Monday, 15 December 2014

Visible Monday

A necklace of some description is always my favourite accessary. This one, a cast of Ariadne, made by Himself, is light and easy to wear. The weather is cold, so I'm layering a a comfortable pin-striped linen dress from Toast over a cotton t-shirt.
The dress has generous pockets, which I always appreciate - but, my, how that linen creases! Cropped grey leggings underneath and now that I'm tucked in for the evening I've swapped my footwear for some grey suede ballet flats.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Gluten free cake

A good few years ago we brought home a small orange tree from a holiday in Majorca. It produces half a dozen or so large, sweet fruits each year. Family will be home for Christmas and a couple of them eat gluten free. I know that my oranges are free of any sprays and chemicals and therefore just the thing for a recipe that uses the whole fruit, both flesh and skin.

Fig and orange cake

2 oranges         
6 eggs
225 ground almonds
225 castor sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 figs

Preheat your oven to gas mark 5
Place oranges in a pan of boiling water, cover and simmer for about an hour until soft. Pick out any seeds then puree.
Whisk eggs and fold in all the other ingredients excepting the figs which are for decoration. You will have a very loose mix. 
Place in a greased and papered loose bottom  20cm tin.  Decorate the surface with sliced figs and bake for an hour until firm and a good golden colour. Leave to cool in the tin.
I should have kept mine in the oven for another five minutes because the centre dropped a little as it cooled.  Glaze the cake once it is cold. I used a fig liqueur simmered with a spoonful of redcurrant jelly but the recipe in my book suggests using campari. (I photographed before putting on the glaze - the cake is now VERY shiny, so I don't think that a glaze is really necessary.)
The cake is in the freezer for now. We shall eat it either on it's own or with a dollop of fig ice-cream.

Friday, 12 December 2014


Some mornings
are simply
Seen from our bedroom window for Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Sorted. (I hope!)

After years of no trouble whatsoever three times this year we have had our boundary wall knocked into and damaged by trailers and horse boxes reversing to negotiate the stable driveway.
No sooner had the wall been patched than along came someone else to take another chunk out of it!
Doc read my grumbling posts and suggested that I contact the council and put in a request to have some bollards fixed.  This afternoon a flashing light brought me out of doors.
 Men at work!
Thank you, Doc. That's the problem sorted - I hope!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Reclaiming the streets

Every first Sunday in the month the town of Frome closes its main roads to traffic and sets up stalls where local artisans can sell their wares. There's always a great atmosphere, and today, with the stalls full of Christmas goods, it was especially so. Various choirs and groups of carol singers entertained,
the three kings wandered about the market place
and street vendors were dressed in seasonal colours.
This shopper had decorated her hat with a strand of holly.
What a lovely outfit for a winter's day!

The town was packed.

The shops were open, their window displays tempting people inside.

Frome is famous for vintage - formerly known as 'second hand'! You never know what you might find.
Ah, just what I was looking for, some lovely old crepe paper streamers!

But it's vintage fashion that attracts shoppers to the town. I wanted to buy a waistcoat for Himself but I couldn't find a suitable one today.

Never mind, it's interesting just to look.

And it gives me a reason to come again another day!

Friday, 5 December 2014

Friday Skywatch

After days of dull, murky weather it is a real pleasure when the sky clears and the light level lifts, in company with my spirits. I couldn't stay inside, I had to pull on my boots, coat and hat and walk over to the lake  to capture the setting sun for Friday Skywatch.

But it's cold out and muddy underfoot. Walks are short and there are plenty of excuses for staying inside. Yesterday I made a supply of mincemeat for Christmas. It's a fat-free recipe that uses our stored apples and home-made juice. (I won't mention the butter that's in the pastry for the mince pies!)  The recipe below makes about five jars.


8oz soft dark sugar melted with
200ml apple or orange juice. When sugar is dissolved add
2lbs finely chopped apple
1 teaspoon spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
8oz raisins
8oz currants
2oz chopped glace cherries
2oz slivered or flaked almonds
grated rind and juice of one lemon.  
Bring to the boil and then simmer for about half an hour until you have a a soft mash. Put into sterilised jars while it's still hot. It will keep in a cool place for a couple of months, although if previous Christmases are anything to go by my supply will have disappeared before the family leave at the end of the holiday!
Friends were round this morning so we ate a few to check if they were up to scratch.
The days are short. Tonight the full moon was in the sky by 4 o'clock.
Good, it leaves a pleasantly long evening to read by the fire.
I've not long finished,  'At Mrs Lippincote's'. What a joy! It stayed in my head for days while I reassessed the story in the light of information given at the end of the book. The characters projected forward beyond the book and I worried for them and wished them well. I am a great admirer of Elizabeth Taylor's writing, both her novels and her short stories. Her work doesn't seem to get much attention and some may think them period pieces in which nothing much happens. True, nothing much happens, but devastatingly well!
 I've since read a much publicised and praised book, 'The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry'. What a leaden and predictable piece of writing that was by comparison and yet it has been on everyone's lips. So often a much hyped book fails to live up to it's reputation. Never mind, I've still got a few more Taylor books that I've yet to read!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Some days

it isn't possible to see much!