Monday, 1 September 2008

Gardens and things

We had some drizzle  early on this week it was lovely and  soft on the face and the sweet smell from wet ground and grass was wonderful. I was always surprised in Fort Collins when it rained how everything smelt sweet and fresh but the rest of the time there wasn't really much of a smell. That may be a good thing sometimes but it was one of those things I missed, I was brought up in the rather wet North West of England so that might explain a lot. This morning we also had our first frost of the season, I had to go and wrap our cucumbers up in a nice cuddly fleece last night to protect our four cucumbers which are still growing. The frost did damage our courgettes (zucchinis) and squashes but I think they have survived but hopefully it won't be too cold tonight.

Still on the theme of the garden we are still getting some runner beans but they seem to be quite slow, wonder if the rain that we had last week was affecting the development of the beans as there seems to be plenty of flowers but not so many beans. We also cut our first cabbage and probably our last broccoli on  Friday. Our carrots are amazing, we have never grown carrots really successfully before but these are huge as you can see in the picture. 

The other gardens are getting more and more cleared as people get their produce in before the winter so we got motivated and have made an effort to get all our potatoes up. We have dug up and stored quite a few potatoes but one really strange thing is that one of the beds of potatoes had a really random mixture of white and red potatoes. We thought they were from the same bag - I am beginning to wonder if they were two bags that got mixed up when they were chitted out but I wouldn't have thought that would be the case. Hmmm! The garden has been good at keeping us in veg all summer and the only things we have bought are peppers as ours didn't really do very much and tomatoes - ours were so far behind they only produced green tomatoes. Unfortunately the cooler wetter weather meant our tomato plants ended up with a case of blight so had to be dug up to be burnt later. Oh well! At least I had enough green tomatoes to make three large jars of green tomato chutney. 

Well we opened up the packaging for the Freezer and started to read the instructions, first instruction "Getting to know your appliance" so we introduced ourselves and said hello and welcomed our new appliance into our little household, Lol. Once the freezer had been upright over night and then switched on I started freezing stuff from our garden. I was beginning to get irritated after a while by having to keep freezing stuff and it seems to take forever but then I realised that it was only really for another few weeks and then the frost will kill off all but the hardiest of the plants and my times of freezing may well then be over and I will have time to do other things. This year has definitely been a time of new rhythms which has settled around the growing season, painting and decorating can wait but getting seeds in the ground can't. Harvesting can't wait either or you can lose a whole crop so whatever else you want to get on with has to stop for awhile. It helps when you see the importance of rhythm in the Bible and the dependance that people had on the rains etc in season, and the dependance on getting the seeds in at the right time. Although we have had quite a good crop of most things some stuff was just planted too late to do anything but it has still been fun watching the garden coming to life with good things.

We had another power cut this week but electric was not off for very long  probably about an hour but it was very romantic with all the candles I just hope that it is not a sign of a regular pattern.

Two pieces of good news this week one is that our daughter Emma passed her driving test first time (in England the pass rate is 43%) and the second is that we have agreed to buy another apartment. No we are not being greedy, this one is to help a couple who wish to move to Latvia from England and it means we can have it ready for their arrival in the Spring. At least it is a hobby to keep Ian occupied over the winter! Lol

We are praying that we don't have to wait much longer for the gas pipe man to come to this apartment. We need a pipe moving so that we can rearrange the kitchen but until he comes we can't do anything else as the cooker is directly plumbed in and we can't detach it and still have some means of cooking (especially important if the electric keeps going off) and until that is moved we cannot do the kitchen floor or get our new cooker connected. Oh boy! Hopefully it will all come together as we have someone making a new kitchen for us which is really exciting, I have never had a designer kitchen and really it is not that much more than buying in some reasonable quality units and having to fit it ourselves. This way we get to decide what we want where and how big we want everything so it fits exactly to our kitchen. It also means the worktop will get cut to exactly the right size but that's another story hehe!

1st of September is the traditional back to school day here in Latvia and actually practically all over the former Soviet Union. It does not matter what day of the week the 1st of September falls either. Some of the peace of Ērgli has now gone as the music blares away from the dormitories of the technical school (fortunately far enough away from us not to be a nuisance), and at lunch time when one of our neighbours children comes home - at least it is predictable. The main sounds of Ērgli in summer are the drone of strimmers as they battle with the grass, keeping it down to keep the number of insects down near buildings but when they are quiet it is very quiet. Our friend Mr. Tipler did comment that there weren't so many birds around - we did wonder if this was a consequence of having Storks and maybe this was why it was so quiet.


  1. 'We had another power cut...but it was very romantic with all the candles I just hope that it is not a sign of a regular pattern.'
    - What the power cut or the romance?
    and gee thanks mum for the mention!

  2. Lol! Trust you to make that observation!

    Your welcome about the mention just thought the world should know. Congratulations on passing first time and without a car around to practice in between lessons.

  3. My main aim, apart from saving my money, was to beat the boys to drive and i did!

  4. Congrats Emma, we prayed for your test. Joanna, bring on the romance as we move into that flat purchased for us. See you in about 12 days for a visit.

  5. just don't do what i did last year when we got our little freezer... hit it with you car. It's (apparently) not good for it.

  6. Well Emma you certainly beat them too it - they haven't even started with lessons yet. Just watch out for your brother on the road, no knocking cyclists off you know how painful that can be.

    Kathleen we are really looking forward to your visit.

    Doug I would be really worried if our freezer got hit by our car, I know the four wheel drive system is good but I don't think it is that good to get it up three flights of stairs. Lol At least I hope not, don't think the neighbours would be pleased.

  7. Someone else warned me against knocking cyclists off, funny that! I'm probably more likely to hit a car avoiding the cyclist (although will try not to), i really wouldn't want to inflict that amount of pain on anyone, like that stupid driver did to me!!


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