Monday, April 30, 2007

Soon I'll be sporting some plastic free jeans!

Today's post is all about jeans. Or, rather, my sudden lack of.
You see, a couple of weeks ago I glanced down as I was walking down the hallway, sporting my all-time favourite comfy pair of jeans, and noticed to my great horror a hole in the knee. Not a little one either. This hole was so large and gaping that it looked like it was a denim mouth which at the present moment was attempting to regurgitate my knee.
"Fanbloodytastic", I thought. "Just what I need - another expense. What with all the money I'm spending on milk in glass for Plastic Free month, I don't think I can afford another pair of jeans."
Then I looked down at the other knee. Eeeeek! The beginnings of another hole! This surely was far too much horror for a Saturday morning.
So I betook myself to the sewing machine, and patched up the holes as best I could. But you know what jeans are like - once they receive the patch of 'mend-and-make-do', they immediately lose their cool factor, and start reeking of something not so cool. Something like... dagginess. Gulp.
So, sighing and bemoaning my current financial state, off to the shops we went. I checked out Just Jeans (gah! The prices!), then Sportsgirl (gah! the prices, and the cuts - I'm a woman, not a skinny mini 14 year old who thinks nothing of showing most of her bum crack to the world) and a few other places, but came home jeans-less. The music in the shops was so loud I couldn't even think (yes, I am getting old), everything was very expensive, and the quality was crap. I refuse to pay good money for fabric that is so pre-distressed that it will last a scant three months before falling apart.
But do not despair, my friends. Over the hilltop the cavalry came, in the shape of Ottobre magazine. Way back in issue 1/2006, they featured a pair of jeans for sizes 92cm - 170cm. Yeah, yeah, I know they are for kids, but I did the measurements and calloo! callay! It looks like we have a winner, as I just sneak in at 168cm and I have no waist to speak of - I'm a big ol' bean pole. Plus I've already made a pair for Grumbles, and let me tell you, these jeans are sweeet! (Don't worry, her's were done in cord, so we won't be the matchy matchy denim fambly).
So I got myself some lovely indigo demin, a metal jeans zip, and hunted around in the stash and found some red topstitching thread left over from my uni days. Dudes, we're in business! And the best of all - they'll be plastic free! No swing tags to cut off, no bags to carry the jeans out of the store, no plastic buttons. And they'll cost in the vicinity of $30. Huzzah!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Muuuuuum, what's for brekkie?

The thing that has turned out to be the hardest in this experiment of mine is food. I've got the cleaning covered (baking soda fixes all evil!), and apart from Galumph's shirts and whatnots the other day, we're not really buying much of anything else.

But the food involves a lot of walking around to gather ingredients that don't come plastic wrapped, and a fair bit of frustration as it's quite common to get to the shop and discover the milk is late in coming again. Thank goodness I live in the area I do, though - for example, there's an organic grocer, three independant bakeries for bread baked goods, a fish shop and a cheese shop, all in walking distance from chez Jorth. I think this experiment would be nigh on impossible if you lived in a very small town or in the country, where these food opportunities didn't exisit. It would also, I dare say, be rather difficult to achieve if you worked outside of the home (not that being a full-time mum isn't working, but at least I have the freedom to scoot off to the shops whenever I can).

The other food issue is expense. It's certainly not cheap to eat this way, although I dare say the food is far better for us, and tastes much better too. Having reread that sentence, a thought has struck me - maybe the food isn't actually that expensive. Maybe I'm just paying the real cost, rather than a 'watered-down, government subsidised farming, buy in bulk and rip off producers' cost. Excuse the pun, but it's definitely food for thought.

Since this post is all about the food, I'm going to jot some breakfast ideas down. It seems to be the meal I'm having the most trouble with. Dinner is fine, and lunch is usually dinner left-overs, but breakfast is turning into a bit of a nightmare! Yesterday, for example, I had soup for breakfast, because I was too tired to think of anything else. How hard can it be, I hear you ask. Well, while most cereals come in a cardboard box, they also come with a plastic liner on the inside, so they are out, and we are running out of our supplies that we started with. And if I haven't kept on top of our bread situation, then it all goes up you-know-what creek. So, some breakfast ideas, for us all.

Note: The below list presumes that all ingredients come in paper/glass/nonplastic packaging.

