So before the dreaded lurgi caught me in it's cloying grasp what news be there from Hobbits-ville, N.Wales? Well to be honest not a great deal, there are the usual one thousand and one things to do around here but I seem to have lost the drive at the moment, twill come back no doubt. Funny thing, I wasn't expecting to be on the keyboard much over the next couple of weeks yet here I am tapping away, demon like, at it.
OK so I haven't being totally incapacitated, I've bottled up the elder flower wine and have started a mulch of plum wine. The thing being, I was going to call it a day after the elder flower, I didn't want to make to much wine stuff as I'm new to this brewing malarkey and it could all go so horribly wrong. Then I gets the call, well actually it was a text, off me mate 'Chunky Monkey'; "me plum tree's loaded, come and get me ripe plums". As you can well imagine I did hesitate for a moment, rereading the message hoping that I hadn't got hold of the wrong end of the stick so to speak. Half hour later we're brewing up in his work shop chewing the cud for a while as friends do. Thoughts eventually turned to more important topics. "Well are you going to show me your plums?", funny how Chunky started fighting for breath as his scolding hot coffee went down the wrong pipe at this request. "In me bloody garden" he finally gasped. So a quick detour and there was a single dwarf plum tree that was laden so much that the fruit looked more like grape bunches, funny that, being as what I was thinking of using them for! "What type are they?" I enquired, "plums" came the reply, I really should have known better than the ask a fellow grease monkey such detailed information. "Help yourself, see thee back at the workshop, your turn to brew up" and he was off. Running his own business makes him a tad more committed than when we worked together in the grind that's for sure, also a damn sight happier to boot.
As I approached the laden tree it didn't escape my attention that I was far from alone in the stealing of its fruit. Wasps, bloody hundreds of the little buggers, no wonder his Chunkiness wanted me to pick the fruit the rotund little git! The thing is me and biting, stinging and generally acid hurling insects have this agreement: I come along blissfully unaware of the pain to come. They, without exclusion will bite, sting and generally make me do that bloody stupid arm flapping, Anglo Saxon accompanied dance whilst trying to rid one or more from me underpants. The thought did cross my mind (didn't take long to span that empty space then) to beat a hasty retreat and tell Chunky that his plums were unfit for consumption, which may have come as a blessed relief for his wife! ahem to continue.... But being of somewhat unsound mind, that is my nature, and with the thought 'bugger it' filling the void between me ears as well as the buzzing of the stripped stingers I approach the tree; have you ever watched wasps feeding upon ripe fruit? I swear to you that the little buggers were pissed! No not pissed as in that angry way, no I mean as pissed as farts or pissed as a newt as the saying goes, the little blighters were three sheets to the wind - on my plums! Taking my life in my hands, OK maybe a tad dramatic there, I started picking Chunky's plums, but only the ripe ones. As I plucked carefully away (several had wasps chewing merrily away upon them) I began to feel like King Kong, you know the bit : on the Empire state building with little bi-planes buzzing around me furry head. So intoxicated were they that they failed to notice the stealthy presence of 'John the great fruit hunter', and all I had to do was carefully sidestep their wayward flight paths and avoid curling me mits around a plum crawling with drunken insects. A slow but strangely rewarding time then with the result being a heap of plums in the back of the fun cruiser and me unscathed, well apart from when one of the little buggers actually head butted me, time did stand still then for a moment I can tell you!
After saying me farewells to Chunky I arrived home to find that, when consulting my plum wine notes, that I had rather a surplus - about fifteen pounds of surplus of rather delicious plums. Don't ask because I don't know why I picked so many. I hate waste as much as the next person, maybe it was those mesmerising drunken wasps. After making enough base for a couple of demi johns of plum wine and scoffing a fair plums few to boot, thoughts turned to what to do with the rest, aha jam thought I. Slight problem here, jam maker I am not (though it's an idea for the future) but I have a neighbour who is the very meaning of the baking housewife. After a quick visit to Val's and yet more coffee she took my plums in hand err I mean my plums were transferred to a better place - hell you know what I mean. I also took over several used jam jars that she'd asked about earlier and returned to sugar that I had also borrowed some time ago. Upshot is Val is going to make me an apple pie (no, not from the plums you fools) and I'm to supply her and her husband Phil (nice bloke) with sloes gin when the time is right - result.
So there you have the saga of the plums my friends. Speaking of harvesting , do any of you think that everything is a little early this year? Seems to me that wild crops are huge and very early, or is that just me becoming more aware of nature as I continue this journey of mine back to nature ? Speaking of journeys of sorts, the Warthog's leg now seems fully recovered and we're still pacing the roads in and around Hobbits-ville treading in ever increasing circles. We're now getting further into the country and the hedgerows do seem laden with fruit and nuts, me thinks that my waistline my well be on the increase this year, regardless of the extra mileage we're putting in! Here's just a taste of what's on offer, I failed once more to take decent photos of fur n feather but you'll have to take my word that the rabbits are plentiful and bonny with it....
There's little more to say other than I've taken delivery of wooden child's playhouse. Now don't start with yer wild guessing and mis-interpretations - it's for me chickens. Yep so far so good, all six chicks seem in fine fettle and are growing at a fair rate of knots - so with Clare's blessings a bigger run is on the cards together with a bigger coup, so it'll soon be time to say goodbye 'Poultry Towers' and hello to......wait for it.....'Fluttering Heights'... ta daaa. Oh go on smile a little, it's the best my weakened state will allow, some pictures of the little buggers then;-
|Pingu - still looks like a bleedin' penguin...|
I guess that's all for now, oh I'd just like to share a couple of things by a chap called 'Blaster Bates', listened to many times over in my childhood., it may well give you some idea why I am like I am, just click on the pictures and enjoy...or not as may be the case..
So long for now my friends, as soon as the dreaded lurgi has released me from it's cloying grasp I'll be starting on the one thousand and one tasks ahead of me, so visits to the keyboard may be a tad infrequent but I'll do me best. In the mean time, take damn good care of yourselves my friends.