Pula! Pula! Pula!

We all overslept this morning. Even Fred the dog didn’t start demanding his morning walk until half past seven. That’s a whole hour late! There were several possible reasons. It could have been due to the extended Sunday lunch in the local pub, which usually involves a spot of lunchtime wine or beer followed by a sleepy afternoon and a late night. It could have been due to the busy weekend of catering for a load of uni students. It could also be due to the rain. Autumn has arrived.

As a result of the morning drizzle, my friend cancelled our morning walk (which would have been happening about two minutes after I got out of bed) so the dog and I just poked our noses out for long enough for a pee (him) and a short feeding circuit (that’s me feeding the animals).

My initial reaction was to say, ‘ugh, raining’. And then I remembered our friends in Botswana, where we spent some time coaching cricket. The sub-Saharan country is spreading over the Kalahari desert and rain is always a treat. The people even have the same name for rain and the local currency – pula. And when it rains, you can hear people call out ‘Pula! Pula! Pula!’ in jubilation. So instead I put on my wellies, raincoat (that seems to scare the chickens witless) and headed out.

It was going to be a good day for domestic duties. I sorted out the washing, tidied the kitchen as well as the chicken coop (minus the raincoat – I can’t stand the flapping of scared hens) and then looked at my tomatoes in the garden – they were in need of picking and using.

The glut of fruit and veg is something that all gardeners have to cope with. A few years ago I was freezing everything. This time I found a recipe for home dried tomatoes. By default, they were not going to be sun dried today.

Garlic, thyme, olive oil, sugar and balsamic vinegar ready, I got all my little and big tomatoes into a baking tray and garnished them. I popped them into the oven on 100C  and then I waited. And waited. And waited. Four and half hours later they shrivelled and dried up. Well some of them anyway. All my glut of tomatoes translated into one tiny jar. I am immensely proud of it!

And who knows? If the pula stays with us for a few days, I might tackle the peppers in the greenhouse!

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