Saturday 24 December 2016

Wishing you a Merry Christmas !

                                                      Peace , Love , Joy  !

Sunday 18 December 2016

Fourth Sunday of Advent

I have really been trying to stay focused on what Christmas is really all about and was delighted when I found this very vintage Baby Jesus on Ebay. On the listing pictures I could see that it was very old , chipped , broken and been glued back together with sticking plaster...... would it make the journey from Ireland in one piece ?
 We waited and so looked forward for this parcel to arrive and spoke excitedly of Baby Jesus coming and maybe He was on the plane right now !
 ...... I have never been so excited about a parcel coming ...and we were not disappointed .  I cant tell you how delighted we were on opening and carefully peeling away the bubblewrap and newspaper .
 Usually we put up a Christmas Tree with fairy lights in the window which faces out into the lane , but this year I will put Baby Jesus there instead .
 Its been such a beautiful Advent .

Tuesday 13 December 2016

The Third Sunday of Advent

And so another busy week of writing lists and cards , sticking on of stamps , checking addresses , trips to the post office . Shopping and stocking up on festive food and drink . Already giving in to the occasional mince pie . Remembering to buy Oasis flower arranging foam bricks , white Madonna Lilies and some pink Carnations for Rita , who did a beautiful Christmas arrangement in the Lady Chapel . Will buy some more  next week to refresh this and also for Mary to finish her lovely Advent wreath around the Pascal Candle .
 Gaudete Sunday - Rejoice  or  Joy Sunday and the pink candle is lit ..and I cant believe how close we are now to Christmas Day . Kind people came and we all helped decorate the church . The Nativity set put out and the Christmas Tree with pretty sparkling fairy lights .
  At home our table is a cluttered chaos , with cards and Christmas wrapping paper , brown paper , sellotape , scissors , labels , sticky bows and tinsel , address book and stamps..never enough stamps .
 Escape to the veg garden with mug of coffee ...check how the new Pumpkin patch is coming along . We,ve had some rain and the cardboard and newspaper , seaweed, spend compost , horse manure, grass clippings , leaves are beginning to break down nicely and on further investigation with my garden fork , I can see the earth worms are now moving and munching their way through it all  . I sharpen up the edges of the bed and pull out the odd dandelion root .
  The weather is mild ... warm even  , misty, occasional drizzle . Full moon shining down silvery on my labyrinth . Owl up in the old pine tree .
 Last dance class before Christmas , tomorrow evening ...feeling tired but happy . Always the energy returns when the music is played .

                                                     What is in the parcel ?

                                     I might show show you in my next post !

Friday 9 December 2016

Cherokee Purple Tomato --- at last !

 Now then , I grew lots of tomatoes during the summer this year , I started them off very early  in February and March and they did very well. Tomatoes aren't all that difficult really .In May my husband returned from a trip to America , with a very generous packet of Cherokee Purple Tomato seeds .This is a very old and favourite Cherokee Indian heirloom tomato .
   I knew it was a bit late to start them really , but just couldn't wait and decided to sow just four seeds and save the rest for next year .
  Well they all germinated ...and grew..and grew ...and flowers came...and one teeny little tomato began to form . Cherokee Purple are known to be very slow to ripen .

                                        ......So ...very slowly to ripen did !
all the other tomato plants finally faded away and their fruits harvested and their vines thrown on the compost heap...but this one ..the Cherokee Purple is still growing away quite happily .

 I decided yesterday that it was not going to grow any fatter and that it was about as ripe as it could ever get and that it was time to be picked and munched .
 That is just a regular size Christmas bauble hanging over head give you an idea of size . It does have a purpley tinge towards the top , although this was hard to capture with my camera .

Cherokee Purple tomatoes actually get much bigger than ...size of an apple I think , big beefsteak type beasty .
They are said to be the tastiest tomato on the planet , like brandy wine ....I wouldn't know...I,ve never had brandy wine ,I dont drink .
 Anyway so here goes .......

On slicing our little Cherokee Purple tomato ,we find that it is very fleshy inside and every bit as rosie red as the outside . My first thought is  " no seeds ? ! "

 Husband and I had two juicy pieces each to try ..and I thought to myself ..." Here goes , it is going to be disgusting !"
     Wrong ! This has to be the most sweetest , delicious tomato I have ever eaten  !
                                       A little sad there were no seeds to save .

I am looking forward to growing some of the remaining seeds in the packet next year.
   I will start them off in February with the others .
 The Cherokee Purple tomato plant itself is still growing quite healthily up in my greenhouse and who knows , I might get it through the winter .
 Anyone else grown this amazing tomato here in Cornwall or elsewhere in the UK ? I,d like to hear your thoughts on it .

The second week of Advent

Yes , we're home again now ...we did enjoy our break away in Charmouth .
There has been another cliff fall / slump .... but really it will take some time for the sea to wash the fossils out of the thick shale mud and it is not a good idea to climb up on top of it ,or you will get stuck or worse sink down into it never to be seen again !
 I recently hurt my back and being in such pain could not walk any further up the beach this time . Also fossil hunting requires that you plod along , over the beach shingle and onwards up towards the Golden Cap , doing  the  Charmouth Fossil Hunting Shuffle  , bent over , as shown in the next picture  ..I was in far too much pain to Fossil Shuffle on this occasion I sat and watched everybody else doing it this time .

 Then off to Groves Nursery for lunch and oh how I just fell in love with the Polar Bear at the entrance !

