Saturday, July 31, 2010


I do like getting something for nothing. On Wednesday's morning doggy excursion with my next door neighbour, we came across two huge redcurrant bushes at the side of the path, groaning with fruit shining ruby red in the sun. It didn't seem to belong to anyone, so the next day we returned with scissors and poly bags and spent a happy half hour picking while the dogs pottered round, helping themselves to the odd low-growing berries. Home we went triumphant with a couple of pounds each and plenty left on the bushes for someone else and the birds. Most satisfying.

Being a fan of redcurrant jelly, I phoned my 90 year old mother-in-law for advice. She offered to make the jelly for me and sounded really excited at the prospect. I could perfectly well have done it myself, but who am I to spoil an old lady's fun? After various telephone updates on the jelly's progress, I picked it up today - three jars of beautiful jelly for the price of a bag of sugar and one very happy MIL.

And I put some of her strawberry jam to good use yesterday when Mr and Mrs Blethers and their small granddaughter visited. We made jam tarts so that she could take them home for her tea (they were too hot to eat straight away), which proved most diverting. Jonny-dog was trying to make friendly overtures to little Cat, and took the opportunity to lie on Mrs B's foot, thus pinning her to the floor, while he had the advantage. He doesn't usually get within a yard of her without fierce admonishment, but both behaved impeccably.

Masterchef Heathbank, huh?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Back again

Okay, it's been more than a year since I updated this blog. I think Facebook probably has a lot to answer for since it appeals to my laziness as a quick and easy option. It's also a great way to stay in touch with family and friends who can't be bothered ploughing their way through the convoluted pathways of my mind.

It's been a year of fantastic highs and some pretty awful lows, none of which I'm going to dwell on because they're in the past. I think a blog should be about the here and now, so this is what's going on in my life at present:

The good stuff
Out of my window I can see a couple of young blackbirds (or they might be thrushes - it's too far away to tell) trying to balance on the berberis, a flock of baby great-tits on the bird feeder, and I can hear, but not see, at least two bullfinches and a tawny owl (ours seems to have forgotten that owls are supposed to hunt at night and hoots all day!). I love the baby bird season!

I'm working on a talk about the Transfiguration for a week on Sunday.

The garden has lovely bits: the greenhouse with ripening tomatoes, the trees and shrubs, and scruffy bits: the veg garden that needs weeding, the driveway where the weeds seem totally resistant to the mimsy modern weedkillers you can buy these days and the hill behind which is my bird sanctuary. Maybe today I'll have a go at some of those weeds, but actually they all disappear in the winter so maybe I won't.

The bad stuff
I'm worried about a dear friend who's in hospital with a really nasty infection following cancer treatment and I'm carrying something in my pocket to remind me to pray for her.

So there we go - that's me. More good than bad, pretty boring, but maybe boring is good.