Isn’t that amazing? So lush and green and interesting.

Well, interesting to the vegetarians in the room. That will be me. With occasional forays into pescatarianism.

This is bed number six in my new potager. And things are humming along beautifully.

The green lettuce are about to bolt, but that’s fine, I love seeing the salad self seeding about. And the reddish green lettuce hold on better in the heat.

The Japanese bunching onions in the middle of the bed are starting to get plump. I might even snip some of the leaves for an oniony blast without digging about the base to see if the onions are forming. It’s way too early I think for that.

And Lisa’s Warrigal greens are starting to spread. They are the most fascinating colour. I’ve never seen a green like it. Inky green. Deeply velvety.

I picked my first batch last week; just pinching out the growing shoots really to see how they would taste. And they taste like….

…spinach. Just like spinach. What a relief. How many years have I tried to tell myself that what I grow as New Zealand perpetual spinach really is just Swiss chard in disguise?

A more bitter adventure than what you plan for. But the Warrigal greens… I’m delighted.

And I was stunned to see they kept that green even after a quick blanch. I’ve picked more this morning (nice and early) and plan to make use of the ricotta I have left over to do a mushroom, ricotta, spinach and mozzarella dish for dinner.

If we don’t have more biblical storms and we lose the power and I lose the will to cook.

I am used to cooking on the gas stove by candlelight. We have so many storms here. But doing fiddly complicated things like stuffing small mushrooms with spinach and ricotta may be a step too far.

And I’m hoping we don’t have a repeat of the ones yesterday. They were so impressive that, even though we were safely inside our house, the crash of lighting and thunder was so close we actually ducked.

We usually just wince and flinch.

It was a massive hit. But it seemed to crash in between the two houses and end up somewhere in the courtyard. I keep wanting to venture out and look for burn marks or a felled tree.

Thank goodness the wooden extension didn’t catch fire and burn down. That would have been a very 2020 event.

At the moment I’m stuck indoors as junior assistant to our electrician.

All I am tasked to do is tug hard on my end of the cable if it stops running through the house. Easy to do while typing.

The poor man has had to drill through the plasterboard ceiling, a stone wall, the thick insulation, more OSB chipboard and finally another wooden floor in the attic to link things up. And as the point of entry – the new extension – is way along the end of the long house, I have time to type and even upload the pictures while I wait for him to stop drilling.

He has two more stone walls to get through. I have plenty of time.

Our builders are having a week off – they return on Monday. And this meant the electrician could sneak in and do some work without tripping over people.

And it also meant I had a deadline for my water butts. There will be a new wooden deck at the west end which links the extension to our current courtyard. And with a downpipe from the north side of the sloping roof tiles, I couldn’t resist cramming in as many water butts as I could scramble to capture the rainwater. I hate waste.

But the butts have to go underneath the wooden deck. Out of the way.

The builders have put up the cross beams and left me last Friday with the smiling warning they were going to lay the horizontal planks very first thing when they get back.

I can’t tell you how physically straining it was to get them from the side of the potting shed to this spot beside the new extension. And it was so much easier without banging my head underneath a deck. There isn’t a lot of room.

I first had to make a new stone path just to be able to haul the water butts into place.

That looks odd out of context. Let me try and get the whole thing in the picture.

Well I’m standing on those steps to take the shot. This isn’t easy.

And my reward for this whole day of almost weeping from exhaustion? (And being covered in rotting leaf goop from the old interiors I had to clean out.)

I get to paint the ugly barrels a natty colour. They are way too hideous.

I’m away to my paint pots of delight to see what I can find.

Lets finish with some soothing green to take away the nasty sight.