“Well, actually,” he said just a few moments later and in a much calmer tone of voice, “It could just be that the overdrive linkages have failed, in which case it should be a quite easy repair!”
I really could have throttled him at that point but thankfully Muds optimism was justified and a mere half an hour later, he had discovered that the pin that connects the overdrive to the gearbox had disappeared and it was indeed a quick fix, if a little uncomfortable, what with having to lie on the gravel driveway and all.
In the meantime I had continued to prepare and cook the various components of our Sunday lunch (Roast Shoulder of Pork) and we actually sat down for our main meal at 2 o’clock. This is quite unusual for us, as we would normally have ‘Sunday Lunch’ at around 5 pmish but I had decided that, as a surprise and just for once, we would have a Sunday tea of sandwiches, scones and other goodies.
So began a quite hectic afternoon of dish washing, baking, more dish washing and more baking, until a nice batch of fruit scones was sitting on a cooling rack and the pudding I had made in secret was happily finishing off the cooking process in the warming oven of our Rayburn. In between stages I had also managed to do 2 lots of washing which were drying outside and I had sown 2 rows each of beetroot and parsnip seed into one of the raised beds, as well as sowing a few carrot seeds (‘Parmex‘ – suitable for container growing) into a large tub, in the greenhouse and I had also scattered some flower seeds (Nigella and Night Phlox) onto my main flower bed. I had hoped to get a few more seeds on the go in the house but I just didn’t have enough time.
By ten to six I had arranged pork sandwiches, buttered scones and Thorntons’ caramel shortbread, on plates on the table with shop bought party sized sausage rolls, not quite ready, cooking away in the oven. One of the few disadvantages with cooking on a solid fuel stove, is that it can be a nightmare to keep the oven at a given temperature to cook things like pastry, to a given time, hence the delay with the sausage rolls but they were ready just as we sat down to watch Dancing on Ice.
Then it was my piece de resistance: my first ever attempt at making a Lemon Meringue Pie and it turned out pretty well. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the ‘just out of the warming oven’ pie but I did get a snap of the remaining half last night. Even Mud, who doesn’t generally like Lemon Meringue, was impressed, saying that it was the best one he had ever tasted providing one of those occasions when Muds’ tendency to be honest about everything really pays dividends because I knew he meant it! The girls each had a piece in their pack ups today which pleased them no end and voted that this was another dish to go on the ‘yes’ list for repeat performances.
This morning I played ‘catch-up’. the girls had managed to get most of the Lego back up to their rooms before school, leaving me with just the main models to carefully move out of my way before I could vacuum. That then left the afternoon free for finishing of the seeds I hadn’t had chance to get around to yesterday and I now have the following in propagators on various windowsills:
- Webbs Wonderful and Salad Bowl lettuces;
- American land Cress which is incredibly easy to grow and a very nice substitute for water cress;
- More Chillis as none of the ones I sowed back on the 7th of February have come through and so I’m thinking that, for some reason, they have all failed;
- Courgette Black Beauty;
- Mangetout; and
- Another tub of Leeks.
Flowers are an important part of my garden and I have a small flower bed in the vegetable garden itself, as well as the main flower bed up by the back door and the numerous pots, tubs and baskets. The flowers in the vegetable patch are primarily to attract the attention of the friendly pest control insects and the pollinators but also add a burst of colour which is pleasing to the eye. So, in addition to the vegetables I also have the following flower seeds in propagators as well:
- Rudbekia Indian Summer a huge vibrant yellow flower which the bees love;
- Another batch of Sweet Peas;
- Marigolds as the first lot I sowed only produced 2 seedlings and they aren’t looking that healthy;
- Dwarf Asters;
- Livingstone Daisies which have to be one of my favourites in the garden, especially if planted in mixed clumps; and
I finished my garden jobs by potting up the 12 Cherry tomato seedlings and then got on with tea, feeling that, all things considered, I’ve had 2 very successful and productive days.