this week

This week I’ve been …

spartan apple

Eating apples. This Spartan apple is one of my favourites – a real Snow White apple – that’s crisp and juicy.

soaking fruit for Christmas cake

Soaking fruit in a mixture of light sugar syrup and Sloe Gin in preparation for Christmas cake making. Topping up the Sloe Gin as it gets absorbed to make the fruit plump and luscious. Who wants a Christmas cake with hard little currants, gritty between their teeth? Not me.

punting on River Cam

Playing the tourist in Cambridge. Punting on the River Cam, wrapped up in a rug like an old granny. Walking across Parkers Piece before breakfast on a bright Sunday morning. Visiting museums and standing in awe at the majesty of King’s College Chapel. Wandering through ancient colleges and down narrow streets.

striped rhubarb jelly

Having a wobble about blogging. There are days when I feel that it’s all been done before and I have nothing new to add. I lack direction and inspiration. Doing is more important and fun than writing about it. Honestly, do you really care if I’ve been eating apples or sloshing gin into some dried fruit? Some of the blogs I read are shifting and changing too. Adverts fill the side bar and sponsored posts are written in praise of products that don’t interest me (or at least they might do if it wasn’t such a blatant product promotion). Other blogs have been abandoned, their writers departed to Instagram or Facebook, leaving words unwritten and the door banging in the wind.

When the power came back on, did I rush to my computer to catch up with my blog reading? There was a time when that may have been the case, but not this time. I checked the important blogs, but there were so many other unread posts that I deleted all the blog feeds that I didn’t care about and the list of “Blogs I Follow” in my Reader has been whittled down. So, now that the excess is gone, perhaps I’ll wobble less!

39 thoughts on “this week

  1. andreamynard says:

    I hope it’s just that delectable looking jelly that does the wobbling and you carry on blogging – I love reading about your gin sloshing! I do know what you mean though, sometimes I feel all the bloggimg activity does take up a lot of time that could be spent in the garden or foraging, or generally ‘doing’ and concentrating on the bits you’re actually bothered about definitely sounds a good idea.

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  2. nancy@jamjnr.com says:

    We all wobble a bit but even though I’m new here to your blog I’ve so enjoyed reading about life on your farm. A glass of sloe gin next to your computer will do the trick.

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  3. Jane says:

    Oh that is such a Snow White apple – the perfect description! I’ve been thinking about prepping for Christmas pud, too.
    Perhaps blogs have had their heyday, but just because they’re not the latest, coolest thing probably makes me more stubbornly determined to keep it up, ha! Sponsored posts and ads all over blogs – especially anything that moves or makes noise, ugh! – yes they put me off, too. I love reading here, for your photos and tales of a life so different to mine at the bottom of Australia. I still blog for the connection it gives me to far-flung, like-minded people, and also as a personal journal of my family, my sewing, my thoughts etc. Not as often as I once did, but when I look back over my posts, I’m glad that I do.

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    • Anne @ Life in Mud Spattered Boots says:

      Like you, I love the connection with far-flung, like-minded people and I love the conversations that spring up – not to mention the inspiration. I think if I didn’t blog that it would all be a bit one sided and then fizzle out, which makes me determined to carry on.

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  4. Glenda says:

    Hi Anne. The way I look at is: you are right, nothing is new, but who cares? It might be new to me or new to someone who is reading my blog and even if it is not, I still don’t care. Blogging takes up a lot of my time and I often wonder whether it is worth it. Because of it I rarely read a book or do cross stitching or watch TV. But because of it I am taking photos of my roses and noticing them, playing with Photoshop (which I love) recording what I am doing and meeting nice people. So there are pros and cons.
    I particularly hate blogs that have adds (It costs very little to get the adds off your blog) or gone commercial or selling something or flogging a sponsored product. I would rather read what a mum is making for her kids for dinner or see a picture of their pet in the kitchen or your lovely half eaten apple which, btw, is a variety I have never heard of (so I have learnt something today).

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    • Anne @ Life in Mud Spattered Boots says:

      You’re right Glenda, there are pros and cons but the pros outweigh the cons. Like you, I take loads more photos than before, so at least we can look back over the year at all the things that happened. There’s rarely a day when I don’t learn something from blogs, though some of the things I learn are a little random!

