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Showing posts from August, 2013

Pudding rules!

I feel a crumble coming on - recipe to follow!  I have been blackberrying again and found the most amazing berries I have ever seen.
Tilly and I walked a different path today and found ourselves alongside the East Coast train line.  I had a Railway Children moment when the express train from London belted past at a hundred miles an hour.  I was tempted to wave to the passengers heading for Edinburgh.  The train also brought to mind that wonderful poem by Robert Louis Stevenson 'From a Railway Carriage' 
'Faster than fairies, faster than witches Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches And charging along like troops in a battle All through the meadows the horses and cattle All of the sights of the hill and the plain Fly as thick as driving rain And ever again, in the wink of an eye Painted stations whistle by.'
Here's the second verse written out in my mother's childish hand.  It was copied into her elocution book some time in the mid 1920s.  
I have always been able to visu…


I don't know what it is about walking on a beach that always seems to generate lots of pensive thoughts.  The constancy of the waves is probably something to do with it.  They are always there, coming and going, large or small.  Running in and out.  

One thought that always occurs to me, when I am on the beach, is that if I was to follow that massive body of water in front of me all the way round the world, in one continuous line,
I would end up here, just down the road from my Melbourne boy.
It's always a comforting thought, if not a little melancholy.

In a turbulent world

I am not being flippant but in a turbulent world it is always very reassuring when the village flower and vegetable show comes along again.  I can't believe it's a year since I chatted about last year's event, and with the preoccupations we must all surely have concerning Syria, I think we need these constant reminders that, come hell or high water, flowers will always bloom, vegetables will always grow and it is very important to have the best dahlia or the most gigantic leek.

Every fruit and veg show has to have a lady in a big hat, and here she is.
She was handing out the silverware to the prizewinners.  I rather suspect one village gentleman must have a very large mantelpiece or corner cabinet because he was the sole exhibitor in a few categories and must have staggered away from the proceedings with a considerable haul!
Only one in five of us uses leaf tea these days.  That statistic includes our household.  We don't hold with tea bags, unless it's a fruity one! …


I have just taken a stroll down the drive to pick some blackberries.  It was peaceful in the wood, just some whirring of pigeon wings and the mewing of a couple of buzzards overhead.  The sun was lovely and warm on my back, its strength beginning to lessen now.  The mists from earlier this morning had receded back to the sea and the sky was a soft periwinkle blue.  

I picked a few berries and looked up to see a young deer looking back at me.  The poor thing took fright, of course.  I wish I could explain to these elegant creatures that I mean them no harm. Nothing could be further from the truth.  I do say so out loud but they are always long gone by the time the words leave my mouth, bounding through the woods, out of harm's way.

I picked a generous punnet of juicy berries which are now in a cake baking in the oven.  There's plenty more fruit to come and I daresay a blackberry and apple crumble will be on offer over the next week or so.  I love these seasonal treats.

A lovely little something

There was a triangular area of long grass in our childhood garden, which also had lupins growing randomly throughout this rather wild area.  Whenever I see a drop of rain sitting at the point where the leaflets join together at the base of the lupin's palmate leaf, shining like a drop of silver, I think back to time spent sitting amongst the grasses and plants in that part of the garden. 

Happy days!

Vivacious Vivaldi

So, did you watch the Four Seasons Prom last night?  I was glued to the television from start to finish.  
The concert did not disappoint.  How could it?  I knew what it was going to sound like from hearing the radio transmission of the live performance, but to see it was just wonderful.  I have never sat through a whole televised prom before.  The musicians sit and play and it's all lovely but I fidget a lot and because I am at home I can get up and do something else at the same time.  There is not the extra dimension to keep me sitting on the edge of my seat as there was last night.
Nigel Kennedy's production was very different.  It was visual as well as wonderful to hear. 
The young Palestinian players, especially his 15 year old protege Mostafa Saad, were inspiring, especially when you consider the conditions under which they are trying to learn and develop their talent as serious musicians.  It's not something you can imagine is easily achieved alongside every day life i…

The Fringe's final fling

We've had a very good day out in Edinburgh, catching the tail end of the Fringe Festival craziness on the Royal Mile.
Although they've been at it for three weeks or so now, there was still an amazing amount of energy being exerted by troupes of actors, flamboyant individuals and bands of undergraduates from all over the place.  Mostly young things eager to entertain and be different.  The Royal Mile offers us free entertainment as well as a platform to performers to show snippets from some of the 2,700 shows which have been on offer over the past weeks. No wonder the place is jumping!

Here we have a lively group dancing away to the tunes of the 1940s.  They were loving every minute and so was the crowd.
Brave individuals invite the hoards to witness their antics.  Some despair as laughter is a bit on the thin side, others get a healthy reception.  But that's the Fringe for you.  Zillions of acts, some are dire, others are brilliant, most are somewhere in between.
Tools of the …