Just a simple girl.

Bramleys

 I’m relatively new to gardening and I’m still enthralled by the magic of it all. Buy a scruffy little plant, or a few seeds, dig around in the earth and a few months later, you have food. I’ve spent a lovely hour in the garden. I’ve earthed up potatoes, weeded, potted the Lupins on, planted carrot seeds, watered, dead headed and cleared away rubbish.

Victoria plum

 The rain has caused the potatoes to have a growing spurt and then are ‘leggy’ and needed protecting from day light. The spuds and I had a lovely chat………..they’re such good listeners!

 Almost all of the tiny bulbs, that I bought for £1 in Poundland have sprung to life, I’ll have loads to plant into the borders soon.

 My cheapy poly tunnel is the best fun ever! Foster Mummy’s sweetcorn loves it in there. I have courgettes, butternut squash and cucumber and I’ll put the tomatoes in at the weekend. Either Foster Mummy (she generously gave me lots of plants) or I have grown everything from seed and I am constantly amazed at the way a few pennies turn into meal after meal.

 My Aldi plants, that I bought for £1.79 a tray, are flourishing. All four of my hanging baskets unsuccessfully grew tomatoes last year. This year they are doing what they are intended to do and are full of flowers. Again, bought for pennies but giving me the most incredible pleasure. It’s a grey and overcast evening, yet I can find so much colour and life out there. I worry sometimes that I spend too much money in the garden as all the little bits add up and when I look in the ‘home accounts book’ and see what I have spent over the last few years, I also think of the awe and wonder I feel every time I’m out there.

Some one asked about me staying in a ‘caravan’ and cleaning ‘caravans’. I work in the school summer holiday on a local campsite and clean the caravans on a Saturday through the summer break. It’s very well paid for a summer job at £8.50 an hour and after six caravans, it’s an incredible workout. I also profit, like a Womble, from the every day items that folks leave behind. If they leave clothing or toys, then all those items are handed in; the owners are informed and posted to them at the owner’s expense. If they don’t claim them, then the campsite gives them to the local charity shop. However, minor items such as unopened food, cleaning materials and toiletries are to be thrown away, or in my case, taken home and made good use of. I would often come home with unopened food after clearing out the fridge, boxes of tea, trays of eggs, bottles of washing up liquid, shower gel, shampoo and a host of other peripherals, some of which kept me supplied for months.

I’m also renting a caravan when I go on holiday. They are just about the cheapest form of holiday accommodation next to taking your own tent. As we are only going for a five day break, then we’ve decided to leave the tent at home and have the luxury of a caravan.

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17 thoughts on “Just a simple girl.

  1. oh marvelous froogs, i just love staying in our caravan.
    when i comes to the cost of plants, yeah the initial expenses may seem a lot, then when you get your next lot for free because youve saved seed or still have some from your original purchase, and of course there is the knowledge that your veges have zero food miles, you know what if any spray went on them and just the all round satisfaction of knowing you grew them. that is priceless

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  2. Its great to see everything growing in the garden and poly tunnel, providing lots of tasty morsels throughout the summer and into the autumn. We will never be self sufficient but the idea of walking down the garden and picking tea is so satisfying.I think its money well spent. I had a lovely stress free couple of hours in the greenhouse this morning, piccies on my blog.

    Cleaning caravans sounds like a great way to earn a few extra pounds
    and shed a few unwanted lbs lol My ex daughter in law worked as a cleaner at Innkeepers Lodge and it was amazing what goodies and toiletries she brought home. It all helps to keep down the costs.

    Enjoy your holiday, you really deserve it. xx

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  3. Hi there FQ Well it has taken me just over the best part of 4 days to read your blog and it has made me laugh, cry and you have made me rethink my life and money. I cried when I read about your son and his hardworking worn out hands, it reminded me so much of my own son and my heart goes out to you with the problems you have with your daughter, It's a hard job been a parent at times. You amaze me at how positive you stay whilst paying of your debts and how you juggle your finances you are an inspiration. Keep up the good work with this interesting blog, I will be a keen follower 🙂

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  4. When I worked as an office cleaner, one lovely lady used to deliberately leave the coffee filter on so I could finish the coffee as I worked. Once she pointed out to my boss the leftover food in the board room; my boss called me and another cleaner and we had a snack sitting round the board room table. I didn't need my supper that evening!

