Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Photo an hour, April 2017.

Saturday the 22nd was photo an hour day, and here are my photos.

Photo an hour in organised by Jane and Louisa, anyone can join in and post their hourly photos on social media throughout the day tagging them #photoanhour.  Why don't you join in next time?
 
9am - breakfast crumpets and a read of my (awesome!) permaculture gardening book before heading off to work.  It's called Gaia's Garden if you want to check it out.
 
 
10am - at work with my chums Percival the Pig and Small Pink Hamster. 

 
11am - passed in a blur!
 
12pm - grabbing a quick slurp of water before going back out there.  I helped with a lot of homework and dealt with a lot of complaints about the wifi not working!


1pm - to market, to market to buy all the organic veggies.


2pm - wending my way home through the back alleys, this blossom tree is beautiful.
 
 
3pm - I managed to catch the end of An Audience with Victoria Wood while I ate my lunch.
 
 
4pm - 'I'm pretty sleepy so I'll just do some gentle jobs in the garden' turned into digging up a tree and replanting it!  Here is some apple blossom on another tree.


5pm - this tadpole is called fatty because he is the fattiest.  Him and me hung out in the lovely sunshine for a couple of hours.


6pm - just waiting for Joe to get home so we can eat dinner.


7pm - we spent the rest of the night chatting and catching up on telly watching, Doctor Who, Gardener's World and Project Runway.  There are no more photos, we didn't move.


1am - Waay too late to bed!  But there's always time for a chapter or two before sleep time.


Did you take part this time?
 

 
 
 

Friday, 14 April 2017

A yummy vegan chocolate fudge crispie cake recipe.

I love chocolate nest cakes at Easter!  This is my own vegan chocolate fudge version,

A yummy vegan chocolate fudge crispie cake recipe.  Perfect for Easter.  By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganeaster #veganblog #chocolatecrispiecake #veganrecipe

You will need

200g dark vegan chocolate
2 big dessert spoons of golden syrup
1 tea spoon of vegan margarine
pinch of salt
rice puff cereal
vegan ready to roll icing

a bowl, spoon, microwave and a serving dish.

How to make vegan chocolate fudge crispie cake

First melt the chocolate in the microwave, then add in the syrup, margarine and a pinch of salt and mix it all together thoroughly.

Pour in the rice cereal a bit at a time.  It's a bit tricky to mix, because the chocolate mixture goes quite fudgy, but persevere and don't worry too much if there are some bits of cereal that won't get covered.

Press the mixture into whatever dish you want to serve it in, I've used a cute little Pyrex one.  You can also make individual ones, each in a small dish, bowl or tea cup. 

Then decorate it!  I've used some ready to roll icing to make mini eggs to go on top.

A yummy vegan chocolate fudge crispie cake recipe.  Perfect for Easter.  By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganeaster #veganblog #chocolatecrispiecake #veganrecipe

Pop the cake in the fridge to set, then serve for pudding on Easter (or breakfast?  Well it is chocolate day!).


A yummy vegan chocolate fudge crispie cake recipe.  Perfect for Easter.  By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganeaster #veganblog #chocolatecrispiecake #veganrecipe





Tuesday, 11 April 2017

How I made my washing up bowl pond.

The newest addition to my garden is a cute little washing up pond.  I don't have room for a big pond, but any amount of water is good for attracting wildlife and bringing balance to the garden.

How I made my washing up bowl pond. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #washingupbowlpond #minipond #suburbangarden #permaculturegarden #wildlifegarden

I was inspired by the RSPB, who recommend making mini ponds as part of it's 'homes for nature' scheme, and you can find their instructions here, but this is what I did to make my very own washing up bowl pond, 

You will need,

a washing up bowl
gravel
stones
sticks
terracotta plant pots
rainwater
pond weed
and tools, a spade and a spirit level

How I made my washing up bowl pond. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #washingupbowlpond #minipond #suburbangarden #permaculturegarden #wildlifegarden

Your little pond needs to be in a spot where it's light but not in full on sunshine all day.  The first step is to just dig a hole that your washing up bowl will fit into.

How I made my washing up bowl pond. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #washingupbowlpond #minipond #suburbangarden #permaculturegarden #wildlifegarden

Next, use a spirit level to check the bowl is level and adjust the hole accordingly if necessary. 

How I made my washing up bowl pond. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #washingupbowlpond #minipond #suburbangarden #permaculturegarden #wildlifegarden

Pop the washing up bowl in the hole and fill in any big gaps round the sides with soil.  Then you get to do the fun bit - making a nice little habitat for your underwater friends.  I added gravel to the base and a little terracotta pot for critters to hide in.  It's a really good idea to have a pile of stones and a stick to act as a ramp in and out of the pond so no-one gets stuck in there if they fall in (hedgehogs, I'm looking at you!).

