Friday, July 29

"Beer Bush"

we have this shrub growing prolifically at home-
it seems to appear in new locations almost overnight

we've named it the Beer Bush because that's exactly how it smells!

needless to say, this alcoholic aroma makes it a firm favourite with Ted ;0)

intertwined with honeysuckle and roughly clipped,
it's pretty enough to form a natural hedge alongside the garden

also growing like a weed is Rose of Sharon
which does look similar but has different
leaf and root system.

I'd love some help identifying the shrub's real name. . .

thanks everyone for your comments and emails- 
lovely to know the plant is Hypericum, 
and as the garden is a tad gloomy
surrounded by overhanging trees 
and with minimal sunlight
it's rather fitting to be "ring-fenced" by St John's Wort.
Nature really does know what she's doing!

Sunday, July 24

Bathing Beauty

On a warm sunny morning
(yes I know they're a bit scarce in July)
take a horse who's spent the winter snuggled in heavy rugs
and spent the spring and "summer"
rolling in the mud and dust

equip yourself with the Essential Kit:-
plastic brush to remove scurf, tail comb to de-tangle,
large bottle of shampoo,
sudsy sponge, clean towel, hosepipe
rubber-blade water scraper (just like a window wiper)
and an expensive bottle of spray conditioner
(I wouldn't pay that much for mine!)

lather well
(yes, he had to close his eyes lest the soap got in!)

rinse well

 taking time to have a quick drink while it's on offer

and remove excess water with the scraper
(he hates this bit)

swaddle in towels, and I keep a special "wicking rug"
for this purpose- it's filled with shredded tinfoil
which brings moisture to the surface whilst the
cotton fabric stays dry and warm.

Now round to the back end where that tail gets
some hairdressing treatment worthy
of a Because You're Worth It ad
and dear Bruce's "personal little places"
have a wash'n'wipe
(his reaction was perhaps to be expected
but I've spared you the photo!)

and after rinsing, the best way to drain a tail
is hold it firmly at the top and spin it round
like a propeller!
It's then sprayed with "leave-in" conditioner,
combed through and left to drip-dry naturally.

Clean enough do you think?

PS to see what happened when I turned him out in the field 
straight after his bath, you might recall this post :)

Wednesday, July 20

my 5 a day

just lately, when I climb into bed at night
I've tried to stop myself going over all the things I
 didn't tick off the list
didn't finish
didn't achieve
didn't do well enough
didn't do properly
didn't like doing
had to re-do
have to do tomorrow
and the day after
and the day after that. . .

and instead I think about
5 nice things that happened to me
during the past 24 hours

The only trouble is. . .

there's SO MANY nice little things
once you start to think about them,
do you reckon it's ok
to make an overflow list?

Sunday, July 17

very VERY quick tomato soup

this is SUCH a fab and easily adaptable recipe
for tomato soup that's easy and cheap to make,
and just as great served hot or chilled- with the blustery wet weather this weekend hot soup is back on the menu here in Dorset!

Fry a red onion until soft but
not browned
(you could add some garlic or chillies here if you want)
add a stick or so of celery and/or
the green leafy celery tops
1 large tin baked beans
2 large tins tinned tomatoes

bring to the boil, lower heat and
simmer until everything is soft
add basil
(I strip a whole plant cos I just LOVE basil!)
or a handful of mint leaves or
tabasco or worcestershire sauce
if you like a peppy soup
and simply blitz it all in the food processor

If it's a little too thick I add some water saved
from boiling the potatoes

season and serve with
sour cream, plain yoghurt
or just as it is!


Friday, July 15

Vintage Country Fayre

SUNDAY 17th JULY 11am - 5pm 

This looks like being a really fab day out with lots of Vintage themed stalls- a "real old fashioned fair" in a beautiful country house setting.
All the details are here. . .have fun!

Sunday, July 10

Mrs Malone

I first found this poem as a child, and catching a rare sight this morning of a reclusive neighbour who gathers waifs and strays, I found myself muttering "room for one more Mrs Malone".

When I read the beautiful Derek Walcott Love after Love post from Gena at These Foolish Things I thought it might be quite nice to share a poem now and again. . .do you have a favourite?

