Thursday, 28 July 2011

What the Garden looks like

Since I mention my litte court yard that I call quite frequently, I thought I show you what little sace I actually have:

This is the view outside my back door

green house and water barrel next to the back door
Tiny huh? But I optimize the space as good as I can and I am getting some fruits and vegetables

Lessons Learned

Let's go back in time shall we? Living a self sufficient and frugal life, has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. In Summer last year I realized that I would never be able to live this life, if I don't sort out my financial problems and become debt free. You see when I moved to the UK, I fell in the trap of having a credit card. As a kid and teenager, as well as a young adult I was always pretty good with my money and saving a lot, this was what allowed me buy my rifles and later on spend a year in the USA. When I got here, I got a credit card when I opened my bank account, I didn't ask for it but it was handy, especially that first month when money was short. I paid it off fully every month and soon my credit limit was increased. This went on until 2005 or 2006 and then things went out of control... Early on last year I pulled the plug and cancelled my credit card. I had a debt of £3000 on it, not to mention £1000 council tax costs to pay and £500 store credit.

The past 12 month have been challenging for me. I decided to put a good quarter of my wages towards paying all of this of on a monthly. That meant I was cutting down on any additional and unnecessary expenses, such as meals out etc. It was though without a doubt, challenging at times but on the 1st of July 2011 I paid of my last outstanding debt and I am now debt free :)

This means on Friday for the first time in 12 month there will be a good chunk of money left in my bank account that I can spend on my choosing.

I plan to treat my self, I will go out to the movies on Saturday and watch Harry Potter and go to the market to buy a handmade basket. I have seen them on the market a couple weeks ago and thing this basket will be great to storage the wool I use to knit. I decided to move the majority of the money into my savings account, after all, I have learned I can live on little money and it will be good to put the money towards saving for a piece of land.

Monday, 11 July 2011


The weekend was a rather good one. When I finished work on Friday, I went home and it looked rather gloomy and I expected rain soon. I took the dogs out for a walk around Saltwell Park before going home. I decided I might as well try and get the main weekend cores done on Friday and have time to relax for the rest of the weekend. So I cleaned the kitchen and living room, filled the paperwork that was over due to be filled, put the washing in the machine and so on. At around 8pm I took the dogs for another hour long walk and after that I hung the washing out to dry. By 10pm all was done and dusted and I relaxed and went to bed.

Saturday was very rainy, with frequent changes between sunny and rainy. After the morning dog walk, I did some games in the house with the dogs. Since Lily got attacked, she is snappy when on the lead and scares easily. I worked with her all week during walks and she stopped snapping while on the lead. Saturday I decided to build her confidence by having her walk through all kinds of tunnels, curtains etc. It was good fun and when the girls got tired, I left to go to the fruit and vegetable shop. I only wanted to get some potatoes and carrots but then bought some tomatoes too. Once I got home, I prepared some dough to bake bread and cut the potatoes and carrots and cooked them in water on the stove. I spend the afternoon cooking potato soup and baking 'onion bread'. That was one yummy treat when it was done and the right food for a rainy day.

Sunday was nice and sunny. After breakfast I left the house at 8.30am and walked to Watergate Park with the dogs. We spend a good 5 hours walking and swimming up there. I love walking through the fields up there. It's gorgeous with lot's of farms and fields. Places for the dogs to play and for me to daydream.

pasture on our walk

me with the corn field in the back
the girls

Once we got home the girls went to rest and I went in the garden to cut some green salad for lunch. Next to the salad are the cucumbers and I was surprised to see a cucumber there. They flowered lots month ago but nothing else happened and I thought that was a waste, it was a nice surprise. I cut of one of them, to add to my salad but there are quite a few left that need more growing.

self grown cucumber

By the time I was done, I went back in the garden. I ripped out the beans and peas, as they were done growing and producing fruits. I thinned out the tomatoe plants and added some tomato feed. I moved the greenhouse to where the beans and peas where, this will be used to grow some salad in autumn and winter. I moved the cucumbers more into the sun, as well as the potatoes. Since I only have a courtyard, I grow in 'growbags', so it was an easy feast. The courtyard has more room now and the greenhouse is in a better position now. This also means there will definitely be no beans and peas next year.