Monday, 25 April 2011

Apple blossom

England needs more orchards. They are so beautiful.

I love this time of year, when you can spot fruit trees in hedges and gardens, old orchards behind high hedges, lost fruit trees in full blossom.

Sunday, 17 April 2011


Canker in the Lord Lambourne

We have hacked it back, daubed it with stuff, and are hoping it will survive. It is a particular bummer as it is by far and away our most productive dessert apple, sharp and tangy, nice with cheese, and was full of blossom.

It meant a bonfire, which BT and his mate enjoyed. Amazing how dirty 2 small boys can get with the help of a couple of fields, a few trees and a bit of charcoal. Dirt is a sign of a day well spent...

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Shoots and stuff

I tidied the porch last week, and now it is full of seedlings in a mixture of pots and trays. I get very excited about beans sprouting - such large leaves, pushing through the soil. Cotyledons. I can understand why Jack climbed a beanstalk.

I am not an organised gardener. I always forget to label my seedlings, and have to trust to recognising what they are when they grow big enough. I have runner beans and broad beans and some broccoli, and various herbs.

We still have a box full of chillis in the freezer that I planted in a haze. It was a mixed pack of seeds that would produce chillis of different strengths. It adds a new dimension to things to not quite know what you're getting when you reach for a chilli - every curry has a touch of Russian roulette about it.

We planted lettuces and stuff direct in the vegetable patch. We were restrained in our planting, and aim to succession plant over the next few weeks. This is something we have failed to achieve in the past, so perhaps we are getting marginally more organised.
The first year we grew radishes YM planted the whole packet in one go. There is a limit to the number of radishes you can eat. You reach it quite quickly, we found.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Flowers we saw on our walk

Tiny little wild strawberry flowers

Sunday, 27 March 2011


We dropped down to north Cornwall last weekend, sat on a cliff top and watched seals. At first we saw one or two, bobbing and playing in the pools the tide had left. Then Rainbow noticed some strange, smooth shapes on the patch of sand up under the cliffs. A paisley print of seals, and as soon as we had seen them, we saw more and more and more.
I tried to photograph the seals, but all you can see are tiny dots. So here is the giant we met, along with her pixie brother.

And if you look very carefully you can see the sculpture the pixie made, channelling Goldsworthy...

Monday, 7 March 2011

The moon is a liar

A tiny sliver of moon in the sky tonight, almost flat on its back. On our honeymoon a lovely Italian lady told us "In Italy we say the moon is a liar. When he say crescendo he is diminuendo. When he say diminuendo he is crescendo".

Had a mad weekend in Dublin, came back Sunday morning and had a roast dinner in the pub. The kids went down to one of the neighbours, YM wallowed in Liverpool beating Man U,  and I had an hour of weeding. There's sorrel up in the vegetable patch, the first signs of mint, and I have things to plant. Had some sorrel in my cheese sandwich this lunchtime. Am feeling excited about spring.

Friday, 25 February 2011

The Song of the Snowdrop Fairy - C M Barker

Deep sleeps the Winter,
Cold, wet, and grey;
Surely all the world is dead;
Spring is far away.
Wait! The world shall waken;
It is not dead, for lo,
The Fair Maids of February
Stand in the snow!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Half term

It is just so nice to be off with the kids. YM finished early yesterday and we went to the beach with a rugby ball and a bike. I am determined to get BT riding a bike this year. He is seven for goodness sake. He makes about 50 metres and then falls off with varying degrees of elegance. Much more interested in the rugby ball, but took some convincing that there was more to rugby than just throwing yourself over the try line.

Secret of Kells - Pangur Ban

Secret of Kells - Pangur Ban

We took the children to see this last night. Rainbow is now struggling to recapture this song. The whole thing was just an amazing experience, but there was something very special about this song.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Getting over blehh

Felt blehh. With some justification, if you can ever justify feeling blehh. Hair was wrong. Skin was wrong. Clothes were wrong. Blehh.

Bumped into JB as I roamed the streets looking for a hairdresser I wanted to go and see. She took me round some dark alley behind M&S to meet her perfectly lovely hairdresser, who has done almost nothing to my hair and made an unbelievable difference.

Then she took me to the local department store and sat me in front of the Dior counter...

I have never tried a grown up moisturiser before. I am amazed.

So it has been a very expensive week, but the blehh has gone. For now.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Room by Emma Donoghue

This was my book of the year for 2010. It is the most amazing book. I totally believed in Jack. I loved him. You must read it.

Naming the moon

The first full moon after the winter solstice is the moon after yule.
Then comes the wolf moon
The lenten moon
The moon after the vernal equinox is the egg moon
Milk moon
Flower moon
The moon after summer solstice is the hay moon
Grain moon
Fruit moon
The moon after the autumn equinox is the harvest moon
Hunter's moon
The moon before yule

If a season has 4 full moons, the third is a blue moon