Monday, 25 November 2013

Quince Jelly and Dr Who

Its such a busy time of year, it feels frantic at times, and I feel as if I have ignored the blog for a long time, even if it has been less than a fortnight.  We have made our Christmas pudding which now sits in the larder until Christmas and I'm hoping to make our Christmas cake this coming weekend.  We had an unexpected donation of quinces this year, which I made into some lovely quince jelly.  Here are the before and after pictures!

It was more fragrant and subtle than the japonica quince jelly I've made beforehand.  I'm even starting to wonder if I could find room in the garden for a quince tree...  On another unrelated note we held a family party to celebrate 50 years of Doctor Who and made everyone dress up.  We also put together some Doctor Who related food:-

Cassandra Lasagna

Adipose marshmallows and jelly babies.  We also made a tardis cake!

It was such fun.  I found most of the food ideas on line.  We have our local Christmas Fayre this coming weekend, which takes up a lot of time and energy.  After that however, I hope the frantic nature of the season will lessen a little and we get a chance to relax and enjoy the season.  If only I had a clue what to buy anyone for Christmas!

Let’s approach Christmas with an expectant hush,
rather than a last-minute rush.
 Mother Teresa

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Life is not hurrying on to a receding future

Its possible that this time of year makes me thoughtful.  Maybe I just am that kind of person who needs to make sense of the world around and look to poets and artists and nature for inspiration.  A problem with this time of year is that I spend so little time out in nature, plus it wont be long before I am going to work and coming home in the darkness each day. I really feel this lack of fresh air and light and I'm sure it affects my mood. I'm hoping this weekend will mean some dry weather and a chance to start tidying up in the garden and spend some time amongst the birds in the trees.

I'm a great believer in trying to live in the moment more.  Looking backwards or forwards too much can mean not enjoying the present time and being too anxious over the future. When I'm failing miserably to appreciate the present, I find reading R.S Thomas's poem rather useful:

I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the pearl
of great price, the one field that had
the treasure in it. I realise now
that I must give up all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying
on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.

– RS Thomas, ‘The Bright Field’

I always find  baking cakes or sewing rather calming too.  I am very slowly putting together my patchwork/applique picture.  I've made all of the hexagons and am now sewing them together.  By the end of the weekend I had actually got this far, which is quite surprising considering how little I had done for months.

Happiness is not a possession to be prized, it is a quality of thought, a state of mind