Sunday, March 2, 2014

Real signs of Spring.

                                                  There are definite signs of spring,
                                the Crocus and Primulas  are in full bloom,
                                  the first flower has appeared on the Camellias,
and the Rhubarb is looking good, we should be able to have our first picking in a couple of weeks providing the weather does not change. We always feed the Rhubarb crowns well in the Autumn once the leaves have died back, they are very heavy feeders. Come November we then give protection to the crowns in the form of a good covering of straw, this has never failed to give us a good crop. This year I will only be bottling  the Rhubarb, we did both freezing and bottling last year so we have been able to make a direct comparison, bottling keeps the texture and flavour better .
The wild birds are all pairing off and looking for suitable nesting sites, it's lovely hearing so much bird song.
So far it has been a very mild winter, but that could change like it did last year, we wont be in too much of a hurry to get things planted out.
A sign of how mild it has been is Calendula, this has continued to bloom throughout the winter. Our peach tree is also showing the first flower buds.
                                        The kitchen paintwork is now finished,
and the badly needed repair job to the ceiling plaster has been done. This had been caused by a burst pipe in the attic which happened when we first moved in nearly three years ago. The previous owners had failed to drain the system before leaving the cottage empty, during that time Ireland had two winters with minus 18. As soon as the first tap was turned on a pipe came apart on the tank, causing the flood and threatening to bring down the ceiling. Just what is needed when you have moved into a new place and you don't even know where the stopcock is. Still, it is fixed now, and that's what matters.
The two youngest cats are also feeling the change in the season and trying to get into trouble,
we nearly lost them in the range flue pipe this week when Simon was cleaning it out they could not resist trying to get into it.
The elder one Sparky, discovered a toy mouse filled with real catnip, that we had brought from Spain, he was very proud of his find,
daring the other cats to try to take it from him. He has now hidden it somewhere safe, we don't know where it is but I'm sure he does and it will reappear, hopefully we will be able to retrieve it before Tess destroys it.
I do find it strange that we could buy these mice in Spain but not here, I don't know what the powers that be think people would do with toy mice filled with real cat nip, I'm sure they have a very good illogical reason though.
I love spring time.


  1. Lovely kitchen, it looks great. The cats are wonderful and I am sure they keep you entertained. Good to see the rhubarb coming through isn't it?

  2. Yes there is never a dull moment with the cats. The kitchen is big but not too well designed, certainly not designed by people who like to cook. I guess we spoiled ourselves in Spain having designed and built both of our kitchens there.

  3. Great to see everything springing into life again and your kitchen is looking lovely and bright.

    1. Yes it is very bright but for some reason it now sounds hollow even though we have moved nothing out! Do darker colours absorb more sound I wonder?

  4. Great work on the kitchen, looks airy and bright! x