Wednesday 30 September 2020


Still didn't sleep well last night but did at least sleep for a while.

My sense of taste has altered recently (a few months ago). It only seems to apply to tea on the whole though. We have had the same brand of tea leaves for years and had found a brand that works with our water. Pretty sure it isn't THE virus, as those with an altered snese of taste and smell, seem to report it being similar to when you have a cold.

Whenever we go away, tea never tastes the same due to regional differences in water (hard or soft). We always look forward to returning home for a decent tasting cuppa but not so at the moment. Unless the company have revised their blend it must be me. I haven't enjoyed any of my tea for a couple of months now.

I can usually only enjoy drinking coffee if it is made with 100% milk. This morning I made a normal white coffee (not with hot milk) and don't like that either. 

Looks like for the moment, I will have to find something hot that I do enjoy, maybe cocoa or something similar that isn't full of nasty things like other drinks designed to have milk added to them.

So far this morning I have been busy. All dusting and polishing has been done in the main rooms, the bathroom cleaned and a wash has just finished ready to go on the line before the next wet weather arrives later on.

Tuesday 29 September 2020

Wide awake

 I am writing this quick post at 04:25 silly o’clock. I have yet to fall asleep and doubt I will now. My neck has been aching for a couple of days and none of my pillows feels comfortable. Ah well, it will pass. These nights of no sleep at all, are very rare.

I managed to plant half my spring bulbs into the new bit of garden. Hopefully, the rest will go in today. We will do food shopping and it will be interesting to see the difference, if any, between last week and this. Rumours of rationing and shelf clearing abound. I had noticed flour disappearing last week.

We actually managed to have a cup of tea on the patio Monday afternoon. It was the first decent day for nearly a week. During summer, Ruby gets so used to going in the garden that when she hears us pick up the key, she runs to the back door at high speed. Come the wetter colder weather, she doesn’t  understand why she can’t go out whenever she hears us pick up the key. Muddy footprints on my nice carpet Ruby, that is why. 

Monday 28 September 2020

So far so good

The new bit of the back garden survived the dreadful wind we have been having, all except one rhubarb. Yes, it was shutting down for winter but it had its remaining leaves and stems, torn off and strewn about the garden:

Bulbs still haven't gone in yet as the ground is sodden at the moment. This new bit of garden, which we won't be able to see a lot of it for now from the patio, still makes me smile. I love the vibrant colour of this new hydrangea:

An old flat tree stump, gradually getting covered in stones to be like a cairn:
A hosta planted in a raised bed made from bricks:

The final bit at the end:
A long distance shot of the whole area from right to left:

The temporarily finished water butt area:

New stands utilising the old bricks. The downpipes are just in that position for now. We hope to get the rest of the garage kitted out with new gutters, weatherboards and downpipes. The pipes will then be fitted into the first two tubs. Mini pipes will lead out of these into the next two. After that, yet to be built, a pipe will lead into an old black dustbin. A pipe from that overflows into or close to our mini pond.

Sunday 27 September 2020

Protesters, drunken revellers and potentially no Christmas?

Dear me, there were yet more protests in London yesterday. More idiots, who whilst they have the right to protest, didn’t wear masks, all crowded together waving their ‘truthful’ banners. So gullible that it’s to do with 5G, or Bill Gates, or political to keep us all under control.

They say my body, my rules, they clearly believe it is all a hoax, clearly believe they won’t get it because it doesn’t exist. They don’t believe anyone they know will get it or die because it doesn’t exist.

No country in this world would be spending billions to deal with it, putting their country into years of recession and debt, if it didn’t exist. There are still countries in this world that don’t have 4G let alone 5G, whose citizens are dying by the tens of thousands from this disease which apparently doesn’t exist. Countries who are so poor they haven’t got the infrastructure or money to deal with it. These countries surely can’t also be trying to control their citizens.

When vaccines do arrive and are proven safe, I will have one, every year if necessary, in the same way I have my flu vaccine each year. Having had flu once, I was ill for weeks and it sounded the death knell for my nursing. I simply could not get well enough, quickly enough, to carry on working.

I wonder if/when these protesters, or people they know, eventually get it, they will be demanding medical care, whilst still denying it, still protesting it is something else. It is these protesters that will put us into another full and devastating lockdown, that will potentially cause our beautiful if flawed NHS to collapse. When they need it the most, it won’t be able to help. Wonder if they will protest about that?

