An update and an excuse

I have ceased talking to my self!

I am no longer alone!

Sanja is back! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Guess who’s settled comfortably back in to Barabrith life?

The three months of our enforced nationalist border separation (aka celibacy) is over and as you may have noticed this does somewhat inpact on my blogging frequency. But as a special treat to make amends I am posting a video or two.

Joey of DOA has been kind enough to supply me with stylish punk rock caps over the years, which used to be quite good at keeping the rain out of my eyes back in blighty. Now Sanja claims them as hers, all except the new “trucker style” one which is “the wrong shape” for her head and so suitable as a cast off for me. Unfortunately however proud the peek is it doesn’t protect my eyes from the effects of my dust allergy hence the weepy tired look I have in this pic.
Masked up and ready to shop… as Joey (DOA again!) urged us all…. don’t be a bonehead don’t listen to the conspiracy nutters, covid kills old folk (like Joey) and that ain’t funny. What is funny is to think what reaction the security staff in the shops would have had pre-pandemic if we had walked in masked up like this before!!!
We have been amusing oursleves watching GLOW on Netflix, quite amusing at times but overall what a sad picture of the recent American past it paints. I was trying to describe the 70’s English wrestler Giant Haystacks to Sanja some time ago and now I think I have a photo that wil do it! Well almost!

The weather continues to swelter, too hot even for us two lilly livered ‘blancs’ to go down to the river! Though there was one day of stormy weather last week that ruined Sanja’s band planned gig in Zagreb, typical!

Proof that I’m now too old for birthdays came in the form of an empty post box and very little incoming messages. But Sanja spoiled me rotten, or maybe that should be even more rotten given the sate of me, and even as I type this a day later she is still intent on making me a sweet potato chocolate cake once we find all the ingredients and equipment.

My birthday evening was however celebrated in style. Sanja and I played a game of Scrabble with my sister and her man care of Zoom. During which Sanja nd I consumed the above two pots of ice cream (the B&J is much better btw). I knew it wasn’t a good idea given my last few years experience of eating ice cream – especially late at night – and consequently got very little sleep. Reflux when lying down is easily cured by sitting up and so I read my new book of P.K.Dick stories untill the sun came up and my stomach had setled. Thanks must be given though to Beka, Rich and Sanja for allowing the birthday boy to win at Scrabble.

I also had a surprise – well almost,  lets say a – spontaneous late decision – visitor in the form of Sophia from Berlin. Not seen her for seven years, two days was hardly enough time to catch up especially as her primary driving force seems to be lying in the sun and mine is hiding from it!

Sophia was our first visitor of the year! She chose to lie on the concrete of the gazebo. I did offer her the use of either a chair or a recliner but this determind young woman wanted just to lie in the sun and I guess feel its warmth seep back up from the concrete!

There arre of course frequent other visitors we get to Barabrith…..

This beauty is about the size of a golf ball when hiding in her corner. When she comes out to wrap up its prey she looks MUCH BIGGER! Sanja is using her as an excuse to enter my room by the other door!
This bugger shows up every now and then on a kitchen window to scare the beegeezus out of us! The picture doesn’t do him justice. I was hoping to hold a ruler next to him whilst taking the picture but neither of us are that brave!

The weather is still too damn hot for doing much besides eating and reading and then the evening ritual of watering the new plants…..

Sanja helps with the vital task of watering the new trees and bushes.

and here are the videos..  I think they are self explanatory

 

Nothing

Swinger

 

 

 

No rain till …

I know I go on about it but the weather is ridiculous. I can’t even remember the last time it rained properly.  Certainly there hasn’t been any decent amount since I planted the news trees back at the beginning of May and so I’ve been watering them every other evening. The tomatoes I planted start to wilt if I don’t water them every evening!

Well you know its too dam hot when the grass starts going brown. It hadn’t rained here for a month or much more when I took this yesterday. This is a pathway that needs tidying up but after doing an hour or so scything I was just too knackered to do anymore so this path will have to wait. But its kind of cute that you can see where animals have been using the path and worn a narrow path in the middle of the wider path.
Not a pretty sight I grant you but this was taken at 8 in the evening at the end of my scything / path clearing session and I was so knackered, hot and sweaty that my arm was giving off steam as I reached out to take this selfie! I did wonder if it might be visible on the photo.

But tonight it is raining,  properly! Hooray! So tomorrow I’ll take some pictures of what will hopefully be a revived greener landscape!

