16 May 2007
Yet another dismal, grey, wet day!!!
I finished rubbing down the second radiator in the lounge, just the hallway one to go after this thank goodness. The one in the bathroom needed a second coat of paint (I did the first coat in 2006) but as there is paint in the U.K. it can wait until I bring that back. No point in buying more of what we already have!
Nigel phoned, he sounds particularly miserable! I think the weather in the UK is getting him down as well.
17 May 2007
I woke up to a completely grey sky and continuous rain. I wonder if this is ever going to stop. It was still very cold and generally miserable. After the wonderful April this weather really is difficult to work in. I could hear the starlings still in the cherry tree so they obviously don’t worry about the weather if they can fill their tummies!! It was far too wet to go out and see if there were any cherries still intact to be picked, apart from the rain the ground is so saturated that one just sinks. I am not sure how the moles survive the soaking but they seem to!!
I painted one radiator in the lounge with the first coat of paint but with the terrible light I don’t know how much I may have missed. The Second coat would have to wait for better weather so I could see what I was doing. I must say even with a first coat there is a huge improvement in the way it looks. I also painted the wall paper behind the radiator where I had wall papered. The wall paper behind the other one had not dried so would have to wait another day.
Erica phoned me to say she is coming over with her parents tomorrow for a cup of coffee.
Erica and her folks duly arrived and after a look around we had a cup of coffee and something to eat. Erica told me what to get to remove pips from cherries, so when they left after painting radiator number two in the lounge, I went out again to get a ‘dénoyauteur’ in other words a pip/stone remover! On my return I went out and picked some more cherries, the starlings do not seem to have made much difference to the tree; there was still a mass of fruit. After a few minutes of practice with the de-stoner I quickly got the hang of it and I soon had two bottles of de-stoned cherries bottled in cognac. This was just great and it did not use so much cognac as the stoned cherries as I could squash them down a bit more! Erica told me as they were eating cherries cognac was really the only answer, they would not make good jam and were not really good for cooking. She had a sour cherry tree which was good for cooking and jam. I later discovered that the cherries after being soaked in cognac for a couple of months or so did in fact make a fantastic cherry pie. The cognac that remained disappeared down the throat by the glass! It did not taste quite like cherry brandy but it was pretty good.
19 May 2007
So much for cycling again today the weather was back to grey, dismal and damp. It was not raining as such but there was very thick mist. I had to do washing as I was running out of clothes so I rigged up a temporary clothes line of sorts in the barn to hang everything on. So long as we did not get a storm the barn was fairly dry, it was really the only thing that I could do.
It was again too dark to paint the second coat on the radiators in the lounge so I decided to sand down the door in the hallway that leads to the outside.
I put on all the putty on the windows and door where it needed renewing throughout the house, but now of course I can’t paint it for 4 weeks as it needs to dry properly. I am sure putty in South Africa did not take a month but that is what the instructions say on the packet I bought here.
I picked more cherries which I de-stoned and bottled.
20 May 2007
Just for a change I woke up to rain again.
By lunch time the rain had eased off and I managed to put the still very damp washing from the barn on the line. There were a lot of very black clouds around so I had to keep a watch out for signs of the rain starting again.
I picked another large bowl of cherries, pitted them and packed them into two bottles in cognac. I keep picking and the starlings are still around but there are still masses of cherries ripening on the tree. They really need more sun but......
The light improved a bit so I decided that I had better paint the second coat of paint on the two radiators on the lounge. One radiator left to go now in the hall, I could start rubbing that down tomorrow if the weather was not good enough for any outside work.
Suddenly the dark clouds built up again so I decided to bring the washing in before it was too late! Only two T shirts still a bit damp so it was not too bad. At least I had some clean clothes to wear again.
I went down to the vegetable garden to see how the plants were doing. I pulled a few radishes and I saw that there was one courgette that looked like it may be a sensible size to eat in a couple of days. The chard was now growing well and I would, I hoped, soon be able to use that in salads with the rocket which was also almost ready for picking. The rhubarb had lots of new leaves appearing and there were several small tomatoes. The beans were struggling a bit as something was eating them, not sure what as the slug and snail bait appeared to be working elsewhere in the garden. The carrots seemed to be a bit slow but I hoped, if all the rain has not rotted them that they would soon pick up. The spring onions were also slow but were starting to grow a bit. The artichoke plants were growing well but I did not expect to have any ‘flowers’ on them this year. The large bushes over the back of us in the neighbour’s property were loaded, but they were well established.
21 May 2007
I chatted to Nigel in the evening and at 21h00 I thought I may as well have an early night when the door bell rang. It was David, he said no rain was expected overnight and he thought that it would be the best chance to kill the grass and weeds in the drive and on the verandah area. He asked if I wanted to do it or would I like him to, he had brought the weed killer over with him plus his sprayer. I said it was better that he did it; I was sure he would make a better job than me and be quicker. He also had a quick look up on the roof to see if he could see a cracked tile as we have a small leak in our bedroom. He could see nothing but he moved a few tiles around so maybe.... As he said it might be a small leak up on the ridge and it is running down a beam and only showing the damp patch right at the bottom! I eventually got to bed at 22h30.