What a lovely sunny day, feels like last day of autumn. Next week the temperature is supposed to drop below zero so I decided to make the most out of the sunshine. First I did some bike maintenance, my son somehow gets a flat tyre every other week. The hens kept me company. Nettie and Lottie are getting friendlier every day and Maggie seems to slowly get over her trauma from last weekend and isn’t as jumpy anymore. After that I took my daughter berry picking. We cycled to the cemetery and walked around the popular path in the nature reserve. There are so many sloes! At first we picked every berry we saw but soon got very picky and only chose the biggest berries. There is so much that the whole of Hönö could probably go out harvesting without finishing them off. Sloes are not the easiest berries to pick though, very thorny bushes, some thorns being a few centimetres long. Trying to get to the fullest bushes was like a game with death or at least like cuddling a very angry cat… After about 3,5 kilos we headed home to change and go swimming. To be honest I haven’t been for weeks, to the point where I’m ashamed to call myself a all-year-around swimmer. The sun was going down, no wind, absolutely stunning but freezing. As always we felt great coming out of the water and went home for a nice warm cuppa.
We started the day with going to a friends place around the corner who just got chickens. Well they actually got a hen and some eggs for their sons preschool so all the children had the fantastic opportunity to watch the whole “from egg to chicken” and then all the young chickens were brought home to their garden. They reckon 3 cockerels but I guess 4, I’m not claiming to be an expert so time will tell. I wish all children would have the chance to experience this in their life but I think sadly enough that there are too many rules and “allergies” for it to happen.
Today the whole family helped(not counting the teen then busy being a rockstar) harvesting the berries in our garden. In one hour we picked red and black currants and cherries, 7 kilos all together! A record of cherries this year though, after picking a bucket full it looked like I hadn’t touched it and there are still more on the tree to ripen. The other day I ordered more pretty jam jars and they will arrive any day now so I’ve frozen most of the harvest apart from the cherries that I’m now turning into cordial and a first to me, cherry jelly. Tomorrow or when I have more time I will make blackcurrant jelly and then cordial of whatever is left. I feel like I haven’t written about the chickens for quite some time now but they they started eating my geraniums and that’s when I had enough, they seriously crossed the line. I started to have them closed in most of the day, well it’s a very big hen yard but I still felt bad about it. Now I pay the price. There are some strawberries but we still haven’t tasted them, the slugs are too fast. That’s the downside of my recent decision to close the chicks in more often. There are more slugs and snails than last year, so it’s a win-win(for the slugs!) or maybe lose-lose situation? I guess I’d rather have happy chickens eating my garden than slimy slugs so ok I give in…
After finally conquering my fears and finishing painting the house I’ve had a hard time slowing down to relax. Today is Sunday and even though we’re not believers I do try to live with Sunday being a day for rest. When my grandmother lived here she would never let us cut the lawn on a Sunday and there are still a lot of people who think the same way. I think it’s nice to have one day in the week where no lawnmowers or builders are making a noise. It’s not so easy though when you have loads of stuff waiting to be done, like the hedge being cut etc. So after feeling restless all day I took my daughter for a walk. We chose little roads between the houses where we rarely go and ended up down the harbour choosing a trail that I’ve never been up. We found some wild strawberries, my daughter saying what a shame we didn’t bring anything to put them in and I said when we were kids we used grass straws. Wow what a pleasure to see a child lit up with joy over something that is so obvious to me! She firmly decided that we weren’t leaving before the straw was full. After an hour we had four straws full with little berries. What a very happy proud girl! Perfect start of the summer holidays and for me the start of a two week holiday. On our way back we walked past a pond with some kids dressed in life jackets fishing in the pond. A mum filled us in with information and after a few minutes there where crayfish in the bucket! Apparently someone has planted them in the pond along with some red and yellow fish. The kids feed them bread, fish them up and let them back in every day. Tomorrow we will head out to my favourite place where we went as kids, for more berries and adventures.
We went to one of Hönö’s two nature reserves to have a barbecue. There is a place where you can bbq next to the playground in the woods. Usually there is a grate on top of it but now it was missing so we had to put our hotdogs on sticks which is actually easier said than done. Two ended up on the ground, I tried a double stick technique with a burger but wasn’t very successful. The s’mores were good though! My son and his friend went bananas in the trees climbing and going on the rope swing while me and my daughter went looking for blackberries. We soon realised it was way too early, all the berries were red far from going black. Then suddenly I hear a mjaowing and a cat comes walking down the trail. It walks past but keeps looking back and my daughter starts following it. The cat speeds up and its belly is going flip-flap back and forth for every step, looks like it’s pregnant. She goes off the trail and my daughter follows until it jumps over a small ditch into a bush, lo and behold, there’s a blackberry bush with one black blackberry on it! She is so pleased with herself. Now I really want to find some myself but my daughter goes -Well mum you know it’s not gonna happen you have to find a cat first to show you where they are. Considering the odds, seems pretty unlikely it’s gonna happen twice in one day, so I give up and we cycle home.
In the afternoon I was even more amazed at what Mother nature had to offer. My mum came for coffee and we went out to pick more blackberries. The fruit leather I made the other day is long gone.
We took a route we don’t usually take and stumbled upon… a pot of pot!
Even if I’ve been very lax with weeding and watering this summer the garden is paying big time! We’re filling up the cupboard with red/black currant and rhubarb cordial, strawberry jam and for lunch yesterday we made fresh strawberry smoothies. The cherries are ready to be picked, to the chickens delight, they have started falling off the tree and there are still loads of currants.