After the fun of yesterday's birthday luncheon at the Railway Tavern today was rather more sedate and sombre as we had to attend our neighbour's funeral. You will remember Hazel - she and John live next door -but-one to us. The service was at lovely, old Belleau Church - just across the fields - it was very well attended. A simple and beautiful service. The family invited us all back to the Railway Tavern but we slipped away.
Hazel and John moved to Aby in 1977. She was a nurse, midwife and district nurse, although her first job when they moved here was doing a milk round! Later she helped to set up the local branch of riding for the disabled and I know she helped many of the village children to learn to ride on her own horses, at The Poplars. She kept sheep and spun wool. The last remaining sheep died just a year or so ago and the old horse still mooches around his paddock. He must really miss Hazel; goodness knows what the family will decide to do with him now.
The wind has been very gusty and powerful at times and consequently we have quite a pile of windfall apples - guess what my next job will be.
See the size of the middle one - it really is big - about five inches in diameter,and these are just three of more than twenty which have fallen today.
Because the weather has been pretty vile the cats have chosen to stay in for quite a lot of today. This isn't a problem with Bennie, she is quite happy to have a wash and then find somewhere cosy to snooze for an hour or three. Little Miss Sparky can't settle. She wants to be in, but she wants attention, or food, or to be played with, or anything... she constantly prowls and demands. I guess all the energy which she normally burns off while hunting is just fizzing around her.
I had to get the old family recipe books out today to find the recipe for Elderberry Rob which your Pa promised to Alison and Richard. As you know, it is basically elderberries and sugar made into a syrup. A spoonful or two of this taken at night in hot water is said to help prevent colds and flu, or if you already have them it helps promote sweating and recovery; it is also good as an aid to sleep. Apparently elderberries have nine amazing properties (can't recall what they are though!!) which can help our bodies to fight ills.
The elderberries are almost ripe so we will have to get making a batch or two to see us through the winter!
It was lovely handling the old books again, and reminding myself of the many delicious things which I remember from childhood. I really must make an effort to cook/bake some of them this autumn.
I think that is more or less it for now, Jonny. Hope all is going well with you - lets hope you get your internet connection sorted out soon. Did Tim email you? He was asking your Dad for your address the other day.
Lots of love,
PEAR TREE LOG
pear tree log: I started this blog to keep my younger son, Jonny, in touch with life in Lincolnshire, while he spent a year working in China. That year turned into five! Now he is home and training to become a physics teacher. This is simply a patchwork quilt of some of the things I enjoy - life in rural Lincolnshire, our animals, friends, architecture, books, the gardens, and things of passing interest.