Friday, 15 October 2010

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Do all the good

“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”

~ John Wesley

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Wild foraging for Brambles


On the weekend, at the suggestion of our youngest,
we went wild foraging for blackberries.

These are the first ripe ones that we have seen here
and they were plump juicy and delicious.
Although very late in ripening.

We created natural magenta highlights
 in our hair
We had magenta
everywhere

We collected enough
for a dessert with cream.

Heavenly foraging.

I think that I shall never see 
A poem lovely as a tree. 


A tree whose hungry mouth is prest 
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast; 


A tree that looks at God all day, 
And lifts her leafy arms to pray; 


A tree that may in Summer wear 
A nest of robins in her hair; 


Upon whose bosom snow has lain; 
Who intimately lives with rain. 


Poems are made by fools like me, 
But only God can make a tree. 


~ Joyce Kilmer

Thursday, 26 August 2010

The Lovely Luna

Finally snapped the little feline treasures


LUNA AND MAGIC

Spicy Banana Muffins & Bread


Chopping bananananananan's


Bananananannananan Muffins

and finally, its ready

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Special Trees in the woods of Chichester



Some lovely trees


A stairway to Faerieland?  


Who lives under this tree?

Visiting Chichester


Beautiful scenery, lovely people, fields of flint & chalk, great weather :)



Walls constructed of flint stone


 Character homes



Wooden sheds


More flint incorporated in the buildings


A little hideout in the woods

Pink Wildflowers

As we travelled through Scotland and England 
the scenery was consistently ablaze with a mass of pink wildflowers.

Anyone know what they are called?

Wild Foraging


We were out for an ambling walk just now, 

wild foraging red currants and raspberries along the way :) 

Nice sunny, warm afternoon visiting in Fife today. 

Enjoyed with family and lots of little cousins.



Monday, 26 July 2010

Free stained glass patterns

I found this lovely website with free stained glass patterns.   There are a few pages of them so I am sure you will find one you like.

They are quite nice for painting as well, even if you don't do them as stained glass.

http://free-stainedglasspatterns.com/1set01.html

Enjoy ;)

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Breakfast.......

Freshly home-made rose syrup drizzled over hot pancakes mmm......


Rose syrup is really easy to make.  Get a cupful of fresh organic rose petals (VIP - not poison sprayed) and wash them off in cold water.  Add 2 cups of hot, boiled water to a small pot and add rose petals and approx. 2 cups of brown sugar and boil for 10+ minutes.  Remove rose petals after ten minutes (they are edible when they have cooled down).

When the syrup starts 'holding its bubbles' when its boiling then its ready to bottle.   It thickens up when it cools down.

We used magenta rose petals and ended up with a lovely thick pink syrup that was so delicious we kept sneaking some long after the pancakes were finished.......

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Summer is for growing....

3 months old already

Elder

Whilst wandering alone in the wooded area near our home, my daughter returned very excited and certain she had found an Elder tree.  There are precious few trees with in miles and miles of us so, this was an exciting discovery.



We have only been here for just over 2 years and summer is very short here so far north.  We have not yet had the pleasure of meeting an elder tree.

Off we raced to get samples for identification.  We got flowers heads and leaves.

It seems she has identified it correctly and so we will keep a look out for the berries.  The flowers are mostly gone so no elderflower wine, perhaps next year.

There is much magical and medicinal significance attached to elder trees.

http://www.woodlands.co.uk/owning-a-wood/tree-identification/elder.php
http://www.shee-eire.com/Herbs,Trees&Fungi/Trees/Elder/Factsheet1.htm
http://www.selfsufficientish.com/elder.htm#cordial

Evening Gathering



Gathering rose petals
in the moonlight
in the sunlight
its not yet dark

A breeze is rustling 
softly through the trees
complete with the sound
of busy buzzing bumble bees.



My lovely daughter and I went off to a local wooded area on the hill, to collect wild rose petals to make rose water.

My great aunt used to make some fabulous rose water and we thought it was time to pass on this family tradition.  The sun still sets very late here and the bumble bees were still busy .........even at 11pm.

When collecting rose petals only take petals from the old flowers.  This ensures that the flowers have already been visited by the bees and butterflies and that rosehips will  be produced regardless of the missing petals.  With the wild roses the petals drop very early,...after only a couple of days so they fall at this time regardless. (Rosehip and hibiscus tea is also lovely).

The rose we gather from is Rosa Rugrose and is a deep magenta.  There were also a few pure white ones.  These roses form a thick wall around the wood on two sides.

