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pandemic

Day 40 – Sunshine, Trampoline Fun, Party Prep, and Marshmallows

The original meaning of quarantine was forty days. So I’ve been not going to work for longer than an old fashioned quarantine period.We’ve had a great day today. Most of it spent outdoors enjoying the sunshine, apart from a bit after lunch when we stayed indoors because it was too warm to do more digging. We’ve also eaten well.

Clean Trampoline Fun

While I was digging the patch in front of the hut in a search for the old concrete path, Alexander and Lucy decided to clean the trampoline. Armed with a bottle of washing up liquid, a couple of brushes and the garden hose they bounced and scrubbed the trampoline. As always it quickly turned into a water fight. Tracy and I threw buckets of water at the kids and they sprayed us with the hose.Lots and lots of fun on a lovely warm day.

Food

We had croissants with raspberry jam for breakfast. These came from yesterday’s shopping trip and made a nice change from cereal.Lunch was a home made quesadilla. We also had nachos as a small starter. Tracy made it all while the kids were getting dried and changed from their time on the trampoline.Dinner was even more special. Tracy cooked steak with a blue cheese dressing. It was really good, melting in your mouth and pink in the middle. There was no real need for chewing.

Party Preparation

After lunch we stayed in for a bit to organise things for Lucy’s birthday party. Although it isn’t for a couple of weeks we need to lost things to people so they’ll have part bags, prizes for the games and also some other things.Lucy helped us both sort it out. She enjoyed loading the laminator with the bingo cards. She got pretty efficient with it after she’d done a couple. She also decorated the party bags and helped Tracy sort out the contents.

Garden

After dinner I went back out into the garden. I delivered another wheelbarrow load of topsoil to the furthest raised bed. Then, with the wheelbarrow empty I took a layer of clay soil off the first bed and carted it up to the back of the garden. This was step 1 of the plan to establish a new compost heap on the left side of the garden.I then daisy chained both the garden extension cables so that the hedge trimmer reached the back corner of the garden. Then I cut and raked up the brambles and all the other weeds until the light failed. It took two or three passes, raking up in between each one, to clear the area. I think I completely cleared about a dozen square metres. Here’s the after photo that matches the before photo above.I saved a half dozen nettle plants for an experiment I want to do with Lucy and Alexander later in the week. I’d like to use the leaves to make nettle tea, and the stems to make string.Once I’d cleared enough space I decided to start prep for the new compost heap. This started with a bringing an old rug to throw over the fence to stop things growing through it, and also to contain the compost on this side. I then dumped the wheelbarrow load of clay soil and used it to flatten out the slight slope at the very back.

Marshmallows

We’ve got several piles of woody garden rubbish, and of brambles, that I don’t want to compost. The larger one has been building on our burning circle since the end of last year. The other piles only exist because we’ve tried to avoid burning garden rubbish.Tonight we decided to give in and have a fire. Alexander started it by flicking a lit match at the pile. It caught really quickly.While I was keeping an eye on it Tracy and Lucy came out to watch, and they brought marshmallows with them. The fire was a bit too hot to start with, but it soon died down. We spent a happy half hour watching the flames and toasting marshmallows.Eventually it was time to go in, and I turned the garden hose on it.

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