Sunday, May 09, 2010

The first potatoes and other scenes from domestic life

 Ah yes, potatoes. Today the Glam. Ass. has, with the hunter-gatherer's zeal, brought in the first of the new season's spuds. Little titchy jobs, same size as the marbles we used to call 'dobbers' - a little smaller than golf balls. Undeniably sweet and fresh, cooked with a sprig of mint and served with a dab of English butter - possibly a feast in themselves.

But what's that nagging thought: 'Men are from potatoes Mars, women are from cupcakes Venus'? What is it with men and potatoes? I can beg, plead and cajole but the delicate task of weeding between baby seedlings is never done but the selection, planting and harvest of the King Edwards has all the pomp and importance of a royal visit. Sigh. We'll just enjoy eating them then - and yes, I'll heap praise on those first earthy handfuls.

The garden is still mostly brown although if I concentrate I can see a row of spinach and just about spy the beetroot.
The greenhouse is crowded - which is good - young plants ready to go outdoors are jostling for space. The weather is still uncertain. Remember the runner beans planted exactly a month ago? They look like this now:
There are tomatoes showing their first flowers:

Basil ready to pick....some melons ready to grow and geraniums needing sunshine.
...and more basil and 'Hasta la Pasta', a favourite squash.

Indoors - and there has been a lot of 'indoors' as the weather has been so cold an wet - Broadband went walkabout for a couple of days. The small mountain kingdom of Trelystan felt strangely isolated. Instead of knuckling down and doing some of the chores which are always less interesting than travelling through cyber space I paced, grumbled and growled and spent much time staring out at the swallows sweeping low in the driving rain.  BT, my internet provider, blamed my telephone provider Talktalk, who win gold medals for their unctuous customer service and expansive ineffectual promises. The promised call to let me know how the work on the line was progressing has not yet happened. In the meantime I delved into my big box of spare parts and set up a new router - Just In Case. Mysteriously all was suddenly well. Perhaps there never was a fault with the line after all. 

It was a task both easy-peasy and unnecessarily complex. I always think delving into the Utilities Folder of the hard drive is a bit like venturing into the heart of darkness - a metaphorical ball of string to unravel so I could find my way out again would have been handy. Setting up the router was easy - but trying to restore the wireless connections to the printer from both computers less so. But hey! I did it. Just don't ask me how.....if the same thing needed doing today I know I'd be feeling the same bewilderment.

I was going to photograph the rats nest of cabling that resulted on my desk - and this even with a wireless mouse, printer and keyboard but in the end wondered what sort of sad fool photographs wires....

As I write this the Glam Ass. is vacuuming throughout. It’s quite a performance. Bits of kit which normally lurk at the back of the broom cupboard have been called into play; the little pointy nozzle thing, the brush for this and the brush for that, a new bag and a shaken-out filter. Chairs have been shifted, tables moved and anything un-vac-able gets a squirt of Mr Sheen and a thorough dust. The dogs have taken to their beds lest they fall victim to this frightening monster that swallows everything in its path.

Not that I’m complaining – far from it. I’m just not sure what’s set him off. I don’t think it was the dust bunnies which are approaching critical mass – nor the fact that it’s a job which Needs Doing Regularly. No, more to do I think with the possibility that some miniscule creature – a spider or fly – is lurking in one of the smoke alarms and setting it off. He's going to get rid of all potential pests.

At 01.11am this morning said alarm shrieked into life. Then stopped. We went back to sleep only to be brutally woken 10 minutes later when it set off again. Isn’t it horrid to be woken like that? A new battery perhaps? The ladders are in the garage and it’s dark and raining and then the dogs set off barking….I lie in bed and try to stay awake – a show of solidarity and uxorial support is necessary I think. There is much cursing and thumping about on the landing before the Glam Ass returns to bed.

He tells me he didn’t sleep a wink – waiting for it to go off again and I can vouch for that.

Let's hope it's done the trick. I shall leave the roar of the vacuum behind and venture out into the garden to plant onions and leeks. Right now, with the sun shining for the first time in days, the world looks rather green and good.


Wipso said...

Another fab blog. So much promise out there in the garden at the mo. I love it. And if nothing else grows the weeds wont let us down :-)
A x

Pondside said...

Those raised beds - gorgeous. I enlarged the pics and studied all the structures. Our raised beds are constructed and filled with soil but nothing else. I spent yesterday weeding all the other beds - very satisfying.
The Great Dane vacuums regularly. It's his domestic forte and I heap praise on his prowess.

rachel said...

I just finished putting my potatoes into the allotment today - is that a shameful admission?

But I dug a great deal, and came home laden with rhubarb, sorrel, perpetual spinach and some of last winter's leeks. That makes me less jeer-worthy, I hope.

Your garden looks wonderful....

Twiglet said...

Such an exciting time in the garden - what a great plot you have. We had probs with our alarm when there were power cuts/drop in voltage. It kept going off and not stopping till it was re-set each time ME!!!!
Lol I think you have discovered a new celebration....
word verif.... parstmas

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Men and potatoes . It's husband's self-appointed task to peel them and every evening he pops up "Are we having potatoes ? " and is CRUSHED if I say we're having rice or pasta .
New potatoes are also Eeugh! apparently . But I'd love yours tonight with our fish ....


Goodness, Mountainear - you know just how to make a woman feel guilty and despondent about her empty allotment. I only just managed to get my potatoes IN yesterday (been doing Planting By The Moon palarver - don't ask...) Mind you, glad to see I'm not the only one.

All looks very promising.

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Couldnt believe it - there you are harvesting potatoes - mine aren't in yet - but we have finished lambing today - yessssssssssss

Nikki-ann said...

It looks like your garden is doing very well... Would you like to come and do ours? :D

Pamela said...

You have a lovely turn of phrase you really do. My mouth watered looking at those little potatoes. Well done the Glam Ass for hoovering up to such depths! My OH will only hoover what he can see.

her at home said...

me again !! Tell me please did you Glamourous assistant make you miniture polytunnels if so how!! They are jsut waht I need !