Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Rainy Day

It's another rainy day. For over a month we basked in unseasonably warm and sunny weather, but a week and a half ago it all changed. From wearing sandals and T-shirts I am back to boots and woolly jumpers. As someone said, 'we had May in April and now we're having April in May'.

Unfortunately the change in the weather coincided with a visit from my Mum & Dad. Many of our planned outings had to be shelved, although we still managed to have fun. We visited Cilgerran and its picturesque ruined castle perched precipitously on cliffs high above the Teifi river, went to the Gower and watched the surfers whilst walking on Llangennith beach, ate out at the highest pub in the Preseli mountains (Y Tafarn Sinc), shopped in Carmarthen and Narberth, and somehow 10 days sped by. Mum & Dad left this morning, and although I wish they could have stayed longer I suppose I needed to get back to serious work! There are a million jobs awaiting me in the veggie patch alone - May always seems to be such a busy month.

But I have to confess, it's not too inviting out there. From baked dry a fortnight ago, the clay-ey soil is now wet & sticky, and the weeds have put on a quite amazing growth spurt now the rain has soaked in ('just add water!'). I have been sitting way too long playing with my blog, eating cheese on toast and drinking Earl Grey (comfort food!). Ah well, duty calls. If I don't get on with it and bite the bullet, the weeds will take over completely.
On second thoughts, perhaps just one more mug of Earl Grey...


Tori said...

I love your new blog header.
We had a rainy day here too.
I hope that you curled up with your tea and were cozy.
Have a lovely visit with your folks.

Reya Mellicker said...

The photo of your hand with the egg is extraordinary. Truly beautiful!

Weeds - how is it that they thrive in soil no noble plant would settle into?

I read about the rainy U.K. weather on another blog - that writer said it's been so rainy that the birds are evolving into fish.

May the weather settle down and the weeds lose some of their enthusiasm! Another cup of tea? Oh my, YES!

Mike Farley said...

The new front page pic of the egg in your hands is marvellous. Rather worryingly I am starting to agree with you about Earl Grey tea. From describing it as perfumed crap a couple of years ago, I am now of the opinion that it's not too bad. So stick the kettle on and I'll have one with you.
See you in June!

halfpintjack said...

Hello! I can't figure out how to comment on your elder post, so I thought I would say here:

The leaves may not smell great, but particularly when they're bruised they repel flies and biting things. When we were kids we used to put branches of them in our ponies' bridles to repel the flies!

Also, where do you get your citric acid?

- Hol

willow said...

I also came here to comment on the elder post and to ask about the citric acid. Is it neccesary as a preservative or could I leave it out?
I made elderberry cordial last year having heard about its antiviral properties but have not made cordial from the flowers. I like the idea of making beads from the twigs as well - what a versatile plant.

Moonroot said...

Not sure why the blog's not got space for comments on the elder post...
Thanks for the tip about the leaves, Hol.
I don't know how vital the citric acid is as a preservative, but it certainly adds to the lemony, refreshing flavour of the cordial, balancing out the muscat-like perfuminess of the elderflowers. It's easily available over the counter at the chemist or from places that stock wine & beer making supplies. You could also use tartaric acid instead.
Hope you enjoy it - ooh, and Willow, could you share the recipe for the berry cordial? Thanks!

willow said...

Hi. Elderberry cordial

Place elderberries in pan (stripped from the stems using a fork) and add just enough water to cover.
Simmer for 30 mins.
Strain through muslin cloth or jelly bag.
To each pint of juice add 1lb sugar and 10 cloves.
Heat gently to dissolve sugar and then boil for 10 minutes.
Pour into sterilised bottles. ( I didn't have any bottles and used jam jars which worked fine)

We actually liked this made with hot water, a spicy alternative to hot blackcurrant.

By the way I was thinking about the trouble you were having growing elder from seeds. Do you think that they might have some protective coating on them as usually they are eaten by birds before they germinate? Maybe the seeds could be soaked or rubbed with fine sand paper before sowing. I have no idea if this is right but you don't see elder seedlings growing around the parent trees much and loads of berries drop on the floor - there must be some reason for it. Just a thought.

Reya Mellicker said...

I wanted to comment on your excellent elderflower post, but couldn't find a link! Loved the whole post, every piece of it.

I don't understand the lust for a lawn, either.

Faerose said...

I wanted to leave a comment a few days ago on lovely your elderflower post (yum) but I couldn't find the comment button.

Enjoying your blog

Magda xx

Left-handed Trees... said...

About your latest post...I respect my elders!!! The recipe was wonderful too...I hope that cup of Earl Grey helped nourish you enough to battle the weeds.