Wednesday, 28 August 2013

On the beach.

   I was on the beach in Donegal again last week.











Sunday, 25 August 2013

Sweet Cucumber Pickle.

My brother-in-law gave me some home - grown cucumbers.
I love making pickle but my husband can't stand the smell of it cooking.
This time he set up the camping stove and sent me out to the shed.
Funny he says the kitchen is all mine - so how come I'm not allowed to cook in it?!

This is a Katie Stewart recipe for sweet cucumber pickle:

2 medium onions             Fills 3 x 300 ml (1/2 pint) jars
2 large cucumbers
50g sea salt
350ml cider vinegar
350g granulated sugar
1 level tsp ground turmeric
1 level tbsp yellow mustard seed
2 level tsp celery seed or dill seed

The day before you plan to make the pickle, peel and slice the onions. Wash the cucumbers but do not peel them, slice thinly and place in a bowl with the onions and the salt.
Mix together and leave to stand for 24 hours. Pour away the salty liquid that accumulates. Rinse the vegetables in a colander under running cold water and drain very thoroughly.
Put the vinegar, sugar and spices in a large pan then take yourself off to the shed.  
Stir over a low heat to dissolve the sugar.

Add the cucumber and onion mixture and bring to a simmer.

Cook gently for 2 minutes then remove from the heat.
You can even relax in a garden chair while it's cooking!

I moved to the utility room for the bottling.
With a perforated spoon, scoop the vegetables and spices into jars, leaving the syrup in the pan.
Return syrup to the heat and boil for 5 minutes to concentrate flavour.
Pour hot syrup over vegetables - there should be sufficient to cover. Seal with lids while hot.

Good straightaway, but will keep for up to a year.

The smell of the pickle cooking was quite overpowering, so this time I think maybe my husband was right to send me out to the shed. Not sure about Health and Safety though!

Monday, 19 August 2013

Lady Dixon Park again...

Yesterday I was back at one of my favourite parks again. In the walled garden there are four circular beds planted with wild flowers. They are gorgeous.

I was mesmerized.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Festival of Flight, 2013.

Newcastle, County Down, last Saturday. Messing around with my new Fujifilm X20 camera and trying out its features. Still don't understand the half of it. How do you get interesting shots of aircraft when you're miles away from them and without a suitable lens? My husband says I'm more of a street photographer. Leave the aircraft to him!
The crowds gathered.

There was street entertainment while we waited.

Waiting required patience. The children amused themselves by throwing rocks in the water and             sailing their toy boats. Others looked on.

The rescue helicopter began the show.

There were other aircraft too but I left that photography to the expert.

Out of nowhere the Red Arrows appeared and soared high into the sky.
They swished ...
... swooped and swirled ... and then they were gone. As fast as that.
They painted the sky red white and blue.

The clouds were angry after that.

Thursday, 8 August 2013


Back in the Spring I was blogging about Donegal. Last week I was back for a few days looking after my two grandson's again.
This is outside The Guildhall in Derry. Look at that black cloud.

It wasn't long before one of them was wet! Then we all got rained on.

On to Donegal and this is the view from their house.

I'm soon off up the road for a walk.

I found only one orchid, I think it's a Marsh Orchid.

I like the skeleton leaves.

There was a festival in Muff.

Birds of prey. I thought they looked alike!


A Soap Box Derby. This was a canoe on wheels that turned upside down.

Then we had an extremely windy day just right for kite flying.

While all this was going on the neighbours chicken was sitting on two duck eggs.  They hatched while I was there!

I wonder what this wee duckling thinks of it all!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Rosebay Willowherb.

I've been watching and waiting to photograph this. On one of those hot summer days we've been having I went over the fields, close to where I live, to see if the rosebay willowherb was blooming.

Beautiful. Worth suffering the insect bites.