Sarasota Sunset With Silhouettes

Sunset view of Sarasota Bay

Darwen is not known for its sunsets. Now the evenings are drawing in, I get excited to watch grey or lavender clouds pass over a paler blue-grey, pink-grey or silver-grey sky. The effect can be dramatic, often in a glowering, it’s surely going to chuck it down before you get home kind of way.

And on a clear day, it is possible to see the Irish Sea thirty miles or so away, but not from the town. We have to be at the top of the Jubilee Tower, or to have made our way up the cobbles of Donkey Brew and out on to a track through farmland towards Roddlesworth. From the crest of that hill we can glimpse the sun silvering the sea away in the distance. Continue reading “Sarasota Sunset With Silhouettes”

The Art Of Bonsai

Twin trunk style bonsai (Acer buergerianum)
Maple and fern | Mendip Bonsai Studio

Bonsai trees provoke mixed responses, although well grown, they can be as beautiful as one of nature’s giants. This Trident maple (Acer buergerianum), grown in the twin trunk style, is around 120 years old. Its eggcup sized companion is some kind of fern. Techniques to keep plants so small include wiring them into shape, then pruning roots and branches while restricting them to very small containers.

It’s tempting to see them and feel torn. Is it unnatural? If so, is going against nature cruel? Continue reading “The Art Of Bonsai”

Seedlip Spice 94 Review

Seedlip Spice 94 with tonic and lemon

Seedlip is a brand of distilled, non-alcoholic botanical spirit, like gin¹ but without the alcohol and juniper. Did I hear you exclaim ‘What!’? Quite!

I chose Seedlip Spice 94 as an alternative last time I was offered alcohol on a flight well before my idea of lunch time. ‘A complex blend of spice and citrus’ sounded just up my street and it’s sugar- and sweetener-free too. When asked what I wanted to drink with it², I confessed my ignorance and was handed a can of Fevertree tonic.

Curious, I sipped the Seedlip neat. That’s not what we are supposed to do and if you try it, you’ll see why. My first thought was clove.³ Continue reading “Seedlip Spice 94 Review”