Wednesday 15 May 2024


Last Saturday my oldest grandchild was 16 years old.  The request for a Victoria Sponge Sandwich cake seemed a little modest for such an important birthday.  So I made it a triple decker, pulled out all the stops and gave it my best effort.

 No finesse, but it made my grandson's eye open wide with delight, and that was the aim.

On Tuesday, I paid another visit to Winston.  When I arrived there were nine puppies romping around their pen, wrestling with one another, dragging toys around and generally having a great time. 

Winston, next to the toy, this photograph makes him look larger than he is.

The tenth puppy had fallen asleep by the water bowl.  Young Winston came over to see me, had a bit of fun and then just keeled over with tiredness.  The remaining puppies continued to chew my fingers, clamber all over me and generally have a good time.  As the minutes ticked by, each one flopped over to sleep.  Full tummies and tiredness did their work.  Peace for half an hour.  Their mothers (the canine one, and the human) were delighted.  

I left them to it and came home to get working on the list of things I need to do before the puppy comes home.

Back to today.  I did a little housework, then walked into the village to have coffee with a friend.  

A retired farmer, R is a no nonsense, straightforward woman.  We have known each other for well over a decade now.  She worked her own farm in a neighbouring village, sheep mostly, with a few head of cattle.

Our friendship really began at the village hall, not long after she sold the farm and retired to this village.   This was back in the days when we used to have a  'TED' meeting once a month.  There would be some kind of activity - local history, cards,  craft talks...all pretty excruciating, apart from the local history,  but the people who gathered together were a nice bunch.  It was just some of the activities which were rather cringe-making.  

The virus put paid to all that.  When things got back to normal we changed to monthly coffee mornings, with cake, or soup and a roll.  It has proved popular and brought in some slightly younger faces.

This is R's Bill.  He was a feisty little dog who turned up as a stray, at R's farm, many years ago.  After a week in the dog pound, with no one interested in him, R took him home and he lived very happily with her until he became ill a couple of years ago.

R and I took a while to get around to discussing politics, probably around two years!  It would be true to say that it was a pleasant surprise to find that our views aligned.  It was good to see her today,  we both had a rant.  My blog is not a soap-box for my political/world views,  but there are times when I wish it were!  

In a little over two months it will be time for the annual village show.  I'm not sure what we will have ready, but we will do our best to enter some classes.  I must see if I can get my hands on a schedule and do some planning, jam, pickle, curd and cakes are fairly standard.  It would be good if there was a bread category, I could have some fun. 

I noticed today that the elderflowers have begun to flower in reasonable numbers, time for me to get making some elderflower cordial, perhaps even an elderflower and ginger one, for variety.  Elderflower champagne is easy and delicious but I do not want to risk having any glass bottles explode in the pantry, not with Winston around!

Finally, the drizzle has stopped, a good breeze is blowing the grass dry, so I hope to be able to get outside and do an hour of mowing before I decide that enough is enough for today.  It is May, lots of people like to do No-Mow-May, really not practical in this place, far too much lawn.  We always leave a large area to go wild through the summer, plus there is all of Owl Wood, which pretty much does its own thing until much later in the year.


  1. What fun you will have with a puppy! And what a gi-normously splendid cake.

    1. He was thrilled with the cake, Sue. It is just unfortunate that his GCSE's fall at the same time as his birthday, so it was a very low-key event. I don't think the puppy will be short of playmates!

  2. I would love to try a piece of that sponge. It is many years since I've had a taste sponge cake. I have tried to make them but they have not been light and airy.
    Dog Mum will be relieved when a few of those puppies are rehomed. What a job keeping all those pups fed. Wonderful photo.

    1. And happy birthday to your 16 year old!

    2. Those 16 years have flown by so quickly, Linda. Just as I make better bread when I make it with love, I find the same is true for sponge cakes - sounds crazy, but it works for me. I will send you a few slices next time. Winston's mum is wonderful. This is her first litter but she has been quite brilliant with them all. I think she will not be too sad to say goodbye to most of them though, they are demanding little tykes!

  3. Replies

    1. I am really happy to say that it made the boy very happy, Susan!

  4. I second all the acclaim for that lovely cake. And for a happy 16th birthday. I believe I remember this young man from his younger days, a blog or so ago.

    1. You will remember him from when he used to walk around Owl Wood with the hens, cats and a couple of dogs, Joanne. Harry, the boy who used to be so good at playing hide and seek in the wood that we often couldn't find him for ages, other times when he would dress up as a knight and fight dragons. You have witnessed much of his fun! Those were such special times.

  5. The cake is wonderful - well done:-) Grandchildren seem to grow up faster than one's own children, somehow.
    A roomful of puppies is a lovely sight and having a puppy in your own home is a joy.

    1. Hello jabblog, So true - both with the puppies and grandchildren. I am really looking forward to really getting to know Winston, he should be coming home with me in about 10 days...which happens to coincide with half-term. I imagine 'I' will be receiving far more visits than normal from Harry and Frankie.


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