- Honey harvest: our crop this year was disappointingly small. We got a fair wax crop but the bees had eaten 90% of the honey by the time we got to it, because the summer was so miserable. Next year we will probably take a spring harvest as well as an autumn one and just feed the bees really well. Even though there isn't much of it, our honey does taste divine, even though I say so myself. Things always taste better when they are home produced.
Sorting out the extractor (only cost a tenner!)
- Unfortunately one of our hives died...probably of starvation. It was a hive we had set up this year, we didn't take any honey from it, and they had been doing so well earlier in the season. The cause was once again, that they'd eaten all their stores, and also our fault - we should have been feeding them. I was so surprised when we went up to the hive and we found out it was dead...it actually smelled like a dead animal, like a piece of roadkill or something. You wouldn't think that piles of dead bees would smell like that, but they do. Like one dead organism.
- Visit to Wales: we avoided the Abergavenny Food Festival like the plague and instead took a trip to the lovely village of Skenfrith. Unfortunately I was unable to stop my father having a scrumping spree. There was a German film crew in the High Street, filming Unter Den Hugeln Von Wales, which apparently means Under The Hills Of Wales. Rather surreal.
- Homemade pasta: we have got so fed up with eating endless spinach and swiss chard that we have been trying to come up with ideas of how to use the stuff...so we made pasta! V. good indeed.
- Chutney: have been making jars and jars of the stuff. We have even managed to make some sugar free stuff for my diabetic dad - the secret is to use eating apples; combined with the sultanas, they provide all the sweetness you need.
- Cidermaking: on my sister's birthday with some of our friends over. We made seven gallons of cider out of the bags and bags of apples we have been collecting....some from our own garden, others from the wild, some were given by friends, and some were "borrowed".... we didn't just stick to cider apples - we did eaters, cookers, the lot, and it made for a really lovely juice...just hope the cider turns out nice! We've got some more apples to do now and all....we might get another few gallons.
- Feeling arty: I've been doing loads of observation recently, and not much final pieceing. i have however taken some half decent photos of my work, and have tried out altering them on the computer...I love the effect! (NB: The following images are copyrighted).
- Geese: the canada geese are flying in thick and fast now; I have heard them lots of times but I saw them for the first time today. I love this time of year. They are so utterly beautiful, they take my breath away.
- Feeling the crunch: we are cutting back on everything and shopping at Lidl. One of my friends today said that he'd barely noticed it was happening! Alright for some...