Friday, February 23, 2018

jam and other things

I started this post in the middle of January - a month ago - when I was going to tell you about jam making - fig and ginger - using figs from our tree. It's an old tree but it still produces plenty of fruit. We didn't throw a net over it this year - just left the birds (mainly sweet little Waxeyes) to enjoy the figs - but we still ended up with more fruit than we could manage. So a batch of jam seemed like a good idea. I used this recipe. It's very gingery so I'd only put in the two tablespoons of ginger if you're fond of it.

And then we were on holiday in the Wairarapa:

 The view from the lighthouse at Cape Palliser (the southernmost point of the North Island)

the fishing village of Ngawi where the fishermen launch their boats using graders (instead of tractors)

Castlepoint and lighthouse.

We finished our holiday with an overnight stay on Kapiti Island - a predator-free bird sanctuary. If you're at all interested in New Zealand birdlife I'd recommend the overnight visit. On our last day - the most wonderful and unexpected thing -  a sighting of a small pod of orcas moving through the Rauoterangi channel between Kapiti and the mainland.

Reading: My sister life : the story of my sister's disappearance (1997) by Maria Flook. A disturbing but true story of the author's younger sister who in 1964 at the age of 14 ran away from home in suburban Delaware and fell into a life of prostitution and substance abuse. ****

I am, I am, I am : seventeen brushes with death by Maggie O'Farrell. A collection of essays about the author's own near-miss experiences with death. Powerful, moving. Possibly my favourite book of 2017.*****

Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre - winner of the Man Booker prize 2003. I'm re-reading this. Loved it the first time round - not so much this time as the element of surprise has gone - but still good. Texan teenager, Vernon Little, falsely accused of involvement in a school massacre, goes on the run. ****

Plant love : how to care for your houseplants by Alys Fowler. Comprehensive plant guide. *****

Watching: Breathe film based on true story of polio victim Robin Cavendish - and his feisty wife, Diana - and their efforts to help Robin live a good life ****

Ladybird - a coming-of-age comedy-drama written and directed by Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha, Mistress America, 20th Century Women) and starring Saoirse Ronan ****

Eating: Things from the garden - tomatoes, cucumbers, figs, passion fruit. It's been a bountiful summer. 😀

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