Lizzie, bugs and gaps – no more!

It has become too hot for me to be outside – unless I’m in the shade – during the day. The temperature is in the mid 30’s  ugh! So my days are stretching in to the night when the temperature is acceptable. During the day I am doing my Engoo English teaching and scampering up and down between the kitchen and my room. Both rooms remain relatively cool if I keep the doors and windows losed during the day.  Hence not a lot has been happening. Every other night I go out and water all the new trees and the tomatos and do a little other gardening.  Once a week I go to town for supplies and have brief interactions with real people – cashiers, shop assistants and the occasional bureaucrat!

The little gooseberry bush has been struggling to survive since we planted it two years ago but it is now producing fruit, three of them and pink!
One of my fave big mugs took a tumble and broke in a rather unusual way, so I was able to reconstruct it in such a way that it makes a good flower pot but sadly no longer “a cuppa”!
This is the main grass pathway from the bench to the house. It is proving quite a challenge to keep these paths clear but I really like the effect that is developing.
This bright green little lizard scarpered away when I lifted up a bag of compost it was hiding under. He was not terribly quick or clever or perhaps the word has got around that there are only vegans living at Barabrith nowadays!
Cute little thing isn’t he or she!
Not sure if lizzie thought he was hiding here but I didn’t want to get any closer in case I gave him a heartattack.
Having linked three hoses together I can now reach the furthest away new plants – the Wisteria – in the far corner of the left hand side of this photo.
The next day Lizzie was dead and laid out in the middle of the gazebo. I wonder if one of the neighbours cats is trying to move in and left me this offering as a way of impressing me? Failed! Still it gave me a better photo op.
Its been a long time since I mixed wheat paste for anything other than putting up posters. One of the jobs I’ve been putting off for “ever” is how to fill up the long thin gaps between the wooden cieling and the wooden beams and the walls in my room. Some time ago I decided to try papier-mâché but only this week did I start the process.
This is part of the gap between the ceiling and a wooden beam. The black cloth visible in the gap is the waterproofing layer that covers the upperside of the cieling panels.
And here we have the final destination of various Croatian supermarket weekly offer catalogues, mashed up, sticky and soggy and nicely filling the gap! I was thinking of painting it over when dry but now I’m thinking of just putting a couple of layers of brown parcel paper over it instead.
The second day after death Lizzie had been overturned and the bugs had started to feast. I said good bye and sent him into the long grass.
This is an old boot that has lost its partner – ok I lost it!. I tried growing silver dollar plants in an old boot back in the 1980s when that was the only plant I grew! It’s so easy! This time I have loads of marigolds grown from seed and here are three in one of the original Dr Martin vegan boots!
A couple of weeks ago the potatos were doing fine and I kind of left them to it! Unfortunately the Colorado “Bastard” beetle did not. Almost the entire crop 30-40 plants are now dead, stripped down to dying yellow stalks by these voracious little buggers. As you can see from the surrounding vegetation they don’t care for anything except the potato leaves. I might try planting another late crop of spuds but it looks like the summers mash and chips will be coming from the supermarkets again!
Colorado beetle bugs in action destroying my potato plants just before I swooped and forcibly evicted them if only in retribution as it was obviously a tad late to save the plants.
Finding a corner of the gazebo which is in the shade is a real bonus for my “al fresco” evening meals.

Old Hi-fi, maps, tree care (watering) and another little snake!

Barabrith has been mapped by a friend who’s good at these kind of things! One of those thngs is not being so reliant one Google as I tend to be. OpenStreetMaps are I am assured better for walkers and cyclists and also I guess for not helping with internet dominance by a few major corporations!

So check it out.

https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=19/45.36457/15.62152

One of our buildings appears as a bed rather than a building but thats where guests sleep so no biggie!

