September 2009


I am still here you lovelies. It is just that I have had another sickling to take care of and not much time to spare for those leisurely activities such as blogging. This time it was Harriet, our smallest, who caught the bug, but thankfully she seems to have pulled through, after visits to the vet, twice-a-day medications, a week of sleeping indoors and lots of love and fuss. Here are some other recent mementos:


Autumn is here with all its seeds. We have been seed saving, both for sowing next year and for using in eventual spontaneous crafty projects.


I’ve been baking/eating cinnamon buns sprinkled with nuts and sugar. Have a fancy rest of Wednesday!



Oh, I have such sad news that I don’t know how to give tongue to them. Albertine, the tiniest of hens and my sweetest of garden friends, has past away. She was thin and shy, but I had not grasped the full severity of her situation, to the degree that we never even made it to the vet…and for that I shall never forgive myself. We have ordered the rose ‘Albertine’ to plant in her memory, but right now I just wish the sorrow could be quiet and plain and not flecked by all this guilt, because both at the same time, seem so much harder to take. Albertine, my unfortunate little girl; you were worth so much more. Now I shall have to adhere to the other three, before this story turns into And Then There Were None. I am terrified that something should happen to any of the others and must keep my eyes open at all hours. Who would have known that keeping hens would be so emotionally draining.


My lovelies are recovering rather well from concentration camp and I am devouring books about poultry like never before (and like I never would have imagined I would ever do). Here I am (part of me anyway) reading “Keeping a Few Hens in Your Garden” by Francine Raymond, surrounded by my new feathered friends. It has been a lot of work; in fact, they’ve taken up most of our waking time for the past week; learning, worrying and caring for them. But seeing Valentine making one of her crazy dustbaths, or being chased across the garden by Ada running faster than a speeding bullet, makes it all worthwhile 100 times over. They are such pleasant ladies and I am honoured having them as retirees in my garden. Looking at them strutting around the lawn contently and foraging curiously for this-and-that in the beds, thinking they should have been dead is a very strange feeling indeed.

macaroonsabound“On the Subject of Macaroons”

Pencil and marker on cream paper stock.

A new drawing that shall be in the shop on the next update. Whith the darker months ahead baking and food seems to be creeping into my mind an awful lot, or could it have something to do with my recent silly obsession with the old TV series Pie in the Sky? Either way, I’m sure this lovely company also has a stake in this particular drawing. Now, I am soon off to snuggle up in bed with a good book so I shall leave you here. The rain is absolutely pooring down outside in the dark and I am thinking about my only part feathered ex-battery ladies out in their coop and hoping they are keeping dry and warm. It is strange having other-creature-companions that are not living with you in the house. Good Night!


When it comes to veg I can be rediculously particular about which varieties I grow. I can be fussy like that, but I actually think it’s important! In the squash patch there must be some “Tromboncinos“, when it comes to lettuce I could not live without “Black Seeded Simpson” and as for tomatoes the “Hillbilly”  just has to be there. The same goes for beans, where there is one that just outshines the other ones for me and that is the implausibly good looking, multipurpose and also forgiving “Borlotti”.


First we harvest it as a french bean, last we harvest it as a dried bean to soak and use in soups and stews during the winter months and inbetween we harvest it as a fresh, delicious and really substantial bean that we use in rich garlicky tomato sauces that we serve with lots of basil.


I’m getting awfully hungry out of all this writing about food, I better get started with dinner. It’s pancakes today. This time with the, for us, unusual ingredient of egg, as Valentine just laid one right on the paving under our little mini plant conservatory!