A Hard Post To Write…..

11/06/19 Update:

Since writing the post below an awful lot has changed.  Our dog is lovely and my daughters have grown into beautiful, wonderful adults.  I now have three allotment plots again, which I absolutely love.

Unfortunately I still do not have the time to write my blog at the moment, however I do have a facebook page and an instagram page for NOTJUSTGREENFINGERS and I will be posting photo’s etc so you can see my new plots.

Maybe one day things will change and I can go back to writing, but for now I will leave you with the blog post I wrote in August 2016:


My life has changed enormously since I started to write this blog four years ago when my daughters were just 12 and 14……they are 16 and 18 now and have turned into beautiful young ladies who we are very proud of.

Three years ago I lost one of my best friends to cancer and then two years ago my father-in-law passed away too.

After this I then had to give up my lovely four allotments in January 2015, due to family problems and our rescue dog, who turned out to be highly reactive and took up an awful lot of my time (and our money) to train.


On top of this I have recently developed a lower back problem that is causing me a lot of pain when I bend.  I visited a physiotherepist and he said it is just ‘wear and tear’ and I should continue doing everything as normal, taking pain killers when I need to…..and this is what I have been doing.


The last few years have really been hard for our family, though I have tried to put a smile on my face and carry on as normal…. but things are now settling down in the Thrift household and life is finally beginning to calm down again.



Time to be honest:


However recently I haven’t really felt myself, but I have struggled on regardless.  Quite often I have felt very drained of energy and tearful and I have been really struggling to sleep at night which doesn’t help.

Mr Thrift and I have come to the conclusion that either the last few years have finally caught up with me or it is simply that ‘time of life’ that all women my age go through….or a mix of both!  Either way I feel I need to sit back and relax a bit more and take some time out for myself, instead of my usual rushing around.

So for now I have decided to take a break from my blog for a few months (as it does take me quite a lot of time planning and writing it each week).

I really hope you don’t mind me making this decision, but hopefully it won’t be for too long.



A quick update before I go:


My kitchen garden continues to do well and I am harvesting fruit and vegetables every day in small amounts:


This week I have taken up my onions and I have had a great crop….I am very pleased with them:

SAM_3677 SAM_3678

My outdoor and indoor cucumbers are doing well too and we are picking them daily:

SAM_3705 SAM_3712

My beetroot, kohl rabis and cabbages are just about ready to pick:

SAM_3699 SAM_3703 SAM_3698

And so too is my one and only butternut squash that I grew in a pot this year:


And I am picking raspberries, blueberries, tomatoes and runner beans almost daily:

SAM_3619 SAM_3658 SAM_3628 SAM_3688 SAM_3696


The flowers are doing well around the garden as well, which is great for beneficial insects that pollinate the crops…… it also looks very pretty and I’m hoping to spend more time enjoying it all:

SAM_3492 SAM_3580 SAM_3685 SAM_3687 SAM_3690 SAM_3695

SAM_3686 SAM_3702



And Finally…..Judy:


Lots of you ask about Judy our rescue dog.  In October 2014 we brought her home from the RSPCA – we were fourth owners and she had a hugh amount of problems that became apparent two or three weeks later.  The poor dog was scared of everything, but unfortunately it all came out as barking and lunging.

She reacted to traffic, men, bikes, birds, prams, the TV, men in hats, walking sticks, litter pickers, any little noise in the house etc. etc. but the worst thing of all was her reaction to other dogs….which caused many dog owners to shout and yell at me when their dogs approached Judy (even though she was on a lead and muzzled).

The two photos below were taken on her first week home with us in Oct 2014:

SAM_0225 SAM_0227

As you know we tried everything, kalm aid in her food, pheromone deffusers and collars and even doggie ‘prozac’ from the vets and nothing worked….until we found Steven Havers.

Steven trained me to deal with all of Judy’s insecurities and we will forever be in his debt as Judy has now turned into a wonderful dog, who we all love very much.

She hasn’t worn a muzzle for over a year now and over the last few months Judy has made lots of doggie friends and calmly socilises with them, sometimes in groups of ten or more dogs at a time.  She is now off-lead on the field in the park and nearly always comes back to me when I recall her……I am so proud of her and other dog walkers comment on how well she is doing nearly every day.

