29 October 2010


Weather close and sultry. I discovered a most carefully hidden robins nest today in a marshy spinney in Elmdon Park. I was stooping down to gather some cowslips when a robin fled out over my hand from under the roots of an Alder tree growing close beside me. It was quite a small tree, supported by four strong roots which held it up clear of the ground, forming an archway. In this cavity, right under the centre of the tree was placed the nest which contained five eggs. The crab apple trees and bushes are looking very beautiful now, covered with pink blossom and crimson buds.
Edith Holden, 7th of May 1906.

Ive been reading The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady. I bought it at the book fair simply for its sweet illustrations, but somehow Edith's rambles through the English country side have drawn me in.

One hundred and four years later, some things still remain unchanged. Thankfully. Last weekend I watched a Thrush tending her nest. Her home was not so well hidden, placed in a bush right by the house. She watched our comings and goings with alert bright eyes and all the while tended her young ones, bringing them food and keeping them warm and safe.

The apple tree is in bloom and a Korimako spent some time dining from its blossom.

21 October 2010

Still Spring

The thing with spring is that it lingers. On and on. It promises so much and then it makes you wait.

I am ready for summer. I'm longing for sunshine that carries on day after day. This relentless teasing is testing my patience, it really is. One days sunshine for two days grey.

I am trying to hold yesterday's sunshine in my mind.

Towards the end of the long, long path leading to the house a tree has erupted into bloom. Its laden branches stretch over the walkway. As I leave or return home, I walk gazing upwards through the clouds of pink feathery candyfloss. Beautiful.

Photos inspired by Kerri who cant walk past a tree with out stopping to marvel at its beauty.

07 October 2010

Fielder's Sponge

The Self Help Cookery Book, New and improved edition, (1939) is a treasure trove of recipes and household hints.

The copy I have is fragile, its pages loose, some covered in flour or cocoa. Between its worn pages someone once tucked a recipe, carefully written on a small scrap of paper. I found this little artifact and have given it a new lease of life in my art work.

I haven't tried the recipe, but let me know if you do! Here it is, copied exactly as it was written all those years ago.

Fielder's Sponge

3 Eggs, 2 1/2 oz cornflour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder,
4 Tablesp Sugar, 1 dessert Flour,
Beat whites of eggs till
stiff add yolks, add sugar
gradually, Beat till stiff
& sugar dissolved. Bake
8" sandwich tins
15 minutes

04 October 2010

Flowering Trees

Spring invades every branch and twig now. New shoots and blooms are everywhere and each day more tender yellow leaves unfurl on the giant Oak tree.

Nature's creativity is infectious and I cant help but be inspired.

An unidentified tree with flowers that look and smell like Kamahi,
but leaves that are smooth edged, not saw toothed.