EOMV

End of Month View – October 2011

It is at this time of the year that I start to let the garden go.   I am never too sure why, perhaps it is because it no longer gets any sun and feels damp and depressing.   Despite having little rain, what we have had has left the plants and lawn soggy.   Everything has stopped growing and I am always in a quandary whether I should pull it all up and make everything look clean and tidy, or  leave it to create some Winter architecture.  I tend to do the latter because I don’t like to see bare borders.

Also, I have spent more time out of the garden, with my photography and have left it to its own devices over the last few weeks.   Taking a walk around the garden this morning, to do a past month review, I noticed that the Rudbeckia have gone black and mouldy so come next weekend they will have to cut down.  I am hoping that if I don’t pull them up, they might come back next year.

Forget-me-nots have spread themselves under the fennel and rosemary and are probably elsewhere if the truth be known.  Whilst I love to see the little blue flowers in the Spring, I  find that I have a lot to remove about this time of the year.   They are great ground cover but really do need to be kept in check.

Nasturtiums are winding themselves all over the place and before I know it,  little seed pods will have tucked themselves comfortably into the soil, ready to take over again next year.  Even when I turn the soil, nothing seems to prevent them from coming back.  I could pull them up as they grow, before they have time to self-seed, but I quite enjoy seeing them rambling up the climbing rose.   My Mum used to grow Nasturtiums and I suppose that I why I like to have them in my garden, they remind me of my childhood.

Next year I am not going to grow so many tomatoes, but then I say that every year.   There are only so many you can eat and give away, and I don’t have time to make chutney to use up the green ones.   They have grown very well this year in the raised bed, this was the first time I have grown them this way and not in pots or grow bags.   I will certainly grow them this way again.  I do feel ashamed though to have let my tomato plants look like this.

The weather is unseasonably mild and as I have mentioned in earlier posts, plants are clearly confused.    The great thing is that even though we have got to the end of October, there are still flowers in the garden.    Roses, as usual, are incredibly hardy and continue to bloom, often up to Christmas.

Every time I write a post about the garden, I include a photo of  my passion flower and I offer no apologies for that.  It is still flowering, but soon I am going to have to deal with it being in a small pot.  I have not had to tackle this before, but the amount of growth it put on this year has meant that I need to address this problem.    Advice please!!   Where do I start?  I am worried that if I cut it right down, so I can re-pot it, it might not recover and it has been so glorious this year.

Not everybody likes Fuchsias, they can be seen as gaudy, but I am happy with mine.  Whilst I would not go out and buy fuchsia plants, these were  inherited and  need very little attention apart from a drastic pruning at the end of the year.    They flower  prolifically every year and give great colour down the side garden.

Finally, if you walked into my garden you would notice the overwhelming smell, (not sure if I can call it a perfume!) of the Ivy.  When I first moved in 10 years ago, I found it quite abhorrent but now I am used to it.   I really must arrange for some drastic work to remove a lot of the ivy which has now grown a good 2ft above the 5ft stone wall that borders three sides of the garden.    That is why, in the Autumn/Winter the garden gets no sun and I always have a dilemma as to the best time to do this.   Now is not good because the birds are feeding off the flowers and the flowerbeds are still fairly full.  If I leave it until the Spring the birds have made their nests in it.    All suggestions welcome please.

Before I finish, I want to say thank you to Helen at Patient Gardener for running this monthly meme.    Please take a look at the other contributors and see how they have fared this last month.

Photography, Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

I found Ashley’s photographic blog a few weeks ago, and for the last two Sundays have contributed to her Scavenger Hunt Sunday on my other blog,  A New Decade Dawns.   I started a New Decade with the intention of solely displaying photos as I travel the journey of learning how to use my camera.    The lines are in danger of getting blurred because Scavenger Hunt Sunday requires words too, and that is not the point of the other blog.  So, from this weekend I have decided to enter my photos and words using my Hurtled blog.

What is Scavenger Hunt Sunday?  At the beginning of each week we are given 5 prompts to inspire us to take creative photos.  This week the prompts are:

Macro   *   Found Texture (natural textures, not applied)   *   Home  *    Cover     *   Tree

It’s been a busy week at work and I haven’t had a lot of time or the opportunity to hunt for photos this week.   Yesterday I took my camera down to the beach and set my own personal challenge to find all five interpretations  in one place.

  • MACRO

There is no shortage of pebbles on our beach, and the seaweed was in abundance this weekend.

  • FOUND TEXTURE

This prompt is for natural textures, rather than the cleverly applied textures that can be added to photos after they have been taken, via PhotoShop or similar programs.  I laid down on the beach to get this shot!!

  • HOME

This one was difficult, how could I find an interpretation of HOME when on the beach.   A spot of lateral thinking came into play when I saw the fishing boats.   We are very lucky to have local fishermen who sell their fresh catch on the beach.  My HOME photo then is the boats, up on the beach, home from a night’s fishing.   A bit tenuous but I hope it is acceptable, I am really pleased with this photo, I think it looks like a painting.

  • COVER

The sailing boats at the sailing club were my next port of call along the beach, where I found lots of covers.

  • TREE

There are not a lot of these by the beach, and certainly not a single tree so in the spirit of artistic licence, this photo is of more than one tree.  They are all at an angle, blown that way by the wind off the sea.

So there you have them, my interpretations for  Scavenger Hunt Sunday.   Now I have a week to find FOOD,  PURPLE,  IN DISGUISE,  SHAPES and PHOTOGRAPHER’ S  CHOICE.

