not really spring yet!

The forsythia brought in on New Year’s day is now fully open, and cheering the place up a bit.

forsythia

Much needed – I’ve had a really shitty time since getting home on 30th December: a cold, which has settled on my chest and in my sinuses. The result is almost no voice, blurred vision, headaches, and frequent dizzy spells. I had something similar a couple of years ago, which took around six weeks to shake off, and I’m desperately hoping that this resolves itself before then!

I’m due to go to London at the weekend, for a “wake” to celebrate the existence (and impending closure) of OUT – a gay social networking site I’ve been a member of since March 2005. I’ve met a number of good friends – known mainly on line with only the occasional meeting in person – through the site, and enjoyed a lot of stimulating debate on the forums there. I’ll be deeply sorry to see it go, though there’s promise of “an app” called Gmeet, to operate in a similar social space, for which I’ve contributed to the crowdfunder. Launch date is uncertain … possibly March?

yummies !

Seized with a sudden desire for eclairs! The first time I’ve made them for about fifteen years, I think. Haven’t turned out too badly, though I must get a piping set (instead of relying on cutting of the corner of a freezer bag).

coffee eclairs

Aaargh!

Buggered up my back when stuck on a delayed train coming home from my Mum’s on Saturday, and it’s been getting worse. Simply can’t take the increasing pain any more, and have grabbed the emergency Tramadol. Sorry if Facebook etc posts for the rest of the day seem (more than usually) confused or incoherent.

tramadol pack

fires

14 dozen “heat logs” delivered. Two days late, and I was down to my last half-dozen, but all is well now. Log basket filled up, and this stash neatly stacked for the future … it will probably last me into next autumn unless we get a lot of heavy late frosts.

Ideally, I’d prefer real logs. But there’s nowhere here to dump a trailer-load, and the minimum order to buy in nets is horrifically expensive. And I rather think manufactured logs are actually greener: they use waste sawdust, and burn at a higher temperature (so lower particulates) …though my stove was DEFRA-compliant when it was installed.

stack of heat logs

Black Pear of Worcester

The first and so far only fruit on the trees I planted when I moved in here three and a half years ago. Traditionally harvested in November (which I did) and kept in a frost-free shed for eating in February and March.

After eyeing it through the shed window for the last three months every time I went up the garden to fill up the bird-feeder, I decided today was the day. Poached for a few minutes in a light syrup with a smidgeon of lemon juice, and it was truly delicious!

There’s enough left for tomorrow, as well: these pears are *large*!

whole raw black pear

.

cooked, in bowl

change of allegiance

Six years ago today, I resigned from Labour and joined the Green Party. Absolutely the right move, and I’m grateful to our City and County Councillors and party members for the impact they’ve had locally.

I’m always very happy to work with Labour, LibDem, and the occasional Wet Tory and others, in areas we have in common … and this planet we inhabit surely ought to to be one such area.

earth with recycling logo

discovery

Today’s minor discovery is that the small pudding basin just fits into the slow-cooker! That makes things like today’s “Sussex Pond Pudding” (which needs over three hours steaming) a much easier proposition.