I am so glad we perservered and didn’t give up on her.

Judy now

Judy now



Well that really is it for the moment.

In the meantime I want to say a big thank you for your continued support over the last four years and I really hope you understand my reasons for taking a break.

Thank you for reading my blog today…….I hope to be back in a few months time.

Look after yourselves and enjoy the rest of the summer.


108 thoughts on “A Hard Post To Write…..

  1. Just got back from my holiday in Tenby to find your post for the week! What a surprise,you dedicate your self fully to your blog & helping others.It really must take a lot of concentration & typing .I would like to sincerely thank you for all the help & encouragement over the years. I feel we are very alike in many ways( even with the lower back problem!) Time to enjoy your family & think of yourself.We can still refer to your blog for seasonal advice & recipes.Give Judy a dog biscuit from me! She’s a lovely dog& you’ve worked miracles with her.Lots of love to you & your loved ones,Carrie xxx

  2. I’ve just spent three solid days reading through your blog from the beginning, I’ve let the housework and garden work pile up because I’ve been enjoying your writing so much.

    I hope you have a relaxing break and if you find it in you to continue with your adventures creating a kitchen garden then I shall be very grateful, although the four years you have written so far are an incredible resource on their own.

    So a big thank you and back to some washing up for me 🙂

  3. Sorry to hear you’re not feeling too good at the moment. Thank you for all the inspiration and enjoyment you have given me in your blog. Enjoy your break, and I hope you will feel better again soon. Best wishes Judi

  4. Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to produce your blog every week. It’s full of really useful information and personal chat I feel privileged to know you. I do hope you feel better soon and able to enjoy some down-time with your family. Will really miss your blog and hope that when you’re feeling better to hear from you again, perhaps on a monthly basis would be great.
    Many thanks, take care.

  5. I will really miss you, you have taught me so much about vegetable growing and I have enjoyed following your journey. Take your time, relax, nourish yourself and come back only when you are good and ready. Thank you

  6. Could you not just once a month just put a picture on Facebook? I am I am sure a lot older than you & I think some of it is we can’t do as much as we used to. And hormones play a big part. I get really fed up sometimes & don’t go into my garden even though by going in it lifts me! I am so pleased you succeeded with your doggy! It’s so sad when people give up with them. Well done! We will miss you hopefully for not too long. x

  7. Sorry to hear about your back issues. As I’m a Thai massage therapist part time I see quite a lot of people with back issues. (I blew out one of my own discs in my early 30’s too – which I really don’t recommend! At least it means I know what others are experiencing.) I’d like to recommend a little book by Robin McKenzie: Treat Your Own Back. His ideas are simple, almost so simple that people don’t try them because they think it can’t possibly be that simple. But according to a retired GP friend of mine they have produced about the same success rate as any other treatment, including surgery.

    Meanwhile, thanks for your inspiring posts. By the way – I did grow the 60 day Rabe this year. It grew OK, but my husband didn’t like it so the rest of it went to seed and I dug it all up and threw it away.

  8. Hello Mrs Thrift,

    Although I am normally a regular Friday night reader I have had a mad summer and only just got around to a catch up last night….. I will miss your blogs but I’m glad that you are trying to give yourself a break. I have learnt a huge amount from you but still have much to learn as I battle against weather and pests in Northern Ireland. I’m sure I will still be looking back at your posts as the months pass to see what I am supposed to be doing!! Your break might actually give me time to do some of the things that you do that I would love to but somehow never find the time for. One day I will make my own bread, wine, jam, washing powder etc!!! (And decorate my house, and sucessfully grow some vegetabes!!)
    Being a Leicester girl I also loved your LCFC posts and pictures of Western Park. My parents’ house looks right out onto it). Nice to have that connection.

