So February comes to a close with my younger son's birthday.
I have a discovery - we have frogspawn in the pond despite the heron - and a loss - the gold signet ring given to me when I was 21 by my Uncle and Godfather John Hay is gone - slipped off my little finger, I think in the garden. We have searched everywhere without success.
So to a look back and I will throw in a cake recipe for good measure.
This is the house and "GARDEN" at the time of building in 2006/7.
By the summer much of it had grassed over and a start was being made on early flower beds and the veg and fruit patch. Much of the far garden was a grassy bog. I had not yet hand dug the stream through the garden nor constructed the path into the woodland area.
To move on a few years and the change was dramatic - a bit of labour and a lot of muck and sweat.
The path had been constructed in front of the house and much planting done including the two cherry trees. The next shows both the path and one of these trees as seen from the house.
The blue seats, cheap and cheerful when bought, have long since disintegrated.
Down in the lower garden I had planted up a willow tunnel donated as withies cut from Urswick Tarn. (Thanks G). This grew out despite attempts at restraining it and this year was removed by order of the Boss.
Fifteen new white birches have been put in at the far end to add to the six already maturing.
Then there is the pond, now greening over, the stream has been rerouted and plans to drain the garden await implementation.
So the garden has grown up but will never be finished.
Threats await us with the spreading disease of ash die-back - most of our mature trees are ash - and the age of the gardener becoming more relevant (in other words he is becoming decrepit unlike his wife who gets (annoyingly) fitter every day. I will be told off now for mentioning that I am getting older and being pessimistic etc etc.
So to a recipe and my grandmother Hester's Sponge Cake. This is a well used page held together with old browning Sellotape.
Same weight in sugar as the eggs
Half the weight of plain flour
Grated rind of orange or lemon
Small teaspoonful (UK) of baking powder
2 tablespoons (UK) of cold water
Separate whites and yolks. Put yolks in basin with sugar and rind and beat till pale - then add water and beat again.
Whip whites of eggs till stiff. Add flour and baking powder to yolk mix and then fold in the whipped egg whites.
Put into lined (greaseproof paper) deepish cake tin.
Heat in oven at 380F or just hotter than moderate for 40 min to 1 hour.
It is worth while taking time to line the cake tin carefully buttering the paper thoroughly.
*This was a record by my bro' and his band banned by the BBC after being played on Children's Favourites by Uncle Mac as they had not realised someone says the word S**t loudly in the intro!
So to end with a few more pics -
And finally Fiona Clucas's painting of our wood.
So is this the last blog - ?? Probably.