Wow Muse! I'd never heard of tomato halos, so had to google right away...what a great idea! I don't think we can get them here, but maybe if I set MrJ to working on a homemade version...? The real problem is the humidity...it's not usually this hot and humid. At the old house, we had heavy clay soil, and tomatoes weren't too cheerful about that, so MrJ made 6 huge wooden planter boxes, which I filled with potting mix and lots of compost. Wow, did the tomatoes enjoy that! Lots of horse manure too, left soaking in big plastic rubbish bins full of water. Being near the sea, we had a lot less humidity. Next year, I’m going to grow in containers again, rather than in the fenced-off chicken run, as the previous people did, and I did, this first summer in the place. Every bird in the district thinks the area is a free-for-all, and that includes my tomatoes and fruit. I really don’t understand what the free-loading Fluffy Ones are up to – they really should be patrolling and keeping birds out of the place. But for them – working? Meh. This last week, when I’ve been feeding the chickens, a pair of sweet little collared doves have come and sat on the fence, very friendly and not at all upset by human presence. Now they actually eat wheat out of my hand! They plead not guilty to tomato theft.
I quite understand about the 1960s décor, Muse, and why your little piggy would be quite emptied. I just don’t get why the young are so enthusiastic about “mid-century” – to me it just looks old-fashioned. I didn’t realise that you were also a “late bride”! (Unless, of course, you are actually a glamorous young thing.) Containers seem to be quite the thing for converting into chic bijou residences these days. But I think your new house is infinitely preferable!
Grammaretto - I’m sorry to hear things are still going awry – it must have been sad to miss your DS, but good that you have an invite. So interesting to have found the memorial in the churchyard for that poor mother and her 3 bairns. Those old Victorian widowers didn’t hang about, did they? Another wife and TEN more children! Well done on the eBay lucky escape!
Kaimoana - I’m trying to persuade MrJ to try your honey therapy, but you know what men are like…”Oh, it’s ok, no worries, it’ll get better on its own…”. The “Gravy and Beef” story was hilarious..and get you, you social influencer! Birds Eye should have responded to your advice, though.
I had a disaster this afternoon…I put the last of the plums, all a bit tired and not too nice for eating raw, into a stockpot and on very low gas setting, with some water…no sugar, thank goodness. Then I sat down to carry on with the family research, and promptly fell asleep. For over an hour. I awoke to the unmistakable smell of burned fruit. The top of the burned heap of fruit is salvageable. The stockpot is going to require hours of elbow grease to put right. I blame the humid and sleepless nights.
However, as I read the online version of the “History of the Canterbury Mounted Rifles” – my grandfather’s and uncle’s old outfit, I won’t complain about the humidity again. After Gallipoli, the sadly depleted NZ Mounted Division, together with the Australian Light Horse, were sent to Palestine, where, in the desert, they encountered appalling conditions, with little, and at times, no water, and where in-the-shade temperatures were recorded as 127 deg Fahrenheit. I have to confess, I shed a little tear, reading about the men returning from Gallipoli, desperate to find their horses which they had brought from NZ, and had had to leave behind in Egypt. Those horses meant everything to them. Eventually, the survivors had to part with them anyway, as only one horse was taken back home. The others were abandoned to a terrible fate. War is hell, for man and beast. And women, too.