    Bye for now, thankyou and enjoy, Nikki xxx

  9. Hi Mrs T, I only just found your blog this week while looking for recipes to use up a glut of courgettes! I really hope all goes well for you and yours. We used to have 5 dogs at home but they are all gone now (and in our pet cemetery in the garden). Judy reminds me so much of our wee terrier Pete from 15 years ago as he had very similar markings. Glad I found your blog before your break and maybe read you again some time if you choose to return. In the meantime I’m going to try hard to do some of your recipes justice (courgette and cheese scones to start with). Big virtual hugs from NI 🙂 Louise x

  10. I used to look for your post every Friday at 4pm if I was at home.
    Took a break from all blogs about July this year as it was taking up a lot of my time.
    Just looked to see you have taken a break.
    I always thought you packed a lot in, made me look very lazy to be truthful.
    Do hope you soon feel much better & will be back writing.
    I am reading again now, though not to the extent that I was.
    Best wishes,
    Angela (Devon)

    • Hi Angela…I’m sorry I’ve only just seen your kind words. I am feeling better and the break has done me good. I am hoping to start writing again in the New year, but not sure when. You are right about blogs though…they do take a lot of time up if you let them lol.

  11. Hello there, just wanted to wish you and yours a really Happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year. I hope that you feel that you are recovering. Thank you for your blog, you have been quite an inspiration! xx

  12. Hello Mrs Thrift, i am just sitting at my kitchen table filling out my diary & calendar for 2017 and for some reason i thought of you and have just read your last blog from back in August 2016. I do hope that you are begining to feel a bit better and hopefully you will resume writing those wonderful pieces sometime soon, giving us all a glimpse into the Thrift household, as i have found your hints & tips truely wonderful & inspiring. I do wish yourself a fantastic new year ahead & here’s hoping you are blessed with lot’s of health, some wealth & shed loads of happiness in 2017. xxxx

    • Hi Sharon and thank you so much for thinking of me. Yes I am feeling much, much better and I have been thinking a lot about starting to write my blog again…..I keep putting it off incase things get too much again and I have to once again stop writing. I do miss writing it though and catching up with all the lovely comments I get.

      Any way, Happy New Year to you and hopefully you will hear more from me soon.


  13. Hiya – I’ve been using your blog a lot recently as I am preparing for the coming year. I hope you have enjoyed Christmas and new year and am quietly hoping to see your return for 2017. If not, I hope you’re well and feeling yourself again 🙂 Take care, Tracy (was The Croods) xx

    • Goodness that is spooky…I had just a few minutes ago gone onto your blog and left a comment saying how amazing your small holding is coming on and I have just checked my blog and found your lovely words. Im really glad you have found my blog useful as that was the purpose of me writing it lol

      I am planning to come back soon, but I’m not sure when as things are still hectic here…but hopefully soon.

      Anyway, a belated ‘Happy New Year’ to you and your family XXX

  14. Hi Mrs Thrift,

    Spotted you in this month’s Kitchen Garden Magazine, glad to see your garden is doing so well!
    All the best to you and your family, your blog is much missed.

    • Oh bless you and thank you for letting me know you saw it in the magazine. I sent that into the magazine last July and it really surprised me when they printed it lol.

      Things have changed again for me as things are settling down at home and I have now taken on a new allotment on a different site and I love being back gardening on a larger area. To be honest I have been wondering whether or not to start my blog again, but I just cant decided.

      Anyway, thanks for thinking of me XXX

  15. Please do blog again if you feel up to it. I find your straightforward advice much more helpful than anything I find in books and magazines.

    • Oh Chris thank you for saying that. I have recently taken on a new allotment and I was wondering only this morning if it’s time to blog again….I need to think long and hard about this

  16. Your blog is so clear! It is like a year-round class in gardening and living off what you grow. It’s amazing and I am very impressed by the variety of what you plant and your rigorous planning ahead to keep in time with the seasons. I am amazed at how well the photographs match the story that you are telling. They so clearly illustrate what you are talking about. I can only imagine how much time it has taken for you to not only plan the garden ahead for the seasons, not only planting seeds and transplanting and harvesting but also freezing in the proper amounts and baking. It’s a full-time job! You have impressed me with the variety of what you do.
    I live in California and very few people even approach gardening as you do. It may be the English attitude, I don’t kmow. Your garden is wonderful and it’s a fabulous experience to read your superb blog and look at the excellent photos. Extra delightful when you share recipes for ice cream and other treats. I think you were probably doing more than a full-time job keeping all of this going and I hope that your respite, your time off, will be immensely restoring to you and that you enjoy it.
    Thank you so much for so many excellent, delightful hard-working posts!