The rose water turned a deep pink colour as the magenta was bleached from the petals and the fragrane was awesome.  It is a lovely face and hand spritz.  Made a second batch from the same rose petals and used the slightly weaker rose water as a hair rise so so we smell like rose faeries :)






Inside the wooded area which is otherwise unvisited there are a few trees and a total thick carpet of nettles.  Since nettles grow prolifically and are not endangered species we trimmed a neat pathway through the wood which makes for a lovely meandering stroll. (leaving the low stems unharmed to regrow as the season progresses).


We collected the nettle heads outside the wood where they receive ample sunshine.  Nettle tea is very healthy.  We normally make the nettles in to nettle soup which is rich in healing energy but you can also make it into beer. Nettle beer was an ancient hobby of our ancestors.


Here is a link for Nettle beer, but I am curious about the piece of toast addition ...

Monday, 5 July 2010

Some windy days are good for flying kites


Blasts of Colour
Zooming through the air
Terrific speeds
Whistling their warnings
Fighting the wind
Kites




Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Huisie by die see


Translation:  Cottage by the sea

This is a silly, little sign I made for our front gate 
whilst feeling homesick.  

Its based on a song by musician, Koos Kombuis - Huise by die see.

He sings:  

Everybody wants a cottage by the sea, 
they just dont know that everything rusts, you cant get a job, 
and the people are &*(^*ing "clicky"
but I feel alright with it because
I have a little cottage by the see.....

more of the song words - english translation:
"Everyone wants a cottage by the see,
Everyone hopes the struggle is past
Everyone says that life begins tomorrow
but tomorrow is to late for me....


Thursday, 24 June 2010

A new, little beach we found...


Talking our mare and foal for a walk and finding a new, little beach.  Ah, fresh sea air ;)

Sea Thrift

The pretty pink flowers of Sea Thrift light up the crevices in the rocks near the beach.

Beach Find

Sunset over village - Summer Solstice 2010

Monday, 10 May 2010

Planting day

A blue sky day with sprinkles of isolated rain.  It cleared up and I thought it a good day to plant the rest of the vegetable and flower seeds and make good use of the topsoil, which we had managed to find by sheer luck at the very sparsely stocked island store.



A mixed pack of marigold 'French dwarf petite' ,Nasturtium'Single mix', Pansy Swiss Giants, Petunia Balcony Mix and Sweetpea Spencer Mixed -  160 seeds of bright colour :)



Runner beans were planted in the vegetable garden, making good use of the horse manure our ponies so willingly donated to us.  This was also a great lesson for the girls who helped fill the seed trays with topsoil and compost and carefully plant the seeds.



The wind turned quite strong and icy cold and we were quite pleased when we had finished and nothing had blown away.

After a quick water we dashed inside to hide from the cold.  Is it really summer LOL.  Sure it is - offically summer started  on 1 May (Beltane).

I came in and for once was happy to do some dish washing in the crowded sink, just to warm up my frozen fingers ;)
Election day Sunset

Earlier in the day a thick cloud of volcanic ash had swept over the island almost obscuring it totally.  It cleared  over a few hours allowing for the helicopter to land and collect the ballot boxes.

There were some unusual clouds mostly due to the microscopic ash still in the air, though invisible to the human eye.




and this one a bit later

at an other area as we travelled back from attending to our ponies.


A special surprise

We were strolling through a field on the way to a beach and some birds began to fly around us, making loud cries.  We had our new voice recorder with us and recorded the bird calls for our collection.

We identified the birds as lapwings and here is a photo of one of them (There were 4) flying above us. Notice the long feather at the back of the head.


This is a photo of one of them on the ground.  See the colours on the wing and the lovely long head feather.


With all the cries, we realised they must be trying to distract us and assumed that there must be eggs in the vicinity as it was a big field.  We were walking along a faint pathway but walked with caution, keeping a good eye out for the eggs.  Suddenly my husband called"carefully, here it is here it is".

I looked and looked, and so did the kids and he called for us that it was right in front of us.  Still we could see nothing, well except for a lot of cow dung.  Then all of a sudden I saw a tiny bright black eye flicker on a pile of cow dung and that was it,...my eyes focussed in on it and I realised how cleverly this little baby bird was with its camouflage.  It was virtually totally still and crouched down in the grass it was invisible to the eye as a bird!  Amazing.

We carefully took a photo from a distance with the 300 zoom lens and then moved back.  No longer feel threatened the little chick stood up and took off at a fast speed - you could not believe how fast it ran off, following the instructions of its parents.

We realised their cries had not only been to distract us but also to warn the chick to stay still.  Then one of our girls noticed another wee chick running full blast in another direction.

How they managed to survive in a field full of cattle I have no idea.

A few steps later my daughter found the newly hatched egg, still wet inside.  It was so amazing to see.  It must have just hatched and was equipped to run so fast just after birth and also that instinct or ability to crouch down and hide. WOW!


Here is the egg that my daughter found!