Monthly Archives: June 2015

Z dines from the land

So many early nights, this is absurd.  I’m an owl, dammit!  Anyway, it meant I woke at 3.  At 4, there was a crash from the dining room – no harm done, the salt cellars (and salt) were on the floor but the blue glass linings were undamaged.  I shouldn’t have left them on a TOTALLY UNINTERESTING table.  So I went and made tea, cut a large slice of fruit cake and took them back to bed.  I soon realised that the slice of cake was too big.  I ate it anyway.  Jasper would have tracked it down.

I got to school ten minutes early for my 8 am meeting but three people were ahead of me.  Gosh.  Anyway, I finally staggered home some time after 11 (a second meeting at 9.30) and that was that for the week … oh. It’s Friday.  No, it’s all right, Monday is free and Tuesday involves Food, as the wannabe caterers are presenting their bids and they are bringing samples of their wares.

I planted out most of my, um, plants over the last couple of days and this morning’s rain has settled them in nicely.  A friend helped me replace some broken glass in the greenhouse and I sniffed appreciatively the delightful aroma of the nearby broad bean flowers.  I checked the plants and found a few first blackfly.  So I picked off the growing points of about a quarter of the plants.  I also picked, or rather cut, two globe artichokes.  With a couple of poached eggs, I’ve had a lovely dinner.

My mother and I discovered about 43 years ago that broad bean plant tips can be cooked and eaten just like spinach, though they have to be cooked a little longer and don’t shrink, and they have the bonus of tasting of the scent of broad bean flowers too.  Al used to sell bunches of them in his greengrocery and the novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard, who was a loyal customer, was impressed.  She said they’re an old country delicacy.  My mum and I didn’t know that, we thought we’d invented the use.

Hot and humid this afternoon.  We wait to see if summer is over yet.

Z looks after a kitten

I’m looking after Ro and Dora’s kitten, Jasper, for ten days while they’re on holiday.  Other than Rose’s cat, occasionally in the last couple of months, I don’t think a cat has set foot in this house for at least 85 years.  Jasper is a cutie.  He’s very friendly, though he has felt rather cautious today, but finally came to me for cuddles this evening.  Russell would never have a cat, as he loved birds so much, and I took his point entirely.  However, if one starts with a kitten and raises them with birds, I think it should be ok.  Jasper is happy to have his claws clipped and quite likes it, so is very well used to being handled.

I’ve planted everything I bought.  I had meant to see what I could get at the village festival, but I’ve still space, if I’m tempted.  In addition, I grew far too many tomatoes and aubergines, so the surplus have gone out in the garden.  How well they do will depend on the weather this summer.  I have known outside plants to do better than those in the greenhouse.

I’ve an 8 am meeting tomorrow and I’m not ready for it.  Must get on, darlings.


Summer is icumen in, as the slightly irritating song puts it. I prefer the Bagpuss version.

This morning, I went to visit our friend Dave East – as I’ve mentioned, he had a major operation last month, but he’s making a very good recovery.  That it was necessary (though sort of elective) has been shown by the fact that he felt better at once, even though he’s had the surgery to recover from and some lifestyle changes to make.

At present, he’s on a cake diet.  Truly.  Well, more or less.  Low protein, high carbohydrate, low fibre.  Forget vegetables, unless they’re potatoes.  So it’s chip butties followed by cake. And actually, he looks great on it.

I came home via the garden centre, so if you noticed the half-planted bed, it’ll be finished in a few days, as long as the wind drops and it doesn’t rain.  I have no intention of being anything but a fair weather gardener.

I’m still eating up leftovers, so it was cheese and oatcakes and I sat in the sunshine in the porch and felt quite cheerful … until I didn’t.  Heartache is a gripping physical pain and it hit me rather badly for quite some time.  It’s beyond the power of positive thinking and one just has to bear it until one can move again.  But in the end, I went and fed the chickens, checked on the tortoises, brought in logs and lit the fire – it was (and is) very windy but not cold, and it was the effect rather than the need that governed me, I lit a candle and made some Lapsang tea and got on with paperwork.  Which took me until nearly 8 o’clock to complete.  I’m still getting emails from governors who never stop working.

I sometimes feel overburdened by work, but if I don’t have anything pressing to do, I have a tendency to do nothing at all, and that is not at all good for me.  I need to be purposeful (this can be in respect of entertainment, I’m not solemn at all) and I don’t want to slip into the way of being lazy, because I get quite low, suddenly.  I suppose I’ll think it through, sooner or later, and find a balance.  I have to get through to the end of July first, though.  And surely summer will be here by then?

Z puts her smart Governor outfit on

I’ve let myself in for two meetings on Friday morning, the first at 8 o’clock and the second at 9.30.  Hmm.  However, I’m in my final two months in the hot seat and I can do this!  Angelo, my head, confirmed with a hint of anxiety that I’m willing to stay on as a governor (my term of appointment finishes on 31st July) which – well, okay, it’s gratifying.  It’s good to be wanted.

So the morning was spent on governor matters and I cooked bacon and eggs for lunch and have been rather wiped out since.  I have lit the fire the last two days, it’s chilly.  A heatwave (this is an English heatwave, of the “England sizzles in the seventies!” kind) is promised for the rest of the week, but it’s blowy now.

As might I be, it’s a good job I live alone.  Dinner was salad.  Bean salad, hummous, the remains of various other salads, the last of the side of smoked salmon.  Beany, garlicky, oniony, delicious but quite possibly a bit anti-social.

It’s only just after 9, but I’m terribly tired.  I had to go up to bed at 8 last night and slept deeply for several hours, but have been awake since 3 this morning.  I used to do all my paperwork in the evening, I’m getting terribly behind – but I’ll catch up.  Tomorrow, I’ll just Do It.