Happy New Deer!

(sorry)

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It’s been on the chilly side here for a while, which presumably prompted the visit we got from this little roe deer (and its pal, who managed to wander out of the frame whenever I managed to get them vaguely in focus and not completely obscured by vegetation) a couple of days ago.

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See?

We’ve not actually had more than a fluttering of snow down here, but it’s frosty.

My eldest and I nipped up to the garden at the weekend, to see how things were. It’s been a while since we were up there, but it seems that the recent high winds only took a couple of windows out of the shed (I was expecting to find much more damage, and was surprised to see the roof escaped unscathed), and everything else is just as it was when we left. The parsnip tops have died down, the leeks have thickened very slightly, the kale looks about the same. I remain stoic about the lack of purple sprouting broccoli plants – this year, I plan to bring them on to at least the six inch stage via modules and individual pots. And make lots of beer traps.

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(This year’s potato patch hasn’t dug itself, and the pile of random stuff that needs to go to the tip hasn’t made it there on its own yet, sadly…)

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I swept up the broken glass so that it’s safe for next time I take the little one up there, and dug up a few of the parsnips…

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Quite happy with them, all told. I planted a shallow soil variety, ‘Avonresister’, and these are the ones from nearest the path so some of them are quite small. But I didn’t see any slug damage, or cracking, so as far as I’m concerned they’ve done well. These went in on April 26th, and I probably could have started lifting them earlier but wanted to save them until late winter. I suppose if I’d sown another row that would have solved that – I’ll sow two rows this year.

Speaking of which, I need to buy parsnip seed, last year’s being no good now – plus new pumpkin, red cabbage, and sweetcorn. I’d had a half-packet of the latter left, but they went mouldy thanks to me packing the overwintering onions I’d bought in the same tub as half of my seeds, and then promptly forgetting where I’d put them after the move. This weekend I decided to check out the contents of the seed box, and found them quietly starting to sprout/decompose all over my packets of seeds, yikes.

(The majority of them seem fine, as they’re in foil packets, but the sweetcorn had grown blue hair.)

I think I’ll place an order with Dobies, as the pumpkin seeds I’ve finally run out of were a variety I was pretty successful with, ‘Orbit’ F1, and they seem to be just about the only stockist. They also sell a very early, tasty variety of sweetcorn that’ve also done really well in the past, ‘Sundance’ F1. I ran out of these the year before last, and bought a different variety, ‘Lark’ F1, last year – it’s hard to know how much of the difference came from me growing them 300 miles north of the previous year’s crop, ha, and without a good load of muck, but they weren’t terribly good. The cobs were very small when they finally arrived.

And what of the knitting?

Well, of the planned Christmas knits… dad got a hat. Two days after Boxing Day. I won’t go into the December I had just now, but while there was a little time for knitting (and publishing patterns, thankfully I’d had those prepared and ready to roll by the end of November so it wasn’t much of a job to put them up here and on ravelry), there wasn’t as much as there might have been.

At the moment, I’ve got a surprisingly small number of WIPs. I’ve an order of two Cthulhuclavas almost finished, I’m halfway through a jumper for myself which so far has resisted being captured on camera.. the Adamas shawl is on standby again. And I’ve a head full of ideas for new patterns, plus I’m having a twang of conscience at not yet having knit my nearly-two-year-old *anything*, ever.

My spinning’s on hiatus, and still looks like this –

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In other news, we were given the biggest lump of smoked salmon I’ve ever laid eyes on by my partner’s folks, when we left there after Hogmanay.

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Most of it’s sitting in the freezer now. I don’t know what it was smoked with, but it’s delicious.

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