Saturday, 8 August 2009

The infinite possibilities of sea glass

Sea glass is one of my very favourite things - I don't know why, maybe it's the draw of something with infinite possibilities; where did it come from, why was the bottle discarded,what did it contain,, who was the past person to touch it, how long has it been in the sea.............
I don't think it takes all that long for the sea to transform a piece of jagged glass into the smooth, rounded frosty nugget that is there for the taking on the sand. My favourite is the green, and Bean and OH picked up some bits for me on Weymouth beach yesterday afternoon. Say Weymouth to me and I instantly think of sea glass :) I have amassed enough bits now to start a project I have in mind, so I'm looking forward to getting on with that soon.
I love beachcombing of all sorts, and we always manage to come back with something - piece of driftwood for the garden or craft work, shells ofcourse, seaweed, useful bits of rope, interesting bleached bones, sea glass..........................
I would love to live by the sea, but it would have to be a quiet area with few visitors; I suspect I'd be on the beach more than indoors. We don't live far from the shore down here, but where we are on the south coast is so popular in summer, you can't move ont he coast roads or on the beach when you get there, so we tend to go in autumn, or take the dog down on New Year's Day to blow away the cobwebs.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Another blog-inspired cushion!

I made this cushion yesterday, inspired by a post and piciture on Posy's blog:

I was able to find everything I needed in my stash, so that has dwindled by another small amount. I think it's rather lovely :)

Country Wisdom

This is my lovely new book which arrived this morning, Country Wisdom by David Larkin; he is English by birth, but now lives in America, having spent many years there now. I have another of his books, and was inspired to buy this one - what a gem of a book. Anyone who hankers after the sinple life should take a look; log cabins, the simplest of kitchens and bedrooms, no clutter, woodstoves, real fires, quilts...........lots of information on how the houses wer on vernacular design constructed and why they were done in the way they were, influence of, fireplaces, walls, beds,weather lore, household hints and country remedies, sueprstition, seasonal celebration, all with the most wonderful photographs that really make the most of the subjects. This is the conclusion from teh back of the book:

"Most country wisdom has been passed down from generation to generation in the form of oral and written reminisces, or from writers, poets, and those who just observed. Old country sayings, rituals, even superstitions stay with us because they haven't been proved ineffective.
They are also worth preserving just for the fun they bring us. Certainly, many of the remedies really work, and some of their active ingredients are now manufactured for general consumption or application.
Apart from some observations on the weather, local life and harvest festivities, our focus has remained inside the house. But there are other buildings on the property to think about, as well - fields, walls, fences and gardens. And perhaps most interesting of all is the wild side of country living; what we can learn from, use, and live with nature without changing it.
It is hard to concentrate on relaxing in the country. There is too much gooing on. Nature is very busy , so it's best to join in. Gardening, carpentry, walking around, and maintaining your property are creative, healthy, enjoyable, and, at the end of the day, relaxing. And, even more important, ways to a better life."The bits that speak to me are "those who just observed", " it's best to join in (with nature)"
and "without changing it".

A lovely, lovely book, even if all you eer did was look at the pictures, but that would be over and over again. I spent an hour sighing over them this morning, and felt inspired to change a couple of things in my own home - which is what books are all about for me.
I'm off to see if I can find some more of his books now. :)

Full moon

Last night was full moon; stunning to see, literally awesome. I find the word awesome very over used and badly used, and rarely use it myself, but on this occasion, the moon was truly deserving of such awe. Wisps of light and dark cloud trailed across in front of her, giving a peek a boo quality, which made me smile. I stood upstairs at the open bedroom window for a good quarter of an hour, just looking; EJ joined me and had a thoughtful look through the bins too - the clarity was amazing. I leaned on the windowsill, and thought of the myriad people who had looked out of this house at the full moon over the years, and with no traffic noise at that time of night, it was completely timeless, even when the church clock chimed the hour, as it has done down time for longer than I know. A good ten minutes of total peace; this was broken by the sound of two large tractors, on their way back to the farm late at night, after another day out harvesting, squeezing in the work to make the most of the good weather. Yes, the noise was loud, and yes, I felt it a little intrusive, but it's part of the countryside where I live, and I was glad it wasn't me who had to be out and about until midnight working on feeding folk who are, in the main, unappreciative of what is done on their behalf. Likewise the moon herself - people are very ignorant and unappreciative of what she is about, not taking time to learn of her effects, what she is *for* (people seem to like to make sure that everything has its purpose, when nature just *is*), and show huge disrespect in the way they talk about her, and blame their and other's own incompetence and bad humours on her fullness. Maybe they should take more time to look outward at the moon and inwards at themselves.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Handmade, homemade.........................

I was cheered last night with a comment that EJ made whilst we tested out the latest cheese to reach readiness;"It's a shame not everyone has a mum like you to make them all these things to eat and for the house, they're great"

Happy mother! Now all I have to do is to convince him to wear a hand-knitted jumper...............

July giveaway - the winner is.............

..........Carolyn, who entered by e-mail. Well done to her, thanks to all who entered. Look out for the August one coming along soon. :) Thanks for reading here too.



Monday, 3 August 2009


With no central heating of any kind here, thoughts are constantly turned to the acquisition of fule, mainly wood. We run a small woodburner in the sitting room, and a solid fuel stove in the kitchen, which is on permanently. At the moment it is coal, but we are hoping to turn it over to wood, or mainly wood this winter. We manage to get given lots of logs and promises of logs for the cutting up and removing - MrL has a chainsaw and all the gear, so he can go equipped. However, you can;t ahve too much wood, and one of my favourite pursuits is wooding up at the small woods behind the house and farm. We only lift broken and fallen wood and branches - there's plenty about, just need taking home, stacking to dry and cutting to size. A very satisfying pursuit, and a lovely chance to have a peaceful couple of hours with the birds and trees, and the possible sighting of deer.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Lammas loaf

As yesterday was Lammas/Lughnasadh, I decided to honour the day with a special loaf; out came the mill for the flour, and I concocted a new recipe. The resulting loaf is a good, sturdy bread, sweetened with honey and dried fruit, enriched with egg. For me, it captures the time of year perfectly, for the new harvest.

8 oz wholemeal flour
generous tablespoon of local honey
1 large free range egg, beaten
handful of dried fruit of your choice - mine was mixed
yeast of your choice, activated if required I used the quick yeast for this)
warm water to mix
extra flour for kneading

Put your flour into a large bowl, add dried fruit and honey, then beaten egg, then yeast. Mix with knife, and add warm water to get a good dough mix. Turn out on to a floured board and knead for 8 - 10 minutes or so. Shape loaf as you wish, and place on greased and floured tray or into a shaped tin. Leave to rise in a warm place, then bake in a good quick oven for 30 - 40 minutes. Turn out to cool; nicest eaten cold with good butter.

Lammas was one of the great pagan festivals of Britain - known as Lughnasadh or Lughnasa in Ireland and Scotland;The Gule of August, as it was called, probably celebrated the realisation of the first-fruits of the earth, and more particularly that of the grain harvest. When christianity was intorduced, the day continued to be observed as a festival on these grounds, and from a loaf being the usual offering at church, came to be called Hlaf-mass, subsequently shortened to Lammas.