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  5. I agree re the caravan! I was checking out campsite charges at various spots and the prices were phenomenal for just a plot and just meagre facilities. I have also plumbed for a caravan rather than camp or pay for a family room hotel/B&B. Like the fact you can take your own food and never run out of tea bags!!!

    Gardening is grand way to spend some time with excellent rewards – I have poundland spuds, cauliflower, spinach, kale, carrots, beans, cucumber, lettuce, need to get on with the tomatoes soon but need to acquire more bags for life and compost!!! Am nearly all full in my little postage stamp garden!!1 Enjoy!!!!

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  6. We were in a caravan last week, it cost us £40 for 4 nights. Normally I would have taken food for the evening meals except OH decided we should have a couple of meals out, as we were just an hour from here we had lunch before we went and I bought a pizza in the local co-op reduced we had that for one meal and the other 2 days we ate out. I managed to spend just £40 all told.

    We used to have a touring caravan, we sold it when the cost of fuel and sites became so expensive.

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  7. Our growing season is so short here. It's finally warm enough to leave the plants out overnight.

    Somehow my plum tree survives!

    Hops grow like weeds but forget strawberries or tomatoes. They have to be babied more than they are worth. Raspberries only ever give one crop.

    But hey, it's warm and the mozzies are out. Summer is here. Alberta doesn't really do spring.

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  8. We almost always self cater and I generally hunt down somewhere fairly cheap to stay – over the years we have booked many caravans. I usually try to book caravans on private property or farms where there are just one or two for hire as my OH isn't keen on large sites, but I never pay more than #250 for a week in August. (Teacher so no choice but to holiday peak time!)They have always been lovely – equipped with toilet, shower, and full size kitchens with separate bedrooms. The ideal “frugal” getaway.

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  9. i love Caravan's!!my hubby and i and our large dog lived in one for 3 year's,in my mother's back yard,while we were saving to buy our first home,the Van was huge,and when we finally moved into our house we sold the Van and made a good profit from it,and i have'nt been in one since!! great way to get away for a Holiday,your plant's are looking good!!that's what i did yesterday here,i planted out some seed's i got growing,winter is about to come to us here in Adelaide,so won't be getting much Sun in the next few month's,so i can't grow a lot!but i do love Silverbeet,which does very well here in Pot's,and of coarse it tastes better when i grow it myself!!

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  10. I worked a whole Summer season at a caravan park, cleaning vans on Mondays and Fridays after 'short-breakers' and as you say, it's amazing what the folks leave behind. I think we were stocked up for about a year on toiletries and kitchen basics. We also found an unbelievable amount of money behind sofa cushions, which when we handed in the first lot we were told to keep from then on because it showed we were doing a good job (pulling out cushions and mattresses to clean behind them).

    Once we found a kitchen with every cupboard still bursting with food, they must have taken their own and then eaten out instead, we went home looking like we had visited a supermarket!

    As you say it's amazing what pennies can grow for you in the garden. One place I don't srimp is on my seeds, one pack of seeds gives you so much foodstuff it's amazing.

    It's really looking as though you have 'green fingers' this year.

    Sue xx

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  11. Well all of you requiring rain can have some of ours. It has rained pretty well all week and over the weekend in showers.

    I believe it is the North and West. I'd love some of everyone else's sun.

    I would love to have a caravan holiday but OH doesn't like them and he can't afford to take time out of his business for a holiday, other than for a long weekend, as if he 'don't work, don't get no money' ungrammatical but fact!

    I will be on a camping/cycling weekend in June but it's a blustery place, York Racecourse and I really only camp as you are there where the rest of your friends are. Otherwise I'd much prefer a cheap B&B, (wimp).

    I hope you have a great holiday Froogs

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