Saturday 27 February 2021

Sitting out!

After promising warm weather all week, yesterday the sun was out, and more importantly, there wasn’t any wind. We managed to have a cup of tea on the patio in the afternoon.

Today, we were able to have lunch outside - glorious. We both had to have sun hats on as we were squinting!

Having a rest now before giving Ruby a wash. She has not been too well poo wise so is in need of a good clean to freshen her up. She was trimmed earlier, such a smart girl now. Need to clip her nails tomorrow and trim her feet. Then she will be good to go for a while.

Once she is done, I will do a bit more weeding in the new border. It is infested with comfrey which we must have accidentally strewn around last year. I really hope to get it done whilst the good weather is here.

DB is going to level the edging stones along the path in the fruit cage. We have also put the top net back on to keep the birds out. The buds are slowly beginning to break on the fruit bushes and last year, the sparrows were stripping them off:(

Although it is early, there are the white tip beginnings of blossom buds on the plums. They could do with waiting a little otherwise frost will destroy them.

Thursday 25 February 2021

Fruit cage almost finished - and Andy

We watched Andy play his only round in Montpellier. First set was very good. He got broken but broke back staright away. It went to a tie break and each of them had 3 chances to take the set. Unfortunately, his third attempt, on an empty court, he put the ball just too long. His movement was very good. First serve was terrible, just 43%, something he will have to improve on somehow.

Obviously tweaked his back early on in the second set as he was wincing after certain moves and lost 6 - 1. First set though was a vast improvement on his challenger event so hope yet.

Yesterday, we were busy outside, digging the LHS of the fruit cage. All the plants were dug up, 3 bags of manure put down, then things replanted. We now have the 3 dwarf raspberries together with a rhubarb at the end. It of course doesn't need to be in there but we have nowhere else to put it:

There is just room at the end of the path to put in something else, don't know what yet. Also, my newly acquired apline strawberries have yet to be put in. Getting there at last!

Wednesday 24 February 2021

Peanut Butter Cookies - Vegan

Another recipe from the lovely Niamh at Fairyland Cottage. Quick to make though I couldn't get the coconut sugar to melt so I add the flax 'egg' to the pan and it went fine after that. I managed to get 16 small cookies:

I gave them 12 minutes, then carefully flicked them over and cooked them for another 2 minutes. After that, I placed the tray and cookies on the cold sink draining board to cool off, then onto a cooling tray. I didn't add the chopped date or the molasses.

Link is here.

These were just a tad too peanutty for me. Next time, I will use a different butter but add some chopped nuts. I also might try adding a little raising agent as well. They are rich enough to use only one at a time so that is a bonus!

Tuesday 23 February 2021

Fruit Cage - UPDATED

We have noticed that the soil level in the fruit cage was diminishing for some reason. When it rained, we had large puddles forming and some of the fruit plants were sitting in sumps. Now, some of that is due to the ground itself, as we have a thin layer of clay about 18" down. Generally though, it has always been okay.

Having bought far too many bags of manure when we created our new border at the back of the garden, we covered them for winter protection.

Finally, we were able to get started. The two gooseberries and one raspberry were dug out on the RHS of the cage. The bramble stayed put. 4 bags of manure were added, dug in and the gooseberries replaced. The raspberry was temporarily put in on the LHS:

The soil is only about 1" or 1 1/2" deeper but it is better. Rather than raise the path, we utilised edge tiles from other parts of the garden to form a barrier to stop the new soil falling onto the path. At the end of the path were a few snowdrops, these were moved to this side.

This LHS picture shows work still to be done, tomorrow hopefully:

This space has 3 raspberry plants and a rhubarb. We will lift, add manure, dig in and replant. Our order came yesterday. The two gooseberries have gone down the RHS of the fruit cage:

The crab apple tree 'Laura' has gone into the back border:
Hopefully they will thrive!

Monday 22 February 2021

My first job

When I left school, I had secretarial qualifications of accounts, commerce, shorthand and typing. Those were the days if you applied for several jobs, you often got offered most of them. 
Anyhow, I got a job with The Fatstock Marketing Corporation (Pig Division), as a junior clerk. I took lots of phone calls from farmers, who were letting me know how many of their pigs were going to market that week. I then had to type out paperwork to be sent off to the farmer and also the haulier so they could plan how many lorries were needed. Once the animals were slaughtered, cheques were posted out to the farmer.
I worked a 40 hour week, starting at 9 am and finishing at 5pm, with 1 hour for lunch. My boss was called Geoff and he had a florid complexion (high blood pressure I think) as he was highly stressed all the time. He was going bald and had tight blond curly hair. I was paid the princely sum of £7 a week and gave my sister and her husband, who I lived with, £5 a week.

