Sunday, 1 September 2013

On saying nothing and tempremental indeterminate tomatoes

I need some wedding wellies, what colour shall I pick.
OK, so I'm not actually dead. I'll bet you're happy to know that. I'll apologise for my prolonged silence. I've been taught when you've nothing good to say, best just keep your chops shut. So I have. Its been a midery, miserable August mainly, so I've held my wheesht and just got my head down. I can't say that anything in particular has given me the hump, I've just been grumpy. However although the weather is sadly deteriorating up here in the frozen windy, wet, north, the mood is finally brightening. I've come to terms with the days shortening and the season changing. I'm also attempting to cheer myself up by doing some wellie shopping for our forth coming wedding - no clue what colour to pick, perhaps red for a change............
So - how on earth are you all? And what on earth have you been up to since we last touched base?
Well for me - although my mood has resembled a soor plum, its been a busy month. We moved a building on to my site at work. I got some glamorous gear to wear to mark the occasion. Steel toe cap boots and a hard hat are so THIS year. They really are. And I wonder why folks don't recognise me in frocks when I look like this most of the time.
 We've been down 'sooth' and visited, paced out and pondered over the wedding venue to decide where's best to do the 'we do' bit - the best we managed was to find a meeting venue :) I think it looks quite nice don't you? Although given the seating arrangements, most folks I think will stand. Its getting ready to glam itself up in autumn colour, a beech forest in October is a sight that can hardly be beaten.
 We've enjoyed a random mixture of weather up here - mainly misty, a bit of rain, a bit of sun. Now we're noting a marked change in the weather. The wind has shifted, gusting at 46MPH today, I fear its not long until the leaves are off to Norway and autumn passes through for a day or so to be replaced by an early winter.  There are calves by the cottage in our village, always happy to say hello, whatever the weather.
 Early in the month we did have the excitement of the letter with the 'Higher' grades for the cellist popping through the door. Whilst these days results are gained by email or text - the flurry of the postie and the plop of the envelope on the mat still holds a certain excitement.
 And she was as pleased as punch. She got her grades whilst she was in France, via email. Her home alone mother was able to open the letter in Orkney and feel as proud as punch for her. She did really well. And, now she's off at university open days. Whilst she has another year at school, the university applications begin now. With grades like these, I'm hoping the world truly is her lobster. She works hard. A very proud day.
Whilst the august days have been mixed with sunshine and showers, the garden guru escaped and I was charged with the tunnels. They are full of sweet peas with a scent to die for, courgettes changing into marrows at the blink of an eye, beans clambering up to reach the sunshine and tomatoes, lots and lots of tomatoes sprawling everywhere ready to trip you up as soon as look at you. Personally I am still at a loss why folks grow indeterminate tomatoes, (The kind that climb and climb and trip you up) as I tied in (on a daily basis) several hundred of them, unruly, tempremental and insubordinate (you did know tomatoes are pesky fiends didn't you?) I am still perplexed as to why they're grown at all. Especially in our short season.  Bush varieties put less energy into growing upwards and scullduggery, they grow short, flower and produce luscious fruit.
Quite frankly, I prefer bush varieties. Maybe its cos they make me feel like a giant? Mainly its because they grow in their dense squat manner, then fruit. They grow politely, no nonsense. They do not need tied in nor have their sideshoots pinched out regularly. They do not need captured on a daily basis. They grow, they stop, they flower, they fruit. Clearly bush tomatoes have gone to finishing school. The other kinds put me in the mind of herding cats, utterly impossible to keep up with. I can hear the space issues and the varieties on offer might temp some, but I, I have agreed to my self, am not a fan. Nor will I grow them myself. I am a bush tomato kinda gal.
Never fear they (the tall ones who shall not be named) exacted their revenge for my lack of lustre for them, each time I watered them, I got soaked. At 45 years of age, you'd imagine I'd be able to water tomatoes without soaking myself, it would seem not. They seem to have some sort of control over the hose. As the indeterminate beasts tittered, and escaped their careful tying in, I exacted my revenge by eating their offspring. It seemed only fair. It may seem callous but I really don't care for scrawny unruly tomatoes. I patted my own cheerful bush tomatoes on the heads and told them how clever they were.
Saturated legs, thankfully the tiny shoes kept my feet dry until the socks leaked down into them. Never annoy a tomato - they turn the hose against you.
There's also been a fair amount of petulant walking during my August of doom. The hoonds however never pay heed to my nonsense. Safest really.
 So we walked on beaches and we walked up the lane by the cottage. Some days the sun came out and some days the mist entrenched us like a blanket.
 Some days we even wore 'bare' arms, but not for long. The weather is turning, just like it did last September.
The nights are shorter, the wind is getting up again. So whilst the summers pretty much over up here,  there's still lots to look forward too.
1 week until Mr Flowers puts in another appearance up north.
2 weeks until my son moves back down to university and into his first flat. He's raiding the house for handy items and expects me to drive the loot down to Ayr. I guess that's called aiding and abetting isn't it?
3 weeks until I meet up with a few lovely chums to plan out the wedding feast - all home made. This requires a fair quantity of Gin to focus the mind. Its tradition.
4 weeks until panic sets in as its.........not long until we acquire a husband, albeit a p/t one for a while.
50 days until we toddle off into a forest and finally, actually get married.
And, less than a year until we find our forever house and garden and begin a new life, away from the islands and keep chickens again. Nearer to the children who will both be off at university, nearer to my friends and family, nearer to a longer growing season and further from the gales.
I really can't wait. Whilst I've loved living up here, with its beautiful skies and challenges, its time to move forward. Onwards.


