How can a patch of earth be so beautiful?

IMG_5015It was a day for catching up with old friends and big hugs for the family, so we were up at the plot early to check that the greenhouse, the hot bed and the coldframes were ready for another unseasonably hot day. Our children may not appreciate the analogy but seeing the sun shining on the allotment, watching seedlings develop and  feeling the wamth of the earth is not a million miles away from the sheer pleasure of being loved – for no discernable reason – by your children and grandchildren.  Our youngest said to us once, after a day out with his first nephew, “It’s really strange the way they look at you, decide you’re OK and just love you”.

So that was today really. Lunch at Rosemarino’s our favourite Italian café/restaurant in Bristol where our youngest once worked as a chef and with old friends we’ve known for years and travelled together with.  I had a lovely lamb ragu with pasta and we shared a bottle of cheap Italian white while we ate and talked. Later, after crossing the city,  big hugs and cuddles with the grandchildren and their Aussie Mum who’s brought so much to our expanding family. Oh and the fact that everything just seems to be working. Pride, I know, comes before a fall – but stuff it – the Potwell Inn is the place to be – “point” as Whacker Allan my old French teacher used to say.  He was a sadist but he’d lived in Paris which was pretty exciting. Tomorrow the weather turns and we shall be gloomy again but today we are filled with delight.

Feeling a bit seasonally affected

How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
You know those days when you wake up, look out of the window and you think November.  I remember reading Bernard Leach’s “A Potters Book” for the first time more years ago than I care to remember – it’s in front of me now as I write this. Somewhere in the book he wrote that, of all the jobs in the pottery, filling in the tax return was the one that cost him most sleep.  Mercifully I no longer have to fill them in, but today I had to complete some unintelligible forms to claim back a small amount of money that was owed to me. Somehow the (relatively) simple action of searching for forms and letters last seen more than a decade ago saps the energy in a terrible way.
There were jobs on the allotment that needed to be done, but it was no use; I just had to get down to it. Of course in the event it wasn’t nearly so hard as I’d feared and by lunchtime the documents were on their way but the Black Dog lingered on. Cooking always seems to do the trick, so we did some shopping and I knuckled down to batch-cook 3.5 Kg of ragu, prepping 3Kg of blackcurrants ready to make cordial, and toad in the hole for supper – does that translate into North American, I wonder? Basically it’s sausages in Yorkshire pudding batter.  That, plus some spiced red cabbage and left-over gravy, made a meal to lift the soul.
IMG_4694