There were two salesmen who only came into the office a couple of times a week. They liased directly with the farmers but I don't know what they actually did. However, a few times a year, they would come into the office laden with pork pies, sausages, bacon, or pork joints, which were thankyou presents from farmers. We each got to choose something.

I was only there for one Christmas but we could order, free of charge, a pork joint of our choice and I order a large pork loin.

There was an office manager plus another clerk in the office. We were at the top of the building, the 3rd floor and shared it with a French woman who ran her own business. Can't remember what she did but once a month, she used to boil tripe and it stank out the entire office building!

The office manager left and an American woman was in charge. Although she had a good head of hair, she insisted on wearing a wig to work (she had several), and came in looking very glamorous each day, wearing a different style.

Office staff changed frequently. In the end, apart from her, I had been there the longest and was repeatedly overlooked for promotion even though I could do every job in the office. 

In the end I left to better my office skills and got a job at The Halifax Building Society as a Junior Filing Clerk for a remarkable £95 a month. Wow! I hadn't realised until then, just what a pittance I had been earning. 

By the way, if when typing your posts you want to make a list or ingredients for recipes etc., you might have noticed it is difficult as you always get a paragraph between lines? If you look above where all the little icon buttons are, you will see the word paragraph and a downward point bit. Click on that and select normal. Now you can either enter line after line fine, or double enter to get your paragraph.


Sunday 21 February 2021

Money ...

Savings! Do you have any? The great 'they', recommend you save a minimum of 3 months of salary. It should never be touched until needed. Occasions when needed might be long term illness, death, losing your job or the current pandemic. Personally, I think you would be better to save for up to 6 months. If this pandemic has shown us anything, it is how quickly you can get into debt after losing your job (or being furloughed on far less money), which can lead to the loss of a roof over your head.

If you have never saved before, preferring instead to use every penny every month enjoying yourself, maybe this has been a wakeup call. I really, really hope so but to be honest, I'm not wholly convinced of that. So many people poured out of shops, overloaded with many bags of clothes in particular, once the first lockdown ended.

Talking of savings, we have been taught a salutary lesson recently. We have an instant access savings account that for some reason, got locked out of. Now luckily, we didn't need to access it at that particular time but it took 10 days to be sorted out. It was their problem, not ours and so far, no apology has been received. What if it had been our bill/mortgage/food account, how would we have paid those bills? Lesson learned.

We have now opened a new account, with a different group and some money from our current savings will be diverted into that.  Hopefully, that will be the problem sorted and we will always be able to access savings when needed. If you are in the situation with all your instant access savings in one basket, might it be worth your while distributing them into other accounts?

Luckily, when DB retired, he opted to take his government pension weekly. If ever there is a week when money is tight, we know some is coming soon. If I have the option when my time comes, I shall do the same.



Saturday 20 February 2021

Never too old to learn?

I don't think many of us could have realised just what an impact a pandemic would have in our lives. How long it would last, or how it will continue to effect us in the months/years to come.

It would be fair to say that things really don't matter, keeping up with the Jones' doesn't matter, constantly buying the latest this that or the other, really doesn't matter. If it did, hopefully you might have seen that it really doesn't.

Staying alive is important, food and warmth are important, being kind to each other is important. Being able to pay bills is preferable.

We have always tried to maintain a good emergency food cupboard. There hasn't been a reason to recently, but the year DS was born, our village got cut off for just over a week. Nothing got in or out. The very small village shop ran out of essential foods in just two days.

This need to prep, was increased as Brexit loomed, is still in use and will remain a permanent attitude. Lets face it, Brexit problems are coming further down the line, we are still in the grace period, food prices are rising and items are missing on the shelves. We aren't going to eat our food store up, just because some people think we should "as it will all be over soon". Yeah right, what about the next thing then?

Bottle water is not in there, perhaps it should be but I hate bottled water and it would go to waste. At the end of the day, we have water butts and if push came to shove, we would filter, boil and drink that. If we had time, the bath would be filled up as well. We have been looking at life straws or other methods of filtering water.

