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Showing posts from July, 2015

Looking after yourself

What do you do to look after yourself, if anything?  It might be physical, such as running or exercise classes, or mental, such as meditation or some form of intellectual challenge like crosswords or sudoku.  It could be to do with diet or with ways of elevating your mood.

It is a tricky one.  It is perfectly possible to become so obsessed with your own health that you squeeze the joy out of life.  I love food, I love cooking, I love wine.  I don't want to live on brown rice.  But I do want to feel good and I am seriously wondering if I need to change the way I eat.   I don't normally use this blog to talk about very personal things but here we go.  I hope you don't mind if just this once I do.

For the last twelve months or so I have been plagued with tiredness, with repeated colds and unhappy guts.  A lot has happened in that time, principally the last illness and death of my father in law and the continuing decline of my father with motor neurone disease.  I have assume…

Five things on Friday

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Today for the first time I am joining in with Amy's Five things on Friday.   I have been reading Amy's Five Things for a while now and from time to time coming across other people doing the same so, while I don't expect to make it a regular thing (I can't guarantee to be able to blog on a Friday for one thing!), I thought it would be fun to look at what is on my camera and make it into a Five Things, if I can.


So here we are.  This is astrantia, astrantia major I think.  It grows here almost like a weed, self seeding all over the place and making huge plants which muscle other things out of the way.  But there is no denying that it is very beautiful, with an odd mixture of delicacy and toughness.  This plant is making it difficult to get to the front step but as we only ever use the kitchen door, like most old farmhouses, it doesn't really matter.


Here is another thing we have a lot of: eggs.  The hens are laying well now and Ian has made a new nest box which seems…

Making elderflower cordial

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Homemade elderflower cordial is one of my favourite things and is very easy.  Some years I am just so busy at the right time that I miss the window when you can do it and I always kick myself.  That is the thing about seasonality: miss it and it's gone until next year. You might have missed it for this year if you live in the South East of the UK after the very hot week or so we have had but here in North Wales and for other readers in the North and West of the country you can still find flowers which are just right.

Equipment is easy.  You will need:
a large bowl for the mixture to steep in
3 empty wine bottles (always an easy one in this house).  They can be sterilised by washing in the dishwasher or spending ten minutes in a low oven.
a large pan
a bowl and a sieve to go over it
some muslin to line the sieve like this.  If you don't have muslin just use your finest sieve but the liquid won't be quite as clear

a jug to pour the liquid into the bottles
a funnel like this …