Saturday 14 October 2023

Carcasses and power naps

A distinct lack of photos on my camera at the moment. The cosmos picture is from earlier today, in the setting sun, but the fruit has long since been eaten. Strangely, I have the urge to grow vegetables, just as it is almost all over for the season. I have ordered Rekha Mistry's allotment book which looks lovely. Maybe I should pop in some broad beans. I tend not to grow onions and garlic now as I don't use them very much. But I did love the feeling that the new planting season was starting in October and watching the new green shoots appearing.

I think I might pull out the strawberries and plant asparagus instead. In fact, I went outside today to get started and then got cold feet. The strawberries were dreadful this summer, sort of pale and flaccid, but what if they were just having an off moment and are intending to be amazing next year?

The flowers were from the biggest boy and are from an ethical flower company. They were so lovely, all scented and delicious, with herbs and everything in there. I have of course kept the mint and rosemary as cuttings. For me that was the most exciting bit. And good to know that banging on about the horrors of some parts of the flower industry all these years did not fall on deaf ears. They are actually listening to me! On occasion.

The dog surpassed himself the other day. He found what I can only describe as a carcass up on the green near the local shop. He and I were locked in battle over it for a good ten minutes. I have no idea what it was, it was properly butchered (no limbs or innards or fur) but it was all flappy and really just not a very nice thing to have a tug of war with. He thought it was utterly delightful. We made a huge spectacle of ourselves. 

The dog was absolutely committed to keeping (and eating) whatever it was. Rabbit maybe. He has recently discovered rabbits at the community woodland and has been naughtier than ever before, running off after them (none caught, I'm happy to report). Anyway, there we were deadlocked over this dead flappy thing. As he got tired of holding on he made a last grab of it and pretty much squashed my finger, cutting it open slightly. So there I was, bleeding, with dog saliva and carcass bacteria coursing through my veins, but triumphantly holding my prize. I marched him home after that and got someone else to take him out so that I could wash my hands and sulk. Anyway, that was a few days ago and I am happy to report I am still here. I put the carcass in the bin and it had gone by morning. Clearly it was very sought after.

Not really any news to report here. The littlest boy went to the theatre in London and I had to pick him up at 1.30am. On a school night. The rain was biblical and actually lapping against the curb as cars went past. I pity the teachers who had to teach them the next day. I had a 10am power nap and was as good as new. I never have a lie-in, I hate missing the early mornings, but I am a big fan of the power nap when needed.

Has anyone else been amazed by the hoo-ha over the sycamore tree in Hadrian's Wall? While it is always disappointing to see a beautiful mature tree cut down, it was a single tree in a barren and over-grazed landscape. Where is all the outrage over the destruction of ancient woodlands, home to countless wild creatures? I have been quite cross about it all. Well, maybe it will encourage more tree protection in general, we shall see. 

Wishing all a lovely Sunday. CJ xx


  1. Yuck, a carcass fight. I am glad you did not get an infection as a result. Richard had a chicken carcass fight with Jack the other day. I think our two dogs would get along splendidly. They are off to Dorset with the boys, to check out the local rabbit populations. I have eaten exactly two strawberries from the garden, from six established plants. Go for the asparagus (from one disappointed strawberry grower to another). Wishing you a wonderful week xx

  2. Strawberries according to Monty only have two or three years that are good then you need to replace with the babies. We’re giving that a go next year. I’ll let you know. Beautiful flowers chosen by your son. You have trained him well. Gorgeous light too in your photos. I just love this time of year for the light. Don’t envy you the carcass fight. Bad enough trying to prise a still alive bird from a cats jaws. The things we do as pet lovers. Have a good Sunday. B x

  3. I'm in awe at those stunning flowers - well done eldest son! You could always buy some new strawberry plants next year and grow them in a pot or hanging basket if ground space is in short supply. Good luck with the asparagus. Still gagging at the thought of the carcass fight :O) , very pleased that you managed to avoid an infection. I'm a big fan of a power nap too! xx

  4. I well remember the time the dog (Jack Russell of course) found a beautifully decomposing carcass of a large water rat, rolled in it a number of times, then came over to me wanting pats and cuddles.
    I don't think so, dog.
    Can't remember though, how many washes it took to get rid of the smell.

  5. Your remarks about the Sycamore Gap tree makes you come across as really ignorant. The land is managed by the National Trust and Northumberland National Park and is not a 'barren and overgrazed landscape,' The area has much history attached to it and the gap where the tree grew was formed by a glacier. It is a much loved tourist area and the tree was one of the most photographed trees by many professional photographers due to its location. It was thought to be around 300 years old and was used in films and voted England Tree of the Year in 2016. The fact that it was cut down in a wanton act of vandalism was one of the reasons for all the publicity. You appear to be one of those people who think that anything north of Watford Gap isn't worthy of anything. I won't be reading your blog anymore.

  6. Lovely post and pictures as always. I hope that you resolve your dilemma about the strawberries and asparagus.
    The tussle with the dog over a carcass made me smile although it does sound rather yucky.
    I agree about the ho-ha over a single tree.
    Thanks, I had a good day and hope that you did too. xx

  7. I agree with every word of the post by another anonymous poster at 8.07 this morning about the Sycamore Gap tree and have deleted your blog from the list of those I follow. I am not anonymous by choice, I just don’t seem able to get my Google account to work properly and don’t care enough to find out why. I lived in the North East for a number of years and your comments show complete lack of understanding and respect for local conditions and culture. Kay from Cheshire

  8. Fortunately Ruby has never decided to possess a carcass but she can't pass any type of animal excrement without shoving her nose up to it, then getting her nose near our faces. No doubt a fox had a good meal.
    Rather bad planning on the school's part to choose a school night.
    Strawberries beat asparagus every time in my book.

  9. Well, I for one will continue to read your lovely blog because people are allowed to have opinions! Those flowers are beautiful, hooray for supporting local flowers!

  10. I love those flowers. I am trying to grow strawberries here in California. We'll see how they do. Good luck with the vegetables.

  11. On the strawberry front , mine were awful this year too. I was so disappointed but I am going to give them another go because I have quite a big patch. I have cut lots of the leaves off last week just leaving the main plant with a bit of coverage for frost protection. I am hoping this will send all the energy to the centre of the plant for a full recovery last year. Oh dear, dogs will be dogs. Mine loves rocks!

  12. I totally agree with you, it's sad about the tree, but so many others were cut down for HS2, road widening etc, and huge swathes if rainforest dissappear each week.
    Many years ago when I was a child we were in Whitby and our Westoe picked up a bone by the whalebone arch. He got it stuck in his throat and my parents had an awful time trying to get it out with him snarling away. They finally managed it and tried to clean themselves up. They obviously weren't concentrating as he picked it up again....

  13. Always lovely to read your blog x

  14. I loved reading this post. I really enjoy your blog. Thank you! Abi