Tagged for a meme

What are your current obsessions?

Walking and sowing things. I am getting increasingly terrified that I have not done enough training to be able to walk the Offa's Dyke long distance path at the end of May. This is a path from the southern coast of Wales at Sedbury cliffs near Chepstow to the northern coast at Prestatyn, running along the English/Welsh border, much of it on or near an ancient earthwork reputed to have been built by King Offa to defend his kingdom. It is 177 miles long. We are planning to walk it in sixteen days and I have now started to accumulate people who started and had to give up. This is freaking me out. Tomorrow I intend to walk nine miles along the Clwydian hills from Clwyd Gate home.
And sowing things. The greenhouse is heaving with seed trays and lengths of guttering with seedlings growing in them. Today I sowed pumpkin "hooligan" (great name for a pumpkin, how does a pumpkin do hooligan exactly?), more peas, borlotti beans, Trail of Tears beans and bulb fennel.

What are you reading?
Anna Pavord on kitchen gardening.

Which item from your wardrobe do you wear most often?
A pair of extremely tatty, ancient jeans which have become my gardening trousers. If trying to look halfway respectable, a pair of slightly smarter jeans inherited from my older daughter.

First spring thing?

Snowdrops and primroses.

What's for dinner?

We had friends for lunch and a child friendly lunch of cold roast chicken, salad (the child in question is a great lover of cucumber) and chocolate brownies. Evening meal was a chicken salad sandwich and a piece of coffee cake.

Planning to travel to next?
To Provence in late September to visit some friends and to admire their new house. I love Provence and would live there if I didn't live here.

Best thing you ate or drank lately?

The aforementioned chocolate brownies, made to an Angela Nilsen recipe in the May edition of the BBC's Good Food magazine. Truly wonderful and only half the calories of a traditional brownie recipe. Mind you, even at half the calories they are still not a lettuce leaf, but it is a gesture and they could not be yummier.

Last thing you bought?

Plants from the wonderful nursery at Great Dixter, the garden created by the writer Christopher Lloyd and now cared for by Fergus Garrett. I am assuming I don't have to count a food shop or a daily paper because that would be too boring but if I do need to include day to day stuff, the answer is a free range chicken.

Flower of the moment?

Tulips in variety.

Favourite ever film?
There is no point in asking me this. I am whatever the reverse is of a film buff ( a ffub?). I don't really like film, much prefer theatre or even better, books. I can't remember films and often don't watch to the end. I did like Mama Mia though because I could sing along embarrassingly.

Care to share some wisdom?
Be kind.
Laugh a lot.
If in doubt go for a walk with the sun on your back.
Baking a cake usually helps.
Humankind needs green: green grass, green trees. Go outside.
If you were a god/goddess who would you be?
Athene, goddess of wisdom.

Rules of the meme. Respond and rework. Answer questions on your own blog. Replace one question. Add one question. Tag 8 people.
Do this if you fancy it, or not, as you please. These are my 8:
Sorry if you have already been tagged by someone else!


  1. Fennie tagged me too - and I didn't read carefully enough to see that you'd also been tagged - sorry...just ignore it!
    Of course you'll be ready for your long walk. Easy does it, a little more each day, and you'll be in good form.

  2. I am sure you will be able to do the walk, as you are practicing regularly. It is the type of thing I would have loved to do before arthritis set in. Enjoy it now while you can.
    Lovely to learn more about you from the tag.

  3. Thanks Elizabeth for responding - and so quickly. I like your idea of growing seeds in gutters that are in the greenhouse. Seeds must like gutters judging from how easily they grow in the debris that accumulates under the eaves.

  4. Thank you for the tag! I will get to work thinking whilst I weed the garden :-)

  5. now i want one of those brownies. or any brownie.

    you'll love the walk, i'm thinking. and do it easily.

  6. I love reading your blog. Sure you'll be able to complete your walk. We'll be with you in spirit every step of the way. Are the tulips called Appledorn? I've got a few in my garden too

  7. I could have written that piece about films - I'm a ffub too. (Wonder how you patent a word??)

    Thanks for the insights.

  8. Thank e!

    I think I really could just cut and paste your words - I'm in agreement with most of what you have written but will try to be original.

    I'm looking forward to coming and cheering you on as you walk through our section of the path. I shall bring sustaining treats.

