I was a bit of a tomboy, back in the day, and I think I have rather outgrown that romantic and unrealistic idea now, but I still love the fact that horses in Mongolia outnumber the human population and are such an important part of the Mongolian lifestyle and culture.
Elizabeth Kendall, in writing about the Mongolian horseman, described him as "like the Western cowboy, but with less sprawl", a descriptor I have always liked. Her book about her travels, "A Wayfarer in China", was published originally way back in 1913. What an intrepid woman she must have been.
Mongolia is a landlocked unitary sovereign state in East Asia, bordered by China to the south and Russia to the north. It is known for vast, rugged expanses and a hardy nomadic culture. Its capital, Ulaanbaatar, centers around Chinggis Khaan (Genghis Khan) Square, named for the notorious founder of the 13th- and 14th-century Mongol Empire. Also in Ulaanbaatar are the National Museum of Mongolia, displaying historic and ethnographic artifacts, and the restored 1830 Gandantegchinlen Monastery
One interesting fact I discovered about Genghis Khan during my reading for this week is that he is believed to have fathered between 1,000 and 2,000 children during his lifetime, and genetic analysis shows he is a male-line ancestor of 0.5% of the world's population...nomadic indeed!
The flower for this week was easy to decide, Scabiosa, (sounds like a charm from Harry Potter, doesn't it? I can just hear Hermione enunciating it clearly with emphasis on the last syllable as she demonstrates her wrist flick wand expertise)... sorry, got distracted there...Scabiosa Butterfly Blue was proclaimed the National flower for Mongolia back in 2014. It is a hardy perennial that I love to have growing in my own garden, they are such a pretty bluey mauve, and flower so generously with little attention...all big pluses!
While he has been rather enjoying the attention and novelty of trays at mealtimes and endless uninterrupted online time, he is starting to get sick of the inaction I think...He actually got up and dressed this morning, hoping to go up to Orielton with Steve and Chris to continue the work on revamping Ken's orchard, but sadly had to admit defeat, and stay at home, resting.
I made up for his disappointment by giving him a pile of box files and a container of archived documents I found while cleaning out the hall cupboards, for him to sort. He/we normally put these jobs off, but as he is a captive audience he had nowhere to run today! Lots of unwanted documents and bumf have been relegated to the compost bin and we now have empty (and dust free, thanks Chris, for the long, duster-wielding arm), shelves. One thing with a house that has been built with a generous supply of cupboards is that one tends to simply fill them...
I made this simple fruity bran loaf yesterday, from an old recipe from my file...it was rather good, contains no butter or egg and very little added sugar so is fairly reasonable for a treat for Tim...he seemed to enjoy it anyway, and Chris is devouring it with as great a gusto as I will allow...thought I would share it with you. I did not have any of the required processed bran (Allbran here in Australia...little crispy fibre based cereal strands like shredded straw), so I used my unprocessed oat bran instead, with good outcome, although the loaf is a tad denser than I remember the original version to be. It is nice as is, the sultanas providing sweetness and the apricots a touch of tart interest, with a crispy crust and dense moist interior, it was even nicer spread with butter for morning tea.
Today I had a lovely gnome related postcard from my peripatetic friends, currently exploring Scandinavia and points north. They tell me they have enjoyed eating a brown goat's milk cheese...I wonder if it was brunost cheese they tried...long ago I had a Norwegian friend called Odd who made this delicious cheese, and also gomme, from milk produced by his goats and I have very fond memories of the flavour...I hope they bring some home for me...(wishful thinking here as I won't be seeing them until the end of this year!)
Well that is about it from me, for today,