Sunday, 31 July 2011

Sunday Pictures, with bonus soup

Posted by Tania Kindersley.


31 July 1

31 July 2

31 July 3

31 July 4

31 July 8

31 July 9

31 July 9-1

31 July 10

31 July 10-1

31 July 11

31 July 12

31 July 18

31 July 19

31 July 20

31 July 22.ORF

And here is the bonus soup, because we have not had a recipe for a bit:

I felt rather weak this evening, and wanted a quick, sustaining soup. I had some bags of watercress in the fridge, which were about to go over. So I made this cheatiest of cheating soups. It is so naughty that I hardly dare tell you. But it will make you feel strong as Popeye, and it is greener than emeralds.

Take a small leek. Slice finely. Peel three fat garlic cloves. Simmer in half a litre of water with a tablespoon of Marigold Bouillon powder for about ten minutes, or until soft. Add two bags of watercress. If you have any rocket, that is an excellent addition. Simmer for five more minutes. Put in a blender. Add a gloop of extra virgin olive oil, and, if you like a bit of heat, a pinch of dried chilli. Blitz until smooth. Check seasoning. THAT IS IT. Serious cooks will be fainting dead away. But I cannot tell you how delicious and health-giving it was.

I make a lot of green soups. This is possibly the most basic and naughty of the lot. But if you want something lovely in fifteen minutes straight, you can’t beat it.

Saturday, 30 July 2011


Posted by Tania Kindersley.

Today was:

Both nieces.


Dog and ball; ball and dog.


The final cutting of the astrantias.

A little afternoon rest.

Croque monsieur.

A pair of tiny robins, dancing on the lawn.

The song of the swallows.


I really cannot complain.



The astrantias are over, so I had to cut them back. I am hoping they might flower again, perhaps towards the end of August, but am not sure. They have given me so much pleasure this summer, and I salute them:

30 July 1

30 July 2

30 July 3

30 July 4

30 July 5

A little marjoram, nestling against the Scottish granite:

30 July 6

30 July 7

We haven’t had any of the magnificent violas for a while:

30 July 9

30 July 10

The new laurel:

30 July 11

The white marjoram:

30 July 12

The new tree hydrangea:

30 July 13

The evening light on the cotinus:

30 July 14

Delphinium, with the old cherry tree in the background:

30 July 15

New blue planting in the wild garden:

30 July 16

30 July 16-1

The view from the wild garden, back into the proper garden, or as proper as it gets:

30 July 16-2

The evening light on the trees and hill:

30 July 18

Sometimes I think the expression bright-eyed and bushy-tailed might have been invented for the Pigeon:

30 July 20

Look at her doing her sphinx impersonation:

30 July 21

And one more, just for the sheer beauty:

30 July 22

The hill:

30 July 24.ORF

Lovely comments yesterday; thank you. Have a glorious weekend.

Friday, 29 July 2011


Posted by Tania Kindersley.

I buy more plants. If in doubt, there must be the getting of plants. I get three cyclamen, a small cotinus shrub, so dark in colour it is like very ancient, venerable claret, three bright laurels, some rosemary, and some more lavender.

When I get back, I discover that the next Test has started, and England have suffered a catastrophic batting collapse. That’s not right, I think. I hardly dare listen to the end of Test Match Special, but then lovely Stuart Broad stages a tremendous rally, and saves England’s blushes. I find myself oddly excited by this. I did not quite expect that, as I entered the middle of middle age, I should turn into a cricket nut. I also never expected that I should find a game that goes on for five days, and quite often ends in a draw, so edge of the seat exciting.

The sun comes out, and I go outside to look at the evening light. The Older Niece comes past. I drag her into the garden to look at the cyclamen. She very kindly admires them.

‘And look at the blue planting,’ I say.

‘Yes,’ she says. ‘The blue planting.’

I fear I am becoming a garden bore, and that the family is being very, very polite about it.

Then the Brother roars up. He is wearing an interesting hat.

‘Come and look at the cyclamen,’ I say.

So then he too admires the cyclamen.

We stand in the yellow light, thick as honey, and talk about mortality.

‘I’m having a bit of trouble getting past the everybody dies thing,’ I say.

‘Oh yes,’ he says. ‘Well, that is a thing. It’s a bastard.’

We talk of concepts of the soul, fear of death, the Dalai Lama, and Plato. The usual stuff.

He gets back into the car.

‘Where are you going?’ I say. ‘In your special hat.’

‘To buy anchovies,’ he says.

The Pigeon gives him a big grin. He drives off. I think: yes, there are all the big questions about life and death, but there still must be anchovies.


Here is the astonishing Scottish light:

On the astrantias:

29 July 1

The amazing new cyclamen:

29 July 2

29 July 3

The faithful old salvia:

29 July 4

The new blue planting of the geraniums:

29 July 5

The view over my garden gate, to the south:

29 July 6

29 July 7

The Cotinus tree:

29 July 8

The blue and white bed, which now has a splash of vivid colour in it:

29 July 9

The lavender:

29 July 11

The trees:

29 July 12

29 July 14

Today’s hill:

29 July 18

And, saving the best for last, the smiling face of my Pigeon:

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29 July 20

Oh, oh, oh, that face.

I think: one cannot get too exercised about mortality when there is that face to gaze upon.


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