Tuesday, 27 January 2015


The rooks next door are in full croak - nests on the way - except for one with a tenor call that seems far too high pitched.

R is stiff from gardening the other day - brambles and dead leaves her forte at the moment. There are bulbs flowering in the pots - I think these are paperwhites. I should have put them in the house pots but, well, ne'er mind lad.

Buds is a-sprouting like this promise on the blackcurrants and the garden is stirring despite the nip in the air.

There are snowdrops everywhere - a testament to R's determination to have them here there and - well, you know - a bit like pimpernel.
By the time I am 135 the garden will be full of them.

Down in the cutting bed, after I had pruned the rosemary, I stuck about thirty rough bits in the soil in the early autumn and they have all taken! Here they are growing up through some foxglove self sown seedings.

On the banking below the house the montbretia (crocosmia) has got out of hand and will need digging up and replanting. It can be a bit of a thug if left and when it gets congested does not flower as well. We have three types - red, orange and yellow.

The weather this morning is a mixture of sun and black threatening cloud.

I have noticed that the rogue ash to the right of the nicely shaped tree at the back has got a bit large and will need chopping (well sawing) down. The trouble is it sprouts again so readily I - wait - source of firewood, I suppose, so okay-ish.

One of the things I inherited from my mother was her personal recipe book. All measures will be UK and pounds, ounces etc. No vouching for how good this but - 


6oz butter
6oz soft brown sugar
6oz self-raising flour
2 eggs
4oz caster sugar

Mix butter and sugar and rind of 1 lemon in pan and melt.
Leave to cool then add flour and eggs. Mix well.
Put in swiss roll tin and bake 20min to half an hour at about 180. (She does not say whether Fahrenheit, Centigrade or Kelvin.)

Take 4oz caster sugar and mix with the lemon juice and pour over warm cake.
Cut in squares.

This sounds a bit lemon drizzly to me.
Lily was Lily Barrow who helped Mum around the house. After she died I wrote a poem about her - 


She sits on a three-legged stool in front 
of our grey shippon door plucking chickens.
The feathers fall like snow to the yard earth
and eddy erratically until picked  
by a gentle breeze and sent skittering
to collect as a drift in a tangle 
of pineappleweed by the dairy door.

She notices the camera and looks up,
gives a small smile to the cameraman, 
my father, then returns to ripping down.
We had no freezer then, this is dinner,
Aga roasted in the kitchen.  By then
Lily will have walked back to her farmhouse
hidden in the hills beyond the village.

Her cottage was in a fold in the fell.
Her weathered hands had made a rare garden
amongst rocks, a place of peace and beauty.
By the five-bar gate was a small stone shed.
Here were her dogs.  She walked ten miles a day
to harden them for the weekly hound trail,
the long chase after the drag sack of scent.

She did not travel much beyond her home
till she was eighty and her husband died.
Suddenly she was off across the world.
One day whilst driving down to Broughton Mills
a shadow crossed the road and, looking up,
we saw a large balloon.  In the basket,

was Lily loving life before too late.

Back in the house the place is still full of flowers like this one and the old amaryllis is sprouting.

Sorry L and G, have not mentioned compost for a bit so here you are.

There can be too much information in a blog so I will not mention the "upbumcamera" waiting for me.

That seems an appropriate place to get to the bottom of the page.

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