1 Oct 2011

Hestia's wet weekend

The rest of you Darn Sarf may be basking in record-breaking October temperatures, but we up here in the land of the Pict and deep-fried Mars Bar are positively trench-footed from the wet stuff falling from the skies.

So, what does your Domestic Goddess do when it's wet?

First of all, she Facebooks until she is quite fractious from the constant clicking. Then she stands and looks out of the window for a bit.  Then she gets out her camera and does this:

Nuit D'ete

Do you remember that I blew an exorbitant sum on bulbs and tubers earlier this year?  Well, this is the dahlia.  It's not exactly black, but it is dark purple, so it's A Stayer in the border.  

I'm thinking that a dahlia is actually very beautiful really, when you strip away the stuffiness of Horticultural Show benches. Time for the dahlia to make a come back in YOUR garden next year?

Anyhoo, I also bought some African Lilies, or Agapanthus - of which nary a sign yet - but they've got another 12 months to come good.  Plus Tartarus has forgotten all about them, so I'm not yet getting the rolling eyes and sniggering when I settle down to watch Monty Don of a Friday evening.  But if they don't show up next year, I've a feeling that my seed catalogues will be confiscated.

I also bought some crocosmia, Lucifer, which is supposed to be a fiery red.  It has flowered looking like this:

Which is not really a red inspired by the horrors of hell, is it? Sort of orange? Just my eyesight?  Anyway, it's got another year to show me what it can do.

After I have snapped at the flowers, I return inside and watch the rain continue to fall.  Any second now, an Ark is going to drift down the street....

Instead of waiting for the End of The World, I decide to make muffins.  Gingerbread muffins from the Good Food Channel recipe box.  This is the second time that I've made them. Except this time I put new batteries in the scales and as a result, I don't have half a hundredweight of butter icing looking for a good home.

These are as tasty as Hugh Jackman just wearing a pair of socks.  

Sadly, my icing bag set could not cope with the pressure of my icing technique and promptly ripped up the back, covering me in butter icing.  Which my son obligingly scraped off my apron with a sharp knife and ate off the blade.  I'm anticipating an 'I Feel Sick' moment very shortly.

I then managed to complete this:

It's called the Birds of the Druid Tradition - 1000 pieces and that owl is tricky character, BUT the frequent repeating pattern on the border was enough to send a woman mad enough to sit in the downstairs toilet rocking back and forth with the mp3 player locked onto Move Like Jagger for 30 minutes straight.

One wonders whether they had seen the dancing skills of Mr J before they immortalised him in the song.  He dances like he's having a seizure.  Or am I missing something? Love the track though.  And yes, love Jagger too ;-)

Tomorrow I am going out and possibly OFF the island.  

What are you doing this weekend?


  1. i'm currently sitting with a pile of green goo on my head. i look like i've been shat on by a particularly prolific goose with a serious case of indigestion - it's henna from lush! and the end result is well worth it!

    plum butter is bubbling away in the oven, the laundry's been folded and awaits putting away and i am contemplating breakfast. tonight we have a dinner out with a really fantastic couple and tomorrow is probably going to be a day of recuperation, which is usually the case after one of our little dinners out or in.

    and worry not, after an astoundingly gorgeous september, october 1 is coming on cool and wet.

    p.s. les fleurs are gorgeous. i've always loved dahlias.

  2. Nancy Hendrickson1 October 2011 at 17:15

    I am so surprised that Agapanthus bloom there. They are quite a popular landscaping choice here in San Diego - and our climates are definitely NOT the same. BTW, here, they're called Lily of the Nile. My favorites are the purple, but the white look beautiful too. Bloom every spring.

  3. you MUST get a blipfoto account Ali...join me over on the darkside of photographic tastiness...I want to see more of your photos!

    and that is the jigsaw my daughter and I completed before the summer....only ours was given to us by a friend and had 4 missing pieces. Looks gorgeous doesnt it :)

  4. It's Sunday morning here in the South Pacific paradise of NZ, so half my weekend's already gone.

    The weather here is lovely, some light showers but a pleasant 17°C.

    My Beloved and I are off to watch the All Blacks annihilate the poor wee team from Canada this afternoon

    It's spring here and the blossoms are everywhere, but I do sometimes miss the terribly dreech days on Scotland's West coast.

