Monday 15 August 2016

Amgueddfa Werin Cymru

Family came for the weekend, Gill bringing this lovely bouquet of flowers, the lilies now scenting the dining room.
On Sunday we traveled to Wales to visit the grave of my mother-in-law at her childhood home in a peaceful, green valley that was looking very beautiful on such a gentle summer's day. From there we went to look around the Museum of Welsh life where buildings from all over Wales have been rebuilt to show the history of the country. This row of cottages was built for iron workers in 1800 and the interiors have been furnished from that date, moving forwards in each dwelling up to the 1960's.

Great pains are taken to make both house and garden authentic to each period.
 This is the interior of a wooden shed that has been built in one of the front gardens.
 And there was a one-seater 'privvy'
 complete with squares of newspaper hanging from a nail at the back of the door!
The band was playing as we looked around. What would be for sale in the Gwalia stores?
 Just about any and everything, so it seems!

 With storage for more stock upstairs.
Many of the firm names were familiar to me and some of them are still going strong. Other smaller shops were dotted about the museum.

 And a blacksmith was hard at work in the smithy.
 The information relating to specific houses was fascinating, with a map to show the original site of each building.

Here is the sturdy little pig pen and yard sited in front of the house
 and a simple and attractive small flowerbed.
 I like the pattern of bent sticks, an idea that I shall use.
 The 'police' threatened to put me in handcuffs. (They didn't because they were unsure as to whether they would get them to open again.) Was I being arrested for not being Welsh or for filching ideas? They were re-enactors in '40's outfits. Note my sensible shoes. We did a great deal of walking but there was still far more that we did not manage to see.

Friday 12 August 2016

Pesto alla Genovese

 Things are growing well and it's great to wander into the garden and have a good choice of fresh produce to pick. I grow basil undercover in pots and now's the time to pull up some garlic and make pesto. It's a lovely, easy task. Just strip 2oz of basil leaves from their stalks and blend together with a clove or two of garlic, a tablespoon of pine nuts, six tablespoons of olive oil and an oz or so of grated parmesan.
 Add a pinch of salt and blend into a paste. It's the most beautiful colour. (And I'll bet you won't be able to resist licking the spoon once you've piled the pesto into the jars!)
 It makes enough sauce for three to four people. Add a sprinkling of parmesan to garnish the pasta. Mmm...

Saturday 6 August 2016


Lovely weather but I'm still taking the antibiotics to ward off Lyme disease and instructions say not to expose my skin to sunshine so it's an unaccustomed cover-up for me before I go out for a wander round the garden.
 Everything looks so much better under a warm, blue sky!
 At this time of year the colour pink seems to predominate.

 I'm very pleased with the new garden arch.

 Virtually all my roses have finished blooming.
In the veg garden I peer under the leaves to see what's growing. 
Some promising looking squash!

 The sweetcorn have yet to ripen.
 The leaves make a wonderful noise in the wind. It reminds me of the opening sequence in 'Onibaba'!

 I've treated myself to a new orchid. Who can resist when it only costs £4.50? I remember when they were a very exotic and expensive purchase.
 We had a delivery of logs this week and it prompted us to sweep the chimney of the woodturner in our sitting room. Everything was well sheeted. (Small nails are permenantly fixed to the picture rail and above the alcoves for hanging decorations and, in this case, dust sheets.) Himself said that there wouldn't be any dust. Haa ha! Every one of those little objects had to be taken down and washed. One of the downsides of being a collector of 'stuff'!
I hope that it's not too hot, nor too cold for you, dear bloggers, and that you are enjoying a comfortable and happy weekend.

Wednesday 3 August 2016

Rain and shine

When we got home we set to work to make our own scarecrow, making use of an old shirt with a very frayed collar, garden gloves with holes and an empty yogurt pot for a head. It has the pigeons confused!
 I catch glimpses of him from different parts of the garden.
But now he's looking rather forlorn after two days of solid rain.

 It beats me why people in Blighty complain about hot weather because it never lasts for more than a few days. On those rare times when it's warm and dry we like to eat out here under the shade of the walnut tree.
 But it isn't weather for sitting about so instead path edges have been trimmed,
a 'gothic' arch erected to give the  everlasting sweet peas something to ramble up,
 and a new crop cage put over the brassicas to keep them from being eaten.
 The courgettes are romping away. Today's lunch dealt with a few. Halved and parboiled, then the flesh scooped out and mixed with plenty of cheese, garlic, mixed herbs and some breadcrumbs and baked in the oven.