Saturday, 22 August 2009

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Murder in the night

Following the continued destruction of our brassica crops, we decided to follow the guidance from any regular gardener. The only way to tackle a slug problem is to face them head on at night. So last night armed with head torches, secateurs and collecting buckets we headed into the veg patch. Much to Phil’s disgust one of the cabbages had 9 of the little devils on it. We split up and started the slaughter, with Philippa squealing in disgust at every new discovery, especially the big juicy orange ones, and having to snip them in half with the secateurs.

We Probably “harvested” about 40 of the little blighters, and to make sure they didn’t return we drowned them in the stream.

We are now committed to slug genocide, so watch out tonight you slimy pests………

Saturday, 15 August 2009

The devils foot soldiers

There are folk who, on learning of my planned escape to the country, expressed concerns for my mental health and general intellectual well-being. To allay such concerns I’m introducing a new feature to the Banceithin Life blog entitled “Top 10 Things I Know Now That I Didn’t Know Before”.

Week 1:

1. A bumblebee is never just a bumblebee. Is it a “true” bombus or a “cuckoo” bombus? Is it white tailed, red tailed or brown? Is it not a bombus at all but actually a hive bee or a hoverfly? So many bees and still only the mice want to live in our bumblebee house.

2. Cats eat butterflies. Very little substance, very little nutrition, so probably just because they can.

3. Trinny and her kind drink red diesel. It’s the same as ordinary diesel but duty free and dyed red so that the diesel police can catch naughty farmers who use it for their cars instead of their tractors.

4. Builders use “caulk” not “cork”. Which explains why I would never have been able to find it in Focus DIY.

5. Chewed up mouse guts have their uses. All these years of discarding Charlie’s “gifts” and it turns out that a scrap of rejected mouse gut makes a handy fly trap for the polytunnel.

6. Always stop the fan and open the flue vent flap before opening the top door or Bertha will spit fire in your eye.

7. Borage flowers look good floating in gin and the leaves taste like cucumber (with hairs).

8. If you want to integrate into Lampeter society only go to the tractor shop if you speak Welsh and have a complicated looking chunk of agricultural equipment you want repaired; looking like a townie, sounding English and confessing that you don’t know what you’re doing is not recommended.

9. Isobel makes the most fabulous chocolate brownies in the world ever.

10. Slugs are the devil’s foot soldiers, riding up from hell on the back of giant cabbage white butterflies, their sole purpose in life being to eat, eat and eat until mankind has no choice but to sell his soul to save his brassicas.

P.S. The lily on the pond flowered today.


Thursday, 13 August 2009

Alien Babies!

IMG_3762 IMG_3763

Our first butternut squashes are starting to develop under a mass of growth that is threatening to pick up the poly tunnel and walk off down the hill. One thing we have learnt is that when the packet states “plant 1.5 metres apart”, there is a reason for it. But that large raised bed looked so big for the two little seedlings, so we chucked an extra few in for good measure!

The sun was out again today and Phil’s sunflowers have jumped to attention and our first tomato is turning red, but I will probably be away when it’s fully ripe, so I envisage Philippa gorging herself on all the new tasty arrivals over the weekend.



As usual I was cracking on with tiling the en-suite bathroom this time. We’re going for a black and white theme in this one and quite a pleasing pattern to do, but a lot trickier to get the cutting right than I expected.



Knee pads, I really couldn’t do any of this tiling without these. I seem to have a trapped nerve in my right knee these days…Too much knee spinning with Callow and Poddy in my youth I think!

Saturday, 8 August 2009

A busy day at the office

Wednesday 5th August, 3:30 p.m., Ctrl>Alt>Delete, shut down. Goodbye So if I’m no longer a lawyer, who am I? Furniture mover; cleaner; builders mate; interior designer; gardener; slug nemesis. Two days as a permanent resident of Banceithin and “mein host” has me working like a dog. My first job was to create chaos out of chaos by trying to find a home for all the clothes, bags, shoes and general detritus that followed me from Berkshire. Not to mention unpacking all the bin bags of Dave’s clothes hidden under the bed beneath 10 month’s worth of dust and cat hair!


Day 2 and it was time to tackle the wilderness – you can take the veg plot out of the field, but you can’t take the field out of the veg plot. The only way to tell the spring onions from the grass is to sniff before you pull. A day’s hard graft in the field yielded a bumper crop: fat & shiny Red Baron onions, teeny tiny thinned baby carrots (ideal for a fairy on a diet), the first main crop potatoes and the last of the peas & beans (Dave favours mushy peas while I’m arguing for pea houmus), a freezer full of broccoli and spinach (sucking air out of a freezer bag through a bendy straw – a first for me); turnips (an essential ingredient in Dave’s “turnip surprise”); yet more courgettes (when does a courgette become a marrow and when does a marrow become a rounders bat?); bunches of spinach & chard; and fistfuls of fat slimy slugs drop-kicked over the fence.

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Tool of the Day:

Trinny the tractor and her grass munching machine…… IMG_3747

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

The end is nigh!



Don’t panic, it’s a good thing really. What we have come to is an end of a regular salary to make up for all the things I’ve omitted from the original budget. Yes it’s Phil’s last day tomorrow, and I can’t wait :-)

Over the last few weeks I’ve really started to struggle on my own, but I haven’t done bad seeing as it’s been almost a year since I moved up here. Now I will have my trusty companion to annoy, and I can stop talking to Charlie who’s proved a rubbish as a listener.

Things are going slowly now as it’s all the fiddly stuff, but one exciting thing that happened today is I spoke to Kempy (see how my life is with no one to talk to)



I did bump into a dead sheep in the far field yesterday, it’s hard to know what to do in such a situation. It was completely bloated with flies and maggots which found their way into the poly….nice!

I did mention in to a few of the surrounding farmers, and it miraculously disappeared…….. They either dealt with it or a giant Red Kite had it for dinner.

Well it’s back to sanding and painting the 4 coats on the 12 doors!

Tool of the day:

All paint and associated tools are a pile of poo

Saturday, 1 August 2009

View from A Far



This a pic of the farm from the lane at the back. It’s a nice day today, which makes a change seeing as the rest of the country seems to be a bit gloomy. I spent the morning continuing with the “spotty” bathroom, the tiling is done now, and I have installed the light mirror and basin. I couldn’t finish the loo as I need to wait until Monday to go to the plumbers merchants.




As it was so nice I spent the rest of the morning in the veg plot, pulling up the shallots and picking and freezing the last of the broad beans. It’s a funny experience not having a proper job with defined work times. I’ve yet to get used to allowing myself to do nothing without feeling guilty about it………..I’m sure it will get easier for me.

I go to pick up Phil on Wednesday for good, we’re going to a posh restaurant with Ali on Wednesday evening as a  final farewell to a life of money. Phil has already got an accounts book so we can start tracking our day-to-day expenditure. No more sneaky tech gadget purchases for me :-(


My new mole grips, watch out moles…….