    I truly believe that you are an exemplary pioneer of the way we need to live more in the future (- starting now actually!)

    As for blogging again, “When in doubt, don’t”. You have already left a wonderful Legacy for gardeners for decades to come (climate change excepted). It may be that there’s something else in your heart that wants some attention. I hope you pay attention to it and don’t feel pressured to do what you have already thoroughly and beautifully done. Life also has its seasons…

    (Altho, mayhap there are a few businesses that would like to pay to be associated with your work. And once a month is still a great gift! ONLY if you are sure you want to!!!)

    • Thank you so so much for your lovely kind words, it is so nice that you have taken the time to write this. Yes you are right, I am still not sure about blogging just yet….but I won’t say never lol

  17. Hello! Only me dropping in to say hi and thank you as I am using your what to do in august post to get me going as I have 2 weeks off from tomorrow and want to make the most of it.
    I do so still miss your posts and really wish to hear how it’s going both in the allotment and in the home. Yes it may feel like you’re repeating yourself but isn’t that what we do each year when we grow anyway, let’s share it together. Can’t wait to see if you come back very soon, it’s nearly 1 year already xx

    • Hi Tracy and thank you for your kind words. I am still thinking very hard about blogging again and I have been discussing it with Mr Thrift only this week. I really do miss writing, so watch this space lol.

  18. Well are you coming back !! Especially now you have your allotment again it would be so nice to catch up again every week with what’s going on and tips and reminders … And so much more. Hope you decide to give it a go

  19. Just wanted to with you a Happy New Year and that I am really hoping to get a new link to click this year 😀 if not, I am continuing to use your blog as a source of information regularly, which I am grateful for 🙂 All the best! Tracy.

  20. Hi, I’ve just returned with a new blog after a two year absence due to family comittments. My mum had three falls in the space of 6 months and ended up in hospital on Christmas Eve and later was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I ended up as her carer and everything else had to stop although it soon took a great toll out of my life, physically and mentally.
    Sometimes we give so much to others that we forget to take care of ourselves. I was told not to feel guilty about taking time out for myself and I got a carer for my mum. One of many steps in what seems to be a parallel universe to yours albeit the timing of events is somewhat out.
    Recently I too took on a sort of a rescue dog, which has prompted me to post a comment. Parallel Universes and all…
    I do hope you’re feeling much better and have managed to find some sort of balance so that you can still do most of the things you have always enjoyed.

  21. First of all I want to thank you for leaving your blog up even though you are no longer updating it. I only found your blog today when searching how to deal with flea beetles then went on to read your other pages. You have great info! I can tell you spent a great deal of time preparing your posts. Loved your page regarding starting parsnips in kitchen roll tubes. I started carrots last year in tubes made of newspaper which worked out pretty well, but the kitchen roll tubes look so much easier.

    Again, thank you. Sending my best to you. Take care.

    • Hi Joan, thank you for reading my blog. I am so glad you have found it useful, I wish I had time to carry on writing my blog, especially as I am now back working on new allotments….but I won’t say I’ll never blog again as if my circumstances change in the future then maybe I could write again as I really used to enjoy it.

      • One day I hope you do blog again, you’re much missed by many I think. Allotment bloggers are two penny now and they all say the same things as each other, but people like you and John Harrison have their own voice. You guys helped me no end to get started with my allotment and I’m forever grateful!

      • Thank you so much for leaving your comment, it means alot to me. I have just been looking at my stats and there was a month in summer where I still had over 10,000 views….I find this incredible, especially as I havent written for three years. I now have three allotments again, though they are on a different allotment site now and each plot is tiny compared to my old allotments…and I quite often think about blogging again but worry it will take too much of my time….may be one day when I have more time as I really do miss writing.

        Anyway thank you once again


  22. Hi, I hope all is well. What makes your kitchen garden? Your harvest must be wonderful.
    Greetings from Germany,

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