Sunday and for the first time this year, I put on a pair of shorts! What a sight – white legs and not long after working in the garden – white and scratched legs! Maybe I should have stuck with trousers a little longer, at least until I had finished training our Clematis, which is inconveniently situated behind a thorny Rose.

Another first, this was eating breakfast, lunch and dinner in the garden. In the back of my mind I must have known the weather was going to be good because when we went to Mundesley on Friday to buy our meat, I completely forgot to buy a roasting joint. Instead we had a BBQ, a cooler option to standing in the heat, in my pocket sized kitchen.

As each day passes, growth in the garden is clearly visible. The first Raspberries are ripening; these will need netting otherwise the birds will devour them. The Gooseberries are starting to drop and although not as sweet as I would like them, I will soon have to pick them. Out along the paths and by field perimeters growth is lush; the Giant Hogweeds stand high and ferns hang across the pathways.

Thursday 11th July 2013 - Poppy Goes AWOL, Barney Socialises, Summer Fruits and Information Point

When we returned from our trip to London there was no sign of our cat, Poppy. We were not particularly concerned because during the summer months she tends to pop in and out for food and spends most of her time out hunting. She is usually curled up in her basket in the conservatory first thing in the morning but on Monday she was not there and we could see from her food bowl, she had not been in. By Monday afternoon we were getting anxious as to her whereabouts and went out in search. To cut a long story short, we eventually found her in the early evening. She had been accidentally shut in a greenhouse but was none the worse for her confinement. A special thank you to all those who allowed me to access their properties – we are very grateful for their patience and co-operation. Poppy is back in her normal routine and hopefully will resist any future temptations to take a catnap in a greenhouse!

Barney is a very sociable dog and at this time of the year cannot resist checking out sandcastles and people sitting on the beach. We usually take him onto the beach at low tide and try to keep him down at the water’s edge but if he takes it into his head, he runs off at great speed up the beach towards those relaxing on the sands. Of course we cannot expect everyone to appreciate his attentions, so I sprint after him to make sure he behaves himself. We have never met anyone who has not seen the funny side of Barney sniffing round their feet or walking across their beach towels. I think there is a touch of Yogi Bear about him and in true Yogi style; he is hoping to find ‘picnic baskets’.

With the Gooseberries starting to fall on the ground, I picked and froze them before we went away last weekend. As they ripen, my chickens have been treated to a Strawberry or two each day – lucky girls. Further behind are the Blackcurrants which have yet to start ripening and something has stripped the Redcurrants, so there won’t be any Redcurrant Jelly for Roast Lamb this year. We have just had our first picking of Raspberries, which we have eaten for Breakfast with Greek Yoghurt. Peter has lifted the ‘Japanese’ onions; these were planted in the Autumn to provide an early crop. A number have developed rot at the necks and into the first fleshy layers; these were binned while the rest are drying, along with the Garlic, on top of the chicken’s coop.

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