Monday, 24 December 2012


A brief post today to wish you and yours a Merry Winter Solstice. The fuzzy photos are of our tree. I would like to draw your attention to the angel. It was made by my youngest daughter many years ago. The wings have fallen off and the halo has slipped away, as has mine, but it has to crown the tree every year.

I wanted to share with you all my father’s recipe for mincemeat. Being a veggie I can’t eat shop bought mince pies as they have suet in them and my father always used to make his own vegetarian version.  It’s very simple:


500g Sultanas
500g Raisins
Box of vegetarian suet
Brown sugar (a shake)
½ teaspoon of Mixed Spice
4 Sweet Apples; peeled cored and sliced.
½ litre of Brandy

Put in a bowl, mix, cover and leave for a few days.
This recipe will keep for ages in a sealed jar. If it dries out, add a generous amount of brandy.
Make your pastry as you will and enjoy.

A couple of unseasonal poems to end with:


there is no absolution
don’t worry no one knows
no way to iron the creases
from that shiny suit of clothes
no wait for hell to freeze
or adopt some holy pose
no point to the crucifixion
don’t worry no one knows

A rather bleak perspective really. The shiny suit of clothes came from an old tutor of mine, who wore the same shiny, blue crimplene suit for the three years I was an undergraduate.

Here is one I wrote for my first born.

on the night you were born
I shot eighteen red lights
as calm and as cool as I could
your mother in labour beside me
our journey to Bath the overture to your life

Have a good Solstice.


  1. Wonderful poems, Paul! Thank you for the recipe, my friend. Haven't had mincemeat pie for eons!! Have a wonderful holiday and love, peace and prosperity in the New Year!!

    1. Thank you Jo may I wish you and your a belated Merry Solstice and all the best for the New Year

  2. Love the red light poem particularly - no cameras in those days eh! Do have a wonderful Christmas. Your solstice shots were fantastic by the way.

    1. No cameras in deed Oscar just quiet empty roads.

  3. That's a beautiful tree!

    Thanks for the recipe. I've never tried mincemeat, but it sounds interesting.

    Happy Holidays!

    1. You are too kind when you say beautiful tree, cluttered tree would be my take. if you make the mincemeat let me know I'll send you a recipe for orange pastry that sets it off wonderfully. And Happy Holiday to you too!

  4. I love the trees. I wish Christmas in America were as festive as it is in the UK. In the U.S. Christmas has been taken over by the retailers. Some stores put their Christmas displays up in September. So we effectively have 4 months of Christmas. It's appalling.

    That aside, I hope you have a happy Christmas and winter solstice!

    1. The UK is catching you up in terms of the length of time Christmas lasts although this year was muted in the shops. I trust you had a Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year!