Monday, 11 November 2013

Apple Day 2013

Different apples this time after our huge, very old, apple tree keeled over earlier in the year.  The main tree we have left, held on to all it's apples for ages, so here we are in November - and inside.

Can't work out what kind of apples these are - they're very sweet, but look like huge cookers.  We actually read some instructions this time round though, and have added some extra yeast and tested it with a hydrometer, so we should know how alcoholic it is when we force it on everyone.

We ended up with 13 litres of juice, so 26(ish) pints of cider/vinegar to look forward to. The learning curve on cider-making is (for us) a very gentle incline :)

Last time.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

(I found this poem on Kate Davies' blog as she talks about moving house, and it made me think of our situation. It feels as though we've been flitting for a while, and although there's an obvious downside, I'm very glad that N had his first few years here. Maybe some of it will stay with him.)

The Flitting by John Clare 1833

I love the verse that mild and bland
Breathes of green fields and open sky,
I love the muse that in her hand
Bears flowers of native poesy;
Who walks nor skips the pasture brook
In scorn, but by the drinking horse
Leans ‘oer its little brig to look
How far the sallows lean across,

And feels a rapture in her breast
Upon their root-fringed grains to mark
A hermit morehen’s sedgy nest
Just like a naiad’s summer bark.
She counts the eggs she cannot reach
Admires the spot and loves it well,
And yearns, so nature’s lessons teach,
Amid such neighbourhoods to dwell.

I love the muse who sits her down
Upon the molehill’s little lap,
Who feels no fear to stain her gown
And pauses by the hedgerow gap;
Not with that affectation, praise
Of song, to sing and never see
A field flower grown in all her days
Or een a forest’s aged tree.

Een here my simple feelings nurse
A love for every simple weed,
And een this little shepherd’s purse
Grieves me to cut it up; indeed
I feel at times a love and joy
For every weed and every thing,
A feeling kindred from a boy,
A feeling brought with every Spring.

And why? this shepherd’s purse that grows
In this strange spot, in days gone bye
Grew in the little garden rows
Of my old home now left; and I
Feel what I never felt before,
This weed an ancient neighbour here,
And though I own the spot no more
Its every trifle makes it dear.

John Clare, The Flitting, 1833

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Still Life on Hot Days


 With my phone... (August already!)

  • My sister's dogs
  • Small balloons
  • Pea pods
  • Projector afternoons (Fantastic Mr Fox - Wes Anderson/Frankenweenie - Tim Burton/Peter and the Wolf - Se-ma-for Studios, Prokofiev) Bit of a canine theme here just realised.
  • Weetabix waiting
  • Lunchtime company

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

A different edit

Now I'm using an iphone much more, and posting on instagram, flickr and (occasionally) here, it's interesting to see how the the same event looks from different angles, different filters and different cameras.  They're all so, well, different. When I look through camera rolls I'm beginning to think of photos as bloggy, flickry or instagrammy.  I haven't worked out why yet (I have my dubious theories), but it's definitely making me look at my photography more closely, not just the technical side, but the content and audience side of it too.

Anyway, here's the latest version of our time campervanning in Scotland (mainly Mull, but also Rob Roy's Bath tub at the north end of Loch Lomond, and Eskdale, on our way home, where the campsite was visited by an ice-cream van, (his cup surely runneth over that day). Minus the sun. Which, if I'm remembering correctly, was out for most of our holiday.  Darn you, supposed 'ideal photographic conditions'.

Happy snapping! :)

Monday, 8 April 2013


  • Jessie (my niece) and Nathaniel making pom-poms and watching dinosaurs on you-tube
  • Forsythia season
  • Looking after Meg (my mum and dad's dog)
  • These drawings were in old notebooks that we kept them busy with on long journeys. Top - Isaac/Bottom - Joe. Says it all really :)

Monday, 25 March 2013

Made to Play!


I discovered Made by Joel a while ago and loved his approach to playthings - simple, inexpensive, and half the fun was in the making.  I finally ordered his book, and today we made the paper finger puppets. As I was making them I was thinking 'do I really need instructions for this?' but then at the same time, 'have I ever made these before in the many, many years of doing crafty things with kids?' And that's the genius of this book, everything looks do-able, so you sit down and do it.  There are plenty more advanced projects throughout the course of the book but they all have that fresh, inspiring vibe that really makes you want to whip out the scissors and get going.