Showing posts from August, 2013

rambling on . . . what makes a house a home . . . friday flowers . . . four favourite photos . . .

Well, the kitchen is almost finished.  The walls and ceiling painted, Sunflower yellow – sounds a bit bright doesn’t it, but the colour is more like banana – a soft yellow.  Pale green blinds have been fitted which give a coolish light when they are pulled down.  The overall effect though is cheerful and warm.  But it is the little things that have been introduced back into the kitchen that make it more homely.  For me, I think it is the pictures on the walls that are the finishing touch.  Take all the pictures away and it could be anyone’s home – bland and featureless.When I first took up watercolour painting many years ago – this was one of my first attempts.  I had it framed as a souvenir of the early days.  I think I copied it from a jam advert in a magazine – well, we all have to start somewhere.There are so many flowers to choose from in the cutting patch at the moment – for the Friday flowers I picked Cosmos, Zinnia and Tithonia and Rudbeckia they were placed on the table in th…

Rambling on . . . Love at first sight . . .

I happened to go past the best shoe shop in town.

I happened to notice they had a SALE on.

I happened to spot a pair of suede fuschia-coloured 'flats'.

I happened to fall in love.

They happened to fit beautifully.

Cinderella - you shall go to the ball.

They are called LATOYA.

LATOYA and I are going to be very happy together.

Rambling on . . . why is nothing ever simple . . .

For two years I have been patiently waiting for a new freezer – the seals had gone on the old one – it was like Antarctica inside.  But could we find a new freezer with the same dimensions to fit neatly into its allotted space.  No we couldn’t.    This is where it gets complicated.  The cupboard above it had to be lifted.  The work-surface at the side had to be shortened, the side panel removed and new edging applied.  All this revealed  spaces on the walls that needed re-painting.  And I checked with the Council and they want to charge £30 to take the old freezer away (it used to be a free service).  The final insult.  Oh and I forgot to mention that whilst I was stepping down from the work-surface (in order to reach the top of the cupboard) the stool that I was gingerly stepping on to, toppled over, and I went crashing to the ground, slamming my back against the cupboard on the opposite wall.  I now have a beautiful knob-shaped bruise on my rib cage which hurts when I try to lay on …

fickle fruit trees . four favourite fotos . friday flowers .

I have several fruit trees dotted around the garden and at the plot – some have plenty of fruit on them, some are completely fruitless – unlike last year when I didn’t have any fruit at all due to the late frosts.  The Bramley and James Grieve are loaded but three other apple trees are bare including my huge Golden Delicious tree – I can never fathom out why this happens. The same goes for the plum trees.  I have a big old Victoria plum at the plot which is dripping with fruit, but the one in the garden is empty.  I have Damsons this year but no Greengages. I find it all very strange, why can’t all the trees  just do what they are supposed to do.Bramleys – I can taste the apple crumble already. James Grieve - the smell of them is almost as good as the taste.  Unfortunately they don’t keep but all my neighbours will benefit as I put on my Lady Bountiful hat and deliver bags full to all and sundry – whether they want them or not – the rest will be put through the juicer or eaten strai…

a stately visit . friday flowers and four favourite photos of the week.

On Thursday afternoon I went with a couple of friends on a visit to Cottesbrooke Hall just over the border in Northamptonshire.  It is a very grand house built in 1702 in the Queen Anne style and reputed to be the inspiration for Jane Austens Mansfield Park.  At the front of the house the Park style has long vistas and beautiful views, but  the surrounding gardens are  smaller and more intimate.  There was something indefinable about the crumbling brickwork and overgrown planting that I found really pleasing.  The gardens have been restored in the Italian Renaissance style, various garden designers have been called in and their work is stunning.The kiss of the sun for pardonThe song of the sun for mirthOne is nearer God’s heart in a gardenThan anywhere else on earthAugust isn’t really the best time to visit gardens, as everything is starting to go over, but there are still some interesting plants to be found.These Monarda were stunning – and I have to say that this was a very bee-frie…

rural rides – take a little trip with me

The nearest village to us is Laughton – a sleepy hamlet with  only a few cottages and a church.  The walls surrounding the church are made of wattle and daub and they have been thatched to protect against weather.  All the holes you can see are from Miner Bees.  Even the old animal stabling is thatched.From Laughton we cross the Gumley Hills where a farmer keeps a suckling herd of cows, which means the the cows are allowed to keep their calves to suckle rather than being separated after a few days.  They roam the hills, refuse to get off the road when you are trying to pass, and look lazily at you as if to say ‘I was here first – go round me.’This little chap hasn’t long been born – you can still see his umbilical cord hanging below.At Gumley Hall the old stable block, which I visited many years ago, housed the squire’s hunters.  I met Lancelot, the biggest horse I have ever seen – I felt dwarfed at the side of him.  Sadly the squire and his wife both committed suicide (not at the sam…