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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Feather, Aquilega and Three Choc Chip with Raisins Cookies

1    Quite often we find a feather that has landed in the gravel of the front garden. They always make me smile. How do they land like that?

Feather in the gravel

2   It’ll be September tomorrow and the Aquilegas are just beginning to open. This one is new to us and is absolutely gorgeous – just look at these markings!

Beautiful markings on this Aquilega

3   I’ve spent a very happy hour baking this afternoon. I’ve had this recipe for Choc Chip Cookies for about thirty years having found it in a Choc Chip packet while in America on holiday. (After having four children in four years, ( No 3 turning out to be twins) my parents thought we needed a holiday and sent us to stay with my sister and family in New York followed by a week with my brother in Atlanta, Georgia! What a present!) I’ve adapted the recipe over the years and have put it on my Recipe pages (Top right) should you wish to try them. They are wickedly delicious, both crunchy and chewy!

Cooked cookies beside one of our special sporty 50p pieces to mark 2012 Olympics – to show how big these cookies are!

For you, Choc Chip!

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2012 in baking, flowers, Food, garden, nature

 

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Onion Harvest, Swans and A Full Moon Rising

1   We’ve harvested all the onions and they’re drying out ready to plait up and store.

2   We went to Truro this evening and had a walk by the river before going for a meal. I love this photo of the swans on the  river as they have both just lifted their beaks out of the water and left concentric ripples behind.

Swans on the Truro River

3   As we left Bustopher Jones wine bar, the very beautiful full moon was rising in a pale pink twilight sky.

Full moon rising

 

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Suffragette Garden, Mobile Library and Thomas Hardy

1   We spent a pleasing hour or two choosing beautiful plants for my Suffragette Garden, a small plot in the front which we have just finished clearing. Everything growing in this space will be purple, white or green to honour my Great Granny who was a Suffragette. She was imprisoned in Holloway for her ‘misdeeds’ while fighting for the right for women to vote and we are very proud of her. I have had a Suffragette Garden wherever I have lived.

2   Driving home, we saw a Mobile Library van, stuffed with books and with such a pleasing slogan on the back, “The universe at your fingertips!”

The Mobile Library van travelling around Cornwall

3   The following poem by Thomas Hardy was read this morning at a Humanist Funeral we went to. It was a beautiful and very moving ceremony to celebrate the life, and to mark the untimely death, of the son of friends of ours. The same poem was chosen by my parents for their funerals so it has a particular place in my heart.

Afterwards by Thomas Hardy

When the Present has latched its postern behind my tremulous stay,
And the May month flaps its glad green leaves like wings,
Delicate-filmed as new-spun silk, will the neighbours say,
‘He was a man who used to notice such things’?

If it be in the dusk when, like an eyelid’s soundless blink,
The dewfall-hawk comes crossing the shades to alight
Upon the wind-warped upland thorn, a gazer may think,
‘To him this must have been a familiar sight.’

If I pass during some nocturnal blackness, mothy and warm,
When the hedgehog travels furtively over the lawn,
One may say, ‘He strove that such innocent creatures should come to no harm,
But he could do little for them; and now he is gone.’

If, when hearing that I have been stilled at last, they stand at the door,
Watching the full-starred heavens that winter sees
Will this thought rise on those who will meet my face no more,
‘He was one who had an eye for such mysteries’?

And will any say when my bell of quittance is heard in the gloom
And a crossing breeze cuts a pause in its outrollings,
Till they rise again, as they were a new bell’s boom,
‘He hears it not now, but used to notice such things’

4      Just want to add – thinking of friends in the path of Isaac and hoping for everyone’s safety.
 

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Unfounded Fears, Sounds of the Sea and A Smiling Lion

1   Mr S wants to learn to sail – in fact he would love to have his own boat!  I love water! I love living near water. We live near the sea but being on or in the sea – not one of my beautiful things!  I determined to learn to swim before I was forty and I did. Now I have to learn to sail before I am seventy!!  To that aim we went to a local lake today to find out about sailing lessons. I would so love it if sailing could become one of my beautiful things!  I’ll let you know!

Lessons on Stithians Lake

2    One of the things I love about water is the sound, be it crashing, thundering waves or soft swishes of little ripples on a shingle shore; be it a river rushing through a weir or murmuring  quietly through the reeds; even the sound of all the rain we’ve had this summer, especially rain pounding on a corrugated tin roof or on the top of the tent. And after the rain, I love the petrichor, not a sound but the loveliest of smells!

3  Near the lake we saw a lion, golden and gorgeous with the most self-satisfied smile on its face.

Smiling Lion

 

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‘April Evening’, Spine Poems and A Red Onion

1   We had wanted to go to Trelissick today but the rain was so heavy, we decided to postpone that visit and I’ve made do with my beautiful limited edition lino print, ‘April Evening’ by Isobel Ellis instead – sheep on the hill and The Carrick Roads in the distance.

‘April Evening’ by Isobel Ellis

2   I’ve had a happy afternoon creating  Spine Poems which I recently came across through this Freshly Pressed  site. I googled the term and find they’ve been around for ages. I hope you like the following:

From my cookery shelves

French Favourites

Picnics in the park –

Simply delicious!