My wooden house appears as a small blue bed! but this I guess is an incentive for me to sign up and participate in this project! The red dotted line is the path that runs alongside my land and is in fact totally overgrown so that‘s another thing this map is incentivising me to do!!
Tending to Jen’s pomegranate tree this evening, * which means watering it! I got a bit of a shock when looking up new tree care and seeing how much watering is recommended during the summer months! Now I know why some of the trees we planted two years ago did not do so well!
* or finding a selfie excuse, you decide!
The setting sun catches the top of this fruit tree as I did the watering rounds this evening. There is some fruit on it but it‘s green not reddish and the photo I took came out all blurred – next time.
I was blissfully scooping up the scythed grass the other day when this fellow appeared in my wheelbarrow. I guess I chucked him in the unbeknownst! S/he is a slow worm but snake sounds better than calling it a “limbless lizard” which technically it is.
This was one of those rare moments when the sun was out at the same time as the rain pouring down. Boy does it look green!
The paths through the increasing tall and wild field are now quite distinct.
This picture is of my most treasured piece of hi-fi. Yeah I know its geeky but give me a moment. I bought that tape deck in 1981. It was all I could afford at the time and I had just enough to invest in a pair of headphones with a long cable and thats how I listened to my music for a long time. It was a satisfactory arrangement for my folks of course as they were not disturbed by the noise. It worked for me too as I could listen late in to the night with no one the wiser. I have memories of watching those super responsive green and red leds lighting up my bedroom, well almost! I have made friends with a guy in Zagreb who likes the challenge of trying to fix electrical equipment and he has so far fixed my amplifier, the above CD player and now my beloved JVC twin deck. This evening I was listening to a tape of the Clash I recorded back in December 1981. I have CDs bought 15 years later that are now uplayable due to old age, so much for that progress.
The amazing thing about this tape deck is that it has features that became impossible to get on anything other than very expensive tape decks. My favourite story about this deck is that when I went back in to buy an amplifier and speakers to go with this they were conducting a survey of how one found out about the shop – Richer Sounds. They were rather startled when I told them I had ducked in to the shop when I was avoiding the police during a Stop The City demo.
It‘s nice to be eating out again, even if it is on my own. Well me and the birds and butterflies and a few annoying flying bugs!

 

 

 

Topsy Turvy

I sometimes have trouble falling asleep. My mind just keeps on thinking about things , things to do, things I should have done, things I shouldn’t have done… perhaps! Like a computer with the power button glued solid I lie awake for hours.

Last night I went to bed early (10) with the intention of getting up really early (5!) so I could do some scything before the sun made outdoor work unbearable. I fell asleep but something woke me up and I couldn’t get back to sleep. I tried the usual tricks and nothing worked so at 3.30am I decide to give up and just watch You Tube till 5 and see if I was in a condition to scythe then! So at 5.30 this morning I was out in my red work gear, headphones on and scythe in hand causing mass grass genocide. It was lovely and cool and still slightly damp, which is when the grass cuts best. I had hacked (not the correct term or method of scything) all the way down to the stream, cut the plants around the benches when I noticed that the sun was beginning to come up. My working time was numbered.

I redid most of the path that winds its way up along the western side of the field. The fields are now looking and feeling quite wild and beautiful which is just how I want them. I did notice two young trees that had been savagely attacked by deer and though they were both a long way down the hill I am a bit worried about my new trees if Bambi becomes braver.

Before I could cut my way all the way back up the hill the sun turned the exercise in to a sweat bath and I called it a day.  Almost three hours work done I headed for a shower and back to bed.

The sun shining on the bottom of the field at an angle I have not seen before! Taken at 6.56 am!
For a famously vain and sartorially sensitive soul as I this is a difficult photo to post, but it captures nicely the inner feeling of someone who’s had stomach issues for a few days then no more than an hours sleep before heading out to do battle with weeds for an hours or more at a time when one should be soundly asleep in bed! Just look at those eyes… !
Spotted this little yellow snail on the red gate as I headed back to work. Would never have noticed him if he wasn’t on the bright red background his shell was only about 7 or 8 mm in diameter!

I slept till 3.30pm!

This is from a few days ago but was captured on my mobile phone and forgotten till today when I used the phone to take the above photos.

The other day some one triggered Sanja with a question about snakes in Croatia. It resulted in my patiently reading through a couple of websites about what species there are here and which are potentially dangerous. Needless to say there are only three dodgy ones and only one of those is very dodgy, but they will all scarper rather than attack if they see you coming. So it was one of those weird synchronicities that the next day when I was pushing my bike up our hill I came across this geezer. I didn‘t notice him at first, I think he may have stopped moving when I approached and I was looking up to see if Sanja‘s favourite dog was going to come and hassle my eardrums. But as I passed by it moved and then when I stopped to look back at him he stopped to look at me, which I concede was a trifle unnerving. I took a step backwards and he slithered remarkably quickly off into the undergrowth. But as you can see at full stretch quite a long bugger. I‘m now wondering if thats a discarded skin on the road just above him!
And then I came across another later the same day whilst doing a quick bit of scything in the front garden when the sun went in. I think I hit the poor thing with the scythe, as it curled into a coil rather than slithered off but I decided not to offer it first aid.
Snakronicity or what?