    There's something about it that speaks to the core of self-pity and pessimism at the heart of every Scotsman. (And probably Scotswomen, but I wouldn't presume to try to guess what's at the heart of any women, let alone an entie tribe)

  5. You've reminded me of a resolution I made once. Back in the late seventeenth century, when I was seeing a woman in *that* way, she always used to bring flowers round and it really cheered the house up to have some tulips or something around the place. When we went our separate ways I thought it would be nice to carry on with the habit, but then the inherent male laziness set in.

    Today I am allowing my liver to recover slightly after a day's drinking which started at 8.30am when England narrowly squeaked past Scotland in the World Cup.

  6. You'll not be wanting to hear about the sunburn I got digging this week then? Love your dahlias - they are terrific aren't they - do you bring them in in winter or have you got lovely light soil? I think the contrast with the Lucifer is wonderful - great colours!

    Off to the Mainland eh? Re-watch that Father Ted episode before you go and watch out for crows and Richard Wilson! xxxx

  7. I'm not sure North Wales qualifies as darn sarf but we have been basking, yesterday we walked through Lord Gladstone's Estate in Hawarden and went to 2 pubs along the way with the son and his fiancee, which was lovely. Today I have walked again, picked windfall apples and baked a crumble, made custard from scratch and behaved like Arnold Schwarzenegger in the garden with the hedge trimmer. Not a bad weekend's work, next job after a quick spruce up is Sunday dinner at the local with the boys who have been playing golf. I'm sure the rain is headed this way so don't feel too bad x

  8. I've just blogged about basking and dahlias too. Spooky!

  9. who doesn't love a jigsaw and Mick Jagger.........but you had me at gingerbread muffin!!x

  10. These are all very good rainy day things! I like the cakes the most obv. :)

  11. So a rather productive wet weather day! That's one thing I do like about the rain... when you have nowhere to be and stuff to do :) Laughed at the idea of the ark floating past too!

  12. Crikey your talents know no bounds!
    I really like Dahlias but they always seem to be infested with earwigs which freak me out a bit:0

  13. NS - I have not managed to get that close to mine - they too may be earwig infested!

    Conversation Pieces - if this weather doesn't relent soon, my next hobby will involve burying small bits of Tartarus all over the garden :-)

    LM - cakes my fave too!

    YaH - I have an excellent spoof Rolling Stones youtube somwhere, must post it up. Muffins were DELISH!

    Mrs TNMA - We have great minds, GREAT MINDS!!!!

    Mrs P - that sounds like a lot of fun. And Wales IS Darn Sarf. But it's Darn Sarf and Right A Bit :-)

    Mrs E - this is the first year that I've done Dahlias. I think I'll let the frost catch them and then dig 'em up for safe-keeping in a shed. Where they will probly go mouldy!

    Looby - get with the flowers. Flowers are wonderful.

    TSB - we Scots despise and adore our bad weather. We adore it because it stops us from having to do anything healthy outdoors, of course.

    Sage - Bliphoto? Sounds interesting! four pieces missing? What a shame - the owl is a bugger, isn't it? And the endlessly repeating card boundaries were also making me twitchy.

    Nancy - they do bloom here, but they like to have their roots confined - I may have to move them to a pot. Lily of the Nile...that's a lovely name!

    Polish Chick - I need to know more about plum butter!

    Ali x

  14. plum butter - taking a whack-load of plums, washing and pitting them, putting them in an oven-proof casserole and sticking them in a warm oven for a day or two, stirring occasionally (or, alternately, on stove top, low heat and stirring the bejesus out of them to prevent sticking - oven's easier) until most of the water's evaporated and what's left is a nice dark almost smoky goo.

    once it is of desired goo consistency, you taste it and, depending on sweetness of plums (first batch was more sour, second batch perfect) add a bit of sugar until you're happy (we add very little, which is the whole point of this exercise). put in jars and can.

    this is a classic polish jam and lasts very well and is not a caloric atomic bomb. this year i experimented with bad peaches that made very nice peach butter.

    good luck!

  15. Just catching up on my Hestia fix. I hope Tertarus's bits aren't being composted for dahlia food. xx

  16. Wally - no, his bits are still in tact, and much less use than Dahlia food.

    Polish Chick - ta for that - may just venture into giving that a bash!


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