Sunday, 4 October 2015

David Starkey

Well, haven't we been blessed weather-wise this week? Everything always seems much more cheerful with a bit of sun and this week has been better than most of the summer. Long may it last, although listening to the forecast it's supposed to rain tomorrow!
On Tuesday, historian David Starkey came to our local theatre to promote his new book and give a talk about the Magna Carta. As E is a budding historian and has read quite a few of his other books, we went along. It was a bit of a rush, following hot on the heels of a parents' evening, but well worth it. After listening to him on Radio 4's Moral Maze, where he seemed to have been employed as a sort of professional 'Dr. Rude', I was a little apprehensive. In the flesh, however, he was polite, intelligent and funny and the  90 minutes flew by. As it was the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta this year, he was pondering on the wisdom of sending the Queen along to the commemoration ceremony. As he pointed out, it was the second biggest humiliation for the monarchy in British history and he wondered whether we would be sending her along to any commemoration of the execution of Charles I! Anyway, we thoroughly enjoyed it and E came away proudly clutching a signed copy of his book.
 Given the absence of Seville oranges in the shops at this time of year, and with R hankering for more marmalade, this week I thought I'd give this a go:
 It turned out to be quick, easy and rather nice. I think I'll still make the real thing in February but this will certainly do for the rest of the year - I didn't miss all that peeling and shredding one little bit!
Another make this week was Deliciously Ella's Sweet Potato Brownies. These had a bit of a mixed reception. I didn't mind them but the rest of the family weren't so keen. To be fair, I think part of the problem was the name - calling something a brownie raises expectations, and the 'sweet potato' in the name wasn't selling it to my lot either. Had they been called 'sticky date traybake' or something along those lines, I think they would have had a better reception.
  Other happies this week:
Still enjoying some colour in the garden:

 A dog walk with a friend:

 Our local Apple Day -  in terms of being an 'appley jamboree', it still didn't live up to our memories of Cambridge Apple Day in the Botanical Gardens but it was an improvement on last year:

Lighting the stove for the first time this autumn:
 Lastly, yesterday we rescued a few more hens from the British Hen Welfare Trust:
 I still can't understand how people are allowed to get away with treating them like this - I would have thought the RSPCA (or should that be the RSPB?) would be all over them. Poor little chucks.

 I'll leave you with the autumnal view from the bedroom window:

I have enjoyed our little Indian Summer - here's to more morning mists and sunny days. I'm just off to the Farmers' Market, so have fun this week whatever you have planned.
Toodle Pip for now. x


  1. Can't say I'm a huge fan of David Starkey, I have found myself shouting at him when he's been on Question Time. Funny how people are so different 'in the flesh'. I have a tin of the marmalade in the cupboard somewhere in case my home made went wrong. I think I will give it a go along with the brownies. I just won't tell my family what is in them. They enjoyed the kidney bean cake when they didn't know what it was made with :)

  2. Bless you for rescuing those hens, what a lovely life they will have now. I'm famed for sneaking vegetables into cakes, but I never, ever own up to it at the taste testing part. Glad you got to go to a nice apple day, I'd like to go to something like that. Wishing you a good week. CJ xx

  3. Good to catch up with what you have been up to. I am sure that the chickens will be very happy with you in their new home! xx

  4. Love sweet potatoes but not sure about them in a brownie! Have a good week. x

  5. I'm so glad you took home some hens. What a good thing to do. There are a surprising number of hen rescues where I live too. Your brownies remind me of a Weight Watchers recipe I tried a few times, where you leave out the eggs and oil in a cake mix or brownie mix and use a can of pumpkin instead. They were pretty good, especially if you used a chocolate cake or brownies. I don't know David Starkey but I do enjoy reading about the Magna Carta so I will see if I can find that book. I hope you're having a good week so far.

  6. Oh, delighted to hear you have rescued more hens, poor little things. It's appalling to see how they have been treated. We get them in the rescue looking like that, they take a while to adjust to the good life. David's talk sounded really interesting, glad E got herself a signed copy of the book.
    Your marmalade looks fab, and so much easier to prepare!
    I love your pink rose, David Austin?xxx

  7. You were right to enjoy the lovely weather from last week as this week has been so very different. Your marmalade looks lovely and saves all that frustrating peeling and chopping but I know what you meanwhile you say you prefer the 'real' thing. Well done for rescuing those poor hens, I am sure they will soon prosper under your care. xx

  8. I love the post! Have a wonderful weekend:)

  9. I hope the hens are doing better. Sweet Potato brownies? Hmm... not sure either. I love sweet potato but not as dessert :(