Thursday, 29 September 2011

Mists, Fruitfulness and Glittering Jewels.

Today the garden basks not in sunshine but soft, silencing mist and as I walk I can hear only the dank sounds of dripping trees, the moisture falling from over-burdened leaves to plip-plop gently onto the sodden beds below. The apples on the Cornish Gillyflower are almost ready and I twist one to see if it will fall; not quite there yet and so I pick one of the rosy windfalls from beneath tree by the writing room to munch on my way.

All around are jewels; chains and ropes of glistening diamonds which, even in this misty light, shine and twinkle, catching my eye as they drape from every available branch like some jeweller pedalling his wares.

The hedges also glisten but with bramble berries of such a deep rich hue that I cannot resist picking them despite knowing it takes forever to remove the stain of purple juice from my hands. Not ideal when I will be working on fine cream linen in just a short while.

I hear a scuttling, scurrying behind and turn to catch Flossie lumbering towards me in her lopsided manner. Yet again she has decided to fly the coop - quite literally - and join me in a morning perusal. She is a sweetie and I pick her up for a quick cuddle before popping her back into the pen with her pals.

Yesterday the garden was finally bathed in golden sun, the heat making it sizzle after so much rain, but typically I was out of action, laid low by the horrible bug doing the rounds of our neighbourhood. I spent the afternoon in my bed watching listlessly as the sun lit up the bright skies. Most annoying but today I feel fine other than a pathetic need to lie down after every task. If only the sun would return...

Seed heads are sticky and full, almost on that point of ripeness that will see them burst and drop ready to start the cycle again. This is the curiously intricate seed head of the Crocosmia Lucifer.

So, brambles

and fruitfulness

and glistening jewels. It must be autumn.

Oh, the mist has lifted and the sun is back - hurrah! x

P.S. Next time I have a post about a wonderful blog giveaway I won!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Autumn Happenings.

The weather is not how I picture autumn at all. I like it to be chill in the mornings with hot golden sun during the day, cooling down as dusk gently pulls it blanket over the skies to a chill that accompanies me as I light the fire. Perfect. Instead we have gales and rain with occasional flashes of sun. Ah well, it makes for huddling away indoors and plenty of cooking. This of course leads to plenty of eating... Hurrah!

Mr Davey and the girls baked caramel cupcakes with Isabella on caramel duty. I love the pose! Can't think where she gets that from. Lucy was in charge of the Kenwood to make the moist cake batter.

Unfortunately they made far too much caramel and I have spent much time since eating the remains straight from the pan instead of using it to top shortbread. My poor teeth! And I am not even a particular fan of sweet things! The cupcakes themselves were just gorgeous and Dave and the girls also made chocolate orange mousse while the cooking mojo was on them.

I, in the meantime, was on dinner duty with a little glass of the necessary to keep me company. Marsala in the autumn. Such bliss with its syrupy, sweet deliciousness and perfect to slug into gravy for added depth.

Dinner was also bliss (if I do say so myself and I do) with slow roasted locally reared belly pork - my favourite - accompanied by fennel, celeriac and onions braised around the joint until caramelised, crispy roast potatoes, Yorkshire puds which we have with any and all meats, and leeks with a Danish Blue cheese sauce. Oh, and of course that gorgeous gravy. The whole was followed by an afternoon of Mr Darcy as we slouched on sofas to Pride & Predjudice. So perfect.

No wonder the troops look so happy.

Outside Isabella and I have been hoarding away signs of autumn to bring home and cover the windowsills. Feathery, spiky fronds of old man's beard are everywhere draping their stems over the hedgerows.

I picked another Eglantine rose to bring indoors before it finally gives up and drops its leaves ready for the winter. I do wish Mr Austin had spelt it with a 'y' as did Shakespeare as it is far more romantic to mine ear. Do you agree I wonder or is it just me who reads so much into the written word? Whatever, she is a beautifully perfumed rose and her gentle perfume will drift across the room in the evening warmth of the fire, drawing my eye over to where she sits on the sill keeping company with jars of pine cones and the clematis fronds - a true melding of summer and autumn.

Chutney making is underway now with the gorgeous Spiced Damson recipe 'foraged' from dear Zoe. I am so looking forward to eating this with the cold cuts and cheeses of a Boxing Day buffet, especially as it is made with the Kea plums we collected from Coombe with Diana last year. Thank heavens for freezers!

