Sunday, 28 June 2015

Pesky critters.....

Oh, my, my dear friends such news! There has been great delight this year thus far in the bountiful produce from the shared kitchen garden but my, oh my, such calamity. Why there have been not one but several pesky creatures availing themselves of this most delectable of foodstuffs. Mr's Mole, Blackbird, Badger and Squirrel, stand up and be counted. Well, our male guardian in law reminds one of Mr MacGregor faced with Peter Rabbit, such is his determination to stem the tide. Boundaries have been walked, calculations made and this very weekend my lady guardian was summoned to take part in the erection of the kitchen garden defences. Through the mid day sun and beyond they have toiled to erect a most sturdy of fences to protect against marauders. Under the guidance of our male guardian in law the defences have grown. Woe betide the creature bent on breaking through; you have been warned.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Simple quietude

Many an evening latterly has been spent in simple quietude, my lady guardian working upon a knitted garment and my male guardian in the restorative pages of a well penned tomb. The glorious sounds of summer birds and my brothers most gentlest of purrs breaking the silence. The why's and wherefore of family relationships have been the topic on many an occasion this last week. Harper Lee could not have been more right when she stated " you can choose your friends but you sho' can't choose your family". Alas, some families are the modicum of decorum and delight that one could only wish for, whilst others quite frankly are beyond comprehension. H Jackson Brown commented that " good manners sometimes simply means putting up with other people's bad manners". Alas, many a family has the proverbial skeleton in the cupboard which is apt to raise its head at times of stress.

For my brother and I, the human forms of death and dying appear so much more complex in my guardians world. Alas, we can but comfort them in the hour of their need (although my brother reminds me, this really should not coincide with ones mealtimes, which he would indeed find most distressing)

Saturday, 20 June 2015

In the blink of an eye........

What a glorious week of weather we have had. Why, yesterday was a quintessential English summer day; sunshine, a gentle breeze and the warm air laden with the aroma of summer, quite delightful. It was a day for rest and reflection. Life has sped along and we find ourselves older, although not necessarily wiser. Our male guardian has sadly lost a member of his family this very week, a sad time indeed. At times like these one is apt to reflect and consider. The comment oft noted by our elder relatives, " time goes quicker as you get older", does indeed seem to be the case. Shakespeare is brought to mind at times such as these in his seven ages of man. My lady guardian has the most delightful poem of W.H. Davies, "What is this life, so full of care, we have no time to stand and stare". Do take the time to read it in full and consider these wisest of words for we are all guilty, are we not, of jumping on to the treadmill of life and only jumping, or falling off, when it is too late to take the time to "stand and stare". Therefore some time spent in quiet reflection has been the order of a number of days this week, as well as rejoicing in life itself and the possession of it. The hurly burly of the working day, somehow paling into insignificance for time spent together in the quiet loving embrace of ones sanctuary, home. My brother and I, both in advancing years, have ensured we have given comfort in plentiful supply to our guardians. The cycle of life passes at an alarming rate of knots within the blink of an eye. Do take the time, dear friends, where you can to stop and stare.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Apologies, dear and patient friends

My dearest friends, please accept my sincerest apologies, why I really do not know where the time has gone. Such a whirlwind of activity over the last month, why I am quite dizzy at the memory.
Indeed, where does one start. Perhaps, in the words of dear Colonel Brandon, at the beginning.

As many of you are aware, my guardians share a kitchen garden with my lady guardians sister and husband. It comprises five 6 x 3 metre raised beds, a small raised bed and a recently dug squash bed of a similar size, plus a strawberry patch, two beautiful fig trees and a small apple tree under which to sit and enjoy the fruits of ones labour (often with a tasty morsel and a well earned cup of the finest English tea). There are also two greenhouses in which tomatoes, peppers and aubergines are grown through the summer. It was a venture embarked upon with great zeal by both estates and, in it's second year, is proving most fruitful. To gaze upon it is a wonder but, more importantly, to feast upon the produce is a delight. Much to my lady guardians delight, there are murmurings of livestock in the form of a few chickens; what country dweller does not like the sound of a contented brood clucking about the garden. Oh, the excitement but, one must be patient, much to my guardians consternation. The sisters remember a childhood with home grown vegetables and chickens, and a plentiful supply of chicken manure for the compost to complete the circle. Delightful, quite delightful. Many an hour has been spent planting, weeding, nurturing, watering for the delight of fresh produce now and through the winter. What a warming thought. A well stocked larder and log shed are such comforting thoughts as we move through the cycle of seasons, with time spent through spring and summer in toil to keep one hail and hearty. A simple life with simple pleasures, bliss. 

Despite the summer weather not reaching its fullest potential, my lady guardian has taken every opportunity to throw open windows and doors. Within the house, a thorough programme of sorting and cleaning is underway. Why, one is fearful of being caught up in this frenzy and ensures ones safety by finding a quiet, safe place in which to rest until the dust has settled for another day. I am assured by my lady guardian, that the current frenzy is quite, quite different from "the spring clean" that was undertaken earlier in the year, but I confess dear friends, I cannot see how! 
The seasons are moving swiftly and one can understand the activity, why I can barely believe that we 
are mid way through the year and soon to celebrate the summer solstice. Tempusfugit, dear friends, tempus fugit.

As my lady guardian and I compose this missive for your delectation, we gaze out upon the apple, plum and damson trees and can see the ripening fruits. We appear to be in for a bumper harvest and the larder may indeed need sorting to accommodate such largesse. 

My lady guardian, a keen home crafter, has begun knitting a fine woolen garment for the cooler months. A most becoming fairisle pattern is emerging. No doubt my brother will examine it closely on completion and test for warmth and comfort.