Thursday, 27 December 2007

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Handmade

We had a family party here last night and I was given a present by my nieces, beautifully wrapped in a tissue paper lined box, with ribbon tied around. When I opened it I found these gorgeous biscuits - a wonderful handmade present. They are delicious, thank you Daisy, Alice and Olivia.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Decorating

Getting into the festive spirit by decorating my mantlepiece.

Friday, 14 December 2007

Music doodle 2

Doodle to India Arie's Acoustic Soul album - one of my favourites.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Energy efficient

On my sister's Christmas present list she had written down kettle. I rang her the other day to ask if there was any particular model. "Oh I want an energy efficient one" she replied. Two days later she had done this to her house! I had to laugh.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Seeing Sia

Went to see Sia in Brighton on Monday, she has a brilliant voice which sent shivers down my spine, she also had the audience in fits of laughter, check her out here.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Nature Table 3

------------------------- © Nicky Linzey 2007
It's a weird thing - since the age of six (which is a long time ago now) I have been regularly finding these Jay's feathers on my walks in the woods. I think they're beautiful. I don't look for them but just before I find one, a thought enters my mind which is 'I'll see a Jay's feather in a minute,' and I walk a little further and there it is, on the pathway. They've all been found in different places and I've never even seen a Jay! I looked up the symbolism on the Eurasian Jay and found that it can mean good luck. I'm hoping I find many more.

Friday, 30 November 2007

Thanks - Day 7


Well it's the final day of a week of thanks which has taken me over 2 weeks to do.

During this time my Uncle has died, he was 86 and had not been well for a while, so in a way it was a blessing. I was very fond of him and have wonderful memories of time spent with him, he was a great joker who told the most elaborate stories and as children we loved these. To this day I do not know which ones were true. He told us his name was Clement Arthur Thomas Dean and it was only at his funeral yesterday that I was a hundred percent certain it was, as we always called him Dixie. He had a way of recounting things with a gleam in his eye as if to say "Well do you believe me or not?".

Yesterday was a day to give thanks for his life and to get together with family I have not seen for a while. Cousins with whom I spent a lot of time during childhood and teenage years and was very close to. It's odd with family even though we hadn't seen each other for ages, we immediately fell straight back into the closeness and camaraderie we had all those years ago and it was great to remember old times and catch up with the present.

Tomorrow Gray and I are going to 'The Spirit of Christmas' - a Christmas Extravaganza - not the sort of thing we would normally go to but some friends were keen and I know that we will have good fun in their company and we will make some more memories ...

This is thanks for all my family and friends... and my memories.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Thanks - Day 6

Many people moan about a rainy day. When you look through the window on a murky grey day it does seem miserable but when you get outside and that wonderful fresh smell hits you, then nothing could be better. Where would we be without the rain that helps our food and plants to grow and gives us water to drink.
© Photographer: Herve Leclair Agency: Dreamstime.com"

Friday, 23 November 2007

Thanks - Day 5

......................© Nicky Linzey 2005

I'd wanted a dog for ages but the time never seemed to be right. I realised I just had to do it or I'd never get one and had talked Gray into it - well sort of! I wanted a big black retriever/cross type dog and visited several dog's homes looking for the exact one - imagining it would be quite easy to find the perfect dog for me - I couldn’t have been more wrong and I was getting frustrated. However just as I stopped looking I found him.
..

It was a series of unplanned events that led to this happening. I was meeting a friend for a walk with her dogs and I was just about to leave when she rang to ask if I could pick her up. This meant I took a different route to normal and we drove past a dog sanctuary that I hadn’t noticed before. I jammed on the brakes nearly causing a catastrophe both inside and outside of the car and we went in. There was a £1 per person charge to see the dogs but we had no money with us, they let us in anyway – surprise, surprise! A kennel girl showed us around and told us the story of every dog, they were all very large - Alsatians, Rottweilers, Dobermans etc. Some sadly had been in their tiny concrete kennels for 7 years and could not now be re-homed, some were going to the army or police force to be trained as working dogs. Anyway as we were walking down the row of kennels I spotted this small, thin, white and ginger scruffy looking dog in another kennel block nothing like the big black dog I wanted. I don’t know why but I couldn’t take my eyes off him, he was standing on his back legs frantically trying to get out of his kennel. I had already stopped listening to the girl and now I interrupted her by saying “Is he up for re-homing?” He was … I went into his kennel to see him and he loved the attention, he was weeing with nerves and was desperate to get out. At that moment I knew this little terrier was the one for me, although I actually think I was the one who was picked! I had to wait an agonising 24 hours as somebody else had seen him before me and were interested - luckily for us the kennels rang to say they'd changed their minds and I took Gray to see him. The rest is history.

