Saturday, 27 June 2020

The Distancing Diaries - Day 98 & 99




Unable to get comfortable, at 3am on Friday morning Jon decamped to the spare bedroom accompanied by Frank. I stayed in our bed with Stephen Squirrel who, at 5am, decided it was time for me to get up. I managed to ignore him until just after 6am. He and I went downstairs and, joined by next door's crazy tabby, sat in a row on the old railway sleeper on the lawn listening to the birdsong and basking in the 20°C heat.


After my Wii Fit workout, I took some painkillers, biscuits and a mug of tea up to Jon, still entwined with Frank on the bed. I caught up with blog comments, loaded the washing machine and, as we'd run out of yoghurt, made myself some instant porridge from our stash of festival food.


Jon emerged shortly after 9am. I filled a hot water bottle for his back and he also had a pot of instant porridge. Ignoring the spots of rain, I pegged the washing out to dry, swept the downstairs rugs and misted the kitchen plants before getting dressed and watering the garden.

WEARING: Organic cotton, vegetable-dyed, block printed maxi dress from Cotton Cottage (bought in Goa, January 2020)

The previous evening we'd watched Gardener's World on the i-Player and Monty Don had mentioned that now was the right time to cut back wild geraniums so I set to work with the secateurs.


As we were out of yoghurt and also running low on milk, I offered to walk to Johal's but Jon said that his back was finally beginning to ease up and decided to go shopping himself.


Despite the forecast being for rain and thunderstorms, it turned out to be another baking hot and sunny day. After I'd finished my cutting back I stripped down to a bikini and spent the rest of the morning reading on the lawn.


The previous evening we'd heard a strange noise coming from the louvred recess in the hallway (aka the cupboard of doom) and discovered that the wooden dowel we use to hang our coats had snapped in two. After our lunchtime noodles, I emptied the cupboard while Jon assembled a clothes rail I'd found lurking at the back.



I rehung the coats, had a general tidy up and put the completed paperbacks I'd tossed in there on a chair outside the gates for passers-by the help themselves to.


We spent the remainder of the day in the garden, me on the grass, Jon, upright on a chair, the lads slumped inside the house, keeping cool.



After tea (halloumi with roasted vegetables) the boys ventured outside and we joined them with mugs of tea. I gave the patio plants another watering, brought in the washing & the remainder of the free books pile and we watched Gardener's World and Bethany Hughes' A Greek Odyssey accompanied by a few rum & colas.


On Saturday (day 99) I awoke to discover both cats staring at me, it was 7.15am and breakfast was late. It was raining which only served to add to their disdain. I fed the lads, made mugs of tea and brought them upstairs where we read until 8.30am. I stripped the bed, removed the plants from the bath where they'd been soaking overnight, loaded the washing machine and joined Jon in the kitchen for fruit and yoghurt (unusual for a Saturday but we'd missed out yesterday).


On Thursday, the filter on our old kettle disintegrated. As it had been leaking for months we decided it was high time we treated ourselves to a new one so went online to search for something affordable that didn't look like a spaceship or come in battleship grey. Finding just the thing, I placed my order and along with the confirmation email I also had a message telling me that delivery would take around two weeks, so I resigned myself to having to use the stove-top camping kettle for the next fortnight. I was amazed when, shortly after 9am, our friendly My Hermes driver turned with a box containing the new kettle.


Once dressed I got to work mixing some more DIY chalk paint to makeover another of the kitchen cupboards. Halfway through I had to dash out and rescue the washing, I'd foolishly pegged it out earlier believing that the rain had stopped.


Once I'd applied the first coat of paint the sun had made a reappearance so I took the opportunity to dig up the turnips as they looked like they were ready to harvest. I stripped off the leaves and roots, popped them in the compost bin and took the turnips into the house ready for cooking later.


I'm wearing a dress I made from a 1970s Kenzo pattern using some vintage Heals' curtains printed with Grace Sullivan's Treetops design. It's self-care Saturday so there's lashings of coconut oil combed through my plaits.


