Monday, 28 October 2013

Windy, Wet and Wild

This weekend we've had our son and lovely little grandson around to visit us, he is coming up for two and is a very happy little boy, interested in everything , full of laughter and smiles. We actually gave him his birthday present as his birthday is on Christmas day, but we thought he could play with it here as he will have so many to open on Christmas day.
We then had our other son and his wife come over with the twinkles they are 12 weeks old now and both are adorable, they are both very alike in profile, the little girl being very fair and the little boy being very dark. Their mum and dad went for a walk around the fields and meadows while we enjoyed playing with them.
Sunday we woke up early and got up as we gained an extra hour due to the clocks changing and after bacon sandwiches it was a tidy up day or should I say tie down day. I took down my sweetpeas and runner beans also removed the courgette and white flowering cosmos. I had one of my little hens helping dig over the kitchen garden picking up little worms as we went along. My husband helped me take out the sweetcorn as it was very deeply rooted. We enjoyed these as a started for our Sunday roast dinner. We then had a cosy evening watching a film and my favourite Downton Abbey whilst outside the wind and rain played chase around the house.
It is now Monday morning and the sun is now shining with just the occasional gust. Well we still have our power so I fancy doing some cooking today.
Well I would love to hear about your weekend do let us know.
Have a good week, take care
Sarah x

Monday, 21 October 2013

A Mixed Week

Well this last week has been very mixed. We have had lovely Autumnal sunshine making the leaves on the trees sparkle with hues of rich beautiful colours. Then some days there has been a thick mist which has stayed with us until mid-day showing up many spiders that have tight walked webs of fine intricate artwork. Heavy and almost torrential downpours of rain with dark skies that look almost like its night-time only to suddenly have the sun appear with fantastic colourful rainbows and massive puddles that tempt you to put your wellies on and splish splosh in the shiny mirrors.(Is splish a word)?

Sadly I lost two of my sweet little baby bantams that had hatched earlier in the year, one was found dead in the hen house and the other nowhere to be found. We suspect a hungry buzzard had been and taken it as they have been flying and screeching overhead this week. The rest of the chickens have been very much on their guard with distress calls, when the fruit and acorns drop with heavy thuds from the gusts of wind. They also hate the heavy rain.

More chutney and stewed apples and pears to be put in the freezer have been made with the windfalls. Friends that have come to the door have gone home with carrier bags full. We have been having apples sometimes for breakfast, dinner and tea in different forms one way or another. The house smells pleasantly of apples and pears (and smells better than any scented candle), that are being stored and will hopefully last until next April.

The Weekend

Saturday, a spur of the moment decision  to go to London was made, looking around Covent Garden which was buzzing with street acts, lots of tourist and plenty to see in the city despite the rain.

Then having a tasty Chinese meal in China town with brightly coloured lanterns, good luck symbols, fortune and charms. But its always good to return here to the orchard to be greeted by Shadow, Mittens, Sooty and Daisy and just relax in our little part of the world.
Sunday morning the rain held off just enough time to dig up my exhausted tomato plants and clean up the greenhouse - a job that always marks the end of summer. All that is left in there now are my little sweet pea seedlings and a few lavender plants and a few plants that have already gone to sleep.
A tasty pork roast dinner marinated in cider and apples was cooked by our son, it was very yummy with all the trimmings and a good bottle of wine to go with it. Then to relax watching a film and then later the wonderful  Downton Abbey.

Well I hope you have a good week.

Sarah  xx

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Orange October

Well hello there!

Just thought I would ask you all this question. What colour is your garden predominantly at present? Mine is Orange - it seems that these strong vibrant autumnal colours are exposing a Grande finale and an encore before the first frosts arrive. The garden is calming down for a well earned rest after an energetic growing time after bearing tasty fruit, vegetables, foliage and pretty flowers during the summer season. The weather the last couple of days has been glorious. Hope to hear from you soon.
Sarah x

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Soup Maker

The weather is damp and drizzly with a chill in the air, just the right time for a nice hot bowl of homemade soup. I have bought a new toy this week a soup maker,  what can I say it is brilliant, makes soup in 21 minutes, how good is that , quick, simple and healthy, no steamed up kitchen, no watching a pan for ages and less washing up.

To make a nice 1.6lt quantity just roughly chop your veggies put in stock, put on the lid press the button and Hey Presto, lay the table find husband and son in the meadow talk to chickens in the orchard throw them a juicy pear or apple. Bath the dog that rolled in something on the way to the meadow. Soups ready, 21 minutes, then all sit down and enjoy playing the guessing game by asking what's in the soup. I know it not big batch cooking but when you spent time growing your own precious lovely vegstables you don't waste anything the odd split tomato and reject veg can be salvaged, by just leaving it in the maker and adding a few more veg while simply making a coffee.
Please if you have any of your tasty recipes, drop by and let me know and we can share a bowl of soup together.
Sarah xx

Friday, 4 October 2013

I'm back

Hi There
I’m back having been away from blogging for along time. I feel it is time to get back I have had a roller coaster ride of immense sadness having loss my lovely mother. She was my rock a truly remarkable lady who I miss daily but I take comfort in knowing that I feel she is with me in the things she taught me.
I have also had great joy my son and his wife had twins in August a little boy and a little girl who are adorable. We also have our other son and his wife’s little boy who will be 2 on Christmas day who is irresistible. In Australia we have another grandson nearly 6 and another granddaughter who will be three the week after next. They have happy lives and we see lots of pictures of them but it would be nice to be closer. The parcel for their birthdays has been sent and I look forward to pictures of them opening Batman and Peppa Pig pressies.

 I love our small holding more than ever and I still feel this is where I belong and love the fact that everyday brings new scenes and scenarios.

 Earlier this year I rescued a tiny little male kitten


who we have named Sooty, we didn’t know whether he would survive but we tried our best, giving him kitten milk formula every 4 hours, he is 

now a big bruiser. Shadow and Mittens treat him as a teenage hooligan tearing around and sleeping all day.

We have had lots of Call ducks hatch this mid year and I would worry when they went missing only to find that my 2 little bantams would smuggle and snuggle them under their warm little bodies under their wings as many as 10 or 12. They are all growing into fine adults now.

We have 2 timid geese which look like bookends they are just realising that the grass and the corn are more
available near the house and getting tamer.

 The kitchen garden has been plentiful and we have enjoyed a summer of beans, peas

courgettes and much more. The apples, pears and damsons are just dripping of the trees.

 I have been busy making apple chutney,  jam, gooseberry conserve and damson jelly.

So I have lots more to write about. The weather here is definitely getting cooler. The Canada geese fly over early morning and evening getting ready to fly on their long journey.

 The wasps are drowsy and intoxicated by devouring the apples. The daddy long legs (crane flies) are all over the place especially when I have the light on, I have one keeping me company at present.
Shadow, Mittens and Sooty and Daisy my little Westie all appear bigger, but it’s just their winter coats growing.

The colours in the garden are very pretty with all the hues of yellows, reds and browns.

So this is a little catch-up to date and will speak to you soon.

Sarah xx