Saturday, 7 November 2015


So the weather has been given a name, Abigail. Gail sounds about right at the moment stripping the last leaves from the trees and rain - plenty now making the grass boggy.
Water everywhere and, unfortunately, it has reared its head underneath the pond liner again - we have a small island. The drain must be blocked, I suppose.
Our moorhen is still with us and looks like has decided to take up residence for the winter. It does not mind rain.

We have the last flush of autumn in the garden but the big sycamore is stubbornly staying green as are some of the Acers - unlike the saturated red of the Euonymus alatus - winged spindle - that is at its best. The ash trees are now naked and skeletal.

Flowers still struggle on - amazingly last year's yellow winter pansies in a pot outside the kitchen door and the nasturtiums on the bank, not yet turned slimy by a frost. The temperature remains in the teens.

R has to do the flowers for the church on Sunday but apart from a big pot of Sedum spectabile in the porch there is not much else now usable. It will mean a trip to buy something, at least for the altar.

I rang the shed people about the wet rot at the bottom of the Wendy House door but got no satisfaction so it will mean a carpenter coming to patch it up.

I have seen all sorts of weather now, even fog.

In the paper there is a cartoon of Cameron and Obama up to their necks in the desert and Putin laughing - but now he is sinking into the sand with them. You would have thought the Russians would have learned better after their debacle in Afghanistan.

And that has nothing to do with a gardening blog.

I have collected some more of the leaves from the paths and bagged them but so much is sodden I can only watch. 
R is making our Christmas fruit cake. The dried fruit is soaked in  booze and soon it will go in the oven for at least five hours. It takes longer to cook than to eat, though to eat it all at once would be a real tour de force!

Recipe? All right - metric measures!
Ingredients 1 - 20 cm square tin - currants 500g, sultanas 350g,
raisins 175g, glace cherries 350g, rind 2 oranges, 150ml sherry, 250g soft margarine.
Chop raisins, halve cherries, put in bowl, pour over sherry add grated rind, cover, stir daily for 3 days.
Ingredients 2 - dark brown sugar 250g, 5 eggs, s/r flour 75g, plain flour 175g, blanched chopped almonds 75g, black treacle 1 tablespoon, ground mixed spice 1.5 teaspoons.
Beat marg, eggs, sugar, treacle and almonds on bowl, add flours and spice and blend well.
Stir in fruit.
Line tin with greaseproof paper, spoon in and level.
Cook in low oven (Aga in simmering oven) for 4.5 to 12 hours. Check regularly with skewer. When it comes out clean cake is cooked. Leave to cool in tin.

After that it is into storing - you can add booze a little at a time over next few weeks but beware - one year R added too much and it was all soggy! (But nice)
Later marzipan and icing as you wish.

To continue - the roses are still blooming here. Thank you to A's parents for this one.

And I leave you with a burst of sunshine from two days ago before the fog came down (or rather up with the incoming tide).

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