On Reflection

This week …

tree reflected in pond

… has been a week of sunshine and showers for in April, sun is surely followed by rain. Attempts to weed the garden have proved futile as the ground is so sticky that a tiny weed brings up a great wodge of dirt that clings to the roots and is difficult to dislodge. The 1400 sapling Christmas trees that arrived today are going to be hard work to plant following the rainstorm last night.

towards the sea from South Downs Way

… we jumped on a train and forged our way through the crowds of London commuters as we travelled south to Sussex to walk another section of the South Downs Way. Striding across a grassy ridge with the sea in the distance to the south and a patchwork of fields and scattered settlements to the north is a pretty perfect way to spend a couple of days, especially when the sun shines and at the end of the walk is a teashop stocked with rhubarb scones and clotted cream.

… I am waiting for my rhubarb to grow tall so that I can make rhubarb scones too.


South Downs sheep

… I’ve been charmed by the sheep and cattle we’ve encountered on our South Downs Way and am planning to knit something from southdown wool as a reminder of our walk.

… I deleted my Instagram and replaced it with a private account to share only with family and friends. Instagram has replaced blogging for many, but to me it remains a chocolate bar eaten on the move compared to the blog equivalent of a thoughtfully prepared meal around the table with friends and family. I’m not a teenager whose self-esteem needs bolstering by gaining large numbers of followers or “likes” by people with whom I have no connection and I’m rather bored with swiping through sponsored links and photos of flowers/cakes/half clothed children/hands clasping a mug of coffee or any flat lay photograph featuring the ubiquitous pair of scissors and cup of green tea, which seem to have taken over my feed from the previous eclectic mix of rusty items, loaves of bread and rural scenes. Maybe some of the people I followed have given up too. Our Slamseys account remains a “Behind the Scenes” glimpse of the activities that happen on the farm such as farming, printing and making drinking fruit gins.



41 thoughts on “On Reflection

  1. Instagram: I haven’t been on it, and I can’t look at what’s there, to see if I want an account, without getting an account. My impression is that it’s mostly photos, not much text. I’m not a photographer. I don’t want to experience my life through photos, nor do I want to share it that way. I have things to say. Sometimes they include photos, and sometimes they don’t. Blogging here seems to suit most of my needs. But yes, I’ve noticed a lot of the *younger* quilters are no longer blogging, and I’ve supposed they’ve gone to Instagram to share. My loss? Or theirs?


    1. You’re right, it’s all about the photos and it’s quick and easy to snap and post it. It is interesting to search the hashtags though to find your niche and make new discoveries.

  2. Rhubarb scones, I am intrigued! Must hunt for a recipe. Instagram, never looked at it and never likely too, blogging is right for me and glad you are blogging too..

  3. Your Instagram thoughts made me smile. I’m still on it as I take a lot of photos with my phone and like to see what others (mostly gardeners and wildlife photographers) are snapping. But there are quite a few similar still-life shots with a particular pair of scissors and the sponsored links do annoy me. I read yesterday that it’s ok to start to pick rhubarb when the stems are 25cm or longer – I’ll be outside with my ruler in a bit 😊

    1. Goodness, my rhubarb is only about 10 cms and has been at that stage for ages. I’ve got ages to wait. The final straw with the sponsored links was the one from the government about the EU referendum.

  4. I have to admit to loving Instagram! – but I understand your feelings. I shall miss you there. For me Instagram and my blog are different tools for different parts of my life. I love blogging for the slower meditative reflective thoughts, but I also love the sharp immediacy of a picture on Instagram. My pics may be pretty rubbish – but they can still capture whimsy, humour, beauty and fun – and those things don’t really sit comfortably in a blog (well, mine, anyhow). Please keep on blogging – I love reading your thoughts there. PS Am envious of that fabled Southdown knitting wool!

    1. I agree that IG and blogs are different tools (and for different audiences) so am always rather disappointed when some people recycle all their IG photos onto their blogs. I can’t keep up the pace of doing both and blogging always wins!

      1. I think the important thing is not to feel that social media becomes hard work – and there is so much going on now! All too easy to spread oneself too thin.

  5. I do very little on Instagram and don’t care for it that much but I do enjoy blogging and reading interesting blogs from different people . I enjoyed reading about your walk, something I would like to do before I get too old.

