A Dream of Green…

Green living in gentle stages…

National Libraries Day February 10, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — pennyswan @ 3:21 pm

This week at GCH we joined in the Guinness World Record attempt for the largest number of people writing a story http://www.nationallibrariesday.org.uk/2013/02/school-librarians-to-set-a-new-world-record-to-celebrate-national-libraries-day/

45 of the students came and wrote over break and lunchtime, and 6th form prefects, the Pupil Librarians, the debating coach and a school govenor came to be observers and stewards.

There was such a lovely atmosphere in the Library.  It was very busy (and not exactly quiet), what with a rainy lunchtime, paired readers coming to change books and people writing stories, but there was a great feeling of purpose, excitement and concentration. 

Yes, concentration!  Even though there were a lot of people there, and despite the loudish murmur, there was a still centre of determined attention: the yr7 girls reading to their 6th former ‘paired reader’; the excited story writers; the everyday library users – they were all using the Library like billy-oh, and long may it continue.

Silence is great in the Library – when everyone is reading in an English Library lesson for example, or studying in the Upper School – but sometimes a little noise is better.  I’d rather a hectic lunchtime like last Wednesday’s, than an empty Library.  Sometimes, as The Doctor can attest, silence is deadly.


House plant fertiliser February 10, 2010

Filed under: Garden — pennyswan @ 4:24 pm

A cheap pick-me-up – when you rinse your milk bottles, pour the water on your houseplants instead of down the drain.


Time to buy seed… January 26, 2010

Filed under: Garden — pennyswan @ 7:13 pm

A friend and gardening buddy has just directed me to this wonderful seed site – http://www.realseeds.co.uk/herbs.html

I can’t wait to get going on the plan!


Spring planning January 14, 2010

Filed under: Garden — pennyswan @ 1:32 pm

Looking longingly at seed catalogues.  I always find that the thought of the work I’ll have to do to clear the scrub before planting is rather off-putting.  However, I have the promise of a w/e working party with a chain saw…

I need:

  • More hedging to fill in the front hedge (something with berries)
  • Vegetables that the family will eat – potatoes; onions; garlic; leeks; brocolli (with netting); runner/french beans; chard; courgettes; Jerusalem artichokes (for me!); raspberries.
  • More ferns
  • More bird/butterfly attractors

Jobs to do include:

  • digging & composting veg patch (raised beds?)
  • hacking back laurels (chain saw)
  • clearing left side of garden
  • re-doing herb bed (new ground)
  • removing stupid ‘hedge to nowhere’ and reclaiming for veg patch – potatoes to start with
  • re-glazing lean-to

And lots of others.  I need a full-time garden aide.  Any offers?


Winter soup

Filed under: recipes — pennyswan @ 1:19 pm

Soup has always been my favuorite food, and I’ve just made a good one I found in Morrison’s magazine.

good handful pearl barley; 1 onion; 2 cloves garlic; 3 carrots; thyme; 3 pints veg/chicken stock; leftover meat from a chicken (the bits you pull from the carcasse before you make stock) 

Soak the barley overnight.  Soften the onion, garlic and carrots in a little oil.  Add barley, thyme and stock and simmer 30 mins.  After 20 mins add chicken.

Delicious!  Even the children liked it, and they’re often not keen on my soups which is a shame as I make them often!


Resolutions January 4, 2010

Filed under: General — pennyswan @ 11:13 am

For 2010

  • get fitter
  • eat more greens
  • grow more greens
  • make some raised beds
  • get husband into the garden
  • pass my MSc!
  • get a job

For ‘sometime’

  • start keeping hens
  • start keeping bees
  • sell a lot more cakes

Happy New Year

Filed under: recipes — pennyswan @ 11:09 am

New year, new us – determined to eat more greens and generally be better people, just like everyone else.

Celeriac soup

Left-over roast veg from yesterday, half a celeriac, red chili (minus seeds), onion, pepper, homemade chicken stock.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dice veg, soften in olive oil.  Add stock and pepper.  Boil until tender.  Whiz with whizzy thing.  This has quite a kick!

Using the mouli legume would be better – less electricity (but more washing-up)