We are back to alternating days of grey sleet and rain and frosty sunshine.
Comfort food has come to the fore and I am snazzing up my porridge with the pears I bottled in late summer. I thought I had overdone the bottling this year but I am powering through them. I like the whole ones best, it feels somehow more decadent. The remains of the root veg are steadily being turned into hearty soup. Today I tackled a particularly immense beetroot (recipe uploaded).
The boys are currently engaged in making sausages (Lyra, with some assistance from uncle Keith, bought us a sausage making machine for Christmas). They are bickering amiably as they go.
“I am not a cretin and if I am you are half to blame….”.
I do not believe either of them has read the instructions. They have now discovered the machine has a “reverse” mode. The mind boggles. More on this as the story develops….Place your orders now.
Tucked up in my peaceful, sausage free, cozy garret with an audio book (recently powered through the Broken Earth trilogy by NK Jemisin and a couple of highly satisfactory Vera crime novels by Anne Cleves) I am knitting up a storm. Pictured below is a cardi of my own devising and I have also knocked out an everyday aran for Lachlan (annoyingly he is too busy with the sausages for modelling duty) and have an experimental polo neck on the go in the evenings. I have ordered a job lot of buttons in case this weather drags on. There is, of course, also a mountain of ironing to play with when I feel the need to be useful.
When the sun comes out Lyra and I dash for the fields. There are deer to stalk in abundance and icy puddles to jump in. On the trees there are shaggy tufts of grey lichen and the hawthorn is covered with an acid yellow/green number which, if you look closely, seems to be made of lots of tiny discs. Having come back, perhaps not entirely scraped clean by the tuffet pupwash route, Lyra likes to sidle through the kitchen door when my back is turned, race up the back stairs before I can catch her and roll herself dry on our bed. This has contributed somewhat to the mountain of ironing.
I’ve managed a couple of afternoons in the garden, mainly cutting back the herbaceous plants I didn’t get to last year, desultory weeding (until my fingers freeze) and mulching. Lots of bulb tips showing through and a few brave, but slightly bedraggled, early iris. The yellow hamamelis is fully out but the red on still tight in bud, save for the branch I accidentally knocked off weeding behind it, which has uncurled in the warmth of the kitchen. I think I shall order a couple more for the new bed down by the compost bins, they are so cheering at this time of year. In the gravel garden the euphorbia looks spectacular whatever the weather. (It self seeds profusely so if anyone in the vicinity wants one shout and I’ll pot some up. ) Keith and I also spent a chilly hour counting birds for the RSPB bird watch. It was a shambles. The little buggers wouldn’t stay still and spent some time impersonating each other and jumping in and out of the hedge. I fear for the integrity of the the coal tit/blue tit/sparrow count. Raymond next door has trained his birds to sit nicely on a bird feeder until identified and managed to count 17 species. I feel some fat balls beckoning.