Saturday, 24 January 2009

First snowdrops

Very cheered to see the first snowdrops today in the back garden! Not least because they have escaped the marauding chickens! LOL
first of the lungworts out too, and the hellebore (Potter's Wheel, thepure white one)has a good number of helathy buds on it.
Gracie duck has made friends with my little gargoyle, and has made a nesty bit right beside him in the bed udner the elder. Sweet. :)

Thursday, 22 January 2009

1950s technology meets the computer age!

Just been having trouble getting the shuttle loaded for use on the Jones hand sewing machine. Little lightbulb moment, looked it up on Google image, and there it was - clear and concise instructions for getting it wound, back in the shuttle and the machine back running. I can do it now!! LOL

Speaking to the soul

"Mere colour, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways"

Oscar Wilde

This is some fabric I picked up at the Scrapstore at the weekend; the Scrapstore is a great community project where industry can have their oddments and leftovers recycled; for 5.oo, you are given a big black binliner and can wander around and fill it with all manner of things. They always have a good selection of containers which I find useful for all sorts of things, and I usually manage to get soem fabric and wool, etc too.
This little pile was a card of sample fabrics, and the way the colours were arranged was impossible to resist, so it came home with me! I've removed them from the card and paper backing, and think they'll be destined for a quilt of some description. It's tempting to just leave them in that pile to admire though LOL

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Blueberry and buttermilk pancakes

8 oz plain or self raising flour
1 large egg
buttermilk to mix
handful of blueberries
Place flour into a large bowl and add the egg; mix well, then add buttermilk until the consistency of double cream; beat well, then carefully stir in the blueberries.
Grease/oil your girdle/stove top/heavy frying pan and let it get nice and hot. Drop spoonfuls on, and leave to cook about 1 minute or so until the bubbles rising to the top start to burst, then flip them over and leave another minute or so to cook the other side. Lift and cool wrapped in a clean teatowel. Best eaten on the same day, but that's not a problem really LOL
They work just as well with ordinary milk, or with milk soured by a squeeze of lemon juice. Nice for breakfast, or just with fresh butter.
ps - you'll need a napkin for the blueberry dribbles!!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Quote for the day

"With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things"

William Wordsworth

(that's me on the right, age 4!)

St Agnes's Eve

St Agnes's Eve, probably more famous that the saint's feast day itself, thanks to Keats's poem. It wasa day on which girls and unmarried women who wished to dream of their future husbands would perform certain rituals before retiring for the night. These included transferring pins one by one from a pincushion to their sleeve whilst reciting the Lord's Prayer, or abstaining from food and drink all day, walking backwards up the stairs to bed, and eating a portion of dumb cake (previously prepared with a group of friends in total silence, and often containing an unpleasantly large proportion of salt) before lying down to sleep.
St Agnes, patron saint of virgins, was martyred in the early 4th century AD at the tender age of 12 or 13, apparently for refusing to consider marriage (unlike the superstitious females mentioned above) and consecrating her maidenhood to God. Her emblem is a lamb, perhaps because of the similarity of its Latin name, agnus, to her own.

Chambers Book of Days

I won't post Keat's poem here, it's long at 42 stanzas, but here's a link if you would like to have a read:

Monday, 19 January 2009

Spring is on her way............

The days are lightening perceptibly now; I don't need to shut up the hens and feed the goats until about 5pm now, it's really heartening! Still a bit of winter to go, and the weather people forecast a really cold blast in February, but I'll deal with that when it happens.

In the meantime, these little beauties are out on the kitchen windowsill


I haven't really got a gardener LOL. MrL has taken it upon himself, with my approval, of course, to do some "cutting back" in the front garden. I'll admit there was a bit of pruning and tidying to do, but I quite like it a bit wild and woolly............... In his enthusiasm he has removed my viburnum shrub - the one with the snowball flowers on, and yesterday he dug up a rare rose that *HE* paid 18.00 for on a special order at a specialist rose nursery for me ( should have seen his face when I told him that bit!!) Sadly, the viburnums eems to have been burned or whatever, so I need to get another one and replant in exactly the same place - I could see it from the kitchen window and it had just found it feet and was starting to flower well. I managed to wrest the green rose from the wheel barrow, bit mangled, but with a flower attached - not bad for through the winter. I can't remember its Latin name offhand, but the flower is green tinged with red and I think it's pretty in an exhuberent, eccentric sort of way, although probably not everyone's idea of a rose, ot to everyone's taste! It comes from China originally, but Cranborne Manor were kind enough to order one in for me, and I then had an excuse to visit their rather lovely garden centre, didn't I?

It's on my to do list for this morning to pot it up and murture it back to health, and again, replant it.

On a good note, he has cleared and dug over parts of the borders under the kitchen window, so I can get the very last of the bulbs in that are hanging around still.

This is the rose