Wednesday 27 May 2020

A recent walk

It was time to have a break from sewing last weekend, and on Saturday Tam and I had a circular 4 mile walk - up to Pantglas and turn left.  Next Door has been calving some of his milkers in the small field opposite our gateway.  Here is the last mama and her baby, who by the time we got back, had been taken off the field.  She has an impressive udder!

The rest of the calvers, plus Hereford bull, are now in our top field, which has a good crop of grass on it again.

Above and below: the river is really low - the scalloped slate riverbed exposed.

The first brambles are blooming.  This is the sort which has just half a dozen big globules on it passing as blackberries. The birds enjoy them anyway.

The walled garden at the back of The Hall - envious?  Moi?  You bet!

Looking across the valley with the walled garden just out of sight on the right.

Looking up the valley in the direction of Brechfa.

Above, the first of the Dog Roses is in bloom. So simple but so beautiful.  Below is a common plant around here, the Navelwort, which grows in walls and banks. We used to crush the leaves with a little boiled water as a treatment for earache (and it works.)

Looking back down the west-facing side of the valley.  These properties are either side of the steep lane up to Court Henry.

Above and below:  Foxgloves.  I have some "wild" ones colonizing my borders in the garden.  Sadly, the non-wild ones I paid good money for have snuffed it!

Looking across to the farm where neighbours Roy and Menna once lived.  Now their son has taken it over (after Roy died a few years back.)

Finally, incoming rain!  We had taken jackets (and carried them most of the way round) but needed them when this shower hit us.

Unfortunately, it was the wet weather on Friday which finally did for my asthma.  Peak flow levels have been low for a couple of weeks but I was coping. Then overnight I got bad - though pollen levels were meant to be LOW throughout the Bank Holiday weekend, they must have been higher than anticipated and rain breaks the pollen into tiny pieces in the air which - when walking up steep hills - I inhaled deep into my lungs and had a sudden 100 point drop overnight in my peak flow so it was a case of reach for the steroids.  I don't know how long I will be on them and have to speak to the Dr today as I will need more as the pollen levels will go to Very High and I may need a longer course of steroids.

So I am staying inside as much as possible.  I kept myself busy with sewing, reading and baking yesterday and made my first-ever Pitta breads using the recipe on Tracy's blog .  Oh my - they rose beautifully and are FAR removed from the dessicated things on offer at the supermarkets, which fall apart the minute you cut into them.   I ate one of these at 1.30 this morning (I was still wide awake) and they are FAB.  These are like a flat bread roll and I shall never go back to boughten again.  Next, I will try Naan bread I think.

I also made Frances' 6 egg Chocolate cake to mop up some of the egg mountain here (I used Goose and Duck eggs).  The recipe is on the side bar.

Today I shall take some seedlings (Nasturtium and Borage, self-seeded here) along to my friend N with the smallholding, and get Keith and Tam to bag up some more donkey and sheep muck-heap manure.  It's good stuff.

Having quickly tired of the price and quality of the supermarket veg and fruit, I put an order in to Chris Thomas's greengrocery warehouse at Abergwili yesterday and Tam went out to collect it.  I went wild and bought a whole BOX of apples (about 150!!) so I shan't run out of those in a hurry. £10 well spent. 3 BIG cucumbers, some lovely big spring onions, more shallots for pickling (a kilo), two big fat courgettes, and fresh strawberries - English ones and SO sweet. They get their delivery on a Tuesday, so it's the best day to buy down there.  Tam was delighted to have a 6 week old donkey foal (one of twins!) canter over to her when she went around the back of the shed for the order. Quite made her day (wish I'd gone along for the ride!)

Have a good day all.


  1. What a lovely cheerful post in spite of the asthma. I do wish I could summon up the enthusiasm to bake but now the farmer has gone and I also have no Aga I can't be bothered. Also - if I bake it I eat it and its just weight on my bad ankles.

  2. I am trying to keep positive at the moment - though after just 3 hours' sleep last night I am running on steroid adrenaline only!! Currently tackling half a gigantic red cabbage we were given! (Giving other half to my smallholding neighbour - there is only so much red cabbage you can pickle or cook up with apple and spices for Christmas! (I still have freezer room, thank heavens!)

    You are being sensible about the cake. I had to bake last night to mop up eggs, and Keith-don't-make-me-cakes had a piece of my choccy cake straight away!

  3. Hope the steroids are working and giving you some relief. I have an abundance of red cabbage in the freezer too. The walled garden was a joy, you are teasing us with a glimpse of it. What a great walk, so much to see and keep your interest. Take care.

    1. It was restored when the Beans lived there. They took the big house on and renovated it, and the walled garden too. It has a long greenhouse against one wall - OH for one like it! Still, no complaints as we have plenty of room here and the old plastic greenhouse and new polytunnel.

  4. Hey BB. Thank you for the comment on my blog the other day.
    I agree with the Weaver. The first thing I thought was what lovely photos but so sorry you have been unwell also. Yes, love the walled garden, too. I must try the pitta bread, one other thing to try. I fancy making naan as I love Peshwari with coconut and sultanas! I have lots of wild foxgloves in the garden. Take care.xx

    1. I can recommend that Pitta bread. No baking here today (yet I normally bake on a Sunday morning - I think the fact I didn't listen to the Archers omnibus (which ties me to the kitchen) made a difference. I think the new format is going to kill it stone dead!

      I am feeling tentatively better but the pollen count is getting higher and so I will have to lurk inside more. That said, I have spent half the afternoon outside in the shade painting a bookcase Keith made for Gabby using some bits of pine he had about the place.

  5. Hope you have had some relief from the steroids. I love red cabbage I make sauerkraut with it, yum!

    1. Yes I have, but they took 4 days to make a noticable difference. My fault for not going on them sooner, but in my defence, my peak flow was lower but keeping level. Red cabbage all used up now.