Tuesday 11th April 2017 - Warm Weekend, New Potatoes, Cate and Chicken Keeping

The warm weather over the weekend brought out orange tip butterflies, joining the speckled woods, brimstone, peacocks commas and painted ladies, already spotted this year. It’s not only the butterflies that were out and about, the sun also brought numbers of visitors to the village. On Sunday the car park and surrounding roads were full of parked cars. There was a queue at the ice-cream van, the café’s doors were wide open and the garden full of people, the pub’s garden was full too with children on the play equipment and bouncy castle. There were people in the sea, picnicking on the sands and a steady flow of walkers. Everyone was out to make the most of the sun and temperatures peaking at 22ºC.

Late last year, I found a Cyprus potato in our overflow fridge in the laundry room. This was throwing up shoots and rather than throw it out, I put it in a pot with some garden soil in the greenhouse. When stems and leaves appeared, I covered these with an old bulb sack, to protect it from the frosts. I was not expecting much when I tipped the pot out on Saturday and was surprised to find twelve potatoes of varying sizes. We ate some in the evening with our barbeque and the rest on Sunday with a Normandy chicken dish I was trying out. Simply boiled with some garden mint and then tossed in butter they were very tasty.

Saturday 15th April 2017 - Three Meetings and Making a Positive from a Negative.

I have been to two meetings and Peter has been to three this week. On Tuesday, Peter and I went to Overstrand Together’s open meeting in The Barn at the White Horse. These used to be very well attended, with virtually all seats taken but not the case for the last couple of meetings. During the meeting; the new treasurer was introduced, it was reported funding application forms are available from Overstrand Stores for clubs/societies in the village who wish to make a bid for the funds raised during the past year, £100 of daffodils were purchased from Overstrand Garden Centre and along with potted bulbs which were donated by the garden centre these have been planted on the grass verges and the subject of the charges made by the Sports Club for hire of the marquees was raised again along with a proposal from the Steering Group for future rentals.

The second meeting was the Annual Parish meeting, hosted by the Parish Council. Not only was there a poor turnout of residents, compared to previous years but there was a definite lack of reports from the clubs and societies in the village. Topics raised and/or commented on by the villagers present were the removal of the beach huts out of season, NNDC’s proposal for the Parish Council to take over the public toilets, on road disabled parking for a resident and the changing look of The Londs.

Peter went to the Sports Club meeting on Thursday, where amongst other things, it was agreed the Car Boot Sales will start this year on Thursday 25 May.

We have been making a change to our garden, nothing major but it is taking time and effort. After losing my hen Cate and my decision not to have any more chickens, we decided to extend the vegetable plot. It is a way of making a positive from a negative. We had a large area of grass to enable the movement of the coop and its two linking runs to be moved onto a fresh area every few days. Of course, we now no longer need such a large area and as we love to have fresh home grown vegetables, we have lifted a strip of turfs to extend the vegetable plot by about 20%. One of the composters has been emptied and the contents spread over the new area. The purple sprouting plants and last year’s first row of chard have both been lifted and put through the shredder before adding to the empty composter. Some of the turves will be used to make a heap to grow the courgettes on and the rest will be left in a pile to rot down. The next step is to fork over the new area ready for planting. We have been taking it steady, not wanting to overdo it and end up with bad backs. There is still plenty of lawn left, where we can sit on warm days and where our grandson can play when he comes to visit.

© 2017 Overstrand Life - Janet's Diaries

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