Wednesday, 28 April 2010


Spring at last after all the traumas of the winter. And it's Nettle soup time! This is the most energising soup I know. I've just been wandering the lanes in yellow rubber gloves and plastic bag collecting the young green nettles. Put them into a big pan with sauteed onions, garlic and potatoes, add stock and liquidise. Add cream and hey presto - brilliant green magic.
I should be doing other things but it's just too tempting to get out into that new green landscape with Zebedee springing lambs.The wildlife up here is prolific with woodpeckers, red squirrels, otters, stoats and mad march hares. We have a badger's sett in our garden and he trundles past on the bank every evening at roughly the same time
The new road bridge in Workington opened on Wednesday and reunited the town after five months of misery. Percy Kelly's twin brother John who is 91 went to the opening which is a fair step from his home in South Workington. He was among the first to cross on foot and he then walked further up the North Side and crossed the temporary footbridge back and up through Workington Hall Gardens calling at M&S for shopping on his way back. He had a disabled wife Renee and is in amazing health.
The sequel to Hercules is on hold until after the imminent Chicago trip (volcanos permitting!) so I am researching the next book which is the Kelly biography so John and his other surviving brother are a rich source of information. These West Coast Cumbrians are a tough lot. I asked him for the secret of his longevity and health and he reckons it's down to diet. The Kelly's had a hard upbringing with little food followed by army rations. He's never been affluent enough to afford rich luxury food nor has he ever eaten junk food despite the MacDonalds and Caspian just down the road. I reckon he's right. Forget the fad diets - try the nettle soup!