    1. We kept commenting how quiet and peaceful it was, even though we were only about five miles from Brighton and the other south coast resorts. Bliss.

  6. Rhubarb scones sound interesting. Is it scones with rhubarb compote or is the rhubarb in the scone mix? I guess both would work. I have still time to ponder it whilst the rhubarb is slowly growing. I hope your Christmas tree planting goes smoothly, it sounds like an awfully large number of saplings to plant. As for Instagram, the thought of it bores me, I have never used it and doubt that I will. The same goes for Pinterest. I like words, accompanied by photos. Have a good weekend.

    1. The scones were studded with rhubarb and then topped with demerara sugar. They were also served with delicious runny rhubarb and vanilla jam. My rhubarb doesn’t seem to have grown any taller for ages.

  7. I reflected for a long time on the first photo of the tree before realising it was the same as the last one upside down! It a great image either way.

  8. Must try rhubarb scones. I’ve been picking my rhubarb for weeks now, starting when it was just a few inches high I must confess, and now it is growing like Topsy (I have four established plants at the allotment – three different varieties) I must resist the temptation to pick every day as I’m sure the sugar required is not good for us. That said I love making Sarah Raven’s upside down rhubarb cake and I adore rhubarb set in a proper custard tart. Your South Downs views looked very familiar, just a little further east from us at the cottage I think. Hopefully we will be walking there tomorrow. I don’t do Instagram and my son’s public account with his 36,000 followers blows my mind. Very sticky at the allotment too but I direct sowed today (and got soaked in the process) borage, cerinthe and flat-leaf parsley.

    1. I’m very envious of your cottage – the South Downs are so quiet and beautiful. I’ve been amazed how few other walkers we’ve seen (apart from a mile either side of the car parks). I haven’t made upside down cake since I was at school so will look up Sarah Raven’s recipe and as we have rather a lot of duck eggs at the moment, custard tart with rhubarb may be on the menu too. Thanks for the suggestions.

  9. Sounds like the mud spattered boots is appropriate at the moment Anne. What a stunning shot (s) of that tree. The pic of the sheep and the view reminds me of those TV shows theatre the ‘brisk walks’ feature. I too am intrigued by the rhubarb scones and don’t really ‘get’ Instagram. Cheers, Maree.

  10. Rhubarb scones? Yes please! Instagram is way too styled now – I have trouble connecting to it because it’s banned here so i dip in and out when I can be bothered!

  11. I’m so glad you continue to blog. I don’t enjoy “snippets” on Facebook or Instagram, and I love your no-nonsense/humourous approach to real farming. xx Jen in Nova Scotia

      1. Hi Anne,

        Yes, and no…your winter is much shorter than ours, and your farm is much bigger than ours, but there are many similarities, too. Our garlic and rhubarb is just beginning to emerge and the goats are only just now getting something green to eat, but farming cycles are very much farming cycles many places you go! 🙂 We clearly also share a “want to love gardening” gene…though I think maybe we also share a short fuse/patience level with it, too…and we definitely share a love of homegrown/homemade food. I sure wish I shared your Aga!! xx Jen.

  12. Hello again Anne. Firstly I am so pleased we have remained connected through Instagram even though I know your feelings about Insta. I love your photos and thoughts, wherever they pop up. 1400 Christmas trees, that is truly amazing. Rhubarb scones, yes please! Beautiful scenery as usual, from your side of the world x

    1. The trees are planted – hooray! We planted them on two gloriously sunny days so it was a joy to be out there, even if it was on hands and knees for much of the time.

  13. I too could easily spend some time walking in that beautiful scenery, especially if there were sheep and scones and cream to keep me going! thank you for sharing this lovely part of the world!

  14. I do wonder how people find time to do all the different social media there is I struggle to keep up with reading the blogs I enjoy. Keep on blogging Anne. Oh haveing to think about Christmas now!

      1. I should have realised they were for a few years ahead having visited a plantation in the past. It is a reminder of the long term planning involved in farming.

  15. Hey Anne .. oh I love the sound of the rhubarb scones – If only I lived closer. I could have a Slamseys gin at the same time 😀 Love those sheep very handsome. Reading your comment on Instagram made me grin. For me it could never ever replace blogging. Its too instant, too now and too hip (is that the right word?) I still like it though, very much, but it has its place.

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