La vendange chez les Wheeler

Well, I haven’t made wine, but… I picked most of the grapes I could reach from the kitchen step stool.  Loads still left on the vine.

So, after about an hour taking the grapes off the stalks (you can’t just squash them if you plan to make jelly), I had to go and do some other stuff, so the grapes took over the fridge.

A couple of days later, I continued… The bowl on the left is the one that started out full of grapes.  And, may I say, spiders and earwigs!

So there was lots of rubbish, but a big pot of grapes, to which I added apple and lemon for a better set.  Well, any set, to be honest.

That evening, the cooked mixture was left to drip.

My jelly bag was too small, so that’s part of Phil’s old brewing kit.

After cooking again with an equivalent amount of sugar: many pots of grape jelly.  That should last until the next harvest!

Oh, and there are still a few in the fridge for me to eat.

Harvesting herbs for winter.

This year, for the first time in several, I have had time to gather some herbs for the freezer.

Here’s a big bowl of herbs ready for sorting.

And here they are sorted.  The lids are from pots I have used in previous years, although not recently.

And here are the stalks, the leaves which weren’t good enough, and a few dandelions.

The herb bed has been particularly good this year, and I have really enjoyed using it.  I even took a bag of herbs with me on holiday, which livened up what is usually very plain cooking when we’re away.

The sorting bug spreads

I knew the dining room cupboards needed sorting out.  Some of them contain overflow from the kitchen, and buying a new wok triggered a sort out of some of the kitchen cupboards.  Furthermore, we looked at old photos of the dining room and realised it had not always been this cluttered!

So I emptied the cupboards on to the table…

Reminds me of the photo we took of our wedding presents!

Some of it went to the bin, some to be re-homed, some to the loft, and the result…

Of course, the fireplace is gone, the wallpaper is different, and the pile of games is “new”.

You may recognise the little dancing girl from the 1980’s photo.

Office Changes

This is photo of the north west corner of the office taken in 2001 – what a lot has changed since then, including the “old” monitor, a record player and lots of cassettes. But the desk is clear, which is unusual…

The corner behind the door has evolved since then, and by 2013, you can just see a rack of DVD’s, a rack of books and just a few cassettes behind the door:

The cassettes are now past history, but the number of books has increased, so after a bit of reworking, I’ve ended up with this:

Note that the main shelves on the left were rebuilt in 2017!

 

Two different kinds of progress!

The regency stays I have been making are ready for the final fitting – this really will be the moment of truth!  If they are OK, I will add eyelets for the lacing.  If not – start again 🙁

The shoulder strap is a long way from the tab.  When I try it on myself, they might come closer, but if not, I’ll need a long lace!  I won’t be wearing them over a turquoise t-shirt, by the way, that’s just so they show up in the photo.

Most of the eyelets will be down the two sides of the back, where the stays will be laced.

Meanwhile, a cactus which I was convinced had died has flowered!  Here it is awake:

And here it is asleep!  Isn’t nature amazing?

 

Slight backtrack

At the beginning of lock down, I bought some fabric with a view to making a Regency dress.  Yesterday, I finally decided I had time to begin cutting out, having fixed the problem with my sewing machine.  As we all should, I read through the instructions before beginning, and they said:  Do not wear this with a modern bra, the line won’t be correct.

So, before making the dress, I am going to attempt some stays!

I may also need a new chemise…

Just like a full time job!

It seems like I have spent a whole lot of my life at my computer this week.  I have attended Zoom meetings, watched streamed lectures, updated websites, fiddled around with spreadsheets and attended webinars.

One of the lectures was at lunchtime, so I had a “working” lunch – something I have not done for many years!

I enjoy playing with technology, but I have started deliberately seeking out things I can do away from my computer – elsewhere in the house, or in my potting shed…

Meanwhile, there are more and more flowers on the plants from Rhey!

Yet another lockdown “Pub” meal

Not the weather for us to enjoy our most recent “pub” meal outdoors, but nice to have something close to it indoors.

First course was Steak & Chips with Peas and Mushrooms, washed down with a pint of Gadds #5 Bitter and a pint of Canterbury Merchant’s Ale (described by the brewery as a “Mild Kentish Stout”):

The pudding was a Raspberry & Passion Fruit tart; it really needed a dollop of double cream on it!:

Rocco seemed very keen on the steak and enjoyed a small offcut!