Ah I hear you say, what if you had no way of heating said water, if the utilities were out, what then? Our village doesn't have gas. As witnessed in Texas, having gas didn't help one jot as the gas mains, along with the water mains, fractured and caused further chaos. An underused (to date) piece of equipment we have tucked away is a single hob gas camping cooker. We bought it originally to use for wok cooking as our cooker at the time, didn't get hot enough. We have quite a few spare canisters tucked away also so that would enable us to boil water, as and when needed, warm food etc.

When we bought this house, it had a fire. Eventually we changed it to a wood burner. We have a small kettle that can sit on the top, again water and food can be cooked on top of it. 

Talking about utilities, what about lights, keeping fridges and freezers going. We are not mainstream preppers and don't have a generator. We don't plan on one either. That would mean some of the food going to waste in the freezer but something has to give somewhere. Our upright freezer is relatively full but a lot of what is in there could be eaten quickly over just a few days. If the worst happens (in winter), then snow or ice (or cold water, if available, in a thermal box in summer) would help to create a mini fridge if necessary. I use to do this all the time pre fridge days. 

Lights - we have oil lamps plus spare oil, and quite a few candles but I do want to buy either a solar or wind up light. For Christmas, DB received a wind up mobile phone charger for emergencies.

What about money. I don't know if this is/was a problem in Texas but are their card machines working? If not, due to power outages, how are they buying food - cash? Can they access cash? Should you keep a small amount of notes in the house? 

More tomorrow.

Friday 19 February 2021

Itching to sort out the garden and more Granola

Next week, the weather is supposed to be relatively warm and dry. If so, we will attempt to dig up plants in the fruit cage as a lot has washed away in various winter storms. We can’t just dump more on top as the plants would be too deep.

It is currently too wet but hopefully, lifting two at a time, digging in manure and compost, then replanting will get it done.

I didn't have an orange to add the zest to the recipe so did without. To be honest, it is just as good. We don't eat this as granola as it would disappear too quickly. Instead I have 2 tablespoons added to my smoothie, once blended. DB adds two to the top of his porridge :

The recipe and link to this is here.

Thursday 18 February 2021

Birthday card for Ruby's sister

My, how time flies! The puppies will be 3 tomorrow! I have chosen to do a bit of simple Origami, on a nice background, for this card:

I didn't have any shiny beads for the eyes so just coloured them in black. All in all, I like it!

Wednesday 17 February 2021

More Baking - trying healthier options...

This first recipe comes from Niamh of Fairyland Cottage. It is for Chocolate and Cranberry Cookies. Her recipes is Vegan, mine not entirely so. You can find her version here.


3/4 cup buckwheat/wholemeal flour,

1/4 cup raw cacao/cocoa,

1/2 tsp baking soda/bicarbonate of soda,

pinch sea salt

2/3 cup coconut sugar,

1/4 cup coconut oil,

1 tsp vanilla extract,

1/3 cup almond milk/any milk,

2 tbsp molasses, black treacle/maple syrup,

1/2 cup cranberries or other dried fruit,

1/2 cup chopped 90% cacao/or good quality chocolate. I used fruit and nut.

Mix together the flour, cacao, bicarb and salt. Stir in the coconut sugar, chopped chocolate and dried fruit. Carefully melt the coconut oil, vanilla extract and molasses etc together. Pour into the dry mix, mix well, adding the milk as you go.

Now, using cocoa, which absorbs differently to cacoa, I found the mix a little sticky so added another tablespoon of buckwheat flour.

Roll into balls, place on the lined baking tray, flatten slightly and bake at 180C for 10 minutes. Again, using cocoa, I found I needed to bake for between 12 and 14 minutes.

Leave them on the tray, on a cold surface such as the draining board, until cold. Put them into a tin.

Oven: 180c for 10 minutes

Here are mine:

These will be a once a day indulgence with our afternoon cup of tea.

Tuesday 16 February 2021


 After 4 days of both of us working on our first new 500 piece puzzle, we finished it:

It got tricky towards the end as the middle bit had lots of similar patterned and coloured pieces.

We went shopping today and managed to get back for 09:05, nearly a record for us. The shops were almost devoid of the public but loads of home shopping staff flitting around.

The snow has gone after the rain of last night. The garden is even more soggy and will be worse still with 2 days of rain/showers to come.

