What are we all about?

The focus of this blog is simple - and that's the goal too. A more simple way of life. A life in tune with the rhythms of nature and of human nature. Where everything has its time and place and purpose, including us.

We have left the rat race behind and taken on new challenges. We aim to tread as lightly as we can upon the planet, to reconnect with nature, to eat good food, drink excellent wine, enjoy the best of company.... even if that is sometimes just our own! Please feel free to eavesdrop from time to time on our lives and see how we are doing and if you are ever in Extremadura... drop us an email and we'll give you directions.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Change is in the Air

Its still hot.  But at the same time I sense the approach of Autumn. Which is a great relief for us.  It's still warm at night too but the cupboard where I ferment the saurkrout is now only 27C instead of 29C and those two degrees make a huge difference.


I've been really pleased with the veggie plot this year.  It still isn't as lush as you would expect a well stocked English veggie garden to be but that may just be a step too far for our near desert like summer conditions here.  I was looking online for hints and tips for gardening in these temperatures and the closest to it I could find were gardens in Texas.  So we are looking into solutions for providing movable shade. And of course the soil improvement continues.


The garden centre was selling the winter veg plug plants so I got a few cabbage and cauliflower and brussel sprouts but since it is still very hot during the day we rigged up a temporary shade in the hope that it will make a difference.  It seems to be working, they are still alive at any rate.


The summer has been a good test of the outdoor kitchen, the bbq has been used regularly, its so easy to just pop sausages or chicken breast onto the coals and the taste is so much better than just grilling.  It proved too hot for the bread oven though. We invested in a small three ring gas burner so that entire meals can be made outside.  Cooking indoors does raise the temperature in the house and when its already in the mid 30's a rise of just one degree can be unbearable.  The only issue I had was remembering to cook outside, often I just popped stuff onto the cooker inside with out thinking about it!


Remember these two?


We named them Bippity and Boppity.  Does this mean that we won't be eating them?  Probably, but not necessarily, since we ate Raul our very well loved cockerel and found him delicious we are less precious about the name thing.  Anyway.  Here they are at 12 weeks.




We had a very tiny egg turn up in the nest which we believe came from the little white one but it also could have been from our older black Castilian who hasn't laid for more than a year now.... at any rate the tiny egg has not been repeated and until we start getting more we can't be sure that it was from the little white hen.  The brown one we are thinking is a girl because there has not been any chest bumping or display of manliness from either the brown or Mac our cockerel.  And although he is laidback we don't think he would let another male into the fold without at the very least a bit of a display of his manliness! But the upshot is that if they are both girls we are less likely to eat them. Bring on the eggs!


The kittens have also grown and this weekend they go to the vets for a little snip snip.  This is going to be awkward.  We shall have to bring a cat litter tray back into the house and Fergus loves to rootle about in a cat litter tray! Yuk! You can certainly go off dogs!


I have had a very productive summer on the spinning front.  I managed to dye some wool (albeit a bit experimental) and I made and finished several knitted things, in spite of the heat.


I also made a really good start on decluttering.  This was easier than I had anticipated.  Still quite a bit more to do but these things have to take shape in your mind first and then when you go to actually tackle the job it isn't quite so hard to do.


The figs continue to fall and dry on the ground, the ants on them seem less this year, but definitely more ants in the vegetable plot!  The new almond trees are suffering a bit from the heat and I really am praying for a good rainstorm now.  We had a quick burst of wet last week but it barely lasted five minutes and evaporated almost as soon as it hit the ground.  We are forecast more rain this week so in anticipation we shall gather up the figs and try and sort them into bags.  Fingers crossed it does rain!  I will let you know.


It looks like another scorcher today! There have been some stunning surprises on the flower front. Just not enough of them, but you have to test things out here before investing in more.




And since there is no real news as such to share I shall leave you with a picture of my tomato salad, fresh from the garden... Which we have eaten almost daily for some weeks now. You really can get too much of a good thing you know!


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