Monthly Archives: September 2014

Autumn bounty

We met our new neighbours and they invited us round to pick damsons. We collected 2 large bags and I got the damson vodka underway and Phil made damson and crab apple chutney, using crabs from our tree. It took forever ! He also made Damson and Crab jam, which we have tried on scones with cream and it’s lovely.

The chutney recipe was very loosely based one one of Delia’s and whatever we had in the cupboard.

3Lb Damsons (stones removed), 2 1/2 Lb  crab apples, 1tsp roast garlic, 1tsp black pepper, 4 medium onions, 1inch cube root ginger finely chopped, 4 green finger chilies very finely chopped with seeds in,  1/2 Lb sultanas, 1 tsp ground ginger, 2pints wine vinegar (we used 500 ml bottled, 1 whit e, 1 red and made up amount with malt vinegar), 1Lb soft brown caster sugar, 1Lb Demerara sugar, 1dessert spoon sea salt.

Throw all in a large pan and stir for what seems like a day until it passes the ‘tramline test’ ….Phil gave up after a few hours but the result looks thick enough !

Badger cosy

I finished the Badger tea cosy last week. Yesterday we harvested hazel nuts from our tree and found an interesting double damson !

 

 

 

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Certified !

The village show was a great success and there were some excellent exhibits.  Phil was awarded a ‘First’ for his abstract and I got  ‘second’ for the needlepoint picture and tea cosy. The ‘Mystery seeds’ were Cape Gooseberry also called Inca Berry or Physalis. Ours was evidently the runt of the litter as the others had yellow flowers and lanterns containing the fruit ! Looking forward to next year.

imagePhysalis (Cape Gooseberry)

 

 

Desert island discs

Several years ago I decided to make the effort to select my own desert island discs. It proved to be more difficult than I had imagined but what I ended up with was a list of eight songs that pretty well defined who I was.

Some would suggest that one track would have been sufficient !

during a period of wakefulness last night rather than count sheep (there are too many around these parts) I took to thinking about the disc dilemma .

With only a couple of changes over the years I still feel that this list defines who I am. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Artists who have made the list for giving me such great pleasure over so many years.

Eight tracks in no particular order :-

2112 – Rush

Fallen – K.d.Lang (Ron Sexsmith)

Ship of fools – World Party

Helpless – Neil Young

Famous blue raincoat – Jennifer Warnes (Leonard Cohen)

Jolene – White stripes (Dolly Parton) Live under a great white northern sky

Broken boy soldier – The Raconteurs

My cosmic Autumn rebellion – The flaming lips

The biggest Loss this time is almost certainly Led Zeppelin’s – “Since I’ve been loving you”, but time moves on and I can’t remember playing any Zep in what seems like years.

 

 

 

Armathwaite Show

It’s the Friday before the show. I managed to finish the two pieces I had been working on last night and framed them this morning so all is set for the big day. These two pieces relate to a site in the Langdale valley. Several large boulders lie in the valley in a spot commanding awe inspiring views of the Langdale Pikes. It wasn’t until 1999 that the Neolithic  carvings on the boulders were “discovered”. !!! How could they have been missed?

Chapel Stile

Chapel Stile

The carvings are thought to represent a map showing the route to the Neolithic stone axe factory on Pike’o stickle.

Copt Howe Boulder A.

Copt Howe Boulder A.

The other piece is inspired by a Nativity that we saw in Nice a few years ago on a pilgrimage to the Chagall museum.

The long arm of The Lord

The long arm of The Lord

 

Fowl deeds

Gilbert had to go. His crowing was impressive but even from inside the Eglu his Beethoven crow ‘Da da da dah’ could be heard and as we live right in the centre of the village, had to consider the neighbours. So, we took him to the Wild Patch (Chris the bee man’s other project)  yesterday and are assured he will be happy in his new harem. Chris gave us three chicks so George will not be lonely. They settled in quickly and at bed time I went to close them in. No chicks. So a terrier and  torch lit search began and our hero Shackleton found two snuggled between stones in the garden, having escaped the run. The other was nowhere to be found, but this morning was in the run, so all reunited. If you’re wondering what their names are, Phil sadly named them Alex, Geddy and Neil in homage to (in his opinion) the awesome Canadian heavy rock trio Rush. Neil was the one that went off exploring on her own, which sounds about right !

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Not sure what breeds they were crossed with but the mum had a fine head of fluffy feathers and greeny black body.

Alex, Geddy or Neil ?

Alex, Geddy or Neil ?

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Manna from Heaven or “Ask and you shall receive”

On Thursday we had a trip to Askins and Little Stonemasons in Carlisle to take templates for windows at Trinity school also in Carlisle. Whilst there I spotted what looked like the old cross from Armathwaite church which had recently been replaced. Upon enquiry it was confirmed to be the said cross and destined for the skip. I asked John if I could take it and it was in the boot of the car before he had finished his sentence.

Not quite sure what it’s final use will be but it makes a great souvenir  as we got married in the church last year when the cross was still in position. It probably dates from a restoration during the Victorian period. More research required

Armathwaite church cross

Armathwaite church cross

 

 

Armathwaite church cross detail

Armathwaite church cross detail

Manna from Heaven

Whilst removing stained glass windows from churches for restoration it is almost inevitable that some pieces of stonework come adrift. Most of these fragments end up in the bin.

Being a sentimental type I chose to reuse a couple of these fragments and added them to our collection of heart shaped  stones.

Sandstone heart

Sandstone heart

The one below took a lot more effort. The oak was so hard it was impossible to work with my best woodworking chisels. I had to burn it in an open fire and then scrape the charred wood away

 

 

Two hearts

Two hearts

Two more hearts

Two more hearts