I’m a little late to 2023 on here. This was due to some technical issues which are now resolved.
Happy New Year! I hope it has started well for you. It hasn’t been the best kick off here, but things can only get better, as they say. I am excited about planning and making our new garden, and I’ve managed to get some painting practice done, as well as the first few magazine articles of the year, so that’s all positive.
I have imported some pots of narcissi and hyacinths into the kitchen to kid myself that spring is on the way. At the weekend, I began a few small gardening jobs. I’m still collecting my plants from my parents’ garden and bringing them back into our little plot as it emerges from the building rubble. I repotted a glorious white honeysuckle which was just treading water last year in its temporary home. This year, I hope it is going to colonise a bare shed wall and burst into flower. I had a move around of some of my other pots, bringing the budding crocus and newly emerged Iris reticulata to the fore, so I can see them from the kitchen windows. I placed one of my favourite winter shrubs, Sarcocca confusa by the front door and I can smell its honey scent when I come and go. These are lovely evergreens, with tiny spidery white flowers which are just full of fragrance.
Inside, I’ve been making marmalade. This was my first batch, and I spotted Sevile oranges for sale last week, so there’s more to come. My neighbour has given me a huge bag full of empty jam jars, so now there is no excuse.
Using up the flavours of Christmas, I found a recipe for Cranberry and Orange cake on the Waitrose website, and this is a brilliant recipe which I can highly recommend. It took care of a box of fresh cranberries which were lurking in the freezer, and a couple of wrinkly oranges. The pink icing is coloured using strained cranberry juice to get this incredible pink.
I’ve had time to practice with my oil paints. These two paintings on scraps of cardboard have been submitted to an exhibition in Peterborough Cathedral. The theme is Made in 2022, so I went with the theme of austerity and making the most of foraged flowers and recycled containers.
Finally, I’ve decided 2023 is the year when I am going to have one more try at writing a novel. It’ll have to be done around my day job, but I have had an idea which just won’t go away, so I am going to see where it leads. It came about when I was going through piles of old family photos with my dad. I came across a relative with a rather amazing horticultural story, so I’m going to delve further.
Sending best wishes to anyone who chances upon my blog and drops in for a read!