Adding a Little Bit of Spice

I spent the weekend in Birmingham with Dad. His new girlfriend, Sheila, loves to cook. She’s got these little herb pots all lined up in the kitchen window. I guess we always just ate whatever came out of the box that Mom brought home. I never know what any of it looked like. How soft basil leaves are or the thorny bits of rosemary. I mean, Dad’s kitchen was just amazing!

Back at home, I was watching a video with Ted and he said that some herbs grow well outside, like thyme and mint, but others are better inside. It was like an obsession came over me. By the end of the night I had my own little forest in my run down kitchen. But when Ted came in with a big armful of celery and carrots from our trade basket, I couldn’t wait to try out some of the new flavors.

We got this big chicken to roast and stuffed it full with lemon and a bunch of the herbs tied in a bundle. Teddy warned me that I need to let the things grow before I harvest the whole lot.

I shall never go back to pre-packaged foods again. This has been the most amazing time. I have a new home near the sea with new friends and a whole new hobby that’s complicated enough to keep me busy for years to come. How marvelous! I’m sounding so very twee. Before you know it, I’ll have married Ted, bought an old farmhouse somewhere and start to raise pigs. It’s a frightening thought.

I heard one of online casinos shut down this week. But I think it never really got off the ground. BGO casino contacted me this week for a year’s worth of images. I wonder if they need any new content written? Should Ted and I start our own company? Growing herbs creates growing thoughts. It’s going to be an exciting year!

What Do You Do With It All?

Once the peas started coming in I started looking up recipes. However, after the realization that I don’t particularly like pea soup or even peapods in a stir-fry, I came to the understanding that I will not eat the two large bags of vegetable that my gloriously growing vines have produced! Then there’s the line of tomatoes on my kitchen window sill that are ripening. I love pasta with a nice marinara, but I am only one person. Teddy shared some of his aubergine and together we made the most marvelous parmesan, but for real?

So, I took some of the produce downstairs to Gladys. She loves pea soup. And to cook! Yesterday she rang me up and asked me to stop by. She created this wonderful casserole with all our veg in it. OMG! And she had made enough that both Teddy and I had plenty for two or three meals apiece.

So, I suggested to Ted that maybe we ought to leave out a basket by the walk with our vegetables in it with a note that if they would like some tomatoes, please do! Simply put something back into the basket–like fresh bread or maybe some biscuits.

Suddenly it is all clear to me. It’s one of those moments where that “it takes a world to raise a child” thing comes into focus. I have been eating so well over the past week, but I only grew tomatoes and peas. There have been biscuits, potatoes, a bag of rice, and even a tin of smoked fish.

While we were splitting up the stuff this morning, I asked Ted what he does for a living. He is a freelance writer. I know that Drake was looking for help with their new social media campaign and sent Ted to them. He picked up a new contract and will be working to provide them actionable topics to engage their audience. How awesome is that?

I have to get back to work now. I am creating frames for chat rooms–the images for the frames. 7red wants something full of scrollwork for their European castle themed slot game.

We Are Not Alone

So, Teddy brought me my first ripe tomato today. It had bite marks in it. ewww! When I complained, he said that it was food, wasn’t it? Did I think I was the only one on the planet interested in the tomato? I really hadn’t thought of it before. So this week I spent looking around our garden and learned some amazing things.

Hedgehogs are one of the cutest animals on our planet! OMG. Bright, beady black eyes in this doll-like face with little grabby hands. I spotted one digging by the aubergine plants late last night when I walked out for a break from compiling a new image for 7red. After blending endless lines of rainbow colored neon, your eyes need a bit of a break. They’re launching this new game aimed at the rainbow crowd. Every freakin’ image in the database needs an exploding rainbow! I am freaking out a little at the repetitive imagery. But it pays good, so who am I to complain?

Anyway, back to the hedgehog. Who apparently eats those nasty slug things. I hear rustling under the bushes near the garden all the time. Teddy thinks it is mice or voles. And he says as long as we have the garden out here, they will be less likely to come in and raid our pantries.

I guess I never thought about the fact that a whole bunch of animals live around us and are busy eating the stuff that is made just for them. Why do I need to worry about getting rid of them if they aren’t bothering me? I was just thinking about that while an advertisement for a pest guy aired on the telly. If I poison the ant and the hedgehog eats the ant…that can’t be good, can it?