Some of the photos I have  linked to the blogs belonging to those who have suggested the above items.    Please take the time to check them out too, there are some incredibly clever photographers out there.

Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hidden

How often do we walk past something or somewhere regularly, wonder what it is or what is behind the wall, but never stop to find out?

On my daily walk to work, as I cross one of the roads, just down from the crossing I can see  a set of black wrought iron gates, set in a stone wall.  Frequently, I think I must take a look through those gates, to see what is there but until now never have done.     The Weekly Photo Challenge of  Hidden was just the reason I needed to go and take a peek.

This is what I found hidden behind the wall:-

 

 

Because I couldn’t gain access to the graveyard, I was unable to discover what the granite monolith below  is or if there was anything written on it.   It was, however, a strange thing to see in a graveyard.

 

The most special discovery of this graveyard was this notice:-

Thank you Weekly Challenge to give me the nudge I needed to find what gem was hidden from me on my walk to work.

Garden blogging

Knitting, Reading and Winter Evenings

It is dark now when I get home from work, so pottering in the garden is no longer an option.   It’s time to snuggle down, put the lights on, close the curtains and make myself comfortable on the sofa with my knitting.    This consists of  jumpers for the grandchildren, scarves and gloves for Christmas presents and anything else that takes my fancy.  I am as addicted to wool shops come the Autumn as I am to garden centres in the Spring.

As the weather gets colder I head towards the wool shop, carried away with the wonderful variety of yarns and patterns and buoyed up on a wave of excitement,  like a child in a toy shop, I  fall into the trap of buying too many patterns with accompanying wool and end up with several projects on the go at the same time.

This week, along with other wools,  I bought the most beautiful soft cashmere/merino baby wool for a jumper and hat for my granddaughter.

When I dug out the knitting box, I found a half knitted jumper, started earlier this year with good intentions until it was sidelined because the garden called.   At the bottom of the box there are  eight balls of  untouched cotton yarn in red, orange and yellow, ready for a striped  jumper that didn’t  get as far as a cast-on row.    I have promised myself that these will be finished before the Spring.

Books have the same effect on me, but this addiction is all year round.   There is something inspiring about the feel of a new book and turning pages that no-one else has turned before.    I very much doubt if I will be one to move on to a Kindle or the like, somehow I don’t think, for me anyway, that these will replace the joy I get from reading a book made of paper, being able to hold it and turn each page.  I can almost hear all you Kindle readers saying ” You should try it, you will soon become a convert”, well all I can say is time will tell.

Again, like buying too many knitting patterns, I buy too many books.    Fortunately,  most bookshops seem to no longer run  3 for 2 deals.   Someone told me it was because authors were not getting their fair share of royalties, and that is why if you go to bookshops such as WH Smith or Waterstones you will find a “Buy one get one half price” deals instead.    This will stop me from buying that third book I don’t really need and probably would never have bought  if it was not ‘free’.    How often do you stand in a bookshop for longer than you intended just because you were pondering on which third book to choose?  Did you really need it and have you read it yet?

Airports are also a bad place for me.  There I am,  with the book I recently bought to read on the plane in my bag and an hour to kill, so what do I do?   Head to the bookshops and buy ANOTHER book!!!

So presently, not only do I have three lots of knitting projects, I have the following books by my bedside:-

  • Alexander McCall Smith – Berties Plays the Blues
  • Dodie Smith – I Captured a Castle
  • Kathryn Stockett – The Help

You will note from the selection above that I am not a heavy weight, highly intellectual reader.   I like to read at bedtime, in bed, which is probably a throw-back to having bedtime stories read to me.

Is it any wonder that I am struggling to find time to catch up on reading other blogs too.      Reading blogs is  important to me, I have some lovely followers now and feel it is somewhat selfish to expect them to give the time to visit my blog and for me not to visit them.

Also there is photography which  is a growing hobby of mine.   I love contributing to some brilliant blogs and their photographic challenges.     I never go anywhere without a camera now, my Fuji compact is always in my bag and my Nikon SDLR I take out with me at weekends, always on the look out for a good opportunity.

Add all the above  to  spending the necessary time in the garden, which still needs some care and attention, I think maybe  Winter is going to be busier than I had expected.    I can’t think why I was wondering  earlier today what I was going to be blogging about now there is little happening in the garden.   Yes, that is something else I have to find time for,  writing my blog.    The content now will be more variable until the Spring when I can start to share the garden again with you and I hope you will all continue to enjoy “Hurtled To 60 and Now Beyond” and keep coming back for more.

 

100 Word Challenge

Autumn makes her announcement (100 Word Challenge Week #16)

This is  the second week of my contribution to the 100 Word Challenge.    Back to 100 words,  the prompt is a photograph of a papier mache hand and burger  and the challenge is to write something from a vegetarian point of view.   Click on the photo for more information.

After composing herself, Autumn decided to return to the meeting and stand her ground.

As she opened the door, they watched in silence, her willowy figure framed in the doorway.   Nervously she smoothed her hands down the front of her signature russet and camel MaxMara outfit.    Autumn took a deep breath and stepped into the room.

With all the dignity she could muster, she took her place at the table again.  Autumn then made her announcement: “Grandpa bequeathed the burger bar to me,  from now on it will only sell vegetarian food”.

The family took a sharp intake of breath.

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