Monday, 20 October 2014

Wild breakfast

      One of the terriers, Minnow to be precise, found this rather fine field mushroom when she was rummaging about in the orchard.
      As soon as the interest was spotted we were in with a few slug pellets to keep the little blighters at bay. A jar is kept in the fork of an old apple tree for these occasions, and an old tomato tray was placed on top to keep it dark and protected from any other predators.
      Twenty four hours later and patience brings a lovely reward, an absolutely mint field mushroom. Now that really is a treat to look forward too.
      I wonder if a Jack Russell can sniff out truffles?

Friday, 17 October 2014

Jalapeños, the last of the heat

      The last crop of chillies, the Jalapeños, are harvested so summer, even the Indian summer, is officially over. The boss intends to make Jalapeño sauce, Jalapeño chilli relish and pickled Jalapeños.
      I must say that all sounds good to me.
      The balance will be frozen because, apparently, they keep really well in the freezer and if we don't try it we'll never know.  They're all about two to two and a half inches long and as crisp as you like.
      Here's the first batch of pickled Jalapeños.
      Can't wait to test them.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Sunrise and half an hour later

      There I was, up before the dawn, kettle on and the day looked quite promising. There was a little bit of mist in air but nothing that looked like it would develop into any thing too severe, but had I looked carefully over the conifers I would have seen the fog rolling towards the house.

      Before you had chance to realise what was happening it was fog in the Nissen Hut, fog in the dykes, fog in the poplars and fog in the orchards to paraphrase Charles Dickens' opening lines in Bleak House.
      Certainly not the kind of weather you would want to meet on the motorway.
      We love a good fog for the atmosphere and the silence it creates, the way it changes everything around you. You can hear the rooks but you can't see them, water drips and it's not raining and if there is such a thing as a Victorian atmosphere, this is it, all that's missing is the gaslight.
      Now, where are those terriers.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The new bathroom window?

      Well the hunt for a new bathroom window continues.
      This stained glass masterpiece is in Ely Cathedral which, as you all know, we visited a couple of weeks ago.
      Personally I'm not convinced that the Bishop would sell it but that's just a detail, or so I am reliably informed, but I'm still not convinced. Although in these straightened times you never know.
      I prefer the rose window in Lincoln Cathedral, admittedly we'd have to enlarge the bathroom a little, but perfection always costs money. As my father used to say, 'buy cheap and buy twice', and who can argue with that?
      After the debate over the two windows at Lincoln and Ely I've convinced the boss to check York Minster before coming to a decision and making an offer.
      I can be so sensible and logical.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

It might come in useful

      We all have a problem throwing things away, things that we quite categorically know will come in useful. Sometime.
      Strange that other people can get into sorting out your 'treasure' and just sling the lot in a skip. Just like that. These important stores are being 'retained' in a disused pigsty for future use and you can see some of the useful items in there for yourself. Red bailer twine, wicker baskets, plastic sacks, paper sacks, cardboard boxes, tarpaulins.
      Finally at the top left the most desirable piece of all, a wrought iron gate, and wouldn't you know it, the gate has been painted that beautiful heritage hue Norfolk Bog Door Blue.
      It just keeps on getting better.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Never stand under a Barn Owl

      We love to see owls, any owl, Barn, Tawny or Little and we love to see them at work hunting across the fields and through the orchards.
      This creatively splattered 'whitewash' is underneath one of the favourite roosting places of our local Barn Owl and he also leaves his regurgitated pellets of fur and bone across the floor too. Quite obviously he or she sits up there in the roof relieves themself at both ends and then sets off to find more prey and start the process all over again.
      We reckon we should put a canvass on the floor and build up enough work for an exhibition. Artists have used elephant droppings so why not owl Droppings. I can see it now, a new West Norfolk art movement, with exhibitions in the finest galleries.
      The West Norfolk Owl Movement.
      That works for me and I'm sure there'll be quite an output from this new art movement.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Hanging on the gallery wall

Hamilton Ricard buys fish and chips

      I had heard that Boro's Colombian centre forward, Hamilton Ricard, had a considerable weight problem at the beginning of the 1998/99 season and rumour had it that he was on a diet of beef tea to reduce his weight.
      Well, even a Colombian centre forward cannot live by beef tea alone and I imagined him diving into The Silver Grid chippie for fish chips, pineapple ring, curry sauce and plenty of scraps on his way home. Escorted by two minders of course but who would argue with a Colombian centre forward?
      Later I saw Boro play and beat Spurs 0 - 3 at White Hart Lane in mid-September and Ricard was unplayable. He scored two of the three Boro goals so the diet must have worked, well one of them did. Vladimir Kinder scored the other in the three goal Boro win. Would you argue with a midfielder from down Transylvania way who was called Vlad.
      Thought not.
      The linocut print is printed in five colours on Arches 88 paper and measures 210mm x 310mm.