Saturday, January 22, 2011

This is a long Winter

Activities outside are still limited. I know the childminder takes them out most days but the sultry, grey skies and chilly wind hardly beckon me outside. Biryani decided to measure many things , including Mr Teddy, with my tape measure, the other day. Her feet are only a little longer than Hz's despite there being 2 years between them.

However the temperature outside has been veering upwards to a heady 4 or 5 degrees recently which got me thinking that digging trenches for the runner beans might be possible. The temperature, however, went back down to around zero by the time I got organised to go up to the allotment so I was only able to tidy up a bit and mend a bit of the fence - digging is impossible. I had spotted some rabbit droppings so this was just as well, especially as inshaAllah I'll attempt to grow some Brassicas this year (Brussel Sprouts).
I also took the opportunity to take some 'before' pictures. Here's hoping the 'after' pictures are not showing how well my weeds have progressed!

and finally an equally sombre-coloured picture, showing the numerous, large piles of dirty snow, collected and dumped around the city. There's just so much of the stuff that they are to be found all over the place.
I'm feeling like Spring should be here already, having had snow since November, but I do have to remember that we still have at least 2 more months of Winter, and that gardening (or not being able to do it) can be a test of patience.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Asalamoaleykum, Peace be on you, Hej!

We are back to civilization, back home (!) to Sweden. To my surprise, our recent trip to the UK, after such a long time, made me realize I had become accustomed to the peace and quiet (some would say 'dullness') of small-town Sweden. Even if the greeting is monosyllabic, you do not have sudden attacks of claustrophobia, be it in the streets or in the shops. The roads have far much more snow. but no-one's skidding about.
My flat on the other hand, has become a disaster on top of a disaster as the contents of our people carrier were unloaded. Bags of tea bags and dirty washing engulfed the place, and then some virus decided to overwhelm me, and it's been a slow process getting the floors just about clear. The children are glad to be back, with their internet and TV. They did have some good times and met up with friends, some who were babies when we last met in the UK. I noticed how the written English just in the general environment/ ads etc is a part of learning and which if course they have missed here (and have Swedish instead). M is still talking partly in a Yorkshire accent and they managed to mind their P's and Q's in front of relatives.
So I've been in bed trying to ignore everything buzzing around me, and unsubscribing from loads of email lists to inshaAllah free up my inbox a little.
Once I've got rid of this virus I hope this year can get going with a bit of organization, decluttering and growth, inshaAllah. Getting away, it's great for getting a bit of perspective!