January is a drag.

We don’t get snow. The Netherlands used to get sub zero temperatures instead of snow, out came the skates and everyone took to the canals and lakes. It never gets that cold anymore. The long grey, dull and damp Januarys and Februarys wear you down. It can be 0°c for weeks or as at present, 7°c & the outlook is for 7° for the foreseeable future. My arthritic shoulders are aching like f*** because of the damp weather. I had a mate who broke his back down Thurcroft pit, he always said he could tell it was going to rain two days in advance because his back would stiffen up so bad he couldn’t walk.

It doesn’t stop us walking but the cold weather and stiff freezing breeze has stopped me biking. Riding a bike in the wind is not for me. For a start it is harder work, then there is the cold wind as it hits your face and as mentioned, my shoulders are like a wind catching mechanism and the pain until they warm up is quite intense.

We spent 10 days in quarantine when we first arrived on the last day on October 2020 but it didn’t stop us looking at books about the area. We learned about Kasteel Nijenhuis and as it was close by we could bike there. 2 years later…..we eventually got round to walking round it as the museum and galleries were closed. Earlier this year we visited the gardens and a small gallery and yesterday 4/2/23 we actually went into the castle gallery. There is still the other half of the sculpture and modern art garden to visit. Rome wasn’t built in a day! We bought museum cards and we have used them many times, saving us a few euros already so seeing as it is literally just down the road, we can visit as many times as we want.
The garden is just as all gardens are this time of year, grass at the same level it was after the last cut, leaves everywhere, covering the soil which stops weed growth and harbour small insects which are good for the soil. I dragged the rake over the vegetable garden a few days ago, at least with this sandy soil, weeds can’t take root like they did in the stony clay soil in Yorkshire. I took the surface off and had a look at the bigger picture, a further 2 sq metres, then though sod it. I can wait until it is drier and softer then stick some compost and topsoil on just before I start planting stuff.
The shed is a mess with all sorts of stuff in I could really do with in a different place. It is 3.2 metres sq but still not big enough! Add to that I need space to germinate a few seeds.
I haven’t decided fully what veg we are going to grow, the easy ones like runner beans, french beans and courgettes are obvious, maybe cucumbers as well but I’m going to hopefully, build a set for them with a glass cover.
Today I decided to increase the size twofold. The pile of gravel was in the way so I moved it all and its behind the shed now on top of the sand I extracted from the drainage channels late last year. Hopefully, once the digging is done, I can settle down into an easier routine of raking and planting, hoeing and growing and having a coffee on the patio while Astrid paints.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.