Sit back and stuff yourself silly...
Monday, 30 August 2010
Sit back and stuff yourself silly...
Sunday, 29 August 2010
The Fayre is a 3 day event celebrating the life in mediaeval times. You can walk through the village shoppes; eat in the Buxom Wench enjoying vegetarian food as much as the smells of the hog roast. The camps are set up so you can wander about looking and chatting with the larp family. The re-enactments of battles and shows of strength for the armouries are mesmerising to watch. And the whoops of delight as you catch up with friends you haven’t seen for a while, exchanging ideas and gifts, fill every corner.
There are always things for the children to learn, activities to play. Quite a few for the adults too. From weaving, brass rubbings, chicken catching (they got out again), how to fire guns, shoot arrows, skin rabbits the list is endless. The ability to buy the materials for next year’s gowns and clothes at reasonable prices, with good quality is great too. And finally I managed to get a set of Ogham staves, well made with care, far better use than the hodgepodge ones I made.
Monday, 23 August 2010
Kulula airline attendants make an effort to make the in-flight "safety lecture" and announcements a bit more entertaining. Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:On a Kulula flight, (there is no assigned seating, you just sit where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced, "People, people we're not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!"
On another flight with a very "senior" flight attendant crew, the pilot said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."On landing, the stewardess said, "Please be sure to take all of your belongings.. If you're going to leave anything, please make sure it's something we'd like to have."
"There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane."
"As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses.."
Heard on Kulula 255 just after a very hard landing in Cape Town : The flight attendant came on the intercom and said, "That was quite a bump and I know what y'all are thinking. I'm here to tell you it wasn't the airline's fault, it wasn't the pilot's fault, it wasn't the flight attendant's fault, it was the asphalt."
Overheard on a Kulula flight into Cape Town , on a particularly windy and bumpy day: During the final approach, the Captain really had to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Mother City. Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what's left of our airplane to the gate!"
Another flight attendant's comment on a less than perfect landing: "We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal."
An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying our airline. He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for a little old lady walking with a cane. She said, "Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?", "Why, no Ma'am," said the pilot. "What is it?" The little old lady said, "Did we land, or were we shot down?"
Heard on a Kulula flight. "Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing.. If you can light 'em, you can smoke 'em."
A plane was taking off from Durban Airport . After it reached a comfortable cruising altitude, the captain made an announcement over the intercom, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome to Flight Number 293, non-stop from Durban to Cape Town, The weather ahead is good and, therefore, we should have a smooth and uneventful flight.. Now sit back and relax... OH, MY GOODNESS!" Silence followed, and after a few minutes, the captain came back on the intercom and said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I am so sorry if I scared you earlier. While I was talking to you, the flight attendant accidentally spilled a cup of hot coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my pants!" A passenger then yelled, "That's nothing. You should see the back of mine!"
Monday, 16 August 2010
I find a good way to start with the meditation is to sit him down in the open grass, give him something to hold that he can concentrate on, in this case a lovely set of red sunflowers given to us by our allotment neighbour, and to tell him to focus on the petals. For each petal he then calls out something which he finds happy, the love of playing on the beach or going for walks, seeing his Grandparents, collecting pine cones, making things with his meccano etc by the time he has finished his mind is normally starting to calm down. You can see in his body he is relaxing. When he has got to a certain stage I normally sit behind him and gently massage his shoulders whilst he sits in silence. Finally he drifts off so much that he is dozing lying against me in the sunshine.
Listening to the birds, watching the bees with a beautiful lad asleep, in peace and quiet. What a great way to meditate and spend the afternoon.
Friday, 13 August 2010
Tuesday, 10 August 2010
Up at the allotment we have had a lot of blackberries come out, so far several lb’s worth and as much as I love making jam I thought I would have a look at the ‘net and see what else I could do with them.
This dye comes out wonderfully and I have made our new altar cloth with it ready for Mabon:
Prepare the fabric by pre-soaking it in the first pot, using a fixative solution for berry dyes. See the "Tips" section for details on making this solution.
Put on rubber gloves to avoid staining your skin.
Use a measuring cup to determine how many cups of berries are to be placed in the second pot. Crush them lightly with the back of the wooden spoon. Place the pot containing the berries onto the stove.
Measure 2 times the amount of water as berries. For example, if you used 3 cups of berries, pour in 6 cups of water. Pour this water over the berries in the pot. Bring the contents to a boil, then immediately lower the heat to simmer. Wait until the water has turned a deep shade of purple. Strain the berries and discard them.
Place the damp, pre-soaked, fixative-treated fabric to be dyed into the pot. Let the fabric simmer in the dye until the desired shade is attained. Leaving it to rest in the dye overnight yields darker results. The fabric will appear lighter than the colour of the dye in the pot. Squeeze out the fabric under cool, running water and let it dry.
Tips & Warnings
If you are dyeing fabric, remember that natural fibres (as opposed to synthetic or manmade) will absorb colour better. Wool, cotton and silk are all good candidates. It helps if the fabric is already a light or neutral colour. If you choose to collect plant material in the wild, always leave at least 1/3 of the plant untouched, so it can naturally replenish itself. Always prepare fabrics to be dyed by simmering them in a "fixative" solution. The material that will be dyed should be placed in the solution and simmered for 60 minutes. Rinse the fabric in cool water and squeeze the water out 2 or 3 times. After this has been done, the damp fabric can be placed into the dye. The fixative helps the coloured dye adhere better to the fabric. To make a fixative for berry-based coloured dyes, use ½ cup plain salt mixed with 8 cups cool water.