What happened to water cannons. They used to deploy those to clear them. 

What is this fascination for getting drunk? Curfews on bars and restaurants should also include off licences and any other establishments that sells alcohol. It is no good kicking people out of pubs and restaurants for some of them to visit these to buy yet more booze, without social distancing and mask protocol. Buses can't cope with the demand to get people home due to their correct protocols of certain seats not being allowed to be used.

Certain newspapers are calling yet again for the elderly and vulnerable to be locked up to keep them safe. How dare they. Some of us are retired and actually, quite often, are the ones that have the money to spare to help keep the economy rolling along. Yes, we may need the NHS more but we are the ones who have paid into it all our lives.

I am so mad, quite frankly, at all their sheer thoughtlessness. So mad on behalf of those who have lost loved ones. So mad at not being able to see my granddaughter for the first 6 months of her life. So mad that it will happen again, and again and again, all because of them.

The government needs to start listening to the scientific advice being given, they need to invite the opposition and devolved government leaders to CPBRA meetings, start debating and working with the opposition and get everyone on board. We need less tit for tat and far more cooperation.

Saturday 26 September 2020

Still cold!

 Yesterday the wood burner was lit. We only used 4 logs all in but the front room was nicely warm for several hours.

We have just lit it again, the house is just too chilly. Not so much rain today but the wind is once again howling.

Chicken and lemon soup with orzo pasta is cooking for lunch and bread has been made. I have a shoulder of pork to roast for tea tonight and tomorrow. We shall have it with vegetables and roasted sweet potatoes. I have a little bit of crumble topping in the freezer so shall also bake a small crumble of some kind.

If we have enough eggs, there will also be some individual egg custards baked as well.

Friday 25 September 2020

The wind doth blow

It is pouring with rain and gale force winds are whistling through any crack available in our older windows. They are the ones waiting to be replaced. Luckily, I like listening to it whistle and howl. The temperature is currently 8C but feels far colder.

Ruby oddly enough, doesn't particularly like walking in heavy rain. Even going out to the toilet she stands at the door looking back at us. Its like she is saying, 'what, I have to go out there?" She then dashes out, goes to the toilet lickerty spit and rushes back in. She is so funny.

I am pleased the tomatoes were gathered in yesterday. The weather being what it is, I might even start on some chutney in the hope the weather keeps the wasps away. 

Some investigative family history work will hopefully get done, after a lady in Australia got in touch with us. She had hit the same brick wall as us regarding one family member but appears to have got through it. I am not so sure as I just cannot find two baptisms needed for the link.

Those of you not in certain parts of Lincolnshire, East Anglia, Essex etc, look to be having a nice day!

Ruby caught and ate a house spider last night. Seems none the worse for it. So far this year, that one included, we have had 6, horrible things.

Thursday 24 September 2020

Gathering in, hunkering down

 I gathered all our tomatoes this afternoon. Two trays are slowly ripening in the conservatory. We are due heavy rain and high winds overnight and tomorrow. The tomatoes were shutting down anyway and cold temperatures, wind and rain won’t help.

We had fish and chips out today as part of our walk. The chip shop observed good practice, we sat in a booth with high screens and we felt as safe as we could be in the circumstances. I have to admit though, that generally we don’t feel 100% safe eating out. Having  been on our healthy lower calorie ‘diet’ for nearly six weeks, it was a nice treat.

I must make phone calls tomorrow. One to check about my flu jab, another for a hygienist appointment, which they were supposed to be doing. The other one to Boots. I took in my new reading glasses 4 weeks ago and haven’t heard anything, which is unusual. 

We are still trying to arrange to see family before things change again, which I feel they will.

Wednesday 23 September 2020

The stupidest conspiracy theory so far....

According to some, they are not going to have a flu vaccine, no matter what. The reason is simple. Only the old and infirm get given one. They are the ones dying with Covid-19.

Therefore, it is live Covid in there, being used by the government  to cull them!!!!!

I mean - really. What planet are they on?

Tuesday 22 September 2020


Our neighbour out back, behind our new fence, has a penchant for lighting bonfires to burn his garden rubbish. We have a local “no bonfires before 6pm rule”, but he just does what he wants, despite being told.

We had hoped, on our last warm day, to sit out for lunch but now we can’t. All the back windows are shut, despite the warmth. He never checks before lighting it, if anyone has laundry on the line. Luckily today I haven’t but have lost count of the times we have come home to a smoke filled house and clean but smelly laundry that needs washing, again!

