Sunday, 21 July 2019

Llandeilo Quilt Exhibition 2019

My friend Dawn McHugh gave me the heads up that there was a Quilt Exhibition on at Llandeilo over the weekend, so yesterday morning we met up with another craft lady from Carmarthen, Sarah Jones.  There were SO many quilts and smaller pieces of work on display in the Chapel, with every space put to good use (pews especially useful for quilt display!)

This is a very special piece of quilt-making as this top was pieced by a lovely lass called Emily, who is only 9 years old.  She began this top when she was 7, encouraged by her gran.  The note on it says that she has taken a year to do this because she could only work on it at patchwork classes in the school holidays but now goes every Tuesday evening.  Hooked for life methinks!  She came to chat to us and was a very confident young lady.

A bevy of bags.

These are Linus Quilts - made for giving to children who are in need of comfort - because they are very ill, or traumatised, or otherwise in need of quilts or afghans.  What a lovely idea.

This was my favourite quilt and which got my vote (all the pieces were numbered and you voted for one on the way out.  The overall winner got a small gift I believe.  This was a block-a-day-for-a-year quilt so as you can see, a LOT of work there.  I should have taken a photo of the back too because that was strip pieced and made it reversible.

Above and below: Close-ups of various small blocks.  Very inspirational.

No space was wasted!!

A beautiful wholecloth quilt in the old Welsh tradition, hand quilted.

Finally, some quilts made by African-American women from Gee's Bend , Alabama who despite hardship and adversity, made quilts throughout and still make quilts, with whatever materials came to hand, recycling any fabrics they had/were given.  Fairly humbling - when you think of what us quilters go out and buy and cut up - with no thought to necessity or frugality or just plain not having . . .

Enjoy your Sunday.  I'm off out for a walk.

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Antiques Roadshow and a walk round the Botanic Gardens - photo heavy

We spent a few hours queuing in the rain at the Antiques Roadshow at the National Botanic Gardens of Wales yesterday.  We know howto have fun!  Our geese were deemed geese and not swans, which is what we anticipated, but at least I got to have a leisurely wander around the gardens afterwards.  Enjoy!

The beautiful mass of blue flowers are Phlox.  Must get some of these for the garden.

Love this tumbling herb garden.

Isn't this gorgeous - more herbs.

I wish my veg garden was this tidy . . .

On the way out - Purple Loosestrife growing at the pond's edge, it's natural habitat.  Mine here doesn't have wet feet but blooms beautifully all the same.

Friday, 19 July 2019

An anti-inflammatory diet


3 tblspns coconut oil (or Rapeseed oil)
1/2 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp curry powder (I like a bit of a kick so used a dessertspoon of hot curry powder)
1 tblspn minced ginger (I used a one inch nub of peeled fresh ginger and grated it)
3 cups thinly-sliced carrots - this is about 12 oz/340 g - 4 largish ones
1 1/2 tspn grated lime peel (scrubbed first to remove any pesticide residue) 
2 red onions, chopped
Four cups vegetable broth (I made my own veg stock using up the cabbagey bits and some craggy carrots etc sifted from a stir fry pack, and added veg trimmings from the pack I have in the freezer and add to when I prep veg.)
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tblspn low fat yoghurt

Grind the mustard and coriander seeds.  Heat some coconut oil in the pan on medium high.  Add the ground mustard seed and coriander powder and stir for 30 secs.  Throw in ginger and stir for 30 secs.  

Add onions, carrot and lime peel.

Stir for 2 mins and add 3 cups veg broth.  Bring to boil and them simmer for around 30 mins or so until carrots are tender and cool.  Puree.  Pour back into pan and add around 1 cup veg. broth.

Bring to boil and cook on simmer for 5 mins.  Stir in lemon juice and seasoning.  Garnish with yoghurt.

I'll put up a photo of it in a bowl when I have some at lunchtime.  Recipe from a book of Anti-inflammatory recipes I have on my Kindle.  There seem to be dozens of this sort of book available now.  Inflammation is at the bottom of so many diseases and gut-health is now seeming to be of extreme importance to health.

Since the worsening of my asthma seems to be partly gut-related as it is immediately obvious that I have eaten something I shouldn't, I am on a low-histamine diet, and including as many anti-inflammatory recipes as possible. This is a whole new way of eating - I am normally a bung-it cook, just making the same recipes I have always eaten - tasty meat-based dishes with tomatoes/onions/beans/veg. Think Spag. Bol, curries, casseroles, chillis etc. Now the larder is full of tins of various beans and glass storage jars filled with Quinoa, Bulgar wheat, Cous-cous, Millet, Brown Rice, Red Rice, Barley and all sorts of other whole grains, plus a gigantic earthenware jar full of rolled oats . . .  My comfort zone is definitely being pinched!

