Friday, 29 August 2014

Autumn bliss

It feels like autumn has come early this year – we had such a good spring after a mild and wet winter that it was not only the garden with its fruit and veg that got going. The wild harvest is also gearing up to be just as good. Berries and fruit for jamming, brewing and pickling with still enough for the wildlife.

I haven’t been shrooming, officially, yet this season, but that is just about to start. I have heard that all manner of wonderful specimens have already been found locally, which sort of makes me twitchy – In a “I need to get out now” sort of a way!

It’s also this time of year, well ordinarily in a few weeks, that I really get into Barbus barbus and I don’t just mean the delightful beer of the same name. The scent of autumn is a time that I associate with one of my favourite river fish species. Usually when it’s conker collecting time, not so soon after the August Bank Holiday.

I tend to start lighting the Kelly Kettle more at this time of year and it becomes even more of a companion on field trips and fishing jaunts. There were a few lovely old battered and much loved kettles being used at last weekend’s Stock Gaylard Oak Fair. I’m still on a bit of a high after this year’s 10th Anniversary event. It was so enjoyable. All things associated with wood – bodgers, coppicers, charcoal burners, shepherd hut makers, peg makers, brush makers, wood fire camping gear, boats, whittling knife makers – you know the sort of stuff. I’ll try and post a few more pictures of the event in the coming days.

 One of the highlights was our lunch! Salt marsh lamb tagine with a couscous and bulger wheat salad and various accompaniments – absolutely amazing and probably the finest show food I have ever had. Cooked by the Thoroughly Wild Meat Company and washed down with a pint of Piddle ale – doesn’t get much better than that.

Finest purchase of the day has to be this wonderful new wallet hand made in the Purbecks by Embla Leather / Wood – I can’t begin to tell you how splendid it is. I wanted it as soon as I held it. I’ve never really used a wallet before but I cannot imagine one being as good as this. Not only in looks, but the way it feels and sits in the pocket. The time, effort and skill that Fiona de Wert put in to making it is something I can only marvel at. Handmade items such as this are the things to treasure as they have been created by such clever crafts people and have such a story to accompany them.   

Tent of the day had to go to the rather splendid one belonging to ORD Knives – I was lucky enough to treat myself, last year, to the most wonderful Yew handled knife from ORD Knives. I absolutely love a good knife, not in a macho posturing sort of a way, but in an appreciative way. I have them for all sorts of uses and at the moment cannot find a specific use for my Yew handled knife other than fondling it, admiring it and doing the odd bit of whittling with it. Early days yet and it will become an heirloom.


The Two Terriers said...

That's a fab knife Dickie, how much was that? I love knives for the same reason, and old shotguns too. Any chance of a picture of your short haired Border with the long haired mate. I'm starting the drawings next week when the grandchildren have gone. Well after 48 hours sleep that is. Dog walking calls on a lovely sunny morning.

All the best, John

Dickie Straker said...

It is indeed John - it was very reasonable!! Keep an eye out tomorrow for a pic. Warming up here, looks like a second bite of summer when we thought all was lost. TTFN, Dickie