And lastly, I have finally started a new knitting project though pictures of the pattern will have to wait until a brighter day. As it is the light has turned my lovely sedge blue cotton to coarse and grey.

It is an interesting pattern with twisted eyelet detailing on the rib which I like the look of. Hopefully a slouchy cardigan will emerge and not be relegated to the back of the wardrobe - Dave is not convinced as the pattern is a very old Woman's Weekly one which truly does look a little (a lot) dated, but hey ho. We shall see!

Off to work now. Have a lovely day whatever you are up to. x

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Hips and Hens and Happy Colours.

Billowy, blustery winds have scattered the wild rose hips from the branches festooning the camellia outside our bedroom window covering the path in scarlet globes which we inevitably squish in our race to the car for the school run. I can't quite decide if it is pretty or a bizarre rendering of a gothic autumn wedding where the aisle has spatters of blood strewn in place of flowers!

The remaining hips glisten in the weak sunlight that washes the scene after the rain and makes me want to race outside to gather them for the freezer before they all disappear, but work must come first and there are already bags full from last year's harvest which I haven't yet used. So many ideas, so little accomplished it seems. Ah well, the birds make use of them whatever I do.

Little Isabella has appointed herself the task of collecting the eggs on her return from school. We have struck a deal: eggs can be collected but only after changing out of the school uniform. Never has this been done with such speed. How a little bribery goes a long way (though egg collecting is an odd one even I will admit, when sweets would be a more usual inducement)!

The hens seem to have a particular fondness for Isabella and they spend a good deal of time together in all weathers, Isabella in her gardening coat and wellies, the hens generally sodden. Glancing out of the kitchen window I can usually see her wheeling them around in her little wheelbarrow and checking the nest box for the day's layings which she pops into her pockets in the same manner as I do. I am of course notorious for forgetting this fact as I get sidetracked by a bit of weeding, the familiar sound of a cracking egg making me wince at the thought of the mess I will have to clean out. Bella is far more focused!

The Michaelmas daisies are flowering profusely and a haze of purple, lilac and mauve sways in the breeze. A bunch picked for the house enables me to enjoy them for longer than my trips to feed the poultry allow; the constant dodging of heavy showers isn't exactly conducive to a slow perusal of our extremely tired looking borders.

My search for a knitting pattern carries on. I have a few ideas in mind from Ravelry, but can't seem to settle to one in particular. I have toyed with Breakwater and even finally have the right needle sizes and yet I still prevaricate. I do love my new circular needle set though - just look at the beautiful colours. Who needs to actually 'do' anything with them! Hmm, you do Pip as that would be an incredible waste of money otherwise. On with the search...

Till next time x

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Last Days.

And so the final day of the holiday arrives; Mr Davey is already back and the thought of some sort of order to the days is appealing despite the fact that I feel a little despair at the impending making of packed lunches. Hey ho.

Overall the weather here was nothing special and indeed is torrentially wet today reminding me how quickly the dry baked ground of the hen pen can imitate a mud bath. Delightful.

We managed some trips out and some relaxing in the flighty rays of the sun, but much of the holiday was spent wreaking long overdue order to the house - a task which is still in the doing. The pace will be slower now with work taking up the weekdays once more, but our living room is now cosy in readiness for autumn, fires having already been lit in the evenings as we sprawl on the cushions. Bliss.

Trips on our dear Mermaid were undertaken though less than intended. The arrival of a Seagull engine means we can go further afield (though we did once undertake a five hour rowing session up The Helford River to Frenchman's Creek. This I do not recommend!). One evening we piled the children into the boat, motored up the river past the quays and shops of Falmouth, moored up and collected fish & chips. These were scoffed greedily in the warm of the evening as we put up the sail and drifted back home. Another form of bliss and one which will stay in the children's minds I think for a long time to come.

We are truly lucky to live with this wonderful river and so much sea all around. I do so love Cornwall in all her guises.

So, as the evenings draw in we will no doubt play more games such as this bout of Risk. Davey and I are back on our ongoing chess tournament with me three games ahead in this new season! I am searching for a new knitting pattern as typically the ones I have don't appeal - why does that happen? Any suggestions anyone? I am craving a longish cardigan/jacket to wrap around me on cool days, so please forward any thoughts here.

And it is also time to get back to regular blogging and catching up with friends such as Diana as we are long overdue a coffee/wine/food/chat/knitting session and I miss her. Walter too of course.

Here's to all that's ahead x