Monday, 24 March 2014

Not going out

It is unbelievably cold, with a wind that cuts to the bone if you so much as poke your head out of the door. I AM NOT GOING OUT. Today is definitely going to be an Invisible Monday for me.
I'm wearing fleecy lined footless tights, comfort dressing for slobs. The blouse is ancient. It belonged for our elder daughter in her teens.She is now in her forties. It is from Benetton, probably bought during a sale, so it represents rather good value for money considering the amount of wear that we've both had from it!
It's decorated with quirky little embroidered motifs.
The cut of the blouse is rather unusual, as though someone had lain on the floor and just been drawn around - flat pack.
For Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Party animal

On Saturday we trotted up the road to the opening party of The Pig. All the village had been invited. And guess what, all you Downton Abbey fans, so had the Earl of Grantham - and my, but he scrubs up well. 'Dapper' is the word for Hugh Bonneville! (No, I didn't intrude and take a photograph.)
The new hotel owners have a philosophy of growing much of their own food or sourcing it from within a twenty-five mile boundary. The evening got off to a good start with Nyetimber and rhubarb fizz. 

Garden trays of 'Piggy Bits' did the rounds.
'Dress to party' was interpreted in many different ways. (I took Paula's advice and wore the black mohair top over my strapless dress.)
There were four hundred guests.
I couldn't decide whether or not to use the flash on my camera. Without it is murky but more accurate and atmospheric
and with the flash you can see what is going on but it looks flat and uninteresting. Which do you favour when you are in this sort of reduced lighting? (The music was great.)
Had to put my specs on, couldn't believe what I was seeing - living topiary!
But sometime after midnight it was good just to loll on a sofa with my lovely neighbour.
Then it was time to walk back down the road in the moonlight and tumble into bed.
Take a look at the enviable hotel veg garden over on share my garden.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Your advice requested

We've received an invitation. It says, "DRESS TO PARTY."  I'm following the good intentions of Janet at the Gardener's Cottage and planning to buy no new clothes this year so I intend to wear a faithful old lbd.
Trouble is
The days of wearing a strapless, sleeveless dress are over! The fabric is thin and I'll wear my petticoat slightly dropped.
I've got a black angora top that fits quite neatly with the dress. Is it too safe?

I've got a top that has a fair bit of glitter. It is a thicker wool, perhaps the two fabrics don't fit together very well?
But it does cover up my saggy arms. I could wear it rather loose.
I've got a number of different necklace options. This one is rose quartz but I could do three strand pearls.
What do you think?
Linking up with Patti's Visible Monday.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Good company

Last night it was the book group meeting. We always have supper, with contributions brought by the members. It invariably turns into a feast and a rowdy conversation.  I said that I would make a pudding but was out of eggs. I walked down the road and bought some from a neighbour whose hens are laying well at the moment. Aren't they beautiful!
My lemon tree is being equally prolific so I decided to make
Make a shortcrust pastry base with 4oz flour, 2oz fats.
Cream together 2oz butter with 4oz sugar until light and fluffy.
4oz cottage cheese,
rind and juice of a lemon,
1oz flour,
beaten egg yolk. Mix together well.
Whisk the egg white until stiff and fold into the mixture.
Bake for about 30 minutes at 400 deg F, Gas mark 6. (The dark bits are where I failed to combine the egg white thoroughly into the mixture!)
We were discussing

It is a novella, straightforwardly written and therefore very accessible. Quite a relief after ploughing through Pamuk's, 'Snow' at the last meeting! All the group enjoyed it, but some far more than others. I felt somewhat burdened by the tone, set right at the onset, although two points of humour, well into the book, were delightful. I feel that this subject has been better handled by other authors.
It created a good discussion and a lovely evening. We got home in the early hours and today, thanks to rain and wind and very dull skies, I haven't ventured out.

On quiet Sundays such as this my father usually phoned from North Yorkshire for a catch-up of news.
Today is the anniversary of his death, fourteen years ago. At the age of ninety-one he was diagnosed with lung cancer and given three months to live. However he was determined to see in the new millennium and extended that time by eight months. We were described as 'two peas in a pod'. When he died I was distraught and thought that I had lost him completely. It isn't the case, he travels with me always.
I know that some of you are at the stage of life where elderly parents are causing concern and heartache, with difficult decisions having to be made. I wish to tell you that you never altogether loose those you love - but be sure to tell them while they are before you just how you feel.
Wee One with her Grandad

 I still half wait for the phone to ring. When it did so this morning it was a friend that I'd been talking to a few hours earlier. We did what my father and I had always done and had a leisurely conversation, mulling over the night before and chatting about this and that. Thank you, Janet, it was great!

Friday, 14 February 2014

Valentine's Day

Red roses
shop bought food
(oh, lazy thing!)
and rather a lot of chocolate.
Hope you've all been a little bit spoilt.

Monday, 3 February 2014

As we were - 1974

Flower Jane has started a new link up, a photo of how we were at different times in our life. My 'blast from the past' was taken in the field behind my parents' home. It's summer and the seventies and I'm wearing a cream calico Laura Ashley dress and, for the benefit of the photo a straw boater decorated with flowers. The swing is homemade, just rope with a wooden seat slung from an overhanging branch. I've always loved to swing, best of all in the sunshine with bare feet.

Monday, 20 January 2014


The book group came to our house on Saturday evening to discuss 'Snow'. They didn't have to travel through any of the stuff, which was lucky, as most of us had read quite enough about it already, thank you very much, by the time we had finished the book! The majority of the group found the book a hard slog. For all the sly humour in the writing I found it a very depressing read - not a good thing for me in the miserable months of winter.
Luckily our book group is a happy, lively affair, everyone brings a food contribution so we always sit down to a very sociable meal. Last autumn the pear trees had cropped well and I made upside-down cakes with the fruit and stored a supply in the freezer.  When I turned one out onto a plate for the supper it looked rather pale and uninteresting. Luckily I had  some white chocolate stars and glitter icing left over from Christmas so it got a slight snow treatment!
I couldn't recommend the book but it made for a good discussion.