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Personal

September So Far

blowing bubbles

Our quest for slow living that I sought for in August has continued through into September.  My work has been really busy so it’s been really good on days off to take things easy with no plans or places to be and just enjoy what the days bring, and watch the changing of the seasons.

The tomatoes that we grew in the polytunnel on our allotment didn’t quite come to much this year.  Like the rest of the UK, summer in Edinburgh this year was a bit of washout, and the sun most definitely did not have his hat on for a great deal of the time.  Consequently, our poor tomatoes were just not ripening, so we’ve put them on a south facing window sill and are trying to redden them up.  With another batch, we put them inside a bag with a banana and placed that on the windowsill, but that did nothing. We seem to be having a bit more luck this time around – there are definite signs of ripening!

ripening tomatoes

green tomatoes

We’ve also had a bit of bad luck with the blackberries in our garden.  I took this photo last week, and the blackberries had already gone rotten (whilst some haven’t even ripened!).  The week previously I had big plans to pick them all and make vats of jam but after picking a few I realised they were all mouldy on the inside.  Normally blackberries are good until the end of September, so to see this in early September was a bit of a disappointment, to say the least!  I’m thinking maybe a consequence of the poor weather this summer?

rotten blackberries

The weather hasn’t been all doom and gloom though: we have had some lovely days this month.  So whilst battling sore throats and other bugs brought home from nursery school, we’ve got out in the garden and enjoyed the warm sunshine and fresh air (and bubble blowing – all the bubble blowing!).

blowing bubbles

We’ve improvised a bit with a green roof for our bike shed for just now.  We have so many projects going on in the house (next week the old kitchen is being ripped out and a new kitchen installed!) that I think it’s a project for next summer.  This is the next best thing for now!  (Also on the list, finish painting the bike shed and trimming the roof felt!).

makeshift green roof

This week our new kitchen units and appliances are being delivered in advance of the joiner coming next week, so this is the calm before the storm that is major home upheavals.  Our house is quite small so we have nowhere to store the new units, etc, but in our living room, so that’s going to be fun.  We also need to set up a temporary kitchen in our living room too – microwave cooking for a week!

What have you been up to this month so far?

Personal

Our Slow August

blue hydrangea

Hello!  How was your August?  August for us continued much in the same vein as July – slow, apart from one weekend of fairly frantic DIY!

At the start of the month, we did more raspberry picking!  We’ve made smoothies, healthy ice lollypops, and snacked on raspberries until our bellies hurt.  Now I’ve got kilos of raspberries freezing in the freezer, waiting to see us through the winter months.

Our allotment has been so good to us on the raspberry front, that I can’t imagine ever paying £2 for a tiny punnet of raspberries ever again!  The good news is that we’ve discovered some autumn fruiting raspberries hiding behind our polytunnel, so I might have to start making jam in the autumn to preserve our glut!

bowl of raspberries

Now that the raspberries have stopped fruiting we moved on to blackberry picking at the end of the month!  We have a load of blackberries in our garden, but sadly the wasps have discovered them too. Now the garden is a bit of a no-go zone at the moment as it’s full of very angry wasps.  I discovered this handy tip for deterring wasps though.  Wwho knew it was that easy?!  (PS: if you’re jamming this month I swear by this recipe for blackberry and vanilla jam)

I joined the borax club after this post on household uses for borax.  I’ve already used it to clear a stinky drain and it did the job in 15 minutes so I’m definitely a borax convert!  And it was only £1.29 for a big (plastic-free) box of the stuff.  I’m eyeing up the dandelions that have sprung up between the gaps in the paving slabs in the garden next…!

dri pak borax

Our hydrangea from this post has turned from blue to purple.  Some people have suggested putting rusty nails into the soil, others have suggested orange peel, and others ericaceous compost to get it to turn back to blue.  Any other suggestions?  I’m all ears!

blue hydrangea

My daughter has been enjoying playing shopkeeper with this wooden till, kindly gifted to us by Wooden Toy Shack.  I love toys like this that really stimulate her imagination and encourage role-play.  As such, she’s had hours of fun so far with this beauty.  Wooden Toy Shack has such a lovely selection of wooden toys, so their site is definitely worth a look.

wooden till

My friend Gina picked me some beautiful blooms from her garden!  Her homegrown roses are really brightening up our living room!

homegrown roses

We managed a few trips out in August – we hit the Edinburgh Festival; took a trip to Edinburgh’s Gorgie City Farm; and went up to Fife for a visit to the Pillars of Hercules.  Pillars of Hercules is a fantastic organic farm and vegetarian cafe/restaurant.  We had such delicious food that I’m eagerly planning a return visit!  I also spotted a bell tent on the campsite there and now I have all sorts of bell tent envy going on!

bell tent

Some posts you might have missed this month: my homemade reed diffuser DIY, some homemade beauty product DIYs, and advice on getting a job in the environmental sector.

And some posts from the archives that you might enjoy: how to grow pea shoots, alternative search engines, and upcycling clothes with six fab DIY ideas.

What did you get up to this month?