My week this week: Lush

Well it's been a while since I've found the time to write a "my week" post; that's partly due to lack of time and in some weeks because there's been quite humdrum. There was a short break in Suffolk that was far from humdrum of course, but after being back at work for a couple of days it *almost* felt like it hadn't happened. Almost.  

The cottage was beautiful, and I notched up twenty miles on the bike and a new entry in the Loo Series and I've plenty more posts to come from the pretty county of Suffolk. What surprised me was it's so close to Norfolk but so different.  I still think Norfolk's the county for me long term though, but Suffolk will certainly be getting some more visits.

But back to this week. And lush. When I chose this word to sum up the week I was referring to my greenhouse, which also seems to have gone a little bonkers.  And it's looking very lush.  The tomatoes especially.  After refusing to grow much more than initial seedlings, now that I've potted them on, they've grown and grown and looking into my greenhouse, it all looked very lush. 

I mean just look (and for lush you could also substitute overgrown!)



The towel on the greenhouse staging you can see is an attempt to keep my plants watered while we were away.  It wasn't totally successful - or looking at the tomatoes, maybe it was... But clearly I needed to do something with them, and they're late as it is anyway.  After a visit to the plot last weekend, I realised that I'll need to plant my tomatoes where the onions where and hope that the foxes don't take a liking to them. And hope for a good autumn!

It seems though that Suttons Seeds took pity on my lack of growing success this year (don't mention my onions!) and sent me some seeds which I can sow now.



But first though, I needed to tackle those tomatoes. It's already August and they're not planted out yet so for the first time ever I put the weakest plants on the compost heap. And of course I'm hoping for a good autumn so that if fruits do appear they have time to ripen. Or failing that I'll be making green tomato chutney this year, so it's not all bad at all.



I've potted on the strongest plants and am hoping that a few days in the greenhouse will persuade them to grow upright again. And then they'll be destined for the allotment, and hopefully the sunny spot there will be the best place for them.

Looking better potted on, next stop our allotment
Chillies on the staging sorted out

I also potted on my chilli plants, there's flowers starting to appear so I may be lucky. As well as the normal bog standard chillies, from the seeds from Taste London, I've got a chocolate habanero growing and a couple of purple chillies too. There's also one I bought earlier as I wasn't sure if my chillies would make it. 

A chilli plant from RHS Hyde Hall

So with my tomatoes and chillies sorted out that gives me some space to start sowing some of those flowers from Suttons. I must remember not to go too bad as a few seeds go a long way. And I should start now to stand a chance of success, that's the lesson I've learnt this year, along with potting things on to help them grow well.

As I pottered in the greenhouse this afternoon I spotted pink through the glass. I discovered an everlasting sweet pea among a pot of jasmine and beyond that pink cosmos and angel wings looking just as gorgeous. I thought the colour in our garden was done, but it seems I was wrong. 




So yes, it's looking lush inside and outside my greenhouse right now.

And I couldn't close this post without mentioning the HomeSense event I went to on Wednesday. It was their Christmas in August event and was a good chance to see a preview of the goodies they'll have in stores for Christmas, lush (as well as metallics) is a great word to describe those too. 

#homesensechristmas #metallics #feelslikewinter @myhomesense #gold

A post shared by Stephanie Robinson (@lifeat139a) on

And with a glass or two or prosecco before dinner, then there's probably also a case for the kind of lush you first thought of when you clicked on this post!

How has your week been?

The Reading Residence


* This is a collaborative post but all views and opinions are my own.

My week this week: Ambivert

Ah, what a week! Not only was it the hottest since 1976, which if you ask people of a certain age they'll always say was a 'very good summer' our long awaited and much planned for 110th party took place. I've already written this week about the party and about how our to do list was constantly under review, not only because of the heat but for practicality too. 

We managed to get enough of our essentials on the list done and were both in our party outfits before the first guests arrived, which is always a plus I think. And I managed to take delivery of an apron by Bespoke Binny in the process, but more on that in a post in a while.

The party was great. The weather was hot. We opted for the barbecue instead of the pizza oven on a temperature basis, and it was great to spend time with so many of our friends and family, although I'm sure I didn't spend anywhere near as much time speaking with everyone as I wanted to. There is still much to do hosting a party isn't there, but many of our friends chipped in and volunteered for jobs, which was very welcome. Not big jobs but having someone slice the rolls for burgers and hot dogs and another make the green salad really does help.

Our lasting memories of the day are many, but it was the children (mostly) that made us smile, it seems the buffet - or grazing table - was popular with them, and our cherry tree too. One six year-old got MOH doing cartwheels, which was amusing for all around, I've no idea why, and nor has he and thankfully he didn't injure himself in the process either. Another was very taken with MOH's record collection and wanted to hear Depeche Mode, great taste for a ten year old we thought. It seems though that they all eat more heartily, and perhaps with less caution when they're at someone else's house, which of course was fine by us, but left some of their parents bemused. 

The next day we had burgers for breakfast with my parents - much better than any McBreakfast, and then later more party food and burgers and sausages for lunch with MOH's family, before saying goodbye to everyone, a quick tidy up and pulling out our sun loungers for the rest of the day! The big tidy up was postponed until the next day, although MOH let slip he hadn't booked the day off work after all.


