Thursday, 30 September 2010

What did you once do that you really miss?

In my case its play the recorders. I know that sounds a bit geeky but it really was fun. Even managed to work with Sir Peter Maxwell Davis for a concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on Southbank once. And I miss it. Having recently found them again I thought I'd dust them off and bring them into our lives a bit more, well the neighbours dog barked everytine I have, Littleun has run for the hills and I have realised that just because once you were good at something doesn't mean you still are!

Being the stubborn sort I have not given up and am now practicing trying to get somewhere even half decent. It has however made quite a few folk I know go "oh I used too..." and start doing things they enjoyed once more.

So my question to you is, what did you do that you really liked and would you learn it or do it again now?

Monday, 27 September 2010

Happy Awards & Sunshine Awards

Well I have only just realised there were two awards given to me during the last month and I haven’t posted about them! Very sorry!

So here we go the first one is called the Happy Award, which is fun and makes you smile. It was kindly given to me by Avie at Hearthwitch Cottage. The idea is to list 10 things which make you happy. Now not too many years ago I would have found this tricky, everything was “going wrong” but after the recent years of new good friends and getting a grip well am much more content so here you are in no particular order:

Obviously Littleun, annoyingly bright in the morning that Smile is worth the glowing numbers on the clock saying 5.00am.

Sitting in the allotment, eating the lunch made with the things we have grown and not caring an apeth about the streaks of mud across my face from all that digging.

My friends, from the new ones in the school playground at collecting time to the long lost one who has returned after many years hiding away in a far corner of the country.

The smell of my chutney, jam and bakes which only a couple of years ago was tinged with that acrid burnt smell but now is wonderfully sweet as we learn more each time we do it.

Those height lines on the wall which started so small and now are so tall.

The buzz at the celebrations when we are gathering for the Sabbats, the hellos, the winks, the joyous laughter & the raucous shout when you see someone you haven’t seen since the previous year.

Watching the Winter waves reclaim the beach spraying wonderfully over the prom in a “its mine” sort of way and the smell of the sea as it does so.

Chocolate. Well I just had to add this one, I defy any woman to say it wouldn’t make her smile to have some given to her!

Music, the right piece for the right mood which will bring back memories of happy times.

My new sort “relationship”, which is neither conventional nor normal but is more going down the road of “let’s just have fun and enjoy ourselves”, without stress or dictations but with giggles and being there for each other when we need to cheer up or laugh or let loose.

Being typically lackadaisical I am saying that anyone who fancies doing so please tell us what makes you happy, you can link from here on the comments.

The other award has been given this time by Louise over at Wandering along Loopy’s Life Path and is that lovely bright Sunshine award. Lucky me now has been given this twice so thank you ever so and if anyone fancies reading my answers for it do click on the piccie.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Seed box gifts

Over the last few weeks we have been gathering the seeds from our flowers and veg ready for use next year. This is something the gardeners used to do a lot but in this “must buy” society is something you don’t hear about that often any more. So far we have several packets drying out and apart from being in brown bags or envelopes haven’t done much with them. Cue the need for a box to put them in. Now we could have just got a box and that be that but Littleun said he fancied making one for his grandfather too so we have come up with an idea for cheep but meaningful gifts. A seed box with home-grown seeds.

You will need,

A shoe box
Pictures from mag’s, papers, seed envelopes etc of flowers, veg or anything you can think of that you would associate with gardens.
Sticky backed plastic
Seeds, envelopes and pictures

Cut out the pictures in non-uniform shapes. Glue onto the lid and the base, cover with the plastic so all smooth and slightly water-drip proof. I have added a couple of recipes that we love doing jams and chutney.

With the seeds we have split them and decorated each envelope with pictures of the plants to show what is inside them ready to add to the box.
Simple but effective little gift for the Littleuns to make.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Busy busy times

Well the last week has seen my littleuns birthday (party was noisy, Pirate themed) His first week at the new school and a whole lot of work at the allotment. And we have loved every minute of it. But it has meant that I haven't a clue what or where I am so you can imagine my surprise when I looked up the date today for some work, eek! where has it all gone? I thought I had days yet to get ready. So this year we are having a slightly scaled back Mabon and what with the Harvest moon to celebrate too the answer has yet again been bake.

Today we made some biscuits for littleun to take into school, the teacher there has read a little of his casefile and found the small word half way down the page that indicates we aren't quite like the others in his class. Fortunately she seems to be very positive and has asked us to provide some things that would show his class mates what we do. And for all my ramblings I found it very hard to do so. Opening up to her our rituals and patterns wasn't as easy as I thought it was going to be. Bizarre when you consider that I write it all here for anyone anywhere to see!

However fact sheet, photos and biscuits now done, littleun excited at sharing it all and to top it off a blog entry, finally!

Hope you all have a brilliant Mabon and Full Moon. We will be heading up the allotment for ours, hoping the weather holds, to sit in the glorious moonshine.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Samhain/Halloween Blog Party

Ok its party time. As the countdown to Samhain starts for us soon we are joining the merry band in participating in Domestic Witches Blog party. Basically a great big way of linking lots of folks post regarding Samhain or Hallowe'en and a great way of learning things and having fun.

The following has been taken from Serenity Athenina's page to tell you a bit about how it all works but do trundle over to her blog yourself for more information and to sign up!

Who Can Participate?

Anyone with a blog and is planning on posting about Halloween/Samhain! I am not going require that anyone submit what they write, but I will require that you sign up using Mr. Linky and leave a comment sharing just how you plan on participating. There is no deadline for sign ups. I will check back periodically for new participants. Another requirement for participation is that you display the banner and link back to me on your blog.

