Birthday Pies

John’s birthday this year was celebrated in the usual style with a feast of meat and potato pies and mushy peas. Here are the magnificent pies before being tucked into by us and our visiting friends, Karen and Mike.

The main pie
The backup pie

Storm in Dumfries

In the lead-up to the COP26 environmental summit meetings in Glasgow, a giant puppet called ‘Storm’ made a tour around Scotland. Storm represents a sea goddess and is made from recycled materials. She was greeted in Dumfries by the SongWave choir of which Gabrielle is a member.

Kirkandrews Regatta

We had a visit from our friends Lyn & Paul with two additional generations of their family and managed to get out on the water for a mini-regatta.

We had 2 double kayaks, two single kayaks and two paddleboards out in Kirkandrews Bay. Here’s Paul, inspecting the fleet before launching.

John had his first attempt at paddleboarding – not totally successful!

Eventually we all got out into Wigtown Bay for a cruise along the coast.

Bad Courgettes

We grew some really nice courgette (zucchini) plants this year and harvested the first of them yesterday from the plant in our greenhouse to put into a stir-fry.

Everything was going well until we tasted the food when we found that the courgettes had a really unpleasant, bitter flavour. We discarded the meal and continued with our dessert of crumpets. Unfortunately in the middle of the night we were both quite unwell and it seems that the courgettes had a problem caused by an over-production of plant defence chemicals called cucurbitacins. This is mainly a problem in courgettes and summer squash and is caused by a mutation within the plant. There had been reports of similar issues with home-grown courgettes last year but we had not heard of any problems this year. We have reported the issue to the seed producer (Thompson & Morgan) and the garden centre where we bought the seeds.

The plant from the greenhouse will be discarded but we still have two other courgette plants outside in the garden so we will be very careful in checking their produce before attempting to cook or eat it.