Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Nettle Soup

I have been experiencing an annoyingly high level of illness over the last few months, culminating in tonsillitis a few weeks ago. I wouldn't mind but I don't have any tonsils!
The tonsillitis needed antibiotics which brought their own little problems, but at least the whole thing cleared up, until yesterday.
I appear to be getting ill again, with the same sore throat as last time, and I'm just not prepared to be ill again so soon so...I went for a walk.

Fred and I walked down the lane and discovered these fine fellows had moved in to one of the fields.

And in amongst then was this beautiful beast who strutted and snorted for us. Fred thought he was fantastic.

We walked down in to the woods and stopped at one of my favourite places. It is a stone bench beside the path where the path meets the banks of the Torridge river. The inscription on the bench reads ' in memory of our mother, Doreen, (1912 - 2006) of Chaplands, Beaford, who loved to picnic here by the river, with love from David, Rob and Chris Curtis and their families.'
I often sit here and look down at the river bank where Doreen brought her three boys to picnic and play in the river, and I wonder what my three boys will remember about me when I'm gone.

The bluebells are out now, and the more open areas of forest floor were covered in them, although my camera is not very good at colour and the pictures I tried to take of them looked like nothing.
I love the bluebells. I love the carpets of purple blue and the brightness of their colour against the vivid green of the new foliage at this time of year. But even more than the bluebells, I love the wild garlic.

The haze of white flowers and the shiney curving leaves cover the sides of the footpath down by the river bank. As you walk through the sweet pungent smell is fantastic, and I'm sure I felt better just because of the smell!

The river is lower now, and looks more inviting for paddling and swimming. All winter it has raged through here, making me nervous of its power and vigilant as we walked along its banks. But now it meanders again, and little beaches and banks of rock have been exposed that look just right for sitting on and wading to.

We walked the long way round as I felt the need to be in the woods for as long as possible.

And at the edge of wood, where the track turns into farm land, we found what we had come out for. A lovely big patch of stinging nettles. We picked what we needed using a washing up glove because I still can't find my gardening gloves post move!

Then headed home up the hill, which felt very steep after several weeks of being ill and carrying a sleeping two year old on my back. I'm sure they get heavier when they fall asleep. We were nearly at the village when we passed this...

Again, my camera not really doing justice to this beautiful wild flower meadow, which was full of yellow and white dandelions and campions and a mass of something rust coloured which I couldn't see from the track. It was the perfect end to a lovely, healing walk.

The nettles were turned into soup, packed with vitamins to hopefully stop my run of illness. This healing meal was aided just a little by the addition of asparagus to start and rhubarb and apple crumble to finish! I love this season!

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