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Posts Tagged ‘cake’

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Add- er row at a time !

Join  us for the great big adder knit in our teashop when the garden opens again ! Come and join us for teas,coffees and cakes and enjoy a natter with a bit of knitting thrown in for good pleasure. As part of our theme for this year – Giving Nature a Prairie Home- when we shall be joining with Anne Kelly and the RSPB to promote homes for wildlife- we shall be knitting the biggest adders in the world. Come and pick up some knitting needles and knit a row or two to make the biggest bunch of knitted adders in West Sussex !

Adder – Boy and Girl !

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Pat, my mum, will be there to offer knitting advice and pick up any dropped stiches ! and she can show you a knit and a purl as soon as the adders come out of the basket ! All wool , knitting needles and knitting know how will be waiting for you and the snake charmers !

Fact of the day : the collective noun for a group of adders : A sum of Adders .  You do the math !

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the main culprit

There is a place called Du Du. I saw it advertised on a rare traffic sign. But the sort of du du I want to talk about is the kind manufactured in copious quantities by the entire cow population of India as they wander to and fro through people’s lives,houses,rubbish tips and market places. The cow does many things and is a sacred beast granted. But it makes a prodigious amount of poo.Now I have discovered an ancient and  crazy art  which I believe is as yet unexplored and un tapped. Namely ,the fashionable and scary art of making solid poo  igloos . Chris Ofili the artist famed for working with elephant dung could learn a few tricks here. On the outskirts of every village /small holding/collection of huts/houses/plastic bag tents/grass wigwams there is the same thing : and it is beautiful.Imagine a solid block of poo crafted into a huge monolithic and dense sculpture . Entirely made of cattle dung (maybe goat and sheep too ?) it is dense,not smelly really (but everything is relative) and carved with simple and delicate patterns. Sitting like a dried out block of parmesan I wonder how you deal with it on a daily basis. Do you slice off cake like slices  for fire lighting ? do you hack off a chunk like a block of ice ? or is it just some crazy currency and the sort of hedge fund of rural life ? certainly its worth for gardening is high and a golden ingot like that would be much sought after by us gardeners for growing our bananas !

Gold dust

the cow pat scenario is much easier to get to grips with (unless it is wet,sticky and stuck to the bottom of your sandal) you can see these frisbee like things drying in the most unlikely of places but then why not ? these are the perfect firelighter of choice. Dry and crisply dehydrated you will see them stacked at crazy angles and in bonfire type heaps ready for action.Collection of said pats might be tricky one would think in the wet state, but with a blazing indian sun i guess you only have to wait a while until you can scoop it up and carry the dinner plate sized thing back to your treasury.

Firelighting cow pats ready for action

walking in any area of India is fraught with danger as you hopscotch between the poo.On my last trip i inadvertently got out of the car in a village and stood straight in an open sewer. Not an experience I would wish to repeat. The evil residue stubbornly refused to be washed or scraped off my shoes.This time it was the car itself that fell into a sewer. Driving quietly into the quaint little town of Bundi we were checking out the likely accommodation venues and suddenly the car lurched to one side and there was a hellish bang. Scrambling out of a car leaning perilously to one side it was obvious that the open sewer previously covered by an (insubstantial paving stone , had caved in and we were stuck in a rut ! the car tilted drunkenly into the filthy maw. Unspecified horrors floated by. Paul managed to commandeer  some wiry but slim indian onlookers  to help him manhandle the thing out. on dry land the car did not seem to have sustained any damage . Apart from a charming fragrance of course.

if i just stand here.....

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Yellow Book sounds like some quasi chinese alternative to Mao’s Little Red book but it is not .; for those of you who have never heard of it , it is all about opening private gardens for charity. gardens big , small , minute or massive open for selected days/evenings/hours and the income generated from the entrance fees goes to the charities supported by the scheme. The charities are : We Are Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Cure Cancer Care , Help the Hospices and Cross Roads Care. This year we are donating monies earned from our tea and coffee and homemade cake  sales to our chosen charity the Disha hospital in Rajasthan India. This is a project that has touched our hearts and imagination and which has become so much a part of our lives , and through which we have already met some amazing and wonderful people !all you need to know

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Popping poppy

Poppies Popping out all over !

Recovering from trauma of being incarcerated in the poly tunnel this morning. Went in full of beans and came out broken !

Simple enough you would think to pick some innocent courgettes for the world famous courgette cake. The courgettes were there , just, I had thought there were lots more than there actually turned out to be .. but hey I had only preprepared all the other ingredients so was sort of committed at this point . Next thing I knew the door had slammed shut . Thinking nothing of it I collected up the courgettes and went to pull the wee string that lifts the latch from the outside .And it came off in my hand …several expletives followed which attracted the attention of the boy sheep . Curly , Curly’s brother and Wills made a beeline for the tunnel and very helpfully made a great show of doing very little constructive to help ,rather they seemed more inclined to push through the mesh sides of the thing ,which while that would have given me an escape route ,would not have enamoured them to Paul ,and would rather more certainly have sealed their fate, and meant a quick  ticket to the big white freezer box in the sky. As I found to my cost, polytunnels are not the worlds best repositaries of tools to use to escape from places .. luckily though I managed to concoct a strange pointy hook thing using some dodgy bits of wire , to reattach string to latch and thence freedom! and a whole heap of sheep demanding breakfast and trying to nab some tasty courgettes as hors d’oeuvres.Hope this is not an indication of the day to come …still got cream topping to get on to cake..and pistachios to chop ; in between scrambled eggs and bacon ?maybe not

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british veg

British Veg

and not for giving a hoofy back massage ! Spot , our shetland lamb (boy) is getting very cheeky and finds it amusing to jump up on your back with his pointy little hooves. Result : a back massage with mini jimmy choos.. Now I don’t know about you,and I know people pay a lot for such administrations , but to my mind it is a pleasure too far !

Talking of pleasure…the  boys (Magnus the ram and his cohorts) escape ! into the garden this time for a rampage through what must seem like a giant salad bar of tasty oriental titbits. This happens in a downpour , the like of which has not been seen since Noah packed everyone up in an ark.After stomping around crossly and soggily we give up as dusk falls and we can’t even see the black Curly,Curly’s Brother and Wills , like black ninjas ,cavorting through the echinaceas.

This morning the evidence is all too obvious as we perceive that many of the big luscious grasses have sustained significant collateral damage. Paul is not too pleased. I am just relieved we have got them coralled again before our Dutch garden visitors arrive .Having Curly serve you with a slice of Victoria sponge would not be de rigeur ! tea cup mayhem !

talking of tea cups … watch this space for Robin’s new Driftline mad hatters tea cup sculpture which should be arriving soon ! anyone for tea vicar ?!

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