- Porridge, by itself; with raisons + cinnamon + grated apple; with stewed rhubarb + apple

- Toast, with butter; with jam; with coleslaw + cheese; with tinned sardines; with baked beans; with feta + cucumbers; with chutney + cheese

- Eggs, scrambled; poached; fried; on toast, mixed with dinner left-overs

- Fruit and yoghurt, either fresh, or stewed i.e. apples, quinces, pears

- Pancakes with honey; lemon + sugar; jam + cream; maple syrup; compote + cream

- Muffins; with rhubarb + apple; apple + sultana; orange + chocolate; feta + spinach

Whew! Any ideas you guys have would be greatly appreciated, so c'mon - leave a comment!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Moudly pasta and stern statues

Statue that resides in the gardens of St Patricks Cathedral. I have absoloodely no idea who he is, but gosh darn he looks impressive.

Yesterday was a very good plastic free day, if I do say so myself:

- I washed the bathroom basin using a baking soda paste. This was so easy, and I'm a bit ashamed of myself for not doing it before. I shudder to think how many scary chemical cleaners I've been responsible for pouring down the sink over the years. Anyhoo, baking soda is very good at breaking down grease and grime, so you just plonk a bit into a cup, add enough water to make a paste, then smear it all over the dirty sink/bath/bench top. Wait 15 minutes or so, then scrub it all off. So simple! And now our basin is sparkling. I kid you not. It's gleam-a-rama in that bathroom of mine. If you're keen to try it yourself, here's a nifty site with lots of baking soda tips and tricks.

- Being a public holiday, you know this means a bike ride for the Jorth household. We took the Bay West rail trail again, but this time rode all the way along to under the West Gate Bridge. My verdict of the ride? Very windy. But a good kind of wind, the sort that blows all the cobwebs out. And a bit of sea air never goes astray. We were even big nerds who packed our own lunch: Moroccan sweet potato, carrot and chickpea soup in a thermos with some fresh organic bread. Yum! Although a word from the wise: Only add one tin of chickpeas to the soup, not two as I did. It kinda tasted far too chickpea-ey, rather more like a liquidy hoummus than a soup.

- With the good always comes bad: the pasta nests I made went mouldy. Sob, sob! In our old house we never encountered that problem, as it got a lot of sunlight in through the windows, and I would have ample room to let the pasta dry in the sun. In this house, however, it's much darker and colder, and the poor old pasta nests just didn't stand a chance. So, I'll make some more this weekend, then hang them over the clothes horse so the air can circulate all around. We live and learn. At least we had one meal out of them.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

That'll teach me

Oh my. More plastic free eco-confessions:

On Saturday the Galumph bought two new shirts - both of which featured plastic buttons and those silly little plastic inserts which supposedly keep the collar points straight. Not really quite sure how we could have avoided that one, besides not buying the shirts, but he really did need some new ones for work. However, we did decline bags or tissue wrapping, and just bundled them straight into the pram, so points for that, ja?

He also got a new foil for his electric razor, which came - dum de dum dum - cased in plastic (and cost $50! Geeeeeez! He could have bought a whole new razor for that price!) Still, the old foil (which is the bit that sits above the blade) had so many holes in it that it was kinda shredding his face as he shaved, so we deemed the plastic a necessary evil. Much better than buying disposable razors or razor heads every other week, and much safer than letting old Parky Hands handle a straight edge razor blade. I don't even want to think about how many cuts he would suffer if he tried one of those - eeeeeew!

Enough of the Galumph's misdeeds - I have a confession of my own to make. I'd been trucking along nicely, not making too many mistakes, and then a friend rang yesterday and invited me out to the movies to see Becoming Jane. "Woo hoo!" I said, being a bit of an Anne Hathaway fan. But then we struck trouble - Galumph informed me that he had a meeting until 6, and so couldn't get home until 6:30, which meant I would miss the movie which started at 6:45.
So the movie was off. Until the Galumph emailed at 5:51 saying "Leaving now!"

"Bingo!" I hollered, and quickly got ready, listening the whole time for the ring of Galumph's bicycle bell, which would announce he was home. Listening, listening, listening, all the while watching as the minutes speeded by. Finally he arrived home at 6:20, I rushed out the door and headed for the tram stop. Where I proceeded to wait 10 minutes for the tram. Finally it arrived, I got off at the stop closest to the cinema, met my friend and we ran in, got our tickets (1 minute to go!) and decided to get a snack.

