Monday, 29 March 2010


Another year of my life has flown by but I have to say I'm pretty happy with where I am.
At the weekend we had a bit of a birthday party and "shed warming" with about 25 friends turning up with much drinking and merriment, all was good. The home brew on the other hand wasn't, it tasted like Doctor Pepper and that was when we could get a bottle open without the foam hitting the ceiling (which it did quite a few times, along with the chairs, table, floor and anyone stood within a miles radius!).
To make matters worse, tonight we sat down for tea (and for the first time in ages we had it in the sitting room instead of round the table in the dinning room, luckily) when we heard a massive bang and glass go everywhere. One bottle had exploded, well I say exploded but I don't think that does it justice as there was no bottle left! I quickly moved the rest outside and opened them, each one producing a line of foam about 10ft long and then fizzing till empty.
Oh well made dinner quite entertaining!
On a happier note my peas have come up!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Busy times in the garden

It really felt like spring had come this weekend and I managed to get loads done.
I cleaned out the greenhouse and washed it down ready for the new season as well as replacing the plastic cover on my mini greenhouse that's on the patio.

I've also managed to plant peas (in the ground and in guttering for when I get my allotment) these are both sugar peas and normal, I also sowed some more broad beans into pot and a complete raised bed of red onion sets. As well as this I divided my rhubarb, planted a plum tree, made a present for my mum for mothers day, nearly finished off making the set of garden shelves, started to clear out the old garden shed, impregnated some more straw to make mushrooms, put my seed potatoes to chit, dug up, cooked and ate the last of my leeks and parsnips. So I'm feeling pretty productive at the moment!

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Shave Horse

I've always had a keen interest in green woodwork (this is where wood is worked freshly cut or "green") and in the past I have done courses on it making a stool from ash and elm. so I've was pleased that my brother has started doing it without me even suggesting it. He's been making lots of spoons along with axe and hammer handles for the last few months so for his birthday I decided to make him something that should help him loads - a shave horse.

(Picture of the bench before the clamp is added)

This is a work bench that was used by bodgers (chair makers that lived in the woods), where you sit on the bench and then push your feet onto an arm that clamps the pieces of work at the top of the bench. The idea is simple but it enables you to clamp work really quickly and using a draw knife you can shape any item you want from a comfortable position.

(Turning the parts of the clamp on the lathe)

Like making any present it took longer than I though it would, some pieces being turned on the lathe and the rest being cut by hand but I was quite pleased with how it turned out and Dave's reaction was great when I gave it to him. He even asked if I'd brought it (not sure where you could buy one from if you wanted to!)!

(Picture of the finished shave horse)

I've told him that he's got to make me a new handle for my mattock as one of his first projects, as with a new prosepects of a new allotment coming up in April I might be using it quite a bit and the current handle is part plastic and cracked, much better to have a nice ash handle made by my brother I think.