Sunday, 31 July 2011


It's the English cherry season and I have been eating them with great delight and absolutely no effort on my part. We have had a couple of meals at our house with two different groups of friends. On both occasions everyone brought a contribution to the meal. We do this quite often at each others homes and it is always a success.
Andie brought a traditional Limousin clafoutis. It is a dish that I usually make with black or red currants because they are plentiful in the garden. I don't have a cherry tree. We grew 'white heart' cherries in the orchard of my childhood home. As soon as they were really sweet and ripe all the birds in the neighbourhood would descend. They were capable of stripping the tree of all it's fruit.

A big clafoutis is a good party dish - and it travels well in the car, something that I've learnt to consider the hard way! Andie's contribution was a labour of love because she prepared the fruit by hand as she doesn't have a cherry stoner. We all appreciated her effort!

Limousin clafoutis.

1lb stoned cherries
3 tbsp flour
3 tbsp sugar
3 eggs
300ml milk
castor sugar for dusting.

Butter a shallow ovenproof dish and scatter cherries over the base.
Put flour and sugar in a bowl and add eggs and milk to make a smooth batter. Pour over fruit and bake for 30 to 40 minutes in a hot oven until risen and golden brown.

Later in the week we had a lunch party and Pam brought this delicious cherry tart.

Passports are not the fascinating objects that they once were, when every movement in and out of the country was stamped and recorded. The one that I have just relinquished had some very impressive attention from the Russian authorities, but trips to Canada and Egypt resulted in only meagre rubber stamps and holidays in Europe were not recorded at all. My first passport as a child was far more colourful.
I was called in from the garden where I had been eating cherries. My mother washed my face and tied my hair in two tight plaits with ribbons and clasps. I wore my best party frock, with smocking across the front. We were going into town to have my passport photograph taken.
The photographer had a difficult time getting me to smile properly, just a nice little smile, quite straight, not lopsided. He gave up in the end and just took the photo anyway.
When we got home I took the cherry stone that I had been storing all afternoon in the side of my mouth and put it in the kitchen bin. Mum rolled her eyes in despair but Dad just laughed.

When I look at it now I think that it's the best passport photo of me that has ever been taken!

Passport photograph 16th July, 1949.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011


I've been for a much needed haircut. I've worn it short and asymmetrical for a number of years, but I think of myself as a long haired female, probably because that's how it was for most of my childhood. It has been up and down and all over the place since then and turned from dark brown to white. My first passport photograph, below, shows how my hair was restrained during the week by plaits and clasps and ribbons, 

and then, at the weekends, left unhindered to tangle at will!

It's been up and down ever since, moving from dark brown to grey from an early age.

I quite fancy buying a long brown wig!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Bloggers meeting.

I've only just past my first year of blogging and last Friday experienced my first blogger meet up.  The Weaver of Grass lives just a few miles away from where my parents used to live, in the next dale. I follow her blog with interest as it is a wonderful link with the area that I used to call 'home'.  I feel as though I know some bloggers really well and dearly wish that they might be as accessible for a meet up as the Weaver. (Some other bloggers remain an absolute mystery to me!) 
Of course I knew all about the arrival of the chickens from the Weaver's blog. They were outside on the grass run when we came to look, but before I could use my camera Tess, the terrier, had shown far too much interest and mother hen assembled her brood and led them single file back into the coop.

We had a good old natter about art, plants, places and poetry. Thank you Weaver and Farmer for your hospitality, we had a lovely time.