Now, I can tell you, after all that running and rushing, I was feeling a little parched. In the rush of things, I hadn't had any dinner, and forgot to pack my water bottle. And when I say parched, I mean the kind of dryness of the throat that results in your tongue semi-swelling up and obscuring your breathing passages. I needed a drink, but after scanning the drinks fridge realised that EVERY SINGLE BEVERAGE on offer came in plastic.

"I neeeb a dwink!" I dumb-tongued to my friend. "Bub day all cohm in pwastic, andb I'm meant to be pwastic fwree!"

"Bwahahahahah!" she said, which wasn't really useful at all. There wasn't even time to dash off to the loo to stick my head under the tap and gulp away, so I succumbed and purchased a Coke in a paper cup, with one of those plastic lids and a straw.

And the irony of it all? About 10 minutes into the movie I grabbed the drink, and somehow managed to dislodge the lid and spill most of it all over my pants. Grrrrrrr! I should have just asked for no lid, and been done with it. 'Tis hard to enjoy a romantic scene between that hunky smoldering James McAvoy and the lovely Anne when you feel like you've wet yourself. Thank heavens the cinema was dark so nobody could see me sitting in a puddle of environmental evil!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Welcome aboard the good ship Fettucine

As I looked into the cupboard this morning I noticed, to my horror, that our dried pasta supply was rapidly dwindling. This did not bode well for our Plastic Free month.
"Galumph!" I bellowed. "We've got a pasta emergency. All hands on deck, stat!"
"Aye, aye, slave driver!" he groaned back.
"You man the camera like a good lad, and I'll take charge o' the pasta machine", I ordered, and after whizzing 6 eggs and 1/2 a kilo of flour in the food processor, then letting it rest wrapped in baking paper in the fridge for an hour, we were ready to board the good ship HomePastaMaking.
(Note: I have absolutely no idea why this post suddenly has a nautical theme, but if you let me be Horatio Nelson, then I'll let you be my lieutenant. Huzzah!)
First you roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, then pop it into the pasta machine, and roll it through the settings, from thickest to thinnest, stopping to dust the pasta with flour periodically, and check the wind direction, or something suitably maritime. Oh, and don't get flour on the camera - the captain certainly won't be happy with you if you do, and you may find yourself court martialed (or at the very least denied an afternoon easter egg treat).
Then Grumbles will wake up from her nap, so she'd best have a turn of the crank as well. All hands on deck, and watch for shot spray or, more appropriately in this case, clouds of flour that can get up your nose and make you sneeze!
Then it's back to the flour station, to do some more dusting.
Then add the pasta machine cutting attachment, and roll through the dough once more, marvelling as it's turned into ribbons of fettucine. Pasta ahoy, me lads!
Lastly, finish up your voyage on the high rolling seas of pasta making by rolling each ribbon into nests, and allowing to dry throughly overnight (you can pinch a few for dinner that evening, though).

Friday, April 20, 2007

Got milk?

Day three.
Yes, I do have milk! Hoorah!

Finally the delivery came in to my local indie supermarket. As soon as I spotted the milk sitting in all it's glassy goodness on the shelf, I grabbed five bottles (although now I'm wondering if maybe I should have made it six as the delivery only comes in once a week), plus some yoghurt, cream and quark for good measure. Although I did feel slightly paranoid as I walked home that I probably sounded like a wino, what with all the clinking of glass from the bottom of the pram. Oh, the sacrifices I make!
In other, less joyous new, I have some more eco-confessions: We got some groceries home delivered last night, and despite me requesting that they come in boxes, the butter and eggs came in plastic bags. And the olive oil bottle has a plastic spouty thing on the inside. However, since both of these were entirely unintentional mistakes I refuse to feel too badly over them. How can I, when I have a fridge full of milk?!
Oh, and I paid $11 for 300g of Maffra cheddar cheese yesterday. It's great cheese, but ouch! I shall console my aching wallet with the thought that a little goes a long way thanks to the flavour punch it packs, and it's good to be supporting artisian cheese makers.
I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that this experiment, whilst noble, is costing me a heap of money.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

It was the tofu that done her in

Oh dear. Only two days in, and I've already fallen off the bandwagon.

