Potting Triptych

Decided to get all green fingered, as the sun is out and it’s a Sunday. The result of my efforts are thus…

jamie pots

Someone got me a Jamie Oliver starter kit for Christmas. It’s a bit twee, but a pot is a pot, so I planted the basil it came with but swapped out the chives for some red chillies instead, as I already have some chives on the go.


Decided to get some salad on the go again this year, as I always end up wasting half a bag when I buy any (not a big salad fan, but I do like the odd bit on me burgers). And just for laughs I got a pumpkin as well. Dunno how big it’ll turn out, but I hope it’s MASSIVE! 😉


And finally my fairly well established windowsill. Only the coriander is new; the two mint plants, the chives, and the bonsai tree (not for eating, obviously) have been on the go for a while now. Gives me something nice to look at when I open my curtains in the morning.

Can’t wait ’til I get my own house with a proper garden, then I’ll have loads of veg on the go. Plus, some time soon, I’m going to start growing a dozen cherry trees so that one day, when I have my country home, I can use them to line the avenue leading down to the house. Then every year I can enjoy the gorgeous cherry blossoms that bloom, as well as harvesting the cherries to stick in my pies and muffins. That’d be awesome! 🙂

Week 30: In which our hero makes a new friend

No new recipe this week I’m afraid. There’s one in the works for coconut and oatmeal cookies, but the first batch went splat (too much marg) and the second lot were big lumps (too much flour) so I’ve a wee bit more testing to do before I unleash it upon you, but it’s only a few days away.

For now you’ll have to settle for enjoying my ‘new thing’ for the week with me. And what a new thing it is! I met a snake. More than that, I held a snake; and a tortoise; and a stick insect. It was so cool!

me and the snake

This is me and Sid (made up name). He was a constrictor, possibly a North American forest snake, though that could just be me making stuff up. What I can tell you is he felt so strange to hold. Cool, but not cold. Not at all clammy. Firm, but supple. Seriously, it was the only truly amazing thing I’ve done in a long time. And I had no idea when I got up that morning that I’d be holding a snake. I just went for a bike ride with my friend Sarah, and we just happened to stumble into The London Tropical Zoo at Syon House.

It’s only a small zoo, mostly made up of animals people can’t take care of anymore, and creatures that have arrived illegally or unexpectedly in baggage at the nearby Heathrow Airport. That said they have an interesting mix of creatures, from creepy crawlies all the way up to caimens and crocodiles, and they do a wonderful job of presenting them to the world for us to marvel at and enjoy.

Sadly this lovely little zoo is having to move at the end of the year because the land on which it’s on has been sold off by the Duke of Northumberland for the Hilton hotel chain to build a new hotel on (like the world needs one of those). They have a new site to move to, but what they don’t have is the £350,000 needed to pay the deposit on the land and start work on building a new zoo. The opportunity is there if any large scale investors are interested. Would that I had the cash I’d give it to them myself. What I can do though is a bit of fund raising of my own. I doubt I’ll be able to make much, but every little helps, and I feel like I’ve got to do something.

I’ve got an idea or two for what to do to raise the money. Going to mull it over for a bit, see how it’ll work, then I’ll let you know what I decide. Also, I’m open to suggestions if you have any. I’ll be making my final decision at the end of the week. Tune in then for the result. 🙂