Monday, February 27

5s a crowd. . .

so. . .
a cat alone in an empty house would choose to sleep
on the sofa (with plump snuggle blankets)
take her pick of armchairs or windowsills,
cosy up in front of the warm woodburner or Rayburn
or even
(as a very LAST resort)
in her own comfortably fluffy duvet filled bedS?

Not this one.
Five is indeed a crowd and why be comfy
when you could perch precariously?

Tuesday, February 21

(not so) sleepytime tails

1.30 a.m

did you hear that noise?
mmmmm. . .no. . .I'm asleep
you can't be asleep you're talking
I'm trying to be asleep
but did you hear that noise
(cue loud scrabbling sound coming from inside the wall)
do you hear it now?
(mumbled from under the covers)
but it sounds very large and I don't want to know what it is


Ted spends 10 minutes standing in the freezing cold bedroom (TMI to say sans Dickensian nightshirt) with his ear pressed to the wall before declaring we have a mouse who's travelled up the drainpipe, across the front porch, climbed the creeper to the windowledge, shinned up the casement to the gutter and found the gap where the lead seam on the roof doesn't quite meet the slates, snuck in through the gap and dropped down through the roof void to the beam by the side of the bed where he's scampering about making a nest before he invites his lady friend back for a cheese tasting or whatever it is mice do.

Now even at 1.30 in the morning, half asleep, hiding under the covers clutching my hot water bottle for defence against invaders, it occured to me that if my husband can work all that out by simply standing naked listening to a wall, why can't he find a pair of socks, neatly paired and folded in his underwear drawer?

But then I guess thats why I love him so much!

Friday, February 17

chocolate viennese whirls. . .easier than I ever thought possible!

I love to busy myself with "plain" cooking but have always avoided dainty things that require piping as they look so fiddly and time consuming.
However. . .these taste mouth-meltingly delicious, look quite posh and really were the Easiest Peasy possible to make!
By the time I got round to taking a pic there were only two little fellows left, and they'd disappeared before I checked the photos were in focus!

  • 250g/9oz very soft butter
  • 50g/2oz icing sugar
  • 250g/9oz plain flour
  • 50g/2oz cornflour
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 50g/2oz soft butter, 100g/40z icing sugar & tablespoon cocoa powder dissolved in 1/2 tablespoon of milk for the buttercream
  • about 100g/4oz plain choc for dipping coat
  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
  2. Put the butter, icing sugar, plain flour, cornflour and vanilla extract in a food processor and blend until smooth. You may need to scrape the mixture down a couple of times with a rubber spatula.
  3. Spoon the dough into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Pipe approx 35 rosettes of the dough approx 1-1/2", spacing well apart (or you could just put spoonsful of mixture in little mounds and have viennese dollops. . .)
  4. Bake in the centre of the oven for 13-15 minutes or until pale golden-brown and firm. Cool on the baking tray for about 5 minutes, remove to wire rack.
  5. When cool, melt the dark choc in a basin in the microwave or on the stove and dip half of each biscuit in the choc. Place on baking parchment and leave to set.
  6. For the filling, put the butter in a bowl and sift the icing sugar on top. Add the dissolved cocoa/milk and beat with a wooden spoon or an electric whisk until very light and smooth. Spoon into a clean piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. 
  7. Pipe the buttercream icing onto half of the biscuits and sandwich. Put on a serving plate and dust with sifted icing sugar/cocoa. Serve. Eat. Enjoy

PS I made an alternative batch of these for a friend who doesn't "do" chocolate (heathen!) and put finely grated lemon rind in the mixture, and sandwiched together with plain buttercream (with vanilla essence) and lemon curd. . .have to admit that I actually preferred them!

Wednesday, February 15

??mystery objects??

Help needed please to identify these mystery objects which I found in an old workbag at our local jumble sale- I'm probably being really thick and EVERYONE will know what they are!

Saturday, February 11

Taunton Textile Rag & Remnant Rummage...3 weeks and counting...

My bags are packed and ready to go. . .

I just HAD to book a stall to sell at at
 Lizzie & Clare's new fair to be held at

Trull Village Memorial Hall, Church Road, Trull, Taunton Somerset TA3 7JZ
on Saturday March 3rd
the fair will open at 9.30 and end at 2pm, admission just 50p

I'm planning a "not too sophisticated" stand piled high with
heaps of reduced-price vintage fabric remnants
old sewing accessories, boxes & baskets
job-lots of pre-used needlework bits & bobs
big bags of old buttons bobbins & bows
vintage sewing machines & mannis
1950s knitting patterns & sewing books
and any other rummagey delights I can squeeze
onto what is already looking to be a VERY
overstuffed stall!!

Hope to see you there- its going to be a fab fair!

Wednesday, February 8

uphill all the way!

My poor old battered lungs needed a bit of a workout
after spending the past month recuperating, so I planned my
morning walk to incorporate as many gentle hills as possible.

Soooo, deep breath (possibly my last!) and out through the front gates. . .

up the back lane to the forge

where the quirky window panes are made from glass segments

past Paula's studio cottage

and through the gates

to the church

which has amazing gargoyles on the tower!

Out through the footpath gate at the back of the church

into the woods where badgers have been busy burrowing.

These woods were always a white carpet of snowdrops
after Christmas, but alas the felling of over 50
mature oaks in the autumn left a barren waste

and while previously unviewed vistas have appeared,
this slope was a total mudslide in the heavy rains
as the rain cascaded down leaving a wake of
sludge at the bottom.

Up the (thankfully!) final hill towards home,
huffing and puffing a bit I must admit

where I was rewarded with a cluster of snowdrops
nodding gently in the sunshine, safe under their canopy
of brambles!

Friday, February 3

errr. . .excuse me?

errr. . .excuse me little frozen daisy. . .
no matter how much you wish and WISH,
you are NOT a snowdrop!!

Wednesday, February 1

1st things 1st

Early morning may bring many pleasures but none quite so
resassuring in the murky darkness as the 1st cuppa.

(Ironically, I decided that my epitaph will be
I kept calm and look where it got me)

and the woodburner lighting quickly from last nights embers
(alas, central heating is not an option here).

By the time the kettle has boiled on the Rayburn
for the third mug of tea, the fire is
rip roaring away, primed ready for the rest of the day
. . .and so am I!!

What does it take to get you going on these winter mornings?

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