Talking of food, Jon made sandwiches for lunch using the wholemeal spelt loaf he'd baked and frozen earlier in the week. His back was still experiencing the odd twinge but felt a lot better than it had been but wisely, he decided to take it easy today and stay off ladders and away from woodworking tasks, while I applied another coat of paint to the kitchen cupboard, he made another wholemeal spelt loaf.


Once I'd finished in the kitchen I went upstairs, swept the spare bedroom rug and dusted the surfaces.


I moved on to our bedroom, putting on the fresh bedlinen as Stephen had been wrapped up in the duvet after I'd stripped the bed earlier.


The fireplace had been annoying me for years. The chimney is bricked up and after the endless dust from opening up the fireplaces in the rest of the house when we moved in, we decided that, as it was only us who ever saw the bedroom (this was 2005, pre-blog days!), we'd leave it sealed off.


The solution? The remains of the roll of sticky-backed plastic which we'd used to cover the camping tables. I made a template using cardboard rescued from the recycling bin and Jon did the tricky bit, peeling off the backing and sticking it in place.


We ate our homegrown turnips for tea, accompanied by salad and a beer.


Turnips with a Parmesan Crust

  • Peel and boil the turnips until you can pierce them with a sharp knife.
  • Drain well.
  • Gently crush with a potato masher (take care, they squirt out quite a bit of water!)
  • Leave to drain until cool.
  • Brush with seasoned olive oil - I used black pepper and garlic
  • Cover with vegan Parmesan
  • Oven bake until cheese is golden and bubbling.
  • Sprinkle with chives and serve.
The plan for tonight won't include watching any of the BBC's coverage of past Glastonbury festivals, I can't even bear to watch the ones we were at, it makes me too sad. There will be rum and cola, though.

Stay safe, stay away from all-night raves and see you soon!

62 comments:

  1. I don't think l've ever had turnips. This recipe sounds lovely though, l might have to give it a try!

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    1. They taste loads better than the woody lumps we used to have to endure in our school dinners back in the 70s! xxx

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  2. I love the sticky backed plastic tiles! Fabulous! Just watching a wonderful programme called 'Great British Gardens Season by Season, with Carol Klein. It's on Channel 5 and seriously interesting....

    What a marvellous dress - green, which suits you so beautifully. The Kenzo dress is gorgeous; such a fabulous print!

    Poor Jon and his back - is it muscular or something worse? I hope not. The cats are lovely and what a handsome chap the tabby is. Do you like having a visiting cat; I suppose there's not a lot you can do about it anyway!

    I have a Fred Vargas book to read, too. So many books so little time...

    I have been watching a bit of Glasto as I am never likely now to go to an all night rave; mores the pity!

    Take care and stay safe
    xxxx

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    1. Thanks so much for telling me about that Carol Klein programme, I really enjoyed it. She's got such a lovely way about her, hasn't she?
      I'd have about 50 cats if I could, I wish tabby was a bit fussier though, she's really friendly for about a minute then turns into a spitting ball of anger!
      Jon's back is a lot better, definitely muscular. I wish he'd ask for help when he lifts anything and wore his belt to make him more aware of his movements. I bought him a cheap Tens amachine after a couple of people recommended them. It arrived today and he says that it's really helped, he hasn't even needed his lunchtime painkillers yet.
      It's the first Fred Vargas book I've read, her characterisation is absolutely brilliant, it would make a fantastic TV series. xxx

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  3. I've never eaten a turnip-might look for one next time I shop to try out your method above. I'm glad to hear Jon feel a bit better-he is not one to stay inactive even feeling poorly, is he? (or you but you rarely seem to feel unwell from what I recall). Between back to back readings of your post form two days ago, I hopped on line to look for new towels as well.