Yesterday was fine - I hit the local organic green grocer and got heaps of lovely fresh veggies, then popped on by the organic bakery for a loaf of rye, which came in a paper bag. So far, so good. The only hiccup was not being able to get any milk in a glass bottle at the supermarket, but they assured me that it would be in the next day, and we still had some milk left at home.

So for dinner I made a lovely rustic veggie and pasta soup with bread on the side, and we all toddled off happily to bed with full contented bellies.

This morning I went back to the supermarket, keen to get my milk and some ingredients for a dinner party we're hosting tomorrow night. Just to explain about the milk: milk in plastic is obviously out, as is milk in cardboard. I’ve done a bit research, and cardboard milk containers are created from something known as liquid paperboard, which has a thin layer of plastic on the inside. So glass it is. Heavy, yet nostalgic.

Alas and alack, the supermarket hadn't received their delivery of milk, and won't be getting it until tomorrow. Eeeek! So no milky cups of tea for me today - I'll have to save the dregs for Grumbles to have for her breakfast cereal and drink tomorrow morning, and she'll just have to survive with water for the rest of the time. Speaking of caffiene, we're out of coffee, and unless I can find some pre-ground beans in a paper bag, I'll have to be coffee free for the next month as well, as all the instant varieties have plastic somewhere on the packaging (usually the lids). Coffee free? This is getting much harder than I thought. How many days left? 29?!?

I also bombed out on the dessert ingredients - I'd planned on making a cheesecake. After all, Philly cheese comes in a cardboard box with foil on the inside, so it's safe. Too easy, right? Stupid me forgot, though, that the biscuits for the biscuit base all come in plastic packaging. ARRRRRRGGH! I could have made a batch of biscuits, then broken them up for the base, but I felt that was just getting ridiculous, so I'll be making a rhubarb and apple cake instead, topped with dollops of sweetened marscapone cheese at a handsome $7.64 a glass jar. Gulp. The things I do for people with newborns, I tells ya.

After the dessert debacle, I caved in and bought some smoked tofu, which, of course, came in plastic. The shame. I'm sorry, I know it was pathetic to fall off the wagon so early on in the piece, but we need our protein and the whole milk/biscuit situation left me demoralised. Bad eco-warrior!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Would I like a plastic bag? NO WAY!

They say that it takes 21 days to break a habit. With this in mind, I have decided to break my habit of using plastic. The funny thing is, I'm quite careful about not buying things in excess packaging, but having a look around this morning I noticed just how much of it there is in our house regardless. It's everywhere! In the fridge, in the laundry, in the cupboards, all of it ending up in the bin, much of it unable to be recycled. Enough! And it comes from fossil fuels, which are evil enough, not to mention running out (peak oil, anyone?). While I know that biofuels such as corn oil can now be used to make plastic, the thought makes me feel sick - growing corn for packaging whilst millions die every day of starvation. Talk about screwed up values.

So, for the next month, I pledge to buy nothing that comes in plastic. And if it only comes in plastic, then we don't purchase. Pretty simple. I know there will be some hiccups along the way (deodorant is going to be interesting!), but these challenges shall only serve to not only make life more interesting, but also to get me to use my noggin to think of ingenious solutions.

There is, however, a caveat: If no alternative can be found, and that is impacting on our health or hygiene needs (note the use of the word need there, not wants), then plastic is allowed. For example, if one of us falls quite ill, then I'm not going to deny us medicine that comes in a plastic bottle. That would just be silly. But for all the rest, it's plastic alternatives all the way! Hopefully, after my month of plastic-less living, the new habits will have stuck, and the old ones gone forever! Not only shall we be tv and car free, but plastic free as well. Woo hoo!

So, wish me luck! Any thoughts, tips or suggestions are, as always, more than welcome. Now I'm off to rejig my monthly menu plan to incorporate my new way of life. And so the fun begins!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I'm with the talent

I have an absolute derth of crafty goodness to show you. Trust me, when I say derth, I mean derth: not one stitch have I sewn or knitted in days. And to think I call myself a crafty chicka. Shame, shame. Instead, I'm going to tell you about my Saturday night. Oh baby, what a night it was!

It started out simply enough - my beloved cousin N was down for a few days from Brisbane, and was hanging out with us for a bit. She arrived mid-arvo, and we all sat down peacefully to enjoy a lovely light bottle of rose (Grumbles being on the milk, her drink of choice). N remarked at one stage that she had to go out that evening with The Lovely Miss G (known from now on as TLMG) to see some shows at the Comedy Festival. "Awwww", I groaned in mock jealousy. "Why didn't you tell me? I could have booked some tickets and come along!"