So, we shall see how much this helps - I do know if I eat Dairy at the moment I get a "hit" with my breathing, so am having to avoid that but hope to start introducing a probiotic yoghurt - and Kefir - again soon (desperately needed to recolonize my gut as my recent gut microbiome test revealed the total absence of several very necessary "good guys" in my microbiome.  That's the result of being on antibiotics for 3 years because the GP couldn't be bothered to have a sputum test done to see what was causing the repeat infections . . .)

Anyway, I see my Asthma clinic nurse next month and am hoping she will get me into the system to go and see someone in the Immunology department at Cardiff Hospital to try and turn this round.

Sorry, I'm wittering.  Been up since 4.15 a.m. and have time to kill as I can't do housework whilst Keith's still asleep.

Then we went to Kington

Photos rather than words today as I've been awake and doing since 5 a.m. this morning.  This is a view of the middle of Kington which follower Marlane should remember very well.  It was such a peaceful little town, but I am guessing it is busy on market day each Friday.  There's a Saturday market monthly too - crafts and what have you.  There were 3 charity shops, banks all shut (as they are everywhere - nearest one is probably Hereford, or perhaps Leominster), and a good selection of individual traders, plus a Londis and places where you could suit most of your day-to-day needs.  Everyone was SO friendly and if we do move to that area, I have already been offered a place helping at the local Riding for the Disabled group, which would please me no end.

Anyway, back tomorrow, with photos from our outing to the Antiques Roadshow valuations which were held at the National Botanic Gardens today.  We stood queuing in the rain for quite a while, to discover - of course! - that our geese were just geese and not gilded swans!!

What a place to put a telegraph pole - totally spoils that lovely view!!

Thursday, 18 July 2019

A day out in Hay and Kington - Part I (Hay)

Keith and I had a day out in Hay today, which was very enjoyable - and we chose Market Day especially.  We stopped for fuel in Sennybridge, and I couldn't resist taking a photo of this practical solution to taking your car with you on a delivery (or perhaps they had sold it).  I presume it was put up there by the same fork-lift-truck that put the straw bales up there . . .  You can't say country folk aren't practical!

We caught up with friends and had some real belly-laughs, then we had a wander round the Market.   This is always a very tempting stall for me, but I was good and only bought some Rosemary, some Ground Mace and more Pumpkin Seeds.

The fruit and veg stalls always remind me of the roadside ones the Market Gardeners around Southampton had on the side of the roads.  Mind you, these are a bit more upmarket with an interesting array of vegetables (in my childhood, such things were more basic staples and lots of Strawberries).

A bevy of modern Welsh blankets to choose from.

More tempting vegetables.  As I am largely vegetarian - nay, Vegan at the moment as I can't have any Dairy produce, I was looking at this spread and planning what I could make.

Gorgeous rugs and baskets (I have 3 of the latter, one for shopping and two which have craft stuff in them, wool etc.)

The flower stall . . . I may just have been tempted here.  I blew £5 on a gorgeous deep violet purple Salvia nachtvlinder - never seen one before and hope it survives the winter here.  I'll add a photo tomorrow (when I've taken one).

Just one view taken near Kington, to tempt you to check out tomorrow's post:

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

When I can't sleep . . .

Although I'm stepping down off the steroids now (6 today), I still found myself wide awake at 1.45 this morning and came down to "do things".  I put tv on and watched Alaska's Last Frontier - about a Swiss family who came to Alaska after WWII I think, and began homesteading.  Now their extended family live off the land and their resources, and I love the way nothing is wasted and everything gets repurposed.  Although they all self-sufficient and hunt and fish as well as growing vegetables, beekeeping, raising beef etc, they have stockpiles of "dead" vehicles and mechanical things, huge piles of firewood, trees for building as of course they have built their homes from scratch too.  OK, some of the cheesy set-up scenarios demanded by the Director make you grate you teefs but on the whole I really enjoy it.  

Whilst I was watching the Christmas episode - and of course all gifts are home-made too - I was also polishing up a pair of lovely old brass hinges which have been in one of Keith's piles of useful stuff in the barn.  They were black with dirt but have polished up beautifully and are a lovely design too.  They are destined to hold a new-old door to change what was once a solid oak wardrobe (£1 from an auction over 30 years ago) converted to a bookcase ever since, into a storage cupboard (or bookcase with door).  The door in question cost £10 from Ledbury car boot sale last year and has been sat waiting for a purpose . . .  The handle for it has also just come from Keith's stash . . .  One slight problem has arisen - the whole carcase of the bookcase has twisted from the weight of the books and being on an uneven floor - so problems for Keith's reconfiguring.

This will be a harder bookcase to cull as really I want to keep most of these . . .

A work in progress . . .   Sorry, the flash didn't work on the bigger photo.  It's an antique hand-sewn wholecloth Welsh quilt, stuffed with wool, and being rebound by me and mended with the trimmings from the most badly-damaged edge where it has been clutched and held for a century of nights and worn quite through in parts.  As my stitches echo that of the woman who made it, I feel such an affinity.