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    1. I was really surprised by the turnips, I was expecting woody and rough yet it tasted more like a peppery radish. The recipe would work with potatoes. Boile them whole and crush them so they resemble a patty.
      Jon's a lot beter now, thank you! I was one of those freakish kids who - other than when I broke my arm at the age of six and had a week off - never missed a single school day. I have the constitution of an ox!
      I hope you treated yourself to some new tea towels, mundane tasks are much more bearable with some decent tools to tackle them. xxx

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  4. I’ll have a go at that turnip recipe Vix, thanks. Glad to hear Jon is on the mend again. I could do with him to give Philip some cooking tips, I tried but he only did tea twice and hasn’t been seen near the cooker since.
    He’s good at keeping the kitchen tops clean but doesn’t think to do the floor.
    It’s a stinker of a day here. We got drenched at Tod but it was nice to see more traders back at work and the atmosphere was upbeat despite the torrential rain.
    It’ll be day 100 tomorrow, if I’ve got that right, wonder if anyone will be partying for that.
    I’ve got a couple of books to send you next week about Greece. A neighbour donated them to the book basket xxx

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    1. I really enjoyed that turnip recipe, the ones we grew tasted a million times better than those disgusting things we used to be force-fed at school!
      Philip's very naughty, we were both really impressed when you'd shared a picture of him cooking, I thought it was going to be a whole new hobby. I bought Jon some floor mop slippers from eBay for Xmas, I thought it might encourage him to mop the kitchen floor. He always tells me that it's his job when I get the mop out but it's been weeks since he wielded the mop!
      I could do with a Greek fix. Have you seen any of Betthany Hughes' Greek Odyssey series on Channel 5? It's a lovely watch! xxx

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    2. I’ve got the Greek series record. I’ll watch them this week while the weather is naff.
      How are you getting on with The Luminaries. I only started making sense of it last night but I love it
      Xxx

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  5. I smiled when I saw the tiled fireplace - that is brilliant!!! it looks so authentic. I am keeping hold of the rolls I bought and am going to play around with them - as you have shown here - they are so versatile. I have never enjoyed turnips but small baby ones like yours could be tasty. We have torrential rain on and off but it's doing wonders for the garden so I'm not grumbling. Not much to report on my blog this week, must do better !

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    1. It looks so much better than that black paint, doesn't it? I was tempted to cut the tiles out individually and stick them on one at a time as trying to get it in the gap was really fiddly, thank goodness Jon was able to bend and help me!
      Those baby turnips were a revelation, I don't remember the big ones tasting like that. Maybe something you could grow next year. Your blog is always a cracking read whatever you get up to! xxx

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  6. Love what you did to the fireplace. Glad Jon is on the mend - men who are used to working every day are difficult to get to stay put, aren't they? I love your new kettle, one of my favorite colours.

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    1. Thank you! The sticky back plastic looks like nothing on the roll but transforms everything I stick it to!
      Jon's so naughty, he never listens to what his body is trying to tell him. xxx

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  7. Your wonderful Treetops sundress is the perfect antidote to the torrential downpours, Vix. And it's suitable "dressing for fine dining" -- which is how I rate fresh turnips. Once upon a time the semi-rural area in which I lived was home to two pre-teen entrepreneurs who raised root veg. One lad specialized in sweet Vidalia onions; the other, Gilfeather turnips. Roasted or made into soups, their produce was food fit for the gods of any heaven on earth!
    It's a sad contrast to yesterday's news from that county about the hard labor 3 kiddies (ages 5, 7 & 8) put into knocking down 50 monuments in an old cemetery. Their own little protest movement against nasty old statues... And before anyone says, "...only children", it's going to take heavy machinery and $$$$ to set things right. Gah! Wish we could ship them over the pond and put them to work, running errands for Jon, who soldiers on.

