Today is Ash Wednesday. After the feast of pancakes with fresh lemon juice and sugar (all you US readers who never have pancakes that way, do try it - they are so refreshing after maple syrup I promise you) now is the time abstemiousness, for the giving up of something you really like, for the period of Lent.
I am in no way a religious person, but old habits die hard and I can't help but wonder what I could give up from now until Easter. Friend M used to give up her favourite tipple of a little whisky before bedtime - don't know whether she still does. Me, I am still wondering - I shall probably give up eating cake. It is not good for me anyway. I am not all that keen on chocolate, so that is no good, but cake - well that is a different matter. Once forbidden I know my thoughts will dwell on the odd cream cake, doughnut, battenburg although I rarely eat them these days. If one believed all the food advice you read these days then all sweet things would be forbidden - bad for you.
Where did all these ideas come from? Being a child during the war I don't think we worried about anything we were given to eat - being country children we were never at all short of food but toast and dripping (with lots of salt on it) was never turned down and I am still here to prove that it didn't do me that much harm.
Its years since I had toast and dripping (or any dripping in fact) but I have to report that my mouth is watering at the thought.
I am still enjoying 'Notes from Walnut Tree Farm' by Roger Deakin. I have read it many times before but I never cease to find something new in it. He writes in February about looking for a piece of architrave in one of his sheds. He says 'half the tin roof has rusted through and caved in'. Instead of mending it (which would have meant he would have to cut down some brambles) he moved all his bits of architrave to the other end of the shed and let the roof fall in. Also the rabbits have made their homes in the earth floor. After searching through various bits of this and that he found that all the bits of architrave he had saved were too short for what he wanted. The farmer would sympathise - we have one or two sheds about the farm that fall into that category.
Much cooler today and only peeps at the sun now and again. The farmer is still working his way through that enormous, spreading holly hedge. (photo at top)