Slow and steady

Moving slowly through the UK countryside



A response to this photo challenge

I enjoyed this photo challenge.  OK, so one of them isn’t a light, but its shape makes it look as though it ought to be. Doesn’t that make a lovely lampshade? I like the mysterious atmosphere of the blue Christmas lights.

The last two pictures have nothing to do with light sources, they’re just ones I wanted to share.

Japanese Maple leaves

Japanese Maple leaves


Clematis seed head – that reminded me of a spider

And finally, today I reached 50,000 words written in November for NaNoWriMo – tada!



I haven’t written a novel though, as I really had no ideas for characters or plot, so I ‘rebelled’ and just wrote whatever was in my head. It was surprisingly easy (and satisfying) to write that much rubbish – but I certainly won’t be publishing any of it. 🙂 Maybe next year…



Red-gold glow

Two people at work asked me whether I was still running today, and one of them had run for 16 minutes yesterday.  I did run for five minutes on Sunday, which really isn’t much, but at least I knew I hadn’t lost the running action completely.  As I was about to leave work, I couldn’t resist taking some phone-photos of the autumn colours in the evening sun.  I realised it would be dark by the time I got home, so I stopped off at a park and got my legs moving.

Autumn leaves

Glowing autumn leaves

I kept going for 17 minutes, in three chunks. Apart from ear-ache from the cold, it was good, and I enjoyed this sunset view too.

Sunset silhouettes

Sunset silhouettes


Rainbow of fungi

A colourful day – saw a rainbow again, on the way to work. Bizarrely, it wasn’t actually raining when I saw it, though it had started to rain by the time I’d got the camera out.



Then I went out for a fungus walk at lunchtime (as you do) and saw some very brightly-coloured beauties.  I just cannot resist vivid fungi.  The ‘Blue Roundheads’ don’t quite live up to their name – ‘Yellowish-greenish Slimy Flatheads’ would be closer to the mark, but they were strikingly gloopy.  The Shaggy Ink-caps aren’t colourful, but they do have a great texture when fresh, and when they go over, they deliquesce into black slime that I think used to be used as ink.  I rather like the alternative name of Lawyer’s Wig too.

Edited: I hadn’t identified the red one correctly – it is probably another ‘Roundhead’ – the Redlead Roundhead, Leratiomyces ceres. So three of the new fungi I found this week were Roundheads, as I’d also found a yellow Garland Roundhead, but didn’t have a good photo. Last year I found some Cavaliers growing on the ‘green roof’ of our garage, which all goes rather well with being near the site of the first battle in the English Civil War.



Inspired by Red Hen’s blog about flapjacks, I went off and took a photo of my rather ancient recipe book.  I bought it in a jumble sale (probably when I was running the White Elephant stall as a Guide – I loved haggling with old ladies – who were probably no older than I am now).  The binding round the edge had worn out, so I made some string by twisting a long loop of thread and then folding it back on itself, and rebound the cover.

Recipe book cover

My recipe book cover. I bought it at a jumble sale in September 1972 (when I was 13).   Isn’t it gorgeous?

Inside this slip-cover is a book to write your own recipes in. Sadly, it didn’t have any written in by the previous owner, but she had signed and dated it.  So it goes back a bit – but probably not contemporary with the lady’s clothes.

Signature of original recipe book owner

The signature of the original owner of my recipe book.

I crossed her name out and wrote mine in instead. The satisfaction of ownership. Then I started copying in recipes that I liked. The second one was for flapjacks, and here it is, from forty years ago.

Flapjack recipe

Flapjack recipe in my 13-year-old handwriting.

As you can see, I decided that the baking powder didn’t add much, and I no longer bother with it.  We only had a gas cooker then, but I copied in the Farenheit temperature. Years later, I had to convert it to Celsius (which we then called Centigrade).

I have no idea where I copied the recipe from. After a few years, I started recording the date when I’d added each recipe, and the source, as I became more aware that was the right sort of thing to do. 🙂

One of the later recipes, from when my girls were young, is for ‘Blue Peter Pumpkin Soup’.  (Blue Peter being a children’s tv programme.)  That one has become a family tradition around Hallowe’en, and very good it is too.


Sound advice on blogging

Lots of very sane thoughts about blogging over here on The Jittery Goat blog.
Normally I’d just add my comments in the comment section of someone else’s blog, but as he suggested putting comments on one’s own blog and making a link…  Here I go.  🙂

I don’t feel too bad about it, as I’m one of the regular readers that reads most of his articles, as I get them sent to my email inbox.  Well, OK, I admit that I don’t tend to read the ones about American sport, as I don’t even follow much UK sport, but I do really enjoy the stories.


Blue cockerel and gluten-free pizza

On Monday, I had a trip to London, to the National Gallery, for a training day for school.  I enjoyed the museum –  we were looking at St Michael triumphs over the Devil for the Take One Picture project, but no photos from inside of course.

I loved Trafalgar Square in the sunshine.  It was a glorious day, and there were a variety of performance artists to distract the tourists, including a couple of ‘hovering’ human statues.  The tuba player had flames shooting out of the bell with every note (though my timing was wrong to catch it for the picture).

What do you think of the bright blue Hahn/Cock on the spare plinth?   According to Wikipedia, it is about “regeneration, awakening and strength”.  I just liked the colour against the sky, and its boldness.

The photos are not as sharp as I’d like, as I only had my phone on me, but I couldn’t resist doing the tourist bit.

For lunch, we went to Pizza Express, where I had my first pizza since finding out I was coeliac, just over a year ago.  It was gluten-free and really good – it didn’t taste noticeably different from an ordinary one, which was a very pleasant surprise, as most gluten-free bread is seriously disappointing.  I’ve just looked at their website, and they are clearly making an effort to keep the gluten-free hordes happy.  I’d definitely be happy to go again.  Recommended.  🙂



Tewkesbury Abbey

We visited Tewkesbury today, and I had a pleasant wander round the graveyard looking for fungi.   Someone had kicked a lot of them to pieces, which seemed rather a pity.  It did mean I could see the gills clearly though.

Apparently the abbey church survived Henry VIII’s dissolution because the townspeople bought it from the king, as they insisted it was their parish church.  It’s a wonderful Norman building, with the feel of a cathedral rather than a church.  I paid for a photography licence (only £2) and enjoyed wandering round looking at the architecture.  There are several interesting monuments, including a spooky cadaverous one, which includes ‘vermin’ eating the remains of the body.  Gruesome!