Today was a busy day!

I woke up relatively early today and after answering emails and messages I headed down stairs for a little toast feast with avocado and garlic mushrooms. The I loaded up the washing machine with heavily mudded trousers and the like, set it to a hardcore wash setting and made sure the drum was not overloaded. Then I painted the other side of the shelves I has started yesterday, Sanja had – unsurprisingly – confirmed that they would be
“cooler” black, so I cut them to size and then painted them all.

With the planks drying nicely on the steps  I set off in to town. Starting yesterday Kaufland I had spotted were offering rice, almond and oat milk at 6.99 a litre, approx 90p which is the cheapest I have seen it ever in Croatia. They also have pumpkin oil, vegan schnitzels, avocados and the evil Pringles on offer too so a special journey was justified. Well it was because I invested in 60 litres of milks! Sadly Kaufland had either made a mistake or a dirty trick as the catalogue showed almond milk as being discounted when in fact it was soja milk.  Still going in to town also gives me the excuse to buy a potato burek or two. 🙂

Back at the ranch, I put out the laundry, made a snack and then got on with shelf construction.  Life is complete.

I was out in the ex-field the other day when the wind started coming on strong and I noticed that some of the trees we planted a year or so ago we really taking a beating and bending way past what looked healthy to me! Given that one of the wild saplings had broken in the wind a few days before I decided it might be a good idea to give some of the more vulnerable young trees some serious support. I always worry about the method of fastening a support to a young plant, what to use that will not injure the plant. My latest ploy is strips of old sock tied around the plant and then that soft and flexible fixture tied securely to a stake. I knew there was a reason to hang on to my old holy sox!
Another two year old sapling with new sock enabled support.
A whole bunch of potato plants with some of that pesky Ambrosia plant sneaking up between.
This “Conifere Mix” is my second “pine” type tree and I chose it just cos I like the look of it. It required a special PH4 acidity compost but I will bring it some pine needles from the woods later to help it feel at home. In future years the tree will drop its own leaves and they will keep the soil at the right acidity.
Sanja requested a Munky Puzzle tree, not I presume because she wants to climb up in it as she wishes to do with the others or because it was so damn expensive! Her inner animal is the monkey and like this tree she can be a little puzzling, so it is indeed perfect! Situated just in front of her favourite bench this will stand out wonderfully if it grows to its full height.
The last tree I will plant this year – probably – I have named “Jen‘s tree” because Jen has been my blogs most vocal supporter and she suggested I should plant a pomegranate tree as she had seen one growing when she was over here. So here it is a Šipak for Jen !
The new fruit bush zone of the orchard now consists of a Rubus Ideus of the Polana variety, otherwise known as a red raspberry.
The new fruit bush zone with raspberries and blackberries.

Today starts here…..

I may be a bit weird – it has been said before – but I can’t help but feel a tingle of anticipation when I see some virgin pieces of wood all ripe and ready for erecting something from. – usually shelves! These pre-sanded bonded boards are not real planks, or good quality but they are perfect for a bit of depression beating shelf construction, oh yeah!
Shelves become a ‘work in progress’ as I take a break when the sun went in to go out and plant the cherry tomato plants I bought in the morning. Spot my Makita still going strong –  a genuinely sexy power tool.
Freshly planted Cherry tomato plants, bought in the Karlovac market this morning, 4 plants for about £1.20. I have some tomato plants I am growing from seed but these are my back ups!
And there we go, excitement over, shelves erect and now I have to sort out what will live on them and what will hide in the cupboards!

Food!

I like my food, in fact one of the few labels I am happy to self describe myself by is a “foodie”. Back in London that was mainly acted out by heading to every new vegan establishment that opened. Over here -even without a pandemic -there are few opportunities of that nature. If you were vegan back in the the 80’s you will remember the excitement of finding a new product you can eat when out shopping, that is what it’s like here.  For those of you wondering how I now survive without the benefits of working for Marigold let alone living in a vegan mecca like the UK capital, I decided to post a few of my meals.

These are just what I make for myself and Sanja, paying guests will get a slightly more fancy fayre!

