Saturday, July 3

Messiaen on Birds II / Synaesthesia in Art

I'm holding a workshop on Monday for my painters and the theme is " Synaesthesia". That is how we often see colour or line when we hear music and in the case of a few even experience different tastes. How extraordinary. This is Messiaen, who was the most wonderful French composer, and based so much of his works on bird song. Don'tcha just love it!

Wednesday, June 30

Syd's last cherry tree.

On a regular basis, Alan's late dad Sydney, bought and later discarded fruit trees! If they didn't come up to scratch within an appointed time, often merely a year, out they came and a new one was installed. And so it happened that as he was newly out of hospital after a heart attack, his concern was that the cherry tree was not doing as well as he wanted. Alan helped him to remove it and plant a new one. Sadly Syd died shortly after this and never got to see the beautiful harvest of cherries from the final tree. It is planted stoutly in the back field now near my greenhouse. Handy for popping out to snatch a cherry or two at the end of June!
I noticed some cherry brandy in the supermarket in Marbella last week while stocking up on goodies for the family. Thought , maybe I could have a go with the fruit from Syd's tree so here is my attempt.
I make damson gin and plum brandy each year from the fruit in the field and thought that it should be a fairly similar procedure. Time will tell!

I put a layer of cherries and a layer of sugar until all were used up.


Then poured in the bottle of brandy.

Gave it a good stir about.

And as they say Bob's your uncle although actually Syd was my father-in-law!

Tuesday, June 29

Story of Ballyferris Mr. M's Car.

Mr. M was our next door neighbour. He lived with Mrs. M and their daughter Margaret. I didn’t know for a long time that she was called Margaret as everyone knew her as Miss Peggy. In my “singy” moments I used to hum, "if her eyes are blue as skies that’s Peggy M.......". Of course any Irish person will know that it should be “Peggy O’Neill”, but mere facts like that have never stopped me changing things to suit the occasion. Perhaps another reason to doubt my story, but that would be a shame as you would miss the whole magic of what I am telling you. Mr. M’s car was like something out of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It was large and square cut with massive running boards, shining silver headlights and a wonderfully loud claxon horn. Now although the Ms were exceedingly posh for St. J’s,  they were also very kind. So the five Macs got to drive to the caravan in this amazing car for the first few years that we holidayed in it. The caravan ,of course, had already been hauled there for us by other means, and thus it was that we set off for our first great adventure.

Mega preparations had to be made before setting off. There was always a cooked chicken in a tin pan with a bobbley lid , you know the kind that I mean. All weathers were provided for, though I could never understand why, as I shed shoes and all heavy garments as soon as we arrived at the caravan field. There were always two questions asked as dad started up the old car. “Mary , have you got the kitchen sink? And “ Mary , have you packed the grandfather clock?” The reply was always “Of course, Douglas.” And off we would go. Two children and a baby setting out on an adventure with mum, and dad at the wheel sounding the claxon horn at every impossible situation, while the eight year old screamed with delight.

Monday, June 28

A Mad, Mad Hatter's Party

The Mad Hatter's Parties that I have seen on the blogs that I follow are superb, and longing to be part of this wonderful world, planned in my head an amazing display of Warringtonian eccentricity. Ah me, the book took over and even the Rev. C. Dodson would have been amazed at the goings on that afternoon!

Over to the party.
Alice arrived, looking rather bemused. She was decked out in finest saharan robes with a neat little dutch titfer on her head. She appeared to be in one of her rather large moments, But that may only have been an illusion.
 The table was spread from end to end. Such strawberry coloured strawberries, such raspberry flovoured raspberry smoothie, such smart smarties it would have been difficult to find any where else than at that party that day.

The cup cakes cupped themselves lovingly into their snuggly holders, each one convinced that she was the most beautiful, as she siddled up to the glorious red spotted teapot.

Presiding at the top of the table was the beautiful enigmatic white queen , gently humming a sweet melody about mushrooms, while the dormouse tapped a rhythm along with her tuneless humming.

Sweet little dormouse ,kindly creature, inviting the pig to join the party and even if possible....the dance.

It was not often that pig was able to escape the arms of the cook, but she had lost the black pepper and in all the confusion he took his chance to come to the party.

The mad hatter had a table to herself as her table manners left somewhat be desired .
Such as drinking all the milk, much to the dormouse's distress.

and often  losing the plot all together.

The caterpillar seemed to be unsure about whether to stay or was it time to turn into a chrysalis. A lot of twisting and turning that was quite entertaining.

The white rabbit was not quite as white as he should have been as he said that he had recently been abroad, but the white queen graciously acknowledged him and made room for him at the table

She even invited one of her guards to sit and have a bite to eat. Which shocked the caterpillar so much, she almost jumped out of her skin, rather prematurely.

All settled down to enjoy the food.
The white queen was especially fond of the fine white cucumber triangles. Mmmmm...mmmm.

Alice still appeared to be rather confused about the whole proceedings, but managed to address the party wearing a rather smart greek hat, which gave her the confidence to cope with the size that she had become.

And through it all the cheshire cat sat and grinned as so he should as he was very much in cheshire where he belonged.