Thursday, 8 September 2011

Last knockings and a present for you

Organic September has arrived, and I am conducting a couple of giveaways in honour, which is a jolly thing - not that this September is a season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, being more distinguished by low and louring skies, and a definite chill in the drear air.

It seems to be a time of endings - the end of the summer that never was (I think there was one of those in the 18th century but I can't remember which year), the end of the holidays (Princess Bunchy has gone back to school), and in some ways the end of an era in my life for me, as both my big boys will be reappearing from the blue yonder where they have worked away the summer only to disappear back to university, leaving a little princess and her aged Ps.

The Little Stranger has been to her last puppy party before emerging into the world as a fully socialized member of the doggie world, or rather that was the idea. Princess Bunchy and the Head Chef took her to the earlier sessions, and apparently she was the life and soul of the party, a living advertisement for her breed.

Not today, though, when I had the honour of taking her.

Puppies should be getting the hang of house training by now, said the veterinary nurse, as the Little Stranger made a large deposit in the corner. There was a party game of find the biscuit - each puppy went up in turn. Little Stranger was not interested.

How are you getting on with the Lie Down, said the vet nurse, let's all take turns. Needless to say, the Little Stranger was not getting on with the Lie Down.

She is not herself, said the nurse, as the Little Stranger slid her rear end around the floor, and tried to chew her tail and scratch her behind. Worms or fleas, I thought, or possibly just utterly slack parenting. Perhaps she sat on a wasp, I offered weakly.

We will be invited back to a fancy dress Christmas puppy party. I am not sure that I want to go.

And the joys of the garden are coming to an end, too. The melons, after much careful nurture by the Head Chef, have been deemed a failure (not enough sun).

The tomatoes are slowing down, ripening only reluctantly. The aubergines are distinctly small, and the peppers stay defiantly green (not enough sun).

But the apples are crunchy, and sweet and juicy, straight from the tree; there are pears, too, and beans, and even half a dozen cobs of sweetcorn (not really enough sun for them).

And I have a wonderful book which appeals to the squirrel in me, A Green Guide to Traditional Country Foods, edited by Henrietta Green, divided into such mouthwatering sections as The Dairy, The Bakery, The Sweetshop, The Pantry (I will leave The Butcher's and The Smokehouse to the Head Chef).

It talks about sourcing good food, and finding the best traditional producers; you can go about making bread and cream cheese and butter (potted ham and chorizo for the Head Chef, focaccia and sourdough for me).

There are wonderful photographs and much about the philosophy of sourcing and producing the best things to eat - I think it is a book with which to curl up on the sofa next to the fire and dream of hams smoking in the inglenook, and making chocolate truffles and marshmallows as Christmas presents. In fact, I think this book would make an excellent Christmas present for foodies everywhere.

I am feeling the urge to spread a little happiness around the world, so I am going to give away a copy of this book to one of my lovely followers. This time I am going to pose a little task for you - not a difficult one at all.

Just tell me about a blog that you think I would like to read (preferably one that I don't know about, of course). Open to all, as ever - I will pick a winner in about a week, I think.

And do come back for my second Organic September giveaway on Monday - it might be of interest to those of you who feel in need of a holiday (which I certainly do, and am already pondering the unfamiliar concept).

PS The Little Stranger has shown no sign of indisposition since she has been back at home (possibly emptying the contents of the other end of her digestive system into the boot of the car solved it all).

Toodle pip!


Annie said...

So Little Stranger graduates just as term starts for everyone else ... that's kinda neat :)

Great giveaway. Do you know Karen's blog Lavender and Lovage? Oh, the divine food that comes from her kitchen!

And is it cheating to mention a couple more? Because I don't see either of my favourite Australian blogs in your blog list, Myrtle and Eunice and Foxs Lane ... both highly recommended :D

silverpebble said...

That book looks so up my street as to be living right next door.

I do hope that I have already done my giveaway homework - Mrs Thrifty Household is a dear friend and is a kindred spirit in all things pickly, vegetably and thrifty. I also recommend Myrtle and Eunice. Currently Tania is planning to yarnbomb a tree.

noknittedknickers said...

If you haven't come across it already, I think you might like Moogsmum ( Moog's mum has a 7 month old puppy, and also writes about family and crafty things. If you read nothing else, search out the post of 6 July. It's not for the faint-hearted, but I promise it will make your Little Stranger seems positively angelic... (Fab giveaway, thanks.) C.x

Mousy Brown said...

