Sunday, 28 September 2014


It's almost like I want winter to come...though I love autumn. I sort of can't wait for it to be cold enough to light the woodburner and just hunker down of an tiny mouse has snuck into the house, I'm not scared but he'll have to go!

OMG...I'm now sat in my hot kitchen holding a piece of string tied to a log. This is propping up a cake cover with hopefully an enticing piece of ham underneath! Mouse come out!!.I could be here for quite some time.

Well well. Slowly it goes.

This is what my life is looking like at the moment. Picking and preserving.

I can only hope Millicent won't want to share. Now I'm all in.

J. x


Hedgerow Treasures

Getting ahead of the game is vitally important for a well stocked pantry this winter. The hedgerows are laden with vitamin rich treats...the trick is getting the berries out of the hedge without leaving too much of your flesh behind! I have quite sore arms at the moment.

This uninspiring looking panful of fruitfulness is the making of rosehip syrup. It actually tastes divine and I can't wait to pour some over ice cream and use it in the bottom of a sponge pudding.

This is a blackberry, apple and sloe fruit leather. Best for snacking on or I may try pieces in a cake.

Anyway there are a multitude of ways to store and preserve. All fairly hard work but in my opinion very rewarding to do. I've been picking and preparing again this morning, though sadly not blackberries as it was just too damp. I need to do a quick tidy up now before going to work...oh and I mustn't forget to shake the gins...sloe and blackberry.

So winter will come...but hopefullyI'll be ready!

J. x


Friday, 26 September 2014

Goodbye Summer

The first nips of autumn have been felt around here. Summer has said farewell for this year.

The leaves are falling.

The nights are cold and we awake to misty mornings.

Cobwebs glisten in the sun as she breaks through the chill morning air.

This time is special...the forerunner to winter, a time to gather in the last of the harvests.

Be not idle in the autumn, for winter will follow and with an empty larder you will pay dear during the harsh months to come.

Nature has provided us with her bounties, it is up to us to make the most of these gifts.

These lovelies are sitting in the window by my sink. The colours of autumn are beautiful.

In preparation for winter I have potted up bulbs, tulips, daffs and iris, topped with violas and cyclamen. They are creating a nice splash of colour by the house walls and hopefully will continue to do so for quite some time.

I fear we are getting to the end of the bean the wind has picked up, something I'm sure the beans will not appreciate at all.

Yesterday I picked a load of blackberries to make blackberry gin...

This morning I collected these...sloes for sloe gin...We're obviously planning a boozy winter!

I also rescued these from a bonfire pile and hope to get creative soon...just not today as I soon need to get off to work...big sigh!

Get harvesting,

J. x







Monday, 22 September 2014



Here's my list of dislikes in no particular order...

Spiders...I ended up in casualty once due to spider bites.

Drunk people...I find their actions embarrassing.

Road rage...just hold on to your tempers!

Cruelty...never justified to man or beast.

Succulents....sorry you're just not my cup of tea. way!

TV soaps...usually depressing, and rather a waste of time...sorry avid watchers.

Golf...dodgy trousers don't do it for me.

Cold callers...just don't!!

These are my most disliked dislikes...maybe tomorrow I'll divulge my favourite things.

J. x


Wednesday, 17 September 2014

When Fido Gets Sick

An Anxious, and potentially heartbreaking scenario.

And guess who got sick this week.

One minute running around your legs begging for food, the next off her legs and being sick.

A trip to the vet later and thankfully she's doing ok, just lots of cuddles and whatever she wants to eat.

Bless you sweet puppy dog.

It seems autumn has arrived, the leaves are turning and falling, especially in the woodland. I have been picking blackberries whenever I can, after all come October it will be too late, we all know what the devil is said to do on them then! Pee if you didn't know.

My success in the polytunnel has been limited. A tunnel it seems is a good idea, everything romped away quickly, but then it became very hot and I would be out at work. The result, some wilting. Then came the damp, the result blight. I think when possible...and not in this garden we'll invest in a somewhat larger tunnel with a door opening at either end for improved ventilation.

I shall also be belt and bracing up against the dreaded cabbage white butterflies. They have almost eaten my entire crop of winter veg in the making.

It appears that the more salad we grow the less of it we eat so next time what I grow will be simplified. I'm ashamed to say I have been letting peppers rot on the plant because we don't care for them that much. I would fare better trying to live on rations next year with growing the basic staples like carrots and onions that we use almost every day.

Anyway I don't yet know where we will be next season so it would be prudent to grow some things in a moveable form early on just in case we up sticks. I'm trying sooo hard not to get stressed about this, but for those of you who have been there you know how hard it is not to get excited, then sad, then miserable, then fed up...get the picture?

Anyway, I'm upping sticks and going off to work shortly. It's a late one for me today, and tomorrow and the next day I have exams. Oh the joy of being a mature student!!

J. x


Thursday, 11 September 2014

A Makeover

Today I've been home but a little out of sorts.

Just blah really. Things have been done...washing, ironing etc., just not much and without enthusiasim.

This evening I've given my little blog a makeover. I hope you like it. So kettle's on, come on over for a cuppa and a chat!

And maybe some of these!

J. x


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

And The Mists Came Rolling In

The title And The Mists Came Rolling In reminds me of a piece of poetry by Charles Kingsley called The Sands of Dee.