All being well though, towards the end of the week, sun and warm weather return for just a few days, and we might, just might, be able to get our new containers filled up. We kept most of the soil under cover so hopefully, it won't be too soggy and thereby very heavy. Haven't got all the plants I need but shall buy any extra needed once lockdown finishes. Our nearest garden centre is too far away to go peruse any at the moment.

Monday 15 February 2021

Thank you Mr. Postman!

 Poor Andy was completely out of sorts yesterday and lost his final. It was the worst he had played all week. Too long, too wide, in the net etc. Methinks he will have lots to work on but his movement was fine.

We decided to bite the bullet and buy some more jigsaw puzzles, online from The Works. They range from a 500 piece for £5 to 1000 pieces for £7, so not too expensive. We bought 5 to get free postage:

We are currently doing the 500 piece Pets on Wash.

Sunday 14 February 2021

Watching Andy on ATP Challenger TV

 I have been watching Andy Murray all week in his Challenger Match in Italy. It has been hard work for him and me!

At times he was sluggish regarding decisions and depth of ball, some of them poor. His movement on the whole though, has been very good. Opponents are doing lots of drop shops not expecting him to get there. Most of the time he does, others he doesn't bother with if too far away. He has, on the whole, got better as the week progressed and if he wanted to be match fit, is beginning to get there but he has been breathless at times. Possibly post coronavirus?

He is in the final this afternoon, about 3:30pm. Be warned, they don't find it easy to find him as his match often doesn't pop up until the last minutes. However, if you want to try and find him, this should get you in the vicinity of him here.

Drop down to Biella 1 tournaments and eventually his match will pop up.

Friday 12 February 2021

Chocolate & Oat Bars/Balls

I got this recipe from The Fairyland Cottage here.

We quite often have banana freezer balls so I thought I would also do these as balls. Here's the recipe:

2 cups rolled oats, mixed together with 1 cup granola and a good pinch of salt. Melt 4 tablespoons coconut oil. Add in 1/2 cup carob/cocoa powder, 1 cup of any nut butter (I warmed it to make it easier to mix in), 1/2 cup proper maple syrup and a teaspoon vanilla extract.

Add the wet ingredients into the oat mixture and mix together well.  Now, you can either put these into a 7" x 9" base lined tin, carefully mark out bars before putting into the freezer for about an hour. Turn out break up into the bars and store in a container in the fridge.

OR, you can roll them into walnut sized balls (I use a 1" ice cream scoop), flash freeze on a tray, pack into a container then remove them one at a time from the freezer to eat. I managed to make 22:

I was freezing in bed last night, shivering away. Last night was slightly warmer than the night before and I didn't feel cold then, so reckon it might have been my vaccination. Feel fine today apart from a slight twinge at the injection site.

Thursday 11 February 2021


Walked to the surgery this morning. From arrival to outside, less than 2 minutes. Most impressive. I had theAstra Zeneca version and as I live close by, was allowed home. Didn’t feel the needle at all just a very light pressure as the fluid went in. I shall let you know how I fare in the next few days. 

They said they are aiming to do the second vaccination in less than 12 weeks. Guess it depends on the size of their patient list. 

Our walking buddy E., still hasn’t been called although her husband had his last Sunday. They are however, registered with a huge practice.

DB is 3 weeks into his post Pfizer vaccination time, still zero side effects yet my dentist said he and all his staff had sore arms and general aches. The luck of the draw I guess.

Last evening we watched the new Tom Hank’s film, News of the World and really enjoyed it. Glad I didn’t live in those times though!

Wednesday 10 February 2021

Pheasant in a snow backpack!

Yesterday, and in particular overnight, most unexpectedly, we had more snow, about 2 1/2":

That makes 5 1/2" in total as can be seen on raised bed 3:
Raised bed 1 has had some blown off:

Made a mockery of us not going shopping on our usual day fearing heavy snow and slipperery surfaces. Today the roads were covered and driving into town, we averaged about 25 mph. It was a winter wonderland with heavy snow hanging on all the bare branches, wish I had taken some pictures of that, far more interesting!

I know food prices must be rising gradually which can catch us unawares. Our grocery only bill today was far more than it used to be. I checked the individual prices once home and anywhere from 2p to 10p extra on most prices from just a short while ago.

We menu plan, shop from the pantry and still costs rise. We only bought one piece of steak as our entire meat for this week so can't blame it on meat.

