Sunday, 29 September 2013

Rambling on . . . Busy doing nothing . . .

The wanderer returns.

What have I been doing for the past week – absolutely nothing – well almost.

Leisurely breakfasts. Afternoon siestas. Lots of reading.  Lots of sleep – much needed sleep.  We ambled and strolled through the days – ate some fine meals and drank good ale and enjoyed the late summer sunshine.  Nearly every day was sunny and bright with just an autumnal breeze.  No coats were worn, no waterproofs needed – perfect.

 SDC18781  Favourite meal of the week - Sea Bass with samphire, chorizo, caramelised onions and lobster sauce.

SDC18782  Children in swimwear going for a paddle in the creek (who’d have thought it was the end of September)

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Gulls congregating in the evening sun

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The estuary water flat as a millpond

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Starlings roosting in the rigging

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Cloudless skies

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Geese starting to gather for the winter

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Ancient trees on the saltmarsh

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Beautiful flint barns

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The shell museum at Glandford (no photographs allowed inside) sorry the photo is a bit skewiff

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The shoreline at Titchwell

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Magnificent sunsets

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Passing a little art shop the urge to start painting again came over me – paper, paints and new brush bought – just waiting for inspiration and the dark winter evenings.

Fully rested and restored – ready to face whatever the winter may throw at me – three loads of holiday washing already done, another two to go – then there’s the garden to sort out whilst we still have the light and I still have the energy and before my annual hibernation mode sets in.

p.s. I’ve missed you.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Rambling on . . . Time to Relax . . .

At last our final break of the year has arrived.  We head off to the coast tomorrow, and to be quite frank, I feel I really need a holiday.  I have been feeling tired and weary and a little rest and recuperation is just what the doctor ordered.

Time to relax and breathe in the bracing salty air

Brancaster Staithe

Long walks across the salt marshes

Crispy bacon, egg mayonnaise and tomato jam sandwich

Dropping in for a delicious pub lunch of crispy bacon, egg mayo and tomato jam sandwiches.

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Sitting on the quayside and watching the tide come in

Brambles

And maybe a spot of blackberry picking along the way.

Oh yes – definitely time for a holiday.  The weatherman says it could be a good week – let’s hope so.

As Leo Babauta says ‘It’s time to shut down’.  No computer, no household chores, no gardening – just being.  Sounds good to me.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Rambling on . . . What to do on a rainy Sunday . . .

Make Spiced Damson Chutney of course.

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The recipe ‘a la Delia’ says simmer for 3 hours.

6 hours later and still all the liquid hasn’t reduced.  Taking into account the raisins, and two different lots of sugar that I had to buy especially, plus 6 hours worth of electricity, surely this chutney is now into the luxury bracket – maybe I should try and sell it to Fortnum and Mason.

My Mother Earth status is seriously undermined.

Sloppy chutney anyone?

Friday, 13 September 2013

rambling on … nature’s bounty …

 

The Turning of the Season
I think the gloomy weather at the moment is affecting my mood and I am feeling ‘down in the dumps’ so I am taking a little blogging break.  But  from the sound of this post from last year I was feeling upbeat – so I thought I would share it with you again.  Just hope my blogging mojo returns soon. 

Although each season has its merits, and I look forward to them all, September is one of my favourite months for observing the turning of the season.  Being fortunate enough to live in the countryside I become aware of the gradual changes.  As yet, the leaves haven't changed colour - but the hedgerows are becoming full of wonderful things to admire and gather.

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better
Albert Einstein

On the way back from the plot this morning, I stopped off at one or two places where I knew (or hoped) that there would be plenty of pickings.  I wasn't disappointed.

Elderberries
Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth
are never alone or weary of life
Rachel Carson

I go to nature to be soothed and healed
and to have my senses put in order
John Burroughs

I love seeing the elder bushes dripping with fruit. The hedgerows are studded with purple berries - making foragers of us all.

blackberries

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature.

