Gesalig Niw Gear! (Happy New Year!)

My dears, it is possible I may occasionally write a post. No promises, just a warning.

I am stepping into the unknown this year and would be pleased if you stepped with me.

Set your life on fire.
Seek those who fan your flames.

~ Rumi

Long story short, as they say:

2015 has been a difficult year, although nothing terrible, just draining. I started off dealing with my mother’s death shortly before Christmas, scattering her ashes in March. Work got frantic-er and frantic-er, I got irritabler and irritabler, and eventually I decided to resign. As a result I am now unemployed and we have enough saved up to keep us going until Easter so are both job hunting. So far we have had a couple of interviews each but no offers. Something will turn up in the end of course, but the waiting is horrible.

We did some wonderful things too: a couple of Anglo Saxon events, where I acted as a “scop” (pronounced “shope”) which is a bard,reading my translations of two children’s stories. We also went to Andalucia for our wedding anniversary, and had a couple of weekends away, in York, Lancaster and Woodbridge, along with day trips. I did lots of knitting, Old English translation (one of which is now an official version recognised by the publisher) and am busy with voluntary work too.

Anyway, to celebrate a New Year and New Life, I made Anglo Saxon food. Obviously. You can find the recipe for it here:

Anglo-Saxon-spiced honey & oat cakes



Here’s to 2016 my dears. May it be full of light and love and cake.




Eating to live

A restricted diet is not a pleasant thing.

I don’t think anyone would choose to eat one thing only; a definition of human-ness might include delighting in the experience of new things. We pity those who hide away from new sights, sounds, tastes, touches or smells. Art, music, haute cuisine, textiles, perfumes. Film, radio, kisses, caresses, roses.

So if I had to eat only one type of food I would hope it was something I don’t really care about. Because If I had to eat only a thing I enjoyed it would turn to ashes in my mouth after time and there would be no happy memories of that thing to sustain my soul. We eat because we must, We taste because we can. We savour because we are human.

That is all.

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The Comfort Cup

It depends…

Tea Cup Pot

Seriously, people have a single comfort food?

Comfort food on a hot day: mango kulfi

Comfort food on a cold day: minestrone soup

Comfort food when I have a sort throat: chocolate

Comfort food when I have been drenched in the rain: fried egg and mushroom sandwich

Comfort food when I fancy a snack: cheese and crackers

You see what I mean?

My family would soon tell you about me though. The secret would be out in no time. They respect no secrets as far as this is concerned. There is a weakness which I have failed to mention. I do like a nice cup of tea.

When I say I like tea, I suppose I might actually say that tea is my religion. I worship at the Saucer of Tea several times a day, from first thing in the morning until last thing at night. My beverage of choice sustains me through every difficulty, yea though I walk through the shadows, my teapot is there to comfort me and my cup runneth over.

Loose leaf tea, bagged tea (Yorkshire by choice, naturally), English Breakfast, Assam, Darjeeling (summer afternoons), chai, Imperial…

For the evenings, I prefer something decaffeinated, usually redbush, which is not tea at all but jolly nice anyway.

For an occasional change of scenery I enjoy white tea, green tea; hell, if they made it I’d drink rainbow tea.

The used leaves go on the compost or the roses. Cold tea is pretty useful for staining paper to make ancient pirate treasure maps or Magna Cartas. You can read the future with it. My daughter tells me used teabags are good for the eyes; I’m not sure if they help to improve the vision or just give you a fake tan on the eyelids, but I expect she knows best in such matters. Besides if a magazine says so it must be true.

Go with the stereotype. I’m English, sue me. All proper tea is theft!

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