Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Introducing myself

Well, yesterday's first attempt at typing seemed to go alright, though my fingers after all that cracking were a little stiff this morning, so l have rubbed a generous amount of bone radial horse embrocation into my joints and knuckles which, l am pleased to say, has alleviated much of the pain and swelling although l now smell of old Cesaer my late father's large chestnut plough horse.

It was lovely to meet up with Mrs Snow yesterday afternoon, and certainly her wines and syrups are already showing signs of an excellent vintage, the raspberry vinegar is already secure in my medicine cabinet ready to use at the first signs of a sore throat.

The weather is so much better today so l am planning to walk along the parish boundary hedge at Cross field to inspect the abundance and quality of sloes for harvesting after the first frost. On my perambulations my companions are usually Boy, my elderly and probably the last l shall own, labrador, who although nearly as old as me can still find the enthusiasm to snuffle out the odd hedgepig or two. Boy you see, is the direct descendant of the labrador owned by my late husband, Boy would travel everywhere with him, sitting before him resting his paws on the handlebars of his velocette motor bike or waiting for him to return from a sortie. He was a spitfire pilot. One of the few. He left one bright and sunny morning, one of those with high wispy clouds, in September. He never returned. I have kept the Boy name and line going in his memory.

This raspberry tea is making me all maudlin, on with the wellington boots, coat and headscarf, collect my stick and basket, off we go Boy and Cat. Did l mention Cat or the kites?

Sloe Gin: [ my grandmother's recipe]

Pick your sloes from blackthorn hedges in October or November when they are most ripe
Take a good sized bottle of gin and drink about half
Prick or cut the sloes and drop into the bottle until full
add l wine goblet of sugar and shake well
turn the bottle every week for 12 months

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