a pattern and I had another go, yes, I got it, whilst its not perfect it is a square and in the corner where I went wrong I know what I did and what I should of done. I am the happiest woman ever!!!!  Hazel is going to be running a class on how to make a skirt, its been decades since I last done any clothes making and I really want to have a go but I cant afford to buy material and get it wrong so . . . . I shall be paying for the class, going along and making C a skirt and then once its all sitting in my brain I'll be ok and able to make the summer wardrobe she so desperately needs at a hopefully  much discounted price versus the shops. C cant wait for me to make her something - long may that live.

I hope it all works to plan but if it doesn't then we'll battle through, we always do

Helen x

Sunday, 31 March 2013

March Madness

Firstly - why is it that every school morning I have to cajole children out of beds but on the school hols they are bouncing around at 6.30am!!!!

So its that time - time to round up what has happened in the last month, K has been quite poorly again, Kidney Stones have played a huge part in our lives this month, we thought that K had cracked the secret of getting rid of them, drink water till you slosh about when you walk, it has worked for a couple of weeks but today they have come back, so annoying, he's had a blood test but has to go back for another this week and a chat to a Nurse has been booked about lifestyle changes - that should be interesting, I've never known anyone eat as many veg as he does.

Money has been tight as predicted and we thought we would be ok this month but K had an MOT on his car and it failed to the tune of £280. Gosh and gulp. We have managed to reduce the cost by about £100 - thankfully my brother will do some of the work and the garage will do what he can't, we'll buy the parts ourselves as its cheaper, still an expense we could do without.

C had her 13th birthday, we all clubbed together and got her a Chrome Laptop, the look on her face was priceless, it was one of those moments that I'll never forget, I also joined her on Facebook so now she sits quietly palying away on the Facebook games, worth every penny if you ask me lol.

13!! I never thought I'd be Mum to a 13 year old girl.

K has applied for another job, he had an interview so now he is waiting for the good or bad news, if he gets the job he will be paid £5k more a year - what a difference it will make, so its fingers [an everything else] crossed.

T has found some life in his old bones and continues to plod on, he has bursts of energy and then tires quickly and sleeps a lot.

C and D are both doing really well at school. C has been picked, along with some others, to do a dance routine that will be shown at Bedford University and then later at the School Performance, very exciting, she is also in a school play aptly named "Teachers", I'm looking forward to seeing both performances later in the year.

K has started his own blog. He's an artist and a very good one, it was time to showcase his talents, between us we have cobbled together a blog, unfortunately the photography is all down to me so its not showing his pictures in the best light but maybe in time I'll get better.

So blog hop to kev'sart.miltonkeynes - go on, you know you want to.

I have joined a Gym, ta da!!! £20 a month gets me full gym membership and full use of the swimming pool so even if I just use it for taking the children swimming once a week it will pay for itself and that means the gym bit will be free.

The weather has been appalling all month, hardly any sunshine and lots of snow - for someone who really likes the snow I have to admit to being thoroughly fed up with it now, all I want is some sunshine, I need to start planting seeds at the Lottie but at the moment there's no chance of that as the ground is way to cold and the hard frosts we are getting will kill everything. So I'm late in starting, which means that soon I'll be planting seeds like a mad woman and my hands will be constantly muddy - I can't wait, I'm so fed up with not being able to get started.

Enough of my moans for now

Helen x

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Monthly catch up

Its that time - time to catch up on our lives. K went back to work after having 2 days off with Kidney Stone problems, the day after he went back he was at work helping a resident with their Personal Care when he hurt his back. I had to collect him from work, he was bent over and in a lot of pain, he then had to have 2 weeks off work. Its taken its toll on him, he's had to go back sooner than he needed to as all this time off is unpaid!!! So at the end of Feb he will get a pay packet that will not cover the bills and food, I've started to compensate for this, I've applied for a Bus Pass for C [she's excited about catching a bus to school] D has been told that he will be walking to school every morning, I've phoned the Rent Dept and told them we can't pay next months Rent and have agreed a payment plan to catch up after, some people wouldn't agree with this but its our single biggest expense, its the easiest payment to stop and to then pay off monthly with no charges for this [the Council are good about this is you talk to them before you have problems]
T is showing his age more and more, his walks are getting shorter and shorter, they tire him out if he goes too far.

The exercise plan isn't working at the moment but it will!!

If anyone reads this [hehe] and can get a message to "my beautiful life" blogger - I'd appreciate being added to her reader list if possible, I love her blog but its been made private [I think that's what it is] and I can't access it, its one of the blogs I read nearly everyday :[[  Maybe I need to start leaving comments on blogs on a regular basis so that the authors know I read them but it feels like I'm butting in on a private conversation if I do and I feel very awkward about commenting, no idea why but there, that's me!

The weather has been horrid - snow, wind and rain with a little bit of sunshine every so often.

Being frugal with everything continues, as it must, although I would love to win the Lotto [shame we can't afford to buy tickets fro it lol]


Tuesday, 1 January 2013

2013 Bring it on

Firstly - Happy New Year from me to you

The time has come for K and I to look forward to what challenges we can set and to look back at what we've achieved. We've managed to come through a year that saw the finishing month with K and L falling out - hopefully that will be resolved, other than that its been a good year, K has managed to paint quite a bit and I have gone someway to learning to Crochet - well I can do the chain stitches lol.

We have decided that this year will see us spending alot more time at the Lottie as our new plot is so much bigger than the last one and for me personally fitness is an issue so I'm looking at how to do that on a zero budget. Ebaying as also the years challenge - maybe I should set myself a ££ target - one to think about.

I hope that the new year will see you fit, happy and enjoying the things that make you happy

Helen x