Mrs Malone by Eleanor Farjeon

Mrs. Malone
Lived hard by a wood
All on her lonesome
As nobody should. 
With her crust on a plate
And her pot on the coal
And none but herself
To converse with, poor soul.
In a shawl and a hood 
She got sticks out-o’-door,
On a bit of old sacking
She slept on the floor,
And nobody, nobody
Asked how she fared 
Or knew how she managed,
For nobody cared.
      Why make a pother
      About an old crone?
      What for should they bother
      With Mrs. Malone?

One Monday in winter
With snow on the ground
So thick that a footstep
Fell without sound,
She heard a faint frostbitten
Peck on the pane
And went to the window
To listen again.
There sat a cock-sparrow
Bedraggled and weak,
With half-open eyelid
And ice on his beak.
She threw up the sash
And she took the bird in,
And numbled and fumbled it
Under her chin.
      'Ye’re all of a smother,
      Ye’re fair overblown!
      I’ve room fer another,'
      Said Mrs. Malone.

Come Tuesday while eating
Her dry morning slice
With the sparrow a-picking
('Ain’t company nice!')
She heard on her doorpost
A curious scratch,
And there was a cat
With its claw on the latch.
It was hungry and thirsty
And thin as a lath,
It mewed and it mowed
On the slithery path.
She threw the door open
And warmed up some pap,
And huddled and cuddled it
In her old lap.
      'There, there, little brother,
      Ye poor skin-an’-bone,
      There’s room fer another,'
      Said Mrs. Malone.

Come Wednesday while all of them
Crouched on the mat
With a crumb for the sparrow,
A sip for the cat,
There was wailing and whining
Outside in the wood,
And there sat a vixen
With six of her brood.
She was haggard and ragged
And worn to shred,
And her half-dozen babies
Were only half-fed,
But Mrs. Malone, crying
'My! ain’t they sweet!'
Happed them and lapped them
And gave them to eat.
      'You warm yerself, mother,
      Ye’re cold as a stone!
      There’s room fer another,'
      Said Mrs. Malone.

Come Thursday a donkey
Stepped in off the road
With sores on his withers
From bearing a load.
Come Friday when icicles
Pierced the white air
Down from the mountainside
Lumbered a bear.
For each she had something,
If little, to give—
'Lord knows, the poor critters
Must all of ’em live.'
She gave them her sacking,
Her hood and her shawl,
Her loaf and her teapot—
She gave them her all.
      'What with one thing and t’other
      Me fambily’s grown,
      And there’s room fer another,'
      Said Mrs. Malone.

Come Saturday evening
When time was to sup
Mrs. Malone
Had forgot to sit up.
The cat said meeow,
And the sparrow said peep,
The vixen, she’s sleeping,
The bear, let her sleep.
On the back of the donkey
They bore her away,
Through trees and up mountains
Beyond night and day,
Till come Sunday morning
They brought her in state
Through the last cloudbank
As far as the Gate.
      'Who is it,' asked Peter,
      'You have with you there?'
      And donkey and sparrow,
      Cat, vixen and bear

Exclaimed, 'Do you tell us
Up here she’s unknown?
It’s our mother, God bless us!
It’s Mrs. Malone
Whose havings were few
And whose holding was small
And whose heart was so big
It had room for us all.'
Then Mrs. Malone
Of a sudden awoke,
She rubbed her two eyeballs
And anxiously spoke:
'Where am I, to goodness,
And what do I see?
My dears, let’s turn back,
This ain’t no place fer me!'
      But Peter said, 'Mother
      Go in to the Throne.
      There’s room for another
      One, Mrs. Malone.'

Thursday, July 7

Scents of Smell

So here's the thing. . .

you do the washing, Persil fresh
all nice and clean you hang it on the line
sunny morning (with any luck)
breath in
honeysuckle and grass
perhaps a hint of rain on the breeze
and touches of woodsmoke left from last night
(even though it's officially summer)

end of the day its dry
smooth some creases
iron the rest
put it back on the bed
plump the pillows 
drape the eidy

climb into bed all sleepy and nice
remove that elusive peg  
(there's always one isn't there- like the teaspoon in the sink)
bury your nose in the pillow
breathe in the linen
go "ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh"

breezy rain?

what IS that smell
is that what sunshine smells like?

Saturday, July 2

sun & grass & rock & roll!

Now don't you just feel like doing exactly the same thing? Wishing everyone rock n roll happiness enjoying the sunshine xx

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