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.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas Eve Notes (for Jonny & Ming Ming)

This morning we had Harry and Francesca for a few hours, to give their parents time to do a few errands.   We had arranged to visit your Great Aunt, their Great Great Aunt.

We took food and nibbles, drinks, lots of Christmas crackers, and had a party with her.    She had a wonderful time watching the children, eating party nibbles and fancy did the children.   George and I are exhausted!

Nicki sends you her love and wants to know when you are coming home, she is sure that Tim could find you a job in London....!!!

The rain has been falling, heavily, for hours.
The ground was already sodden, no danger of flooding, thank goodness, but we are awash with surface water and the pump has been put to good use.

I know you are working tomorrow, but we'll keep watching to see whether you and Ming Ming are available on Skype later.

Merry Christmas to one and all.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Angels and a Putto in the Kitchen

I am working hard to try to shift the immense sorrow, the weight of sadness, which I have felt for the past few days as my over active imagination has threatened to engulf me.  

So, carols play softly in the background as I trim and dress the kitchen, make pomanders to add to my collection - amazing how some made years ago still smell so sweet - and try to get into the right frame of mind.

Life goes on.  

I must dig deep and get in touch with lighter feelings, it is too easy for me to sink to the bottom.   So, forgive me this trite nonsense.

It is therapeutic, my therapy.

I enjoy Christmas.  I love the carols, the candle-lit services, the excitement of watching the children in their Nativity play and I also love the satisfaction of baking and cooking a feast to stave off the chill of winter and to celebrate.   I love the smells of spices and baking, the warmth and the joy...cheesy, but true.

Back to the kitchen... I usually cater for large numbers... for the carnivores,  vegetarians, pescetarians, and the vegans among us.   I try to make sure that everyone will eat festive food.     I am not a good cook, I couldn't do it all on my own, I rely on my kitchen assistant of many years ... my little golden putto.

This little putto has watched over my festive culinary adventures for many years.

The golden putto is aided and assisted by a whole host of kitchen angels, bought one at a time over the years.   I now have quite a collection of them, they all work hard to help me.

Some are now beginning to look a little worse for wear, with fallen halos and dishevelled hair and I could swear that some of the expressions are mischievous, rather than angelic...

Luckily, this year I don't have to feed an army on Christmas Day...

Instead, after a morning of fun and merry-making with the grandchildren and family, George and I will take old Toby for a good walk, call in to see Arnold and take him some Christmas treats before coming home to relax and eat a quiet and festive buffet, the kind which we normally enjoy on Boxing Day.

No cooking required...surely a little miracle!

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Life at Home

This post is for Jonny and Ming Ming, and also for Joanne Noragon ... they have missed reading about what happens around this place.
....We have drunk lots of tea..white tea, green tea, ginger tea....we love them all.

George had a mountain of ash logs delivered, we then had the great fun of wheel barrowing them around the fruit garden, up round the house, through the vegetable garden and up to the log store.

Our cheeks were glowing rosy by the time we finished that little job.

If the predictions of an arctic winter should come to pass, then at least we have plenty of logs to feed the Rayburn and the fires.   The log man didn't come alone, he had two wonderful canine friends with him...

One was very shy and stayed out of sight, however, this little chap was determined to have some attention, he is called  Monty.

The shy one is a rescue dog.   He spent the first nine months of his life confined to a kennel, no walks, no interaction.   The log man rescued him and he now has a wonderful life with Monty.

Show-off Sparky
Bennie plays hide and seek behind the books

The cats are having such a lot of fun - days are spent hunting mice and rats, running up trees, chasing Toby-dog, stalking the hens.

Then they spend cosy evenings indoors...Ben likes to find new and interesting places to hide from Sparky.

Here she is tucked between the wall and the books in our bedroom.

Toby watching the hens

Toby continues to plod along - here he is focused on the hens as they ramble around the woodland, he finds them do the cats.
Frankie, Boadicea, Xiao Ji and Isadora

Here are the girls.  Their new feathers are coming through thick and fast now, their combs are pinking up and they are happy and healthy.

They roam around the woodland from dawn to dusk scratting in the soil and doing chickeny things.

Today we left the woodland gate open and allowed them the freedom of the garden.    It didn't take them long to make their way across the gardens to the kitchen door.   It was almost like old times with the other hens.   Their characters are developing and they come running when we call or whistle for them.

Harry is settling well into school, he still gets tired at the end of the day, but then he is only four and a half years old!    He has a small speaking part in the school nativity play - he is to be the inn keeper.   George and I will be at his school a week on Monday when he makes his debut.
This little poppet is doing well, she is on the brink of walking by herself...just not quite ready to relinquish her hold on someone's finger or the furniture, even though they are scarcely needed.

I have also been having a major sort through my books and clothes.  Five huge sacks of clothes have gone to a charity shop in Louth, I have also thinned out some of the books from the Dressing Room.   If I could repeat this exercise many times over I could finally begin to live won't happen, but I keep trying.

PS  I am so excited about seeing you both in the summer.   Three whole weeks, wonderful!