Monday, 9 November 2015

Harvest Monday, a trip away and Lego!

Well this week has been quite a contrast to last.....rainy, rainy, rainy with a touch of sun. I love autumn but I definitely like it less when everything's all soggy.
I thought I was only going to have one token Harvest Monday piccie - a tasty noodle soup, using up last week's harvests of chard and courgettes plus some sprouted beans. (We also had a few meals from the butternut squash I roasted last Sunday.)
But today I picked a couple of red sweet peppers from the lean-to, which we added to a homemade and grown herby tom sauce from the freezer.
We've been away this weekend, visiting Jan's folks in South Yorkshire, back today. I always like to nose around what Jan's mum has been growing in her veggie plot and made the most of a bit of sun that broke through on Saturday sfternoon. She's got some nice looking leeks on the go, plus some chard and kale still growing. In the background is some purple sprouting broccoli, which looks like it'll be a spring cropper.
Here's the same part of the veggie plot from the opposite angle, looking good
She's got some lovely pumpkins too, variety Cinderella. I might give these a go next year, as they had a really good flavour (we had a nice soup one day and hotpot another, mmm). Quite often pumpkins are watery but these were good. They're a sort of wide and flat variety rather than a carving pumpkin.
In the garden they have some very nice apple trees, still with lots of fruit on them (apparently they're quite late this year). I'm never one to pass up on free apples, so we picked a carrier bag-ful to bring home to Norwich, despite travelling by train. Yes, my rucksack was a tad heavy! If only I'd known beforehand I could've taken a suitcase ;)
Saturday afternoon we headed out to Clumber Park, which is a National Trust property, just over the border in Notts. It's a go-to for nice walks at any time of the year, with a huge lake to walk round plus woods, marshes, heathy bits, a real mix. And a cafe of course. There's a walled kitchen garden I'd like to check out sometime but maybe a summer visit would be better.
Here's Jan checking out the birdies
The lake is formed by river water held back by a wier. The river was rushing through right under this point (so I gripped the iPad very firmly!). I have become one of those people who takes photos on an iPad, ( just so I can use them in the blog easily.) It's quite heavy to carry round so I won't be taking it on every walk!
Sunday was rainy again so we went to the Harley Gallery on the Welbeck Estate. This was a new place for me.....and the temporary exhibition was on Lego! The main theme was famous buildings made out of Lego - brilliant!
An amazing St Pancras Station
It was huge
Amazing detail
Even Spider-Man made a cameo. Can you spot him? I only did because a little kid noticed him. Children are at the right height to spot all the detail so useful to listen out for hehe.
There were loads more - here's just a few
Gaudi Cathedral in Barcelona - shows you don't need to build 'em big
But here was another big one - London Olympic Stadium
Battersea Power Station, London, and a tiny St Paul's Cathedral in front
After a nice lunch in the cafe (and a peruse around the farm shop - so many tasty treats, including produce from the estate), we drove a short way to Rufford Abbey Country Park for another walk before the rain set in again. This was another new place for me, I liked the woods and abbey ruins best (I didn't get many pics as the light was bad though). It was quite busy but a definite place to return to.
That's me for the week, linking in with Harvest Monday hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres



  1. Ooh, I would LOVE to see a Lego exhibit, so fun!! My mix packet of pumpkin seeds had Cinderella variety; unfortunately none of my pumpkin plants lasted long between frost, bug damage, etc. Hopefully I'll get some next year. Your peppers are fabulous ... better than any I grew in peak season. Well done!

    1. Yey, i really enjoyed the Lego Susie. I think one of my favourite pieces was actually in the section where 'joe public' had made scenes and structures, and as part of a scenario a small figure of only a few coloured bricks depicted Paddington bear. I wish I'd taken a piccie, it was so simple but was the essence of him perfectly!
      The peppers were green for absolutely ages and I was tempted to pick more of them earlier...I'm glad I waited in the end, it's surprising how they've continued to ripen. I don't think much of it was down to any skill from me though!

  2. Great photos, and that Lego exhibit is amazing. Those are good looking peppers too, so nice this late in the season. And I would never turn down free apples either!

    1. Thanks Dave, I could've spent even longer at the Lego exhibition but was dragged away for lunch :) I wonder if the mild autumn we've had here so far has helped the peppers, I don't think I've ever had such nice coloured ones. I need to do something with those apples now!

  3. Those places you visited would probably have been even nicer in sunshine. Still, I bet all that walking around in the rain gave you a big appetite for pumpkin soup etc!

    1. we were pleased to be able to get out at all having seen the forecast :) The autumn colours were lovely even if a bit soggy. I did overhear some families at Clumber Park who said they'd never stayed as long as on that day, with the splashing about during the rainy morning and then a sunny afternoon entertaining the kids much more than normal!

  4. Those Cinderella pumpkins are so pretty - and appropriately named...they look just like her coach. I'm hoping that the straw bales work out better next year, now that I know what to do (sort of!), so that we can grow more squash. The great thing about the bales is that you can position them anywhere you have room for the vines to sprawl so you're not limited to existing beds.

    1. Ooh Yes they do look like cinderella's coach Margaret, you're right. I hadn't really thought about it.

      I was reading about straw bale growing in my latest edition of Permaculture magazine and remembered how you and Susie had described it I think? In the mag they followed a similar method of preparing the bales before using - interesting stuff.

  5. Those peppers look absolutely brilliant. You had a better harvest than us as we didn't visit the plot at all last week. Did you manage to see any nuthatches at Clumber Park?

    1. Thanks sue, I think the peppers have been luck more than anything else! They do seem to like that top shelf though so I think that'll be their regular spot.
      No nuthatches unfortunately but I did keep an eye out for you in case we were there at the same time :) I thought that would be too much of a coincidence though!