                                                      Isn't he gorgeous !

I did a bit of Christmas shopping , bought a couple of strange air plants and couldn't resist a cuddle .

Then back to the beach where I found a couple of nice pieces of  driftwood to hang my air plants on ..and we walked a bit further ....

                                                    .....and a bit further still .

Back at Exeter Airport Hotel,  I watched the Truro City Festival of Lights on T.V and my thoughts were with the Seef Saffah Belly Dancers who were performing there that night. I do hope it all went well girls !

          One more session of wallowing in mud..there's nothing quite like it you know !

     Then back home to Cornwall and how we did enjoy Parc Eglos School Nativity Play in the church ! Beautiful ! The Grumpy Sheep !  :)
         Helston has it's Christmas lights up , but I,ve not seen them on yet .
On my way back from Dance class Wednesday evening we did so love seeing Penryn's Christmas lights ..WOW ! I must take my camera next week .
 Yes my back is much better, so I,m back to dancing ( Zed Shed Penryn ) and we're beginning a new style Raqs Sharqi . Loving it !

 So good to be back home in my garden, this is what I look out at from my kitchen window .

 A bit of sadness though as I came across a Badger lying in the hedgerow..the following day it was lying in the middle of the lane had one leg torn off...(snare ? ..very very sad )...I took her and gave her a decent burial in my meadow .

                                        The veg garden is doing  well .

                It still very mild and leaves are still clinging to the trees .

 The Holly is looking very Christmassy now with her red berries . I,ll be cutting some of this to decorate our little church of St Michaels in Mullion on Saturday .

 Yes it was the Second Sunday in Advent last Sunday . The time just seems to fly by now in the run up to Christmas . So much to do !

                                         I,ve still  had no time to open my parcel .

Thursday 1 December 2016

Chilling in Charmouth

I have badly hurt my back after a dance workshop , so we decided a little break away , just a few days in Charmouth would be the thing to cheer me up .
  Not allowed to go picking up any big rocks /fossils /dinosaur bones this time . Although I did find some beautiful driftwood to bring home . We visited Groves Nursery as usual ,where I found a  fantastic selection of Air Plants , perfect for attaching to my driftwood ,when I return home ..never grown these before ...they have no roots ..very odd ..I hope I can keep them alive .
 Anyway the weather was fine once we'd got onto the beach and we were sheltered from the bitterly cold North Easterly wind ..the sun shone and we felt quite warm .
 When we get home we will put up our Christmas decorations , gosh !  It's the first week in Advent already ! Trying to stay focused on what it is all about  . We'll also be decorating our little church here in Mullion .
  I have to dash now ..will post some more tomorrow ! :)

                                                Ooh ! A parcel has come !

Tuesday 8 November 2016

All Saint's Church ,Falmouth -Organ recital by Fr John Gilbert

 A beautiful Organ Recital by Fr John Gilbert was enjoyed by all at All Saint's Church in Falmouth .

Tuesday 25 October 2016

Dorset Apple Cake

     So here it is ! Hot and steaming fresh from the oven ...and very crumbly ...and now already , only half left , as we both tucked into a piece there and then and two more still hot portions were wrapped in foil and a tea towel and delivered , pretty much , straight away to my daughter in Helston  .
 The recipe for this Dorset Apple Cake , was a total success and I will give you the link to the wonderful Goodfood  website here ... .
    Especially good with a little Cornish Clotted Cream I say !  

Monday 24 October 2016

Apples !

 It's been a good year for apples ! A bumper harvest ! A combination of the weather and me pruning them correctly .

        So I,m  having fun experimenting with all the lovely recipes that are on-line .

 There's a Dorset Apple Cake in the oven right now ... mmmm....smells so good !

Friday 21 October 2016

Troll and Pumpkin update

                                   I,ve been playing in the garden again today .

                            I gave the topiary Troll a trim and a new  " hair-do " .

 Next I decide to harvest my Jumbo Pink Banana Squash ..I,m afraid I forgot to sow my traditional big Pumpkin seeds ....but this Pink Banana Squash more than makes up for it.

Here it is growing on the vine , to begin with it clambered up on this pig-wire spiral fence I set up , but as the Squash grew It eventually became necessary  to give it the stool to sit on ..this worked really well , keeping the skin of the squash in good condition .
                      Here I am with my beautiful Jumbo Pink Banana Squash .

 I wanted to try growing  the  Jumbo Pink Banana Squash ,as it is very similar to the Gete Okosomin Squash that I am hoping to get seeds of soon .....maybe next year  or the year after .   I think that these can actually  get much bigger than this ...but I,m very happy with this and we will probably  either make soup or roast this up in chunks along with our roast potatoes  for Sunday lunch . I,ll be saving the seeds too .

 The butternuts were a bit of a disappointment  this year ....many folk are saying the same thing about them ...usually I get up to 13/15 butternuts ....this year only 3..and I,m not sure if they are going to make it ..hmmm...maybe one . Which is such a shame , we love butternuts in our family !

                                                   Still ripening on the vine .

        Next seasons Pumpkin Patch ...hopefully  for one  very special Squash  !

Sunday 16 October 2016

Monkshood Aconite

Back in April my friend brought me a really lovely surprise , a whole bucket full of  Aconitum napellus , more familiarly known as the Monkshood aconite or Wolf's Bane .

                                              ......and here it is flowering now !