Saturday, September 13, 2014

Indian Summer.

Two weeks into September and just 1.1ml of rain it probably was not the best time for us to have planted a new hedge, according to the long range forecast there is no rain expected for the next ten days.
The weather has been very unpredictable, July was the driest for five years, August was the wettest, September, unless things change looks set to be very dry. As we are on our own rain water collection system we cant take the chance of using it to water plants, we just have to hope that the dew and collecting our grey water will be sufficient to keep the new bushes alive until the rain falls again.
A welcome visitor.
Frogs have taken up residence under stones or plastic, anything that will keep them moist, gardening this week we were very pleased to see what a large number of frogs we have, all those dam slugs probably seems like a fast food restaurant to them.
The vegetable garden keeps on giving, the calabrese has given us a second flush, much smaller heads than the first lot, but still very tasty.
The Purple Loosestrife in the damp hedgerows and river banks has been wonderful this year, I'm surprised it isn't grown as a garden flower,
From the hedgerows.
it last so well as a cut flower and looks lovely when arranged with Honey Suckle.
One thing that we have both missed about Spain was the wildlife, especially birds of prey, of which there were many, so we have been very pleased this week to see a Marsh  Harrier and two Sparrow Hawks close by, also a Red Squirrel only about 100m from our land, in this part of Ireland we are fortunate to have a good population of these lovely creatures, much redder than the ones we had in Spain which were a black red. We have never seen a grey squirrel here although I do know that Ireland has them.
For many years Simon has told me of a chutney that his mother always made when there was a glut of plums, Old Dower House Chutney, the recipe would have come from an old copy of Good Housekeeping, first published in 1903. When the opportunity arose to get some cheap plums I couldn't resist although I didn't know if I would find the recipe, I needn't have worried, good old Google to the rescue, of course some of the celebrity have their versions,[why do they always have to jump on the band waggon?] I wanted as near to the original as possible which with input from Simon I found,
A years supply of chutney.
so fourteen jars of 'Old Dower House' have been made and have been stashed to mature, I will look forward to trying it as I have never tasted it, I hope it's as good as Simon remembers.
Finally some very sad news.
 Our latest kitten Maddy died today, she was only eight weeks old. A week ago she was sick and brought up dead worms, the following day she brought up more so we whisked her to the vet, poor little mite was so infected with them it had caused toxins to build up. Despite everything the vets did over the last week, including feeding her every two hours and rehydrating her by a drip she finally lost the fight. She was with us such a short time but was so much part of the family.
                                        We miss you little one.  


  1. So sorry to hear about Maddy - it is always upsetting to lose an animal who has become a friend. Good news about the amphibians though - keeping those slugs controlled.

  2. Thanks Ian, we are so sad about Maddy, we and the vets did everything possible for her but it was just not enough.
    Very pleased to have found so many frogs, they should help with the slug problem.

  3. I'm so very saddened for your loss, Anne and Simon. I know the heartbreak you are feeling now. It has been a difficult year for me, as well. I have lit a candle for sweet Maddy tonight.. She will be in your heart and your memory and your love for her, and her love for you, always. Run free with my beloved Little B.

  4. Thanks June, I was so sorry to hear about your lose as well. This has not been a good year for us at all, since we last met we have lost six of our little ones, four were getting on , but Sparky a beautiful ginger boy was run down in our lane which is a no through road with just one other property at the end, he was just one years old, now little Maddie.
    Hope to catch up with you both at some time.
    Take care.

    1. Yes, Anne, I know how difficult and heartbreakingly painful a year this has been for you and Simon both. With each blog post I read, while I wanted to reply, I was too much in the depths of grief myself to be of any help or comfort. I read and wept, and lit candles for each of them, and now for your little angel Maddy, and for my beloved little B. They are and always will be with us, as will our love for them always be there and the happiness they brought into our lives, keeping company with the heartbreak and the grief.

    2. Bridget ask if we wanted a kitten today, Simons eyes filled up, no more, I cant take the heartbreak was his reply.

  5. So sorry for the loss of little Maddie.

  6. Sorry for your loss. I am with you, too, on the birds of prey. I think in all the three years we have been here I have totaled only one harrier sighting, one sparrowhawk, and owl and maybe 3 kestrel. Way fewer than I thought we'd get out here in the wilds.

  7. Oh I am so sorry to hear about Maddy, that is sad news. You know she had a short but very happy little life with you guys though.

    The table arrangement is beautiful, you've got a real talent!

    1. Thanks Lauren , she was such a great little character and was so happy until she became so ill, I knew worms were bad but she was too young to be treated, I had not realised that they would kill.