Tuesday, 1 May 2018

LIDL ARE STOCKING MY FAVOURITE BREAD AGAIN - RYE WITH SUNFLOWER SEEDS.. OH YUM!

Oh.. how very scrummydumptious my life is.

For I've a mother, my human one not my avian one, who brings me home edible treats and if you have been a Dear Reader for several years, you'll remember how upset I was when Lidl dscontinued their Wholegrain Rye with Sunflower Seed bread. "BooHoo" I cried because it was so delicious.

So you can imagine how happy I was when mama unwrapped a package and offered me a small piece of bread.

Yubba-Dubba-Doo.. it was the sunflower bread The recipe is slightly different but I am not complaining.

We heard yesterday that the weather in Paris was cold and that it was raining.. well, surprise surprise..it was doing it here in London and in Kent, in fact, I think it was raining all over Britain yesterday and so windy!

She had to go out and find a locksmith who would cut lots of keys and not charge her a fortune.. and guess what? 

She found just the place..
182. King Street, Hammersmith, London.

A charming couple of guys took great trouble in duplicating a full set of her allotment keys for her and she's off today to the allotment to make sure they work and to plant lettuce seedlings and 18 French Lavender plants.

Because, hurray hurray, it's the first of May and NO.. I am not going to write the rest of that very cheeky ditty.. it would get this blog taken 'off air' for being 'rude' but you all know it, of that I am sure!

So hey nonny no.. off I go!

GeeGee Parrot.
May 1st, 2018.

Friday, 27 April 2018

THE RAIN'S COME BACK AND IT'S COLD AGAIN.. BOOHOO.

Sneaky weather, yes, weather can be sneaky and it's being so at the moment, for having had over a week of pleasant mid Spring days with sunshine and warm temperatures, those grey clouds and rain have now returned.

Now yes,  of course, we do require rain as well as sunshine but it's turned cold again, as in chillybilly cold. We were at the allotments on Wednesday and I had my first experience of a hail shower! I didn't think it was nice.

The weather forecast had been for rain all day but we only had the one shower plus a couple of minutes with that hail so got away with it lightly and lots of work was accomplished.

Dean and she did two trips to the dump with old pallets, clippings and rubbish and picked up three bags of compost and lengths of new wood for the vegetable climbing frames which are now up and waiting to be grown over!

Yesterday was a day of being at home, but mostly by myself which was a bit dull, she went to the dentist to have her crown fitted, she's not very happy with it, so it'll have to be adjusted.

Ignoring the rain and wind, she went to Clapham Junction to Lidl where they had French Lavender plants for sale at a good price.

She would have preferred English Lavender plants but they're much more expensive and our supplier of everything glorious, but not expensive, in the way of plants and trees, Phoebe's in Catford, no longer exists.

Our French cherry and pear trees came from Phoebe's and they delivered them right onto site for her!

It was their ninth anniversary on Wednesday, April 25th 2009. She looked at them covered in white blossom and thought of how amazing that company had been, with their knowledgeable staff and wondered what had happened to them all.

The company must have had to pay many, many thousands of pounds in redundancy to their staff but as they sold the site for several millions, that was easy.

The hard part was done by us.. their customers for whom Phoebe's was the best horticultural suppliers you could want and the hard bit was finding another company who had and gave the same quality of goods and service.

She found Squire's at Twickenham but it's rare to find the same staff outside in the tree and plant section.

Well.. shit happens. It's raining here in deepest Knightsbridge and 10 degrees! She thinks we've a frost coming so these lavenders will stay at home for a few days, she'll put them outside in the daytime and bring them in at night.

How boring to have this rain again, she'd almost finished incinerating weeds and clippings having cleared two lots and a day would have finished the last pile but now it'll be wet.. grrr.

Never mind, there's seed planting to be done at home and with two propagators going, everything will germinate and be ready in no time for planting.

Library, that's what she's up to this morning, a new stack of books is what's needed but first, we need a plate of buttered eggs and LapySang tea.

GeeGee Parrot.
April 27th, 2018.
PostScript: And she's turned the boiler off..

Sunday, 22 April 2018

SUNDAY.. COOLER BUT WARM. PERFECT WEATHER FOR DOING A LOT OF HARD WORK.

