Friday, 28 September 2018

Daily photo challenge round up (17)

Another Friday has raised it's head and this time it looks really rather autumnal and crisp. The flowers are starting to go over, the trees are an utterly delightful shade of red/brown/orange, the sky seems bluer. Toby is back to fighting fallen leaves in the patio one of his favourite pastimes and I am thinking ahead to a new jumper for him.

I'm ready, it's going to happen anyway but now I am ready for the coming darker mornings and nights, the nip in the air and more rain and/or snow. The blankets are out, the cosy clothes have been sporadically worn, candles are making there way into the house and we are in the midst of a big DIY planning session = time to wake up to Winter coming.  Goodness knows if this winter we will see extremes in the weather as we did this summer, but I'm prepared and it's almost HYGGE time :)

Here are this week's Fat Mum Slim photo a day prompts....
Day 22 - waiting

Waiting for a table for a moment, not coffee this time but bubbles 😁🥂

Day 23 - hanging
LOVE this paste art with the girl's hair hanging down from the ceiling

Day 24 - bite  
Currywurst, one bite is never enough

Day 25 -  playful 
The Berlin Wall's playful take on the beer drinking culture there.

Day 26 - kind act
It doesn't have to be a big act. 

Self kindness - taking a moment to savour a coffee and clear my mind.

Day 27 - flowers
Loved this wildflower garden and bee hive at the Rowallane National Trust property. So pretty and productive. Love 🐝🐝🐝

Day 28 - entertainment 

There were so many things I could have chosen for this prompt but then I realised I'd been staring at this bundle of fur most of the day so far... even whilst asleep, he entertains me.

Keep warm my lovelies! I hope, like us you are enjoying the fruits of your allotment, (we're having a delicious vegetable curry with our own pumpkins and kale in) and are winding down.
Love and hugs
Carrie x

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Finding Balance

So this week we saw in the autumnal equinox and as Robert Macfarlane [@RobGMarfarlane] reminds
us, this symbolises a time of balance in the grander scheme of life and the earth as a whole. It’s a concept
I understand but can’t quite explain - I feel very much in touch with the seasons as an ecotherapy
practitioner but how does one put that into words without sounding like one is trying to set up a
commune, ahha.

Well, since I saw that beautiful photo and read those words the word ‘balance’ has been consistently on
my mind - it’s on my mind because I can’t seem to find it and I wondered if anyone else felt the same

We are constantly told to find a work/life balance, a personal balance were we give only as much as we
can to others (you can’t drink from an empty cup); a balance wherein self care is prevalent. I am failing -
I always have failed on this, I fail even though I don’t have a job, I’m not studying, I don’t have my own
family… I can’t find balance within myself - I sometimes believe I don't deserve to either, I am a failure.

Even now, as I write this I am sitting in my room preparing to do some home yoga practice to find that
inner peace, to create some time for my body and soul to connect and help me find stillness. But I am
doubtful I can get it to work today, something’s off.

This is just a post on honesty, truth. I am struggling and I despise even typing it never mind admitting it
as true. These periods come and go with me, a symptom of my illness, and I know I’ll be okay again
soon. I haven’t been to the allotment, I haven’t seen anyone but Andrew and Toby, I am falling way
behind in housework and even in self-care. I just needed to talk, I just needed to confess….thank you
for listening, I hope you are achieving balance - if you are, teach me how.

Love and hugs

Friday, 21 September 2018

Daily photo challenge round up (16)

For most of the day, in fact until Andrew texted he was coming home and had wine, I thought today was Thursday. Hence I am sitting here at 10.15 pm doing my photo post for the week. We just watched The Great British Bake Off - An Extra Slice and LOVED it as usual. Who doesn't love dessert week!

So here are a few Berlin photos just by the way as I tried to keep up with the prompts on hoiday :) I have to do a wee post of Berlin, it was wonderful.....

Day 15 - steps

Walking around Berlin we came across these brass 'Stolperstein' (stumbling stones). Mini memorials to Holocaust victims which make you watch your step.

Day 16 - swish
'move with a hissing or rushing sound' just like the underground trains in Berlin.

Day 17 - suit

The suit of Hearts 😚❤

Day 18 - 20

On our wee island it's often handy to have both 20 pence and 20 cents 😄

Day 19 - pocket

My beloved pocket watch secure in my jeans watch pocket 🤗

Day 20 - handsome

My handsome boy. I know everyone thinks their boy is the most handsome but Toby is quite gorgeous 😍

Day 21 - a board game

Our beautiful hand-carved Turkish marble chess set. I've just made the first move - eek!

With much love and hopes for a fabulous weekend for you all (get those bulbs!!)

Thursday, 20 September 2018

An essential guide to early Autumn planting

I never use pre-prepared pieces from any companies that send me stuff but I received this a little while ago and thought it was well written. It's a sad thought but the summer is over my darlings (and we must be brave) and make use of these fleeting weeks to get some yummy foodstuffs in the ground.

I'm sorry; my tiny brain was blown by a trip last week to Berlin which was just amazing and thus as I haven't recovered yet it has come to this - using other peoples words on my blog! I would add to the following though - GET YOUR SPRING FLOWERING BULBS IN TOO!


What to grow and how to get the best results

With autumn drawing near, now is the perfect time to prepare for a season that’s bursting with potential. In September the ground is still warm so it’s a good time to try some late sowings and it’s also when the UK’s biggest campaign dedicated to organic produce takes place.

From cupboard staples like garlic, onions and shallots to the more exotic pak choi, early autumn is the ideal time to grow tasty vegetables.

Here, The Greenhouse People share the tips and tricks every gardener should know to make this autumn as plentiful as possible.

Baby spinach


We all know Spinach is bursting with iron, but it’s also a fantastic source of other vital nutrients like magnesium, an important mineral for bone health and maintenance, and potassium essential for helping to maintain blood pressure.

Luckily, with the right know-how, you too can grow these nutritious greens at home. The trick is to plant spinach as early as possible in autumn to help them reach maturity before the temperatures drop too much.

Spinach can be grown in a greenhouse or even a conservatory and it’s advisable to put a protective cloche around the plants in the day and a horticultural blanket at night to help them thrive.

Finally, adding a thick mulch around the base of the plan will keep the surrounding soil warm.

Garlic, onions and shallots


Garlic, onions and shallots are all members of the same family and these clever kitchen staples will virtually look after themselves over winter, to be enjoyed in summer.

When it comes to watering, give them plenty until November time when you should start reducing the amount of water until early spring. A well-textured soil with incorporated bulky compost will hold on to enough moisture to see the crop through winter.

Garlic, onion and shallot bulbs thrive in open and sunny sites. If exposed to sub-zero temperatures, there is a risk of bolting which means that plants produce flowers at the expense of harvestable bulbs.

A relatively undemanding crop that gives good yields; the perfect choice for beginners.

Pak choi


Pak choi is an oriental vegetable also referred to as Chinese cabbage. It makes a great addition to stir-fries and is a perfect meat accompaniment. The other good news is that it’s a cool-weather plant, making it a great candidate for your Autumn vegetable patch.

For optimum results, it’s best to plant pak choi seeds in moisture-retentive soil. You should also ensure you keep the plants well-watered throughout the growing period.

It’s also a good idea to keep an eye out for pests which love this Chinese cabbage like flea beetles, aphids and cabbage worms. Either pick or hose them off regularly.

Fortunately, Pak Choi is fast-maturing so you should be able to start harvesting the young leaves after as little as 30 days.