Friday, 31 May 2013

last of the bluebells

I regularly walk through a tiny little woodland on my daily ramblings with Walter. This year, the bluebells, though late to arrive, have been especially beautiful, mingling here with the prolific three-cornered leek, and bathed in dappled sunlight.

We tread this path often, and I love seeing how the woodland changes through the seasons. It's also on the route we use to walk to one of our favourite tea rooms, set in a beautiful walled garden, bordering Trengwainton (our regular visits there are a story for another day).

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

in with the new!

Hello. It's been a long time, too long really...... but there's nothing quite like a brand new year to feel motivated, optimistic and rejuvenated!

A small change here - the eagle-eyed amongst you will notice I've changed my blog name to Walter and Me, something I did a while back, even though I haven't been posting here for some time. It feels right, and what better day to step back into my blogging shoes than the first day of the new year? I'll just see how this unfolds.

I've barely picked up my camera for months, but I do have a favourite sequence to share, taken at last summer's Peace Camp, on the cliffs at Godrevy. It was one of those magical sunsets that took my breath away (just like this one!).


A Very Happy New Year from Walter and Me!

Monday, 30 April 2012

and then the rains came

It's been very wet here in Cornwall. Checking the weather forecast has become an obsession, in the hope that sunshine might be on the way. It's also prompted me to share this lovely letterpress postcard showing weather statistics for Spring. I love little snippets of information like this.

postcard by Karen Wilks 
So aside from an obsession with the weather, what else has been happening?
:: It's so long since I've posted that blogger has changed, and it took me ten minutes to locate my dashboard!
:: Another birthday has been and gone - they seem to come around with ever-increasing speed these days.
:: My sister Gill came to stay for a few days. In theory a 'crafting weekend' - in fact but we spent a lot of time talking, laughing, eating, drinking, walking....and knitting. But no crafting of the kind we'd intended. The playing-with-paper kind.
:: I haven't mentioned it much lately, but knitting has become a daily ritual. I feel bereft if I don't get my daily fix with my needles. I'm spending more time on Ravelry than I am reading blogs. And I finally got round to posting a finished project on my Ravelry page. I'm now knitting this with this yarn. So nearly finished, and it's beautiful. There are several other projects on the go, too. 
 :: Days like yesterday, where it poured all day, are perfect knitting days. Walter and I walked early (still got wet) and then stayed home. A day on the sofa. Bliss.
:: I wonder sometimes how I managed to blog as often as I used to. Where did I find the time? I guess my priorities have a changed a little, but I still intend to get back here more often. I'm just out of the habit!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

beside the sea

Living by the sea provides an ever-changing landscape - one that never fails to inspire and uplift me. These photographs were taken a couple of days ago, as the light was on the edge of fading to dusk.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

an extra day

Today has felt like a bonus - along with the warm and sunny weather that beckoned me outside. I made time for two long walks, and that makes for a very happy dog. I found myself dreaming of sowing some seeds and pottering in my much-neglected garden. We're on the cusp of spring.

This evening I went and saw this film. Go - it's life affirming and it'll make you laugh.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

the cookie jar

There is a jar in my house which is usually full of cookies. Only they are of the 'doggie' variety, so strictly speaking they are all for Walter.

Mostly, I make Walter's biscuits (as opposed to buying them ready-made), using a simple mix of wholemeal flour, porridge oats, a little yeast, a splash of oil, and either chicken stock or marmite and hot water. This makes a lovely soft dough - the best bit is rolling it out and using the bone cookie cutter (we have a large one and a small one). 
My dog is seriously spoilt, but he's worth it. It's a satisfying thing, baking for my boy. I have also been known to occasionally sample a biscuit or two.... I have to keep an eye on the quality control, after all.
What's in your cookie jar?

Friday, 20 January 2012

stamp love

Have you seen the fabulous new Roald Dahl stamps?

As Royal Mail says: "gloriumptiously collectable"

The Roald Dahl website is rather fun, too.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

a study of paws

Why is it that dogs are so effortlessly flexible compared to us humans? My boy contorts himself into all sorts of odd positions, and then snoozes for hours without a care in the world.

This time his paws seemed so perfectly posed, a photo or two was necessary.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

renewal

The first day of the New Year, and a favourite time for me. Time to begin!

