Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Got back from ten days in Ireland yesterday evening. Going back is a bit strange. When I started writing this post I wrote that I got home yesterday after being at home for ten days. It was a good holiday in some ways but awful in others in just that combination that you can only get when you have a family full of complicatd people like I do and are the one who seems to be the only one regularly in contact with everyone else (except for my oldest sister who, for the past four or five years has spoken voluntarily to no-one but the closest in age to her - for no good reason that she has ever told anyone about). So I am glad that I decided to take a full two weeks off work but only spent ten days there and have four days plus a weekend all to myself now. Obviously I have about four weeks worth of stuff planned for those four days but I'm going to try and get that aspect of things under control later this evening when I sit down to try and plan a bit.

I had to get up early this morning to go for a massage and when I got back I just collected my post from my downstairs neighbour, who is kind enough to empty my postbox when I go away and then collapsed in a very warm heap on the armchair to read for a while. I had spent my holiday budget by Friday last week, which is when I called into a second-hand bookshop where I found a couple of good buys, so essentially I have also spent the best part of my budget for the rest of the month as well. Not an unusual thing to have no money left for the month after a holiday but at least this time I knew exactly what I was doing and that I was coming back to a very frugal two weeks.

After a bit of a rest I got up to head to the post office to pick up a parcel that had arrived while I was away. From there I headed to the bio-garten - it was lovely to be able to go for the Tuesday afternoon hours this week as well as looking forward to next Saturday morning and I'm even more pleased that I went as I very nearly didn't. It was hot here today! I weeded the leek bed first with someone else and then she hoed up the earth around the leeks a bit while I was sent off to tie up the cucumbers and harvest what was ready. Of course, the gardener started to show me what size to cut them at but then got distracted by someone else so never finished explaining to me that it was only the first type I should cut small and the rest should be bigger. Still, there were only five of us there, a huge harvest of cucumbers still left over from Saturday and after he got over the initial shock (inlcuding making fun of me for picking so many 'rich man's cucumbers') it was fine. I offered to take home a load of them to pickle or something for people in the garden to use over the coming months (I hate cucumber myself and even proved it to myself by trying it again today - rotten stuff and even freshly picked, organic cucumber doesn't taste much better than any other kind of cucumber. Yuch!). But that's one more thing to do with my week that wasn't quite planned on. I had planned to go to the market in the morning as I'm sure they must have tomatoes by now and I was going to try my hand at bottling some up but I think I'll leave that now until I get paid again at the end of the month. I'll just buy a few to eat fresh. They're likely to still be pricey enough anyway.

In addition to the cucumbers I also brought home a few potatoes, half a huge courgette, onions, two types of beans and one large tomato plus some basil. It is half-nine now but I am off to cook the courgette and tomato with a bit of onion and then will either have that with some pasta, or more likely, a slice of bread. Love this time of year for cooking (even if I have to wait till late for it to be cool enough to do it).

Right, courgette, onion and tomato are cooking so just a quick update to add a photo (have corrected the date on the camera again - today is the 20th, not the 21st) and totals list.

250g beans
525g courgette (I think since that's only half of it, at 1.5kg a courgette must surely be a marrow?)
200g tomato
375g potatoes
1.2kg onions
4.9kg cucumbers (I think there are just two different types here but it may be three)

Now to hit the books and figure out what to do with all those cucumbers!

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