Sometimes I need a reminder from Hector & Kiki about the things that are important to know.

For example, just now, Hector reminded me that it’s been some time since we last discussed which if the cupboards is my favourite.  His favourite is the one on the right. My favourite is the one next to it, on the left. Kiki, however, says she like the three on the left, and takes turns making each one her favourite.

Hector, likes the one on the right because it gets used least often, and is closest to the lounge. I like the one next to it because I use it most.  Kiki doesn’t explain why. That’s just the way she is. But I know that she has a special affection for the 2nd one on the left, and particularly for the middle shelf.

Moseley, 4:00 AM

Long summer days are special enough that each year, I get up at dawn whenever feasible, try to stay awake all day, and try to spend time outdoors.

Today, a week from the Solstice, I’m awake at 4:00 AM (GMT), and writing this before 5:00. The calculated sunrise is at 4:44, at a point just off North-East, as shown on a Sky View Cafe screen capture.

It’s a slightly different story at my bedroom window, where trees obscure the horizon. Nonetheless, the sun is peeking through the foliage by 4:15. I’m puzzling over why there’s such a discrepancy between scheduled and visible sunrise. Does it actually cross the horizon at 3:45 GMT and the published times are given in BST? That would explain the 30 minute difference as it climbs up behind the trees.

Regardless of the clock time, during the summer months, that direct sunlight means a lot, since I don’t get any southern exposure.  Waking up with the sun has meant a lot to me since the days of living at Chaos Corners in a hilltop cabin with a big east window. A blast of sunshine does wonders for getting a body out of bed and into the garden, or wherever.

Six days ago I got up and out into the park for some sunrise photos like this.

The streets are deserted at 5AM, but it’s broad daylight, and lots can be done. Well worth getting up for.

It Tastes of Leek

As it should, given that it’s made mainly of leeks, plus a bit of tarragon, a clove of garlic, a potato, 4 apples from the Chamberlain garden, some raisins, and a glass of beer.


The sliced leeks, clove of garlic, and teaspoon of dried tarragon


The apples, remaining beer, butter off to the right.


Part way through the cooking, apples still have some way to go.


Apples have cooked down. I added some raisins, and some chunks of leek. It’s delicious at this point and could have been served as a vegetable side dish.


But I went further, adding more water, caramelising the leeks, the pureeing the lot. A day later, it still tastes of leek, but the flavour of the apples is really beginning to come out. I’m wondering if I should add some additional spices: turmeric, clove, allspice.