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    1. Thanks, Beth. Much as I love my spicy Indian cottons, a gloomy day like Saturday cried out for colour and crazy print.
      I love the sound of your enterprising pre-teens. I must leaf through those heritage seeds we bought from ebay and see if there's any Vidalia onions and Gilfeather turnips. What a shame those kids couldn't have followed the example of those other children and done something more useful with their time. You're right, Jon would soon have set them to work! xxx

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  8. Love what you did to the fireplace, Vix, looks amazing! Your bedrooms also look fabulous. what a beautiful house you have. I was able to visit my family yesterday for the first time since 17 March and could stay overnight with my sister as a "social bubble". Although I have kept in contact with my family throughout, it was pretty special seeing them in the flesh. Thunder and showers here today. Good health to you both and delighted that Jon's back in on the mend.

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    1. PS I am amused by your cupboard of doom. I, unfortunately, have a room of doom!

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    2. Hello Catmac! I'm so pleased that you were able to visit your family. You're right, nothing beats seeing people face-to-face, no pressure to chat, just being able to bask in one-another's company.
      There was a news report from Glasgow on the BBC this morning as Scotland prepared to open the shops, the weather looked atrocious but there was still a huge queue outside Primark. Crazy!
      A room of doom? If we didn't have a gazillion garden sheds I think we'd have one as well!
      Much love to you. xxx

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  9. Love your blog! BTW, you can eat turnip greens. :)

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    1. Thanks so much! I didn't know that. Other than rocket and a bit of lettuce I'm not a fan of leafy things but I bet Jacobn would ahve enjoyed them. Maybe next time! xxx

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  10. Your food always looks so interesting....it's made me realise that I don't have to be so "straight" in my food choices. I'm not so uptight in other areas, though. Two nights ago I trudged up a mountain (a small one) in the pitch black, pouring rain, tons of mist, lightning and thunder, for a ceremony. Fan-darned-tastic!! Did tons of healing the next day. Today I can barely stand up, am so exhausted.

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    1. I'm really impressed with your mountain exploits! What a journey, you must have felt invincible when you reached your destination! Hope you've managed to rest up and relax now. xxx

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  11. I bloody love Kenzo, we occasionally get the odd bit at work but it gets shipped off to another store at ginza, I think I own one Scarf. Which the boss gave me as he told me I was the hardest working one here! When we have storms here man you know about it . So when my mum called me yesterday in the middle of one they were having, I told her it was a tiddler , I don’t think she was very impressed, then she remembered Fukushima and sighed as that was only an hour away from us. And Chiba last year. We watched a bit of Glastonbury and then remembered Fuji rock fest isn’t happening either. Bummer!
    I have just read Lily Allen’s book I thought it was going to be rubbish, but I really enjoyed it. She was frank and honest. I am glad I read it. I have kept it. As I know I will re read it. I read one called educated by Tara westover, it was good till the end . I was glad to pass it on ! I am a bio reader. Some good some bad. I wish miley Cyrus would do one. She would be interesting take care and keep safe.

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    1. What has happened to Leicester? I saw it on the news ! I hope you guys are not going backwards like the USA! I was watching NHK and Mr Arbe has turned round and said no one is entering japan until a vaccine is found. Due to what happened in New Zealand.
      Bloody China sit on your hands and do nothing! !!! The government are urging people as well to not buy Chinese goods and made some stores pull Chinese made items off the shelves. Good daisos products are made in japan! The world is going potty

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    2. Hello Allie! There's a spike in cases in Leicester at the moment, just like there was in Walsall a few weeks ago (we had TV cameras and there was an ITV new special!) The government can't decide whether Leicester should be locked down or just to carry on regardless - no change there!
      I did find a blokes' Kenzo suit for £1 a couple of years ago, the fabric was fabulous, that wonderful irredescent tonic effect that changes colour in the light. Sadly it was a 44" short fit, no good for a lanky 38" Jon! We soon sold it!
      Your boss sounds like a real gem.
      We've escaped the storms this weekend although it feels like Autumn, cold, damp and dark. The cats are most pissed off with it.
      Lily Allen is a strange one, she doesn't seem to have a filter and tends to speak without thinking, I think her heart's in the right place though, she was soon on the scene helping out and raising money when Grenfell happened.
      Sending you loads of love. xxx
      PS I think Bojo's forgotten about quarantine, apparently we can go on holiday to Spain and France now. I'm keeping everything crossed for Greece!

