The Aga man cometh

I started this post parked in a very chilly kitchen tasked with ensuring the Aga man was greeted, encoffulated and then held prisoner until our ancient reconditioned Aga is relit. Outside the sun was shining merrily but the kitchen was glacial. The Aga was part of the house when we bought it, and old andContinue reading “The Aga man cometh”

Listing to port

This is the time of year when the dreariness of the weather (stuck on the spectrum from drizzle to downpour), the necessity of eating the remaining dribs and drobs of Christmas chocolate and the sheer impossibility of deciding on and then commencing a new project together force a sedate (and sedentary) reconsideration of the pastContinue reading “Listing to port”

Rebooting

Between the celebratory bookends of Christmas Day/Boxing Day and Hogmanay/New Year’s Day I have successfully rebooted the Ruthven system by switching myself off and then on again. Several days of barely cooking have passed and, somewhat astonishingly, the leftovers from the gargantuan turkey and slightly more reasonably sized ham are largely all used up. AsideContinue reading “Rebooting”

T-1

I have finally sat down with a gin and tonic and my feet are gently throbbing. However, I think the initiative has been regained. Monkey’s jumper is complete – so that’s the most important thing done. Wrapping paper has been plastered on anything that looked like it might be a present and some that didContinue reading “T-1”

The corn snack universe sends a gift

Yesterday was Keith’s gourmet Sunday. A fine rack of lamb was consumed and dinner conversation meandered from the sublime to the ridiculous as per usual. Ignorance being no barrier to heated debate at Ruthven, Lachlan and I piled into a spirited argument on the meaning of infinity. We are nothing if not ambitious. (This provedContinue reading “The corn snack universe sends a gift”

The irresistible lure of a new project..

How short the days are. Walking Lyra just before 10am a few days ago the sun was so low and slanting that it felt like evening. My shadow was long and spindly and crept up the hill before me. We took a turn past the farm at Little Swinton and found the horses had beenContinue reading “The irresistible lure of a new project..”

Reasons to be cheerful part 4

I am smiling to myself as I type, with the lyrics to Part 3 running round my head. You have to love a bit of Ian Dury and the Blockheads (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIMNXogXnvE). And this week I have many reasons to be cheerful. Gourmet Sunday, over all, went off well, and I have therefore been relieved ofContinue reading “Reasons to be cheerful part 4”

The egg timer has tilted

We are in a time of short days and long evenings. Mornings are beginning to be frosty and the sun is dipping shortly after three – a long and chilly sunset has commenced by 4.30. There is markedly less dawdling on my morning walks with Lyra – I am picking up pace to keep warm.Continue reading “The egg timer has tilted”

Four go to the seaside

Last Sunday we had our first meal out for eons! We pootled along the back lanes past Holy Island to Bamburgh. Other than a late night drive through when we came to the Mizzen Head for dinner a couple of years ago, I don’t think I have ever been to Bamburgh. It is a lovelyContinue reading “Four go to the seaside”

Autumn hues

The rain over the last few days has turned the lane at the back to little Venice. Lyra likes a good paddle in a puddle, so is unperturbed. I’ve seen a bit less of the pheasants there though, so perhaps they are more picky and have taken to higher ground. A few have appeared furtherContinue reading “Autumn hues”