Saturday August 1st

Rained in the morning but cleared up in the afternoon. Finally started to get a little warmer too.


Little Euan woke up missing his mummy but soon cheered up once he had had his breakfast. Pat and the boys went shopping to buy things they would like to eat in the next week. Later after lunch we all went for a walk round the back lanes.


Sunday August 2nd

A much better sunny intervals day.


All three boys slept well and woke up to a hearty breakfast. Took them for a walk around Colemere in the morning and was amazed how far Euan is willing to walk - it is nearly 2 miles round. In the afternoon they helped in the garden picking and shelling peas, digging up potatoes and picking plums.


So far they have been very good except for a dispute over computer time between the two older boys. Finally resolved this by agreeing each would have half an hour on their own while the other did something elsewhere. I was surprised my negotiating skills were still well tuned after nearly 20 years of not being required to settle sibling disputes.


Monday August 3rd

Another sunny intervals day and quite warm.


Decided to go for a walk round Whixall Moss. Too far for Euan to walk so took his all-terrain pushchair. Unfortunately it was not as all-terrain as we thought. After all the rain there was a lot of mud and many of the paths were heavily rutted; so much so it was behaving more like a bad supermarket trolley with a sticking front wheel much of the time. I was rather tired and aching in unaccustomed places by the time we got back to the car.


Tuesday August 4th

A very damp and miserable day. Tried to keep everyone entertained but not completely successfully.


Wednesday August 5th

A better day.


Pat took the boys to Ellesmere while I stayed at home - there are too many people with their fragrances there for me. Planted out the wild flowers I had grown from seed into the new garden, hopefully to self seed and naturalise for next year.


Thursday August 6th

Quite warm and sunny.


Another trip to Colemere in the afternoon.


Friday - Saturday August 7 -8th

Continuing warm with sunny intervals.


Sunday August 9th

Similar weather. Started to cloud over in the afternoon


Sarah and Ian arrived back from Slovenia late last night. They have had a good holiday and were ready to take the boys back home today. No more being woken up at 6:30 in the morning!!


Did some more shredding and weeded the brassicas. The first of the calabrese is ready. Had some for our dinner with baked potatoes and the first of the Sweet Dumpling squashes stuffed with cashew nuts, sweet and chili peppers. Delicious!!


Monday August 10th

Cloudy and drizzly most of the day so decided to take it easy after the hectic last few days.


Tuesday August 11th

A better day with sunny intervals but still not that warm for August.


Dug up the rest of the early potatoes. Very good yields: Kestrel 35kg from 1.5kg seed tubers, Red Duke of Yord 20kg also from 1.5kg and Vivaldi 15kg which was a free trial of only 8 tubers. The Kestrel especially are very good large solid tubers perfect for baking. Pat sorted and cleaned them for storage in the garage which is the coolest place being in the north shade of the cypress and laurel hedges.


Wednesday August 12th

A similar day.


Pat pulled up and froze the last of the Onward peas and I dug over the soil. Just time for some final sowings of carrots, turnip and winter spinach. Covered the seed bed with fleece to maintain an even temperature and moisture while they germinate.


The calabrese are now producing two heads every day. Once these are cut the side shoots will provide smaller heads of flowers even more succulent than the first. Some of the Minicole cabbages are starting to form hearts, tiny buttons are starting to form on the stalks of the Brussel Sprouts and the winter broccoli are also showing small buds. Planted out the savoy cabbage and early purple sprouted broccoli to keep the greens going well into next year.


Thursday August 13th

Another overcast day with a few sunny intervals. Slightly warmer.


Back to shredding. Unfortunately there is a wasp's nest in the middle of the pile of cypress branches from the trees cut down last winter which I never got round to shredding earlier in the year. I carefully pulled and re-stacked the branches out one by one watching the swarm of several dozen angry insects very carefully, ready to make a hasty retreat if they noticed me. From past experience if one stings you the others smell the sting fluid or maybe pheromones released and you are rapidly stung by several more. Fortunately I am not allergic to wasp or bee stings; even so several at once can be quite painful. Eventually I got to the branches attached to the nest and pulled it into several pieces. Hopefully tomorrow they will have abandoned it.