I have struggled to find time to blog these last few months, and in fact have enjoyed the break. I have to be honest and admit to not even missing this space very much - a sure sign it was time to step away.

I've had a wonderfully restorative and restful Christmas, which was just what I needed. I visited my family up country earlier in December, which in turn gave me some extended time off here in Cornwall these last two weeks. Time for long walks each day with my boy, re-discovering stretches of the coast path I've not trodden in a while, and spending the dark hours of the day knitting or reading, catching up with films and friends, and of course plenty of eating! It's been pretty blissful.

Now a squeaky clean New Year is unfolding in front of me, and I'm feeling excited. I want to dive right in!

Happy, Happy New Year to you all!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

a bonfire by the light of the moon

I love a good bonfire. I find the dancing glow of the leaping flames both mesmerizing and meditative, energizing and calming all in one go.

Even better when the evening is shared with a little moonlight, fireworks, friends and a feast fit for a king.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

autumnal

Autumn is without doubt my favourite season. There's so much to love:

:: hedgerows abundant with berries
:: cooler, crisper air
:: light fading at the end of the day
:: snuggling up in warmer clothes
:: thinking about the endless possibilities for winter knitting
:: filling the store cupboard with jams and jellies
:: the lingering smell of woodsmoke from autumn bonfires
:: a generally slower pace as the days shorten
:: going to bed early with a good book

It hasn't been very cold yet here in the far south west, and I'm confident I shall hold out until November before I put the heating on. Mostly I'm still getting by with no socks, though I'm looking forward to pulling my boots on!

The leaves are falling off the trees, crunching underfoot as Walter and I go about our daily walks.

I've been raiding the hedgerows for several weeks, supplementing the rich pickings with crab apples from my local WI market and offerings from friends. I recently acquired a fruit steamer (actually, 'invested in' would be more appropriate) and have been making jellies and fruit butters. Nothing goes to waste - and with the fruit steamer you cut out the overnight drip drip through a jelly bag, so you save a little time. My first batch of crab apple jelly was a little sweet for my taste (a ratio of 1:1 so 600ml of juice to 600g of sugar), so my subsequent batches have followed the guidelines in this wonderful preserving book (a ratio of 600ml of juice to 450g of sugar).

I love the jewel-like colours of the jellies. Pink from the crab apples, and pale gold from the pears. In fact, the pear and cardamon jelly is my current favourite, along with its corresponding fruit butter, which is sublime. Rock-hard conference pears have been transformed into something quite delicious and fragrant. However, I still have more jams and jellies to make before I catch up with Sue. I picked the last of the blackberries today - a slow, meditative picking in the warm autumn sunshine. Plenty more sloes too, for another bottle of gin.

What have you been making?

Thursday, 13 October 2011

walter turns five

My sweet boy turned five today - a very good reason to sneak off for a long walk around Loe Pool.

The lake was shrouded in mist, so the landscape appeared and disappeared in layers. It was quite beautiful.

Walter was quite happy to go in for a quick dip, chasing sticks, and pootling around in the water. I couldn't get him to keep still long enough for any decent photographs!

By the time we reached Loe Bar, the narrow strip of land between lake and sea, he was ready for a roll in the sand.

Happy Birthday, Walter, you make my heart sing each and every day.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

chicken business

Long time readers here will know that my nephew Ben designs and makes beautiful chicken coops. He recently launched a gorgeous new coop design, the Small Dorking, suitable for one to three large chickens (or bantams) - perfect for the smaller garden. You can find out more about it here.

photograph copyright Ben Grist/Oakdene Coops

Would you like the opportunity to win one? Then hop over to the Guardian Gardening Blog to enter. You just need to fill in your details and answer a very simple chicken-related question....it's that easy!

The draw closes tomorrow night, 6 October, at 23.59pm, so get your skates on!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

seascape and skyscape

Sea and sky in the late afternoon light.  Perfect autumn weather.

Friday, 1 July 2011

dipping my toe in

Hello.

The first of the month is always a good date to start anything...or perhaps pick up the pieces of something that has lain idle for a while, so here I am. The last few days have finally brought some sunshine to the far south west, and the view from my bedroom window has been rather beautiful just before sunset...

and again just after sunrise.

I never tire of looking out to sea to check the weather.