Sunday 24 October 2010


Although I live beside woodland I have never previously been foraging for sweet chestnuts because I was under the mistaken impression that in my locality the nuts were thin, concave affairs of no nutritional value. Then I looked at Gary's blog, 'A Day in the Life' with a lovely post of a walk in the New Forest and the copious amounts of sweet chestnuts that he and his wife had gathered. In recent years I've bought my chestnuts, vacuum packed in France, from the supermarket. Shame on me!

This morning I rectified this by donning thick gardening gloves and rooting about the woodland floor, where I discovered that there is a good fat chestnut to be found  together with several puny specimens inside each, very prickly, casing. Obviously in previous years I have only ever noticed the remains once the squirrels had run away with the pick of the crop. This Christmas our home-grown sprouts will be accompanied by locally grown chestnuts. I love foraging!

My father was the same. Although an active man he wasn't remotely interested in competitive sports. One summer when we were on holiday with friends, he was persuaded to play a round of golf. All went well until he spotted small white shapes on land adjoining the golf course. They were not abandoned golf balls but field mushrooms. He put down his golf club and went mushroom picking, much to the disgust of his friend.

Garage/greenhouse. The story so far....
The mini-digger came and behaved as though it might go completely out of control at any minute. But we did get the foundations dug. (They filled up nicely in the rain the following day!)

We filled the second skip - there didn't seem to be much garage left,

  not to mention my greenhouse!

I went to a birthday party today. It's a lot of fun when there are only four candles on your cake!


  1. I hope you're able to save that stonework. It looks beautiful.

  2. Good on your dad - mushrooming over golf any day I say, but - there again - I don't play golf...

  3. Dear Steve, No stonework is being harmed in this rebuild, only the concrete blocks are under attack!

    Dear Tom, I had a very characterful father, much missed.

  4. Those chestnuts look just like the ones that grew on my grandparents farm...happy memories...
    Your little four year old birthday girl is adorable...great photo!
    Take care, Laura

  5. We lived in a rented Edwardian home on a street lined with chestnut trees and after the winds people came in droves and collected these for roasting...your post takes me back more than 29 years...
    such a sweet looking 4 year old...
    so much easier blowing out 4 candles instead of 55!

  6. Dear Laura, the four year old belongs to my friend but happily I get to share her.
    And Hostess - only 55. I've got a lot more candles than that to blow out!

  7. hi rosemary,

    what a lovely photo of the chestnuts. i love that you no longer have to purchase them. your project seems to be coming along very well also. that must feel good. and what a darling little 4 yr old. my grandaughter stella will be 4 next month and she is a doll too.


  8. Dear Janet, A grandchild, oh, lucky you!