Sunday, 30 November 2008

Hit and miss baking.

It has really felt like winter, this week. We have had two good, hard, frosts. There has also been a wicked north wind blowing. That same wind has blown away the last of the leaves. It makes us really thankful that we have our wood stoves.

I started some baking, to be ready for the Festive season...only to find I did not have enough of certain dried fruits. And then slightly overcooked (burnt) the Dundee cake already in the oven!
(Still, B.B. is always happy to eat home made cake). So, I turned out the Larder, instead. It's amazing how, even if I keep it tidy(ish), and regularly check the contents, I still end up with three of something we use only occasionaly, and half a bag of things we use every day! So, now I have a list of dry goods needed in the larder. A big bake-in, next week-end, I think.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Birds and red Berets.

Well, the purple scarf is no more. I'm afraid I just got bored with it. But I do have some gifts to make for the coming Festive season.
Last year, I made a dear friend a scarf, in the cherry red brushed mohair from West Holwell Farm. This year, I am making a beret to match. The pattern is Spring Beret by Natalie Larson. It is a sort of gothic arches pattern. (I'm afraid it just does not photograph well. The bright colour and the halo of the yarn prevents proper focusing). This piece is rattling along beautifully. I cast on for it on Sunday evening, and did half an hour last night. I'm really enjoying it.

The winter visiting birds have been arriving in dribs and drabs. I noticed a few Fieldfares over the week-end. But this morning it really sounded like Winter. Several little flocks of Fieldfares flew up as I walked Poppy, and they chak-chaked their irritation quite loudly. Their voices are much harsher, more gutteral, than the Blackbirds and native Thrushes. They have been bullying their way into the Orchard, and creating territories, around trees which still hold apples.

We also have quite a large flock of Long-Tailed Tits. They come to the bird feeders when it gets colder. We have always attracted the occasional Coal Tit, but have noticed, lately, that they are coming more frequently, and in larger numbers. Joy unbounded on Saturday, when we counted ten either on the feeders, or in the bushes nearby. And last year's Pheasant is coming in to be fed again.

Thursday, 13 November 2008


There have been a lot of birthdays already this month. Stina and M. started us off, then mine, and today is Harry's. Best Beloved and I hosted a bonfire party at the week-end, and goodness, were we lucky with the weather! I started the bonfire mid afternoon, and we went straight out for the fireworks as soon as people arrived. We had a damping of rain, but as soon as we went in, the heavens really opened. To the extent, that it put the bonfire out!
Never mind, the company was great, and there was plenty of (traditional bonfire) food. The next birthday is little K's, in a couple of weeks.

One of my birthday presents was this wonderful sharkskin box (above). As you see, it is full of needlework tools. I have come to the conclusion that it is for Lace making. The knitting needles and crochet hooks are of such a small gauge that they couldn't be for anything else.(Could they?). And tiny sewing needles. I was thrilled to recieve it from Best Beloved's sister Deb, and her partner Jason.
Speaking of sisters, Nicky's twin Mel, has been home for a visit from Australia. A couple of weeks in which Mel and her husband tried to see all of their friends and family-one mad rush.
Nicky, Mel and I managed a day together, so we went down to Dulverton and had lunch at the fabulous Woods. That was such a treat. And then a little shopping.... Dulverton has such great shops for such small place. We were doing some Ch****m** stuff, I have to admit, but it was so that we give and recieve lovely things that don't have to be posted between G.B. and Aus.
I shall probably be going down to Dulverton again soon, for Starlight Sunday, which is on the 7th December this year. It is always charming.