"Well", snorted N as she swilled her drink, "why don't you?"

"Oh, I couldn't impose!", I declared. "Besides, you should spend some quality time with TLMG. I'd hate to be the third wheel."

"Third wheel my sweet arse", replied N. "TLMG is working for the festival, so she's going to be all mingle here, network there. Trust me, I'll be bored out of my head - I need you to come and keep me company!"

I needed no further assurances. We glanced out our watches, realized we might just have time for a spot of dinner before the first show, and away we flew, leaving poor old Galumph scratching his head and wondering what became of his Saturday night (don't worry folks, he reformatted his kernal or somesuch geeky thing).

Meanwhile, N and I hit the first Mexican restaurant we came upon. And boy, was it gooooood. Although I think the two margharitas certainly helped. Silly us made the mistake of ordering ribs, and when they arrived a scant 10 minutes before we needed to leave, we turned into scary prehistoric meat munches, frantically tearing the meat from the bone with our teeth in a bizarre ribby frenzy (and then, of course, spent the rest of the evening clutching our stomaches and moaning "Oh, the ribs! The ribs!").

Then on to the first show. I was a bit worried about getting a ticket at such short notice, but I forgot: We were with TLMG! Three comps (that's complimentary tickets, oh I'm so hip with the jargon now) later, and we were seated on a table (no chairs left) for The Department of Humour Services. Woohoo, belly chuckles all the way, which you do have to be careful of when you are precariously perched on a table with a gut full of Mexican spices.

Then, after snaffling a quick drink at the bar, we headed off to see Josh Thomas in Please Like Me. Oh Josh, I do like you. Very much. And I never thought I'd say this, but I very much enjoyed hearing about your disasterous sex life. Don't worry, you're only 19, and there are plenty more fish in the sea, and hopefully you'll find one who won't have an asthma attack right at the crucial moment. Hopefully.

Now, you'd think that would be enough excitment for one evening, right? Oh, WRONG! N and I must have looked like we were wilting and ready to go home after a big night of chuckles, snorts and weeps of hilarity, because TLMG suddenly insisted that we head back on into the special bar in the Town Hall, and meet her friend Mark. "Oh, boring!", I thought. "Some knob who will keep us out for hours with boring stories, which we'll listen to politely all the time wishing we were home tucked up into our nice warm beds. Greeeeat".

Well, thank heavens above that Mark turned out to be Mark Watson - only one of the Britain's funniest people, with cool accent and funky hair and sidies to match. It was like hanging out with the cool kids, only on a much larger scale. In fact, it was like hanging out with a really truly famous person, and we were in the inner circle whilst everybody else who came up to say hello were just sad little groupies. Oh dear, trust me, there were heaps, all of whom seemed intent on showing Mark just how funny they were, and surprise surprise guess what, they weren't! In fact, some were so UNFUNNY that I almost wanted to take them aside and say "Dude, just leave it. It's painful to watch"

So there you go. What a blast! What with the famous peoples loving being with us (and you know, who wouldn't, bwahahahah!) and the not-so-famous peoples giving us green envious looks, and TLMG swishing her passes so we could get in anywhere we wanted (the power!), it was a top night. We were even told to come along to the HiFi bar after, where only the creme de la creme of comedians got to hang out in some special secret room, but I knew when enough was enough. I mean, how could I ever settle down to normal everyday life after such dizzying highs? Nah, best to remain with the unfunny mortals, and treasure my one evening of seeing how the other and much funnier side live.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

My wallet is empty, and I am angry

So... do you remember the French lacey jumper that I was going to knit for my sister-in-law? With the fancy schmancy organic non-dyed alpaca wool? Well, I got the wool. ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS of it, and did my swatch and gueeeeeeeeees what?
The swatch didn't work. The yarn is just too fine, despite proclaiming to be DK weight.
"Oh ho ho, no fear!" I said to myself. "I'll just go up a needle size!" Alas, that didn't work. So I went up another needle size. Finally, I had my gauge - and I also had lace work with holes so large that my poor old sil's raspberries would have been on show to whole wide world, whether she wanted them to be or not. And it looked like complete crap (for want of a better word).
Excuse me a moment whilst I scream in frustration.
Right, feeling a tad better now. Thank the stars above for Bendigo Woollen Mill, who have come to the rescuse with their alapaca yarn, which does meet gauge on the correct needle size. I could feel a meltdown coming on.
So, to console myself, I began to knit Kim from Rowan Studio One (it's the boobtube thingy). Cos, you know, I really needed another project. Ahem.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Clocking up the k's

