Burning the Olympic torch at both ends!

I am feeling a bit overtired this week: largely my own fault for trying to keep up with Olympic action. The time difference between Rio and the UK is only 4 hours but this has lead to some unscheduled late nights! And the tension some of the events create does not induce peaceful sleep. As a result I have found myself hopping about between activities in a rather incoherent echo of my son’s hopping around the tv sport channels!

My slow-growing collection of Ohio Stars

After an enthusiastic start my current patchwork project has stalled. I made the nine patch blocks last week and I’m now ploughing my way through the creation of 25 Ohio Star blocks.  There is a rhythm to the making of these blocks: choosing of fabrics, cutting, stitching, cutting, pressing, stitching, cutting, pressing … I need to get back on the beat very soon!

Between getting agitated watching sport and losing my patchwork rhythm I have made progress in some areas and made a few discoveries I hope you might find useful too:

Blogging: Have you heard of or made use of flipboard? Bernie over at Needle and Foot has written a great post about the site titled, ‘How to increase traffic to your blog using Flipboard‘. Bernie’s careful explanation and step by step guide demystified flipboard for me. I’d come across the site when one of my blog posts unexpectedly received a huge number of views with nearly all the referrals coming from flipboard – I wondered if it was some sort of internet scam! Now I know different 🙂

Craftsy: I have collected quite a few Craftsy classes over the past few years and made use of free patterns available on the site. Last week I responded to an e-mail  from Craftsy offering a discount on a new class. A few days later I tried to log onto my page and felt my stomach sink as, despite numerous attempts, I couldn’t find my classes! Panic set in but Dear Son calmly peeled himself away from the tv and tracked down information about a similar incident experienced by another Craftsy customer. I contacted the helpline and within hours received a reassuring personal e-mail explaining that clicking through to Craftsy on my second email address had caused the problem. Craftsy worked the magic at their end and I followed their instructions –  joy of joys my account has been restored, classes all intact 🙂 I’ll be careful to always click to the site using the correct email account. Very impressed with Craftsy customer service 🙂

Gardening wisdom: This has not been a great growing season for tomatoes, the cool dull weather through June delayed pollination. At the start of this week I was pleasantly surprised to see that a couple of the late-set tomatoes were actually ripening, but pleasure quickly turned to disappointment as I saw brown circles on the ends of each of the fruits. After a quick internet search I was able to identify ‘blossom end rot’.

Not pretty – Blossom End Rot

The information provided on the Royal Horticultural Society website is really clear, explaining what causes the rot (lack of calcium) and how to reduce the risk of it occurring (frequent watering to ensure nutrients are always flowing to the extremities of the plant including the tips of the fruit). Hopefully the remaining trusses of tomatoes will stay healthy and ripen. From now on I’ll definitely be using the RHS website as my ‘go to’ gardening resource.

Sweetcorn, runner beans and courgette plants with some nasturtiums for colour.

It’s not all woe on the gardening front though. I work one half of an allotment plot. It’s a wonderful retreat despite the fact that there is a public footpath running alongside the fence and immediately beyond that there is the delivery bay at the back of a large ASDA store. Amazingly, as I step through the allotment site gates all of that external noise and activity fades and my mind and senses are just filled with the immediate surroundings and the fun and effort of nurturing plants and crops.

The latest bag of beans and a slightly over-sized courgette 😀

On a different note: We have been transferring our files and software from our old, slow, computer to a newer, reconditioned model. This is a good move but ironically has slowed me down as I struggle to adapt to the unfamiliar layout on the screen. I’m also having a go at using Photoshop Elements rather than Microsoft Picture Manager. I need to get some sleep so all this newness becomes an exciting opportunity rather than a frustrating trial 😉 But GB ladies are playing in the Olympic hockey final…


PS. Well, I stayed up to watch the hockey teams receive their medals and luckily did manage a bit of a Saturday morning lie-in before returning to this post and my sewing machine 🙂


14 thoughts on “Burning the Olympic torch at both ends!

  1. Thank you for linking to my post Allison.
    Yeah r gardening sounds wonderful. We have had only a tiny bit of blossom end rot this year. Overall the garden is in great shape with the exception of the tomatoes. They are not producing as much as usual. It is always a bit of a guessing game as to what plants are going to thrive and which are not.

  2. Like yourself been watching the Olympics but unfortunately the athletics had been too late for me.
    I have a few craftsy classes , but never get beyond the first 5 minutes , I really must commit some time to improving my quilting . I have used some patterns and bought fabric though
    And lastly I love your gardening photos , great summer here for broccoli and kale and terrible for carrots

  3. Thanks for stopping by Helen. I finished the two free quilt alongs that Craftsy hosted a few years ago, I looked forward to the monthly lessons being posted but like you I haven’t finished all of the classes I’ve paid for. Gardening successes and failures are different every year aren’t they. I’ve learnt to grow a variety of thing so at least some will succeed and to only grow crops we’ll actually eat!

  4. I love your Ohio Star blocks, Allison. I can never decide whether to use two colors or three…. I haven’t been following the Olympics much. Summer are much less interesting to me than winter Olympics.

  5. Your blocks are coming along nicely ! I have dealt with the blossom end rot problem as well – I was told to put a .25 cup of milk powder in the hole when I was transplanting into the garden… don’t think I would recommend this as some little nighttime critter tore up all the plants when I was sleeping. Thanks for the links, I’ll have to check those out as time allows !


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