We are now getting more courgettes than we can eat. To keep them producing it is necessary to remove the overgrown ones and throw them on the compost.


Friday August 14th

Overcast and windy.


Went for a walk round Colemere in the afternoon.


Saturday August 15th

Still overcast and windy with a few showers.


The day was improved by the news that Kirstin has finally given birth to a 81b 14oz (4.1kg) girl. So now we have 4 grandchildren and not all boysSmile.


Did some more shredding - most of the wasps have gone, thank goodness.


Started to pick the green plums. There are a lot of them so will continue tomorrow.


Sunday August 16th

Still overcast and with a cold wind. So cold I was tempted to find a sweater byt late afternoon.


Continued to pick the plums but gave up when it was obvious there were more than we could ever eat in the next 12 months and they wouldn't fit in the freezer even if we could. Around 30kg with at least another 5kg left on the tree.


Started to propagate the strawberries from runners. The books tell you to leave them attached to the parent and sink them in small pots to root. I prefer to cut them off the parent and plant them in pots with a short piece of the runner attached to hold them down by burying it. You get some failures doing it this way but the pots don't clutter up the beds waiting to be trodden on!!


Monday-Tuesday August 17-18th

Continued overcast windy weather. We seem to be caught between the low pressure in the North-West where they have had a lot of rain and the high in the South-East where it is hot and sunny.


A local farmer has spread what smells like sewage sludge on his fields nearby and I am getting quite bad symptoms of MCS; asthma with a peak flow 30% of normal, aching and tiredness. I can only assume that along with the strong smell there are also artificial fragrances and quaternary surfactants from the laundry products also in the sewage. This finds its way into the ground water in our well and can be removed by running it through filter candles which remove organic chemicals as well as pathogens and heavy metals from the drinking water (we would need to do the same even if we had mains water). Unfortunately filtering the air I breath is not as easy.


Wednesday August 19th

Still overcast but warmer and some sun in the afternoon.


Not feeling too good but managed to do some shredding.


Thursday August 20th

Rained most of the morning. Cleared long enougn for a walk in the afternoon but then rained again.


Friday August 21st

A better day with some sunshine and less wind.


Made a start on cleaning and moving the pile of breeze blocks I stacked between the polytunnel and the wood shed when I demolished the wall across the top of the drive to build the conservatory. I need to  clear the land to build another shed here to store seed trays, cell trays and pots closer to where I use most of them. Some of the blocks I will use as a base.


Pat turned some of the excess tomatoes, peppers, onions and courgettes into a pasta sauce which she has frozen for use during the winter.


Saturday August 22nd

Sunny intervals most of the day and less wind.


Dug up the main crop King Edward potatoes. Not as good a yield as you would expect for main crop, only 18kg from the 1.5kg seed, probably because the weather wasn't that good while the tubers were swelling. The opposite was the case with the early potatoes, this time because the weather in June was better than normal. Altogether we should have enough to last till the spring, especially as the late main crop Golden Wonder are still growing strongly.


Pat pulled up the main crop onions for storage in the polytunnel. This is certainly a bumper crop.


Continued and completed moving and stacking the blocks further along the back of the woodshed to clear a space for the new shed..


Sunday - Tuesday August 23-25

Weather continued unsettled with frequent rain showers.


I have been unwell since Sunday afternoon, cause unknown, so apart from some essential watering in the greenhouse and polytunnel I have done very little. Started to feel better Tuesday evening


Wednesday August 26th

Overcast and light to heavy rain till late afternoon.


Visited our younger daughter Kirstin and her husband Mark so their new baby, our first granddaughter, Anna Tabitha, for the first time.


Thursday - Sunday August 27-30

Continuing overcast and cool with frequent light showers. Whatever happened to summer? Frown


Between the showers managed to clear the rest of the land for the shed, including a lot of rubble (dumped there before our time?), several barrow loads of ivy creeping from the hedge and three large tree stumps. Started to level off the soil so I can lay a base.


Monday August 31st

Went outside after breakfast and it was fairly sunny and warm but also very humid. By mid afternoon it was raining again, this time heavily. It is still raining late in the evening as I write this and the radar shows very heavy rain approaching from the West.


Pat managed to cut the lawn before it rained.