Tiny Happy is a true favourite of mine, I love her use of old textiles and her food and music posts are pretty good too! :D

Poppy Cottage said...

I think you@d love my friend Jenny's blog but I think you might have seen it. I have to say, the picture Jen paints of herself does not do her justice, she is incredible and NICE into the bargain. A rare find these days. She taught me to spin and in return I taught her to crochet.

Pipany said...

Ah the joys of puppy training! It did make me laugh a little, though I do feel for you - been there too in the past!

As for blogs, so many to choose from: Tabiboo, Welsh Hills Again (lovely mix of things and thoughts), The Quince Tree...should have checked whether these are on your list already really! x

Nel said...

I do like this blog

Always a happy cosy read. No pics which actually I find quite nice for a change.

Look at your lovely veg, makes ours look like slim pickings!

Peeriemoot said...

I'm taking a note of that book title - possible Christmas present for my foodie-ish sister-in-law!

My first thought is that I bet you'd enjoyed Flora & Purl - - it's one of my favourites anyway :-).

Denise said...

These are two I love among others (besides yours of course ;)

I'm from the US. Hope you are open to sending to us cause it looks like a fantastic book.

gill said...

Good to hear about the Little Stranger! Ours digs and my garden is beginning to resemble the Somme!
Plenty of fruit here but the apples in particular are rather small and my tomatoes are only just ripening and I assume the poor flavour this year is also down to lack of sun?
Have you discovered Vanessa at doyoumindifiknit(dot)typepad(dot)com?
A wonderful read!

Carol said...

So many wonderful blogs, so little time!
At 'Crochet with Raymond' you will find some wonderful knitting (especially socks!), spinning and crochet from Alice and you'll meet wonderful Raymond. (
I love the wonderful creations (papier mache, knitting, sewing etc) of artist and illustrator, Vanessa at http://doyoumindifiknit.typepad.comAlso pop in to see Lucy, she might be spinning, she might be crocheting, feeding the chickens or sharing a recipe.
Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Carol xx

driftwood said...

I totally agree the summer never was, my tomatoes will never ripen I fear.
have you visited Julia crosslands blog, she writes beautifully about creativity, and has lovely crochet patterns too.
thanks for visiting my blog, it's been lovely to find you

Katherine said...

Pomona, your writing always make me smile and chuckle. Your Little Stranger sounds like a handful. What a pup!

I think you would enjoy reading the blog of one of my dearest friends, Heather, over at

Anonymous said...

Ah, autumn. Season of harvests, back to school and... puppy graduation! Congrats to the Little Stranger. Do you ever read House of Humble? ( Lovely photos and my I wish could crochet like they do. Also recipes. Thanks for the giveaway, I would love to win the book! I have just tried making chutney for the first time, using sour green apples a colleague gave me from her garden. Great fun, if stinky.

Katy Cameron said...

The book sounds wonderful, thanks for the chance to win :o)

Now, have you met Jenna at

or Cindy at ?

millefeuilles said...

An inspiring giveaway, Pomona,

I too shall be cheating - I would call it enthusiasm and a desire to share with kindred spirits - by naming two blogs: is Claire's blog. She is an artist who, apart from showcasing her own beautiful work, does really inspiring posts on other artists' work. Every time I read one of her pieces I feel compelled to buy the book about the artist in question. She also blogs about nature, cakes, anything really and often with a quirky style.

My second is a French blog:

C├ęcile Franconie is a textile artist, whose third book will be available in October. Her posts are mostly pictures of her work with very little writing. I am constantly delighted by the things she creates and the speed with which she does so. She is very generous-natured too as she often communicates about others' work too.

Phew, that was longwinded. Suffice to say I would find as much to say about your blog were I recommending to somebody else!! ;-)


elizabethm said...

Ii am jumping with excitement here that pip any has mentioned my blog at welshhillsagain. How fabulous. I assume you have read pipanys lovely blog? If you have I would suggest fennie at corner cupboard, beautifully written, erudite, funny and unpredictable.

Little Blue Mouse said...

If you haven't already come across it before, I think you would really like John's blog at Going Gently.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Jane and Lance Hattatt's blog is wonderful and I had the opportunity to meet them in Hungary this summer.

taylorsoutback said...

Your Little Stranger just had an off day...we are all entitled to that :o) Poor little one...still a puppy though.

Our apples are getting close to being ready - soon applesauce time.

Have you visit Lemon Verbena Lady? She lives in Pennsylvania and posts frequently about herbs.
Enjoyed reading all your other comments and their suggestions - must pay those a visit!

Claire said...

