It’s Friday already!

Already Friday and nearly another month, the weeks are flying by.

There have been gorgeous sunsets of late, I spotted this urban skyline on my way home from work.

image

There are early spring flowers in the garden, including these vibrant golden crocuses.

image

Healthy dinners, some mixed grains and lentils, with mushrooms and grilled halloumi, delicious and comforting on a cold evening.

image

A bit of hooking in the evening; a puff stitch hexagon in lovely pink lambs’ wool ( I found the pattern here, a lovely blog with lots of fab crochet)

image

The view across to the hills has been great of late, with snow on the hilltops

image

Just some peeks at the week that’s been 😄

 

2014 – review of the year

I’ve been looking back over this year and all the photos I’ve taken

In the garden

image

Crochet – 2 unfinished projects and some test squares below but they look lovely and colourful. I haven’t always had time to pick up my hook but I still love it when I do. I don’t make resolutions but I do intend to make more time for hooking in 2015!

image

 

The view from the top of the hill over the last 12 months and 4 seasons

image

Miss Tara,  lovely happy bundle of fun, a delightful companion ❤

image

Cakes and baking, food and produce from the garden

image

Places I visited; clockwise from top left, Inverness, Liverpool, Skipton, Liverpool (the interior of the Central Library), West Kirby on the Wirral and Belfast.

image

Family feasts, a big birthday and some music making which I was proud to be part of

image

Good times!

Let’s hope 2015 will bring lots of goodness to all, Happy New Year!

 

Handmade Christmas 3

It’s nice to make a few edibles for Christmas. I didn’t make a cake this year, because I don’t really like Christmas cake, if I’m honest. But I did make mince pies-these are a new recipe with a frangipane topping full of ground almonds

imageThey were delicious! This is the recipe I used

I also made my own mincemeat – it has rhubarb and vanilla in it and is very good (a tried, tested and loved Nigella Lawson recipe which I tweak by adding cherries and omitting currants)

image image

This went into the aforementioned mince pies!

I made my own fruit liqueur, a variation on sloe or damson gin. I made raspberry flavoured gin. It’s very easy to do, just wash and dry your fruit, put it into sterilised jars with sugar, fill the jar with gin(or vodka), pop the lid on and put in a dark place for about a month, giving the jar a shake for the first few days to dissolve the sugar. Then strain it through a sieve lined with kitchen paper(as in the second photo below and pour into sterilised bottles, seal and then enjoy at your leisure. Nice in a shot glass or diluted with lemonade or soda water!

image image image

October review

image

image

October has been a beautiful month; mild weather, harvesting fruit and vegetables, turning leaves of golden and russet hues, and wonderful skies filled with pink and orange clouds. I made several flavours of gin based liqueur for Christmas, in the photo, you can see raspberry and blueberry. I decided to crochet myself something to wear, there’s a glimpse of it above and I will reveal more soon. It’s been busy at work too, but happily with enough time to enjoy all of the above 😄

Apple harvest

After a few days of horrible rain and wind, yesterday brought a beautiful autumn afternoon, sunny and crisp; perfect for finally picking the abundant crop of this year’s apples. 3 small trees yielded all these apples!

image

image

The apples in the above photo are Golden Delicious, a bit marked on the skin but they taste fine when peeled so I will give some away and eat the rest. The other two bucketfuls I’ll wrap and store; lots of fruit to last through the winter months.

image

Just letting them dry out a little before they get a newspaper duvet

image

And a cardboard box bed to hide in till they are needed for pie/crumble duty!

September review

imageSeptember was a great month for weather, still warm and dry, so there was much gardening; new potatoes were dug up and I harvested  the first fruits from my plum tree. I made plum gin, ready for Christmas with luck! Earlier this summer, I had laid my hook down for a short break but I got back into the swing of crochet again, with restful afternoons in the sun hooking away. Tara is so changed now from the timid, chubby little indoor cat who came here last December – she has lost 1.3 kilos and adores being outside. It’s lovely to see her so being so confident and healthy.

image

Goodbye September, you were grand!

Autumn colours

The end of September, the beginning of autumn, Indian summer days with chilly nights, the season has changed here in Scotland.

image

The garden has some beautiful shades of deep pink, red and green just now

imageA fantastic crop of apples are ripening nicely, ready in a couple of weeks methinks!

image

Blackberries, a present from next door’s overgrown hedge 🙂

image

I dug up some of my potatoes today, even they match the pink tones in the garden

image

Someone loves being out and about!

image

Enjoying the blue sky days while we still can.

Days to cherish and remember when the dark, gloomy winter clouds come.

Good times 🙂