It will never fail you.

Frank Lloyd Wright

Blackberries are eminently photographable aren't they - the greens, reds and purples of the berries make a great subject.

Who can resist blackberry-picking - whilst we were on holiday, early one morning,  we saw two ladies doing just that behind the shore-line at Snettisham where there is a wild area.  The blackberries were smaller than we see inland - but they do have a lot of rough weather to put up with.  I will freeze those that I pick and wait till the Bramleys are ready - and make some blackberry and apple jam.

Or maybe I will collect some crab apples

If you know where to look there are plenty of apples to be had. 

Come forth into the light of things
let nature be your teacher
Wm. Wordsworth

The sloes are also ripening quite nicely - I know of some bushes where the sloes grow almost as big as damsons - unfortunately last year the council cut them back as they were threatening to grow too far on to the road.  So maybe this year there won't be as many - I'll have to and check.



And finally, there are the rosehips

Happiness is looking out across fresh fields
gazing at a distant tree
feeling the sun on your back
and the wind brushing your skin
Anon.

I am hoping to be able to collect enough rosehips to make some jelly this year - a kilo should be enough, but that requires a lot of picking.  I drive slowly along the lanes when I am on a journey ready to slam on the brakes if I see some edibles calling out to be collected.  When out walking I always have plastic bags in my pockets - just in case.  You never know when you are going to come across a field of mushrooms or a stray plum tree.

It is definitely the best time of year for making the most of what nature has to offer.

Friday, 6 September 2013

rambling on . . . friday flowers . . . the garden in September . . . five favourite photos . . . and goodbye to the swallows . . .

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Sometimes, in a packet of bog-standard Cosmos seed, you get some little gems – like these white ones with a pink edge or the petals shaped like sea shells.  Although the Cosmos don’t seem to be as prolific as in previous years (maybe they don’t appreciate the dry summer) they are still providing plenty of late-summer colour and make a nice change from the Rudbeckia and Zinnia I have been picking from the cutting patch.

SDC18714 The Japanese Anemones are now in full swing, I can’t remember the name of this variety, but I bought it last Autumn and kept it in a container as I had heard they would colonize the garden, but it has increased in size rapidly I may have to plant it out anyway – I think the silver buds are just as pretty as the flowers.

SDC18700 So many variations in a packet of Rustic Dwarf Rudbeckia seed.

SDC18675 And the California poppies just keep on doing what they do best, brightening up the veg plot.

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I am still harvesting produce from the veg garden, although the runner beans have almost finished.  Summer squash and courgettes are slowing down and the tomatoes are gradually ripening, but the big glossy leaves of the Chard keep coming – these were used in a stir-fry.

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The James Grieve apple tree has plenty of ripe fruit but has been invaded by wasps who are attracted by its highly fragrant fruit.  I have to sneak out in the early morning to pick them when the wasps are fairly quiet, I should think they have ruined at least half of the crop.  Grrr.

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The Swallows and House Martins have departed, they have been collecting on the telephone wires for a few days now.  We didn’t think there seemed to be as many this year, but we counted at least a hundred, I love watching them performing their aerial ballet in the evenings normally, swooping  and chattering all the while – I hate it when they leave.  Bon Voyage, safe journey – hope to see you again next year.

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Five favourite photos include a sunset

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a sunrise

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a charity shop find – I’m not much for wearing delicate jewellery – if I’m going to wear it then big and bold suits me just fine – this one goes perfectly with a chartreuse-coloured outfit.

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As autumn slowly creeps in I shall be swopping summer cook books (I’m a sucker for great titles) to winter

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Casserole dishes and soup bowls at the ready for some lovely winter warmers.

‘Til next time – have a great weekend.

p.s. the inspiration for a couple of items in this post come from Fredas' blog Living Simply – thanks Freda.

p.p.s. one week on and my husband still hasn’t noticed the new picture!!!

c s lewis : Isn't it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back, everything is different...