At present I am working in Great Yarmouth…
Yes I know, not just Yarmouth, but GREAT Yarmouth.
Most people in the UK roll their eyes when they hear of this town>
Also known as Las Vegas on the North sea.
Rather sad really, Las Vegas without the sunshine, the sea without the fresh breeze.
Over the last months working with the the old buildings in this town I have learnt never to judge a village center by first glance. There are some amazing Edwardian Hotels waiting to rise like a phoenix, old rides that are still cool. And actually the whole place has been maintained by neglect.
Neglected by lack of investment from the government…
The whole town was built on the money made from silver darlings, herrings. And they still sell the very best kippers you have ever had!
But sadly when they made the big investments in their new concrete harbour they forgot to invest in the access on the land side…
So now, with the upcoming elections, politicians have promised to improve the main road there…
What do you think? Will more people come? Will more people leave?
Time will tell. At least we have a super enthusiastic team of conservation officers in place and a supportive Borough Council… With all the sad and terrible things happening in the world, rebuilding and treasuring what we have must be on the political agenda! Fingers crossed for the elections!
Yes, I know… it has been almost a year. So about time to get back in the saddle.
In the meantime I have been pretty busy.
There are many things to learn in the countryside.
But the most important is simply to live, but more importantly to live simply.
Quite some time ago I wrote with great pleasure about growing up, loving to drink Roosvicee.
Today I made it myself. For free.
(well ok, if you discount the oil used in the AGA, the sugar from the jar and the cost of the water…)
It is nice how the online recipe for Rose hip syrup looks so simple, but isn’t.
It leaves out the experience of one hour or so, picking and cleaning the hips. (if you can find any at all!)
Then to boot, at the bottom of the comments, a reader lamented the poor advice, explaining that temperature and cooking pots had to be significantly different.
(no metal with acid, no boiling vit. C.) Pfff. Fussy.
In a way, the way I made the syrup today shows exactly what I have learnt in the country this year.
It is so important not to leave out the experience and value of actual handy work. (the hour of picking, thorns, fresh air.)
And instead of getting lost in the very exact details (see comments) and ‘have to-s’ you just follow your gut feeling.
Everyone, sing along with me:
… The cold never bothered me anyway…
In the end just I simmered the chopped rose hips in an enamel pan. Strained it once, none of this double filter nonsense… Left it to cool. And have been drinking it all day. Wonderful.
Burn from the Christmas goose meeting the Aga… Changed my life (line) for ever. Have a wonderful new year everyone!
Over the past few weeks the Plum season has been in full swing, so every day I trundle off to the orchard early in the morning with a dog.
The Victoria Plums are particularly wonderful this time of year and beg to be eaten instantly instead of bundled up in a basket.
Still they do look such a pretty colour all huddled up together, but we digress…
The trick is to pick the ripe ones once a day, otherwise the wasps and other rude grubs get to them.
This morning it was rather damp, so right at the same moment I was thinking about how docile the wasps were today… One stung me!
Right across the jaw… It must have fallen from a plum above me, half drunk from all the sugar and got caught in my collar.
But every country problem comes with its solution: Onion!
(I also tried rubbing a copper coin on it, but that just made me look a bit weird)
So after half an hour with an onion stuck to my face, the burning is a lot less. Sadly though I now smell of the beginning of a stew and I couldn’t stop crying for an hour…
Note to self: Don’t get stung by drunken wasps… wear a hat and tight fitting collar in the orchard.
(Note to self 2: You are not allergic to wasps, if you were you would now be dead….)
I think I have now officially passed my Countrification Diploma… I supervised the mating of our dog.
In the end it took us 3 tries to get the job done. But I can assure you that is has given me an entirely different perspective on the whole world of procreation…
Firstly, both dogs are entirely chosen for their bloodlines.
Secondly both dogs are mostly picked on their looks, soft mouth and kind character.
Thirdly both dogs have to get checked by a vet to rule out any possible defects.
And then on top of it all in order to assure conception, the poor dears get stuck to each other for at least a half hour. Talk about a passion killer!
It makes me snigger to think to apply this to my next dating experiment.
I am sure you could write an excellent short sketch about this.
Will be tricky to find out about the soft mouth though…
I was looking for a garden table. With a old round sheet of glass and an old bin I made the following solution… This way the flowers don’t blow off the table. And you have a place to put the tea tray…