How I made my washing up bowl pond. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #washingupbowlpond #minipond #suburbangarden #permaculturegarden #wildlifegarden

Fill your mini pond with rainwater and add some pond weed.  My mum has a pond, so she kindly gave me some water, weed and frogspawn to start my pond off, but this isn't essential - the wildlife will find your pond all on it's own!  If you have some big stones and gravel then add them round the edges of the washing up bowl pond to make it look pretty, and to provide an extra habitat too.  The broken plant pot is there to hopefully tempt a frog or two to hang out by the pond!

How I made my washing up bowl pond. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #washingupbowlpond #minipond #suburbangarden #permaculturegarden #wildlifegarden

For a final flourish I planted some mind your own business (also dug up from around mums pond!) round the edge of the pond to hide the top of the washing up bowl a little bit.

And that's it.  Because I added water from an established pond I already have lots of wildlife in my mini pond.  I've spotted freshwater shrimp, water fleas, water snails and tadpoles.  It's well exciting.

My next plan?  Washing up bowl ponds all over the garden, and a bin lid bog area!


How I made my washing up bowl pond. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #washingupbowlpond #minipond #suburbangarden #permaculturegarden #wildlifegarden




 

Friday, 7 April 2017

What I ate in a day, a day of vegan food.

Last week I had a shopping list of things to pick up in town.  As I was getting the bus anyway, I decided to rope in the husband and go out for lunch too.  Here's what we ate that day, 

What I ate in a day, a day of vegan food. From UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganblogger #ukveganblogger #whatdoveganseat #whatIateinaday

I whipped up some vegan pancakes for breakfast, because pancakes.

What I ate in a day, a day of vegan food. From UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganblogger #ukveganblogger #whatdoveganseat #whatIateinaday

We had lunch at Novello Lounge.  We tend to go there because they have yummy vegan options, and it's pretty and cosy.  I had the vegan all day breakfast, which comes with toast, hash browns, mushrooms, pepper and spinach, falafel and beans - it's so good! 

What I ate in a day, a day of vegan food. From UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganblogger #ukveganblogger #whatdoveganseat #whatIateinaday

After that big lunch I didn't want to cook properly at tea time, so I made a vegan cheese quesadilla (my vegan cheese of choice is Violife), with a green salad, some crisps and nuts.  The market is selling these navel oranges 5 for £1 at the moment and I'm making the most of it! 


Don't forget to check out my other vegan blog posts for more vegan meal inspiration! 


 

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

What I've been reading.

Here's what I've been reading recently, lovely library books and some second hand finds too, 

What I've been reading. From UK book blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #bookblogger #ukblogger #librarybooks #bookreviews

The Little Women Letters - Gabrielle Donnelly
If you need to read a fluffy book about the ancestors of the Little Women (assuming of course that they're real) then I can recommend this one.  A quirky lady with wild hair (Jo March's great great granddaughter, obvs) finds Jo's letters in the attic and their stories intertwine.  But WARNING the girl's dad is the most annoying character ever written and is likely to induce feminist rage (he has an imaginary wife, who he talks to, and about to his real wife.  Seriously.)

What I've been reading. From UK book blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #bookblogger #ukblogger #librarybooks #bookreviews

The Manifesto on how to be Interesting - Holly Bourne
I've read everything Holly Bourne has written so far and I've loved it all.  I started with this book, wherein a quiet geeky girl undertakes to make herself cool with big consequences.  And lots of feminism.  In all her books.  Yey for feminism.

What I've been reading. From UK book blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #bookblogger #ukblogger #librarybooks #bookreviews

How to Grow Food A Wartime Guide - Doreen Wallace
This is a funny little book published in the 1940s to help new gardeners dig for victory.  We follow a year in the gardening life of our family, newcomers to the country and to growing their own, with sage advice from their neighbour, the weatherbeaten lady.  It's delightfully vintage. 

What I've been reading. From UK book blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #bookblogger #ukblogger #librarybooks #bookreviews

Saffy's Angel - Hilary McKay
I've been working my way through this childrens/YA series for a while, there are six books and some are better than other, but all quite good comfort reads.  I've seen this series likened to Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle, and other retro-feeling books, where the family are arty, and the parents do care but are a bit crap and the children are free to have all sorts of adventures with no adult supervision.  It's a sweet, charming series.

What have you got out from the library right now?