All in all, he is a quiet nice chap but at times plain thoughtless.

I have finally put in the last plants (bulbs still to go) and DB is busy laying dry mortar stuff under paving slabs, for the last 3 water butts. Whilst he was doing that, I have pulled up tomato plants and dying lettuces in the fruit cage. Also, the old growth from our bramble was cut out and the two new shoots tied in.

Monday 21 September 2020

More pooped each day

Welcome to some new followers. Sorry I don't know who you are to greet you personally.

We can tell we are not spring chickens anymore. We started doing the new back shady border on Friday, managing about 5 or 6 hours before the warmth and tiredness kicked in.

Saturday maybe 4 - 5 hours. Sunday less still and today maybe 2 -3 hours. However, most of the plants are in, except a few cowslips that seem to be changing into something else. Just the bulbs to go in another day, maybe later in the week. 

The two old chimney pots that have moved around our garden since we inherited them, are in situ and will get planted in the spring. Haven't yet found anything for winter to put in them, that likes permanent shade and would be a standout feature:

DB working on the water butts. I helped carry numerous bricks for him to build stands for them, but had to give in after a while. Anyhow, two are almost in their permanent place, two more to go, plus a small black dustbin that I use to dip containers into:

Also attached to the wall but which you can't see, is a tall wrought iron gate of no use to man nor beast where it is. It will be taken down, painted with hammerite paint and hopefully mounted onto the middle of the 5 fence panels permanently in view. Hopefully, it will have something trained on it, providing it isn't too heavy for the panel.

I will post periodic pictures as things bloom. My favourite new plant is a toad flax. It is about 2 1/2 feet tall at the moment and covered all the way to its base in flower buds, which open into these. How gorgeous are those flowers:

We still have to sort out the path but with the rain coming, felt it best to concentrate on planting up!

Saturday 19 September 2020

Oh dear

 Am I no longer frugal enough for some followers? Some are leaving:(

 Well, life moves on, finances get better due to frugal living, and as that happens, we are able to spend a little more.

I have a while before my pension kicks in so we still live on DB’s. I can’t be bothered, at the moment, to create a new blog with a new title. Maybe another year.

We are trying desperately to arrange a visit to see family before restrictions on household mixing changes, or another lockdown happens. I think we won’t make it.

I do wish people would stop protesting in large groups, they really are not helping. Still they rant on about it being to do with 5G, worse still it is a hoax. No social distancing, no masks. 

I wouldn’t wish Covid on anyone but....

Friday 18 September 2020

Old and new fence

It took all day for two chaps to change our fence. A couple of posts had to be straightened, one or two gravel boards lifted or dropped slightly. One panel had to have a 1/4 removed to fit. The biggest problem was getting the final bit in between our garage, and joined to another fence post. On top of that, both neighbours at the back kept coming out to chat to them.

We went out twice to two different plant nurseries to get a nice assortment of new plants and some bulbs that don’t mind light shade too much. Ouch!

Anyway, herewith the before picture of the fence. To the right to the back of the garage and water butts area. The butts will have to be moved back against the fence:

To the left looking towards a neighbours new fence and our mini pond area:

And afterwards. To the garage and butts plus a new bit of fence between us and our other side neighbour:

To the left looking towards the mini pond area:
Most plants in situ will be lifted and distributed amongst the new plants in this area. More pictures when the planting is done!

Thursday 17 September 2020

Quicker than expected!

When the measuring was done for our new back fence, we were told the job would likely be done sometime in late October or even November. However, they are coming today so that is quick.

Mind you, he is our gardening neighbour and we had told him if possible, we would like it done quicker than originally stated as we needed to plant the garden before winter. He has had tremendous trouble not only getting hold of fence panels but also the one gravel board we need for between our fence and the garage.

I will show a before and after picture tomorrow.

The same thing has happened for our four double glazing windows. Just before or more likely after Christmas due to a backlog. DB received a message to say, all being well, they will get done mid October.

Wednesday 16 September 2020

I don't believe the numbers anymore...

With the the ongoing debacle over testing, I reckon the Covid-19 daily infections must be a lot higher than is being recorded. You only have to look at the jump in serious cases and rise of those on ventilators, in one day, to see something is wrong with them.

Testing station are almost empty because the online booking system has fallen apart. If the company the government gave the contract to aren't up to the job, give it to someone else.