  1. What exciting news for the catch-up! Wedding preps and a trip to Ayr... that's only about 50 something miles from here - is it on your list of potential relocations? Or how about a wee bit further south and into the tropical Machars, where palm trees sway in the wind? :)

    Wishing you all the best with planning and preparations, pop down for a visit if you're in Ayrshire for any length of time.

    1. We've so many trips in the future if this trip doesn't tie in perhaps another would work? Thanks for the offer :)

      Who knows where the wellies will land. Perhaps Aberdeenshire, perhaps Fife. Mr Flowers works in central - but who knows!

      Its going to be an adventure that's for sure!

      I'm loving your September challenge - thinking of joining.

    2. Brilliant - mind and join before the deadline so you qualify for the free draw :) I'll maybe see you in Aberdeenshire when up seeing family. Or maybe even fit in some island hopping and call the Aberdeen to Orkney stage a mini-cruise. I'm in search of the Northern Lights this year. Have you ever seen them?

  2. Ah, we really have had interesting weather, I was glad for our bit of heatwave when we went South. Wedding plans sound so exciting - could you have a different colour of wellies for each part of the day or is that greedy? xx

    1. I went south recently and had no idea how to dress. Normally this is an issue but this year especially. Whilst we're back in woollies and fleeces - they're still in sandals down south. Most peculiar!

      A different colour for each part of the day would be fab but knowing me I'll end up with mismatched colours (always good) or losing some (not cool).

  3. I happen to have acquired a pair of pastel rainbow wellies, left by my step- daughter and happily my size!
    Laughing at your post, as I have just come in from attending to my high needs tomato cordons. I am very find of them though.
    Well done to your daughter - such an exciting time. I wonder where you will end up living??

    1. Now those sound nice Barefoot :) High need tomato cordons are like old fashioned actors of the stage daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarling. Needy needy needy. But I'm sure they taste good.

      She off checking out universities this week - very exciting. Another year of school will just whoosh by.

      No idea where we'll end up - probably east coast and on the 'main' island.

      I think we'll keep island adventures for holidays. Must get over to your patch soon, one of the few places I've never been!

  4. coo - that was a catch up, glad you're back - love Froogs xx

    1. A catch up indeed! Hope you're well! :)

  5. I am going with the lilac wellies..... But it all depends on the colour of your frock... you don't want to clash :-)

    1. Oh Janine clashing is my favourite sport I do it in most aspects of me life :) Lilac would be cool too!

      Frock - creamy/goldy (I got chastised by the lovely frock helper by calling it mucky cream)

  6. it's lovely to hear from you. wow,so much change is unfolding for you. thanks for keeping us posted on your wedding plans. i myself am partial to yellow wellies but it might depend on what you are wearing as yellow is quite bright. congratulations to your daughter ... that is a very good report. wishing you all the best for finding somewhere to live and for your future plans.

