Wednesday, 3 September 2014

September Fruit Bowl.

Ah, September!... I wouldn't mind betting that most country folk's current fruit bowls resemble the above.

All those wormy windfalls, the ones the birds got at, and the ones that are starting to go bad, get brought inside and eaten as quickly as possible. The peelings and off-cuts usually ending up like detritus from 'the feeding of the five thousand'.

Just before taking the above picture, I had thrown out a few of the more evil examples. Some were simply too far gone. 

They may not look too good, but they all taste just like their more 'perfect' cousins.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Proof, if needed.

                                            Derbyshire Fairy Hoax

It used to be a common question; 'Do you believe in fairies'?

Well, proof is now available, and, yes, they really DO exist. This mummified example above comes from deepest Derbyshire, where traditionally they believe in almost anything.

Oh that Conan Doyle was still alive to see the vicious slurs against him rescinded.

Only one question about fairies remains to be answered; why do they always live at the bottom of gardens?

Monday, 1 September 2014

The Whys and Wherefores.


As with so many bloggers, my page was originally conceived  to inform our three internationally-dispersed children about the antics of their parents; this continues to be the case, other than on a very few exceptions when I become incensed by certain examples of human behaviour. And, yes, my children DO read my page, they just don't leave comments.

I talk of my vegetable garden (Haddock's), my amateur building skills, bucolic wisdom, our local gastronomy, my dinky village, our grandchildren, the dogs, and a few other family related subjects.

Occasionally I also poke fun at accepted 'rights and wrongs', whilst leaving veiled clues as to my own rather liberal private views.

A blog is a wonderful platform for expressing oneself on limitless subjects. However, from time to time the loonies turn up and try to bring extreme politics or opinions into an otherwise peaceful frame, which I find rather sad.

I must have lived a very sheltered life because I've never previously been 'threatened' simply for expressing my dislike of decapitation, rape, and torture; but these 'internet trolls' are out there, and as pathetic as they may sound, they DO need to be taken seriously.

So may I now declare that if you are an extremist of any political colour, it might be wiser to leave your comments on a page that is dedicated to such ( In fact, if such nescient comments appear here in future, I have decided that I shall delete them at once.

I have nothing against a wide variety of viewpoints, in fact I thrive on them; it's just the plain asinine, and/or expletive-laden, lower IVth form comments are no longer welcome.

Before you open your mouth, choose profound over profanity; because profanity never inspired change. Anon.

Have a cool, calm, and creative day!

Sunday, 31 August 2014

For Tom.

It would ruin Tom's year if I didn't moan about my overwhelming Quince crop. So if anyone would like some Quinces, please send a stamped addressed truck to me, here and I will send you a tonne or two by return. 

As usual the tree is groaning with fruit. I will make an effort to eat one or two this year, but I shall still end up putting most of them on the compost (to join all our grapes).

My preferred way of eating Quince is to peel (difficult), quarter (very difficult), and core (even more difficult), then roast the prepared quarters with either a chicken or a joint of pork. Try it; delicious.

I used to make classic Quince jelly, or occasionally Membrillo, but no-one eats it.

Shame isn't it. Why can't my other fruit trees be so consistently generous. Sod's Law, I suppose. 

On my way to the airport yesterday I saw a dozen or more trees that were similarly overwhelmed; everyone seems to have the same problem.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

How to make walnut oil

Walnuts will start dropping quite soon, so I thought you might enjoy this; a little peek into life down here in S W France. You never know what's in a Frenchman's garden shed.

Then I drink two teaspoons of it every day with my breakfast.

Friday, 29 August 2014

National Boris.


Some people are so notorious that they are simply known by their given name; above is one such.

I do like dear old Boris, and bizarrely he is equally liked by both sides of the political spectrum.  He's a breath of fresh eccentric air in the otherwise dull and corrupt world of politics. He tells the truth (mostly), and does what he says. Some might also say he's slightly 'Churchillian'. Even though he swings to the right of the political roundabout, he could almost be from any leaning.

He had a pretty classic upbringing for a politician. Ashdown House, Eton, Balliol, President of the Oxford Union, as well as being a naughty Bullingdon* member. Somehow he also managed to leave Oxford with a 2:1 degree in Classics. Educationally, it doesn't get much better.

When we think of Boris, we think of London bicycles, blond unruly hair, occasional womaniser, and highly intelligent buffoon. He is the current Mayor of London.

Boris could well be a future UK Prime Minister, or at least a minister, so look out world, you ain't seen nuffin yet. When (or if) this man starts walking the international political catwalk, he'll be a serious power to reckon with.

*The Bullingdon Club is an exclusive drinking club for extremely wealthy, and well connected, Oxford undergraduates. They dress extravagantly, eat and drink copiously, then create mayhem (leaving daddy's lawyers to cough-up for the damage). It's a fine British institution, and the perfect training ground for UK Prime Ministers (our present PM, Dave, was also a member).

p.s. With both Boris and Nigel (Farage) amongst a new wave of hopeful MP's; politics is suddenly looking more interesting (if not more appealing).

Thursday, 28 August 2014

The barn; a progress report.

I receive thousands of Emails each day asking how the work at the barn is progressing (like hell I do).

Well, work has started again and we are busy putting up the new beams and joists for the ceiling/upstairs floor.

As wood and aluminium are to be very much a part of the whole final design, I have decided to use these industrial type fixings which will be left showing. The downstairs will be very hi-tech, and the upstairs more rustic and 'cosy'. 

As with all amateur builders/architects, I am problem-solving as I go along. Problems are plentiful; solutions less so. But we'll get there! 

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