Friday, 18 July 2014

Marvellous, Charlie and Oh dear!

A deep, penetrating cold has settled over us this week. Freezing days call for corduroy pants, scarves, boots & layers....& a thermos or two
of this wonderful gingery winter brew that sits in a jar in the fridge. Grated whole lemons, fresh ginger, tumeric & lots of honey. 
Do you ever read those pamphlets about how to avoid colds & 'flu? There's advice available all over the know use tissues, wash your hands...a lot!, avoid people with colds & 'flu (right!) & all that jazz. Well, personally, I've never found any of it helped in the slightest & every winter I likely ended up with a sore throat, then a cold, kindly followed by an irritating persistent, annoying cough, that goes on for months & months & keeps me up many miserable nights. This winter I decided that some other tips that I had read about were certainly worth a try. No. 1 fermented cod liver oil...yip! & secondly, a daily dose of the elderberry tonic..
that I made back in autumn. 
Now we are dead (well not actually dead) in the middle of winter & everyone around me seems to have had a "dreaded lurgy" of one kind or another; they've fallen like flies at Rob's work, yet Rob most especially, has been robustly, marvellously well. As for me, I was doing really well until last week when I developed a sore throat was time for the third thing in the winter support chest: liposomal vitamin C. I made a brew of this & 24 hours later the throat was better, no cold, no cough. Then came the bitter cold & I wasn't feeling quite right again so more chicken stock was made & another lot of vitamin C. 
Now what's so good about liposomal vitamin C...well you may ask? Apparently you can buy it quite readily at a great price, I read about how to make it for myself & ended up with a very simple version that works. All it takes is some lecithin (that I get from the organics shop) 
In a cup add 1 tbsp lecithin granules & 1/3 cup of cold water, stir well & sit for an hour. You'll find it becomes very thick & gloopy. Now, add a teaspoon of complete vitamin C powder. Stir well. Take a teaspoon of this mixture as often as you think of it through out the day. Take it in a jar if you're going somewhere. Take more & more & more until you forget to take it because by now you're feeling a whole lot better!! The lecithin is a kind of fat that gives a different delivery of the vitamin C so that is is way more available for the body to use (something like 80% instead of 20% for the regular stuff). There are lots of fancy recipes out there but this simple version really works too. Yes, the mixture has an odd taste & texture but what medicine tastes yummy? The fat in the lecithin helped hugely to soothe my throat through the night & resolve the irritation quickly. The first thing I've ever found that could truly turn a sore throat around.
So I am delighted with our experiment & will never face another winter again without my new winter medicine chest. The cost of the cod-liver oil, lecithin & vitamin C is nothing to the expense of time off work, throat lozenges, cough syrup, more cough medicine, tissues, paracetamol & general misery!
The cod-liver oil also provides deep nourishment to help strengthen teeth & bones & vitamin D which has a whole host of other benefits.
Great article here.

The little winter table garden is flourishing.     
We may have empty trees & icy winds but we also have sun-showers &
And flowers. 
I was so pleased to find this flower picking basket at the market a while back. It's a genuine old willow job, just like the old washing baskets.
I was inspired by a lovely lady who is a lover of birds, to create my own bird feeding table. There is a sugar syrup mixture in the blue cup, just in case the tuis might like to pop in for a drink. there are seeds in the little jug & water in the rose cup & I find that all the different birds adore ripe pears!
I have had a wonderful winter shifting plants & redesigning bits of the garden. While I was working away down the back one day my eye was caught by a little mouse running along the fence. I saw him half a dozen times that day. I was so relieved to feel quite calm about our encounters & mutual observation. In the past I have felt all jittery & weird about mice, perhaps due to the vivid memory that I have as a preschooler of my mother standing on a stool in the passage screaming her head off because she'd seen a mouse in the house. I don't recall being offered a screaming stool of my own, however!
He was actually so sweet but too quick for me to photograph, but looked just like this. I named him Marvellous.
Picture found here.
Next day, it became apparent that Charlie (borrowed cat) had got wind of Marvellous too.
Charlie was quite certain he'd caught the distinctive whiff of mouse....perhaps he went this way.
"Well I can't see him anywhere I think I'll just sit & ponder a bit until he turns up."
The story didn't quite end there. 
Meantime, my Trade Me Sanderson lily-of-the-valley bag arrived in the mail.
Such a sweet find.
As were these two little cloths that I came across in Decorum in Napier.
Truly vintage adorable fabric.
I think it may be my most favourite vintage fabric ever.
At the Napier market, the nice man with all the tools, had this little vase tucked in the amidst of the practicalities.
My lovely Eve print arrived from Susan Brown some months ago now. At first I wasn't quite sure how to frame her, but then Rob remembered the vintage glass picture frame up in the roof, that was just the perfect size. I like her in this corner.
My new mirror.

Rob quite often says that our house is a Brambly Hedge house.
I think he may be right. Especially since Marvellous decided that he'd really rather come & live inside! We heard him playing with the stray marbles under the fridge. He is evading all efforts of capture & release, just presently. Oh, oh....CHARLIE where are you!
Charlie!!!! Come quick!
Happy, healthy week to you my dear friends & readers.
Thank you so much for popping in.
Much love, Catherine x0x0x


  1. Elderberry cordial defnitely has prevented colds in our house for some time now. It is also very nice in gin! I read somewhere that there is something in the elderberry that is being invesigated by scientists as a substitute for the tamiflu vaccine. I like your fabric it is indeed very pretty and your picture looks lovely in the glass frame. Betty

  2. Hello Catherine, so glad you found a tonic that helped your cold. I shall be copying that out for future reference.Thanks so much for sharing. I think Marvellous Mouse would just adore living inside your house with all your gorgeous vintage treasures. I am sure I would. And Charlie Cat looks beautiful too. Your new framed picture reminds me of your word Bloom :-)
    I think your new fabrics are just lovely - what finds they were. Seeing your camellias in your new basket reminds me to go outside & pick some. Really heavy frost here this morning - glad we have plenty of firewood. Yes it sure is the dead of winter here too my friend. Keep warm & well, Julie x0x0x0x

  3. What a lovely post filled with gorgeous photos and great remedies!! Marvelous is marvelous!!

  4. Our Elderberries are yet to fruit but when they do I'll definitely be making a batch of Elderberry tonic! Also thanks for the info on making the Vit C syrup....anything natural certainly beats the alternative :)

    Mike -


So lovely of you to leave a comment. Thank you!! ♥

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