I threw out the box of bug spray I wanted to use on the tomatoes. I guess I don’t need to eat them all. I can share.

Growing a Garden One Inch at a Time

So, the guy upstairs his name is Teddy. I was right. He’s totally into gardening and keeping the Earth green. He had a ton of tips for me on how to start a garden. Then he unlocked the shed. I guess he was working the vegetable plot two years ago but gave up when the other four flats didn’t want to get involved. He had it all in there! Watering pitchers, hoses, shovels, hoes and a punch of tools for digging around on your hands and knees. He helped me mark out a section to start my tomatoes and peas. He decided he’d take the other end of the garden to do peppers and aubergine. Then Gladys, the grandmother asked to watch. She suggested marigolds to be planted in with the veg. She says it keeps the bugs down.

Now there’s this little garden with a fence made out of crooked wire and some old posts. When I get my next commission check, I’m gonna splurge on some nice fencing I saw when I bought my plants. I’ve always built things on the computer, but since our flat in Birmingham was so small, I didn’t ever get to build something real. My friends and I would wander around the park and shopping center. It was so…impersonal.

I had to dig the dirt out from under my nails last night. It smelled really awesome. Why is it that people always talk about how dirt stinks? We grow everything in it and then eat that stuff. Why wouldn’t it smell great? And mud. I never made a mud pie before. It’s like the most fun ever.

I’ve asked Brad over at Drake Casino if their money could have flowers on it. He sounded uninterested but said for me to come up with something different and they’ll talk about it. So, I guess that’s what I’ll do.

I’m heading back out to the garden. I wonder how much taller the pea plants are?

Digging in the Garden

Well, this is something new. My landlord asked me if I wanted to grow any veg in the plot at the back of our communal garden area. I was all like, “What?” I’ve never grown a thing in my life. I grew up in Birmingham in a high-rise. We had a turtle, who never looked very happy about his situation. When I left the factories and smog behind for the coast after my mum passed, I really thought I might find something new to get my life moving.

Gardening! Who knew? I bought some peas and tomato plants at the garden center. The guy also sold me these trellis things. I guess peas grow on vines or something like that. I really haven’t a clue. I’ve started googling how to make a garden. The landlord has a shed back in the area where he said we could dig. There’s a guy in the second floor apartment who dresses all ragged like and has a caravan in storage. Maybe he knows something about gardens.

I started on a new project this week for a new client, Drake Casino. I guess they run their thing with bit coins. They want a new look for their money, so I’ll be building some new options for them. Should it look like a coin? Paper money? More like a US dollar or one of ours with all the colors. It will certainly be a challenge. My contact at Drake, his name is Brad but speak with an Indian accent. It’s a funny thing about these online places, you never really know where they are or who they are. Even if you Skype with them, there’s no knowing. There’s a grandmother who live in the flat below me. She talks about the days she spent working near Westminster in London. I wonder what she did? I doubt I shall ever find out where Brad works. In a sweat shop in Delhi? Or a luxurious flat overlooking Manhattan. It is a mystery.

Starting Out New and Shiny

Welcome to my online home. I’m Dee Connor, social media mogul extraordinaire. I live in the far reaches of Cornwall, home to pixies and other small folk of ancient lore. I spend much of my time parked in front of my laptop creating graphics for online casinos. It is beyond fun. It’s the best job I could ever wish to have. I’m my own boss, getting up when the whim strikes me and plugging away late into the night, if that is what strikes my fancy.

Who do I work for? I’ve had contracts with most of the big online casinos like LeoVegas and 7red. They send me graphics projects. Sometimes I’m generating new gems for their online slots games to spit out when you win, and other times I have creating winning memes for Facebook announcements. I often think it is amazing that anybody actually pays me to make stuff up like this.

So, what will my blog be about? Oh, whatever might come my way. I love hiking and the radical cliffs of Cornwall are awesome for finding inspiration. If you walk out on a grey day, only the kind that the UK can bring, the power of the ocean can rip your breath away. I do wonder if magic had any part in the creation of our little country. Did King Arthur really exist? I’ve gone out to the park of Tintagle a couple times. It’s almost like the walls whisper to you there.

In all reality, I’m something of a throwback. I kind of hate the one bedroom flat I rent in a very ordinary complex. I drive a Prius. I wear trainers and yoga pants. I am boring. I think I’d like to be less boring and like myself a bit better. Anyway, I hope you enjoy reading my stuff from time to time.