Saturday, 16 June 2018


Good Morning to you,

I love looking out into the garden on a morning, because I never quite know what will catch my attention.

For instance, on Wednesday, I was sat quietly in the conservatory, when I  heard a noisy, squawking sound  above my head. I thought a bird had caught its foot in the roof of the conservatory and could not free itself.

I leapt from my chair to take a look, but  I soon realised that I was completely wrong, the bird on the roof had not hurt itself, in actual fact it was not 1 bird making a noise, but 2 young magpies, doing a merry dance on my roof. The magpies were having difficulty standing on the roof and instead of giving up and flying away to something more suitable, they decided they would peck each other and squawk at each other.

After a few seconds of furious squawking and pecking, they realised this was not going to work, so they decided to fly away, but  not very far, one decided to fly just as far as our garden shed.

.... and this is where the fun began.  The garden shed door was open and George had hung our garden broom on the door.  That in itself is not very strange, but what followed was perhaps not strange, but it was fascinating to watch.

The young magpie which decided to stay in the garden, flew to the top of the shed. Instinctively it knew it had to look for something, but I don't think he knew quite what, as he kept tapping his beak on the side of the shed. He continued pecking, that is until his eye was caught by something more interesting....  the garden broom hanging on the door.  

The magpie stopped pecking and  decided the broom was worth a little investigation.  He made his way to the top of the door, by which time the broom began to move in the wind. This stopped him in his tracks and he continued to sit on the top of the door, watching the garden broom swing from side to side.  He then decided to spread his wings and practically jumped onto the broom, which of course then swayed a great deal more, but he held his own and managed to stay on the swinging broom. He looked this way and that and couldn't make head nor tail of what he was perched on, so he decided to give the broom a peck, after all it might turn out to be something nice to eat. He must have pecked the broom quite hard because a few bristles appeared in his beak.  He didn't like the bristles so he opened his beak and the bristles fell to the ground, but he obviously thought the broom was worth further investigation, so he continued pecking. This was one determined little magpie, he was not going to give up on his new interest.

I called George to watch what was unfolding in front of me and we both watched, completely fascinated by this bird.  The magpie was determined to have his way..... it was as if he needed to remove every single bristle from the broom.  More bristles appeared in his beak and again the bristles fell to the ground whilst he continued swaying on the broom. At which point George said, 'Enough is enough', at this rate there will not be a bristle left in the broom'.  So George went into the garden, thinking that would be enough to make the magpie fly away.... but George was mistaken. The magpie stopped pecking for a moment, looked up at George, as if to say, if you think your getting this broom, you are sadly mistaken. He then lowered his head and continued pecking the broom.

George thought what a mischievous little bird, so he clapped his hands and the magpie flew to the fence, all the while watching George, waiting to see what he was going to do.

George did the only thing he could, and that was to close the shed door, because he thought the little magpie was not going to give up and if he left the door open, he knew the minute his back was turned, the magpie would return to investigate the broom.

So the door was closed and George walked back into the house.  When we looked out of the window, the magpie had not moved, he sat waiting.  Well that was until his brother or sister arrived and they returned to the game they were previously playing. The screeching began and all thoughts of the broom were completely gone.

.... that is until the next time the shed door is left open. I have a feeling the little magpie will return to pay us another visit.

So with my back door firmly shut, against unwanted visitors, it is time to share with you,

a very simple, but enjoyable carrot and orange salad, which is perfect on a hot summers day.

So it's on with my pinnie and time to organise the ingredients.


6 medium sized carrots
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 clove of garlic ~ crushed with salt
1 tablespoon of grated orange zest
1 orange ~ juiced
1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
250 ml vegetable stock
A couple of sprigs of coriander leaves


Peel the carrots
using a potato peeler cut the carrot
into ribbons
and set aside for the moment.

Place the olive oil into a wide pan.

Add the
crushed garlic
orange zest
ground coriander
ground cumin
ground ginger

and cook for 2 minutes

Pour the vegetable stock into the pan
and bring to a simmer.

Simmer until the dressing has reduced by 2/3rds.
This will take approximately 12 to 15 minutes.

Allow the dressing to cool.

Pour the dressing over the ribboned carrots.
Toss until the ribbons are evenly coated.

Add a little chopped coriander and toss again



This is a really easy salad, but one which is full of flavour. Sometimes if I run short of time, I cook a pan of noodles and toss this salad into the drained noodles. A lovely quick and easy lunch.

I did not add salt, because there is a little salt from the crushed garlic, but taste test and if you feel you need to add salt then please do.

Take care and I will catch up with you on Saturday.

I'm just going to see what that little magpie is up to.

As Always,

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