Saturday, February 4, 2017


Today I can hear the birds as dusk grows lighter, there is a feeling in the air that the world is starting to become alive again.  Having sat down with the Sutton catalogue of seeds yesterday and written a very long, and expensive list, plus carriage of £5, I thought to go to Daisys our local garden centre before I made a decision. Of course Daisys had  King Seeds (Suffolk Herbs) which where literally half the cost of Suttons but unfortunately some names weren't there; heliotrope, sweet rocket and honesty.
So climate change has begun to bite, you cannot buy courgettes, squashes and aubergines (and those horrible iceberg lettuces) because of snow in Spain - tragedy!  No, not really, you should eat in season, we have a lovely lot of winter vegetables, that make delicious casseroles.  Moving more compost in the garden and around the roses and the bed where the mole has been, it is like jelly to walk on.  I have two cold frames, easy enough to start some salad leaves, we have discussed getting a greenhouse but I am not sure, you can get an awful lot of tomatoes for the price of a greenhouse, My Marmande type tomatoes last summer did very well out in the garden,  I would also like to grow the sweet yellow tomato Golden Sunrise.
Tulip tips poke through the soil, and though I haven't any snowdrops, they are appearing in the churchyard.  Even the chickens had some time out yesterday out in the beds busily scratching away, Lucy had let them out, she likes to go in their run.  I watched one goose fly overhead a few days ago, and my heart sank, there are more cases of the wretched Avian flu, not sure we will be able to let the chicken out at the end of February.
Have two books on the go at the moment, Anne Cleese, reading through the Shetland books and Calum's Road by Roger Hutchinson.  Calum built a road, nothing special but it took him about 10  years to his house in Arnish in North Waasay.  The first few chapters explore the terrible history of The Clearances, as subsequent landlords of the island, forced the local inhabitants out, mostly of course for the deer and game hunting that these rich proprietors needed to entertain their guests.

Castle Broichin on the Isle of Raasay, an 1819 aquatint by William Daniell depicting Brochel Castle
"The two miles (3 km) of road between Brochel Castle and Arnish were built using hand-tools by Calum MacLeod BEM over ten years. Only when complete was the road surfaced by the local council; by then Calum and his wife were the last inhabitants of Arnish"

When you read of families being burnt out of their homes you weep for such wickedness, but it still goes on today in other lands.
Had a fish and chips supper last night with our friends in the pub next door, not as good as the fish and chip shop in Pickering, but funnily enough our friends had already been to The Magpie in Whitby a couple of days ago.  The Magpie is of course a superior f/c place but to be honest it does other fish as well in superb dishes, sometimes I miss the old cottage and Whitby, though not in the winter....

Calum's Road, he didn't tarmac it though.


  1. I have the Calum's Road book in my pile to read - Keith found it and bought it for me. I'm having an Ann Cleeves season too - huge pile of hers to get through, and I'm currently on her Thin Air.

    1. Think funnily enough it was you and Sue that started me reading fiction again. Strangely I thought no one else would have the Calum book. Seeing the tv programmes as Sue said below, the image of the police officer is very different to the books.

  2. I've read some Ann Cleeves but the TV programmes are so different to the books - put me off the books.
    The other book sounds interesting -Suffolk Libraries have a copy so i shall give it a go

    1. Yes Jimmy Perez in dark in the book (Italian looking) whereas the character on television is fair, though I think he has the same quiet demeanour. Haven't finished Calum's road so can't give a verdict except perhaps to say that the writer is a journalist and therefore the book is a bit pedestrian....

  3. I really can't make mymind up about whether it is necessary to keep our hens in because of Avian flu. I see it is now rife in Lancashire - and that presumably among birds which have been kept in as the ban has been inplace for some time.

  4. Of course it may be wise to keep them in, there is a £5000 fine to contemplate. But of course if it keeps on, all talk of free-range eggs and chicken becomes somewhat difficult.