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  12. cupboard of doom - ha! we found one under one of our stairs when removing the the 40´s panelling from the original wooden one. in there: paperwork from the 30s with swastika stamp and all, a flask with DDT insect repellant, broken pots and a petroleum lamp in pieces - but sadly not the missing amber room....
    your turnip harvest looks great and the recipe sounds yummy! and how nice to see that beautiful tree tops dress again.
    love the solution for the fireplace - looks as it was always like that!
    have a fabulous sunday! and more healing wishes for jons back!
    xxxxx

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    1. Oh my word, those were grisly discoveries in your cupboard of doom!
      The turnips were delicious, Jon was telling me that there was no way he'd eat them if we managed to grow a successful crop and I changed his mind! xxx

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  13. Hi Vix, when you leave your plants in the bath overnight is that the only water they get all week? What depth of water would you put in? Do you leave the plug in (sorry, really stupid question!) or do you drench them and leave to soak? I see a lot of people do this but I worry they will get waterlogged. Thanks

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    1. Hi there! It depends on how the soil feels. If it's dry then I'll mist the plants in between the overnight bath and during the winter I don't bother bathing them at all.
      It's trial and error really, depending on what plants you have. I fill the bath with around 3 inches of tepid water and leave them in there all night. Hope this helps. xxx

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    2. Thanks! I think I'm going to try it :)

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  14. I love turnips - and the leaves as well. Also beetroot leaves are good to eat, members of the chard family. Pleased John's back is easing up, hateful pain!

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    1. Turnips were a revelation, I'm sure the one's I'd eaten as a child were tough as old boots with no flavour - although that could have been the school cook's fault! A couple of people mentioned eating the leaves, I'm a bit funny about leaves so manybe i'll leave them to Jacob! I didn't know that they were part of the chard family!
      xxxx

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  15. Afternoon lovely lady, love the dresses the style of the "curtain dress" is great and that beautiful green dress ahh. I love the solution to the fireplace in your room and of course all the beautiful flower shots. We cut our wild geraniums back today and just fininshed a mamoth gardening session when an old friend turned up with homemade cakes. Of course a tour of the garden was called for she didn't even know that the path was there either and she has known us for years. Shewas so excited with the progress. So nice to get positive comments when you have put in the hard graft. I never cease to be amazed at your creative mind and I spy one of the brick moulds can't wait to see what you did with the rest of them. I like you am quite happy to stay at home for a while longer and if I keep getting inspiration from a ceratin blogger who knows what we'll get done hey! love Shazxx oh yeah so glad Jon i on the mendx

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    1. Sorry, meant garden shots(so used to saying that about your flower close ups but I meant the veg picture ) gee I better not work so hard on a Sunday and get my brain in gearx

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    2. Hello, Shaz! How fabulous to have a visitor to show your hard work off to and fancy her not knowing about the path after knowing you for so long! I'm liking that she turned up with homemade cakes, that's a dream friend.
      I'm never at home at this time of year and all this cutting back is new to me, hopefully it'll stop everything looking tired and out of control by August! It mde me giggle with us sitting at home on Friday watching Gardener's World. A year ago we'd been drinking since midday, been visited by Kylie's dancers and I was dancing barefoot by the Pyramid stage in a feather boa and glow-in-the-dark lipstick. Lockdown has changed me!
      I'm still playing with the brick moulds, I arranged that one there to hide the bare plaster wall awaiting Jon's tiling!
      Loads of love to you! xxxx

