When I’m not crafting or working I can usually be found on the sofa with a good book ! or baking, cooking and making a mess in the kitchen and even sometimes I potter about in the garden.  My darling husband Brian is the garden wizz kid and general DIY king, yup no joking about, if it can be built Brian can build it, if it can be repaired Brian can repair it, he is awesome…………. so when he realised that the garden wall was a bit wobbly he started to rebuild it.

This was no quick task and we are still working on it, the wall stretches 120 feet, along the side of our garden and first up he drilled out the dodgy mortar and then repointed the wall, yes all of it !

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We needed some bricks to make pillars to stop the wall falling down so I had the fab job of taking off the top 3 layers of bricks, I got to play with bashing sticks and hammers !  This meant that the pillars blended in with the original wall.

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Keeva helped out with the bricks too!

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I helped my dad mixing concrete and mortar when I was small, we used a shovel and it took ages.  I got an upgrade I was in charge of the mixer…….it was so quick!

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So lots of evenings, weekends, and this is what the wall looks like now, 4 pillars, an expansion gap and 3 replacement layers of bricks.  Just the coping stones to go !

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Now onto the Dangerous Damsons……. there is a warning that goes out at my classes whenever I use Blackberry Bliss, the ink gets everywhere and always people leave with pink stained fingers.  Damsons are worse!

I adore Damsons and Brian bought me a tree a few years ago and some years we have an amazing harvest and other years none.  This year was a bumper crop!  Over 15kg of fruit, Brian’s Mum and Kimberley picked it all, once it was washed and de-stalked we started making…..Jam and Chutney and the best thing ever…….Damson Ripple ice-cream!

Now Damsons are cling-stones and look like tiny deep purple plums.  Basically they are a nightmare to get the stones out of, so you either need to spend 3 days de-stoning, losing half the fruit with it or you cook them and then spend 2 days fishing out the stones.  We went for the fishing out option this year.  You can use gloves but you don’t always find the stones, so in I go with my hands………hence Dangerous Damsons……there were 1,000s……….

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But it’s worth it !

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I can’t share a picture of the Damon Ripple ice-cream, as we ate it all, very quickly….. but I will be making some more because I froze lots of the Damsons.  We use a Nigel Slater recipe, and instead of blending the damson puree in we make it into a ripple effect.

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