Jam making

Tuesday, after the usual breakfast of fruit and nuts (and a litre of coffee for me) we set about picking the blackcurrants and gooseberries from the garden. Then it was the blackcurrants to be made into jam. Odd little jobs indoors while the jam got to setting point and a late salad lunch. Re-varnishing the front terrace decking and then a big water of the garden as it has been so hot. Supper of Malay chicken with a pineapple and cucumber salad, delicious.

Weds – and an overcast day which is actually a great relief. We have been using so much water recently for the garden and with no rain to replenish the water tanks we are well over half way down. The forecast is for sun sun sun so we took the cooler opportunity to ferry some more water up from the river into the rain water tanks. We could have risked it and carried on but the thought of having to fetch water in the heat persuaded us to get on with it. In the afternoon it was the turn of the gooseberries to be made into jam. Again while waiting for the jam to get to setting point we made up a couple of picture frames which my Father had prepared in the UK. Later on we used up the last bits of plasterboard in the walls down stairs and started a list of additional materials required so that we don’t end up with surplus once the walls are finished.

Thursday and it is play time out the back. A couple of years ago we cut down the huge pine on the back terrace leaving just an 8m stump. The plan is to build a platform around the tree as another outdoor area. We still have some joists left from the front terrace and some decking so a long morning was spent designing the construction and adding to the shopping list for additional materials required. When it came to using a chain saw we discovered that the mice have been nibbling the oil plug which no longer seals the hole. Fortunately the second saw is still intact but an additional item went on the shopping list for the next day. Tomorrow is shopping day so the rest of the day was spent creating a comprehensive shopping list by shop and in the case of food a menu for the next ten days and associated shopping required from different departments within the shop (fruit, veg, dairy, dried etc).

Friday – An early start again complete with trailer and a single sheet of A4 as the list. Garage, chainsaw shop, builders merchant, bank, laundry, hardware shop, sand merchant, back to the laundry, DIY shop and then lastly the supermarket. We ditched the wood mill to collect fence posts as the was a slight concern about overloading Billy (our new VW). Lunch of fresh prawns and garlic mayonnaise with rustic bread on the front terrace before unloading the building materials. Last to be unloaded was the wood and plasterboard off the roof. Fortunately as we were about to unload the wood a tall Dutchman walking past offered us a hand which we took. As Breezy and I unloaded a sheet of plasterboard it came up the hill and was immediately screwed to an area of wall. By the end of the afternoon all had been unloaded and the internal walls completed ready for skimming. Showers and off to Clive and Giselle’s for dinner. Fabulous food and flowing champagne from where they were grape picking when they first met.

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