13 November 2019

Rain and Fire

Lincolnshire is wet. Days of heavy rainfall have flooded the county and fields are under water. Valves have been opened to send the water out onto the flood plain to protect Lincoln; the city is protected but it's not good news for farmers or anyone living on the lower ground. We are safe in our village but I have bought Rick a red raincoat to keep him dry during the wet weather.

red raincoat complete with fluorescent strips

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Sydney is surrounded by bushfires. My daughter Sarah emigrated to Australia eleven years ago. She lives and works in the city centre so is relatively safe from the bushfires but is still having to cope with extreme heat and a smokey, ash laden atmosphere. It is heartbreaking for those who have lost their homes and the wildlife who will perish in the fires. I wish I could send her some of our rain.

8 November 2019

Rainy Days

It rained here all day yesterday and quite a few roads are flooded locally.  The village beck is running very high; I’m sure the residents living in nearby cottages are feeling a bit nervous right now.  But this morning the sun is shining and I’m just watching the last remaining leaves drift down from the poplar trees.  Falling autumn leaves are such a tangible sign of time moving on.

the handrails of the ford are almost covered
My life is calm and settled in this Lincolnshire village.  I don’t feel the urge for travel or change anymore, I am content in my new home.  Gradually I am putting my stamp on the bungalow.  We are still on the lookout for some original, contemporary artwork to decorate the walls but, after my ‘big painting’ failure, I’m very pleased with my yellow taxi canvas that I bought for the kitchen.  

The hallway has also had a bit of a makeover.  It’s a fairly cheap reproduction but I love the colours from Klimt’s portrait of Adele.

I’m taking a break from art classes and I have packed away my brushes for the time being.  I shall dabble again in the future.



5 November 2019

Lost Cats

Sad news from Yael today.  Her beloved cat, Edmund, has used up all his nine lives and died.  It is always so painful when we lose a pet.

Earlier this week Paul, while out for his early morning walk with Rick, was approached by one of our neighbours who had discovered a dead tabby at the side of the road; she wondered if Paul might know who he belonged to.  She said she would take him to the vets to see if he was chipped.  Later that day I took Rick out for his afternoon walk in the drizzling rain. As we walked through the village I saw an elderly gentleman standing outside his bungalow calling and whistling.

“Have you lost something?” I asked, silently hoping that he was searching for a lost tortoise or budgerigar, anything but a cat.
“My cat, he hasn’t been home all day.”
“Is it a tabby?”

I broke the sad news to him and led him to the home of the lady who had found the cat.  I felt so helpless.

Autumn has definitely arrived in Lincolnshire.  It is grey and wet here today and the leaves are rapidly floating down onto our garden from the big trees.  It is definitely a day for staying indoors, indulging in some comfort food and staying warm.

21 October 2019

More Culinary Mishaps

carrot lovers
I couldn't resist taking a photo of these guys - carrot lovers.  We ate them for lunch.

I made a tarte tatin today using apples from the garden. Unfortunately the caramelised topping was too toffee like and the apples stuck firmly to the pan, refusing to budge.  It ended up as a total mess but still tasted good.  I don’t know why that happened unless perhaps the apples weren’t juicy enough.  

19 October 2019

The Big Prize

Thursday night was quiz night at the village hall.  It was a very convivial evening, helped along by the two bottles of wine on our table.  Kat is home this week so she joined our group and was definitely an asset when it came to identifying Games of Thrones actors. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to bring our score up high enough to win.  I was just chuffed by the fact that I guessed correctly the name of the group that sang Don’t Leave Me This Way back in 1986.  Didn’t have a clue though naming the three daughters of King Lear. I wonder what that says about me!

Kat is off to Cyprus for her next posting in November; she will be away for three months.  I shall therefore forgive her for choosing a giant marrow with our winning raffle ticket instead of wine or chocolate.  Stuffed marrow anyone?

14 October 2019


I have just bought a yoghurt maker.  When we lived in France I was able to buy my favourite natural yoghurt from the supermarket – a cheap own brand that was unsweetened, unflavoured and not too rich.  I haven’t been able to find anything similar in the UK so I’ve decided to make my own.

For the first batch I used half a pot of natural, live yoghurt as a starter.  I mixed it with a litre of full fat milk (boiled and then cooled) and poured it into eight small jars that were then placed in the yoghurt maker. I left it to incubate for eight hours and it has turned out amazingly well, just as I like it.  Natural, unsweetened yoghurt with a bit of a tang.   I can use this as a starter in my next batch although the taste may differ the next time.  I’m not sure how long you can keep a culture going for.

I also bought some sachets of powdered culture that should produce the Rolls Royce of yoghurt – Bulgarian or Balkan yoghurt.  The packets are a bit disconcerting – “Contains live active bacteria like ''Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. Bulgaricus'' and ''Streptococcus thermophilus''

Anyone else make their own yoghurt?