Showing posts from October, 2008

Getting ready for winter

There is something about autumn that brings out the squirrel in me. I am pleased just now every time I go into the woodstore which is in one of our old pigsties to see the logs neatly stacked against the stone wall and the kindling ready split in baskets. Inside I love to see the shelves in filling up with jellies and chutneys to add to the summer's jams. I have been making apple jelly this weekend, one lot flavoured with mint and another with sage. Yesterday's mint was a little cloudy but today's sage is jewel bright and clear. I am on a roll now and could easily carry on every day for a week with more mint jelly, and rosemary jelly too and I wonder what a jelly would be like made with the pineapple sage that smells astonishingly of ripe pineapple when you crush a leaf in your fingers. Work rather gets in the way. I have also been planting more bulbs. I have just about finished the daffodils today with pots of mixed February Gold and Iris Reticulata Harmony for outside

One of those just right days.

Saturday was one of those days when everything goes right (and after the previous week or so I felt we deserved one). The light is golden here when the sun shines at the moment and on Saturday morning the sky above the ridge on the other side of the valley was flecked with pink and gold cloud long after the sun rose and the light pouring into the bedroom window as I lay in bed was liquid gold. A leisurely breakfast, both of us home at last, and a wander round outside to start the day. The builder has been working steadily on our outside utility. An ancient yew tree had been growing into the corner of the building and gradually pushing it over but the stonemason has rebuilt the corner about two hundred years further away from the tree. Unless you take down the tree or demolish the building the contest between the two will happen again but we don't want to do either. Two hundred years will see us out, a phrase my grandma used to use about her winter coat for the last twenty years of

The tell tale signs of losing it!

Do you have signs that you are not on top any more? Daft signs, trivia, nonsense but they get me every time. I am rushing around like an idiot again and here we go, all sliding away. I have not filled the bird feeders. This should be something and nothing, after all it is autumn and the birds are hardly likely to go hungry. But every time I stand at the kitchen sink I look out at the feeders. When things are under control this is great. The feeders swarm with great tits and chaffinches. An elegant nuthatch walks delicately upside down to take peanuts. A woodpecker surprises me with the brilliant red of his lower body. Greenfinches and goldfinches hang just feet away. A flock of sparrows swoop in and fill the tree on which the feeders hang, the branches suddenly alive with movement. When I am not on top of the details of life they are just a reproach: silent, empty. I will do it, I think as I fill the kettle or rinse a mug and then the phone rings and emails ping into the i