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Showing posts from January, 2014

rain rain go away ...

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Top row: tulips, twigs and sunsetMiddle row: hellebore, tulips and a walk by the canalBottom row: sunrise, pen and ink drawing, tulipsI am sure I am not the only one fed up with the rain, it has been non-stop for the past week, interminable, constant rain.  Depressing, yes!  Scurrying in and out to fetch logs, feed the birds, put out the re-cycling.  I know, I know ~ we should celebrate the weather whatever it throws at us, but I'm afraid I can't.  I have occupied myself with reading orgies and a little pen and ink sketching, cooking, cleaning, de-cluttering, but cabin fever is setting in.I am quite happy to see the back of January - it was rubbish.

bookworm ~ a year of books ...

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What more pleasant pastime is there on a winters' afternoon, when it is cold, grey and raining, than to light the fire, make yourself a steaming mug of tea, snuggle yourself into your favourite armchair and read a book.Laura at A Circle of Pines is featuring 'A Year of Books' on her blog which I shall be linking this post to.  When there is plenty to do out of doors in the summer months  I read maybe a couple of books a month, but during the winter I get through at least one a week ~ so far this year I have read seven.  One or two are books I have read previously from my own shelves, others were Christmas gifts ~ I move from fiction to factual, dependant on my mood and often have three on the go at any one time.  I love to lose myself in the world of someone else's imagination, and if it is beautifully written with exquisite descriptions, so much the better.My first choice at the beginning of the year was The Sea Sisters by Lucy ClarkeTwo sisters, one life-changing jou…

living.simply.

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as.you.can.see.my.computer.is.broken.so.I.will.be.out.of.action.till.it.is.repaired.or.replaced.hope.you.enjoy.the.video.a.remarkable.woman.

a year in the life of a kale plant …

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One vegetable that I always include in the veg patch is Kale. At first, many years ago, I only grew it to feed my goats and hens but gradually realised that I could eat it too. Now, apparently, it is regarded as a super-food with celebrity endorsement from Gwyneth Paltrow, and it even has its own website discoverkale.co.uk Who knew! April seedlingIt is an invaluable veg for use during the hungry-gap between January and March when there is little else to eat in the garden – then towards the end of March it bolts and flowers, ready to produce seed for next year’s crop. But before then you can pick plenty of leaves for meals right through the year. Fully grown - July  These plants withstand everything the weather can throw at them and survives frost (which makes it taste all the sweeter) and being covered in snow, coming out unscathed. The only downside is that, like all members of the brassica family, it attracts pests, namely white fly and cabbage white butterflies, although they do…

the new growing season …

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“No finical separation between flower and kitchen garden there; no monotony of enjoyment for one sense to the exclusion of another; but a charming paradisical mingling of all that was pleasant to the eye and good for food.  The rich flower border running along every walk, with its endless succession of spring flowers, anemones, auriculas, wallflowers, sweet williams, campanulas, snapdragons and tiger lilies, had its taller beauties, such as moss and Provence roses, varied with espalier apple trees; the crimson of a carnation was carried out in the lurking crimson of the neighbouring strawberry beds; you gathered a moss rose one moment and a bunch of carrots the next; you were in a delicious fluctuation between the scent of jasmine and the juice of gooseberries.” (George Eliot – Scenes of Clerical Life 1858).
Yes, in only a few weeks time the growing season will begin again.  Out will come the pots and trays, the greenhouse swept clean and seed packets ruminated over, checking that ev…

the winter garden

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“In winter the sun sinks to its lowest point in the sky and pinpoints everything with a sharp clarity lacking at other times of the year.  As it slants through bare branches it exaggerates every twist and turn, picks up textures on paths, trunks and buildings and deepens the winter palette of olive greens, tomato reds and faded browns, black and beiges.  I see this stripping away as the gardening equivalent of the life laundry ~ less clutter and less summer froth define what your garden is about, or should be about, giving you the chance for some quiet reflection.”  Val Bourne I miss being out in the gardentoo much rain too much windand sometimes frostbut sometimes the sun comes out and shows up the seed heads left for the birdsand the sheep in the fieldsenjoy the sun on their backseven if only for a little while and the primroses flowerwhatever the weather

just my luck …

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Woke up on Friday morning with a sore throat. Uh-oh!  Woke up Saturday morning with a  stinking headache and bathed in sweat. Uh-oh! From then on it was downhill all the way. I haven’t had a bad cold for several years and thought myself lucky ~ now I am paying for it. I blame this mild winter. Not cold enough to kill all the germs that are lurking. My bedside table looks like a chemist shop. I hate being ill. Hopefully next time I post I should be over the worst. Fingers crossed.Did I mention that I hate being ill!‘Til next time – Mrs. Grumpy.

perhaps the best way to start the year …

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Wrapped up warmly and walking in the freezing cold on the storm-battered coastwith sunshine and blue skies going back to the inn, log fires and totally scrumptious food – what better way to start the year.I was so relaxed when we arrived home I slept and slept and slept   unravelling from my pre-Christmas state.Back to normality.Christmas packed away for another year.The house cleaned and surfaces cleared of festive clutter.That’s more like it.Perfect.