Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho
The baby bok choy has come and been eaten. Excellent, easy crop. It only takes 30 to 45 days from seed to table. They’ve been replaced by a variety of lettuces. The rest of the raised bed will take Japanese bunching onions, radishes and mini-green bean plants. Opposite the bed is the tomato area, this year we’ll have three varieties. The herbs this year are all in planters because last year the greenhouse got so hot that they all went to seed much too early- so now I can move them outside when the temperatures are consistently high.
A greenhouse is really an incredibly practical thing to have. I was able to start a number of plants, including tomatoes and chilis way back in late February. Parsley, coriander and basil are already usable. And all for practically no money. At most I spent €10 on seeds (total).
On decorative plants I’ve spent a bit more. But I’ll never admit to how much. And there’s more to come because I still haven’t got the Florentine cypresses (or orange trees?) and gardenias that I want for the new beds on both sides of the steps:
I’m getting already large trees (over 2 metres) because I’m not in the mood to sit and wait for things to grow. It’s one thing to plant trees from seeds in your twenties- at this point I want immediate gratification. Plus the house is too old to have dinky little plants around it.
The Russians are coming! Okay, maybe they’re Ukrainian, but that would have made a less interesting title. The children (now adults) have announced they’re coming to visit in three weeks bringing part of the Ukrainian branch of the family. Excellent. Mike saw them at their wedding, but I haven’t seen them since they visited us in Spain in 2013. In expectation of the visit I’ve been out to buy those aperitif spoons that seem to be the fashion these days:
They were on sale at the Leader Price for 50 cents each so I got 24. Super easy way to serve appetizers without having to arrange things on tiny crackers or toast at the very last minute. This probably won’t help the fact that the young (newlywed) Mrs. Gwilym thinks I’m somewhat uptight and formal. During their last visit she offered to cook and I may have over-organized the kitchen in preparation. I sort of lined up the ingredients, (appropriate) knives, cutting boards and bowls in the correct order on the counter- and the pots were ready on the stove (and some things may have already been chopped, put in bowls and covered in plastic wrap)… When she walked in she said: oh, it’s like I’m going to be on a cooking show on television. What she probably meant was: This guy is a total psycho, control freak. Anyway, they’re coming to visit, so it can’t have been that bad.