Autumn Elders

Now, I tend to get excited about the elder trees in late spring, when their dusty, creamy flowers promise oodles of flavour to add to gin, vodka or cordial to name but a few. I have to admit that I didn’t even know that the berries were anything special, or even edible. I was brought up to be wary of berries that you weren’t 100% sure about, and although I loved eating sloes in front of school friends who were convinced that they were poisonous (along with pulling the flowers off dead nettles and chasing some of my more gullible class-mates), my knowledge of autumn’s berries didn’t extend much further than that.


Continue reading “Autumn Elders”

A Heffalump Linden


This is my current favourite item of clothing in my self-made (or, if you insist, me-made) wardrobe (or possibly my entire wardrobe). At least, it is as the moment, but my first chambray Archer shirt is coming up on the outside, and when I’ve hemmed it and put the buttons on, it could well be neck and neck. (Or collar and ribbing. Ha!) But anyway, I’ll let the jumper enjoy it while it still has the edge.
It’s the Linden pattern from Grainline Studio, made from some lovely cotton interlock printed (in case you hadn’t noticed) with elephants.  Continue reading “A Heffalump Linden”

The Remains of 2014 – Rusty Kelly

Ok, here’s the first of my attempts to clear the backlog of blogging that built up towards the end of 2014. In no particular order. Certainly not chronological.


I don’t wear skirts all that often. They’re not hugely practical for my work, and the rest of the time I tend to just throw on a pair of jeans without really thinking about it. But I do like skirts, when I remember them, and when I found some corduroy in a gorgeous rusty / russety colour on the reduced stand of the fabric section in Karstadt, in that town-just-over-the-border-where-I-certainly-don’t-go-to-take-advantage-of-the-cheaper-prices, I sort of knew that a nice warm autumn/winter skirt was on the cards. Continue reading “The Remains of 2014 – Rusty Kelly”

Two Airelles


You may remember that I was given a couple of Deer and Doe patterns for my birthday. And that I was psyching myself up to make a couple of Airelle blouses. One as a sort of wearable muslin on cheaper fabric, and the other on some lawn that I spent far too long deciding on. Internet shopping is terribly addictive, but also the bane of my life. Time just slips by. Continue reading “Two Airelles”

We went a-foraging


Autumn is my favourite season. I know I’ve said that before, and I’ve said it about other seasons. But autumn is absolutely my favourite. It’s the time when you can see nature at work around you, busy with the last push of productivity before winter sets in. It’s a great time to get out and nick gather or forage the wonderful goodies that nature puts out there for us. It seems that, for most people, foraging doesn’t really go beyond picking a few blackberries out of the hedges by the footpaths. But if you spent most of your childhood Octobers being dragged around the hedges looking for sloes and crab apples, you’ll be aware of how much more is out there. And I’m sure I only know a fraction of what’s available for the hard-core forager. Continue reading “We went a-foraging”

Plums, the third.


So, the feeling of spring is in the air. I remember writing that 6 months ago about the feeling of autumn, but unfortunately I haven’t really been able to write it about winter. Winter has been AWOL across the most of Europe this year: at my neck of the woods autumn has skipped straight over winter and into spring, following a pattern of seasons something like that suggested by the Pythons: Continue reading “Plums, the third.”

Spicy Roasted Squash Soup

I’m still clinging to the squash season, there are two of my autumn squash hoard left, sitting outside my window keeping cool (well, pretty cold now, actually.)


Since the snow’s set in (although just a light dusting by Swiss standards, it would be enough to constitute a fall of a good 20% in the British economy…) it’s great to have something easy to warm up at lunchtime, and this does the job nicely for me. You can add extra tabasco for more of a kick, but this is just right for my taste buds. Continue reading “Spicy Roasted Squash Soup”

The Best of Autumn


So, autumn is sliding inevitably into winter. There are still leaves on the trees that I can see from my window as I type, the now-bare trees at the edges of the garden have protected the trees in the middle, but a few more strong winds and they’ll all be left standing with just their bark on a carpet of un-mown grass and fallen leaves. The leaves on the road don’t get much of a chance, they’re scarcely left a day before the Swiss de-clutter brigade is out to tidy them away. Heaven knows where they take them. Continue reading “The Best of Autumn”

Remember remember

November is a time for remembering. Both officially, and un-.


The first one that crops up is good old Guy Fawkes.

Remember remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder and treason
Should ever be forgot.

Whether or not we should be celebrating the brutal torture and execution of a man Continue reading “Remember remember”

My contribution to Halloween

I am not a Halloween do-er. I don’t do Halloween.
I’m not a Scrooge: I love Christmas as much as the next person, it is the high point of winter, (although I try to shy away from the commercial side as much as possible.) But I love Autumn for all sorts of reasons, and they are, for the most part, freely provided by Mother Nature, not something that corporations have taken completely away from its original meaning and commercialised.

I have a pumpkin, it’s sitting outside my window, keeping cool, and I intend to create something yummy with it, not carve a face into its skin and throw it away a week later.

P1120960 Continue reading “My contribution to Halloween”