7 Apr

My bruised rib has turned into something a little more serious, and I have been advised that I have damaged the cartilage attached to my diaphragm, and it may take up to 12 months for my body to repair the damage. Nothing can be done about it apart from take pain killers and let it mend itself, and as I usually have a bad reaction to modern chemical medicines, I’ve been reading up on essential oils so that I can make a soothing balm to rub into the painful area: I gained an aromatherapy NVQ3 about 4 years ago when my friend Margaret-Mary introduced me essential oils, so it will be nice to actually put some of my previously gained knowledge into practice.
This injury is now more painful than the original bruising, and I am almost constantly grumbling about it. Nights are uncomfortable, and I am not sleeping properly because of it.
It has slowed me down, and just at the point in the project when I need to pick the pace up a little. It has not stopped me working….. if it did I would have no option but to at least temporarily suspend the business, but that is not going to happen if I can help it; it’s taken me two years of slogging to get the business into profit, and I have done all this by doing without, and not running in to debt; that’s right, no loans, no overdrafts, and no borrowed money, so I’ll be damned if I’m going to back pedal now.
The work on the 9sq/mtr project has slowed down, but ironically not because of my injury, but because of the current change in the weather. It has been pissing down for several days now, and the garden has become close to waterlogged. Most of my timber has become wet and will be unworkable until it has dried, and this has coincided with an increase in orders for Cargo Cycles products …… so I am far from idle.
Fortunately the day before the rain came, I acquired 2 more 250 ltr and 2 more 60 ltr barrels and had decided to pump some water around the tanks, butts and barrels we have in the garden. I moved a little over 400 ltr from the IBCs into the barrels that are not connected to any of the guttering. This little exercise provided extra capacity in the IBCs just as the rain began and with them all full now, I have about 4.8 cu/mtr of water available to irrigate the garden just as Anglian Water imposed the hose pipe ban. If the rain abates and the dry spell returns, it will be around about the 2nd week in May before we begin pumping used bath water into the IBC closest to the house.
Although I have been unable to get out into the garden due to the wet conditions, I have continued reclaiming timber from the stack of pallets and plywood, and  I’ve got some old plywood panels reclaimed that will become the floor boards for the loft, and I reclaimed a couple of close boarded  2 way pallets. The reclaimed timber from one of these pallets will then became a grow-bag, boundary partition. Let me explain;  I have seen several photos on a couple of different gardening related Internet forums, where a grow-bag is placed on its side to grow the usual plants, whilst taking up less room than placed flat as one would usually do with a grow bag. I have decided to take this one step further by making a proper  framework to support the now sideways grow bag, and use several of them latched together to provide our ground level vegetable patch with some protection on three sides: North, East & West. It is hoped that these partitions will provide the plants with some protection from the prevailing winds, but will also provide both a visual and physical deterrent to Oz. Although I am going to assume that to begin with these grow bag boundary partitions will just become another obstacle to be enjoyed by Oz as fast as possible, in much the same way as the original 3 tiered vegetable planter was last year.
The first attempt at making one of these was a semi-success. I made it using all the correct dimensions but had not considered one thing; water absorption expansion. The water soaked into the compost, which then expanded and popped a couple of the planks off. So I’ve got to get on and make a Mark II version. However, these were always to be part of the 9 sq/mtr project so it’s another job that has backed up on me.
Good Friday arrived, and while I was busy in the workshop welding up components for a contract job, I also decided to utilise a few off cuts of steel tubing and flat bar stock from the box beneath my chop sawing station for one albeit minor aspect of the 9 sq/mtr project.
Meanwhile Lois had a productive time in the garden along with tending to the seedlings and plants in the house. A few short rows of King Edward potatoes were planted, a wigwam for the beans was made from canes was made, a section of the veg patch that had been covered in a layer of donkey manure a couple of weeks ago was turned over and readied for the next stage of her planting regime. Lois also did some book research regarding some of the vegetables that we would like to grow, and discovered a few interesting facts about Salsify. Which is good plant to grow with mustard and to be are planted near to carrots as it discourages carrot root fly. A very good pest discouraging spray can be made from dried Chili peppers and sweet Peppers.
Lois also took a few Sage cuttings for growing in amongst the Broccoli as the smell of the Sage can confuse a lot of insect and invertebrate pests. Basil will also be used amongst the Sweet peppers and Tomatoes again to discourage pests.
A couple of weeks ago Lois re-potted our very pale blue Hydrangea , and placed a 20mm long off-cut of copper water pipe under the roots in the fresh compost. So I will close this post with a picture of our now stunning blue Hydrangea:

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