My favourite quick dish! Button mushrooms, or any mushrooms! sauteed with chunks of broccoli with garlic and soya sauce added. This meal had some green beans added too.
A tomato sauce version of my mush n’ broc dish with a leftover roast potato salad and a portion of Sanja’s instant noodles just to make sure I don’t get hungry!
Chunky fried tofu and some seitan slices with a steaming mushroom and courgette dish and rice.
Mushroom fried rice with tofu covered with a garlic courgette sauce.
Penne pasta with seitan, green peppers and mushroom covered with parmesan cheese courtesy of Interspar eaten alfresco under the gazebo.
Jacket potatoes, 3 for today 3 for tomorrow, I don’t like using the oven for just one meal seems to me to be too much energy usage.
Jacket potatoes – with good flavoured chewy thick skins – with parmesan and mushrooms mixed in and a broad bean and seitan dish. I do love spuds and jacket potatoes are the best way to eat them, even better than chips!
One of the joys of jacket potatoes is what to do with the ones you don’t eat on the first day! I often dice them up and put them in a salad but here they were sauteed – that just means put in a frying pan with a little oil on a low heat and the top left on so they heat up but don’t dry out. The mushrooms, peppers, tofu and spinach were done in a separate pan and then mixed together.
This is one of the Next Level Burgers” bought from Lidl. They are usually about £1.50 each – 25Kn for two- which is a bit much even for a superior burger like this one. However Lidl occasionally reduce items by up to 30% and when these are reduced I buy a load of them! This one is sitting on a layer of onion and spinach.
A cheese and tomato polenta slop with my fave tofu, mush and spinach dish. It looks a bit unappealing but it was actually rather good!
Garlic mashed potatoes, with fried tofu and a broccoli, red cabbage dish.
A variation on my fave broc ‘n’ mush dish with garlic fried cubes of bread. I usually buy my bread from Kaufland which is about the only place one can get a good solid loaf of bread. Croatian breads are almost all white and light on substance. Kaufland , thankfully, does a fair range of german style breads. When you let a solid german bread go hard it is quite a challenge to cut it up but I find it worth the risk to make these little cubes. Taken in the evening sunset with one of the recently used snow sledges in the background.
A rice dish with a red cabbage, carrot and courgette mix on top and a heavy lashing of a very strong garlic peanut – gado gado !? – sauce all over it!
Two dinner portions heading up to her ladyship from the kitchens below. These are green beans, fried tofu and milinci! Milinci is a Balkan “delicacy” that is usually part of a meat dish. It is a thin flat crisp bread that traditionally has the juices of meat poured over it and then is eaten as a side dish a bit like potatoes. I find that is works well with Marigold gravy poured over it or indeed a thin tomato sauce as with this meal and then add things to taste.

More trees a go go!

After the rave reception and generous feedback  from Mrs Trellis of last nights post I decided to press home my advantage and so…

These photos are from the last  few days but  they were taken on my little old phone camera rather than the Ipad, you might notice a difference. The phone acts as a nice portable punk rock machine all day as I scythe and dig my way around the estate whereas the Ipad tends to just run out of battery as soon as I take it outside my room!

This was taken a few days ago when I’d managed to persuade my reluctant body to get out and up before the sun became too strong (c.9am). It show’s the early morning mist coming off our neighbours dewy damp fields as the first rays of sun hits them. It also shows the newly ‘n nicely tidied and bramble cleared fence that runs along the road boundary.
Grass path clearing aka dandelion destruction in progress. Sweaty work even at 8 am, I was down to my sleeveless t-shirt.
This leafy specimen is a Prunus Padus, known as Bird Cherry, Hackberry, Hagberry, or Mayday Tree, a flowering plant in the rose family Rosaceae. It is a species of cherry, a deciduous small tree if I’m lucky it might grow up to up to 16m tall!
A red Mulberry tree which the Croatians call a Grab tree!! I just had to grab one of those!
This big leafed beauty is a Tilia Tomentosa, known as silver linden in the US and silver lime in the UK, is a species of flowering plant in the family Malvaceae, native to southeastern Europe and southwestern Asia, from Romania and the Balkans east to western Turkey, occurring at moderate altitudes. Locally known as a Srebrna Lipa.
Sanja’ s Ginko will have a fence constructed around it this evening before the local Bambi get a chance to feast on it.
Not sure if I bought a red Robin tree or bush but at only £3 it was not a big risk investment and if it survives it’ll be a nice bit of colour next to Sanja’s favourite bench.
If this beauty survives the Croatian climate it should end up as a bright russet red spot on the Google earth picture of Barabrith taken from space! A Japanese Maple or Japanski Javor.

and late yesterday evening…

The little Ginko tree gets its deer protection, fingers crossed the rest don’t need this too!!

