It was such a perfect Autumn morning that I decided to take the dogs on The Road Walk instead of The Field Walk, with the added benefit that the road acts as a nail file thereby negating the need to get the dreaded nail clippers out (for the dogs, not me).
I use the word ‘road’ very loosely because, although they have been acquainted with tarmac at some point, the lanes between my village and the neighbouring ones rarely see a car. The total combined population of all three villages adds up to less than 400! In fact this morning we met neither vehicle nor human on a two and a half hour walk. Just the way I like it:)
I took a few snaps on my iPhone just to give you an idea.
After about a mile we took a footpath to Blackford (population 70). Look at that blue sky!
Back onto the lane and a pretty little corner in Maperton (population 100) caught my eye. I usually walk straight past but I thought I’d photograph it today to show you; the shady end of the cottage has been planted with vibrant orange flowers which smell heavenly as you drift by.
View from the top of the lane;
Back into my village, North Cheriton (population 208) and the way back takes us through a wooded lane….
…and past Wisteria cottage…..
…to a Blackthorn Tree! Look at those lovely sloes;
Folklore tells us not to pick the sloes until after the first frost and, as we had the first frost at the weekend, those spare dog poo bags that I always carry came in handy:)
This is my recipe for sloe gin;
Put 1lb sloes, pricked several times with a pin, into a clean jar.
Add 4oz sugar and a bottle of gin;
Shake well and put in a cool, dark place for at least two months. We store ours in the understairs cupboard.
It’s that simple.
Important things to note are: –
1. You need to shake the mixture every morning for about a week until the sugar has dissolved
2. To keep the colour a deep, dark maroon, cover with a tea-towel to stop any light getting in, otherwise it will fade to an insipid pink
My daughter gave me this lovely book of Cath Kidston stickers for Christmas one year so I used some to label the jars with a date.
Our first fire of the season was lit much to the dogs’ delight;
I pulled up an armchair and they curled up on the floor beside me whilst I did a spot of crocheting;
This one is for me….a chunky poncho in ‘berry red’;
I plan on putting a row of blue near the bottom for a bit of interest and I’m writing it up as I go so the poncho pattern will be on the blog when I’ve finished:)