Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Garden

The early wetness gave me a different garden this year. My runner beans are useless, but my broad beans are huge. Also I have lovely lettuce but virtually no heads on the cabbages. I had a glut of strawberry but no soft fruit to speak of. Everything is late because of the early cold weather, so now in August just getting broad beans galore. Even the flower garden is odd with some lovely flowers I have not seen before who have been attracted by the particular weather this year and flowered profusely.
Apples look like they will be good, although I have one tree whose leaves are brownish in patches and is hardly fruiting, cannot tell if this is a disease or a nutrient lack.
Last year I had a lot of outdoor tomatoes, this year nothing, they are grey and sickly looking I think from the cold.

Musings on bacon fat

I was cleaning a pan of bacon fat the other day and it was hard work even with lots of soap it just clung to the pan. It made me remember that in my childhood we used to eat bread fried in that with breakfast. The French do not suffer with cholesterol or heart failure and yet they eat more bread than we do, but once you go to France you realise why...they eat it raw without butter. Essentially butter or any solidified fat is just the same as my bacon fat. British people slather bread with it, cover potatoes with it. But my parents lived to be 90. So is it really that we just don't work like they did so we suffer. That if your an eskimo who lives at minus 40 and works outdoors everyday you can eat blubber which is high in cholesterol and get away with it as your body is just burning it all the time from work?
My neighbour Don is 74 and works hard every day on his land. He recently bought an expensive sit on mower but hes never used it and I asked him why his response "i jist dinna want to get soft", he's right.
We either have to stop eating fat or work its a simple as that.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

France - Antibes and Royan

Our family trip to these two areas was one of contrasts. Royan is in the South West and is clearly a place where the French holiday. It is very nice, sophisticated and French. We thourouighyl enjoyed our trip to a place that specialises in mussels and oysters. Our take away was sunflowers and grapes, as these are what you see in all the fields.
Antibes is one of the best of the Cote D'Azur towns. Its got all the big yachts, its got crowds and its got people until midnight. But its also got Picasso, and ancient streets cobbled and nice with a good market and in the evening lovely views across to Nice.

Wet with flies

We had a two week vacation in France and came back to wet days with surprisingly lots of aggressive flies in the garden. Last year we did not get bothered as the East coast of Scotland does not suffer from midges. But these flies are very aggressive, trying to get in your eyes and up your nose, its horrible. I had to wear a hoat and scarf as insect repellant does not bother them. Garden is growing well, but weeds are going rampant due to our absence. More work.