Friday, 2 February 2018

Sunshine, east of Leith

We have had some ferocious weather this winter, and I am really tired of it now.  For me, the relentless, very strong winds have been the most tiresome feature.  Roll on Spring.  There are signs.  Snowdrops, a few wispy crocuses spotted today, and also a handful of aconites.  

However, the sun has shone today.  A beautiful blue day, light winds, and this afternoon we even sat in a sheltered corner of the garden for a little while.  I left my beloved old cat, Pippi, enjoying the almost-warm sun, and the dogs and I drove over to Athelstaneford, for a walk.  It's a pretty little village, with wonderful views north to Fife, east to North Berwick and out to sea, south to the Lammermuir Hills, and west to the Garleton Hills.  I find it an uplifting place to be, and we had a really great walk along grassy field margins.  My favourite kind of walking.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Once in a blue moon

I hate to moan but I don't have much luck when it comes to witnessing exceptional astronomical events.  Specifically, Northern Lights, and now a rather disappointing sighting of the super blue moon.  It is out there, and I have been watching it since 5.30 this afternoon, and now at 6.45 pm the view is far too murky to be remarkable.  My photos are blurred, but quite painterly, so I suppose at best they are atmospheric!
Last ditch attempt at 22.05, over the roof of the cottage!  I don't think my camera is quite up to photographing the heavens.
Moonshine shone through our windows all night, like daylight.  This morning the moon is disappearing over the horizon, on its way to the southern hemisphere, and directly opposite - the sun is rising.
And so are the scaredy cat teal (collective nouns : a diving of teal or a spring of teal, I'll go for spring) rising up and flying off as we come close.  They always do.  Impossible birds to see properly, without binoculars!

Monday, 22 January 2018

Monday afternoon walk

A little warmer today, but not by much!  This afternoon, Mr Gaucho dropped us off two or three miles from home, and the dogs and I had a bracing walk back, along the coast path.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Marmalade time!

I enjoy making jams and jellies, and I especially enjoy marmalade time, because it's specifically a New Year thing.  No shilly shallying about.  If I miss the Seville oranges in the shops, then that's it, until next year.  Unless of course I resort to buying tins of prepared marmalade oranges, and I wouldn't dream of doing that!

This year I have been more ambitious than usual and made three different sorts of marmalade. Dundee - as always, three fruit (grapefruit, orange and lemon), and for the second year running, Sarah Raven's dark dark marmalade, made entirely with dark muscovado sugar. It's a bit of a faff but more than worth the effort, producing a deep treacly preserve, with a distinct flavour.  It's really very good, very rich, and worth seeking out the recipe.