Sunday 12 October 2014

Celebrating harvest (again)

This morning was typically autumnal and foggy - perfect conditions to bejewel the cobwebs on this rusty garden art.

Laura and I probably looked rather odd clambering on the base of the sculpture to get the best camera angle. We'd gone to National Trust property, Dudmaston Hall for Orchard Day and as the Morris Men began to dance the sun broke through the mist. They were singing about a beautiful day so maybe the words of the song had a magical effect.

If you're not English this lot probably look rather eccentric but teams of Morris dancers are part and parcel of country life around here. Whenever I hear them I start jiggling about much to the embarrassment of my children. I overheard Laura whisper to Amelie that she'd better get used to the sound because she was likely to hear a lot of it if she spent much time with grandma and granddad!

I think this particular team came from Shrewsbury but lots of villages and towns around here have their own teams of dancers and musicians who travel to entertain at country festivals and events. It always looks as though they are having a whale of a time and is surely a more fun way of keeping fit than going to the gym. I am very tempted to sign up myself but I'd have to do something about those outfits!

This chap is explaining what the dance is all about before the men behind him start bashing those fiercesome looking staves against each other and the ground. All very dramatic. In the orchard, the stallholders had set up their wares and there were lots of tempting goodies to try and to buy. Most things were apple based of course. The freshly pressed juice from desert apples grown at Dudmaston was pure and delicious. We even had a turn at working the press.

There were wonderful baked goods from Swifts, the award winning artisan bakery from Ludlow. I bake my own bread but it's always good to taste varieties I've never attempted. The walnut and Stilton was particularly good. Note to self, must be more adventurous and stop repeating the same old recipe all the time. It shows a total lack of imagination!

Most of the apples had already been harvested for juicing but the medlars are still ripening on the tree.

The enormous Actinidias gleamed like glorious beacons in the sunshine. They flourish against the heat retaining brick walls that surround that area of the garden.

And here's evidence that someone else couldn't resist the beauty of leaves at this time of year either. I'd like to thank Marjolijn for generously allowing me to share her beautiful work. She was inspired after watching a recent DMTV video on watercolour techniques. Marjolijn tells me she painted this on holiday in Tuscany whilst enjoying a lovely glass of Chianti. I'm trying not to be too envious!

Thanks for dropping by - Love Linda


  1. Linda I have to say a big thank you for such a lovely post bringing back memories for me of my younger life in England! Yes, Morris dancers do seem rather peculiar to the un-initiated don't they?

  2. Thanks for taking the time to write Mystic Quilter! I'm really pleased you enjoyed todays post.

  3. What a beautiful post! The foliage is gorgeous and I have to find out what medlars are. They are odd looking! My Great Grandmother (Tansy) was in a town band in Warwickshire and she told me stories of playing in the band and the Morris dancers. A real trip down memory lane - thanks!

  4. The cobweb picture is fantastic and surely inspiration for a work of art?!! I never stopped to consider how strange Morris dancing must be to none British folk, but they must have their version too - and how wonderful to keep these heritages alive.
    I can't see medlars without thinking Midsommer muders. Humm - any bodies lurking about?

  5. Hi Jeannie - medlars are peculiar looking aren't they? I've never eaten them but they're fascinating so I'm tempted to buy a tree for our orchard. We planted quince a couple of years ago and we're looking forward to fruit hopefully next year!

  6. Hello Hilary
    The cobwebs were quite lovely and I'm sure they would have gone unnoticed but for the beads of water. Beautiful as they are they don't have so much appeal when they're inside the house do they? It's a very spidery time of year and our house seems to be their favourite place. It dates back to the 1700s and has plenty of dark nooks and crannies for them to lurk in.

  7. Please, please! I'm on my knees! Develope a recipe for walnut and Stilton bread, and share it with us. Oh, I have no idea what a medlar is. Looking that one up. I loved this post. Reminds me of visiting UK years ago.

  8. At this moment there is rain and thunder in Tuscany. But we were having a great time in Siena this morning. We bought a lot of ink, so we need time to try these new treasures. With a glass of chianti of course :). And I love all the English traditions. Love to read about it. Thanks for sharing.