Friday, 16 September 2011

I light a candle..............

........for everyone affected by the mining tragedy in Wales. This one has hit quite close to home for me for a number of reasons , and my heart is breaking for them all, but especially for a friend of mine, a lovely man, who has been affected badly for a number of reasons.
I light this for them all, but especially my friend J, and will keep them all in my thoughts.xx

How fast?

This fast ! lol Just a bit of fun :)

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Hair of the dog

 - and here it is! lol
This is a small combing from a very special dog called Bear, courtesy of a very special friend of mine :)  Bear is an Alaskan Malamute. I have had a small project in mind for a while now, whilst waiting for the arrival of the Bear hair, so watch this space..................................

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Wise words from a wise woman

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone. People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.

Audrey Hepburn

A question of balance

The thrill  of growing and harvesting some of my own food never ever wanes for me - a handful of beans and a couple of sun-ripened tomatoes can put a smile on my face for the promise of a really tasty lunch :)
I like to be able to pick something from the garden every day of the year if I can, and I can usually manage it - just a few fresh herbs in winter can make such a difference to what you are cooking, fresh leeks, salads in summer, the first sweet small vegetables in spring and the bounty that aumtumn brings, ofcourse.
I do make jam, pickles, wine, bottled fruit, dried vegetables etc, but I rarely use the freezer for preserving my own - they are mainly filled with meat and fish, extra bread, etc and ofcourse - frozen peas!! I do enough preserving to tide me over until the same time next year - it's not good for the soul to open your jam cupboard to store away the new season's jam to find 37 jars left from last year!  Ofcourse, it does keep several years, but I like to keep everything well-rotated and ongoing in the storerooms. Chutney ofcourse, improves with age, so I leave them a bit longer sometimes - depends on amounts made and eaten or given away.
I for one wouldn't like to feel I had to eat my way through 47 bags of frozen runner beans in the depths of winter when I could be feasting on leeks and artichokes, winter cabbage and sprouts, fresh dug and vibrant, nutrients and soul intact.
So for me, it's a question of sowing and growing enough to see me through; admittedly this has come with experience, and only you can learn and know how much your own household will sensibly eat/preserve, but it's worth persevering to get it as close as you can. Nothing, absolutely nothing, beats fresh picked and fresh cooked.
It's a busy time out there right now too - all sorts of apples to pick and sort - eating, cider, cooking - hops are to be harvested today in the welcome drying wind, elderberries, beans, tomatoes, rosehips, pears, quinces.......... so much to do to keep on top of it all, but it's rarely seen by me as a chore. What better way to spend an autumn morning under the garden umbrella with a big mug of tea and hop bines to strip at my leisure? Time for reflection and planning, thinking ahead and just taking time out to notice the rapidly changing light, the decline of summer into autumn now very evident all over the garden.
Happy harvesting :)

Sunday, 11 September 2011

A Sunday in September

........... a good day to find the first of the hazelnuts; to harvest quinces; to sit under the garden umbrella and drink scrumpy in the autumn sunshine; plan for sheep; make jam from another abundant helping of Autumn Bliss raspberries; make bullace gin; knit a shawl; dye your hair purple; get the plot dug over for sowing some winter wheat;  watch chicken antics; enjoy the colours of the season; be thankful of the the friendship of  very special people; to look forward not backward.

Older and wilder


Yesterday was my birthday, I'm 50 now. Needless to say I don't feel much different, just a little more determined (if that were possible) to get where I want to be, do what I want to do and be with those I want to do it with.
I feel ready to tackle absolutely anything today, and for the forseeable future - it's all achievable from where I stand right now.
I'm going for it.............................. coffee first though lol