Villa Garzoni once more

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Autumn has set in again. As if we ever had a proper summer. Ha!
My kitchen smells of hot food cooking, my fingers smell of the cumin that I have been pounding in the mortar with the pestle (or was it in the pestle with the mortar?) There’s a bag of apples on the floor to be dealt with, jars of stewed plums in the cupboard, a bowl of stolen foraged hazelnuts on the table, and I’ve already dealt with the first excess of squash. My to-knit list is underway and growing, and all thoughts of light sleeveless tops to sew have been replaced with more sensible three-quarter to full length sleeved thoughts.

It seems to be a good time to remember that, although the summer never quite reached Switzerland, we did seek further south, and found her, living it up in Italy. Continue reading “Villa Garzoni once more”

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Respect your Elders: Two Ideas for How.

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It’s just about the middle of the elderflower season here. Since any blossom is only out for a short time, the differences in timing across the country is quite stark. For example at the weekend we took a wander up the hill (these are Swiss hills, you understand, not little English mounds,) to a village that is 530 ft higher than the city, and their lilac was still in full bloom, whereas ours was more than a month ago. And my boyfriend’s parents had the peak of their elderflower season a good few weeks ago, and their village is a good 700 or so feet closer to sea level than I am.

But I digress. Every year, I see the flowers on the elder trees and bushes and I think “oh I must make some elderflower cordial / champagne / gin / vodka.” I love foraging, the idea of making scrumptious things from natural ingredients Continue reading “Respect your Elders: Two Ideas for How.”

A Weekend Walk and Wildflowers

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Since the sky is distributing rain like it’s going out of fashion, here’s a reminder for myself that good weather does occur sometimes. At the weekend we took a tram up to a village a couple of miles away and walked back. In something that looked like a war memorial garden (but obviously wasn’t) we took some pictures of my china-blue top. I’ll put them up in a few days. Continue reading “A Weekend Walk and Wildflowers”

Middle Spring

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Welcome back to the blog after my unofficial Easter break. There’s been a massive leap in the progression of spring in the 10 days that I was away. The leaves are no longer pretending that they’re just peering blearily out of the buds, and the blossom is prolific. Continue reading “Middle Spring”

My mother always said (1)

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She always said that I shouldn’t knit with 100% natural fibres, and showed me, as proof, a few of her woollen cardis that had been partially devoured by moths. She suggested using wools containing a small percentage of man-made fibre.

But moths always seemed like a problem for someone else, moth balls make me think of old ladies’ wardrobes full of fur coats and woollen shawls, not for the likes of me. Continue reading “My mother always said (1)”