  9. Lovely, lovely EM - adore the pictures too. Ah but you like The Wicker Man - or so it says on your profile and I grabbed that as one of my faves too....so you're not a total ffub!

  10. I love these little insights, and particularly liked your words of wisdom, and totally concur with the idea of when in doubt, bake a cake part. Would v much like that chocolate brownie recipe - does the low calorie aspect mean you can eat twice as much?

  11. LOts of nice stuff about you here! I enjoyed the read.
    BUt most important, good luck with the walking..
    As you say, there's nothing like the sun on your back ( and the rain can be a pleasure too, can't it, when not TOO forceful!)

  12. Brill - a tag, I was reading your answers, thinking of mine, and now I have a reason to blog. I have blogger's block and you have been my senna pod! Ha!
    Anyway, this travel thing - please will you re-phrase your answer and put 'I am going to Yorkshire sometime soon to collect some fabric and view a garden'?

  13. Oooh I'm so bad at these things...but promise I'll try. And I think I say 'thank-you'?!?! So thank you - with mixed feelings.

    Anyway – you’re brilliant at it and I really enjoyed, as ever, reading your post and having those insights.

    Tell me where are your friends in Provence? Trying to find out more wonderful spots as I keep going down that way...

  14. Snowdrops, Provence, brownies, gardens, and green - What a lovely visit this was!

  15. Hi.
    Don't forget the Advil!!! oh, and the Elastoplasts.
    Houston, confidence is high!
    I know you can do it.

    Keep up the training, I look forward to following your progression and hearing more from your journey, both career/life wise and walking wise.
    I have been following your blog for a while. Just wanted to say hi.
    My regards.

  16. Oh goodness me, I was really enjoying this, Elizabeth and then I spotted the tag! Will have to save it for a time when it is slightly less fraught at Hotel H. Lots of lovely things in your meme, you seem to be making the most of your new life away from the office, and some! Know what you mean about inherited jeans - I have two pairs. Now, take plenty of brownie and enjoy the walk - you'll be fine!

  17. Tagged you too, Em; apologies. Enjoyed reading this.

  18. same here with the seeds - the fun bit, now the dreary bit when you realise you have 2000 too many of everything. lovely pictures as jolly usual.

  19. Ah yes, am with Milla on the seeds. I haven't planted THAT many but still know it will be too much (especially as I am away all of August). But I won't be deterred. It is such fun watching everything grow.

    You will do the walk Elizabeth because you are a determined and focused lady. My unathletic friend set her mind to doing the London Marathon and achieved her goal, so I know you will too. Good luck with the training. Hope Sunday went well.

    Enjoyed reading this, as ever. Green is very necessary, as is kindness (and forgiveness).

  20. PS: have just spent pretty much the last hour reading your posts! Have bunged some more comments on the two previous. Now, I MUST go and read with my 6 year old daughter, as promised. Poor little thing has been very patient with me.

  21. I enjoyed reading this.

    'Hooligan' is a wonderful name for a pumpkin!

    I agree about going for a walk with the sun on your back - or weeding borders in the garden with the sun on your back!

  22. Gee. I wish I hadn't seen those brownies right here at bedtime. Now I'm hungry.

  23. Good luck with the walk, you'll be fine.
    I enjoyed the meme and the photos.

  24. Hi, thanks for your visit and I do enjoy visiting your blog. I was intrigued by 'driving over lemons' on your profile (and found that 208 other people also had it as a favourite) so looked it up on Amazon and it sounds fabulous, so will definitely look out for it. We are also huge Philip Pullman fans in our house.
    much love

  25. Thanks for sharing some more about yourself. Love reading your posts.

    BTW: The steps you uncovered while hacking through the "jungle" where you live -- do they perhaps lead to Offa's Dyke?

    "A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." (Lao-tzu) Perhaps, in your case, a single, stone stair.

  26. What a great post - those brownies look irresistible and the tulips are just lovely. I agree about green - so therapeutic x

  27. Thanks for your wishes, Elizabeth!
    Happy gardening and all the other wonderful things you do there in Wales! I will 'see' you on my return!

  28. Oh my goodness have just found this and have noted that I have been tagged - panic setting in (only kidding)
    Just came by to see how 'retirement' was getting on but looks as though you are too busy.....wont say 'told you so' but we did!


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