Looking back now on how this whole incident happened something strange occurred to me. About 6 months before we made the decision to get a dog, Gray's mum was very ill with cancer and was going into a hospice. We were in the car taking her there and she suddenly said “When you go to get your dog, I’m coming with you!” We were a bit taken aback as we had not talked about getting a dog - also she really was not well enough to do this. “Of course,” we said and it was never mentioned again as 3 months later she died. Going over the events that led me to find My Jack Russell it actually seemed that she had been with me – guiding me to kennels I had never noticed before and she had a preference for small white scruffy little dogs!

We've had My Jack Russell now for 8 years and he has given us so much pleasure - he is perfect even if he isn't big or black. I realise that if I'd waited for exactly the right time & exactly the right dog I'd still be waiting now!

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Thanks - Day 4


Thanks that I live with someone who will do this to make me laugh and what's more, be happy for me to put it up on my blog!

Monday, 19 November 2007

Thanks - Day 3

Newly emerging acid green Spring leaves, hot blue Summer sky, warm Autumn colours, frosty Winter mornings.

My words are tied in one,
with the great mountains,
with the great rocks,
with the great trees.
In one with my body,
and my heart . . .
And you, day,
and you night!
All of you see me,
one with the World.
'Yokuts Ceremonial Chant'

Friday, 16 November 2007

Thanks - Day 2

"Listen to what you want
to do and don't worry
about the money"
Joseph Campbell
---
Thanks today are for discovering the work of Joseph Campbell. My favourite book being 'The Hero's Journey' which I have read over and over again.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Thanks - Day 1

What a good idea Stephanie Roberts has had on her blog to give thanks everyday for the next seven days. We don't have Thanksgiving here in the UK however I'll do anything to keep Christmas at bay a little longer. I love it too - if only it would start on December 20th and end on December 26th! Anyway here is my first day of thanks:
Thanks that my brother was not injured after being involved in a serious car accident on Friday. Crashing head-on into a van that was travelling on the wrong side of the road, he only has cuts and bruises. The other driver is ok too.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Where am I?

I had a strange encounter at the weekend. Walking along the seafront I was stopped by a man in his twenties who asked me a question. He spoke no English and I couldn't understand him. I thought he wanted to know where he was and so I told him but he couldn't understand me either. He was also talking into his mobile phone which he passed to me. A girl spoke - "Where is this man?" she said. Not which street but which town, where in the country? He had not just lost his way, he had no idea where he was. I told her. She told him. He was elated. I walked on. I couldn't get this out of my mind. It was a freezing cold day and the man only had on thin clothes and was carrying a half full rucksack. What drove him to another country with no belongings, no knowledge of English and probably very little money? Why did he not know where he was? How did he get here? Did he enter the country illegally? What was he going to do next...?

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Music doodle

Doodling to Zero 7's 'The Garden'. I can't stop playing this album even though I've had it for over a year. Strangely this looks like the drawings I used to do at school when I switched off in a chemistry or physics lesson - bored or maybe I just didn't understand what I was being taught. I love the word DOODLE, wonder where it comes from?

Friday, 26 October 2007

Nature table 2

My collection of round stones is growing.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Firework fury


I don't often have a rant but I want to know why . . .

I can't buy a beer and drink it on the street in my town

I can't walk my dog on the beach in summer

I can't own a television without having a license

and yet . . .

I can buy hundreds of pounds worth of explosives and let them off late at night.