Hey Pomona, despite the lack of Summery sun your garden has still managed to produce quite a bit and the apples sound delicious.

The joys of puppy pre school as we know it here. Had to giggle, good luck with it all..........

Your giveaway sounds wonderful and the blog I recommend is Tanya is living a slower and more meaningful lifestyle in Tasmania. Her down to earth and practical household tips come from personal experience with a nod to the past......

Now, I shall have to go and check out everyone elses tips as they all sound very interesting.

Claire :}

KC'sCourt! said...

This blog is a very enjoable read.
Julie xxxxxx

The Weaver of Grass said...

That just about sums up our garden this year too - not enough sun. The wind blew the heads off the sunflowers the other day and blew down the runner bean row, just as they were beginning to produce a good crop.

Catherine said...

How thoroughly annoying in the not enough sun department! Not quite ripe is not much use to anyone. I love the shape of those pears..slenderly elegant. Oh isn't that a delightful name for a blog..milkweed & teasel : ) I am so enjoying The summer porch. Stephanie lives in Canada & grows & uses & sells lots of herbs & flowers..delightful
Have a lovely week. No sign of wasps then ; ) x

Karen L R said...

Have you seen this wonderful gardening blog?

Thomas writes about his gardens in Massachusetts and has many fabulous links as well. It's one of the very first blogs I followed, and I still do.

Very cool giveaway, Pomona. xo

JCnNC said...

Thank you for such a great post and wonderful opportunity to win. I think you should visit This is such a beautiful blog and thanks again from Judy c in NC

Barbara said...

Sorry about the melons, especially having seen how hopeful the head chef was.

Eating apples look delicious. Weather certainly not on our side this summer (except for 'tree' fruit.) Our greenhouse tomatoes are still mostly green!

Hope new doggy is fit and well soon.

Serenata said...

Laughing at Little Stranger's antics...I wouldn't go back ;-)

Certainly is a time for changes both seasonal - not that we had a summer, and it feels like it has jumped straight into winter at the moment, grey, dull and wet! As well as changes within families as various members move in different directions. DS1 is applying for a cadetship, starting January, and DS2 is starting his first GCSE years, my how they grow.

I would love to enter your giveaway, it looks like a fabulous book, although your one on Monday sounds like it could well be intriguing and exciting! Now a blog you might like? Have you visited Catherine A fellow New Zealand who lives in the beautiful Hawkes Bay District. Beautiful music, lovely pictures and wonderful writing.

Jewel said...

I can't believe you are so disappointed in your crops! I would be unbelievably proud of all that beautiful fruit and veg! Then again I am a novice and not grown more than herbs lol!

I would love to enter the giveaway! Have you heard of 'a day with doris' 's blog!? She's lovely! x

Momichka said...

Your garden produce looks lovely, even though it may be slowing down this time of year. I'd love to try those pears... In Cambridge, MA all I can hope for in terms of pears are a few farmers markets here and there and the dreaded selection at Whole Foods.

Anyways, here's a local (MA local) foodie blog that you might like:

and for more sophisticated cooking, try

The book looks lovely, and whoever gets it, I hope they'll enjoy it.

Best Regards,


susan said...

I collect cook books. Love them. Read them for enjoyment. This one looks good. A blog recommendation? How about a foodie one -

Chiska said...

You might like wiener dog tricks.

She always makes me laugh and uses re-purposed materials to make everything.

QuilterLaura said...

How about OCD (obsessive crafting disorder)? It's a fun blog.

Isisjem said...

I'd recommend house on hill road blog. Gorgeous photos.

Michela said...

Pomona, please don't be disappointed by your melons! Despite our very hot, sunny and dry (rather desertic) Summer, we only had store-bought melons! ..well,plenty of tomatoes, we're surely not going to make chutney, LOL!
Have a lovely weekend x

Beth said...

As this is a food related subject, have you read Oh She Glows? Lovely recepies.

Beth said...

What a lovely giveaway. Thanks much for the chance.

I'd love to introduce you to a favorite blog: tollipop. Spending time with her is an absolute delight.

wordygirl at earthlink dot net

Anonymous said...

Looks like a great book! This is one of my favorite blogs:

Isobel said...

What a fab book. As a lover of cooking books, I would love to enter your giveaway, please? ;)

Irina said...

I could never have enough cook books...!

Nicky said...

Pomona I am going to have to wade through all these sites now and I was going to do some sewing today - naughty girl! Grin!

I'm sure you know all the ones I do!


Related Posts with Thumbnails