Friday, 4 March 2022

Spring in a Time of War


 

The garden is showing signs of Spring, and the days are lengthening. But there is news of war to counteract the spring feelings.




Pulmonaria and daffodils seemed to be the most appropriate flowers for the heading, but the hellebores are doing well, both the white...










...and the red, 
















while the violets are putting on a brave show 














- and the tulips are all that are left of the last delivery from Bloom & Wild. 

Let us hope that the world situation doesn't get worse as the weather gets better.





Tuesday, 18 January 2022

More than halfway through January




Finally we are getting slightly lighter afternoons and mornings, especially at the moment with the full 'wolf' moon, which is making the thought of spring a bit more believable. Still very cold and frosty, though we haven't (?yet) had the snow of this date a few years ago.

We are also more than halfway through the Christmas cake, which I show here in all its original glory. I've used this recipe for several years now, and it always comes out well - a really heavy fruit cake, that takes weekly 'feeds' of brandy in the 6 weeks or so between making and Christmas.



Friday, 31 December 2021

Happy New Year 2022

Zitten out the Wold Year by William Barnes

Why, raïn or sheen, or blow or snow,
I zaid, if I could stand so’s,
I’d come, vor all a friend or foe,
To sheäke ye by the hand, so’s;
An’ spend, wi’ kinsvo’k near an’ dear,
A happy evenèn, woonce a year,
A-zot wi’ me’th
Avore the he’th
To zee the new year in, so’s.
There’s Jim an’ Tom, a-grown the size
O’ men, girt lusty chaps, so’s,
An’ Fanny wi’ her sloo-black eyes,
Her mother’s very dap’s, so’s;
An’ little Bill, so brown’s a nut,
An’ Poll a gigglèn little slut.
I hope will shoot
Another voot
The year that’s comèn in, so’s.
An’ there, upon his mother’s knee,
So peärt do look about, so’s,
The little woone ov all, to zee
His vu’st wold year goo out, so’s
An’ zoo mid God bless all o’s still,
Gwaïn up or down along the hill,
To meet in glee
Ageän to zee
A happy new year in, so’s.
The wold clock’s han’ do softly steal
Up roun’ the year’s last hour, so’s;
Zoo let the han’-bells ring a peal,
Lik’ them a-hung in tow’r, so’s.
Here, here be two vor Tom, an’ two
Vor Fanny, an’ a peäir vor you;
We’ll meäke em swing,
An’ meäke em ring,
The merry new year in, so’s.
Tom, mind your time there; you be wrong.
Come, let your bells all sound, so’s:
A little clwoser, Poll; ding, dong!
There, now ’tis right all round, so’s.
The clock’s a-strikèn twelve, d’ye hear?
Ting, ting, ding, dong! Farewell, wold year!
’Tis gone, ’tis gone!—
Goo on, goo on,
An’ ring the new woone in, so’s!

Friday, 10 December 2021

Season's Greetings

 And so the time comes round again for our 'Christmas card'.



As in previous years, we haven't send many actual cards, and those we have are 'home made' with this image on the front, taken by Mr Bufo in the garden, and the Florence Nightingale window that was installed in Romsey Abbey earlier this year.





Our chosen charity this time is Maggie's. We always donate to something worthwhile, as we don't spend money on actual cards.

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and the very best year possible in 2022!



Monday, 22 November 2021

Winter Draw(er)s On

 ...yes, I know that's an old chestnut but it still raises a smile. 



As often seems to be the case, it has been some months since the last post, and we've begun to get out a bit more; we've both had our 3rd 'booster' dose of Pfizer. We've been to the flat a couple of times, and we went to The Castleman again for Mr Bufo's birthday. 





This was the breakfast table 









And this was the lounge the night before.







We've also been to Eastbourne - hence the sunrise in the top picture. 


Now we're making plans for Christmas and the year will soon be over - we already have some appointments in on the new calendar for next year!




Still knitting and crocheting, too - a blanket (this is the centre section, there is more to come)...










...socks...







...and I've made a Christmas cake, which has now had 3 (of the 6) weekly feeds of brandy!






   

Saturday, 12 June 2021

And Suddenly it's Summer!

 ...and once again we are waiting to hear whether restrictions are to be lifted further next week or not. In the meantime the French Open is nearly over - which means Wimbledon cannot be far behind, and the garden is rather untidily full of flowers. 


The peony in the picture above has been annoying me for some years, as it would bud, and then drop, so I said it could go. It must have heard, in the way these things do, because this year it had four big buds, once of which was in full flower when the scaffolding from our roof replacement came down...and knocked the stem a bit. It might have recovered, but I decided to cut the stem and add it to one of the vases of the latest delivery from Bloom and Wild. 


We are both fully vaccinated now, and have had a wonderful night away at the Castleman Hotel in Chettle, Dorset. This had changed hands since we were last able to get there - 2 years ago! - but the ambience and the food were still of exceptionally high standard, and it was such a treat for us not to have to think about preparing or clearing up a meal. The room we were given had a four-poster bed, which was a bit high. In fact anyone shorter than me would have needed a step to get in, and getting out (inevitably) in the middle of the night, was a bit haphazard, so next time we go, I think we'll ask for a different room.



 

I am still knitting - a top-down rust-red cardigan at the moment, though also trying to finish a conventionally  structured black one while the days are bright, as it is impossible to see the stitches properly in winter or artificial light. A few days ago I had to drop down about 25 rows to correct (with a crochet hook) the two purls that should have been knits on the body of the garment! 




We also have a new dishwasher! Many years ago on here I recorded that I was unhappy with the first dishwasher we had, and thought the problem was the detergent. 10 years on, we have replaced it as it was just pumping and not draining properly, and find that the new one (which has the added benefit of popping open when it has finished) doesn't smell of detergent when it has completed the cycle. This makes us think that the old one had never drained/rinsed properly, and that we've been exposed to dishwasher detergent in our diet for all that time. It was the first one we had, how were we to know that it wasn't normal to get the detergent smell?




The garden is looking good, if a bit wild. The strawberries are ripening, the blackcurrants are setting...and the forecasters tell us that summer is here!


Monday, 22 February 2021

Signs of Spring

Waiting for news of 'the way out of Lockdown' - much of which seems to have already been briefed so as always will be an anticlimax.



In the meantime the blanket is finished, and the snowdrops are out.




February's delivery of flowers from Bloom & Wild was particularly good, and also included 3 tulips (not pictured) still attached to their bulbs, so lasting beautifully and will go into the garden when they have died back. 














The apple and pear trees (only one of each) need pruning, so I must garner the energy to do that soon, before the sap really starts rising. 


...oh, and we've both had the first dose of Pfizer now, and the dates for our 2nd appointments