For every evening of the past week, fireworks have been going off at all hours of the night terrifying My Jack Russell and leaving him cowering and shaking under the bed and there's still 2 weeks to go until November 5th. Why can't the sale of fireworks be banned to individuals leaving organised displays only? From now until the New Year we have to put up with this outrage . . . I'll say no more.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Surprised

It was a lovely surprise - for my birthday Gray bought me an Angie Lewin print - my favourite one - Salthouse. We'd been to Norfolk in July and went to a local gallery to try and find one of her prints - they had all sold. So it was a great surprise to me that Gray managed to track this one down in another Gallery and bought it for my birthday in August. I've had to wait a while but it finally arrived today and I love it. Thanks Gray. xx

Monday, 8 October 2007

Chasing squirrels


We've been having fun chasing squirrels this morning, My Jack Russell and I. Running through the crispy Autumn leaves in the cemetery to try and catch one. He has never caught a squirrel yet, the nearest he's come to it was when he chased one up a tree - it lost its footing and fell back down on top of him. I don't know who was the more startled the squirrel, MJR or me but the squirrel's instincts were the fastest and it quickly recovered and escaped back up the tree!
© Photographer: Shaday365 Agency: Dreamstime.com

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Making membrillo


A friend gave me a bag of quinces the other day and I remembered a recipe I'd torn out of a magazine for Quince paste (membrillo) but the problem was where had I put it! I eventually found it after searching the house and decided to make some today. It was pretty hard work & I certainly worked up a sweat pushing 1.5kg of cooked quinces through a sieve. After managing not to burn it by stirring for 40 minutes I turned it out into a tray and it set perfectly. The fascinating thing is how the quince flesh turns from a creamy white to a deep red during cooking. I couldn't wait to eat a piece and it was delicious with some cheese and biscuits, a little like a solid peach jam. Of course since I found the elusive recipe every magazine I've read has had articles about quinces! Does that ever happen to you?

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

smooth suave sophisticated!


Happy Birthday to my lovely dad - shown modelling in this photo about 50 years ago - he's the one on the left! This picture is so typical of the era in which it was taken - it makes me smile whenever I see it.
This sums him up for me: modern jazz - good food - jokes - generosity - 'here's that rainy day' - parties - stylish dressing - 'oklahoma' - lobster - silk ties and handkerchiefs - horse racing - garlic soup - sancerre - kindness - french holidays - brer rabbit - card games - frank sinatra - love of life - encouragement - south of france - candy pink shrimps - restaurants - french dressing - love

Monday, 1 October 2007

Autumn leaves


Leaves collected on the Chatsworth Estate © Nicky Linzey 2007

Have been away to Derbyshire - walking the hills and dales. It's beautiful and spectacular countryside and I could go again now, as there are still so many unwalked paths and untried pubs. As usual when I get home I feel imprisoned. I love to be outdoors in the fresh air and it takes a while to get used to sitting at my computer again.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Nothing changes

I spent some of the weekend clearing out our junk room/music room to make more space for Gray's expanding collection of guitars, guitar stands, musical hardware, software, microphones with stands, recording machines etc. It had got to the point where he could hardly get in the room, so I thought I would go through some of my stuff. I find this very difficult - I can spend a whole day going through things, looking at old books, reminiscing about my childhood, unpacking material and old clothes I've kept and then packing everything back up again! I was shocked when I came across this notebook I hadn't seen for many years. I must have been about 8 years old and I'd bought it to record my first ever family holiday abroad, to France. What surprised me was - nothing changes does it? I'm still doing the same thing all these years later!

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Nature table 1

Gull's feathers collected at Pagham Harbour © 2007 Nicky Linzey

Do you remember nature tables at Primary school where you could bring in things of interest that you had collected over the weekend? Well my conservatory is resembling this at the moment. It seems I cannot stop collecting things when I'm out walking. I've got stones, shells, a bird's nest, wire, rope, sea urchins, plastic insects, leaves, feathers - I could go on. I draw them and then I cannot bear to throw them away, sometimes they get moved outside to let nature take it's course. I can be ruthless but only when someone's coming for dinner & I need the space.

