Sunday, 30 September 2012

Mellow fruitfulness...

Thank goodness I managed to make my garage door repairs recently. They were hardly finished before we experienced wild gales whilst the leaves are on the trees, most unusual but the garage remained dry and cosy. Not that the poor van was tucked up cosy because I had decided to scrub up the floor and apply three coats of heavy duty floor paint, the extra coat always seems like a good idea… Once the last coat went on it was not to be driven over for three days and that is when the gales came. Many trees were blown down but branches were ripped of all over the place making driving into the country an interesting test.

First pane of glass to ever get blown out of the summerhouse...

Our guest expected in November is here at the moment which speeded up our house tidying plans and we are now halfway through an intensive week of socialising, not much change there you might be thinking… Sunday lunch guests have just set off on their fifty mile drive back into the highlands. A month ago I was on the point of dismantling the garden tables to store away for the winter, not got much use this wet summer, suddenly the weather changed and we started to get some warm dry days and even today we started our lunch with nibbles and a glass of wine out in the sunshine. 

I had left two sisters to battle out how to cook the main dish, I know when it is time to retreat… Lamb shanks was the sort of meal which we looked forward to cooking when income dropped on retirement but all the cheap cuts needing long slow cooking have become popular restaurant dishes so now the ingredients have fancy prices to match! This dish is similar to what Julie’s sister used to feed her restaurant staff on because it was so good and cheap!!

This week at Bramble cottage we had a frost which ruined the brambles which were soft and ripening, luckily those still hard and unripe seem to have survived a while longer so I was able to pick a large bowlful for desert. Half were taken and turned into ice cream which made a much fancier dish than planned. There will be few more days with fruit from the garden this year since the apples nearly all came down in the gales and the fallen will be stewed and frozen or made into chutney like the small harvest of hard and split pears last week.

Perversely I used to look forward to the autumn since I hated the summer. As much as I loved a sun warmed body the summer was a torment seeing girls out enjoying the warmer weather wearing colourful to die for clothes and well just being girls like I knew I should be! Most of my wardrobe is spring summer based… Covering up too much has never been at the forefront of my thinking but it is time to put away all the light clothing and see what is left to see me through the cold dark months to come.

All I have to look forward to is my first mammogram next month and yet another big toenail removing session in November, I tried wearing shoes after the gales and it was like toothache in both big toes! All my fault for wearing sandals all my life with toes just waiting to get crushed so that the nails now grow twisted. I am torn between hoping that this time the nails will be killed off and having them grow again so that they can be painted my now standard toe gold...



  1. You've been quite a busy girl haven't you Caroline? All the work in the garage (she must be as nuts as me!) and all that socialising (definitely as nuts!). I am amazed you are still able to pick blackberries, even where I live they seem to be in short supply. We don't grow them ourselves but whenever I am out and about down toward the beach I pick a few to chomp on. My apple trees bore little fruit this year probably because of the pruning exercise we did last year and we don't have pear trees. I love pears and eat one every day (along with other fruit too). What's this? Not much in the way of warmer wear? Get shopping and treat yourself to some nice warm and fashionable clothes, you know you're worth it! I didn't know you were eligible yet for having a mammogram or isn't it a free one? I had my third last year around my birthday but they may not bother next time as I will be 69 then, 70 being the cut-off age. Don't envy your toe problem though.

    Shirley Anne x

  2. A friend managed one stunted apple off three trees this year so I should not be too upset. We do like to grow fruit since we eat so much and it costs so much in the shops now...

    Mammograms are done every three years here between 50 and 70 after which they leave it up to individuals to request the test. This will be my first visit and I have managed to arrange that we both get the test within a quarter of an hour to save a journey. They used to do them in mobile units close to home but have now centralised them for this area. Such a visit probably saved Julie's life so I know it is worth the effort.

  3. And I was looking forward to Bramble jeely, shame!

  4. I always forget to take a bag out with me for blackberries when we go for a walk.

    I've not long had my two yearly mammogram (a pink invitation arrives every two years). Good luck with yours.


Many thanks to all who ever joined in the conversation and to those who took the time to follow my zig zag to a new life..

I can be contacted on the email found on my profile page.