Lots of hard work has been done, the old fenced-in area has been surface cleared of briars and nettles, when I say surface cleared, I mean that their roots will now be dug out in order to stop those two evil things growing again.

She's going to move this fencing to make a boundary fence between her and the wilderness plot on our left side and it means that people coming onto our plots have to come through the front gate and hidden in the trees, facing the gate, will be where she plans to put up a camera.

She was more than a 'bit' annoyed to have fruit stolen last year and intends to put up two of those 'motion activated anti-poaching' cameras to see who it is who steals it and if it happens again and she captures who it is, the evidence will go straight to the local police.

This area will be a place for several narrow but very high raised beds where she plans to grow root vegetables.. beetroots, carrots and hamburg parsley - which looks like a parsnip, it has the most divine taste and she uses it whenever she makes vegetable stock. It's delicious in chicken soup/ stock.

Today she tackled the worst job of all.. a very large pruning and weed dumping ground! She fired up another incinerator and burnt a great deal of it but after getting down a certain level, she found the clippings and the weeds were still damp. So having pulled and pushed it up into a big heap, she hopes that it will stay dry for a few more days so that she can burn more of it asap!

Grass trimmed.. more trees pruned.. me vastly amused by the clippings.. crunchy apple and cherry wood! The bottom of my cage got messier by the minute but I had lots of fun and it was good for Beaky to munch and crunch through wood!

Wednesday.. there's a trip being planned to B&Q. For 2.4 and 2 metre lengths of wood, she's making another wooden arched walkway, there's one on plot number 37 which has three Clematis Montana 'Mayleen' climbing up and over the wood. This new walkway on plot number 41 will be for squash and cucumbers to climb upon.

And she's going to paint both walkways in a glorious colour.. Chinese Laquer red!

She received a lovely surprise this afternoon, a friend emailed her to say that his girlfriend is coming to London tomorrow and is bringing with her all manner of delicious salad and vegetable seeds! How kind and nice is that!

And he and his mother are coming to London mid May, her roses will be showing by then, she'll pick a huge bunch and deliver them to their hotel.. for there'll be nothing like gloriously perfumed roses as a "Welcome to London and thank you for the seeds" gift, will there?

And for the girlfriend who is arriving tomorrow, she picked a monster bag of fresh herbs and leaves and will give it to her when she picks up the seeds. Yippee.. just in time to plant them in the propagator!

Aren't some people lovely? How kind to think of doing this for her? He isn't a gardener but he knows she is and that she has the allotments and he thought it would be fun to send her some 'truly' different varities of vegetable and salad seeds.

And on that happy note.. we are off to bed to sleep the sleep of dead folks. We are full of fresh air, she's done five days in a row of strenuous hard back breaking graft and tomorrow is going to be another one, it's the day she's taking down three panels of 2 metre high fencing and moving them to make the boundary fence.. I'll watch.. Apparently it will be cooler, we don't mind that as long as it's bright, it's those dull gloomy wet windy days that make her become a duvet diver.

Chirps to you all.. we are completely full of chirp.

GeeGee Parrot.
April 22nd, 2018.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

HUMANS SHOULDN'T CHEW BONES & GIVING AWAY THINGS YOU DON'T NEED OR WANT.

I admit that's a strange title for a post but read on and you'll agree that human teeth are not the same as animal's gnashers.

There was a huge amount of household activity taking place here earlier this week.

I was asked to stay on my door pole and to stop jumping onto her back.. sad that.. I haven't seen her on her hands and knees scrubbing a carpet or washing woodwork for some time, so hopped onto her back to see if she was doing it correctly.. as if I knew how to do it!

Well, she obviously could remember how to do it for in a short while the hall carpet was back to being its' proper colour and she had pink cheeks from all that scrubbing and brushing.

Next she sorted out several enormous bags and boxes of children's clothes she had been keeping for a friend to collect.

'Sod it, they can go to Andreea, I told them about these clothes over a month ago', so picked up her phone and sent Andreea a text message asking her if she wanted children's clothes in very good condition, unused Nike shoes, tennis raquets, lots of books and masses of Lego and other toys.

Plus clothes that she had tried on and were either too big or too small and wonderful table linens and guests towels that Myra had given her.