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Sunset over Dorset

As you can see I've put up a photo of me. It's a bit of a cheat really as you cannot see my face. I hate posing for photos and Gray took this one when I wasn't aware of being photographed - I like it because I was having a lovely time in one of my favourite places by the sea. We went to Dorset at the weekend to a hotel we hadn't been to for a while, to do some coastal walking. It turned out to be too hot for that, so we went inland and found a beautiful walk in the lush green countryside north of Bridport. In the evening we watched the sun go down from Chesil beach - there was a festival type atmosphere as the beach was packed with families fishing and camping overnight. I always find it weird when the moon is in the sky the same time as the sun. To the left was a bluey/pink hue with the moon in a cool sky and to the right there was this blazing orange orb that was too bright to look at - amazing.

Friday, 24 August 2007

Inspiration

This podcast from two of my favouite bloggers is so inspiring to me, I'll say no more - just have a listen . . .

Morning walk

This morning I decided to record my morning walk in pictures so here it is:



Thursday, 23 August 2007

Flower power


It was my birthday a couple of days ago and I was given so many beautiful flowers, I get a lot of pleasure from having flowers around the house, however the next day My Jack Russell started scratching and scratching and it wasn't fleas. He's what the vet calls atopic (allergic to everything) but normally one vase of flowers does not affect him - as there were so many they were making him itch like crazy. So it was hard for me to do but I've taken them round to my Mum's this morning, now I've got a calm Jack Russell and she's got a house full of my beautiful flowers.

I remember a couple of years ago walking through Hyde Park on a warm, breezy Spring day. The pollen from the horse chestnut trees was actually visible in the air and everyone was sneezing and coughing, by the time I got back to the car I could hardly breathe. My throat felt like sandpaper, my eyes were streaming - it was like I imagine a chemical attack to be and I'm not normally affected by pollen. It's amazing what nature can do.

Friday, 10 August 2007

Sprouting...


This has to be one of my best buys for a while. Since we went to Riverford Organics and found the lovely punnets of sprouting seeds, we've been trying to buy them locally - with no success. So I was really pleased when I spotted this 'sprouter' just before last Christmas and bought it to give to Gray - I love it when I find the perfect present for someone (I managed to find him other presents too!). So now we have our own supply of sprouts on a daily basis - freshly grown & full of vitamins.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Downtime or do I mean uptime?

My broadband connection has been faulty and it took a while for an engineer to come and sort it out, which meant I was offline for a couple of days. Major panic - deadlines for work to meet - what was I going to do? After the realisation that there was nothing I could do and things would take their course, it was ok - infact brilliant. I got more done than I normally do in a week, making me realise how much time I spend online. I'm sure I'll soon fall back into the old routine now that I'm connected again!

Friday, 27 July 2007

My obsession - at least one of them!

Stones from Bognor beach © Nicky Linzey 2007

It seems I'm obsessed with stones, but then I always have been. I can't resist them, so many catch my eye, their colour, their pattern, their texture. It's amazing that each beach I go to has it's own type of stone. The difference between these from Bognor and the ones I recently collected from Beesands is very noticeable, or maybe it's my choice of them. Does anyone ever go to the beach and not pick up a stone? I doubt it. I put them in my pocket and when I wear that coat months later, it's somehow comforting to put my hand in the pocket and feel the cold smooth pebble.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Home grown pleasure

A corner of my allotment

The last few meals we've eaten have been almost entirely produced by us, in that the ingredients have been grown from seed, planted, tended, weeded, watered, cropped and cooked. This gives me such pleasure as I eat - I remember the cold January day planting the onions, watering the courgettes, warding off the pigeons from my peas, pulling the carrots from the earth, uncovering the little white potatoes, the gorgeous smell of Gray's freshly baked bread straight from the oven, mmm...



