Sunday, 6 July 2014


Good morning, gentle readers.  I wonder what the weather is like your way.  It's been so very varied recently with some folk (on Facebook) complaining about the rain and some complaining about the sun and the heat!  I know I do my share of grumbling at times, but really the situation is like this, isn't it:

Whether the weather be fine,
Or whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold,
Or whether the weather be hot,
We'll weather the weather
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not!

. . . because, after all, what choice do we really have?

Anyway, here it is dull and cool and damp and I'm lovin' it!

Yesterday was a good day.  I spent some time making a chickpea and vegetable curry out of old veg that needed using up and some of the chickpeas I made last week and froze.  It took as while as I like to cook curries long and slow but by the end it was rather tasty.  Perhaps a bit too hot in the culinary sense, I thought, so I got my yogurt maker out and now have a nice big pot of natural yogurt cooling.  That should sort that one out.

As it is for lunch today with Beth and Alex (some of it, anyway, because it made quite a lot), this morning I decided to use up some lentils and some of the tinned potatoes I opened for yesterday's curry (tinned potatoes are brilliant for curries and the value ones are fantastic value) and make a potato and lentil dhal which is softly simmering away now and smelling wonderful.  I used ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, turmeric, garam masala and cardamom with a bay leaf from the bush in the garden with onion, potato, red lentils, veg stock, a splash of leftover wine and water.  Oh, and salt and pepper.  It's smelling good so fingers crossed.  It sounds an awful lot of ingredients but when they're all in the store cupboard it is no hassle to get the tubs out and pop them back afterwards.  It would be jolly expensive to have to buy everything.

Today, Thermione will be coming into her own.  I have some stale bread that I want to breadcrumb in preparation for making Beth some more chickpea burgers, I have planned a rhubarb and strawberry crumble for dessert so will make the topping in her, also the custard, if I decide for custard rather than cream, I must make some bread for Beth, and finally I want to make some easy naan breads for the curry.  It sounds like a busy morning but it won't be, not really, because Thermione takes it all in her stride and makes things very, very easy.

More garden photos alert . . .

I managed to get a few shots of the emerging lupins.  Given that the first one is the size of a 20p piece, you can tell how titchy they are, but they are growing again and that's what matters!

Runners coming along nicely and should look lovely once the archway is covered . . .

. . . and the crocosmia flowers don't look as garish now that the runner bean flowers are offering them some competition!

The carrots - although they haven't germinated all that well.  I guess that's what happens when you get a freebie packet of seeds.

The hosta is the best it has ever been, largely, I think, because I got the slug pellet act going rather more quickly than I usually do.

And the tomatoes I grew from seed myself (for the very first time ever) are coming on well now they're in the soil.  At this rate I should get something from them, even if it's not until September.  They were from a free packet too.

And tomorrow's 'big event' (no, I didn't mean the school being closed) . . .

If you look carefully, you can just see that the road turns off to the left at the top right hand bit of the photo.  Well, all those internationally acclaimed cyclists will come along that road, turn left into the road you can see and . . .

. . . disappear along Chignal Road towards the traffic lights at the bottom about half a mile or so away and then it's country cycling again.

See what a grandstand view I will have, assuming the whole estate doesn't congregate along by our garages!!!  Maybe I should charge!

That little green roofed chapel (it's a much bigger church now which used to worship there in days gone by) has a field beside and behind it and there's going to be an 'event' - barbecue, live music, etc, all day.  It has to be all day because once they are there (before 7:00, I think it has to be), they will be stuck there until the evening, unless they walk.  A great view of the Tour de France as well as a good opportunity to socialise and have fun!  Fingers crossed for the weather for them.

And in the time it has taken to write this (with breaks for kitchen stuff) it's rained and continues to rain, the dhal is almost done, the crumble is made and ready to go in the oven in due time, the stale bread is now crumbs and the bread dough is rising.  I've also put on some butter beans to soak.  And this is my window for having a bath and getting dressed!

It's going to be a good day!


  1. Love the weather poem. We had the experience of watching the giro d'Italia cycle race when we were on holiday one year in Tuscany - we waited for an hour in the boiling sun then in milliseconds the bikes came and went - so we went back to the pool for swim and to cool down.

  2. LOL - I reckon that's how it will be here too. I've read that they expect it to be a sprint finish in London which means they will all be fairly close together. If I remember at the approproiate time, I might go out and cheer. Or maybe not!
    J x