Jon’ny Appleseed at last.

I don’t credit my schooling with much other than instilling me with the urge to rebel but I do have memories of hearing a rather mythical story of a guy called Johnny who went across America planting apple trees. He probably was slaughtering the natives and spreading smallpox too but at the tender age of 7 or 8 I was not yet aware of such realities behind our comforting school assemble stories. So to cut to the chase, I’ve harboured a desire to plant trees since then. Years as a delivery driver in and around London have given me a deep sense of guilty complicity in the polluting of the environment too. So now its time to make amends and plant them trees! Only took me 46 years to get around to it and I’ll probably be permanently horizontal before most of these trees reach their prime but hey ho lets go….

Wednesday found me taking an increasingly rare trip outside of Kordun , all the way to Zagreb! I came back with the car full of booklets about the Zapatistas and a selection of sixteen interesting – hopefully in the future – young trees. Sanja ordered a Ginko and a “fake banana tree” which turns out to be a Paw Paw or Indian Banana (Asimina triloba). Needless to say her choices were the most expensive by far but as Thernadier says “what can you do?”
Waiting in the barn for their day of departure to their final destination my selection of little trees speculate on where they will end up and whom will be next to whom for the rest of their lives!
The Likvidamabar cost about a tenner which is a fortune in my books, but if it grows to look anything like the beauty on the nursery website Ill be very happy.
As you can see this beautiful Gorski Javor (Accer Pseudoplatanus) – Yeah I bought it just cos the latin name, cool or what! – is surrounded by long grasses and weeds. I plan to keep those at a safe scythe swing distance from all my trees so one can inspect them without fear of disappearing down a dog hole or tripping over a snake. When the trees are big enough I will place benches under the ones with the best canopies, but that might be some time off.
This is a Brekinja (Sorbus Torminalis) known to the English as a Chequer(s) tree, or the rather weird – and attractive to me – name of the Wild Service-tree!!!
This beauty is a Sugar Maple tree or Šečerni Javor in Croatian. Just imagine one day we might have our own alternative to sugar supply!!!
Time to pack it in for the day, me thinx. The last tree to go in the ground was the Jarebika (Sorbus Aucuparia) which looks good as a silhouette dunnit?

The third week of April

Yeah couldn’t think of a clever title for this post. “Alone” was a possibility but it sounds too miserable and that I’m not. I am however now on my own here. M & S have moved out and Sanja’s 3 months EU entry allowance sadly ran out last weekend. It is a weird feeling being out here in the middle of nowhere with so much land to do stuff with, so many jobs to do and ideas to try out. It’s a great sense of freedom, but it’d be nice to have someone to play pool with! I now spend a couple of hours a day,  more at the weekend, teaching English conversation online. This I hope will keep me financially afloat until maybe one day the B&B can start up again.

This evenings view from the road outside looking through one of the trees that borders the upper field.
Yesterday was the first day of scything for me this year. Knowing I have set myself a considerable task – to control the grass and weeds with just the scythe – I decided to take it easy on day one. A back muscle I had forgotten about soon made itself known! Dont even think of asking which bit has been cut, ok?
If there is a prize for growing dandelions, I may be in with a chance of it.
However when there are so many, well.
Now you see them….
and now you dont!
After having to cycle 5km to collect my post from Krnjak last week because as the postman apologetically explained the little metal box on the gate was neither big enough nor waterproof, I decided it was time to make a new one. This is the first step in construction.
Built from left over bits of roofing wood, it begins to take shape (aka to look like a monstrosity!).
The finished post box – waterproof and spacious unlike the old one! – is up and running and the Postie said he liked it (yes he speaks a bit of English!)
The sun illuminates the missing bit of woodland from our estate and leaves the leaves looking vivid on an otherwise grey afernoon.
I decided to see what the concrete grass will look like with grass in it instead of weeds and stones. So a bt of cleaning and sowing grass seed in little squares later …….. now just gotta wait and see!
This evenings last bit of outdoor work was clearing the brambles from the outer side of the front fence.
Sanja  sitting on her bench by the brook last weekend.
Sanja has been banished back to Belgrade, not by me but by the evil forces of nation states, border controls and the like.. So here is the last picture we’ll see of her at Barabrith till July.     That stuff all around her with the cute looking blossom is the pain in the arse prickly bushes I’d be gladly rid of!