Saturday, 21 February 2009

I used to have a piano....................

..but I haven't any more.:( EJ had taken a notion to learn to play "properly", so we decided (him and me) to move it from one shed to another, so he could get to it and play it; where it was, my rug loom was in the way, and he couldn't get to it.
MrL had overheard the conversation, and decided it would, after all, be better off back in the kitchen, from where it was moved originally up to the cabin. So, it was decide he and EJ would move it back down,round the front, and in through the front door, the reverse of the journey up to the shed a few months back. All well and good until half way down the garden - over it went, lots of plinky plonky noises...............
Result - one truly ruined piano - lid split, side off, keys all over the place, hammers bent..............totally unrepairable. Luckliy, no-one was hurt when it went over on its back. Straight down. On the stone path.
It was a Christmas present, mine, about 3 years ago; wasn't worth a lot, didn't cost a lot, (came from the tip) but it was mine. Now it is no more.
Ah well.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Simple pleasures

Great delight this morning here - the ducks have laid! One from yesterday, and two this morning, form the Runner girls. They haven't laid since the last fox attack, bless them, so this is great news. They really are pretty eggs, and make the best cakes. If they stood still long enough I'd say thankyou to them, but they were off................ LOL

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

On being non-scientifically minded.............

...........that's me - I don't have a scientific bone in my body LOL. I get a mental block on all things scientific, chemistry, physics, that sort of thing. If something works, fine, if it doesn't , then fix it or get someone to fix it. I don;t need to know how it works, just that it does. Now, I'm not a stupid woman, but there is no part of my brain that is able to absorb and comprehend anything at all like this. Makes for a hard life being married to an engineer, but I think he's given up for now...........LOL

MrL and EJ were watching a programme on nuclear fusion alst night - a Horizon programme, so not undualy technical or complicated, science for the masses. I felt the whooshing sound and the little draft it all amde as it went completely over my head LOL So, I cast on a new pair of socks! It did remind me of a poem from a few years back:


I know a little about baking,

I know a little about flour,

I know more about the universe

With every passing hour.

I know a lot about my garden,

Of how things thrive and grow,

But of matters such as horse power,

There’s a lot I do not know.

I’ve looked it up and searched the web,

The books and papers too.

They talk of watts and unit rates

And words I never knew.

It’s got to do with doing work,

Of that I have no doubt

Of pounds per second, foot pounds too,

I’ll never work it out.

I’m not of scientific bent

I’d be the first to claim.

Watts and rates and miles per hour –

Aren’t they all the same?

I don’t know why my jam sets

Or how my hens lay eggs,

Or what the difference really is

Between horseflies, bugs and clegs.

The light comes on, the iron irons,

The cooker cooks our meal

As long as they all work for me,

It’s really no big deal.

The seasons change, the sun comes out

The wind will blow and blow,

But how these things have come about

I’ll really never know.

An engine is a puzzle,

The workings of the world,

To me the mysteries of men

Will never be unfurled.

A pencil writes, a window shuts,

A needle has an eye,

The bath taps empty nice and hot,

I don’t need to know why.

I’m happy in my little world

it’s safe, secure and fun

I don’t drown myself in detail,

I just let life run and run.

And as for this here horsepower,

It seems to pass me by.

I know it’s there, that it exists

Without me knowing why.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Jam and Jerusalem artichokes