"Yes please, shall I come and collect them on Friday evening, at what time will you be home?"

'Done and dusted.. and out of the door.. yippee', she thought and went off to make supper.

Supper was a plate of short ribs.. yum! And a salad grown on the allotment.. a wonderful mix of spicy and tasty leaves.

It was on the third rib. She bit and there was this horrendous 'crack and snap' and she knew she was in BIG dudu. Sure enough, her tongue told her that one of her front teeth had cracked and shattered.

She said all manner of rude words.. as you can well imagine.. and went off to look in the bathroom mirror, where she saw the damage was as bad as her tongue had told her.

So you know what she did first thing the next morning.. yes, call her dentist! Such a darling girl said "Oh no, come here at 2.15 this afternoon and he will see what needs to be done".

So she did and he pulled a face, then laughed and said "You wouldn't believe how many teeth are 'killed' by ribs, we dentists could make our living out of them, now let's see what I can do, hopefully there will be enough non-shattered tooth left for me to put a crown on, otherwise you are going to have to have a denture". 

Grrr..

Well, she is lucky! For there was enough and not wanting to have a temporary tooth whilst her crown is being made, she trotted off and decided that she would garden for the week.

And lo and behold! The weather changed from being dull and gloomy to bright, sunny and hot!

So we have been going every day and it has been glorious, yes, I've had to be in my big travel cage but it's been warm and bright and I can see what she's doing and she's been doing a LOT!

Yesterday she tackled a monstrous pile of clippings, she took a barbeque firelighter, put some dried out clippings in the incinerator and lit it.. whoosh! We aren't allowed to have bonfires because of the smoke but oh boy, there wasn't any smoke!

What there was was an incinerator full of orange flame which she fed with the pile of clippings and old pallets until the pile was nearly all gone.

Then a look at her watch told her that we had to leave in order to be back in time to meet Andreea.

Quick quick.. hurry scurry.. put away tools, lock up shack, catch bus home. We arrived home at 7.30pm and took the bags upstairs into the porch, Andreea sent a message saying they was leaving their house.

The bags filled the boot, then upstairs to collect the box of toys which Juliano picked up and carried down the four flights of stairs.. yes, he's very strong!

They hugged her and drove off, she came into the flat, shut the door and looked in delight, for there was nothing there anymore, except what should be there, the table and a small chest of drawers, the bags had gone and she could walk in a straight line down the hall.

Today is again dry and sunny, so another pile of clippings and weeds will burn. Her crown is being fitted on Tuesday and.. suffice to say she ain't going to be a'chewing ribs with her 'new' tooth!

Such a good week.. because she hasn't actually wanted to see people because of her missing tooth, this has meant that she's done many hours hard work at the allotments and has the tan that goes with working outdoors in sunlight.

And I smell of fresh air!

GeeGee Parrot.
April 21st, 2018.

Monday, 16 April 2018

SLAVERY TODAY..

Today is April 16th, 2018 and we are spending today at home, for despite there's gardening to be done, there is a room that needs to be sorted out.

But before any work started she read the papers online and looked at the BBC website, which is where she found this story. 

It is about a woman called Sara, not her real name and her nationality is not disclosed. She worked as a cleaner in a UK college for 20 hours a day.

The job was obtained for her by her husband, who was the holder of the bank account into which her wages were paid.

She was a slave.. threatened by her husband that if she didn't work, her children would be killed. Her children are now grown-up, she hasn't ever seen them since they were young, her husband has left the UK.

The story of this woman's imprisonment by someone by whom she bore children is appalling.

She's now free and beginning to lead a new life but realises that she will never see her children or her 'home' land again.

And after reading it, she thought of the women whom she sees in those awful 'Nail' bars.

How many are there voluntarily? Breathing in those disgusting chemicals hour after hour, day after day, bending over hands or feet doing manicures and pedicures because women are either too stupid or lazy to do their own nails.

The 'chains' of slavery are not always visible.


GeeGee Parrot.
April 16th, 2018. 

Monday, 9 April 2018

DRIZZLE..

Unfortunately, we don't mean the cake variety!
Now, isn't that a chirpful thought.. a slice or two of Lemon Drizzle cake, with a cup of LapySang tea, would go down really well.

No, we are in the midst of a 'drizzling shower', the rain is so fine you almost can't see it but stand outside and you would be sopping wet within a few minutes and the pavements of deepest Knightsbridge are turning green because we've had so much rain!

Ah well, what can you do? Well, she did a lot today for she certainly had no wish to go out in this dismal weather, not even the desire for new library books was enough to get her to go outside.

She picked up rugs in our bedroom and put them in the washing machine, vacuumed, washed and polished cupboards doors, dusted the television and its' shelf, the two bedside tables and put down clean rugs.

Put away a few winter clothes either with moth balls or lavender bags that she had refreshed with essential oil, sorted through two bags of wool and put the balls aside for Pat together with a large selection of knitting needles and crochet hooks.

Washed Mr.Bissell's, aka the vacuum, two filters.

Stopped for a quick lunch of cold lamb and salad, the lamb was from last night's delicious dinner, which we had had at Andreea and Juliano's home to celebrate their Orthodox Easter.

Then horrors of horrors.. she ran warm water into the sink and dumped me in it! I made my usual fuss but actually, it was very pleasant! Either that or I am getting used to being bathed!

At least she did have the kindness to blow me dry
with her hair dryer, the cool air blowing through 
my feathers meant that I was dry in no time, but she hadn't finished, she had me upside down and was filing my toe toes with an emery board before you could say pedicure!

And then did Beaky! Poor Beaky, but it is a good thing to have a good scratch and file now and again, so I didn't make any fuss over this at all.. do you think I could be growing up?

Perish the thought, I'm not yet fourteen!

She took the rugs out of the machine, hung them on a rack to dry over the bath, went upstairs to Tereza's home to feed Rebecca's fish and took some  mail up for her.

Net-a-Porter came on the dot of 7.00pm to collect a return parcel, she boiled a few beetroots with their stalks, mixed in a large teaspoonful of creamed horseradish and grated a carrot over the top, this was her supper and now, we've finished for today.

Tomorrow she'll do bedlinens and sort through her clothes for those that no longer fit or are required. They're going to Andreea who has a couple of cousins who aren't well off but need some smart clothes for work.

She'll coming on Friday night with her car to collect a massive box full of Lego and other toys which Tereza's two girls no longer want and take the clothes at the same time.

We're getting there.. Rome wasn't built in a day.

GeeGee Parrot.
April 9th, 2018. 

Sunday, 8 April 2018

HEY NONNY NO.. OFF WE GO!

Me, big travel cage, blue Ikea bag, pink towel, water bowl, parrot yumyum, shed and gate keys, bus pass, a £5.00 note, house keys, boots, jacket, suitable clothing, why it sounds just like an expedition, which, of course, is what it was.. a journey.. to the allotments!

And it happened two days running for, wonders will never cease, it stopped raining! Old Mr. Sun found his torch, switched it on and we had two beautiful days which were sunny and warm!

We got a message from Debbie Goat on Saturday morning saying that 'she was a trifle warm in her thermals!'

But, true to form, the rain's come back and it's a dismal day again. 

But the difference in those two days was quite staggering! The apple, pear and the quince trees were 'thinking' about blossom on the morning of the first day and when we left at the end of the second day, the blossom was well formed and they should all bloom within the next ten days or so.

And, much as we have moaned about the amount of rain that we have had in the past few weeks, together with the snow, it's done the ground a lot of good and the peonies and roses will be spectacular this year.

But, she ain't no fool, she reckons we are in for another blast of cold weather so has left the old growth around the peony plants to protect them from frost.

Last year we had an evil frost in the latter part of May, it 'bit' the fig trees so badly all their leaves shriveled up and died.

And only one of the six new artichoke plants in the centre bed has made it through this last bit of bad weather.

They were ok at the beginning of March but  that snow and ice has killed them, luckily she planted another four in the back border and they've survived as there's a fence which protected them.

And today we are off again but not gardening, for we are invited to a Russian Orthodox Easter meal! 

Oh yum! And we already know what we will be eating as the 'menu' was discussed last Sunday, it is a tradition in Romania to eat lamb at Easter, interestingly it is the only time that they eat it, unlike here when we eat it all through the year.

