In the absence of ideas, I’m hoping that the fact of opening up a new post here after six weeks away will strike fire, and the flame run will run across the page, leaving interesting scorch marks in its wake.

I had to make up a new password to enter my own blog just now. Was it anything to do with the email I recently received from someone anonymous named as a User on the site? I deleted the evidence, and on I go. Let’s see what happens.

Elderflower champagne. I took the long-handled lopper out to the neighbour’s elderflower bush today while the sun was full upon the flowers which were fully open and fragrant. I lopped about 8 flower heads, then took them in and dropped them unwashed onto a light syrup made of 1 1/2 cups of sugar in 3 1/2 litres of water, 2 1/2 dsp of cider vinegar and the juice of one lemon. I put the pot in the sunroom where it will sit for 24 hours and begin to ferment. Before all this, I bottled yesterday’s batch in small corked glass bottles and larger plastic soda bottles, leaving an inch or so for expansion, and dropping a raisin or two into each. When the raisin rises … hmm, I’ve forgotten what it is about the raisins rising. It means bubbles. It means something desired has happened. Anyway, the ‘champagne’ is ready to drink when the top of the plastic bottles go hard with air pressure. Chill and open gingerly.

Auction. That’s the bald wording on the sign we found nailed to our fence yesterday. The agent’s name and details are the only other clues. Is it for a house? Is it nice? Does it have desirable features — contented inhabitants; broad beans sprawling across one corner the garden; a nest of thrushes in the clematis where it climbs the telephone pole near the front door; an old cat wondering where she’ll go when it’s all over; rhododendron flowers scenting the living room; a sun-warmed sofa; a pot of elderflowers fermenting in the corner? Yes to all that. Like the cat, we don’t know what we’ll do if the auction works as it’s supposed to.

The end of the world as we know it. The brouhaha about the end of the Mayan calendar seems to have died down. It was one thing to make movies and jokes about it when December 2012 was still a fair way off but lately interest seems to have died away, or gone underground. I read a prediction the other day, that soon most of us will go under water, that the moon will begin to move in an orbit visible to only a few of us, with a new little moon of its own, that it will be as if the earth is straightening up like a new pupil of the Alexander technique. Well, I’m still making plans for Christmas and the days after it. I still anticipate publishing a few ebooks in 2013, seeing a daughter home from Edinburgh and a grandson into the next size of baby outfits. But I’ll probably join forces with friends who believe that the 21st of December will be a good day, the best day in a long while, to focus attention, with possibly millions of others, on our hopes and longings and, most potently, our intention to see peace and light and love rule in the place of greed and fear and conflict — in ourselves and in our common living room called Earth.

The rat. Has been elusive. I’m off now to try and flush him out.

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