Sunday, 4 September 2011

2011.09.04 My Day and Memories

My day started peacefully although on my initial post for today I don't think I was fully firing on all pistons and the word gremlins seemed to be more than in evidence.  The day started off cloudy, and at one point the sun broke and it had cheered up for a little.

We have then gone on to walk the dog down by the river, ran into an old work colleague walking his dog.  It started spitting with rain whilst we were out, but I was eyeing up quantities of elderberries, haws and rosehips together with some cooking apples which I will go for during the week.  I also need to get to another spot to do a big blackberry pick which hopefully will also happen during the week. However we did pick up two small puffballs on the way back so no doubt they will get utlilised with some meals during the week . We then came home and had hot sweet tea and crumpets with butter for very late elevenses.

It has now turned into what I call a typical September grey day, and to top it all it is now pouring with rain, and I have been pottering in the kitchen, dealing with jobs that need dealing with, doing washing up and tidying up.  Its the type of day where if I had a proper fire or woodburner, I would be lighting the fire early for warmth and comfort from the glow of the fire. The light is not very good either it is very dark in the house, more reminiscent of a deep dark winter day than a September one.  We do however need the rain, and the pitter patter of the rain hitting the ground and the windows is very soothing.   

These sort of days remind me of days when we used to go to my Nan's.  I relate September simply to Apples.  For me it is Apple month.  This month was always traditionally a busy one at my Nan's where we started picking the early apples with the keepers being collected at the end of September beginning of October.  All year Nan would keep the paper sacks from the corn feed  and recycle them come apple time.  She used to have big stacking trays in the garage where the keepers were stored and the onions strung and dried out.  There is something comforting about the smell of sweet cidery apples, a very down to earth smell and one that was prevalent throughout my childhood.  The fallers were kept separate - Nan always maintained they were some of the better apples, but because they had gone thud were no good for keeping, but they could be kept or used in different preserves.  We were frequently sent off round the orchards with buckets collecting the better fallers which Nan used to make wine out of and cider, some were given to the pigs and some to the chickens.  Needless to say we learned how to climb trees early on and how to harvest the apples collecting them gently so as not to bruise them  I miss those days they were happy days.  

My Nan was a bit of an alchemist when it came to winemaking - we had lovely wine which we have not had since her passing.  Even though I have a go I still have a lot to learn, my Nan knew how to blend them.  Some of our favourite wines were plum and apple and pear, and sometimes she forgot what was in the demijohns and could not remember what she had blended with what but the result was something else.  I have a lot of her winemaking equipment, but her wine making recipes they have been lost as they were all in her head.  I have a lot of wine to get underway and hopefully I will get quite a lot of this done this week and sorted in readiness for Christmas.  I have orange and lemon, as well as some elderberry and ginger to make.

The kitchen is now going to be tackled before I do anything else as it needs sorting for me to be able to work and find things properly to go on to do the projects I have in mind for this my holiday time away from work.

I am hoping to get the front garden completely sorted this week whilst off work and also to start in the back garden so that the winter weather can break the soil down and I can then plant up crops early on and try and get the garden working for us.  The greenhouse also needs sorting out.  Now that the wild brambles have finished cropping in the garden the best plants can be sorted, dug up and re-planted down the garden so that we get a good trained crop next year.

I also want to get some inner door curtains made to try and keep the winter draughts out of the house.  I have thick door curtains up, but they just need a wire runner curtain underneath just to make doubly sure that the draughts are kept at bay.   Think I will pop down to the market and see what  fabric they have available.  I only want something cheap and cheerful to do the job. Will have to see how we get on. The back door step also needs re-sealing so will hit the £ shop this week and get some sealant as they had some in there the other day for £1 a tube.

After the rain had stopped and it did stop we had a lovely blue sky and it .turned into a lovely evening, one where you really want to be down the pub with a nice glass of cider in your hand.

We haven't had cooked tea tonight - the kitchen was too upside down and besides the meat did not defrost  and was beef ice lolly so we will have the cooked meal tomorrow night.  We have had a problem with the kitchen fridge for a little while, turns out that we hadn't got it on the correct temperature as the control was being caught when we went into the fridge.  Its now working superbly again and that's why the beef didn't defrost.

I have been washing jars and bottles this afternoon, scraping off labels, getting them ready for in the week.  I need some more sugar first though, so hopefully will go to get that early on in the week.  Also need to get some sunflower oil to have a go at making some soap.  I have almond and coconut already.

Have just had a late supper  - some cheese on toast, it was quick and tasty, bearing in mind I have been busy for the best part of the day.  It has gone chilly out though; I nearly forgot to feed the stray cat and went flying over the road in my short sleeved top, and wished I had taken my jumper with me. 

Anyway must get on.

Take care wherever you may be

Catch you all soon




  1. I have a couple of my Nan's wine recipes if you'd like I can email them to you? I'm certain you'll have to update them though as yeast is placed on bread and floated on the top of the liquid! She also used izinglass to clear them - I know some people wouldn't use that today.
    If you do want them email me on secondhandrose1atbtinternetdotcom and I'll sort them out for you.
    Thank you for your lovely, caring reply to my other Christmas comments, bless you.

  2. Hello Pattypan,

    Sounds like you are really busy. Love reading about all the things you make - you are very inspirational!

    We make our own beer, mainly nettle & goosegrass... Will have to do a post about it sometime!

    Hope you are keeping well.

    Kay :)

  3. It sounds as though you are enjoying your holiday , hope you manage to get all the things done that you have planned. As I've said before I feel exhausted just reading about all the things you manage to do while working full time. I hope that you are starting to feel the benefit of your exercises and medication now and are feeling much better. Take care.


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