Courtesy of the blackcurrant bush and bramble hedge in the back garden.
About five years ago a colleague gave me a twig from a blackcurrant bush, that I took home and stuck in the ground, as per her instructions. Yesterday I picked 3lb of currants off it. The brambles just appeared, as brambles do on any boundary that isn't supervised to within an inch of its life.
I have a simple style of gardening called "mostly I don't have time, and plants are supposed to grow anyway". I occasionally plant things, then leave them to struggle and either win, or get smothered. When we walk by the flowerbeds (i.e. the bits that aren't paved and that Gav doesn't mow), I proudly point out the surviving shrubs and flowers. For some reason other, more pessimistic, people mostly see the weeds.
Most of the blackcurrants have now been stewed and are cooling before being frozen. I've used a few already for a blackberry and blackcurrant crumble - pure nostalgia. My parents have a big garden and when I was a child it was full of fruit bushes and trees. It's rather nice that after 14 years living in Manchester I've finally got to taste the fruits from my own back garden.
We had a small power cut yesterday. I only know this because the microwave has no backup battery for its clock. Sadly, the outage was enough to kill our elderly freezer. It has done pretty well - over ten years of faithful service. I think the compressor has died - it sat and made sad buzzing noises, but is now full of semi-defrosted food that we will never get to eat.
I was looking forward to that sea bass, the next time Gav went away (he doesn't like fish very much).
Have just cooked about 5lb of various types of sausage, all from the farmers' market. Now we have to eat as much as we can over the next couple of days before they go off... so maybe there is a bright side.
Job for tomorrow: go out after work and find somewhere that can deliver a nice new freezer at the weekend.
...Well not that I ever saw.
I was flicking through the review section of the Independent when an article on toys caught my attention. Feeling nostalgic, I read happily about Lego, Sticklebricks, nice wooden toy farms etc. Then I got to the paragraph about Playmobil. I remember these as standard plastic figures, taller than the Lego ones but not significantly more exciting. There were probably a few knights, maybe even an astronaut or two, but I thought that was about it.
I've read loads of articles over the years about anxious parents banning little boys from playing with guns, lest it should encourage violent tendencies. In my experience, this just means that the little boy in question points his hand (or a suitably shaped prop) and shouts "Bang". Or if he wants, he can apparently save up for a Playmobil limited edition Arms Dealer (of the old Wild West variety). It comes with 5 pistols, 4 rifles and a locking weapons box (very safety concious).
Equally fascinating is the safecracker playset, complete with a locking mechnanism on the safe and an oxy-acetylene torch.
Blufive has been saying I should get one of these for ages. So I finally decided to take the plunge.
I'm really not sure how I'll get on with it though. I'm quite fond of reading his Friends list to find out what everyone has been up to, but I've a feeling I may turn into one of those people who has one or two lonely entries after about 3 years.
We shall see...
P.S. On the first attempt, for some reason this ended up in Blufive's journal. Dratted browser!