Sunday, 8 June 2014

Making hay....

It has been a while...

Spring has blossomed into early summer
The swallows have returned to skim across the green
Butterflies flit from flower to flower
Fuzzy bumble bees buzz among the bushes
The planet continues on its path

Work is as demanding as ever with changes thrust upon us, the insecurities of out-sourcing half of our tasks to India, colleagues leaving to seek better career paths, new managers to get to know, a new role to embrace.

The only certainty is that nothing is certain.
That we have as much control as a feather floating on a breeze.

I have submitted my last assignment for my Art of English module and, all being well, my last assignment for my O.U. studies. Which means that I should soon be granted a BA (Hons) Modern Language Studies. There will be no more O.U. studies, the fees are now beyond my modest budget and, anyway, I feel I have reached my destination, at least where that path is concerned.

It's been a long, rocky road to this arrival point.
Through child-rearing, a husband hostile to my ambitions, the departure of said-husband and single-motherhood, returning to a career, working myself to a burn-out, fleeing to France and returning to carve out a new career.
A long and rocky road and one on which I have sometimes stumbled, frequently fallen, but finally finished, crawling on bloodied knees towards the end.

But it is over and now I can relax and take more time to wander aimlessly on the village green.
To pause to admire a red kite circling overhead.
To stop to smell the flowers.
To make hay when the sun shines between the showers.

Except that I have been making not hay but elderflower vodka.
Spurred on by the success of last year's cherry vodka, every sip of which transported me back to the sunny days of that summer and to the pleasure I found in collecting those cherries and turning them into a rich, red, fragrant and leg-wobblingly potent drink, I decided to try this year with elderflowers.


It's ridiculously easy, no magic involved. Just flowers, lemon rind, sugar and vodka.

So after an early walk to collect the blossoms while the dew was still upon them...
And, of course, pausing to admire the irises that grow with their feet in the pond...

Here you have it...
Elderflower vodka ready to go into a dark place for a few weeks before being bottled and enjoyed with a spritz of fizzy water and a few lemony ice-cubes. 

Making hay
Making elderflower vodka 
Carpe diem 



  1. Welcome back! So good to hear that you have accomplished many goals - congratulations! And now you are taking pleasure in summer's joys. How I'd love a taste of your elderflower vodka, and raise a glass to you for a healthy happy year ahead!

    1. Thank you Marja-Leena. It feels good to be back, the returning wanderer.
      One day we shall sip one of my vodkas and talk about cave art and Finland and other such wonderful things :)

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you Tom
      Making elderflower vodka is an achievement :

  3. Congratulations! Enjoy a well-deserved hay-making and elderflower-vodka making time! I'm in a very busy period myself, so I had to double-check when I saw your blog come up on my feed - right, I haven't been just missing posts all this time.

  4. I haven't checked your blog for some time, either. Sorry. I am happy to hear that you have completed so many important goals for your life. How are the plans going for moving back to France?
    How I wish I had elderflowers here. I must google that and see if they would grow at 7,150 feet elevation.

  5. Congratulations on a wonderful achievement! You really kept your eyes on your goal and never stopped. Now, enjoy life! Enjoy Elderflower Vodka.! Be well!

  6. I'm glad to hear that you're still alive and well, still blogging, and still visiting Brittany (Marja-Leena gave me your new blogging site). I'm still working with the slimmed-down Beast, but have spent more time travelling in the past 2 years - to India on a Buddhist pilgrimage in November 2012, and 1 month in Northern Thailand (of course) in Jan/Feb of this year. I'm also in a band that plays a lot of 60's and 70's rock & roll music with my clarinet and Thai wooden flute.

    I loved this blog - could use some of that elderflower vodka right now!!!


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