Ok, this is not strictly bartering, though it comes close. Yesterday I went to see my sister who’s had the surgery. I put the vacuum round the house – she can’t manage it, put away the groceries for her, tidied off the table, dug up some potatoes she was growing, and played with the dogs. She made me a lovely salad lunch, gave me some ginger biscuits she didn’t like, and lent me a dressing gown for when I have my surgery.

Today (Thursday) I visited my other sister. She drinks very so so wine so I took her a nice bottle of merlot; some potatoes, onions and carrots that I grew; and a bottle of salad dressing I’d bought that I hadn’t noticed contained garlic (it doesn’t much like me). She made us a lovely lunch of beef goulash and I left with runner beans, 2 squashes that she’d grown, a jar of patty pans (not sure what to do with them), and fresh eggs from her chickens. She also lent me 2 headscarves. I like bartering; much better than buying.

Speaking of squash, between her and her neighbour is a very high hedge and her squash plant is growing up the hedge and fruiting. It looks so bizarre, and I wish I’d taken my camera.

We often swap plants, cuttings, and even plant pots between the 3 of us, and if ever I see anything on special offer that I know they’d like, then I’ll buy it for them, and they do the same. The best recently was jars of peperonata antipasto (peppers and onions in a tomato sauce) for 50p! I bought quite a few of those and shared them. It’s fantastic with pasta.

Back to work on Monday :( lol though I have a day out to look forward to soon; I’m going to an agricultural show – weather permitting. Hopefully before then I’ll have managed to get a battery for my camera and will take some pics.