To make a fixative for plant/herbal-based dyes, use 4 cups water and 1 cup of vinegar.
Avoid mixing dyed fabrics with your other laundry. Dyed cloth should always be laundered alone (or with similar colours) in cold water
Jam, well, just had to sneak on into the mix, yummy:
6 lb. blackberries1/4 pint water
1. Put the cleaned fruit, the water and lemon rind and juice in the pan.
2. Simmer until the fruit is soft.
3. Stir in the sugar and boil rapidly until setting point is reached.
4. Remove from the heat, skim, pot, cover, and label.
This is the recipe I used for our Lammas pie, tasted so good that I didn’t get any! By the time it had done the circle and got back to me it was all gone. Just the excuse to make another:
6 oz (175 g) plain flour
1½ oz (40 g) lard
1½ oz (40 g) butter
For the filling:
4 medium cooking apples, about 1 lb (450 g)
8 oz (225 g) brambles or fresh or frozen blackberries, defrosted if frozen, and washed
3 oz (75 g) sugar
milk and caster sugar
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C).
You will also need a 1½ pint (850 ml) rimmed pie dish.
Start by making the pastry : sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, holding the sieve up as high as possible to give the flour an airing. Then cut the fat into small cubes and add to the flour. Now, using your fingertips, lightly and gently rub the pieces of fat into the flour – lifting your hands up high as you do this (again to incorporate air) and being as quick as possible. When the mixture looks uniformly crumbly, start to sprinkle roughly 2 tablespoons of cold water all over. Use a round-bladed knife to start the mixing, cutting and bringing the mixture together. Carefully add more water if needed, a little at a time, then finally bring the mixture together with your hands to form a smooth ball of dough that will leave the bowl clean (if there are any bits that won't adhere to it, you need a spot more water).
Now rest the pastry, wrapped in foil or polythene, in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes while you peel, core and slice the apples straight into the pie dish. Then sprinkle in the brambles or blackberries and the sugar. Now roll out the pastry to about 1 in (2.5 cm) larger than the pie dish, then cut out a 1 in (2.5 cm) strip to fit the edge of the dish. Dampen the edge with water, then fit on the strip of pastry, pressing it firmly, and dampen that too. Then press the rest of the pastry over that to form a lid and, using a sharp knife, trim any excess pastry off. Use the blunt side of the knife and your thumb to press the two edges firmly together and knock the edges all round to give a layered effect. Then flute the edges by using your thumb to make an impression and the broad blade of the knife to draw in the edges of the pastry. Make a steam hole in the centre and, if you have time, make some decorative leaves with the pastry trimmings.
Now brush the pastry with milk and sprinkle on a light dusting of caster sugar. Place the pie on a baking sheet on a high shelf and bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to gas mark 5, 375°F (190°C), and continue baking for a further 30 minutes. Then, using a skewer, take out a piece of apple from the centre to test if it's cooked: if it still feels very firm, give it another 5 minutes. Serve hot with chilled pouring cream to mingle with the juices.
Monday, 9 August 2010
Saturday, 7 August 2010
So how and why? Well we are a bit different here and with the history of the area including Pirates/smugglers someone last year thought it would be good to add it to our week long Carnival celebrations during the summer. It went so well that the same bright fella said this year, “I know let’s do it again”. To which a drunken cheer went up with an unanimous aye! At some point it steamed into a Guinness World Record attempt. We have spent the last few weeks nervously watching as news rolled in from around the world where various folk were attempting to do it. “The Germans have it, 1600”, “The Americans have it, 2200” The rumours abounded. Ah, um will we get enough? Battle cry’s (well ok more drunken or eccentric ramblings) went on, the orders sent out “Be there or beware”.
And so to the day. My Aunt had kindly offered to have a pirate party for those of us who could come. Food aplenty with the odd bottle of ginger beer we gathered around, painting faces with ‘tashes or stubble. The transfer tattoos applied and the sweet treasure box eyed up by 10 kids and a couple of us adults.
Wednesday, 4 August 2010
As usual there are “rules” for the award and as usual I am going to be cheeky and only comply with 2 out of the 3!
The rules for the award are :
· Light humoured
· Food, yum...
· Littleun, joy that he is
· More food...
· My blogging Experiences: Generosity
3. Pass the award on to 10 other blogs you feel has substance.
Tuesday, 3 August 2010
To make you will need:
An old 2ltr bottle
Broken canes cut into short lengths
Dried grass stems
Rough string/thin rope
Cut the top of your bottle so that the bottom is the same-ish length as your shortened canes. Glue on the inside the grass stems creating a carpet appearance around the perimeter.
When the house is made hang near the vegetation that you have problems with and make sure you have sited it in a warm, sunny, sheltered position, out of prevailing winds and close to vegetation. The hanging bug house can be hung from trees, arches or pergolas. If you want to make it a wall house then the wall bug houses can be hung on a fence or wall.
Monday, 2 August 2010
The great thing about Morris is that they encourage anyone to have a go and I have to say those children really did show us adults’ sense of timing and rhythm up! Finishing our feast and wondering around we came across many a craft from Pottery to Ironwork, Painting to Carving. Stopping to say hello to folk we knew and to congratulate those we didn’t know on their hard efforts took us to the gentle point of needing a refreshing drink so off to the music/hop tent.
Eventually though it was time to go, a fair journey home and a sleepy child to contend with. Hoping you all enjoyed your celebrations.