And Andreea, not a spelling error, will be making Borsch.. 'oh slurp, I love beetroots' she said to Andreea when she said that she would be doing this. And me.. well, you know that I will eat any and everything that's going!

She dug up some wild garlic, potted them up and together with an Easter egg and lots of fresh herbs, which were cut yesterday, these are our 'thank you' presents for this lovely meal.

For what better to give a master chef than fresh organic herbs! 

The forecast is for a wet week, so there'll be no journeys to the plots this week but next weekend and the week after, if the weather forecast is correct, we will be gardening almost every day.

But not next Sunday, for Debbie Goat will be at Parson's Green Farmer's Market and has 'stuff' to talk about with my mum.. no, can't tell you what it's about 'cos I don't know. I'm only a small grey parrot and am not privy to other people's stuff.

Sad but true and she doesn't gossip.

Off we go to get ready, well, I'm ready but she's got to get dressed in suitable 'going out to dine with friends' clothing' and 'put' her face on! I'm sure you all know what that means.

Have a happy Sunday wherever you may be.

GeeGee Parrot.
April 8th, 2018.

Monday, 2 April 2018

LOST.. ONE SMALL PARROT TRAVEL CAGE.

We cannot find it, it's hiding somewhere which is annoying because, when the weather is filthy, she won't take me outside in the big travel cage as I get too cold.

BooHoo..  therefore I didn't get to have supper with Leigh, Ossie and Otto on Friday because it was bitterly cold and tipping down with rain.. again.

Her arrival without me caused Otto to become extremely confused, he looked at her head, no, I wasn't there, he looked in her basket, no, I wasn't there either. He then looked at the three humans as if to say "well, where's that bird, you know, the one that sits on her head" and they had to tell him that I hadn't come.

But last night I did get to go out, for we were asked to supper with Andreea and Juliano who live not very far away from us.

Juliano's a seriously good cook, his meats are always perfect and his vegetables delicious! And last night was no exception! I ate everything that I was given but wasn't given any of the chocolate pudding. Because chocolate is poisonous for me.

They're both Romanians and their Orthodox Easter is next weekend, yesterday was their Palm Sunday and we have been invited back next Sunday to eat a traditional Romanian Easter dinner!

Meanwhile, the weather for our Easter holiday has been disgusting, to put it politely!

It has rained every day for the past five days and heavy rained is forecasted again for Tuesday and Wednesday. Poor Richmond Park is waterlogged and the Deer Park is flooded.

Sheffield is covered with thick snow as is the rest of the country from the Midlands upwards but cross your fingers, we are due to have pleasant weather as from Thursday, we are not holding our breathe!

After these weeks of biting cold and wet weather, she'll believe it when she sees sunshine and she doesn't have to dress like the Michelin tyre man.

She sent Easter greetings to friends around the world. Jane, an old allotment friend, sent them back saying that she is in Palm Springs where the temperature is 96 degrees.

'Granny' Jo is in the Maldives.. lucky woman!

And Patsy, who lives in the foothills of San Luis Obispo, California, is busy gardening as she's had lots of rain, a wonderful gift as they've had a dreadful drought.

Joe's in Ottawa, we don't know what he is up to but "hey Jo, she's waiting for that pasta recipe!"
It's always 'interesting' to see who responds.. and returns greetings.. and who doesn't.

Now she's off to rustle up something hot for us to eat, the day is damp and dreary, the library is closed, luckily she came home on Saturday with a supply of reading matter, then she will try to find my small cage, it's 'loss' is truly mysterious as it 'lives' inside my big travel cage in our bedroom.. but it ain't there now!

PipPip.. 

GeeGee Parrot.
April 2nd, 2018.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

BARE BOTTOMS ON VEGETABLE BEDS

Well, it may be just about to be April, the second month of Spring but it doesn't look like it nor does it feel like it.

So there will be no planting out done yet, she ain't no dummy and she certainly isn't about to make her neighbours at the allotments fall over their rubber boots in hysterics by testing the warmth of the soil the old fashioned way.

The way that vegetable gardeners used to test the temperature of the soil was to bare their bottoms and sit on the soil, if it was warm enough to sit on, then it was reckoned to be warm enough to plant out baby vegetables! 

Where does she find these pieces of information I ask myself sometimes?

And now for something completely different.

