There is still not much to do in the garden at the moment, but I have started sowing sweet peppers and chilli peppers - indoors, of course. I’ll probably start to sow tomatoes later in March, too - again indoors.

Glendevon Rockers & River City
March 2018

In the previous two newsletters I hopefully inspired some of you to grow your own vegetables.

This might not be for everyone, but you could always create a garden which is beneficial for wildlife if you prefer.
One of the things you might like to do, with the kids for example, is to build your own wildlife pond.
I’m not talking about digging a massive hole in the garden and filling it with water, although feel free to do that if your garden’s big enough! Why not start off with an old tub/large tray/washing up bowl and fill it with rain water?

In my previous garden, I used an old washing machine drip tray to create a water feature in a corner of the garden. I added a few water plants and placed plant pots and rocks all around it and it looked great!

Water is just so important for wildlife; you can’t really go wrong with it. Even a small size water feature will attract all sorts of animals. Birds might use it to wash and drink, dragonflies might land on the plants and if it’s slightly bigger, frogs or toads might spawn in it!

Just make sure you have a slate or a large branch acting as a ramp, so animals can get out if they accidently fall in. The RSPB has some information on building water features of all shapes and sizes here:

Sadly, we no longer have a cockerel; it’s just the four girls left now. Strangely enough they are less skittish now that the cockerel has gone. He would correct them when they strayed and had started making, er, unwelcome advances towards them. I think they were slightly scared of him, which in turn made the hens more wary of JP and I – running off any time we approached them.
I think I have to rename the hens though, because they now look more like members of a rock band! There are the two with punk hairdos (Punky and Tufty), then there is Caramello - she’s got a couple of black feathers in her tail and now looks like a combination of Vyvyan and Rick from the ‘Young Ones’!

So, perhaps I should name them the Glendevon Rockers!

I don’t think it’ll be too long before they start laying eggs, too. Caramello has found a spot in the garden where she just sits and they are generally more relaxed and less timid. I don’t want them to be too clingy though: cute as it is having hens follow you around the garden, it’s not very handy when you try to do some weeding!

The TV and film industry is coming out of hibernation and when this newsletter goes out, I’ll already have returned to Shieldinch, the fictional Glaswegian district featured in BBC’s River City. When I first registered with casting agents, I imagined myself sitting inside the Tall Ship (the River City pub), chatting over a glass of fake red wine. And that’s exactly what I did last week!

Filming took place entirely in a studio this time and looked so real that every time the pub door opened I kept expecting a draught!

Oh by the way, this is a still taken from the first few minutes of the episode broadcast on Tuesday 20th February - that’s me in my pink jacket carrying the bag I always take with me to the shop! Did you spot me? I appeared later in the show, too - this time walking away from the camera!
I’m still hoping I get selected for ‘Outlander’ though, that would be a dream come true. Recently I was very close to being chosen, and although my agent did his best to try and squeeze me in they were just too full. Part of the attraction for me is the dressing up in historical costume - can’t think of anything better than slipping into a dress from the 18th century and playing make believe!

I’ll keep you updated on my experiences!

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