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  5. Gather and Graze says:

    Anne, I just wanted to say that I love seeing posts pop up from you. I don’t really care if it’s new or old… I just enjoy the seasonal beauty that shines through with all that you create and do from your home in the UK. As a reader, I will never tire of that. Quite possibly, after a few years of doing this, I might feel the same way as you, as it certainly takes up more time than many would imagine. Just please don’t stop because you think no-one is interested! Margot
    PS. Gorgeous photo of the river Cam!

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  6. sally says:

    I am with gather and graze, I love reading about the way the seasons dictate your work and the lifestyle you have chosen. I also love that you do things that are traditional and that you blog and tell us about it. cheers sally

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  7. liz says:

    Hey Jelly Queen – don’t stop blogging – its the only way I know what you are up to! love from your sister in Sydney x

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  8. Jenny says:

    I’m fairly new to this blogging thing and so many times I’ve almost stopped for exactly those reasons – why should I add my noise to the masses of people. There are lots of blogs that I start following and quickly stop again – theres nothing like a backlog of blogs to read to show me which ones I really enjoy. Then I come across lovely posts from people such as yourself, which are real and gentle, a story of normal life and I think that maybe its good after all, and I hope that with a bit more time I can hit the same tone with my blog.

    (Sloe gin on your christmas cake fruit sounds like a great idea)

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    • Anne @ Life in Mud Spattered Boots says:

      It’s easy to forget that normal can be interesting. Of course, what’s normal for one is exciting or exotic for another, which is why I enjoy reading such a variety of blogs. I used Sloe Gin the first time because we always have that in the house, but rarely have brandy. Luckily it seems to work well.

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  9. Mrs Thomasina Tittlemouse says:

    I think there’s a recurring issue here that most bloggers encounter and it’s not easy to get the balancing act right between doing and writing sometimes. I also think there is a limit to the number of blogs one can interact with actively without spending all one’s time on it. Having said that, I love the inspiration I’ve got from reading blogs and the way many offer accessible ideas and invitations to experiment with all sorts of stuff and hope that in a small way I can contribute the odd mite or two myself. And as an unexpected dimension I’ve found where blogging has moved off the screen and into real time, reading a person’s blog has provided an unexpectedly genuine way really to get to know people. Of course we all filter what we blog about to some extent but nevertheless people often share of their real selves and it’s lovely to know what one’s friends are up to! (as your sister points out) I love your posts and regard you as my go-to authority on things culinary and country so don’t underestimate your influence either! Talking of which, do you heat the dried fruit in the sloe gin at all? Or do you simply leave it to soak cold? I find the boil and bak method makes for better absorption and juicier fruit but perhaps I simply haven’t left it long enough. I’ll be back to get your definitive advice on this as Christmas-cake-making is on the agenda for this weekend! E xx

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  10. Pat Machin says:

    Lovely post, Anne. I bought Spartan apples last week ~ we’ve got to make the best of the season and are eating a lot of apples at the moment.

    I think your *wobbly* moment is more common than you might realise. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I am supposed to be writing as a hobby and, if I can share some things, that it good. It has also given me many *virtual* friends, some of whom I have now met in real life. That can only be good because I do think that, as we get older, friendships don’t come as easily.

    Keep it up, I enjoy your posts.

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  11. thegardendeli says:

    I tried to send a comment last night, but it doesn’t look to have made it across to your blog – if both comments turn up together, please feel free to ignore one (or both…). A blogging wobble once in a while is probably a good thing – it means you’re thinking about the worth of what you write, and not churning out posts regardless.

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  12. Auburn Meadow Farm says:

    Reading my mind – I seriously wrote a very similar post myself lately but didn’t publish. The ad bar on more and more blogs I enjoy is a big turnoff for me, and seeing the blogs all starting to look so similar and formula? Sigh.

    Cambridge is lovely, sounds like you had such a nice day.

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  13. dianeskitchentable says:

    I haven’t been blogging as long as some on WordPress but I too have watches blogs wither and die. I’m not much for Facebook and try to steer friends to my blog to let them know what I’m up too and I do enjoy writing. But what I’ve found to be wonderful are the connections and friends I’ve made all over the world. I’m sure that any of my recipes have been done a million times, but I’ve found some great new ideas from people in other countries.

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  14. Christina says:

    Anne, I DO care if you eat a Spartan apple and slosh your dried fruit in sloe gin. Your writing is witty and beautiful and you manage to make the most mundane wee moments in time utterly delightful.

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