If they can't sort it out now, what on earth will be happen when the colder weather returns amidst the continued prediction of a second wave. People won't want to be sitting outside to eat out, or when part of your bubble visits for a coffee and a chat.

In our village, I am pleased to say, for the most part, even whilst out for a walk, people still cross the road to give you space. In the local shops, masks are worn and again, people stand away from you. If we meet someone we know and they want to chat, we still maintain our distance.

Come winter, having to queue outside for the pharmacy, or wait outside the surgery to be called in won't be much fun, but we will wrap up and get on with it.

Shopping in the supermarkets can be a bit dicey as people are starting to stand too close, or barge past you at freezers and counters. 

We have enough so called single use masks, hand sanitizer, and soap. They are used in an emergency when we forget our home made ones and they are steamed clean to be used again. When they are not fit, the nose clip and elastic ear bits are cut off to be reused somewhere else.

I tend not to use wipes much, for anything, as that is becoming another problem in itself. Most wipes are anti- bacterial, Covid-19 is a virus so I am not sure they are effective. If I wash food items, or door handles etc, I do so with soapy hands, rinse then dry.

So sorry Government, I am afraid you are failing in your duty to protect your people. You have had more than enough time to get on top of things. Instead you try to razzle dazzle us with words, such as world beating. If the systems you have set in place for testing are failing, your latest crazy idea of testing everyone in the country as often as needed, just will not happen.

Cut the jargon, cut the crap, knuckle down and sort it out!

Until you do, we shall keep ourselves to ourselves, maintain social distancing, wear masks and ido all in our limited power to keep virus free and safe.

Monday 14 September 2020

Coming along slowly

The back few feet of garden and path are coming along slowly. Most of the bricks and slabs are up, concrete has been removed and is getting added to bags to pay for disposal at our council rubbish site.

The weed membrane has been laid, and a thin layer of gravel dropped on top to keep the wind from lifting it. The rest will be added soon:

This is the extra bit of garden we will get from doing this job, mainly where the bags of rubble and rubble are sitting (2 feet to 2 1/2 feet wide and about 15 feet long). 

Soil still needs to be packed behind the edging stones to stop them falling over:

Half the bags of manure on the right are for this area, the rest for the raised beds and fruit cage. To the left are bags of soil conditioner, again for the whole garden:
Then we can go and get plants that will thrive in a very light shady soil. I also hope to buy a particular crab apple tree that shouldn't get any taller than 3m.

Saturday 12 September 2020


Having not dehydrated for a couple of years, slap of hand, out came the machine!

Mine has 5 trays the same depth and one deeper tray plus 4 small containers for more liquid items:

A couple of days previously, I picked all my large tomatoes, Ailsa Craig, to make sure they were fully ripe. They were sliced, an apple corer used to remove the bit of core stuck in the bottom slice of each tomato, once sliced:

 3/4 of a bag of peas: 

Then I dug out an older bag of Hungarian Hot Wax peppers from the freezer:

This is what they looked like once dry, between 10 and 13 hours later:
The side edges of the tomotoes didn't dry out so I shall rehydrate those to put on our salad for lunch.

Friday 11 September 2020

Pocket money then and now

When DS was small, we were not sure how much pocket money to give him and whether or not he needed to earn it. 

I spoke to our local vicar who had 3 small children and he said what he was doing might be alright. I used an online financial inflation calculator, although I kept forgetting to change the year, see here.

He recommended giving 10p per year, doubling it at 5 years, 10 years and 15 years but by 10 years, creating a small chore to get children to understand money had to be earnt!

So we started when he was 3. So 3 years x 10p per year was 30p (75p in todays money). When he reached 5, he received firstly the extra 10p for reaching 5, making his pocket money 50p (£1.26p today). It was then doubled to £1 (£2.51p today).

Age six another 10p added etc. When he reached 10 years old, he had £1.50, doubled up to £3 (£5.68p today). A few small chores were added such as helping with shopping (already doing a little so he could see the price of things), drying pots, laundry in basket not on his floor etc. He also had to save 20% of it towards holiday spending money!

When he was 15, he was earning £3.50 so it was doubled up to £7 (today £11.68p). A higher % had to be saved, extra chores were added such as changing his bed each week and hoovering and dusting his room each week, on bed changing days.

Now those today figures may now seem too much, but back then they were just right.

