A slightly blurry photo of yesterday's Bramble Jelly.
The 1st of August today, and the wheel is turning. Lughnasadh marks the beginning of the harvest season. It is one of the four Gaelic celebrations which divide the year. It was also known as Lammas and we have a Lammas Street in Carmarthen where a Horse Fair was held until quite recent times.
I have to say, there is a slight feeling of Autumn approaching. In digging out the freezer yesterday, I liberated the last of the 2016 Damsons, blackberries, elderberries (some still left to make syrup with later on for winter colds and coughs) and I used a few small fallen apples off the trees here, along with some boughten cookers, and have made the first stages of Hedgepick Jam. Normally it would have crab apples and a few sloes in it too, but we are too early for those. I will include photos and the recipe later on. So far I have just cooked down the apples to a pulp, and cooked the damsons, blackberries and elderberries until soft and juicy and put them through a sieve so we have all the flavour and none of the pips from the brambles. I love the rhythm of a country year, where each season has its routines - planting in spring, harvesting in summer, the laying down of preserves for the winter months, the autumn clear up in the garden, the delights of preparing for the Christmas feast.
Yesterday I had to go into town to replace one of my inhalers - I now think its slow failure was what was at the root of my breathing problems last week - or at least part of it as I know I do react to moulds in the atmosphere. The inhaler normally "snaps" when you press the top to release the asthma spray, and as I use what is known as a "spacer" which you release the medication into, it is hard to tell how much has been released. This spring had stopped snapping and it was a slow release without any umph. Finally yesterday it stopped releasing anything. I had one day's steroids left to take but won't take them as I now think it was mostly the inhaler not working so I was on 2/3 of the dose I should have been taking. Hopefully I will sleep properly tonight, as several nights of just 4 hours sleep have me on my knees this morning, although I did "lie in" until 4.45 a.m. today.
We are busy replacing lighting down in mum's flat and also have some new lights to go in our sitting room (which I am going to start redecorating soon - a similar colour to the pale terracotta we have in there, only a slightly warmer shade). I found some lovely used curtains in a deep terracotta with a paler pattern on Ebay and snapped them up for £14.99 including postage. They will arrive this week. The old ones are rather faded at the edges and were ones I made myself. I may revamp them by removing the faded edge - there is plenty of width in them. Then I have some to put up when the others are being laundered.
These copper spotlights are a great improvement on the VERY old-fashioned and dated lights that had been down there for years. My darling husband is slightly resistant to change but even he could finally see the old ones had had their day . . .
I finished the 3rd of the Peter May Lewis trilogy yesterday and was just lucky enough to find a new book of his released yesterday and on offer in Tesco for just £3. Who am I to resist?!