Thursday, 12 July 2007

A slice of life

I went out as usual this morning with My Jack Russell - it started to rain as we walked out of the door - lovely refreshing drops on my face - the trees were bursting with green. We walked through the cemetery and saw Jane and her mum talking to Shaun the gravedigger. She (7yrs old) doesn't stop talking and is very inquisitive - he's only too happy to answer her many questions about what he is doing! We saw the old man who tends his wife's grave every morning and then walks into town for an enormous fry up. We passed Sidney's grave and stopped to say hello. Cars halted to let children across the road, young people chatted to older people with concern about their health - even MJR who normally barks at anything that moves was calm.
I felt a fantastic sense of community today in an environment where sometimes it seems there is none.

Stoned

My Beesands stones in colourful mode.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Simple ideas?

I've just finished reading The Permaculture Way by Graham Bell and found it extremely interesting - although not easy to suddenly change your life to this way of living - I think any change for me will be gradual. I know that I would lose my allotment if I didn't keep it neat & tidy and free from weeds - although the idea of no weeding is very appealing - they seem to grow so quickly, if only my vegetables would do as well! One idea that has stuck in my mind though is why do parks authorities plant ornamental trees rather than fruit trees? Apparently they say people will take the fruit - isn't that the idea?

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Hunter gatherer 2

We go for a walk or two every day - my Jack Russell demands it - at least that's what I say. It's nothing to do with how good I feel when I exercise in the fresh air. We were on one of my favourite walks along the coast the other day when I just happened to look down - there among the hundreds of crab skeletons was samphire growing profusely - it was so exciting. I wasn't one hundred percent sure that it was samphire as I hadn't come across it before, so we picked some, took it home, identified it, cooked it and ate it with lovely tender lamb. It has the texture and taste of asparagus but is slightly more crunchy and salty - delicious. Of course I had to go back and pick some more and some more ... in this very SECRET location!

Saturday, 30 June 2007

In a dilemma

I always buy free range/organic chicken these days especially after the plight of caged chickens has been highlighted on programmes such as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. It is pretty expensive but I think worth paying the extra money. My Jack Russell has colitis and is often ill and when he is recovering from a bout of this I feed him fresh chicken, so I've started buying free range for him too. But as my sister pointed out - does the usual dog food that I buy contain free range/organic meat? Obviously not so what do I do now..? Has anyone come across organic/free range, hypo-allergenic, chicken and rice dog food?

Friday, 29 June 2007

Pretty gardens


I recently wrote about visiting Hallsands in Devon and how the village was destroyed by the sea in 1917 probably because of the dredging of gravel offshore. I watched one of my favourite programmes this week - Coast which featured South Wales - a beautiful area in which I grew up. Part of the programme was about sand and gravel dredging from the sea bed off the coast at Porthcawl, one fifth of an eight mile sand bank has already been removed and nobody has any idea how this will effect the coastline. Also as the programme pointed out - sand is a finite resource, once it's gone it's gone. Apparently it's all so we can make our gardens look pretty . . .

Friday, 22 June 2007

A time in France remembered

Nearly two weeks since my show at Stansted and I've caught up with all my outstanding work, neglected house, garden and allotment. I had a wonderful time, the weather was gloriously hot, the venue dreamy and the atmosphere in our marquee was great, I met a lot of extremely talented and interesting people and . . . I sold a lot of my work - nearly all my jewellery, quite a few framed prints and cards and most of my bowls.

The most popular prints were based on two photographs I took in France when visiting the unusual garden show at Chaumont. I say unusual as the theme that year was erotica; there was a rubber garden; lots of very tactile gardens; a garden which featured a huge pair of bosoms - they had a ladder at the back which you could climb and have your photograh taken between them (it goes without saying - a lot of men were doing this) and the funniest of all - a garden shed with a spy hole drilled in - when you looked through the hole you could see garden gnomes in compromising positions. Only the French could manage to put on a show like this with such style.

