Thursday, 25 September 2008

What I do when I'm not on the computer.

Itsybits . . .

I care for Itsy, who is now looking much more her old self, and the pink powders for her tummy have given her a superb coat. She has her grass tummy back, but that will lessen with regular work - once I can find another rider for her, as my middle daughter goes back to Uni this weekend.

I turn an old Indian skirt which had got ripped in the wash, into two new cushion covers for my daughter's room up at Uni. As the material was so thin, I had to back it with a deep red glazed cotton. I have enough material left for some more recycled cushion covers too . . .

When I was down in Hampshire recently, I drove over Stony Cross to Linwood, and picked these wildings, and two bags of smaller crab apples. I chopped them up and covered them in water, then cooked them until they looked like this:

This mash has now been through my jelly bag (which hangs from a convenient nail on the main beam in the kitchen) and today I will add the sugar and boil it up for pots of fragrant Crab Apple jelly.

Whilst we have this sunshine, I have been busy out in the garden. There used to be a thicket of briar roses here, but they were getting too boistrous and overgrowing the path. The Madam Hardy rose I planted about 15 years ago had reverted to its briar rootstock too, so I decided that could come out too. Now I am digging up the roots (a job for the mattock again) of the Polygonum superbus, as that haas also outstayed its welcome. It's been there about 15 years too, and just spread and spread. I tolerated it because it was such a good bee plant, but this year there have been no bees . . . I shall plant this area up with cottage garden flowers - annuals and perennials, underplanted with bulbs - there are a lot of snowdrops there already, which I have been careful to save whilst I was digging.

My husband isn't idle either. Here is a lid for my old butter churn. He was looking for the right piece of wood, which he eventually found at the back of the woodshed, along with the piece which made the handle. I like to think that we can still replicate those skills that all countryfolk had in the past, when you had to turn on your own resources to repair what you owned, in the days before the throw-away age. I grew up with parents who mended things too so I was never a chucker-outer.

Here is the finished butter churn (the handle is inside). It will go downstairs in the bottom kitchen, where I have a lovely old cream seperator to go with it.


Persuaded said...

hon, you are a gal after my own heart... what with the cushions made from an old skirt (beautiful!), the jelly made from wild fruit (i can smell it from here, yumm!), and the wonderful old butter churn (with the homemade replacement top!). you've taken "leftovers" and not just used them up, you've made precious things from them((hugs))

(i didn't mention the horse, because even though i think they are beautiful, i am secretly scared to death of horses.... shhh.. don't tell anyone, ok?)

Bovey Belle said...

Waste not, want not is the motto in our house!

As for the horse, she's only a little one, a pony - 13hh - and has very good manners. She would take an apple from your hand SO gently. We have some lovely walks together around the lanes.