Tuesday, 10 August 2010

The (not long enough) long weekend

I didn't get to craft, but I did get to garden.

Oh my goodness, I did enough gardening to leave my fingernails stuffed and my legs scratched for weeks to come.

It was great!

I pruned all the roses (about 15 bushes in total) and sealed them. Then I spent a couple of hours hacking at the giant St. Johns Wart in the back garden that obviously hasn't been pruned in years until it was reduced from a giant ball (my gardener tries to cut it into a lollipop shape despite my pleas) to a few piddly sticks that will now hopefully have room and sunshine to grow into a more natural shape. After that I trimmed the African Potato Bush plants and then hit a couple of nurseries to pick up some annuals for instant colour to draw the eye away from the pruned roses, as well as some organic fertilizer and snail bait, veggie seedlings and a new pair of fancy gardening gloves. I did some planting yesterday, but I have some more to do whenever I get a chance this week.

It was so good to be outside with the green things!

Aside from blitzing the garden and my fingers, we finally spent a bit of the money we made through hosting world cup guests. We bought tiles.

It feels very grown up and I'm sure it will bore everyone else to tears, but we spent a few hours in tile shops and found one at a great price that will be brilliant outside.

Yes, outside. We have rising damp on the side of the house where our braai area is, so we've decided to rip up the revolting old paving, fix the waterproofing issues and tile the area, as well as re-tiling our veranda while we're at it.

I'll take some before and after shots as we go to post here and maybe that will be more interesting that me writing about it ;-)

On Sat night we went for dinner with my folks at a place called Moo Moo in Brooklyn, Pretoria. It was divine. The menus are newspapers with a cow theme, so among the starters, mains, "whine" list and dessert menu are cow comics, cow jokes, beef facts and all sorts of interesting tidbits. The food was delicious, the service very good and the dessert (chocolate volcano) superb. The atmosphere was nice too, although dim lights meant that bits of the menu (black background with white print) were hard to read.

Sunday night was a potjie at our place with a few people we've met recently. It was good fun to get to know some new people, and TSC's potjie was as fabulous as ever. I made chocolate mud cake for dessert (thanks, Shayne - this recipe's still a hit) and we all enjoyed some lovely Inkspot red wine. Yum!

All in all, a lovely (if chaotic) weekend. Hope yours was too.


Kerry said...

The chocolate mud cake sounds divine - please can you post the recipe, if possible ... :)

Tara said...

Second the receipe request!
I spen the weekend squeezing, chopping, preserving, cooking and generally reducing 12kg of lemons down to about 4. If I never see another lemon, it will be too soon!

Damaria Senne said...

sounds like you had a wonderful weekend. Especially the gardening part. I still have a lot to do in my own garden.

@tara - a friend of mine gave me a bunch of lemons, and I thought I would use them fresh. But it's too much for one person, and you've given me an idea to preserve some of them for future use. Thanks.

boldly benny said...

It always sounds like you have the most balanced and fun weekends. Just the right mix of friends, family and hubby. Always gives me something to aspire to.

I can't wait to buy our own place so I can start decorating and gardening.

I have been renting for the past six years, I need to nest!

Helen said...

Sounds like a lovely weekend! Maye gardening is enough for the soul for now... crafts scheduled for the upcoming weekend?

Cam said...

Inkspot, hmmmmm, I shall try that. Glad the potjie was good and yip...weekend wasn't long enough!

Anonymous said...

cake... cake.... I hear the word cake? I want a bite. Teehee

Its sounds very restful though. I looooove your restaurant recommendations XD

Anonymous said...

PS isn't the graphic design for the inkspot wine just so nice that it scream "look at me, I is 'ere, LOVE me" (my favourite quote from CARS

Hardspear said...

I am not much of a gardener, but will have to do something. The Black Frost hit us real bad here in the Vaal, and my usually green front garden looks dismal. How do you feel about travelling 60 kms south on saturdays. Did I mention I am a good cook? We can exchange garden services for food.

Tamara said...

Kerry and Tara: I can't post the recipe because it's one of Shayne's best-sellers and I don't want to let the secret out, but she's happy for me to email it to you. Mail me at doodlesofajourno at gmail dot com and I'll send it to you.

Tamara said...

Damaria: Ja, I love the gardening, but it never ends - there's always something I didn't get to do in the garden ;-)

BB: Nesting is awesome (if expensive). Hope you guys find a spot of your own soon.

Helen: I hope so!

Cam: Let me know what you think if you try it!

Paula: Thanks, lady. I love recommending restaurants, so I guess it's a win/win ;-) And yes, I love the Inkspot graphic. So different to all the "trying hard to look classy" wines on the shelves.

Hardspear: The quickest solution is to plant a few pansies - they make any garden look instantly better (and they are cheap and low maintenance) :-)