Thursday, 10 March 2016


Good Morning to you,

Well I never,  I really did not think I would be away from you for so long. 

Yes, I was unwell, but when I first fell ill, I thought to myself, give it a week or so and I will be back on my feet again.

.... that did not happen.

You see I had caught a virus, which sapped all my strength. All I wanted to do was sleep, sleep and sleep some more.... very odd for me. I really had no energy.  After I wrote my little note to you, to say I was poorly, I returned to my bed and slept.

.... but I am pleased to say, I am back on my feet again and fully recovered.  

.... to think, I have not been cooking in my kitchen, since the middle of February, that seems so strange. 

So what did George do about his meals. Well luckily I was organised in that department, as the freezer was full of meals, which kept George well and truly satisfied. I think I have mentioned to you before, that I do tend to cook a little too much food for the both of us. Sometimes these leftovers, which George calls scrumptions, are left in the fridge and eaten within a couple of days.  Other times, I will freeze a portion or two, so when the need arises, such as in the past few weeks, I have meals which are ready and waiting, which can be cooked with a minimum of effort.

I am really looking forward to getting back into my kitchen, although I have to say, I am also itching to get into my garden, as I can see, there are stirrings in the soil. It is such an exciting time when young shoots start to appear in Spring time.

I did venture outside this morning, to look around the garden and I was so pleased to see, even with the cold temperatures, a small bunch of Snowdrops

had burst into flower. I have been cultivating these little lovelies for three years and slowly, but surely, they are multiplying. My Bluebells have also started shooting through the soil, but it will be a little while yet before they flower. So many of my bushes are starting to form leaves, such as the hydrangea, which you can just see, behind the snowdrops. Can you see the moss.... that shows how much rain we've had and how damp the soil is. I have been given my instructions from George, I'm not allowed to dig it up, as George uses  moss to cover the soil on his bonzai trees. So when the time comes to hoe the soil, I will have to make sure I don't get carried away, I will need to be vigilant and hoe around the moss.

As I continued my walk around the garden, I noticed my roses have small leaves appearing on their stems. Spring is such an exciting time of the year in the garden, as it's a time of renewal, as plants begins to stir. You just never know what is going to peek through the soil.  I love finding flowers, which I did not plant, but which have arrived via birds or seeds floating in the air. I love that they plop themselves down, wherever the wind takes them and that they appear randomly in my garden, because as you know, I am a lover of riotous gardens, or should I say, the cottage style of gardening.  I love flowers which look as if they have been in the garden forever.  Initially, it does take quite a bit of work to create this type of garden, but once achieved, it is just a matter of dividing and replanting, then sitting back, during the summer months, enjoying the fruits of your labour.

I really must get into the garden quite soon and tidy it up a little. I did tidy up during the Autumn, but I always leave a lot of bushes and clematis in their wild state,  as  they give our smaller birds protection during the harsh winter months.  Once Spring arrives, I don my gardening gloves and armed with my loppers, I trim my bushes... not too much, but into a more pleasing shape. 

After pruning, I am going to be hoeing the soil, to aerate it, as it desperately needs to be turned over. As I mentioned, we've had incredible amounts of rain this winter, so the soil has become very compact, or 'claggy' as the Geordies would say.  I will need to wait a while to allow the soil to dry out a little, then I will be able to breathe some life back into it.

George is also itching to get into the garden, but for a different reason, he really wants to mow the lawn, but is holding back, because again the soil is so damp.  We went for a short walk this morning and passed a neighbours house, who normally has such a beautiful lawn, but for whatever reason, he decided to mow it, and I have to say it looks awful.... it looks more like hay than grass.  He did say he was disappointed and really wished he had not cut it, but he felt once the weather warms up and he feeds the grass, the lawn will return to its former glory..... you know how we English love our lawns.  At the moment George is obsessing about a brown patch of our grass, which is two feet by one foot which appeared overnight at the beginning of Autumn.  We think it was a fox who decided to do his ablutions on our lawn, because even now, with all the rain, it still looks awful.

Never mind, once George is armed with his rake and his lawn seed he will bring the brown patch back to life and then he will be a very happy man.

Oh just a thought, remember when we planted the garlic, well it is growing great guns, I am so excited. I checked with my friend and it seems I have to wait until June or July to pull it up and then I will be able to use it for cooking.... I cannot wait, as I have never grown garlic before.  Once the weather starts perking up, I will take a photo and show you how it is progressing.

Just before I go, I wanted to say thank you to everyone who sent me emails asking how I was doing.  It was so very kind of you to think of me.  

I will be popping by to visit you this week and next week I will have some cooking to share with you.

Now, I know how much you love pretty dishes, so I thought, just before I go,

I would show you what I found in a Charity shop, the week before I became ill.... a set of cups and saucers, cake plates and tea plates.  Isn't she just a little bit gorgeous.... I know it's a cup and saucer, but something as beautiful as this, just has to be a 'she'. The name of this little beauty is 'Carnation' and she was made in Dresden, Germany. I don't know much about her as yet, but I feel sure, she is quite an elderly lady. If you happen to know anything about her, I'd love to know.

Now, I really must go and make myself a cup of coffee.

So take good care of yourself and I will be back with you next Thursday.

As always,

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