Day 305 – 1st November – The final product

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After letting the juice setting for a couple more days I have skimmed off the ‘gunk’ at the top and then boiled it all up in a large pan, skimming off more mess that comes to the top through the boiling process. Happy that it had been heated long enough I let it cool and then decanted it into some old wine bottles that I had put by. Quite surprisingly I had over three bottles of juice. What didn’t make enough for a bottle I tried and I have to say that I’m pleasantly suprised with result and it has the added bonus of being totally natural. It has a good flavour and only a little sharpness. In my view I’d happily drink it along side some of the grape juices you can buy. Hopefully I’ll have enough grapes to do the same next year.

Day 288 – 15th October – More focus, less stopping!

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Growing up in a suburban environment there was one mantra that we were taught when it came to crossing the road. Stop. Look. Listen. There were even public service television adverts reinforcing that message. I was therefore surprised to see a different message on the way to work, especially the fact that it is no long Stop but Focus. (I’ve recreated my own version above as it wouldn’t photograph well). Now obviously the need to put in Focus is clear but is that not a doubling up of the Look concept. If you’ve stopped and then look you are likely to be focuses as you’re aware you’ve needed to stop. As a driver I have seen people step into the road (or a lamppost) because they are so engaged with their mobile phone that they are oblivious to their surroundings and clearly not focused. But why remove the word Stop?

Day 265 – 22nd September – What a reaction

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Today hasn’t been a great day. Moving on from Rancho De La Osa to our next ranch, Tombstone Monument Ranch, near Tombstone unsurprisngly, I’ve had some sort of allergic reaction. I suspect that it has come as a result of the downpour a couple of days earlier that has suddenly put a load of plants in bloom all at the same time. My eyes have been stinging to the point that it’s been difficult to keep them open and even closed they have been weeping and are red from having to be regularly wiped clean. Thankfully there was a supermarket en route and I was able to pick up some medicines (eye bath and antihistamine) and that seems to have started to solve things. By tomorrow I should be back to normal based on progress so far. Thankfully although there has been discomfort it hasn’t stopped me taking part in the horse riding I came here for.


Day 252 – 9th September – Size Doesn’t Matter

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I’ve never been very successful with Sunflowers. They are wonderful plants, look stunning and have multiple uses when they reach their end. So I am therefore pleased with this one that has grown really well, despite garden critters tried their best to thwart it. Everything is not quite as it seems though as this is not the type of sunflower that most people think of. Instead it is a dwarf variety so only a couple of feet tall. It is though still wonderful. My mum grows them every year to as a tribute to my Godparent’s son who passed away at an young age from Leukemia and has been far more successful than me, so I can’t really claim credit for it, but am still enjoying sunflowers in the garden.

Day 237 – 25th August -Bean busy growing

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I’m slowly feeling better but I have cancelled a family visit that was due to take place as the last thing I want to do is infect others. Not wanting to totally waste was is a very nice day outside I put on a couple of washloads, yes exciting I know. Putting the washing out to dry was a reminder that I still wasn’t fully recovered as though it didn’t tire me out, it was still more of an effort that it would normally be. While outside I took the opportunity to look at the raised beds I had reseeded late with peas and broadbeans. I knew they had started to grow but hadn’t checked on them for a while. I was very pleased to see that there were flowers now present on the beans, which should lead, in a number of weeks, to a supply of beans.

Day 236 – 24th August – Ding Dong!

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So I’m still off work as I’m still stuggling with the infection and I’ve learnt the hard way that going back too early will only make things worse. My problem is that I hate being unwell. I know we all do, but I know that I don’t do being unwell well! I’m not a bad patient, just really object to not being able to do things that I would normally do. So to be able to say that I had at least done something I ‘installed’ the new doorbell I purchased a few days ago. A friend had visited recently and only then had I discovered the doorbell wasn’t working and on futher inspection it wasn’t the batteries but the chime mechanism itself. I will point out that ‘installing’ is a bit of overkill as all I did was take the old doorbell off, scrape the spare sticky off the door frame, attach the new doorbell, put batteries in the chime and set it. However as a reminder that I was ill, even that was quite tiring and led to another doze afterwards!

Day 235 – 23rd August – Feeling a little remote

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I was off work today having picked up some unpleasant infection that was leading to a temperature, cough and cold. Most of the time has been spent either sleeping or consuming cold rememdies and different versions of vitamin c! Thankfully hot blackcurrant is a favourite drink of mine so it hasn’t been a hardship. During one of the waking periods I decided it was time I got one of my birthday presents working. Having got a new camera earlier in the year (a Canon D77 which I do enjoy), I had decided a remote for it would be good, mainly for long exposures where I don’t want to shake the camera rather than selfies! It took a bit of time, possibly because I’m ill, but I got there in the end and look forward to using it more when I’m out and about on photography missions.