Wednesday 30 January 2019


It's a miserable time of year for me, I'm not a cold weather person. The best place to be throughout these winter months is in the warmth of the kitchen preparing (and eating!) comfort food. I'm working my way through the squash that was harvested in the autumn. After such a warm summer my crop was good, with enormous squash with hard skins that aid their storing. It's quite a tussle to cut into them. Himself  came to my aid with a big knife and a lot of muscle power.
There is a huge amount of flesh to be got from one large squash, not to mention a whole lot of seeds. I'm saving the seeds for the local swap on March 9th. The flesh I've chopped into small cubes and put in bags in the freezer. It's handy to pull out a bag all ready to use as the basis of a variety of meals and soups. 
A favourite recipe is a vegetable traybake with halloumi cheese.
Put cubes of peeled raw beetroot, squash and red onion and red pepper strips into a roasting tin,  drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and herbs and bake for half an hour or so. Add lots of peeled garlic cloves, cherry tomatoes and cooked chick peas and roast for another twenty minutes.
Put thin slices of the cheese on top of the veg and grill until the cheese melts and starts to brown. Sprinkle with fresh basil leaves and serve.
While penetrating the skin of the squash was a battle, some of my citrus have split open of their own accord before the fruit has ripened. I don't know why. Perhaps the tree needs more water, but I'm loathe to use too much in the winter, especially in these frosty conditions.
Hope you are all keeping warm and well.

Friday 11 January 2019


This week I've been skywatching through the horse chestnut tree that borders our entranceway. The tree is old and unhealthy and in windy weather we've had a few limbs come crashing down. It's no longer a safe place to park a car! The tree roots have also buckled the drive so that whenever our younger daughter visits she scrapes the undercarriage of her car, which must be lower-slung than ours. There was quite a noise going on outside this week and I went to see what was happening.
Men at work!
Two men had come from the council to make the tree safe. They had chosen a good day for the job, the weather was dry and bright with no wind. The elder of the two men stayed firmly on the ground while the younger strolled about the high branches with his chainsaw with great agility looking perfectly at home. Rather him than me!
Joining other skywatchers at Skywatch Friday.

Friday 4 January 2019

Skywatch Friday 2019

I took the decorations down from the tree today and packed them into boxes ready to store in the attic. It takes a little readjusting to the rooms, stripped of dangling hearts and fairy lights they look rather plain. And how quiet it seems now that the family has gone! But the year is starting well, weatherwise. (I'm not talking about the state of the country.) We seem to have left the murky dampness in 2018 and the weather is crisp with a light frost in the morning and occasional patches of sunshine throughout the day. We took a short walk before sunset, just up the road a little to stretch our legs. The days are so short that the sun was disappearing and the temperature dropping sharply by the time we got home. This is the time of year when its good just to hunker down!
Sharing my sky with Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday 2 January 2019

The Christmas holiday

After years of just being grownups it was wonderful to share the Christmas holiday with a small child, our grandson. He was with us last year but was too young then to know what was going on. This year, at one and a half, he was able to understand what it was all about; ripping paper, finding presents, eating chocolate, fun and laughter. Yea!
(Look, Gary, there is still a bit of space left for our tree to grow before it hits the ceiling!)
Christmas Eve meant some patient waiting.
And on Christmas day it was very entertaining to find granddad impersonating an elf!
Where's the best place to buy a really silly Christmas jumper? Himself had wanted to know.
Try Asda, I suggested. And I was right. It would be hard to find a jumper much sillier than this. It even has legs- with bells on! 
On Boxing Day we visited friends and had a good old bash on their drum kit.

(Himself still dressed as an elf!)

New Year's Eve it was an adults only affair and we joined friends from the village to welcome in 2019.

Strange decorations
And blimey, the music gets louder every year. 
Or am I just getting older?!
Wishing you health and happiness
throughout 2019.