Quarantine Diaries XXX
Monday April 27th 2020
I have wanted to take up gardening for ever, but like so many other hobbies that are interesting and practical but a bit daunting and challenging to those who weren’t raised on them, it has been easy to put it out of my mind. I am not good at learning new skills – I was literally born an old dog. My fledgling attempts at crocheting are quite frankly embarrassing, and although I did manage to regrout my bathroom once, DIY is not my forte and we still end up having to pay people to fix things. When contemplating the pros and cons of buying plant supplies, I could not silence the nagging thought in the back of my mind that this may just be a colossal waste of money as I’m really quite likely to screw it up – hence us putting it off for so long and probably missing the most plant-friendly weather in the process. We may already have failed at step one. Nonetheless, we plodded off to the garden centre, where a most friendly chap did his admirable best to set my mind at ease as to my vegetable-growing abilities, and we came away armed with pots, potting mix, plants and fertiliser. It was only when we got home that we realised we had forgotten to buy a trowel. Potential failure at step two. Having managed to pot the plants trowel-free (necessity being the mother of invention), I did feel a little burst of optimism which quickly dissipated when JB referred to them as ‘my’ project. I have killed several cacti in the past, so this does not bode well. Hopefully my pessimism is just a manifestation of quarantine-fatigue and in a few weeks we will have deliciously fresh tomatoes, chillies and peppers. If not, the planting equipment will be joining my crochet sample somewhere out of sight and out of mind – eek.
Blue Owl Brambleberry Sour
In real life we are super-regular visitors at the Blue Owl taproom with nary a week passing between visits, so if we were going to commit to our first ever 64oz growler of anybody’s beer theirs was a natural choice, and a suitable finish to our Great Texas Beer Run adventure. Plus, the lure of their glowing pink-hued new Brambleberry brewed with blackberry and boysenberry was just too much for me to resist. JB, who likes to mix things up, was slightly daunted at the prospect of us drinking four pints of the same beer but a few sips into the Brambleberry and this was clearly not going to be a problem. There’s juicy blackberry at the front but the real star here is the dry, aromatic boysenberry which is like a more herbaceous cranberry, and the Brambleberry is full of its delightful bright-pink goodness. We had so much fun quaffing this tart-tastic brew that we didn’t even notice all 64oz of it disappearing and were both somewhat perplexed when we got down to the last sip. A smashing new addition to the fantastic Blue Owl oeuvre, we are looking forward to getting in more!