Oh Mummer

hooden horse (2)

Feeling a little scared of the Hooden Horse at a Wassailing event in Fort Amherst, Chatham.


On the Marshes extract.

9 walking the sea wall

Walking the coast of Sheppey on a chilly day,

Read an extract of On the Marshes at Longshore Drift in which I entertain fantasies of being in Wuthering Heights and bless bird hides while walking the coast of Sheppey on a rainy day.



Ghost Hunting

Ghost Hunting

Been tracking peregrines in Essex with JA Baker helped by the references in My House Of Sky, an autobiography of his life written by Hetty Saunders and published by Little Toller. My idea of a perfect day, a bike, a good book, a thermos and some beautiful countryside to cycle through.

ghost hunting equipment

Ghost hunting equipment

heading out to hunt peregrines

Gracies Walk

Grace’s Walk

the ford

The Ford where Baker’s peregrines bathed.

trying to spot peregrines near the ford

hunting peregrine outside Chelmsford

Medlar Jelly


Medlars By Jules Grandgagnage (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

This spicy jelly is best made after frost has allowed the apples to blett. It is well worth the effort and would go well with cold meat, cheese or on toast. It is the perfect taste for Christmas.

Medlars are brown, hard fruits which are native to England and can sometimes be found growing wild in hedgerows. I picked mine from the apple orchard at Othona in Essex and left them in my cellar for a few weeks to blett. This is a process where they become soft and brown. The frost seems to have the same effect and we have experienced that even in Kent this year. Once bletted the fruit looks rotten but don’t despair this is when it is at its best.

You will need

41bs medlars

3 pints of water

1 large lemon

sugar (as per instructions below)


Wash and chop the medlars and put into a large saucepan with enough water to cover them. Simmer slowly until you are left with a brown pulp. Strain the pulp through a scalded jelly bag or pair of tights. I found the juice did not run easily so gave it lots of squeezing. Measure the juice and weigh out 12oz sugar for every pint.

Put the sugar in a bowl and place this in a cool over until warm and dry. Add the lemon juice to the pan of juice and bring to the boil. Stir in the warm sugar and stir without boiling until it has all dissolved. Increase the heat and boil the liquid rapidly until the setting point has been reached. (about 25 minutes) Skim off the scum and pour into warm sterilised jars.