Thursday 10 September 2020

Food Shortages in the future?

Cath over in Australia on here discusses such a situation. Whilst things may be different in Australia, Covid-19 worldwide and certainly in this country, has seen unpresedented shortages. 

Whilst the top half of said post discusses things particularly relevant to Australia, certainly the rest of it would apply to us. They and us are having farm food shortages due to lack of pickers from countries not being allowed into other countries to pick the seasonal food. Much is simply being ploughed back in. That will have an effect later down the line.

Come the end of the year, whether or not Covid-19 and flu raise their ugly heads, the final part of Brexit looms. If you think it won't affect you think again.

Food prices have gradually been rising in this country since the end of last year. They have been rising faster this year. People who were borderline struggling, living pay day to pay day, are really struggling now. Food banks have seen unprecedented demands. Many new help groups have been set up to help those who are new to this scenario or longer term and struggling even more. If you are able to donate to food banks please do so. One day it might just be you.

If you can, start to think, but more importantly, act on the coming situation because it is coming.

I started our Brexit box two years ago when we should have left the EU. I slowly doubled it to two boxes, then filled box three from January when I realised the potential impact on the rapidly evolving Covid-19 situation. Yet I still got caught out. Flour, yeast, toilet rolls, pasta, tinned tomatoes, tinned soup, eggs, baby food and other baking ingredients, rapidly disappeared off the shelves, and stayed off for many weeks. Some shelves even today are still short and choice still limited.

Our weekly food bill has risen by as much as 50% depending on what we are buying. It is not just the odd 1p or 2p going onto food but 10p, 20p, 50p or even £1.

I am still adding to my 'under the stairs' pantry with long life goods. I have two boxes getting filled under the bed. Being near the end of toilet and kitchen rolls, we have now bought more. We don't need to buy too many cleaning products as we make our own for the most part. I need to check I have the basics for those, if not, I will get them in. 

Meat and fish prices are certainly rising and I still need to get things in. I read last night and it is something that had never occured to me is this. Frozen fruit and vegetables take up vital room in the freezer that could be saved by dehydrating them. Did you know that? No, me neither. 

Apparently you tip the frozen goods into a single layer on each shelf of your dehydrator. Set the temperature to 125F and dry for 5 - 6 hours, or in some cases depending on what food you are drying, up to 14 hours. Once dry, leave to cool and put into an airtight jar or mylar bags. If you need them for curries, stews, soups, chilli, spag bol etc, you tip them in at the start of your simmering process. 

Eating them with other dishes requires them to be soaked. I gather they aren't quite the same but still very good. Dehydrated sweetcorn and some other items, such as tomatoes, can be eaten dry as a crunchy snack. Check it out, there are loads of hints and tips online. It would certainly free up freezer space for other things wouldn't it?

Wednesday 9 September 2020

Another purchase and delivery of garden things...

 On the way home from town, we stopped off at our little garden centre and ordered:

10 bags of manure and 10 bags of soil improver, which were delivered later in the day. Unfortunately for them, they went to what they thought was our village, instead of using the post code we gave them. Ah well, got here eventually. Still good service despite that.

The area we are currently renovating is sadly lacking enough soil so lots of the surrounding soil will be raked in then all the area treated to manure and soil improver.

Final purchases will be plants and a crab apple tree to replace the Bramley we removed. Might even send for some fruit trees (to grow as cordons) that are happy in light shade.

Tuesday 8 September 2020

Birthday Card for DDiL

A while back, I made this for my lovely DDiL. Not too much stamping involved but I enjoyed playing and layering with the paper and card. I made a very small mistake putting it together but corrected it after much fiddling:

We also bought her a requested multi photograph frame.

Monday 7 September 2020

Round the back!

Down the bottom of the garden, near the soon to be replaced back fence is this area:

It sits behind the raised vegetable beds and fruit cage and is about 6' to 7' deep. It has an odd shape garden that used to be in a lot of light shade. Now the Bramley apple tree has gone, to the left of where DB is standing, a lot more light is available.

The path leads to the water butts and behind me, taking the photograph, is the small dustbin pond area. There was also a now unused small patio to my left, big enough for a small table and two chairs.

That has been taken up along with its concrete:

The path is brick weave but unfortunately, we put it down without a weed membrane fabric under the bricks. We can no longer keep up with the weeds popping up left, right and inbetween the bricks themselves. It too is going but these bricks will not be wasted.

