Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire Nature Diary, Monday, 19th July 2010


OUR NEIGHBOUR'S vine is now well established and its tendrils have twined around our Howgate Wonder double-cordon apple and no doubt, if left to their own devices, they'll soon latch onto the garden chair that stands just 8 inches beyond their reach. You're seeing this drawing about 30% smaller than its actual size; I went back to my A4 sketchbook and used my ArtPen with Noodler's brown ink instead of the fibre tips that I've been using recently. The watercolours in my A4 art bag are a different selection to those in the pocket-box in my regular art bag. I feel that it's good practice to use a different palette occasionally, although sticking to the same box means that even in poor light I can be fairly confident which colours I'm choosing and what the resulting mix will be.

Elderflower Cordialelderflower cordialelderflowers and lemons

We used Lesley Wild's recipe for elderflower cordial from Betty's Cookery School's A Year of Family Recipes. Using 20 elderflowers from a bush overhanging Smithy Brook, plus some sugar and lemon, we produced five small bottles of cordial. The taste compares well with the Vale of Belvoir organically grown variety which we normally buy. It seems a bit thicker and more syrupy so it needs a stir when you add the water.