Tuesday 9 February 2021

Hempseed Soda Bread - Updated!

Another 1 1/2” of snow fell yesterday. Thinks it’s going away now so the roads and pavements will be clear and safe again.

I have only recently discovered hemp seed and am a big fan. They have such a wonderful taste. We fancied a change having not had any soda bread for quite a while. This is an old recipe, from Farmhouse Cookery published by Readers Digest in 1980.

9oz Plain White Flour (not bread flour), 9oz Plain Brown Flour, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1 1/2 oz solid fat of your choice. Mix flours and salt together and rub in the fat. Add 2 heaped tablespoons of shelled hemp seeds and stir in.

Add 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda, 4 teaspoons cream of tartar and 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar. Mix in.

Add  up to 3/4 pint of butter milk, or half milk and plain yoghurt. combined to make 3/4 pint.

Providing you have only added enough milk to bring together to form a ball on a floured surface, all should be well. I added the whole lot of liquid without thinking and ended up with a wet sticky dough that couldn't be formed:

Place on a floured tray and bake at 220C for about 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Remove from tray and place on a cooling tray:

This should last 2 or 3 days. Soft for the first day, getting more firm after that. It does make nice toast though.

Monday 8 February 2021

Covid 19 Nationwide Testing Kit

We have about 2” - 3” of snow it is very, very cold but less windy:

I received my kit the yesterday. Here is what was in it:

I had to read the blue instruction booklet a few times to get the jist of it. First thing, was to go online and book the courier, got today, weather permitting!

Today, I attempted to swab both tonsils, and failed. I have had a sore throat on and off for nearly a year now so maybe it is super sensitive. I couldn't stop gagging and was in danger of throwing up so gave up that element after a couple of swipes:(

However, doing both nostrils was fine and I snapped it off into the the test tube. Labelled both it and the bag, sealed the bag, put it in the box (once made up), attached a return label to the company and put it into the fridge until collected.

Now I have to wait about 5 days for the results, if indeed they can get any results. How exciting to be selected and feel like I am at least doing my bit!

A very long online questionnaire was filled in.

I have been called for my vaccination later in the week so am looking forward to getting it done. Looks like it will be the Oxford one as my doctor is doing it at our surgery. I am not too worried about the current news surrounding it as the survey was tiny.

They didn't have the freezer storage for the Pfizer one so DB had it done by our doctor but at another practice.

Sunday 7 February 2021

Yum yum pudding for 3 days..

Using 3 eggs (190g) and their weight in both flour and chosen fat (190g), less sugar (100g), a pinch of salt and some almond extract, I made a sponge which was placed into a smallish lasagne dish.

A small eating apple was chopped and scattered on top, along with some still frozen blackberries from the 2019 garden. A couple of teaspoons of sugar were sprinkled on top of those and the whole thing baked at 190C for about 30 minutes:

We shall have 1/6th each, with custard, over the next few days. Can't beat a good but simple pudding.

Saturday 6 February 2021

Poor Ruby!

 We decided to take her to the vet as she was still shaking her head and slinking around the room. She has somehow managed to rupture her left eardrum! She also had very full anal glands even though she wasn’t scooting around on her bum.

Anyhow, steroids for two weeks, phone them in 7 to 10 days to let them know how she is. Phone earlier if she becomes unwell with an ear infection and they will see her in about 3 weeks to check if it is recovering.

Dogs eh!

Not sure we will get much snow now as it now seems it will stall over Essex and Kent when it arrives.

Friday 5 February 2021


We tend not to take a great deal of notice of our local weather forecast as it always seems slightly out. The main weather forecast always seems different for whatever reason.

However, both seem to be talking about snow. Now we live in quite a dip in so called flat Norfolk, but anyone who cycles will know, Norfolk isn't flat. It tends to get confused in places with Cambridgeshire which is flatter, in particular, the Fens. 

This snow, if it arrives, will coincide with our main shopping day. To be safe, we are popping out to get just a few items that we are quite low on. We went out the other day to top up our meat which was almost non-existent and I could kick myself for not thinking about these items then.

Time will tell if they have the forecast right. It could be a little or quite a lot (for us that is). The last good and deep amount of snow, about 9" was  in 1994, before that, 1987 when we had between 2' and 3'. 