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  16. Glad to hear Jon's back is on the mend. I used to watch Gardener's World - and even bought the magazine - in the past, but stopped doing both during the years we neglected the garden. Good to know it's the right time to cut back wild Geraniums. I'll know what to do on my next day off. I guess the Cupboard of Doom incident was an accident waiting to happen. We once had the same thing happening. I'd heard a strange noise overnight and in the morning we found that the rail behind the door in the spare room had given up the ghost. I love what you did with the bricked up mantelpiece and your turnip recipe sounds delicious. I can't blame you for not watching the coverage of the past Glastonbury's. I was watching Antiques Road Show the other week. It was filmed at Erddig, which we'd visited two years ago, and Jos found me in tears in front of the telly! xxx

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    1. I commented on your blog that last night's Antiques Roadshow must have been the one that upset you as it was an old one from Erddig, what a coincidence!
      I've discovered that Gardener's World has a really good website with loads of tips about what to do the the garden this week. We used to watch it years ago but kind of forgot about it, it is a lovely way to spend an hour.
      When I emptied the cupboard of doom I was delighted that Jon's coats outnumbered mine so I couldn't get the blame for overloading the rail! xxx

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  17. I experienced one of those 'strange' noises just as I was about to drop off to sleep last night. Before I dragged myself out of bed to investigate, I realised it was one of our wall maps which had slumped to the floor, Lily having been scavenging blutack from the back of it all week. I waited until the morning to sort it, more easily rectified than your coat rail, at least.
    The turnip recipe sounds delicious, another one for me to try. X

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    1. Haha! Naughty Lily! Thank gooness it was nothing scary though, those unexplained noises really do spook you at night time!
      Its been years since I ate a turnip, they really were tasty! xxx

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  18. Your home and garden really is a beautiful Haven Vix and how lucky to find a rail to use a at the back of the hallway cupboard-you seem to have lots of great finds there to unearth now you both have more time x

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    1. Thanks so much, Flis! We'd bought that rail as a back up for vintage fairs but it turned out that you had to assemble with screws rather than the professional ones we normally use that slot together so I'd chucked it in the cupboard of doom and forgotten all about it. It was the only interesting thing I found in there other than a denim jacket Jon bought from a charity shop (remember them?) and promptly thought he'd lost it! xxx

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  19. So glad to hear Jon is doing better.
    I am the opposite with turnips-I'm happy to eat the greens, but can't get too excited by the actual turnip, though your recipe looks good.

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    1. Thank you! One a couple of people's recommendations I bought him a cheap Tens machine, it arrived this morning and he says that it's really helped to relax the tension in his back - he hasn't taken any drugs since breakfast!
      A couple of people have mentioned eating the leaves, I'm not really a fan of leafy stuff other than rocket, spinach and a bit of lettuce but i suppose i should have tried Jacob on them! xxx

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  20. I don't think I've ever eaten turnips before but your recipe looks nice, Vix!

    I'm loving the new kettle- pale coloured kitchen appliances are always a lovely sight.

    And oh, the fireplace looks so much better. What a creative way to fix it. X

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    1. It's been decades since I ate them, Jess! I remember them being served for school dinners, boiled, woody and tasteless. These young ones are peppery and tasty, you can eat them raw as well, nice grated up and made into coleslaw!
      I love pretty coloured kitchen appliances, there's far too much grey around these days.
      Sticky-baxcked plastic is brilliant! xxx

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  21. Glad to read that Jon's back is healing!, this kind of issues are so annoying and take time to recover totally from them, so please, take it easy!
    I'm loving your green maxi dress every time I see!, such a fab piece!. Also loving the stunning dress made of curtains, the print is so cool!.
    And I'm also loving that you're reading Fred Vargas. She's one of my favourite writers, ;DD. I think that he creates some magnificent characters and atmosphere, love her style.
    Love what you did to the fireplace!, it makes a difference!. You're inspiring me to have a look at some vinyls and sticky-backed wallpapers!, such an interesting material!
    I've eaten boiled turnips (blah) and also baked ones, which were quite tasty (probably because they were into a vegetables mixture). But your recipe looks really more appealing!.
    besos

