After a night of most unsatisfactory sleep - not a hint of a breeze, still and stagnant, ugh - I have to say that today has been a bit of an effort.
But an effort worth making - we'd talked about going to the weekly Farmers' Market in Edinburgh, so since we were up early to placate the gurning hens, we decided to head through.
Edinburgh. We are the same distance from there as we are from Stirling, and and yet we never, ever go there, due entirely to Edinburgh's Council having an anti-motorist policy which makes getting to the city an expensive pain in the ass. Once you're there, and if you live there, it's fine: the public transport system is fantastic, but actually *getting* there is expensive, time-consuming and a pain. Compare to getting to Stirling which is easy and parking is plentiful and inexpensive. Put it this way, it cost us £5.50 to park for 27 mins in Castle Terrace Car Park in Edinburgh, and £1.50 for 90 mins in Stirling...
Anyway. We made it to the Market relatively unscathed (those bus lanes!) and were mightily impressed by the selection of vendors. We were constrained by two factors: wallet and freezer capacity. So although places like Sunnyside Farm where we'd bought some Rose veal were there, and Fletcher's Venison, we had to ca' canny, and restrict ourselves to selected purchases. So we bought a dressed crab from Eyemouth (which I had for lunch with salad); some chamomile and geranium Caurnie soap; some game pie mix; Puddledub Bacon, and for dinner tonight, pheasant breasts in sun-dried tomato and basil.
After that, and a trip to Stirling since it was agreed that the compact layout would be easier for me, I was fair jiggered this afternoon so there was not much opportunity to do anything else.
In lieu of actual gardening I watched Gardner's World. I was heartened to hear that Monty, dear Monty, doesn't think that Sweet Peas have to be sown in October, and that you can try planting some seeds direct - which is just what I was planning on doing to accompany the seedlings I have on the go.
Tomorrow my Dad is coming up with a step-ladder so I can prune the apple trees. Yes, I know it's a bit late but I should just about get away with it. The trees are about 11 feet tall, and too tall to pluck any fruit from. As well, last year we had bother with kids nicking the fruit, but (even worse) then throwing the fruit onto the ground... To me, this is sacrilege, since the deity I honour and have done for decades, is the Goddess of the Orchards. To wantonly destroy her fruit is desecration so far as I'm concerned, so while I don't mind the kids eating the fruit (and we collared them last year and told them to ask for fruit if they wanted to eat it - and they did and were very polite), to just take a nearly-ripe fruit and then smash it is something I just cannot countenance. So steps are being taken to minimise any vandalism. I'll offer some cider to the spirits of the tree and to Pomona for the prunings and in hope that I get away with the tardy pruning, and a good crop this year again!