Monday, 28 October 2013


St Jude (storm) wasn't nearly as bad as the Big Storm of 1987 but it was pretty destructive and sadly it has caused 4 deaths and many injuries in Southern England - it is now battering our neighbours in Belgium and the Netherlands.

I'm totally amazed at the stupidity of some people who, despite the warnings, were still  'wave dodging' on Southern beaches.   I feel dreadfully sorry for the family of the 14 year old boy swept away whilst playing in rough sea with friends, but even sorrier for the lifeguards and rescue organisations who are risking life and limb in dreadful conditions to look for him.   It would be lovely if he could be found alive but watching the footage from our Coastguard and Rescue organisations the conditions are absolutely apalling.

I think the authorities were right to put out so many warnings.  It certainly it made us (David and I) store away anything we thought wasn't stable/secure enough to withstand gale force winds but even so this morning we found this scene in the garden.   Could have been much worse - we had already replaced several fence panels which had come down in previous storms and re-roofed the main shed when the roof was ripped off in the Spring .... not much else to go wrong

BBQ and gas canister.  The cover had been ripped off and we later found it on the compost heap behind a shed

Our outside table ... we'd put all the chairs in the shed but the table is too large to store inside.  We are used to windy weather here on the Kent coast but we've never had the table blown over before!

This pot (rhododendron) is REALLY heavy and so I hadn't put this in the greenhouse with the other pot shrubs - its a two person job to shift it

So no structural damage for us, or our neighbours thankfully.

Lots and lots of apples and pears on the ground.    I'd stripped 2 of the apple trees but there's a limit to how many bags we can give away to friends/family.   

I think these are Comice pears (but would be happy to be told otherwise if I'm wrong).  I know that pears don't ripen on the tree but I've never been successful in ripening them to eat uncooked.    I've just been doing a little research and it seems that if these are Comice pears they need to be chilled for at least 2 weeks at 30deg and then ripened for a week at room temperature?    Previously I've just left them in the shed to ripen but they've gone mouldy and the skins have still been coarse and tough.

So, I've put a brown paper bag full of pears and one banana in the shed (not warmed by sun) to see how they ripen in the outdoor temperature which at the moment averages about 35-40deg.   I understand the banana will speed the ripening process?    And I have a bowl of pears in our fridge where they'll stay for a couple of weeks.   We have a spare freezer in the garden shed but I only have the one fridge so can't really spare too much space to chill all the pears still left on the tree.

If anyone has any tips about what to do with the pears I'd be grateful as its such a shame to see them go to waste every year.  Lots of the windfalls are going to the stables with the dropped apples as the horses don't seem to mind too much if the pears aren't as ripe/juicy as they could be.


Jo said...

Wrapped in newspaper in a drawer rings bells to me.

Glad nothing too serious happened to you.

We used to see people on the beaches in a hurricane. Absolutely stupid. People just don't understand the power of water especially when controlled by wind.

Sue Clinker said...

Thanks Jo. I'll try that with a few of the pears ... trying all sorts to see what (if anything) works best.

You wouldn't catch me on the beach in stormy weather ...

Jan said...

Wow, Sue, so glad you didn't get more damage than you did!

You might look here to see about the pears:

I know the process is called "mellowing" but couldn't find anything on that. Still not seeing well though so didn't search long.

Jan said...

More info on Comice pears with a picture to see if yours match:

Sue Clinker said...

Hi Jan
Thanks for the links. I'm not going to be able to have a proper look at them till tomorrow evening (Pilgrims office tomorrow) but will check them carefully then.

I appreciate your help, especially as you're recovering from eye surgery. Hope all is well

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

glad everyone and everything is ok :)

Jan said...

Just couldn't leave it alone and found the following:

It seems that you're on the right track with what you're doing.