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    1. Thanks, Monica! I'm loving Fred Vargas, her charactisation is wonderful. I'm surprised the BBC hasn't bought the rights and made a TV series, I'm definitely going to have to track down the rest of her books.
      Sticky-backed plastic is so good these days, the company that make the tile print also do a design with tropical plants and flamingos, it's crazy but fabulous!
      I never liked turnips before trying those parmesan-crusted ones! xx

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  22. That block print green maxi dress looks amazing on you. The dress you made from 1970s Kenzo pattern is gorgeous as well. Wonderful outfits, both of them.
    I love what you did with the sealed fireplace, so creative and fun.
    Your cats look very happy. I'm sure they were not greatly disturbed with breakfast being a bit late:).

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    1. Thanks so much, Ivana! You'd be surprised how much those boys of ours sulk when we don't stick to their routines, you'd think they owned us! xxx

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  23. The faux tile looks a million times better than before. I'm not a big fan of turnip, but I do love pickled turnip on a shwarma or falafel sandwich. Your recipe looks very tasty.

    I sooo love the fabric you used to make the Kenzo pattern from. I like seeing which colourful maxi you've chosen to wear for the day. Sorry Jon's back is bothering him. Mine's been acting up a bit but that's because I'm not doing my regular yoga classes.

    We are in the midst of a heat wave (humidex in the high 30's) for the forseeable future and I'm not happy about it. Too hot to open the windows or sit on my porch.

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    1. I'm liking the sound of the pickled turnip, I had a falafel sandwich when I went to Boston back in 2000 and it was bigger than my head, I could have eaten it for weeks!
      That curtain fabric was also originally made in blue, I've hunted eBay for it but it sells ££££ sadly. I'd love to make another dress using the Kenzo pattern, it's such a genius cut and so easy to wear.
      Goodness me, that is hot! That's miserable if you haven't got a shady garden. Stay hudrated and hope your back eases up soon. xxx

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  24. Hi vix love reading your blog - very uplifting with beautiful photos of your home and garden. Have you ever thought about painting your bedroom wall purple? Bit cheeky to say I know, but every time I see it that's what I want to do.It would go with the lovely gold /purple wallpaper behind your bed your bedding and pink velvet box, and enhance your pictures, also blend in with your new tiles in the fireplace.
    It's also a more 60s/70s colour (we had a room in that era which was Emperor Purple and ice white (white with a hint of blue) - it looked lovely.
    Your garden seems to be doing great but my veggies are 'bolting' with all this extreme weather - it's ruined my spinach!
    Looking forward to more National Trust visits too!
    Best wishes
    J

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    1. Hello J! Thank you so much for commenting.
      I do love purple, when I lived on my own I painted my bedroom purple andyou're right, it would look good with that wallpaper although I don't think Jon would be keen to change it, he only decorated the bedroom last year!
      I've had no luck with spinach at all, I've come to the conclusion that the packet is cursed!
      Fingers crossed for a National Trust visit next week, they were all fully booked when I tried on Friday! xxx

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  25. Oooh, don't those turnip cakes look marvellous! So impressive!
    Your new kettle is gorgeous! It matches my bike! I love the sticky back plastic mosaic effect too! Beautifully done!
    Your Cotton Cottage dress is gorgeous. It promptly made me go and look on eBay and see if I could find anything similar. As usual, not a dicky bird!
    You're so good at cleaning and tidying your house! I've been hopeless lately! Feeling annoyed that my husband has invited some work colleagues for drinks in the garden on Friday night when I think it is too early to do anything like that- particularly as there are a few people who are inclined to get drunk. I don't really want them in my house/garden so soon, esp as I will be at school all day and will mean I now have to do some cleaning and tidying when I've got less time. The whole sudden going back to school for an extra day has put me in a bad mood and made me feel really overwhelmed by what I've now got to to in a day less and therefore, not even getting it done- you can see from the fact I am commenting on your blog right now in the working day that I'm feeling annoyed. I wish she'd told me last week. I know it's my job but I'm just now feeling anxious about having to travel on public transport for another day.