Another public holiday, another bike ride! We set off from home, rode into the city, then took the Bay West rail trail all the way to lovely Port Melbourne:

Rump report: Oh, I could do this alllllll day! Easy peasy!
From Port Melbourne we rode along the aptly named Beach Street until we hit St Kilda. It was getting a wee bit hot by this stage, and the roller bladers were beginning to shit me with their sticky out leg action, and my tummy was protesting that it had been a while since brekkie, so we turned around and trundled into South Melbourne for a nice pub lunch.

Rump report: Hmmm. Maybe those sheep skin seat covers aren't such a bad idea after all. Not that I'm complaining, oh no. I'm a tough rump! I'm not saying, I'm just saying, you know?
After lunch we skedaddled back into the city, via the tram deport (Grumbles: Look! Another tram! Look! Another tram! Look! and so on and so on), dodged and weaved amongst all the sight see-ers poking around the casino, and then stopped for a little breather.

Rump report: I can't decide if I'm feeling tender or sore. How many ks have we done so far? And how far to home? And why is Grumbles suddenly in charge of the map? If she gets her way, we'll have to turn back and look at those damn trams again. I'm not sure how many more trams I can take!

After that we were homeward bound. Foolishly we decided to ride along Swanston St, and I can now inform you from my own terrifying experience that getting stuck between a tram and a horse drawn carriage is In fact, it's downright scary.
And the headwind! Why does the wind always seem to pick up on the home stretch? Gah, it was a killer! And uphill most of the way! When we got home I just collapsed on the bed, too tired to even take my helmet off.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Happy Easter!

Yes, happy belated Easter wishes to you all! I hope it was as full of chocolate and hot cross buns as you could have wished for. Actually, except in our house. I'm the hot cross bun police, and nobody is allowed to eat any until Good Friday, and if they do they so totally get what for. I think Galumph considers this to be the one downfall of marrying me (at least, I HOPE it's the one downfall). And if you read this, honey, then please take note that I am well aware that you sneak them at work. Oh yes, I have my contacts. WATCH OUT, BUN EATER!

Anyhoo, try not to get chocolate stains on your craft, and enjoy the break!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Oi - where you off to with that plant?

"It's a lovely day!", we declared yesterday. And it was - one of those magical, perfectly autumnal days, where the sun is warm in the sky, but the air has that bite of crispness to it, and you can't decide if you should keep your jacket on or take it off or on or off...

So, to celebrate the loveliness of the day, we decided to take a stroll down to the Exhibition Gardens, and do a bit of kick to kick with Grumbles. I'm not quite sure exactly what tipped us off - maybe the bazillion cars circuiting the streets, each in vain trying to find a parking spot, or the hordes of people strolling past carrying all manner of garden plants - but we felt that maybe, just maybe, we weren't the only ones heading down to the gardens. Then, once we got past the musueum it hit us - the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show was on. This, thankfully, explained the plant carriers - I was beginning to wonder if some large scale plant pilfering was happening.

"Woohooo!", I exclaimed. "I love me a good bit of potting mix. Let's go in!" So over we sauntered to the ticketing booth, only to stagger backwards in alarm at the prices. "19.50 each just to get in? Screw it, unless they're handing out gold-plated watering cans then I'm too tight to pay that!"

"Agreed!" said the Galumph, who's not quite as into potting mix as I am.

So, instead, we indulged in some people watching instead (I can report that petunias are looking big this year, judging by the amount of people carrying them) and let Grumbles enjoy some good old fashioned fun: Puddle Jumping!

(Note: what with the water crisis here, puddles have been somewhat thin on the ground, and yes, I do realise that sentence is a bit off)

Blurry puddle action shot, taken by Parky Hands.

At last count we made 8 grandmothers very happy (well, that was the number who stopped to comment on her grumboots/jumping skills/oh my dear what a mess she's making!). And we were only jumping for about 10 minutes - that's almost one grandma per minute. Score!