I am not having an easy time of it here.. the wretch disappeared this morning in pouring rain and didn't come back until well after 5pm.

She did cook my eggs for me before she left but there was no cosy eating our food together for she didn't eat or drink anything!

Very odd I thought but all was explained when she came back, she went to have blood tests and they wanted her to have fasted for at least eight hours prior to giving the samples.

And then she went straight onto Anissa, her hairdresser. 

My dears! I know she's lost weight but I didn't realise that her face has become pointy and that her cheekbones would cut you!

Anissa took one look at her face and has given her a boy's haircut and I must admit, it suits her but there isn't anything for me to hold on to when I want to climb up onto her head. I have to jump!

She went for tea with our Lebanese friends on her way home, they examined her new hair style and said the short style suited her. 

And as we're having supper with two lots of friends over the Easter weekend and taking a much beloved old friend to see the art collection of King Charles 1st at the RA on Tuesday, she doubtless have their opinions as well! 

It was pouring with rain today and tomorrow is a Bank Holiday and the library is closed, so she's no new books to read, but has promised me that we'll watch 'The Jungle Book', a dvd of the original film with George Sanders doing the voice of Shere Khan, the tiger. 

He was a friend of her parents in the late '50s - early '60s and whenever he came to dinner or lunch, he'd get a drink and then sit and read a chapter or two of her latest book to her and the voices he used for the different characters were simply wonderful and he could do the BEST ever scary squeaky doors!

So I'm off to watch this now, it's still pouring with rain, we feel sorry for families who have gone away for Easter and will spend it wrapped up, dodging the snow, ice or rain that we've been told to expect. 

Boring for them, we're staying in our cosy burrow. Chirps to you all but don't eat too much chocolate!

GeeGee Parrot.
March 29th, 2018,

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

'Just One Evil Act' by Elizabeth George. It kept her, the wretch, up all night!

There should be a warning with some books.. a big notice saying 'Beware, this is compulsive reading.. you won't want to put it down!'

For the wretch.. aka mother.. made the error of picking up the above titled book last night, got gripped by the story and it was only when she went to spend a penny that she saw it was 05.45am!

Yes, it's a fat book. However, I was being kept awake and wasn't not happy about that at all.. 'don't be so grumbly' was the phrase that she mumbled at me at some point. Cheeky wench.

The plot is clever, there's the clue to 'who dun'nit' which hides in plain sight. It's an Inspector Lynley novel, it won't disappoint you, her books never do!

She woke up late this morning, slightly bleary eyed, and thought for one simply awful moment that it was Wednesday, which meant that she'd have to shake a leg, aka get out of bed, get washed and dressed very quickly and go to work.

It was only when she switched on her mobile that she saw to her huge relief that it was Tuesday.

She made my eggs, ate her grapefruit, did some chores and organised a couple of dates for a friend to see an exhibition, checked that she had all the ingredients that she will need to make Easter gifts that she'll cook on Thursday.

And went back to bed to finish the book!

What can I say.. except I am taking full advantage of her being in bed and am playing on her bedside table, woe betide any stray piece of card or paper that was silly enough to stay on this surface, for it has either been 'beaked' or picked up and dropped onto the floor.

She'll have to bring Mr. Bissell back out again to eat the paper crumbs up. Poor man, it must be so boring to be stuck in a cupboard with Mr. Ironing Board and Master Bucket.

I don't think she's got another scary book to read tonight, thank goodness for that, we might go to bed at a sensible hour. I saw a paperback but it's a textbook, not another thriller!  

However, I do know that WW is full of the ones she's read and she'll be off to the library tomorrow morning before she goes to work to replenish her supply of reading material, for the library is closed, quite rightly, on Good Friday, Easter Day and on Easter Monday.

We've been bidden to supper with two families over the holidays, hence her making Easter gifts.

Now she is going to try and find on BBC iPlayer the programme that was shown last week on WW2, Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt.  

By the way, Elizabeth George has written lots of books but don't pick one up late at night, not unless you want to be reading it in the early hours of the next morning!

Seriously addictive stuff.

Chirp..

GeeGee Parrot.
March 27th, 2018.
PostScript:
'Just One Evil Act' by Elizabeth George.
Published 2013. ISBN # 978-1-444-70602-4