Monday, December 6

Hunkering down

It's one of those very rare weeks when I am really struggling for anything to write. It's been a bleak week weather-wise. We've had brief glimpses of brightness which has quickly been consumed by gloom. It's been wet and freezing cold, not the sort of weather that could tempt us into the garden or to the plot especially as we weren't really needing to harvest anything for cooking. Even, Ruby, at times, would stand at the door reluctant to venture out into the rain.
Even had the weather been better, we would have had little time for gardening 

Martyn had a hospital appointment on Monday. As I wasn't allowed to go in with him, I sat in the car with my iPad to keep me company. We are never confident that we will manage to grab a car parking space, despite the car park being huge, so one of us needs to be available to move the car around whilst the other attends the appointment. Amazingly parking was free, probably a Covid safety measure. Parking at the hospital can be an expensive business especially if appointments are running late.

Tuesday, I couldn't stop sneezing and had a permanently streaming nose. I hadn't been anywhere so goodness knows where that came from. I was a bit concerned so took a lateral flow test which happily was negative. Remarkably the 'cold' had disappeared completely by the next day. 

Thursday, Martyn has another hospital appointment - this time by telephone and on Friday we took my sister for a flu jab. Her doctor wasn't offering flu vaccines this year, as they are concentrating on Covid vaccinations, so we had to make an appointment with a pharmacist.

I finally was contacted to arrange an appointment with a dermatologist. The appointment is in January. As the rash comes and goes in intensity, I'm concerned that by the time I go to the appointment things may be going through a calm stage and I'll feel as though I am wasting everyone's time! I will go armed with photographs though which go back at least to June.

So other than medical issues it's been a week for hunkering down indoors. At least we have had, heat, light and a means of producing a hot meal.  The poor people further north have been without power for over a week now. I do wonder whether problems with power supplies will be something we will all become familiar with in the future. For now we are the lucky ones.

As we weren't venturing out, I decided to make some sausage rolls. We don't eat pork and so I made some turkey and mushroom rolls. As usual, they are very rustic. Most have now been frozen.

I didn't use any of our produce in the sausage rolls but did use some of our harvests in other meals.

I used our onions, garlic and frozen peas in some sweet and sour chicken. The recipe, that the meal was based, on calls for sugar snap peas but I didn't have any. I really only used similar ingredients but cooked it in a pan rather than the quick microwave method described.

I used some of our potatoes, carrots, onion and garlic in a vegetable version of a 'shepherd's pie'. I never think I should describe something without lamb as a shepherds pie and a cottage pie should contain beef. On top of all that a pie should have a pastry top shouldn't it?  Can anybody come up with a more appropriate name?

I used some roasted tomatoes from the freezer, along with some of our carrots, onion and garlic to make a pasta sauce that I didn't photograph.

My final meal of the week was a bean casserole into which went some of our leeks, carrot and garlic.

By the way, I did a bit more research and now I think that our leeks really have been attacked by allium leaf miner so it looks as though we will end up growing leeks, onions and garlic under enviromesh in future, as well as our carrots and brassicas. Soon we will need to cover the entire allotment. To be honest there were signs that the leeks may have been affected last year too. The article, that I read, states that there is a second generation which is active in October and November so I am now concerned that the overwintering onions and garlic which are doing so well will be affected. I know that this pest has been active in other parts of the country for some time so if you have this problem I would be interested to know how you deal with it.

Other than cooking, curling up with my iPad and looking out at the miserable weather, I have been designing my Christmas cards. Now I just need to set to and print them out. I just hope that my printer keeps on working as in the past it's chosen times like this to throw a wobbly!

I'm hoping for a better week next week, until then keep safe and well. 

Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments author S Garrett


  1. Lovely Christmas card. I know what you mean about the weather. I did a load of garden and pond tidying on Saturday when it was dry. Hospital car parking is an absolute nightmare isn't it. There is a new super-hospital in Bristol with very little parking. And the central hospital has even less. I hope the dermatologist is able to sort things out, even if your skin is doing well at the time. Hopefully the photos will help. Bertie is also reluctant to go out in the rain. It takes him all morning to get his feet just right after a wet morning walk and it involves a lot of digging at the carpet. He does smell lovely after a damp walk though :)

    1. I'm hoping with all the efforts going into booster jabs thatthe appointment still goes ahead CJ.

  2. I've had similar challenges with a severe 'all body' rash that I get every year or so. I keep waiting for a dermatologist appointment which always arrives when I have no rash, it then gets rescheduled for six months time, again when I have no rash. I keep asking to just ring up and get an appointment when I actually have the rash, "no, we don't do that", eventually they say I can ring up and request an appointment, but I will have to wait about 3 months from the time I ring up. They seem perfectly happy to schedule pointless 6 monthly appointments, but not to actually do anything. I have loads of photos and written records, but they are not interested. By contrast my rheumatologist makes an appointment within a few days if I ring up in a flare, so he suggested ringing him and he would look at the rash, so I did that and we concluded it was caused by an extreme reaction to horse fly insect bites, he prescribed me an emergency supply to steroids and now when I feel the rash taking hold (skin stings in a hot bath, before anything visible) I take steroids for a week, problem solved.

    1. My rash is confined to my legs and arms, Steve, It's difficult to decide whether it is an actual rash as the skin is bumpy. I did wonder whether it had anything to do with all the insect bites over summer.

  3. Sue, what a pity that bad weather got you home without going out with Ruby. Hope Martin is better. I looked at your shepherd's pie recipe and I want to make it too.

    1. Hope that you enjoy your shepherd's pie Nadezda.

  4. The weather has been equally grim here, we've barely left the house as we can't face the wind, rain and cold. At least you have those tasty looking meals to keep you warm. I'm so sorry for those without power, especially during this awful weather. It's good you got all those appointments out of the way and that your strange cold cleared up so quickly. Here's to your rash sorting itself too. Love your

    1. At least last week was a bit better in parts, Dina.

  5. it’s a dull time for plotholders, but at least Christmas is just round the corner with a long break away from work for me, which will be most welcome!
    I really must get more organised with Christmas card creation.

    1. I'm afraid that I'm not a fan of Christmas, Belinda - it's a time when bad things happen to us.


Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment - it is great to hear from you and know that there are people out there actually reading what I write! Come back soon.
(By the way any comments just to promote a commercial site, or any comments not directly linked to the theme of my blog, will be deleted)
I am getting quite a lot of spam. It is not published and is just deleted. I have stopped sifting through it and just delete any that ends up in my spam folder in one go so I am sorry if one of your messages is deleted accidentally.
Comments to posts over five days old are all moderated.