1987 was also the year when we had huge 'swords' of ice hanging from the gutters as the snow slowly melted and refroze every night for weeks. Our village was also cut off for a couple of weeks and the village store was emptied as people panic bought. It was also the year of the hurricane!




Thursday 4 February 2021

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Welcome to Mary.

This Eating Well soup is delicious. I increased the orzo pasta to 1 cup, left out the celery as I didn't have any. In its place I added a tin of mushrooms and only added salt at the end. We don't like kale so switched that with spinach!

Notwithstanding those changes, it was still delicious. The recipe link is here.

It made enough for us to have 3 ladles each for two days. We served it 'with new to us' sourdough crumpets which are gorgeous. 

We were quite concerned with Ruby yesterday. I had put some ear wax remover in her ears, as I usually do so didn't think anything of it. After tea she started to behave weird. Couldn't settle, kept snapping her head up as though something had caught her attention. On top of that she would lay for a few minutes then run around the room, tail between her legs in a low position, almost like they do when scared.

She was like this all evening, changing positions, changing room. In the end I got in touch with DS who said the ear drops might have dislodged some wax which was moving inside her ear and spooking her a bit. We put some more drops in just before her bedtime. Havning not slept all evening, she was so tired she laid straight down come bedtime. 

This morning, back to her usual cheerful self.

Wednesday 3 February 2021

Rain and size does matter!

I had a quick stroll along the patio this morning to check on plants. I could see and hear excess rainwater squishing out from a few of the slabs. When laid, each of the slabs were placed on 5 piles of mortar so I was quite surprised to hear it.

We normally bake a medium sized loaf of bread once or twice a week. We don't eat it every day tending to use it for sandwiches when fresh, then toast as it ages. We have an electric slicer and normally get about 16 slices of bread from said loaf. 8 slices are frozen and 8 put into use. We can get around 5 or 6 days doing this from the whole loaf.

Lately, we have chosen to slice it when needed and it has disappeared in around 3 or 4 days. Back to slicing it then!

Tuesday 2 February 2021

Maids of Honour

Welcome to Jane and Lori.

Having finished our cakes, I was trying to decide what to bake next. I thought about Welsh cakes but didn't have a lemon. Bara Brith, nope, not hitting the mark. Then I saw the ground almonds and almond extract in the fridge. I know, maids of honour.

A batch of pastry was quickly made, using 6oz P. Flour, a 1/2 tsp baking powder ( a trick from my MinL that allows pastry to be rerolled several times),  and 1/2 oz each of lard and margarine.

10 circles were cut (that was all the pastry would do) and put into tins. A teaspoon of nice home made jam next followed by the almond topping. It comprised of one egg, 3oz ground almonds, 2 - 3oz sugar and 1/2 tsp almond extract. There was only enough for 9 but by removing bits from those, I was able to top the 10th one!

Baked at 190C for 25 minutes or until just starting to brown and there we have them. 10 chunky tarts:

We shopped yesterday rather than our normal day as the weather forecast is dire. Monday is not a great day to shop. Although empty of people, the shelves still hadn't been fully restocked. Instead of our normal 2 supermarkets, we had to go to three. It was a bit of a shock in the third one for us to be informed only one of us could enter. I did so and DB waited by the exit.

Monday 1 February 2021

Troughing along...

The glavanished cattle troughs have had holes drilled in the bottom and those holes protected with metal paint.

The next thing we had to contemplate was insulation. Its no good spending money to plant these things up, only to have them die through heat exhaustion or freezing to death.

In the end, we decided to spend a bit extra and buy e-foam. This is the kind of stuff you have in yoga or camping mats, kneeling pads etc. We bought 1cm deep, it was a smidge deeper than that and off DB went.

Measure twice, cut once, double checking with me. We couldn't buy the full height needed as it would be too expensive, but worked out that if 33cm of the 40 cm is protected, that should be fine. The gap will leave room for grit and watering.

We decided to use double sided tape, on the inside, along the top edge to get it to hold flush against the sides. It doesn't matter if it doesn't hold long term, as the soil should do that once full. The two long sides done here:

All four sides here:

Next job, put in gravel for drainage, then weed fabric to help prevent soil washing down into the gravel and bunging up the holes.

On a nice, warmer day, we shall lug the soil required from where it was deposited in the raised beds. Then planting (haven't yet got everything I need though), then grit for the herb trough and it will be done. Phew!