No running for me this week. I had a bit of a fall on Tuesday and landed on my left knee (so now they’re both painful!) To add insult to injury I was carrying a plastic crate when I fell and I hit my chin on it as I landed so, not only have I hurt my knee, I’ve spent the last few days sporting a rather fetching bruise on my chin.
It’s been half term this week and we spent it catching up with people and things. Sometimes weeks just disappear without having achieved very much and this week felt a bit like that. Plans to meet up with friends that just didn’t happen and stuff I wanted to do that will have to wait for another week. One major thing I did achieve this week though was to (finally) pay off my credit card. It wasn’t an enormous debt but it had been hanging around in one form or another for a few years and I wanted it gone. I like to think I’m pretty savvy when it comes to money and I’ve had this debt on 0% interest rates for most of its life but I decided last year I would make a concerted effort to, at the very least reduce it considerably or, preferably pay it off completely. So, this week I did just that – made the final payment to clear the whole amount on Wednesday. It feels so good to be debt free!
I met Michelle on the plot on Friday morning. I had left Louis at home like any self respecting teenager, still in bed. I continued the tidy up behind the shed from last week. I felt like I made good progress.
In the afternoon Louis (he had decided to drag himself out of bed) and I took a trip to B&Q to have a look at the guttering. I hadn’t planned to buy any (I also hadn’t planned to buy a new toilet seat but when has lack of planning ever stopped me?) but I found myself at the checkout with a long piece of guttering, a downpipe, a connector, a couple of brackets to attach the guttering to the shed and a toilet seat. I genuinely have no idea how I’m actually going to put it all together but I’m sure I’ll figure it out (the toilet seat, I feel I should point out has absolutely nothing to do with the guttering set up on the shed and has been safely attached to my toilet at home)
Louis and I met Michelle on the plot again this morning. Michelle was sorting out her water butts and I continued to clear behind the shed. We spent about 4 hours working – well, I spent about 4 hours working, Louis spent at least half that time in the shed playing on his Nintendo DS. When he did venture out onto the plot he spent his time digging over the old brussel sprout bed which he seems to have claimed as his (I’m secretly quite pleased he’s even showing an interest but please don’t tell him because, as a teenager if he sees me show any interest in the fact he’s taken an interest in something, it will mean he will immediately have to show absolutely no interest in the thing I saw him take an interest in. Confused? Think how he feels!)
While Louis was weeding the brussel sprout bed I made quite a bit more progress behind the shed. It was an unusually warm and sunny day which always makes working on the plot a lot more pleasant. Clearing behind the shed doesn’t feel like it should be top priority at the moment but I really want to put the water butts in position so there is, at least a fighting chance they will be full by the summer. I started behind the shed but I found myself, quite quickly working my way along towards the apple tree. Having reached the apple tree I needed to make a decision about the blackberry bushes which are, techinically behind the fruit trees but, because of the way they grow, by mid summer almost take them over and make it hard to reach the apples without getting snagged on thorns. It was a question of either leave the blackberry bushes as they are and just clear all the rubbish from aound them as best I could or dig them up in the hopes it would make it easier to access the fruit trees. It’s not as if I have a shortage of blackberry bushes (almost that whole side of the plot is overgrown with them) so I decided to dig them out. I hope it won’t make much difference to the amount of blackberries I’ll have in the summer and I think it will make the plot look tidier.
With quite a lot of effort I managed to dig up a couple of blackberry roots. The roots are quite thick, there are lots of them, they tend to spread out and go fairly deep, all of which makes them absolute buggers to pull up. I filled the compost bin with all the bramble branches, a recycling box with weeds and a rubble sack with rubbish. I have a pile of rubble behind the shed, all dug up from that same area, but because I won’t be growing anything behind the shed the plan is to bury some of it under where the water butts will be and pile the rest along the edge of the plot incase I need any heavy bricks or pieces of concrete in the future.
By about 1pm I called it a day. I really wanted to stay longer but I needed the loo and it was lunchtime so we came home. Despite all my hard work I seem to have made it look worse than when I started! Considering the plan was to clear a space behind the shed for the water butts there is, currently no space behind the shed for the water butts and, additionally there is now and ever growing pile of rubble (as always on my plot piles of rubble never stay small for very long) I really am terrible at this gardening lark!
This afternoon, after we had finished on the plot, Louis and I visited our friend, S. on her canal boat. She was moored within the grounds of The Grove (a very posh hotel just outside Watford) The weather was beautiful today – bright sunshine and pleasantly warm for late February so we walked along the towpath towards the hotel. S. told us about the last time she was moored there and her partner had spotted David Cameron and Barack Obama playing a round of golf on the hotel golf course. We sat on the boat in the sunshine, chatting. It was so relaxing in such beautiful surroundings. I even took my camera and got some nice shots.
Rhubi looks to be loving the sunshine as much as me and appears to be making a strong comeback.
I’m a little peeved about the progress photos this week as any progress I’ve made is hard to see but here they are anyway.
The plan for next week is to finish tidying around the fruit bushes and move the water butts into position.