Sunday, 29 June 2008

A word or two

This blog started out with no pretensions of being anything other than a place to put up some pictures of my favourite things. The 'theme' if you like, was I guess, outdoor/rural/country. I'm not religious about it and of course the odd (sometimes very odd) thought occurs and I put something out there. I admire people who have taken blogging to another level - I always thought blogging was the preserve of pseudo-political gobshites, people with no real talent but an overpowering need to see their often glib observations in 'print'. They are still there of course, if you look hard enough.

A few days ago, I came across a writer with a different edge. He's using blogs to compile news stories linked to and intertwined with his thoughts on rural issues, and he wrote the book I've just finished reading - see the new link to the right. Do check him out - the book was a real find.

Meanwhile Ian's writing has inspired me to look a bit harder at the state of our countryside. Whilst TV chefs lobby greedy supermarkets and the Sunday supps bang on about my carbon shoe size, farmers just try to keep going.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Biscotti Totty or Hobnob Heaven

When I was little, my parents said my middle name should be 'Biscuit Tin'. We always had a tin of biscuits on the go in our house (for what is a cup of tea without a biscuit, huh?) But I wasn't allowed to hog the tin otherwise, well, of course, I'd eat them all.

Nowadays, I have more restraint...ok, so maybe just 5 or 6 at a time. I don't really have all that sweet a tooth but come on, when there's an open pack of Malted Milk on the go, or a loose wrapper on some Rich Teas, or perhaps you dropped a packet of Custard Creams so you ought to open it and just check the damage...oh the temptation is too much.

The biscotti pictured above were a holiday favourite; they came in a great big sack which of course meant they needed to be finished off quite quickly...well, there are fewer worse culinary mishaps than stale biscuits, am I right?

For those of you similarly affected by God's own snack, I highly recommend you check out this little worshipful site, dedicated to our love of biscuits I seriously laughed out loud on a number of occasions. Don't forget to take their very important Business Meeting Biscuits poll.

So, what's your favourite biscuit?

Thursday, 19 June 2008


"Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction . . ."

Antoine de Saint'Exupery

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

4 Years Young

Happy Birthday little dudes.

Digging the Dirt

Post holiday and time to take stock of a few jobs at home. The 'tree' in the back garden needed thinning out and so out came the loppers. You can see from this picture a distinct lack of colour, all growth being confined to shrubs as yet, untasted by you-know-who. If you read this last year, you'll appreciate gardening chez Cocker is a bit testing to say the least.

As if to prove my point, whilst I was busy creating my own pile of branches, the boys thought they'd try their paws at a little gardening of their own ...

They really put their backs into it ...

Thankfully, there's life in the front garden and, although the veg patch didn't work out (too many slugs, too little diligence), June is busting out all over (well almost).

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Olive Blossom

I've never seen anything so delicate.

Monday, 9 June 2008

A Game of Cat & Salamander

Obviously, not something you see everyday, at least not at home and so, keeping veeeerrrry still, and almost standing on my head, whilst not breathing, I got these shots of two salamanders soaking up the late afternoon sun. Two? Come on, if you look really hard ...

..there you go.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Rush Hour

The clock struck 9am in the Piazza known locally as 'The Living Room', and as you can see, it was pandemonium Pugliese style. For us little ole tourists it was just about time to sit down outside the cafe and contemplate the day's activities with a capuccino & cornetto. For the uninitiated, a proper capuccino is much smaller than the bucket sized offerings you get in coffee shops at home (I won't insult the Italians by even naming the offending outlets) and a cornetto is the croissant equivalent.
The activity plan, such as it was, revolved mainly around where, when & what to eat. My Italian is pretty near non-existant but the little I have picked up over the years, enables me to translate menus pretty well. Plus if you spend time eavesdropping on Italian conversations, you'll find they spend an awful lot of time planning where, when & what to eat. So, we fit right in!
Anyway, I'm still coming down from my holiday high; apologies if it takes a while. And God bless the internet for bringing me the cheesey sounds of RadioNorba that accompanied us through that week. If you have a low-cheese-high-octane-prattling threshold, get a load of this. Arrivederci!

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Q. Who lives in a house like this?

A. We did, for one glorious week.

But first up, by now I should think you are all a little sick of the lettuce pic. Sorry for that but I have a couple of reeeeally good excuses. First up, Peggy (the camera) had a little spec o' dirt which wasn't moving, so we had to take her away and give her a bit of liposuction. Then it was the turn of the laptop (never thought of a name for her/him - although called it a few many times). Apparently some spywear came in and had a look around and decided not to leave. So, off we went to the geeky hospital (why do they take soooo long to tell me stuff I have noooo interest in?)

Anyhoo, then we went on holiday. It is impossible for me to put into words how great that was and so I'll let the pics speak for themselves. Besides, I don't want y'all knowing where I was in case you get any ideas about going there's a secret.

OK, the clues are there, as we go through the keyhole....