Sunday 6 September 2020

Preparing for Autumn and Winter colour

We went to a nursery yesterday to mooch around (a very quick visit as per normal). We bought a 70L bag of compost, 12 potted wallflowers, 12 potted winter pansies, a sage, thyme and parsley.

The latter two are for my kitchen windowsill, joining a basil. I hope to be able to keep some going throughout winter when the outdoor ones will be, for the most part, asleep. I now need to hunt in the garage attic to see if I still possess small saucers for putting under them. Two of them are currently standing in dog food containers!

Only one saucer in the garage attic. Might buy some nice pots with saucers to put them in, especially as I have just found a self sown marjoram seedlings in one of the vegetable beds.

Saturday 5 September 2020

Drowning in brambles (blackberries)

This is about the 5th bowl harvested so far this year. Yet more to come but they are now reducing in size:

That is a chinese takeaway container in front so you can get an idea of the quantity. As they are now maturing at a smaller size (and usually less sweet), I shall start removing some of the almost finished branches. Odd berries are starting to go mouldy which will affect what's left if I don't do it.

I see due to the Banham Poultry Covid 19 outbreak, that the whole of Norfolk (seems a bit silly) has 'qualified' for the lowest level of extra government help (more testing). Up until this outbreak, the whole of Norfok was currently operating around 1 in 100,000 cases. With about 163 testing positive out of just under 1800, surely we are still around that figure? Go figure is all I can say!


Thursday 3 September 2020

Waste not want not!

Blogger is driving me nuts today. Four times I have gone on to read and the new interface has been there. Four times I have reverted to the old legacy interface. Just come on now, and the new interface is back. For goodness sake blogger, don't give us the option to remain on the legacy interface if you are going to keep changing it back:(

The cooking apple windfalls we were given the other day are starting to go off. We processed half of them but now they are rotting at a fast pace.

I set to this morning and dealt with them. I suspect many would have simply ditched them.

Here is what I managed to salvage:
And a whole compost bin of the rubbish:
I think there will be enough for at least one but probably two bags to freeze for future puddings/cakes.

Wednesday 2 September 2020

Autumn and jam making...

This is my favourite time of year, preserving and making things to see us through until harvest time next year. Some also go to people for Christmas presents, usually the ones who I can deliver them to whereas I use different, lighter presents if they need posting.

Going through the freezer last night, we found some fruit from 2018, 2019 and added some from this year.

Thawed and weighed we ended up with:

11.2oz Rhubarb and its juice
12.7oz Blackcurrants and their juice
8.8oz   Brambles after sieving
12.8oz Windfall Red Pears
12.4oz Windfall Bramley Apples

To this I added 1/2 pint cold water:
These were stewed for about 15 minutes before adding 3lb 2oz granulated sugar (90% rather than the 100% we tend to use over here. It still produces a good set but is a tad less sweet). As much scum was removed as possible:
As it was getting close to being the right consistency for setting, around 15 minutes of boiling time, I added 1 tablespoon lemon juice. After 5 more minutes, setting point was there and a small knob of butter was added to help the scum move to the sides, which again, was removed.

This amount made 6 x 1 lb jars. The 4 jars on the left all popped to indicate a good vacuum seal, the 2 on the right didn't. We will eat them asap:

Tuesday 1 September 2020

Feeling less knotty

Today was my monthly massage. Sometimes I can go 6 weeks inbetween, other times 4 weeks. This was a shorter week interval. Boy, did she find loads of knots. She was prising them away from my shoulders, neck, lower back and below both knees. They felt like marbles. So much better now although it is usually the next day before I feel the full benefit.

On the way home from food shopping, we called in at a small family run nursery to order 20 bags of gravel. We asked if they delivered, they did. For the grand price of just £5, he had dropped them off by noon. Very good service. DB had to transfer them by himself into the back garden for storage as I didn't want to undo my massage:)

Next will be 20 bags of manure, and 10 - 15 bags of compost/soil improver. We have already bought the weed suppressant membrane. Next job is lifting all the bricks and small (thank goodness) paving slabs. Then the transformation can begin.

We are not in too great a rush to complete this part of the job as the fence has to be replaced (31 years old). Don't want them trampling all over my new plants. I should also benefit from an extra 12' - 15' by 2' growing space for other things such as more fruit?, salad things, don't quite know yet. It is in very light shade apart from the very front which receives good sunlight for a few hours in summer.