I've just dug these from the garden, lovely and crisp and fresh, knobbly and tasty. I'm going to do them scalloped in cream to go with cottage pie for tea. Just peel, parboil them and clie into a flat dish; add seasoning, garlic if you like, then cover with cream and bake until tender, with a golden brown top. The other thing they are great for is a soup - makes one of the very best winter soups, rich and cmoky tasting. A great, easy crop to grow, Jerusalem artichokes wil grow up to about 9ft tall in a season, so may overshadow other crops, so must be planted with care. Another thing to watch out for is that they will re-grow from the tiniest chip of artichoke left behind in the ground. Best to give over a patch to them permanently and enjoy them for years to come. the tall stems can be cut down towards the end of summer/autumn, but leave a few inches as markers to show where the tubers lie beneath. Stems can go on the heaps, but my goats love them, so they get them when they are green. In very warm summers, they will flower at the very top of the stems, with a small yellow, sunflower-like bloom - hence the Italian name, girasol, from which the Jerusalem part of the name has evolved.
A very welcome addition to the winter vegetable basket.
As for the jam, well it's that time of the year again! Time to rootle through the jam cupboard and take out all the extras - ones not keen on, ones that have gone sugary, odd half jars, ones I know won't be used, etc. This makes room for when teh spring cleaning comes along, and room on teh shelves for this summer's batch of jammy goodness. The jars are emptied into a brewing bucket, 8 jars to two gallons of hot water, plus about 1 1/2 lbs of sugar. Stir to dissolve, add sliced lemon/ornage and three teabags. Leave to cool to blood heat, then add activated yeast, stir well, cover tightly and leave in a warm place for 4 - 5 days. Strain into a demi-john and leave to ferment out, rack, leave 6 weeks, then bottle. Can be drunk in about 6 months, and hey presto, jam wine :)

Monday, 16 February 2009

Lily of the valley and other plantings...............

It's a beautiful day here, and I've just come in from a couple of hours outside, pottering and planting. When we moved here, there was a nice patch of lily of the valley in the back garden, one of my favourites. Strangely, it never re-appeared, to my disappointment, just diappeared for some reason. I've tried a couple of times to establish it again, inlcuding an expensive pink one from e-bay, but no joy. Not to be beaten, I bought three bundles of very healthy looking roots on saturday, gave them a good drink and got them planted out thismorning, in the front garden. Fingers crossed! I also put in a few other things, moved the sweet peas and broad beans into the wooden greenhouse, tidied up outside the kitchen window. I need to get into that part this week as I want that are to plant a cutting garden, but need a cunning plan to keep the marauding chickens out................
The sun is still shining, and it's actually warm out there - washing out soon too. :)

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Fell in love with this.............

Saw this cottage the other day; can see myself living here..............

Serendipity on wheels.................

We went out yesterday, with only a couple of things in mind to do; sometimes, though, the best days happen when done on the spur of the moment. Yesterday was one such day.

We did a couple of things, then were headed up to Win Green hill, up past Ashmore, the highest village in Dorset. We were surprised to see a fair bit of snow still lying on the verges and in the fields. REaching teh track that takes you up on to the hilltop, we found it still covered in hard packed ice, so didn;t even attempt it. There was one silly so and so sliding about, after trying to get up, but we turned around and headed for Compton Abbas airfield for a cup of hot coffee. Lots of activity on the airfield; the one above with teh blakc and white nose is a Yak (short for the Russian name of this plane), which does ariel stunts, but had just landed when we got there, and was being parked up. (Is parked up the right aviation term? Not sure.............LOL) Teh little blue bi-plane was rather nice too. The view over the airfield and away is towards Shaftesbury, up there on its hills. MrL's aviatorial hankering sated for the moment, we went on to Sixpenny Handley to the Walnut Tree craft shop - lots of very nice things, well worth a look, I've been meaning to visit for a long time. Then, on to Cranborne Manor Garden Centre, one of my all-time favourites, where we treated ourselves to some plants for the newly re-jigged fornt garden, where there's lots of room for planting :)Came home tired but happy, and spent half an hour this afternoon planting out the snowdrops and Rip van Winkle daffodils, and placing the shrubs in their prospective places to see how they look. I got two new rhubarb crowns too, so they will go into some new tyre towers tomorrow, and I've nerines and lily of teh valley to plant too. I got 8 types of chilli sown today in the kitchen, where they will stay until the weather warms up considerably.

Finally, here's a picture of my shawl I finished: