Saturday, 11 October 2008


At the market yesterday, there were lots of special deals on fruit and vegetables; one of the bargains was a whole tray of big peaches for only 2.00, so one came home with me! I hope they'll ripen up soon and taste as good as they look. Even if they don't, I'll be able to do something good with them. I have a notion to bake a load then freeze them for winter puddings........... Big bags of bananas and red onions on offer too, so I was glad of the shopping trolley yesterday especially!
Other bargains - a lovley little book on soil, written in 1913, this reprinted in 1921 - looking forward to reading that. I also came across a woman who was ahving to sell some of her stash, poor soul, as she was running out of room to live at home! I managed to relieve her of some rather nice fabric, and Bean helped along too. :) I have ideas for the two lareger pieces I bought so will post photos up when projects are complete. Found a lovely picture of a small cottage, with a huge chunky frame; the frame needs a bit of attnetion, maybe needing painting over, but will wait and see how I feel about it. Couldn't resist it for only 50p though!

Today was spent outside in the back garden, or the greater part of it; sun was warm, gentle breeze, autumnal light. Spent the time digging out most of a big polygonum (bistort) that had outgrown its allotted space; cleared that, made a space to get my catalpa in the ground, then underplanted with spring bulbs - various miniature narcissi, dwarf iris in a lovely magenta colour, red tulips, topped off with groups of wallflowers procured yesterday in the market for a really reasonable price. I then weeded the end of a small bed and popped in some fritillary (uva vulpis) and Snow Bunting crocuses. Planted up a nice terracotta urn with Angelique tuplips, one of my favourites. Looking forward to seeing the display in the spring now!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Morning walk

Up and out early this morning to catch the best of the weather; it really is the most glorious day here, really beautiful, the sun warm on your back. Took doggie with me, he was very patient whilst I took some pictures; he's low to the ground, though, and needs a bath now, the grass was soaking from a very heavy dew last night. We live surrounded by farmland, and once down the lanes, the views are far reaching. I spent a good five minutes just standig still listening to the birds singing, it was lovely. We were watched coming up the road by a big fat grey squirrel on a gate; he scampered off as the got got nearer, though. Lots of birds about; a lovely flock sweeping and swooping over the newly ploughed field. I wasn't close enough to see what they were, but it was pretty spectacular. The fiery coloured creeper is on the end of a stable block at the stud farm - quite startling in colour agains such a sky, as you came round the bend in the road. Something for the little one on the end of my house to aspire to when it gets bigger :)

The library

I love the library, and think it really is a national treasure; British libraries are probably second to none. I use a variety of local ones, plus the mobile library which stops in the village once a fortnight. a good aspect of the service is that the books etc you have on loan can be returned to any library in the County, so you can fit it in with where you're going. Now I'm going to Wimborne on a Friday morning, I'm using that one. It's lovely to have a new-to-you library to browse through - I can always find something!
I read very little fiction; I like travel books, knitting, quilting, local history, practical books, gardening, philosophy, spiritual,recipe books, environmental issues, politics, Scottish interest books, poetry......
The pile above was won from the mobile library yesterday. Here's what I got, to give a flavour of the type of books I like:

New Europe - Michael Palin

Lost Land, Forgotten Stories, a woman's journey to the heart of Labrador - Alexandra Pratt

Fishing in Utopia, Sweden and the future that disappeared - Andrew Brown

Illustr. step by step book of quilting - Stanley and Watson

gordon Ramsay's Secrets

Terrine - Stephane Reynaud

How to feed your friends with Relish - Joanna Weinberg

Pupcakes - Stephanie Mehann

Looking forward to getting stuck into that lot! :)

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Having a digital camera..............

Really love my camera - one of the best presents OH has ever bought me. I know how privileged I am to own one, and be able to use it. I like to think it's magic. You take a picture - no film, no processing, you can delete the crappy ones, take it anywhere, send your pictures literally all over the world...........
So - here's another couple I took!
Couldn't resist the colours in the acorn squash once I cut it open - those colours would make a wonderful knitted thing, or woven, dyed..................
The three pinnies - I am very fond of them already. I only got them last week, in the charity shop. 10p each. 2/- in old money, probably a huge amount for someone like my granny, not that she would ever have bought one........What a lot of work has gone into each one, and I suspect they all came from the same home. Each has had sewing of some sort in it, very neat and small. They have been well used, and worn in parts, but I couldn't just leave them there, could I?

What I did on Wednesday.............

Today I got up about 6.45am as usual; sorted my e-mails, did my Admin and moderating on various forums, etc on the net; hung out a load of washing; put another load in the machine; cleaned out the goat pen; fed and watered the livestock; sat out in the garden for half an hour; made two lists of things to do; cleaned the bathroom; read 14 pages of my new tomato book; baked bread; made 2 dozen biscuits; crocheted 5 granny squares for a new blanket project; went to the mobile library (more of which anon); painted a chair; swept the floor; did more decluttering and tidying in the kitchen; made supper; tested the sloe gin..........

But - I haven't washed up yet................:) I'm still content, though :0)

Simple supper

When OH isn't home for supper, I tend to cook something really simple and quick for the three of us. Usually pasta, tonight's was spaghetti. I cook it as usual, and they have it with grated cheese on top. For me, though, you can't beat the simplicity of small pats of good butter and freshly ground black pepper over spgahetti. One of the great meals.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness........

Well, more rain than mists today, but lots of fruitfulness! Thought I'd post these to add a splash of colour to a really dreich day here in Dorset. I've already had one change of clothes today, and need to go out up the street later to the post office, so will come back and have a good hot bath I think - always seem a bit more decadent than the bath-before-bed routine :0) I got soaked to the skin doing some running repairs to the goat house, where the rain was driving in. Their shed is now adorned with a patchwork of turquoise feedbags over the ropey bits of roof and where they chewed holes in it. I think it looks fine, if a little "Steptoe & Son"; MrL will no doubt think differently, but I'm fed up reminding him (for reminding, read nagging :) ) about it. At least they are dry and cosy, and the new straw isn't getting spoiled. Whilst wet, I stopped off on the way down to pick the chard for supper; not sure what I'll do with it, but what spectacular colours.......... I picked a few more raspberries for the Boxing Day trifle, so they're in the freezer now. The dahlia is lovely - I still surprise myself being able to grow these! I've put it on the windowsill behind the sink so it will cheer me on my way whilst washing up. Coming into the autumn/winter fruits now - picked up a lovely wooden tray of satsumas at the market - I will keep the box and use it as a seed/seedling tray next year. I couldn't resist the pomegranates either!

A grace for spinners, weavers and dyers

God loveth sinners,
Dyers and spinners.
Weavers even
May hope for heaven.
When nought is left
Of warp and weft
With spindle and loom
They will meet their doom.
The lamb's white fleece
Has bought their peace.


Monday, 6 October 2008

Meet the ancestors..............

I am absolutely thrilled to bits to be able to share these very precious photos with you over the internet. They have come to me via an aunt with whom my granny lived during her last years - I was let loose on the box of photos, and was able to take some to add in to the family history I am compiling and working on, my mother's side.

This one is of my granny, with two children of her then employer, my mother thinks. I've no further information, but love the photo.

This one is of three of my granny's siblings - , left to right, Lizzie, Jimmy and Kate. I have met them all over the years.

This one is of my granny, when she was working as a home help at Kirkland Farm for the Mathie family; taken late 60s/early 70s I should think. I rarely saw her without her pinny on!

This one, we're not 100% sure about; my mother says it could be a family friend, but I think it's my great grandfather. He was a shepherd for the Duke of Buccleuch; this photo was obviously taken at the same time as the last one - smae place, same wee boy in the picture.

This one is one of my favourite photos ever; it shows my great grandmother Agnes (nee Crosbie), sitting with my granny and the wee boy (I think he may have been part of the family, need to look into that one, it's all a bit complicated, needless to say).

I have made a start on sorting out my mother's side fo the family, but need to get hold of otehr older members before they leave us, and their knowledge and memories with them. I'm hoping to get stuck in this week; finding the internet a fascinating tool in this respect, but I could be on here for hours as one things links and leads to another........
From what my mother has said, there are all sorts of interesting characters not that far back, so looking forward to a bit of a delve fruther into the family hostory, and will post up interesting snippets when I come across them.

Sunday, 5 October 2008


Everyone knows about British weather! It's changeable, frustrating, fickle, often unseasonal. I love the four seasons we ahve, though, and the weather when it stays roughly where it should within the flexible beginnings and endings of those seasons. We're well into autumn now, and it's very wet outside, and slightly blustery. I'd hoped to get outside and get some spring bulbs in, but that isn't going to happen, so a change of plans is on the cards. No matter. I very rarely complain about what the weather is doing; there is absolutely nothing anyone can do about it, so moaning and griping about it can change nothing, and just gets you down. If it's dry and nice, I'll work outside, or potter in the garden, do the washing, sit out with my tea. If it's cold or wet, or too windy to do much, then I'll stay in the house, where there's always plenty to do. I love books on weather forecasting the old fashioned way - no machines and dials and computers - follow the cloud formations, what the moon is doing, how the birds behave, and the animals. Take your cue from them and try and plan accordinly, but due to the fickle nature of our weather, have a plan B in all cases!

Weather lore here: