Ready for Spring

In January I'll have had my allotment for three years. Think I'm far better prepared for Spring than I've every been, having saved construction jobs this time for after I've prepared the raised beds. So here's how the front plot looks at present (click to enlarge).
Note the slight elevation of the shot... I wobbled up my stepladder to take this one. Was also rushing it a bit since I'd put the barrier against the shed so there was a view through to the back plot... as soon as the chickens realised that they'd be like marauding invaders, descending on anything green in the raised beds.

Of course there has been construction, putting up the greenhouse. More photos below, including one of the back plot with greenhouse progress shown. I've got all four sides put together now, hopefully the frame will be up this weekend.

Another photo below of a stray broadbean I transplanted from a bed to be with its brothers... the ones I planted a couple of weeks ago have yet to come up. The garlic is still as it was a week ago... a couple of heads showing but nothing more.

Inside the shed it's a riot of colour. All the tender garden plants I put in the shed to overwinter love it in there.

Sunday was the day for switching on the St Ives Christmas lights, and the Dickensian market that's held at the same time. And the weather was the same as it has been in the last three years... windy, wet and freezing. They didn't call it off this year, but Linda and I stayed wrapped up warm at home.

Unbelievably I also won the deciding squash match against son David on Sunday to win November and bring the half year score to 2-3 to him. If I can win December that'll be 3-3 and we'll have to play a half year decider. If I win that it'll be 1-1 in half years and we'll have to play a year decider. That's a lot of ifs, and hides the fact that even if I do all of that David will actually have won eight months to my four. Anything to keep me in the competition!

Granddaughter Paige's birthday on Thursday, she's four. She spent the whole day dressed up as Wall-E, see photo below. Beth and Chris laid on a good spread at their house. Connor has been kept in some playtimes this week... apparently on one occasion, the teacher having put his name on a list, when she wasn't looking he sneaked a rubber and erased his name from the list. Unfortunately he couldn't erase her memory!
Dispatched a rat Thursday afternoon. As I was cleaning the chicken run in one corner I heard a loud screeching. The rat had been going though one of the holes in the chicken wire and had got stuck. Gave it a couple of taps on the head and threw it out onto the waste ground nearby.

Chatting to one of my allotment colleagues, who has 35 chickens on his plot. He says he's only getting about five eggs a day out of them at the moment because of the cold weather! I'm getting three or four a day out of my four girls, and they're taking turns at moulting into the bargain at present. When I read about moulting I imagined the poor chicken pink and bald... a bit worrying since mine will moult at the coldest time of the year. Should I knit them a jumper each in readiness, or take them home to my central heating? They actually lose a few feathers at a time so it's hard to tell they are moulting other than the feathers lying around.
Here's the photos referred to above... just click to enlarge.

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