Saturday, 14 April 2012

Wee tea cosy for my friend's teapot :)

Latest dyeing project

This reminds me of bluebells - I dyed it yesterday using a kit from Forestfibres ( who I can thoroughly recommend. 100g of Trekking sock yarn plus three dyes of my choice. I have a hat project in mind rather than socks, will see what I can come up with. It's sitting in front of me looking pretty at the moment lol

Horse racing

Traditionally known as the 'Sport of Kings' the Grand National is now clearly an embarrassment to a nation that prides itself on fair treatment of animals. This is another example of 'tradition' being used to justify behaviour which is no longer acceptable. In this gruelling four and a half mile course, over the last 12 years, 20 horses have died on the day, and many more in the first week after the race.

One might imagine that after the worldwide success of the play and film "War Horse", that it would now be apparent to everyone that these wonderful creatures have feelings and are worthy of respect. But in this 'sport', horses are treated as a commodity. Around 18,000 are bred into the ever-decreasing gene pool of the racing industry each year and evidence shows around 5,000 are raced to death. Just over 7,000 make the grade; the rest are destroyed or cast aside, many ending up in degrading horse markets, on their way to being used as food. During the actual races, the horses who have survived the system are openly beaten for human pleasure. As soon as they stop being money-earners, they are discarded - many destroyed on the spot.

Surely in 2012 this kind of treatment is utterly unacceptable. The industry has become a cruel factory farm for human financial profit.

It is time for Britain to stand up, set an example of decency to the world - and consign this barbaric sport to history.

Brian May CBE

Since I cannot put it better myself...My thanks to Mr May

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Morning garden walk

Am taking a wee break from sowing far too many seeds and pricking out far too many seedlings in the second greenhouse lol  Prior to this, I got back into my habit or a round-the-garden-first-thing-in-the -morning walk, which is lovely; a chance to have a close up and hands on inspection to see how things are. Needless to say with the milder weather and the last few bits ofr ain, everything is popping up all over the place!  Was thrilled to see quite a few flowers on the blueberry, and the mulberry tree leaft buds are on their way, as are the medlar flowers. The quince is looking healthy too it's young lime green leaves just unfurling now, and all the plum family - several plums, greengage, sloes, damson  - are dripping with pretty white blossom still. Imperial fritillaries are nearly over now, and the snakesheads are doing well too; oxlips are over, but the woodruff is just starting to form wee flower buds on its green leaf whorls. The garden is full of birds and birdsong, and the buzzing of bees (mine and wild honey/bumbles and others) and insects; the wee paddock next door is alive with bouncy little calves and their more sedate mothers, not forgetting the big black bull................
All this under a steely grey sky, and still a nip in the air apart from in the direct sun - so I'm glad to be working in the greenhouses today :)

There is lots to harvest too - nettles, dead nettles, Jack-by-the-hedge, the first pickings of ramsons, rhubarb, chives. My garden neer really sleeps, and I am able to pick something green every day of the year.
I'm hoing to turn the third greenhouse - a small octagonal one - into a fruit house - I have my eye on a lemon tree and an orange tree, and have bought a grape vine; I'd like to grow early strawberries in there too,and possibly an paricot, we'll see how the money goes I may move my kiwi in there, but it's looking very happy where it is, so may just leave it. It flowered the last two years, but no fruit, fingers crossed for this year. Outdoor fruit is looking good too, as well as all the trees, a good crop of redcurrants, blackcurrants and gooseberries are all promised, and the raspberries too ofcourse, they seem to be trying to take over Dorset at the moment, but can neer have too many of them.
In the greenhouse, I'm off to sow beans and pot up the last of the globe artichokes, and sort out the pots for the tomatoes. Happy days.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Had to share this

This is a wonderful blog - take a look and be inspired; refreshingly different, bright and very talented lady  - with chickens!  lol

Monday, 9 April 2012

Use it up Monday

Doing weekly shopping on a Tuesday evening, I tend to go through the fridge on a Monday and see if there's anything that 'needs used up'. There isn't always, but if there is, I've found that pasta is the most useful vehicle in these circumstances. Commonly known as 'pasta with bits' in our house lol
This is what we're having tonight. One large packet (5 for supper tonight) of  18p pasta twists will feed 5 comfortably; I cook the pasta first, then divide it up into oven dishes according to who will eat/likes/dislikes the various 'bits' destined for them. Tonight's bits - cooked peas, mushrooms, small piece of toro red pepper, oddments of tapenade, half a tin of chopped tomatoes, small onions, remnants of chicken and pheasant.  Bean is vegetarian, but doesn't like mushrooms; S (bf) doesn't like the tapenade, onions, pepper  and mushrooms; the other three of us like all of it - and everyone got their share of the leftover cooked peas lol.
Sounds complicated, but once the pasta is cooked, divided into three oven dishes - two of one portion each  for Bean and bf, and  the one for the 3 of us in one big dish. Then portion out the bits according to  taste, then when all added, add a splash of cooking wine, give everything a good stir around, top with grated cheese (use up ends and bits from cheese box in fridge as well) and into the oven until hot through and cheese golden and melted, about half an hour while I sit down with a glass of something.
Cheap and easy, using it up - that's what we like :)

If only it were so easy with knitting wool.................   ;)    lol

Highland weekend 1934

Lovely wee film, enjoy :)

Thoreau on Facebook

An excellent and very clever piece of writing here on this blog: