A couple of people have said to me of late that they enjoy reading the blog as it’s quite “uplifting”. If I can cheer and entertain my readers I am more than happy. But, sometimes it is hard for all of us to keep cheerful in the face of adversity. The older I get the more I appreciate good health especially. When I see friends going through difficulties it makes you count your blessings. We all have knocks from time to time, but some people seem to have a totally unfair battering of problems; being hit with “shit” time and again. We had the “breast test” van round back in the winter and and two old work colleagues and a very close friend were “picked up” on the screening and have had cancer treatment as a consequence. I will not elaborate and in anyway to pretend I can know what they are going through – it must be horrendous.. However, I have friends and relatives who have been through hell, but are still here, carrying on with the most amazing positive attitude to life. “Good on ’em”. I hope I could be as brave under the same circumstances.
Enough of the gloom . . . . . (even if I have a very poorly horse with an enormous bandage on her leg – vet back tomorrow to remove it I hope. A very simple slip in the wrong place and a badly cut leg!)
On the theme of cheerfulness I have done a quick sketch of nasturtiums. We did have a very slight frost here Monday and everything in the bedding and pots line in the garden is looking rather past their best, but the bright golds and oranges of these hard little plants can still be seen. A lovely splash of colour. Someone was saying on ~TV the other night all the culinary uses you have with this plant. I have pickled the seed in the past to use instead of capers. I have so many nasturtium plants this year (something easy for grandaughter to help pot up when she was here in the spring) perhaps I should to this again. This gave me the idea that perhaps I should add a “recipe page” to the blog. Readers could also submit tried and tested recipes as well?? A thought . . . . .
These plants (Trapaeolum) hale from South and Central America and were first brought back to Spain in around 1569. Tropaeolum majus was named by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, who chose the genus name because the plant reminded him of an ancient custom. After victory in battle, the Romans used to set up a trophy pole called a tropaeum.. On this the armour and weapons of the vanquished foe were hung. Linnaeus was reminded of this by the plant as the round leaves resembled shields and the flowers, blood-stained helmets!
The sweetpeas are also hanging on in the veg garden and still making quite a show on a little bit of home made hazel “trellis”. I have now harvested the green tomatoes, my meager crop of squashes and five large marrows. There is still the occasional cucumber in the polytunnel and the chillies to harvest. A few years ago I planted a Goji berry – an offer in the supermarket. The little twig has grown like mad and produced a profusion of long sweeping branches, which keep getting hacked back. But hardly a flower. So, I thought, this is for the chop once I have harvested the veg underneath. At this moment in time it is covered with a profusion of tiny purple flowers so for the moment it has had a reprieve.!
Think I’ll start the recipe page. . . . if I have time later in the week . . .