Sunday, 15 February 2009

What a difference a week makes!

This time last week the most of the country was covered in snow.
Some places was quite deep. This weekend it was if it never
even existed. Quite a warm day for February 9 degrees centigrade!

Decided it was time to prune the shrubs!

I have been trying to get into the garden since Christmas

but it has been quite cold up until now.

The pruned branches and twigs
This is the remains of the dreaded Bindweed.
It seems to have worked (see 10 June o8 posting last year)
I seem to have eradicated it from the front garden, even in
a place I didn't treat which goes to show how far it can spread
and I also eradicated it from the neighbours garden too!
I'll let you know if it returns!

Ready to be taken to the recycling centre, a cup of tea first!

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Happy Valentines Day

Valentine's Day started in the time of the Roman Empire. In ancient Rome, February 14th was a holiday to honour Juno. Juno was the Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses. The Romans also knew her as the Goddess of women and marriage. The following day, February 15th, began the Feast of Lupercalia.
The lives of young boys and girls were strictly separate. However, one of the customs of the young people was name drawing. On the eve of the festival of Lupercalia the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into jars. Each young man would draw a girl's name from the jar and would then be partners for the duration of the festival with the girl whom he chose. Sometimes the pairing of the children lasted an entire year, and often, they would fall in love and would later marry.
Under the rule of Emperor Claudius II Rome was involved in many bloody and unpopular campaigns. Claudius the Cruel was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. He believed that the reason was that roman men did not want to leave their loves or families. As a result, Claudius cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome. The good Saint Valentine was a priest at Rome in the days of Claudius II. He and Saint Marius aided the Christian martyrs and secretly married couples, and for this kind deed Saint Valentine was apprehended and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off. He suffered martyrdom on the 14th day of February, about the year 270. At that time it was the custom in Rome, a very ancient custom, indeed, to celebrate in the month of February the Lupercalia, feasts in honour of a heathen god. On these occasions, amidst a variety of pagan ceremonies, the names of young women were placed in a box, from which they were drawn by the men as chance directed.
The pastors of the early Christian Church in Rome endeavoured to do away with the pagan element in these feasts by substituting the names of saints for those of maidens. And as the Lupercalia began about the middle of February, the pastors appear to have chosen Saint Valentine's Day for the celebration of this new feast. So it seems that the custom of young men choosing maidens for valentines, or saints as patrons for the coming year, arose in this way.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

They say there may be more............

Friday morning us here in Minehead
woke up to a very white morning!
It was surprising because we were not
meant to have much more snow!
I took the pictures of my bushes, trees
and shrubs at about 8 am

On the way to work about 8.45 am the snow fell again
It was only a five minute drive from home to town
the snow on trees looked quite spectacular.

By Saturday morning the snow was defrosting.
The sun tried to shine!
Driving towards home on Saturday

Drawing up outside our house in the same road as the previous photograph
We live at the top of a hill so things take longer to defrost!

The back garden on Sunday morning
And the view at the bottom of the road - Sunday

So all weekend we sat by the fire and kept warm! I made what can only be described as "rustic" jam tarts.
Too much jam!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

After waiting.............

.............after everybody else got theirs, we got our snow - it hasn't snowed properly here since 1990! It only lasted a couple of hours though perhaps its because we are coastal. There wasn't enough to even build a snowman! It was gone by five this evening.

It is rather cold so I made Rice Pudding!
This is my grandmother's recipe.
Everyone seems to have one!
4oz Pudding Rice, 1pint Milk,
2 eggs, 3 dessert spoons of Sugar.
Put the rice into a bowl and sprinkle with sugar
Beat the eggs into the milk and pour onto the rice
Grate Nutmeg on the top (optional)
put into the oven for about 50minutes - 180degrees
or until the rice is cooked thoroughly ovens can be different
This is what is looks like when it leaves the oven
I know you are suppose to like the skin - I DON'T!

A bowl full with Raspberry Jam
My husbands bowl - I don't like that either!