Strong women

Gather together in my name

Strong minded women!

Badge of Honour!

Enough said!

Ain’t I a woman?

Chocolat!

Paradise.

Speaks for itself

Walk Britain,

Discover Cornwall –

Paradise!

3   Slicing a red onion for supper tonight, I was struck again by the beauty under the skin.

Slice of red onion

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2012 in art, Food, poetry

 

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Neil Armstrong, Cornwall’s Living Churchyards and Confit Duck

1.    The first man to step upon the moon, Neil Armstrong, has died and his family have asked that, to remember him, we look at the moon, smile and give a wink. What a beautiful way to remember a man who was clearly a gentle and generous individual.   That request to wink had us remembering how both our Dads used to wink, in reassurance, in a moment of conspiracy, to say hello, to remind us how we were loved.

2   Mylor Marina, boatyard and Churchyard were our choice for today – the boats for Mr S, the water for us both and the Churchyard for me. What a lovely way to spend our special day, our Sapphire  Wedding Anniversary!

Us, 45 years ago

Mylor

Lych gate to Mylor Church

Read this remarkable gravestone carefully

Tombstone for a sailor

Masts in the distance

Cornwall’s Living Curchyards

Celtic Cross with a pile of wood behind which has the label ‘Wood pile for wild creatures to hide in’

Loved this building in the marina and the reflection

Bookswap in The Castaways where we had lunch

We shared this enormous helping!

3   Home to cook our Anniversary dinner together – French Confit Duck with beans, broad and French, from the garden and some baby new potatoes with a red wine sauce followed by Ginger Fairing Lime Cups (I was inspired by that ice-cream I had the other day!)

Ginger Fairing Lime Cup

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Arizona Boots, A Baby Naming and My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes

1.   My lovely sister had these boots made for me by an artist in Prescott, Arizona after I had so admired hers. I always wear them for Baby Naming Ceremonies.

Boots for Baby Namings

2.  Two days of downpour prevented today’s Baby Naming Ceremony from being in the garden but it all went off very well in the Village Hall. H was delightful and did listen when I spoke directly to him – “We have come together here today to formally introduce you, H, to our world. Please treat it gently, with respect and with a curious mind.”

With my lovely Baby Naming Family

3.  I was reminded today of a beautiful picture book for children which we must read to Jake. Go to Sam and Holly‘s blog  for a review of ‘Rosie’s Walk’.   I don’t seem to have the copy we had for our four but came across this old favourite in the collection that I have kept for the next generation. We all loved the rhyme and the fun and had a couple of cats who loved to hide in boxes!

An old favourite

 

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Love-in-the-Mist, Heather Tree and A Supper Tray

1   I love Nigella (aka Love-in-the-mist) flowers and seeds. The seeds feed the gold finches and they’ve been at the feeder today, the flowers themselves are delicate and beautiful and the seed pods are gorgeous! When I do my Wedding Ceremonies, I give the couple a packet of these as their wedding present!

Love-in-a-mist

Love-in-a-mist seed pod

2   It’s been a quiet day today, looking after Mr S who has had an attack of Meniere’s disease so this next photo is from our walk the other day at Botallack. This heather pleased me, growing very close to the ground and resembling a tree in its formation. It’s only about 25cms across, smaller than it appears in the photo.

Heather resembling a tree with a little bit of blossom at the top

3    A supper tray for Mr S (who is feeling much better this evening)

Supper on a tray

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2012 in family, flowers, garden, nature

 

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Sweet Pea Pod, Poppy Seed Head and Horses Return

Sweet Pea Pod

1   The sun shining through the sweet pea pod shows the furriness of the pod in the sunlight and the little seeds inside – just beautiful!

2   The poppy seed heads are just opening to scatter their tiny black seeds everywhere – lots of poppies next year!

Ripened seed pod

Side view to show the holes for the seeds to escape from

3   Much to our delight, the horses are back in the field behind our house. They are so beautiful!

Our horse neighbours

 

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Lichens, Rocks and Waves

1   There were lichens galore on our walk around Botallack Mine and the cliff tops today. They are so varied and so beautiful.

Feathery lichen

Mixed lichen

Glorious lichen

2   Tin and copper have been mined here for hundreds of years The historian John Norden wrote of the fact that the hamlet of ‘Botallock‘ was ‘a little hamlet on the coaste of Irishe sea most visited with tinners, where they lodge and feede, being nere theyre mynes’ in 1590 and there is evidence all around of rocks and minerals, layers of red, green, black, brown. I found this beautiful shiny purple bit in a wall. Does anyone know what it is?

Purple mineral in the rock

Botallack Crowns

Beautiful rock

Red rock

3   The only humans around, we sat high up on the cliffs and watched and listened to the waves, the sea birds, and a kestrel hunting.

Waves crashing onto the rocks below

Perched atop the cliffs

Blowing in the wind

A Ginger Fairing ice-cream finished off the beautiful day rather well!

Ginger Fairing ice-cream

This last is just for a laugh and was found in a treasure of a shop in St Just. We followed this very good advice!

 

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