Tuesday, May 05, 2015

May Day Long Weekend

Last weekend was a long weekend hereabouts and, as you might expect, Saturday dawned cold, grey, damp and gloomy.  I think it might almost be a law of nature that the weather is dreadful over the long weekends!

Tabitha, Gareth, Cally and various friends headed to Northumbria for a weekend of camping - and sheltering in various castles and other indoor places.

Freyja went to London.

The Builder and I pottered about at home on Saturday morning and then took ourselves to Bishops' House for the afternoon.  We had thought about going to the Peddler night market, but with Tabitha, Gareth, Cally and Freyja all away and the late afternoon being wet and cold and miserable, we decided not to bother.  Street food isn't all that enticing in the rain. Unless it is tropical rain!  So we went and picked up the supermarket shopping and went home and ate crumbed chicken and chips with a Japanese curry sauce instead.

We woke to rain and wind and decided gloom on Sunday. We spoke to Stella and Tony in the morning, then did some gentle tidying.  The Builder recommenced the painting of the house project - the kitchen isn't finished yet. I baked a gooseberry and plum cake.  I pondered whether I could put some of the yoghurt we had bought on Saturday into my ice cream maker - and then thought that of course I could do that.  How it would turn out was the question rather than if I could churn it into soft serve ice cream.  So I put a tub of lemon curd and a tub of vanilla yoghurt into my ice cream maker and let it churn - and it was delicious with the gooseberry and plum cake!!  We had slow roasted lamb shoulder with all the usual side dishes first, though.

Monday, much to our surprise, turned out to be absolutely glorious.  So we turned our attention to the fish pond.  One of my "on-this-day" apps had alerted me to the fact that it was 4 years this weekend since we had last cleaned out the fish pond.  Clearly it was time to do it again.  So we did, closely supervised by Junior and Effie, the little children next door, who watched us through their fence.

Emptying the fish pond of water weed and water

Here it is, almost empty. There was an astonishing amount of mud in the bottom

We've re-stepped the blocks so ducks and cats can get out on the "deep" side

Waiting impatiently to get out of the little pool at the back

The dam has overflowed. Out they come
It took most of the morning to empty, clean out and then re-fill both the little pond at the back and then the main pond. The fish weren't very happy about being held in the little pond. Some of the more adventurous ones were clearly working out how to escape!  We counted 33 fish, including 8 tiny, black, baby ones.  Not as many as when we did it 4 years ago, but quite enough, I think. Then The Builder went off for a few supplies and I made a chicken, leek and asparagus pie for lunch, using asparagus from our garden.  So far the asparagus crop is doing very nicely.

It was such a beautiful (and unexpectedly sunny) afternoon that The Builder put the umbrellas up over the picnic tables and we decamped outside for an hour or so.




It didn't half rain overnight though.  I didn't sleep very well last night, and I'm sure that a lot of that was down to the noise the rain was making.
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