Just Teeze Me - Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington

The past couple of years I've been trying to work on stress management with greater or lesser degree of success. Then recently listening to The Great Summit Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington I thought this particular track was a good antidote those brain fevers and tummy churnings.

Dark days of November

Looking over last year's weather records I realised by the end of Nov. 2010 we had already had snow lying for a month and temperatures at night hovering around minus 11 (centigrade). All pretty unusual for our temperate, small island. This year how different it is, mild and it has to be said, very grey. Here however is a much treasured sight. I call it John's rose. A number of years ago I took a cutting from my (would be) father-in-law's climber, and it has produced a sturdy, healthy specimen here in our garden, which even in dark November is producing exquisite, intensely scented flowers. Yesterday I cut a few for the table when John came to have lunch with us. There was a poignant moment as we looked at it and remembered former times.


Pickle jar label

At the top of the meadow against the brick garden wall, stands an old pear tree. The chickens like to bask in the sun around its base. The tree now only produces small fruit, but they are sweet and perfect when lightly pickled. We like these with a little cheese or sometimes smoked ham.
Prepared at the beginning of November 2011 they should be eaten between December &Easter 2012.

Golden fruits - saved for the dark winter days

On an intensely sunny autumn day last weekend, I gathered some small Rocha pears to pickle. Now in dank November the sunshine seems captured in the jar of fruit.