Thursday, 9 April 2020

A Work in Progress

In my garden there is a neglected south facing border.  For years it has been dominated with unruly shrubs, weeds and an extremely invasive hardy geranium.

 On Monday I started to dig it over.

 And again on Tuesday.

 And again on Wednesday.

I still have lots to do but am forging ahead with the prospect of filling the area with a kitchen garden mixed with flowers.

The camellia tree hung right over the grass and also took out a lot of light. That has had a vigorous prune now.  I  was a bit scared having to climb the ladder but happy that it is done.

It is so satisfying to rake this newly prepared ground over to a fine tilth.   I can't wait to plant it up over the coming weeks!
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Monday, 6 April 2020

Saturday Evening Garden

I took this photo early Saturday evening.  The sun was shining into the camera but I like the hazy effect it gave.  The white narcissi are really striking and appear to glow in the dark. 

Saturday, 4 April 2020

And the People Stayed Home by Kitty O'Meara

I've only just been made aware of this poem written by Kitty O'Meara that has gone viral on social media.  It was inspired by the coronavirus pandemic.

And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.

If this has helped you, pass it on to someone who may need to hear this right now. 

Friday, 3 April 2020

Snakes Head Fritillaries

 I have three of these plants in my garden.  When the petals are closed they resemble a snakes head.

 It fascinates me that nature can produce such a perfect checkerboard design.

They are short lived but a welcome surprise when there is not much else in bloom in the garden.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

In the Kitchen

I have enjoyed being in isolation (due to Covid 19 virus outbreak) during this first week because it has focused my mind.  A lot of my time has been spent in the kitchen. The challenging aspect is to keep coming up with food from the ingredients I already have.  I have made Greek yogurt, mustard mayonnaise from scratch and then I made a coleslaw using up a light spring cabbage, carrots and red onion to which I added my mayo!  I am going to have to find all kinds of creative ways to use up supplies before venturing to the shops.  Today I put together a vegetable soup using up odds and ends from the fridge with some dried red lentils.

There is no time for me to be bored.  I actually think I am on auto pilot and I have been more productive than ever.   I wake up early and am tired by bedtime.  I have been occasionally working out with weights with my son's instruction and have built up some impressive muscles!  By the time all this is over I will emerge from the house like a butterfly free from its cocoon showing off a new and improved version of myself.  I am also getting delusional with this confinement!

Leave a comment here to let me know how you are doing.

Friday, 27 March 2020

Bulbs Blossom and Empanadas

I used the chickpea flour (gram flour) that I previously posted about to make empanadas.  They were filled with a mixture of tinned black beans and fresh chopped mango.  I didn't have the required salsa to put into it so used the last bit of pickle I had left in the jar.  The result was edible but NOT delicious!

Back in the autumn I planted up bulbs of white narcissus.  There are three different varieties and one variety is just starting to bloom.

Plum tree in blossom. Nectar for the bees.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Gingernut Biscuits

I was looking for a recipe that didn't involve using up too many store cupboard ingredients and this one was perfect for it.  The original recipe is from Delia Smith's Book of Cakes.  Here is a photo of my effort above.

4oz self-raising flour (110g)
1 tsp ground ginger
1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 and half oz granulated sugar (40g)
2oz margarine (I used butter) (50g)
2 tablespoons golden syrup (50g)

Preheat oven to gas mark 5 (375F) (190C)

Grease a large baking tray.

Sift flour, ginger, bicarbonate of soda together in a mixing bowl.

Add sugar.  Lightly rub in butter until crumbly.  Add syrup.  Mix it all to a stiff paste.

Divide mixture into sixteen even pieces and roll into balls.

Place on baking sheet leaving plenty of space between.  Flatten slightly.

Bake just above centre on oven for about 15 minutes.  Leave to cool for 10 minutes and then transfer to wire rack.

Store in an airtight tin if they last that long!