Saturday, 24 April 2010

James Dupre

It is a long, long time since I have been instantly smitten by a singer, but I found this on on Youtube - I'm a great Youtube fan lol - james Dupre.
It's rare that a voice such as this comes along; you may not be a fan of "country" music or "country and western", but have a listen. A pure, honest voice, from a lad completely devoid of guile. I love the way he is singing at home, often in the middle of the night - you can hear his family around him sometimes, and the films of him singing with his children are a pure delight; he sings in his home, just him, guitar (usually), mike and camera, singing directly into the camera, singing solely for you.
He has now got a recording contract and has released his first CD. I think he is destined for great things, and I hope he won't change.
A voice like his is a rare and beautiful treasure.

Have a listen to some of his other stuff as well; I like Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground, Let Her Cry, She's Everything and one of my very favourites - I'm Yours.

He's also rather easy on the eye ;))

Give him a go. :)

Friday, 23 April 2010

Dandelion wine

Today, St George's day, is tje traditional day for making this wine, or at least the first brewing. I'm not sure it's anything to do with the man himself, more likely that dandelion flowers really are at about their best at this time. Pick them near the middle of the day, and check well for insects.

4 pints of dandelion flowers, removing as much green as possible
1 gallon very hot water
2 1/2 lbs sugar
2 teabags
1 lemon sliced
1 tbsp yeast

Place flowers into brewing bucket and pour over hot water; add sugar and stir to dissolve, then add sliced lemon and tea bag. leave to cool to blood heat, then add yeast. Stir well, cover tightly and leave in a warm place for 4 -5 days. Strain out and put into demi-john, rack off after about 6 weeks. May need a second racking before bottling. Leave a year if you can before trying.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Dear Gordon Brown.............

Here are some more scrappage ideas for you........

* Petrol mowers for gardens; please deal with this one before I wrap my neighbour's around his big fat neck...........I am trying to persuade MrL to get rid of his too - hate the noise, the fumes, the pollution, the fossil fuels used, the dumping of old/broken ones. I am going to get out my push one this year, and if he won;t use it, then I will. Dig up the lawn and grow flowers and vegetables there; let the grass grow long for the butterflies and isnects, then make hay; trade them in for push mowers

*Soup making machines (see post below) - trade them in for a saucepan and wooden spoons and a good knife

*Noisy screaming motorbikes - crush them and turn them into more buses

*Huge ugly polluting tractors - treat them all to horses and wagons

Thankyou, I will expect imminent favourable results.


Can you tell I'm having a bad day ? LOL ;)

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

What is a garden?

We've been having the most glorious weather here for the past week or so - warm and sunny, dry and just lovely to sit out in; thus, my garden has been on my mind a lot. Now, my idea of a "tidy" garden and others' ideas are often at odds, especially MrL's. Not for me the regimented lines of bought in flowers, square edges, everything pruned into submission and conventionally tidy. My garden is one of the main areas of my life where I get to express what I'm all about - and I'm going for it! There are beds of nettles, and plants that have seeded are generally left - often ones perceived by others as "weeds". Not so for me, the only one I can't genuinely think of a use for is couch grass..........These little plants are often the first to show when spring arrives - nature's indicators to get prepared and ready for a new growing season ahead. I find using a man-made calendar or advice in a book quite alien to me now, and watch the soil, the plants and the wildlife for natural indicators.
I am fortunate to have a big garden - some days not big enough, somtimes too big, but mostly just about right. A lot of people exclaim "OOhh you could be self-sufficient here if you just grew fruit and vegetables - why don't you do that?" Why not indeed? I'll tell you why not.
A garden devoid of flowers, of plants grown for their beauty only, of hiding and breeding places for creatures other than me - is a garden with no soul. Surely an inedible perennial poppy has its place as a provider of beuaty and charm that lifts the spirits and soul, just as much as four rows of carrots, or a greenhouse full of tomatoes can cater for the more perfunctory needs of a human.
Twelve years ago it is now since I started here, and it has now reached its balance- there are no pests to speak of (apart from the occasional trampling of the onion bed by a landing Muscovy duck lol), no diseases as such (blight twice only), lots of creatures out there, including a huge number of bees, not just my own.
It's a well-known adage that nature abhors a vacuum, so I let things be; the garden just gets on with it, and I find the least interference from me the better.
So, as a result, I have a very mixed garden - lots of trees, roses, self-seeding annuals, ponds, greenhouses, space for animals, lots of places to sit, and yes, some vegetable beds and the greenhouses - but seen as part of a holistic scheme in the garden, these things have their own innate beauty and dignity too, just as much as a highly prized shrub, or demanding rose bush.
These past few days, it has been absolutely full of birds and insects - the sounds are incredible, I take time to listen and to watch; without them, there would ultimately be no garden at all, so I am happy enough to share my crops with them and welcome them, and appreciate them for the great part they play in my garden - a greater part than any human ever could.
So - what is my garden?
It is my soul space, a haven, a place to sit and think, laugh and cry; a place for friends; a place for close inspection of nature; a place for introspection too; a giver of peace of mind; an exercise in humilty and hard work, appreciation and love.
If you have one, I hope you love your garden as I love mine.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The absolute ultimate in unnecessary gadgets?

I think so, I really do. What's wrong with a pan, a chopping board and a knife??

They'll charge you 140.00 for the privelege too.............


Monday, 19 April 2010

Jackson Browne

Life - some thoughts, not mine...........

Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets. ~Arthur Miller

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it's not the answer. ~Jim Carrey

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on. ~Havelock Ellis

Sometimes our hearts get tangled
And our souls a little off-kilter...
~Sera Christann

Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are good is like expecting the bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian. ~Dennis Wholey

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Ministry of Food exhibition at the IWM

We had a lovely day out yesterday at the Imperial War Museum; met up with a big group from Creative Living forum to go in and visit this special exhibition.One of the members made a great job of organising it all - all we had to do was to turn up! The exhibition itself was excellent; lots of us were saying "I remember those!" and/or "I've got one of those and still use it!"
There were clips of real film playing, including the "Food Flashes", appropriate music, and you were able to get up really close to the exhibits; it was very well put together I thought.
The book to accompany the exhibition got mixed reviews from our lot.By Jane Fearnley- Whittingstall, we felt it lacked a certain something, and could have been so much more. It's a beautifully produced book with lots of information in, but little of it seemed to be new and fresh; lovely illustrations, and we were disappointed too in the small number of actual recipes. I think, however, that with our interest in the Home Front, maybe it's a case of been there, done that and got the proverbial t-shirt. I'm glad that I borrowed it from the library first.
The speical shop to accompany the event yielded a rather nice mug and some Dig For Victory seeds for me; I want to check if they're authentic WW2 varieties; the tomato is one I haven't heard of before.
All in all, a great day out and I can thoroughly recommend a visit.
In fact, I could have moved in, if I didn't possess and use most of the exhibits myself already lol