Saturday 30 April 2011

Bit of a Do, part two.

The good thing about living in a very small community is that, with a bit of a squeeze, we can just about all fit into one largish room for general celebrations.
That's precisely what we did last night, thanks to hard work on the part of our hosts, who transformed a room, placing old doors on trestles, covering them with white tablecloths and lighting the space with candles. We all sat down and ate in style, shoulder to shoulder, like characters from a Thomas Hardy novel.

Before the sit down we gathered in the garden, and now you can see the wisteria that hangs over the wall above the village letterbox in all its magnificence.

Equally splendid is the handkerchief tree

and a proper swing, big enough for grownups.

I want one!

Friday 29 April 2011

Thursday 28 April 2011

Wedding Fever

Flags and bunting are fluttering all over the place; the country is going down with wedding fever! Even I have succumbed and bought some Union Jack paper serviettes (from Lidl. Hey, big spender.) 
For most women I'm sure that the main area of interest is THE DRESS.
I confidently predict that it will not be a meringue but something sleek, heavy satin perhaps, with a long train, and Kate will look as elegant as a Singer Sargent portrait.

My wedding dress, which is well on its way to being half a century old, is made of cotton broderie anglais. I bought it in John Lewis for the princely sum of £25.

We had our wedding reception and dance in this castle, which was very tumbledown at the time, but wonderful.

On Friday night the village is going to have a party.
 What shall I wear?

'Terrier', woodcarving, Peter Murphy.

Along with the sale of flags and bunting there are some very good offers on bottles of champagne -which I bought. 
I think that we are going to have a lot of fun!

Tuesday 26 April 2011


Here is a vase of tree peonies for flwrjane's  Flowers in the House

and a different variety in the garden.

The border peonies are still in bud, while in the greenhouse the auriculas continue to delight me.

A neighbour has a beautiful display of wisteria

hanging over the wall above the village post box.

But my wisteria hasn't produced a single bloom!

Sunday 24 April 2011


I have a motley collection of Easter decorations, but my favourite by far is this abandoned wren's nest, so carefully made, with moss and pieces of polystyrene on the outer layer and what looks like long strands of my own hair forming the soft inner layer!

African beaded bird

enamel Easter gift containers

When our daughters were young we kept Khaki Campbell ducks. They were delightful creatures and very good layers

 but preferred to lay their eggs anywhere rather than in their nesting box.

I made some buns with the eggs from Kim and Andy 

and assembled a favourite chocolate recipe.

Some neighbours came round for afternoon tea and I intended to toast hot cross buns. The tradition of sharing of these buns is considered a statement of friendship.

"Half for you and half for me
Between us two shall goodwill be."

But Doc has recently given me a new mantra. He gave me the quote, "Life is uncertain, eat dessert first." 

We sat in the garden and drank cava and ate cakes and I forgot all about the hot cross buns!

Friday 22 April 2011

Such a Good Friday.

Another warm, sunny day - no need for our wellington boots, they can stay on the rack. 
After breakfast we go for a walk in the woods. It is the perfect place to be, there is just a light canopy of unfolding leaves, not dense enough as yet to suppress the riot of flowers underfoot. The birdsong is wonderful, as is the delicate scent of the bluebells.

There are bluebells in the garden

and camassia.
When we get back from our walk there are presents from neighbours, some chocolate eggs from Elaine with the return of a plate

and half a dozen eggs from Kim and Andy from their rescue hens, such a good size that they will hardly fit into our eggcups!

Then it's to work on the veg plot. Luckily it is a private garden so I can wear whatever I like. Such glorious weather today that I'm in bikini top, scare the horses shorts, Dad's old socks and ancient fell boots.
Happy woman!


I wear my Dad's socks when I walk
or work upon the garden plot.
They're woollen warm,
long up the leg in old man colours,
greys and lovatt green.
We walked together all my life
in step
on good days and on bad.
I'll take such comfort as I can
and wear my Dad's socks when I walk.

The trees and hedgerows are so full of blossom that they resemble a Helen Allingham painting.

'Garden in Spring' by Helen Allingham
 (1848 - 1926)

She is famous for painting idealised 'picturesque' country scenes at a time when the reality of living in a small house in the country was generally rather grim. 

The vegetable patch, with plants and seeds securely netted against marauding pigeons.

It's been a wonderful day.

Wishing you a very Happy Easter