    1. I do have yellow wellies but with steel toecaps I fear they'll only be useful for the dancing part!

      I'm so chuffed for my daughter - great results and brighter than her mum so I'm sure she'll do fabulously.

      Finding somewhere to live now that's going to be an adventure in itself. We will have several gardens to interview.

  7. Wondered where you were:)
    life sounds good! Enjoy.
    Go for clear plastic wellies, then you can show off your socks :)

    1. Tony that is genius. And thanks for missing me! :)

  8. Argh! It wouldn't let me post under my wordpress name, and I lost my post **sobs**

    Well, I love what you've written - and what you've taken piccies of, worked out what the hosepipe was and then read about bush vs tall tomatoes - thats really interesting, I want to grow my own next year.

    Sorry August has been so grotty for you :( fairly stressful time, y'know, juggling teens at lifechanging times, getting married, all the changes at work, all the long distance travel, and trying to be both green and frugal about it all! Its a fair old amount **kisses**

    1. I love that you're growing more of your own Jan.

      And sorry you lost a post - that's so frustrating.

      August has been grotty - but hey ho its over now.

      Stressful is I guess a fact of life - change is unsettling.

      Thank you for the kisses - I'll recycle them often.

      The hosepipe and the tomatoes are seriously out to get me.

  9. There's such an expectation for summers to be fantastic (as in exotic holidays and lots of socialising and perfect life blah blah), and sometimes they're not. You never hear people say, 'Did you have a good autumn?', but autumns can be much better than some summers. I have a feeling yours will be.

    Massive congratulations to your daughter - such anxiety beforehand!
    Good luck with the start of another university year and all the uni open days. Trick is to see through the hype. I know a bit about the Scottish university sector, shall we say. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to tell you what I know - you can email me on occasionalscotland (at) yahoo (dot) co (dot) uk.

    We have had a graduation:, then a moving-back-home-after-4-years-at-uni, which is resulting in our tiny house bursting at th seams, our daughter has gone to Canada for a summer job and come back:, our 'holiday' was looking after my elderly father, which was good if tiring and also involved raspberry picking and jam-making on an industrial scale, and I have worked very long hours in the office and sometimes at weekends on holidays and I want a break ie to do something totally different with my life! And now I'm looking forward to autumn but not to daughter going back to uni!

    Will look forward to reading your autumn posts, whether 'fantastic' or not!

    1. Linda - I'm really touched by the time you've taken to post.

      I may well email you - she's got a lot of thinking to do.

      I saw you had a graduation - how exciting!

      We're thinking of getting a place big enough for the returning students as it seems to be the way these days doesn't it.

      Industrial scale jam making whilst exhausting I'm sure was rewarding.

      There is an expectation that summer will be awesome - I generally spend mine alone - one of the downsides of single parenting when the kids go to their dads. Dont' get me wrong I love that they have fun with their other family - but six weeks of an empty house doesn't do me good.

      The winds have gotten up and I fear for the leaves here - I'm so looking forward to a glimpse of autumn.

      Thanks for popping by.

  10. Clever Cellist - she'll go far! As for wellies - surely they have to be flowery?! Seems a shame not to take the chance to get an utterly, completely and totally frivolous pair! Whichever you choose, I'm very much looking forward to seeing them, and YOU all, on the day! xxx

    1. Clever ex-cellist indeed - I keep forgetting she's given it up for now.

      I hear what you're saying but frivolous and me don't really go hand in hand.

      I'm more of an industrial strength wellington kinda gal.

      Although I know the most reliable manufacturers do have pretty ones - I really must look.


  11. A very exciting time for you. And well done to your daughter. I hope the preparations go well.

    1. Thank you CJ.

      Its scary and exciting and we're very proud of her exploits.

  12. I actually prefer indeterminate toms, my bush toms have turned into an unruly mess, hiding the - admittedly tasty and prolific - fruit and tripping me up. Multi congrats to the cellist.