Thursday 18 August 2022

Thursday 18th August - It rained! it rained!

 It rained enough that the grass is now green and brown, instead of yellow and grey, and no longer crunches underfoot! We have had a couple of days of relief from watering - very welcome, although we have continued to fill rows of buckets and garden tubs with 'grey water'.


There's quite a lot of catching up... 

Wednesday last week was when I did a sudden backwards roll when trying to crouch down to write 'MILK' on the up turned bucket, ready for the new milkman.

Tuesday's milk delivery, the first in the new schedule, was safely deposited under the bucket. Today's was just left on the door step. On Friday night we shall try and remember to leave the bucket on the doorstep where he will be able to find it. Although at 8am rather than 4 am when used to be delivered it should have been light enough to see it beside the door. 

I've started doing bits of water colouring again, just 'pits and pieces' as my godmother used to say. She was Finnish, and came over in the 1950s so her English was very good, but she still counted her stitches in Finnish, and remembered the Lord's Prayer from Sunday School in Finnish.

I started on my French 2021 planner, originally with pencil, but found it easier with a fine brush and watercolour. The paper is too absorbent for water colour really, but manageable. It's really for getting practice.

The spaghetti squash seedlings I gave to our neighbours produced two squashes. Their little boy, about 2, was convinced it was some kind of unsatisfactory ball. Too heavy to kick, and it didn't bounce at all well. They gave me the one that he hadn't been playing with.

My vines have also produced two squashes; the LH plant has leaned oved and laid its squash in the right hand tub, so the RH plant has dangled the squash over the side.

Tuesday it rained a little, like a sort of 'trial run'. We collected about an inch in each bucket - enough for just one half bucket in total!

Our cats have never seemed to mind being caught in the rain; they come in absolutely dripping and then demand to be dried off. Preferably while sitting on a lap.

I've never cooked a spaghetti marrow before, and went for the easiest recipe as it was hot and I was feeling bothered. I found a website with several different methods for cooking them, and chose the slow cooker one. The instructions were simple enough; pierce through the skin in a few places, put it in the slow cooker and leave it. 

  • For this method, do not cut the squash in half and instead leave it whole.

    With a small, sharp knife, poke several holes into the outside of the squash. These will allow steam to escape. Set the whole squash into a slow cooker. Add the lid and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or on LOW for 5 to 6 hours. Depending on the size of the squash, you may need more cooking time.

    When the squash is done, allow to cool for about 5 minutes, and then cut in half. Run a fork through the flesh to separate the “spaghettilike” strands/noodles.

Yup - it worked, just as they said! I seasoned the 'spaghetti' with butter, salt and pepper and it was delicious. 

I came over all dizzy and faint at the beginning of the week, felt very unsteady and very unhappy about it. Then I had a brainwave; when living in Indonesia and Singapore in the 1970s I experienced the same thing several times, and the cure was to eat or drink something salty.

I'm a great fan of  this brand of vegetable stock, and quite often drink a teaspoon of the stock powder in a mug of hot water as a quick and easy alternative to tea or coffee if I want a hot drink. I therefore had a cup of bouillon in the morning several days running (I did feel as though I should be lying on a deck chair on a transatlantic liner, being served by a superior white-coated steward, but that part of the dream remained a dream).  

It seemed to do the trick, and I've been fine since, especially now it is cooler. 

I've finished last week's 'toadstools on a stump' picture, using watercolour pencils for the background.  I'm part way through this week's now; a wreath of flowers and leaves. 



  1. I like your blog. Reading it this morning I was alerted by the reference to your having lived In Singapore and Indonesia. One of our sons is currently living in Singapore. Janet McKee aka Janet's Knitting

    1. I think the Singapore I knew has changed out of all recognition! Except maybe the Raffles Hotel, but I didn't go there more than once or twice. I still have the blue and white china with a sort of rice grain pattern I brought back from CKTang just before I got married.

  2. We are in North Texas, and just got rain for 3 days. I completely relate to the green grass and not just yellow and dead. So grateful.