Initially I wasn't too pleased with that, but the more I thought about it the better it sounded. And after starting a new book on the Sunday, which quickly had me gripped, when he suggested he could work from home I was quickly ushering him out the door, already relishing time alone. Well, with the pile of washing up and other tasks. And my book and sun lounger, of course. 

And that's why, my word this week is ambivert. 

I loved the party. I loved seeing everyone and speaking to everyone. I loved the quieter Sunday with family, still eating the party food and reliving memories of the day before. But I also loved spending time on my own, with my book, the next day. 

I only heard the term ambivert relatively recently, and immediately identified with it.

Most people assume I'm an extrovert, and it's true I enjoy lots of extrovert activities, I'll happily talk to people I don't know and like to be 'out there' - but after a big event, then quite often I retreat and regroup adopting more introvert tendencies, and that was true this past week.  For the first time in a while I didn't post on my blog for a week, I can't remember without really thinking when that last happened (I've thought: it was when I migrated my blog to this platform and I spent a good few days getting it looking just how I wanted).

I am in fact borderline extrovert and introvert, and have been in every test I've taken. I'm adaptable. With stronger extroverts, generally I withdraw, but with introverts, I can be the opposite. Peculiar hey?  Usually January I notice my more introverted behaviour, and as January follows Christmas and lots of parties and socialising I'm never surprised. I wasn't quite expecting it this week though, because, well it's June not January (obviously!), and so I'm blaming the weather in part too. The heat has made me, like you I'm sure, slow down and take it a bit easier  

And I finished the book - it was great - I'll share a review of that and some books I've been meaning to write about for a while next week. In the meantime, how beautiful is this yellow tree. It looks like a broom, or beesom or cytisus scoparius (according to the RHS site), but it's huge. A proper tree, rather than a shrub, so I'm not so sure.

But anyway, how was your week?

Yellow against the clouds in the sky in Greenwich

Oh, in case you're wondering, I think the balanced ambiverted me is back. I've still a lot to say, but I just needed a break to rebalance for a bit!

The Reading Residence

My week this week: Bitten

Last week I shared an ambitious list of projects which we hoped to tackle over the weekend and subsequent week, and we did pretty well, but we didn't get to them all because along the way I got bitten. By a mosquito-like bug in the garden. And the bite got infected. 

I'm fine and the bite has responded well to treatment, but it did, understandably slow me down. And as you're probably thinking it wasn't so straightforward. It never is, hey?

I was bitten was last Thursday evening and right from the off it was one I thought had the potential to worsen. Last Friday evening it had and so I resolved to pop in to see the pharmacist the next morning. When I did he took one look at it, asked me if it was hot (it was - very - which I hadn't realised before) and then said I'd most likely need a course of antibiotics and recommended I phone the 111 service straightaway.

Great. Just what I needed at the start of the Bank Holiday weekend and for my birthday celebrations. But being very much of the opinion that asking a professional's advice only to completely ignore it is often not such a good idea, And so I had my first encounter with out of hours treatment.  



I made it through the first stage of the triage process and this resulted in a peculiar conversation with a nurse about tomatoes, as she tried to establish the size of the bite and swelling. For a detail loving tomato grower this conversation proved problematic, as when asked if the bite and swelling was the size of tomato, I needed a bit more info to be able to answer.

The response wouldn't have looked out of place in a sketch show. Apparently it not those small ones, cherry tomatoes and not those large ones either, the beef tomato kind, the ones in between. Now I know it was about establishing the size of the area affected, but I'd thought by explaining the bite was about the size of a 5p, and the surrounding area a further inch and a half from that would have been a good enough description. Instead I was left wondering what size tomato we were really talking about, but in the end it seemed it didn't matter all that much as I was referred to a doctor and then later able to collect a prescription from A&E.

The antibiotics have done their job and I was grateful to be able to get them when I needed them, even though it threw plans to spend the afternoon at a family barbeque awry. And of course the tables were the ones the pharmacist thought I'd be prescribed some five hours earlier. My leg, and the bite, is now more normal looking and no longer painful, so that's good news too. But as they seem to, the antibiotics wiped me out.  

On Sunday while the sleeper installation and gabion filling was taking place I was pretty immobile and banned from carrying things, which was a peculiar experience with so much to get done. But with help from my SIL and her husband, who'd been roped in for a day of gardening labour, we (and that's the Royal we) made lots of progress.  On the Bank Holiday MOH and I undertook some lighter tasks in the garden, including finally getting to the bottom of our slate mountain - yay! - before heading into town for a celebratory birthday dinner.  

Thankfully the antibiotics weren't the absolutely no alcohol kind, so I did manage a cocktail because well, a fiftieth birthday without marking it would have been much odder. Returning to work Tuesday completely zonked me out, and when I got home that evening I sat dazed on the sofa needing copious amounts of tea to recover.

The 'project' that majorly missed out was the allotment, and this week my beans have gone crazy attaching themselves to me each time I go into the greenhouse so we really need to get them planted out.  They're on the list for this weekend, hopefully we'll get to them this weekend.

How was your week?