© Nicky Linzey 2002

Strangely enough the show at Stansted and the one at Chaumont had exactly the same atmosphere, probably because of the blisteringly hot weather and the imposing buildings in dreamy gardens and this transported me back to the most wonderful holiday in France. It was very nearly a disaster as we had not pre-booked any hotels and after spending the first two nights on the Ile de Ré in a lovely hotel that had had a last minute cancellation, we drove around the Charente unable to book in anywhere. A lot of the hotels we tried were full so we ended up three nights in a row in some particularly awful ones. Gray suddenly had a brainwave - to ring the Cheval Blanc in Bléré where we had stayed several years ago - I phoned and reserved their last free room. What a relief! The drive there took us about 2 hours during which time the weather got hotter and sunnier. We booked in and found that the Chaumont Garden Festival was on - something I had wanted to visit but had always missed and the hotel had a new swimming pool installed. We headed straight to the pool and shared it with diving swallows dipping into the glistening water. It was magical as was our visit to Chaumont - also a reminder that often the best times are not planned.

Friday, 15 June 2007

Fishing update

© Nicky Linzey 2006


Despite casting 3 times through shoals of mackerel - he still has not caught anything!

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Mister Tom's lesson

My Jack Russell met a new dog in the field yesterday. A small and lovely brown terrier rushed over to him and of course MJR growled and showed his teeth in a lop sided snarl. "Don't worry" shouted his owner. "Mister Tom needs to learn his lesson. He's young and a bit cocky - it won't hurt him." Suddenly MJR and Mister Tom take off and run to the other side of the field as a large Doberman has appeared - this is not good news as it's a breed MJR hates - I could see him standing there rigidly, refusing to look at the Doberman. Mister Tom was watching. Next they headed back across the field to annoy some terriers, a lot of growling and snapping is heard - from Mister Tom. He's definitely learnt a lesson from MJR but not the one his owner had hoped for!

Monday, 4 June 2007

My adventure

Six months ago a friend and I decided to take a stand at The Garden Show, Stansted Park. I'm selling my prints, cards, jewellery and bowls and she's selling her beautiful handmade fabric bags, we've also bought in some colourful hand-dipped candles.

Well - the show has finally come around - it's on this Friday, Saturday and Sunday and we've actually got everything prepared. I feel a bit scared - it's years since I've stood in front of my work in this way. I'm also excited - it's a new challenge and although I'm lucky and design for a living - the work that I'm showing at the weekend is 100% me. I really want it to be successful so that it can become part of the way I earn my living. To physically make things and draw using a pen and paper is so rewarding compared to sitting at my computer all day.
A little mix of both would be great.

Sunday, 3 June 2007

Our holiday with cousin Gif

Cousin Gif with my Jack Russell on holiday

We've just been on holiday with cousin Gif, my sister and my nephew and had a wonderful week at Beesands in a cottage by the sea. A week of crabbing, fishing, skim boarding, walking the cliffs and inland hills in this most beautiful wild area. Fresh fish for dinner every night and falling asleep to the sound of waves lapping on the beach. We managed to exhaust the dogs and the kids had the kind of freedom they are not used to - exploring and mucking about on the beach from morning to night with new found friends.

We walked to the next village - Hallsands which in 1917 was destroyed by the sea - read about it here. Today you can see the ruins from a viewing platform which overhangs the sea precariously and some of the old cottages are still inhabited even though their doors are almost on the cliff edge.

Just before we went away we saw boys catching mackerel from the beach in Bognor and decided that we would have a go. (We do the gathering now we should try the hunting - or fishing!). We bought a rod that the boys could use too and Gray spent much of the week fishing. Despite the fact that everyone around him were catching loads of fish he didn't actually catch anything except a cold! There was even a woman fishing just to humour her husband who landed a monkfish from the beach. Gray was kind of worried about the actual task of killing the fish and the boys spent ages carving him a wooden cosh with their penknives. I did wonder if the worry of killing it actually stopped him from catching any but if we are going to eat meat or fish I think we need to be prepared to kill it too, although this may be easier said than done - we've yet to find out.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Pretty amazing


We had a party on Sunday to celebrate my Mum's birthday - it was a great day - she loves being surrounded by her family. This blog is a tribute to my Mum who is amazing. At 74 she looks fantastic and she's the kindest most caring person. She's always there for us and the grandchildren and we love her. I think her secret is that she's never grown up - I hope I'm following in her footsteps.

