Wednesday 25 November 2020

A short walk

Today is dull and damp, the distance fades into mist and the light level is very low. But yesterday the sun shone briefly and we took a short walk along the top of the wood to make the most of it. Too muddy to struggle through the tracks lower down and the fields are also sodden so it was wellingtons on.

Sunlight transforms everything, it glinted through the trees turning the path to a brilliant green and the dried grasses on the woodland floor shimmered in the light.

Once out of the wood the undergrowth along the footpath is kept clear by the farrier's goats.

We call the small goats 'The Rugs' because their coats are similar to a goat rug that we bought in Portugal many years ago. The large white goat looks as though he has stepped straight out of a folk tale or fairy story. His horns look threatening but he is a friendly creature.

Our neighbour fitted an owl box in the horse chestnut tree and a mirror to see what might be happening inside. Now that the leaves have fallen we can see if anyone has taken up occupancy.

Yes, they have! Oh, what a cheek - it's a squirrel!

Sunday 15 November 2020

Mud and fish

 We've had some torrential downpours over the last few days but this morning didn't look too bad so we put on our wellington boots and walked across the fields. We hadn't walked here for several months because the sweetcorn crop had grown high and if the leaves were at all damp they gave you a thorough soaking. But now the fields have been cleared.

It wasn't a wise decision. It was treacherous underfoot and you can guess who tripped over a corn stalk, wearing her clean jacket and jeans, and fell in the mud!

We came back by the lake and, while I was not at all happy with my muddy state, one of the fishermen was absolutely delighted with his day!

It's the biggest one in the lake," he told us.

Cameras out to record the catch.

Rather an ugly brute in my opinion.

I had another ugly brute to deal with when I got home. One of the large squash had developed a soft spot and if I didn't cut it up and freeze the healthy flesh I would quickly lose it all.

 Now it has been chopped into cubes and bagged in the freezer.
I am in awe of nature - just one seed can produce all this!

Wednesday 11 November 2020

November lockdown

Rain and stiff bones have kept me out of the garden and when I walk out there now I can see how much there is to do. It's a mess, with fallen leaves and rotting vegetation that needs to be cleared away.


In amongst the chaos there are still some splashes of colour to enjoy.

In the veg garden the chard is putting on a good display - it's a pity that Himself is not too keen on eating the stuff! 

I'm still cropping a few mange tout and  the winter veg, leeks, sprouts and cabbage are all coming on stream.

Another flush of blossom on my climbing 'Iceberg' rose.

What a delight!

In the kitchen I'm still using the lemons. This is a favourite recipe.


Shortcrust pastry to line a flan case.

Cream 2 oz margarine with 4 oz sugar until light.

Add 4 oz cottage cheese,  1 oz flour, one egg yolk and the grated rind and juice of one lemon.

Whisk the white of egg until stiff and add to the mixture.

Spread into the pastry case and bake gas mark 6 for about half an hour.


Thursday 5 November 2020

Morning walk.

 I woke to sunshine slanting through a morning mist. We had been threatened with an overnight frost but a clear blue sky meant a good day ahead and I walked to the lake in the hopes of catching some ethereal photos. I had obviously spent too long in bed because the sun had already burnt much of the mist away!

I can't complain about being in lockdown when I live in surroundings as beautiful as these.

Monday 2 November 2020

Lemon curd

My Meyer lemon bush is very prolific and today I picked a good dozen or so of the ripened fruit to give the  remaining green ones more chance to develop.

So many of the flowers have set that I was expecting to have a drop  of immature fruit at some point. It hasn't  happened and now some of the leaves are yellowing and showing signs of stress. Should I thin out some of the fruit? I've fed the bush but it still looks rather stricken.

Any advice from Blogland? I would be happy to have it!

It is a wet and windy and altogether miserable day and the best place to be is in the warmth of the kitchen.

Six ripe lemons makes three pots of lemon curd.


6oz butter, melted

6 lemons, zest and juice

12 oz sugar

6 eggs.

Melt butter in a bowl set over a container of simmering water. Add the lemon zest and juice, then the sugar and finally the well-beaten eggs. Continue to stir constantly until the mixture thickens then remove from the heat and pour into jars.


Sunday 1 November 2020

Were you spooked?

 In previous years children in the village have busied themselves making some gloriously messy, slimy substance. They carried it from house to house in a bucket at Halloween and when they knocked on your door if you couldn't provide a 'treat'  then you had to put your hand into their gooey 'trick'. I always made sure that I had some sweets at the ready, but I think that they would actually have been happier if I had not. This year is quite a different matter as children were asked not to do any trick or treating in case they spread disease to different households. The fact is that we are all sufficiently spooked as it is. I lit my little squash. It was a very quiet night.