Thursday, 28 October 2010

Half-term catching up

Half-term this week and last weekend I was in Devon visiting my parents. Two of the three days I spent with them were filled with glorious sunny weather. We walked at Exmouth and I was able to walk further than I have in months, over two miles.  I was very pleased although I think my parents, in their late seventies, were slowing down to make it easier for me!  Never mind, it has lifted my spirits to realise that although its taking longer than my impatient self would like, I am recovering.

As always I come home wishing that I did not live so far away. My parents are in good health and very active at the moment but if that was to change, it would be easier if I were nearer. Coming home in rainy conditions and encountering traffic problems, the journey was a tiring four and a half hours - not the sort of distance where I could just drop in to see that they are ok.

Next weekend I am travelling in the other direction visiting eldest son at university. I have booked cheap hotel rooms and I am treating him to a night away. The one thing he seems to be looking forward to is being able to have a soak in a pristine clean bath! This year he is sharing a house with four other lads, cleaning isn't top of their priority list!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010


The green tomato chutney is now made and the jars are waiting in the cool of the garage for a couple of months for the flavours to mellow, though I'm already looking forward to eating some.

In my preserving year, bottling rhubarb is always the first task and making chutney is the last. Next year will be different as I think I will be giving up my allotment. It is a hard decision to make after having it for 14 years but I haven't been able to do much over the last few months and although I hope to be recovered soon I don't want to risk hurting myself again next year. I will miss the rhubarb, and the soft fruit most.

I have a smallish garden and won't be able to grow many vegetables but I do have an apple tree and can grow tomatoes in pots on the patio so even without the allotment I will be able to preserve some home-grown food, as chutney.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

spider webs

There are some perfect spider webs in the garden, beautifully jewelled in the early mornings.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Finished knitting

I've just finished this little shawl/scarf, les Abeilles, from Anne Hanson at Knitspot. This is a lovely pattern in three sizes, this is the smallest. I knitted it in double knitting baby alpaca and it is very soft and cosy.

Its sometimes difficult to know how to photograph a shawl so here it is being modelled by a clipped shrub in the garden!

A little look at the detail of the pattern.

We've been having unseasonably warm weather here but I know soon that this will be just what I need for chilly mornings.

Monday, 4 October 2010

October Tomatoes

After getting off to a slow start my tomatoes have been very prolific over the past weeks. Yesterday I picked five pounds which at the moment are in the oven with olive oil, onion and black pepper, slowly reducing down to a delicious tomato sauce.
I think these may be the last of the tomatoes to ripen in the garden, it is October after all, but there will still be a few green ones left to make some chutney. Time to preserve a little bit of late summer goodness before the cold weather starts.