Monday, 26 May 2008

Glad to be home

I've just come back from a few days in England and in that time the garden has gone mad - in a positive way. Today I picked the first strawberries - well 2 of them - as well as rhubarb, radishes, the last of the leeks and the thinnings of the orache and chard. Don't worry, I'm not going to bore you with daily updates of what I'm harvesting but I am just so pleased to be getting my own produce once again. I had a good hour or so sorting things in the garden this morning but heavy rain and thunder out paid to any work there later on.

And there's more - 3 more to be precise. Our first eggs. The man we got the chickens said we should get eggs in 15 days - and 15 days later we got our first perfectly formed albeit rather small egg. I'm so proud of my chooks and the boys helped me to crack open the first egg and scramble it.

I've also been out getting some more food for free - elderflowers this time to make elderflower cordial. The flowers, together with sliced lemons, are currently infusing in a sugary solution and the cordial should be ready to bottle tomorrow or Wednesday. I didn't have any citric acid but found a recipe that said I could just double the number of lemons instead. Hope it works then!

Not only has the weather stopped me working in the garden - the french fishermen didn't help either. Confused? Don't be. I was due to come back from England via Poole-Cherbourg on the Thursday overnight ferry. I had a good journey to Poole, arriving in good time to find a long queue. When I eventually got to the front, a rather weary man was advising drivers that the french fishermen were blockading Cherbourg port and they were not sure if the ferry would sail or that we might be diverted to Caen. Well, they loaded us and there we sat, in Poole, all night. I didn't have a cabin and I can tell you the floor next the reclining seats is not a comfortable place to spend the night, especially when you're not going anywhere. At 8am we got a message over the loud speaker to say the ferry was staying put and we were to disembark. Great. I had no mobile to ring Simon, I'd had almost no sleep and all I wanted to do was to get home. So there I was feeling very sorry for myself when I looked up, straight at two friends of mine!!! Somehow with company the whole situation seemed a lot less daunting. Once off the boat we went to the ferry office and found that Caen was not blocked and we could transfer onto the 3.30 sailing from Portsmouth. We successfully got on that but I have never been on such a crowded ferry. Everyone was scrabbling round trying to find seats and they ran out of food but I really didn't care. I had some company, we did find some seats and we docked at 10.30pm. I finally got home at midnight - only 16 hours late!!

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