[no, i am not wearing a yellow polka dot bikini – bleargh, hate the things. polka dots i mean. and yellow. and bikinis.]

I hate periods like this. there’s nothing really major to blog about, which is worthy of a blog post in itself, just lots of itty bits n bobs that.. well. i still wanna record them. hmm.

Garden: the supervisor came round yesterday morning and looked at the fence. He agreed to replace it with basic fence posts and wire, which i’m cool with (I can grow things up it!). not sure when that will be but soon hopefully. They’ve already been and cleared up the old fence.

I’ve also heard from the council: local regulations state that when a garden is next to the road fencing/walls etc., cannot be taller than a meter high without planning permission. the planning permission bit is key. I’ve fired off an email back to them explaining the situation, asking if you have to pay for planning permission. Then i’ll approach the housing – i have the email address of the Investments Manager, who’s in charge of this programme, so we’ll see what he says.

I went shopping yesterday: got mint seeds, and since Woolworths were doing a BOGOF on seeds, got some radish seeds as the free – Scarlet Globe.  I also got a copy of “Grow your Own” Magazine, which had a packet of free seeds on the front: Tomato, Sub Artic Plenty. So I’m pleased with those purchases. I’ve got other seeds coming my way too, from two different sources in the post, so i’m looking forward to getting those. My collection is nearly complete!

I also got very lucky with raspberries: Woolies were selling them half price, so i picked up 8 canes of Glen Ample and 4 canes of Malling Leo, hopefully having some different varieties will also extend the fruiting period. I can hope anyway! So bed 3 will become the fruit bed, with the fruit i’ve already got in there, strawberries and raspberries, and maybe a few others 🙂

In addition, i got a new digging fork (the old one, the tines have bent and doesn’t dig as well), a hoe and a half moon turf cutter so i can begin to make proper marked beds.  that’s the plan for the next couple days, as the weather promises to hold clear and bright (although cold!) and then i can order the compost/wheelbarrow (which i’ve decided to hire – i don’t need a wheelbarrow all the time, just for this compost stuff, and i think a wheelbarrow would get nicked very quickly, as i don’t have anywhere inside to store it, and its cheaper than buying one – £10 for a week’s hire, vs £20 outlay for a bought one) and get to digging it out.

The bed that’s going underneath the trees, which i’m going to build up a bit with compost (and i may well call – imaginatively – bed 4), i’m undecided about at present, whether to try to build a low brick wall, or whether to try to use something from Wilkos – i can’t provide a link as its not on the website, but its basically a bunch of twigs wired together which you can unroll and it’s like a little mini fence. This isn’t a raised bed in the proper sense, (and that area slopes a little anyway) which is why i think i can get away with just using that, but it isn’t cheap – 2 meters of it costs £2.99, which means doing the entire bed would probably cost somewhere in the region of £10. the question is: would brick be cheaper? I’d use the leftover planks i have but the edge of the bed needs to wind around the trees which is why i’m tending towards this willow bed edging stuff. So there’s that to think about.

Then i have to decide on the planting structure for the side garden, as well as get my seed spuds next week.

In terms of grief we’re getting from local kids/teenagers – someone set fire to some paper outside the communal front door tonight. there’s a real firebug round here somewhere, the neighbourhood is continually having fires. I just hope they get caught sooner or later; preferably before someone gets hurt (and yes, we have a smoke alarm and insurance). Despite being upset the night the postboxes got destroyed and feeling disllusioned, upset and angry for a while, i’m now taking the attitude: I will not let them win, and pressing ahead with the garden (and thankyou, sez, for not listening to me when i offered to send you every single one of my packets of seeds in a moment of madness.)

In more positive news, i also got yesterday some lovely light blue knitting wool, a set of circular knitting needles and some crochet string and hook from Lidl. I already had some needles: I’m just knitting a square at the moment, with the vague idea of creating some kind of knitted blanket for the bed. just 124 squares, knitted and then sewn up. i find that sometimes in the evening, i feel a bit guilty for watching so much TV: at least this way i can do something with my hands while i keep the brain occupied. I’ll post some pics of it when i have something a bit more than a couple of lines of knitting!

And finally, on a personal note, its our anniversary tomorrow. We’ve been together 5 years now. For those that don’t know, we met online in a chat room about a month before we met in real time, but in all honesty, we’d have met sooner or later anyway as we later found out we had so many friends in common. Its been a wonderful, crazy, upsetting, deeply emotional 5 years, we’ve learned so much from each other and continue to do so. And although there’s a lot in our lives that need fixing (as he would be the first to admit), i do know that my relationship with him isn’t one of them. That’s not to say that we don’t work at it: we do. its also not to say that we don’t argue (we do… oh boy, we do). but there’s a deep and abiding love & respect there, and that’s the important part.

Michiel – here’s to the next five years. 🙂 i love you.