Quince, early mornings and fairs

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It has been a crazy busy weekend – Saturday, while not actually outdoors, was working with a lovely, but often unknown, autumn fruit – the quince.

Not everyone has heard of quince; it’s a pear like fruit, that can’t be eaten raw but when cooked turns a beautiful pink colour and has a lovely delicate flavour. In recent years I’ve made quince jelly which is eaten rather like cranberry jelly on things like roast chicken. This year, in addition to the jelly, I’ve found the Gamekeepers Daughter’s blog post with a quince cordial and cake recipe. The cordial is made but as yet untried.

Today was back out on the marshes, again up at 4am (not a problem today as I didn’t sleep much last night) and this time with a morning high tide, and a bit more of a chill in the air. We went on a long walk to the most remote place that the club has, and where you can only hear the wildlife. It was really lovely to not be hearing cars for once, normally, they’re always in the background.

I got to see the right way to set out decoys – it was done beautifully and without (from where I was sitting anyway!) the tangles that J and I acquired when trying previously.

It was another very quiet morning (which may have meant that I had a little doze., but shhhh, we won’t mention that), but as always, the sunrise turned the world into a very beautiful place.

There was a final flurry of excitement, quietly stalking out to the main channel having walked most of the way back (we did 3.3 miles overall!) and seeing 6 mallard. Sadly they spotted us and we watched them fly down the channel before we were in range.

To complete the weekend, we went to the Essex Game and Country fair. Loads of interesting things going on, including a great demonstration of dogs and hawks working together (first a spaniel, then a pointer). We were somewhat disappointed in the cost of buying lunch, and hoping for more game fare rather than hotdogs, but never mind.

I had a go at RAPTOR (Responsive Aiming and Tactical Operation Range) paintball, and because I’m me, and the most competitive person I know, seeing the “best time of the weekend board,” just HAD to try to beat it. The time is the how quickly you can successfully shoot 8 randomly appearing targets, and I had a time to beat of 15 seconds. Thankfully, on my only go, I got it with 13.94 seconds, and it was still there at the end of the day 😀

RAPTOR Paintball

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