What if I Don't Have a Blog?

While no one is required to submit any posts to me, if you have a great idea and want to share it I would be happy to post it on my blog for you. You can leave me a comment below, reach me at or on my Facebook page. I will list you as a contributor on the sidebar and list any links you have (such as Facebook, Myspace, or Twitter) as well!When is the Blog Party?I will start the blog party on October 1st. On that day, I will post the links to all the participants in my sidebar. I encourage all the participants to blog throughout the month about the holiday but I know that's not possible for everyone. However, if all you plan to do is post the day of Halloween/Samhain your participation is strongly discouraged.

Where is the Blog Party?

Here and at all the participants blogs! How it will work is I will include the title of your latest post along with your blog link in the sidebar. Every time you share a new post, everyone will know about it! Some blog parties require that you submit the posts but this is automated so that means you don't have to rely on me to share your posts. Isn't that wonderful!

Why the whole month of October?

For many Pagans, Witches, and Wiccans, Halloween/Samhain is the most important holiday of the year! The biggest holiday of the year requires a lot of preparation. A blog party is a way to share all your celebration, ritual, decorating, craft, recipe, and costume ideas with each other!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Mabon making but Yule drinking...

Apple Schnapps

YAY I hear you cry, not another cake or jam recipe phew. No its one for the adults. Recommended to me by a Scandinavian friend this recipe is for a knock your boots off apple schnapps. Make it now at Mabon with your apples harvested and store for the few months to drink in winter or give as gifts.

Use fresh, fully ripe and aromatic apples. Wild or cultivated. Organic if available. You can use almost any variety. So start with your favourite one, then try some other varieties.


Wash and slice 1-2 apples. Leave the skin on.
Put them - and also the cores - in a clean glass jar with tight-fitting lid.
Cover with clear, unflavoured vodka - 40% alcohol content (80 proof).

Let steep for two months or more in a dark place at room temperature, 18-20°C (64-68°F).

Shake lightly and taste it from time to time.

Strain and filter your infusion into a clean glass bottle or jar with tight-fitting lid.

You can serve your apple schnapps after it has settled for a couple of days in a dark place at room temperature. But some storage (aging) will improve the flavours. Taste it from time to time to find out.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Mea'n Fo'mhair/Mabon: Crab Apple Jelly

Ok, well you just knew with all the crops from our allotment/Dads garden this year was going to turn into recipe after recipe. And I hope you don't mind. We are also going to be trying out different crafts too so hopefully some variation for you!

For a recipe based on the crab apples we collected you will need:

Preserving sugar (see method)
1kg/2¼lb crab apples
3 cloves
water (see method)


Preheat the oven to 120c/250f/gas½. Put the preserving sugar into the oven for 15 mins. Wash the apples and cut them in half but do not peel or core. Place the apples and cloves in a large saucepan.
Pour the water to cover. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until soft. Strain the mixture into a bowl. Measure the juice and ass 450g/1lb/2 cups of sugar for each 600ml/1pint/2½ cups of juice. Pour into a pan and heat gently. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then boil rapidly until the setting point is reached. Pour into warm sterilized jars and seal.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Mea'n Fo'mhair

So having been openly on my Path for almost a year I thought I would look a bit into the names for the various celebrations, find out some more as to how they have come about.
Mea'n Fo'mhair seems to be the Druid name for the Autumn Equinox but when I typed this into the search station I got a lot of hits for sites which all carried the same short explanation. Having trawled through many of them I have decided to cheat and give you the same answer!
The Druids call this celebration, Mea'n Fo'mhair, and honor the The Green Man, the God of the Forest, by offering libations to trees. Offerings of ciders, wines, herbs and fertilizer are appropriate at this time. Wiccans celebrate the aging Goddess as she passes from Mother to Crone, and her consort the God as he prepares for death and re-birth.
And being me, the type of person who never actually completes what I initially started, having wandered off side tracked by something else which caught my eye, I liked the idea of making an offering. We often leave small plant food cubes on our walks so this was something that littleun was used too. I gave him a choice of which areas he wanted to go to as we have many lovely woods nearby when he pointed out something I had overlooked. On our allotment we have a budding oak. It has decided to grow in a rather inconvenient area but all the same is doing well. This as littleun said would be a good tree to offer our thanks too. To protect it, nurture it, give the area around it the food it needs and to watch it grow hopefully for many years to come. So come the equinox you will know where we will be.

Monday, 6 September 2010

To the Rescue...

What a week. September is always busy for us. We have Littleuns birthday, Littleuns Mad Aunt birthday, start of Littleuns new school, Holidays to enjoy oh and the Harvest to continue. Blimey exhausted just reading that little lot!

a few of our apples...

Well the Harvest is normally longer than now but this week we had to do a mad rescue as the allotment got blown down by a rather horrible turn in the weather. Sadly we have been forced to gather in the tomatoes before they have ripened as the wind and rain are starting to cause damage and rot. So look out for green tomato recipes soon as that is what I will have to do with the 3 large bag loads of them we managed to save. As for the cucumbers well they are fighting back, have found another 5 hiding in amongst the damage so more salad any one?! As for apples, well don't get me started, the whole of the kitchen has been covered by them as we have washed and now are drying them off. We have Bramleys, Coxes and Crabs, guess tomorrow includes sugar on the shopping list!

Birthday parties are being planned too, baking and cooking to happen. This year we have gone for a cinema type party, lots of Tom and Jerrys etc think it will be good but I can't believe how much Littleun has grown, seems like only yesterday I brought baby home from hospital. And not long before he starts school. Ooh do I cry now? boohoo!

So a busy month, with Mabon to enjoy as well, ahead.