Charles Kingsley also wrote Westward Ho! There is a statue of him on the quayside in Bideford.

Anyway I'm up early before a ten hour stint at work...and it's misty!

It's looking promising for later despite the early mist...probably another scorcher...and I'll be at work...sob sob...not really but if someone could feel sorry for me that'll be just fine.

It's just I'd rather be here with my little teeny weenie puppy dog!

J. x


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Hi...My Name Is Tommy I'm here...below

What do you think...perfect body...and what's more I have pedigree...I am grown by the RHS so I must be good!

So glad that it's not just us that grows weird and wonderful vegetables...though technically the tomato is a fruit.

Day off today...boy am I tired after going back to work yesterday. I must try to switch off completely...tomorrow will come soon enough.

It's looking like another lovely day to come...perhaps I'll be adding to this heap of prunings and weedings.

Yep...half the day physical work and half mental work is my plan, with an hour of pure relaxation somewhere in the middle.

Have a good day yourselves.

J. x


Monday, 8 September 2014

Final Moments of Freedom

Here I am...almost willing the clock to slow town before my first back to work shift starts. I feel unsettled...I love my job, but these last two weeks at home have been glorious for getting things done and there is still much more left to do.

At least I made a start...still I'll be home tomorrow!

Hope I can get back into the swing of things quickly.

If only we could be self sufficient...what a joy that would be. No clocks to follow except that of sunrise and sunset...bliss...big sigh...but for now off I trundle to the land of the working woman!

And dream of sitting here relaxing...

J. x


Sunday, 7 September 2014

Preparing For Winter

We are exhausted...all day we've been getting logs cut, split and stacked in readiness for Winter. We are hoping to get ahead of the game as we should and have a couple years worth logged and drying out, but this is hard backbreaking work. Everybody has been rendered starving with hunger. I am shattered from the tips of my toes to the top of my head. The men want a bbq for tea, and I can't really blame them. Today calories have been burnt.

Last evening saw us taking quite a jaunt off to Woolhanger Manor up on Exmoor for a wedding party. What a lovely place, the reception was held in the music room, and this is my kind of lighting...

They hit the spot for me centre on.

The oldest parts of the Manor date from the 13th. C.

Check it out on Google. I thought the setting was amazing.

Tomorrow I go back to work after two lovely weeks at home...

I'm sure I'll soon get back into the swing of things...but oh it feels hard to go back.

Hopefully the next few weeks or months will see the start of some happy changes for us, but for now...

J. x


Friday, 5 September 2014

Blissful Exhaustion

I have been working hard in the garden,

Cutting back,






I have a full green bin,

I have a small bonfire lit,

I am sweaty,

I am tired,

I am happy.

Will this be the final time I tidy up someone else's garden in Autumn.

I hope so.

Things are stirring,


Please let the property we need to sell do so soon...

I have plans,

And dreams,

For my Winter's End.

Pumpkins at Rosemoor.
J. X


Thursday, 4 September 2014

Another Beautiful Day

Again, it is a beautiful September Day. I have just finished our VAT return and submitted have escaped outdoors to soak up some of the sun's glorious rays.
I had begun to sweep up the yard...but my it's hot work at this time of a cool drink and a sit down seems more the ticket just at the moment.
The tin on our little she'd is making friendly noises as it heats and cools as the clouds pass by.
The leaves on the cherry tree are beginning to sound crinkly and make a rustling sound...soft whispers of autumn.
Our grass is long...far too long...a job for a man I think!
Washing is gently swaying on the line...birds are singing. Insects are buzzing. I cannot be tempted to go anywhere car is having it's MOT.
Sigh...more expense....there has been a lot of that lately, and I'm sure us on rationing isn't going to make things stop breaking down...
I have been picking blackberries and making use of our few cooking apples. They will soon be all gone, then instead of blackberry and apple crumble it will hopefully be pear.
The runner beans have not had a particularly good year this year...but I'm picking enough for us to eat most days...just not enough to make chutney.
Swallows have started to line up on the wires...a sure sign they are thinking of leaving us soon....a sad time for me.
For now though I have to be inventive with our meals...pennies are tight and we are living from the garden and freezer...even using up beauties such as these!

Two of their friends vanished down the plug hole...whole...what I didn't photograph was the huge pile of off cuts...slug eaten bits...lovely!
I have been on two weeks holiday from work...and originally didn't need to start back until next Wednesday...however it now feels a little like I have been robbed of two extra days as I have to go in on Monday...a shame but necessary.
Lovely though just sitting here day dreaming is I really do need to get myself motivated to sweep up the rest of the yard. I have a huge cow mat on my front step as the tiles are so slippery...however it't too heavy for me to move, and as hubby is off silaging I shall have to just scrub around it the best way I can.
Big sigh and humph...I wish I were stronger and didn't have to wait for my man.
Ah well.
J. x

Wednesday, 3 September 2014


Well, 75 years ago Britain declared war on Germany. As then, today has been a beautiful day weather wise. I have been busy doing all sorts, but also reflecting on what people would have been wondering would happen. Both my parents lived through the father fought in it.

I'm actually lost for words at the moment.

I'm going to do my upmost best to live by rationing as it happened throughout the war to honour their lives and suffering.

There...and that's all I can manage tonight.

Sleep tight everyone.

J. x