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    1. I'd forgotten that your lovely bike was a similar shade of green! It made me laugh that the kettle is called Cotswold, when we visit the Cotswolds all the affluent people paint their houses that colour, we call it "Posh person's green"!
      Keep persevering with eBay! There's currently a gorgeous East maxi on there in both an 8 and a 10 in a gorgeous yellow block print, the seller keeps relisting them and reducing the slightly prices every time (I think the retail price was £150).
      Oh no, I don't envy you a group of guests, no doubt all giddy with excitement for finally managing a get together.
      I'm sorry you've had your hours increased, a couple of my friends are dreading that happening, they're enjoying the extra time to themselves. xxx

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  26. Oh, I meant to ask you what you thought of that fashion book - I'm sure you won't be keeping it! Glad to hear Jon's back is getting better (rest it, Jon!) and that the lads are taking care of him and you.

    Love your beautiful dresses, Vix. How nice that your new kettle showed up so quickly! Wonderful work on the fireplace.

    I'm not a fan of turnips, due to my mother's horrendous cooking (boil, mash, serve, barf), but your recipe seems pretty easy that even I could do it! Convincing L would be another issue... ha!

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    1. You were right about the book, she was very condescending about secondhand clothes going on about catching things from wearing them. Had she never heard of a washing machine? I found a few of the facts interesting, like how certain companies labelled clothes as being "made in America" when they were made off-shore in Chinese-run sweatshops. I didn't like her obsession with size either, she was horrible about young skinny models and actresses pressurised into losing weight and yet described women she's seen in the street as being "stocky" or "bulky", nobody was safe!
      Ha! Your Mum and mine must have gone to the same cookery school, I lived on frozen food until I left home! xxx

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    2. Yes! She lumped everything, from Sally-Ann to high-end consignment, under the same umbrella too! Some of the consignment stores here will not take pieces unless they have been dry-cleaned prior.

      Some countries do import workers from China (eg. Italy, US, Spain) to basically work in sweatshops within those companies so that brands can slap a "Made in -" label on them. I wonder if that's how the Coronavirus spread so quickly in Italy??

      My mom's cooking is legendary in our family. It's truly awful.

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    3. At least if there's women out there who are so anti-second clothes it means there's even more for us!
      Beate, who was a fashion designer back in the day, told me that it was Chinese textile workers brought over to work in the clothing factories in Northern Italy that brought the virus in. xxx

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  27. “sat in a row on the old railway sleeper on the lawn listening to the birdsong and basking in the 20°C heat” I can’t think of a better way to start the day!
    Ignoring cats in the early hours of the day is a fine art, one I’ve gotten very good at!
    That green dress is a beaut!
    I do enjoy Gardener’s World, the tips for the weekend are always very helpful, but I do tend to have a plant wishlist by the end of every episode…
    What a bit of luck the kettle arrived so swiftly, and doesn’t it fit perfectly with your newly painted kitchen?!
    Your parmesan crusted turnips looks delicious, and it’s a well known fact that veggies you’ve grown yourself taste so much better than anything else!
    xx

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    1. It was an idylic start to the day until the crazed tabby cat decided to attack me!
      Ignoring wake-up calls from the cats is an artform, Jon's good at it, I'm hopeless.
      Gardener's World is fab, isn't it? Their website's really halpful, too. I planted kohl rabi and fennel this week after they told me to! It's not like me to obey orders. Blame lockdown. xxx

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  28. Your turnips have gone way better than ours - I bet they were absolutely delicious. (We should have good leeks, mind, and my tomato plants have taken half the patio, so I'm not too unhappy about the turnips.)

    If you ever run out of yoghurt but have too much milk, there's a great method for making your own on the Guardian's website.

    I hope Jon's back is feeling better now; bad backs are the pits.

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Thank you for leaving a comment. If you have a blog I'll pop over and return the favour.

Lots of love, Vix