Friday, 18 May 2007

Stop and stare 4


We went to Brighton last night to see Nouvelle Vague and there opposite the Pavilion, was a huge upside down purple cow. It's a 396 seater venue being used for some of the Brighton Festival events and was initially launched at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2006. It's becoming quite famous - understandably so - it's not everyday you come across such a spectacular purple sight - that's the height of 7.5 elephants, 4 double decker buses or 14 cows standing on top of each other. I wonder what little purple cow will make of it.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Hunter gatherer


This weekend I went picking elderflowers with the intention of making elderflower cordial. It was pouring with rain and the countryside was such a bright intense green and so was the smell (if you know what I mean!). I found plenty of flowers and returned home to make it. It's turned out pretty well so I'll add the recipe:
2 lemons - rind grated & then sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
1 - 1.5kg sugar depending upon taste
20 elderflower heads
1.5 litres of boiling water
Put the sugar in a large bowl, pour on the boiling water and stir until dissolved.
Add lemon rind, slices, juice and the elderflower heads.
Leave for 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
Sieve through muslin and pour into clean wine bottles with a screw lid.
(I seem to have plenty of these!)
Refrigerate & use diluted with sparkling water or freeze in plastic bottles for later use.
I couldn't resist drawing the flowers and making labels for the bottles. I'm in my element when doing this kind of thing - it's amazing how much food you can find for free. I pick wild mushrooms, giant puffballs & inkcaps which are great cooked with garlic and are easy to identify, wild strawberries, raspberries from the woods and blackberries from the cemetery. A couple of weeks ago I made nettle soup for the first time - just using the young shoots of the stinging nettle - it always makes me feel incredibly healthy eating such fresh food and there's something good about knowing where it's come from.
So that's the gathering bit - not too sure about the hunting though.

Monday, 14 May 2007

How it really is

I love it that Dove are starting to tell it like it really is, in their advertising. Using real women, raising children's self esteem, campaigning for real beauty, launching a new product called pro-age and celebrating the beauty of older women. Hopefully this is the start of things to come in the advertising industry.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

My lovely shoes


This is very trivial I know but I've just bought some shoes that I love and that doesn't happen very often. What I love about them is - they're unusual, pretty, comfy and they make me feel good! Made in Spain by The Art Company each one is hand finished - the insides have a flowery design too - so does the tissue paper they're wrapped in. It's great to see individual design creeping back into the high street after years of blandness.

Monday, 30 April 2007

Stop and stare 3


We were walking along East Head tonight on a lovely sunny evening when I spotted something in the sand dunes - I couldn't help but stop and stare. On closer inspection it was plastic but very realistic from a distance! Was it put there on purpose to make someone look twice or left by a child playing? I'll never know.

Friday, 27 April 2007

Cloud cuckoo land

© 2007 Nicky Linzey

Every year in April I hear the cuckoo - it sort of confirms that Spring has arrived. This year I've heard nothing, and with only 3 days left in April the cuckoo needs to hurry up! It already seems like Summer - it's been unseasonably hot and sunny for weeks - maybe the cuckoo is confused.

Friday, 20 April 2007

Intense blue


Gray, my jack russell and I went for a walk the other night up to the woods to see my favourite sight at this time of year. Although it's not just a sight - it's a smell of the most lovely perfume - a sound of beautiful birdsong and a feeling of intense pleasure at experiencing all these things.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

I wondered how long it would take!

I haven't told anyone about my blog because I was interested in how long it would take for someone I knew to find it. Well, today it's been found - so that's 46 days. Who found it - my Dad!

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Stop and stare 2


I've been a fan of Thomas Heatherwick's work since I watched a programme about him and saw the Rolling Bridge at Paddington Basin - it's incredible. So I was delighted when I heard that he was commissioned to design a building at Littlehampton, East Beach Café - his first building in the UK. I went to see it yesterday and although not yet finished it looks fantastic, a structured steel shell, finished with a rust patination and open to the sea by a wall of glass windows. The Café will be opening in June and serving the kind of food I love - fish pie, potted shrimps, fish cakes . . . I can't wait. It's great to see unusual things that make me stop and stare.