Sunday, 31 July 2011


I love to see these happy flowers. Bright yellow always reminds me of sunshine, and those first daffodils in the Spring bring a brightness after the cold dull days of Winter.  To see whole fields of sunflowers is always special, and we drove past a number on holiday. Unfortunately never at a convenient place to stop and although I usually kept my camera on my lap by the time I had lifted it and switched it on, it was, apart from this one occasion, too late!

Now I have just 3 sunflowers in my garden, all planted at the same time.  One decided to flower whilst we were away whereas the others are only now flowering, mind you they did grow a lot taller.

Why is it though that when those happy flowers are supposed to turn towards the sun, they are facing in opposite directions?  It can't be the location as they are next to each other, not obscured by trees or anything, the sun was right behind me when I took the photo so they should have both been facing me!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

For all Mums

Summer holidays have started and I know that for a lot of Mums life can become slightly stressful!  However much we look forward to not being governed by the school day, the hassles of homework and running around transporting to and from after school activities, there can be times when all that freedom can cause as much rebellion from our youngsters as the pressures of term time.  I know a few blogging friends who have other major worries and upsets in their lives at the moment and yet still need to keep going and putting on a brave face for the children.

Today I read something that reminded me of a wonderful song that a dear friend told me about. It always makes me smile and is a real 'pick-me-up' and I do hope that it will cheer you all too.

This is the official version, there are a number of others on Youtube and some show the lyrics if you are interested. 

I wish all you Mums a happy and relaxed summer holiday.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Do Come Inside...

Do come on in and have a look at the amazing interior of the farmhouse.  Shall we go through this little door?

Or may be this door up the stairs behind the creeper covered tree trunk might be better.

How about this for an incredible interior.

So many super carved wooden flowers everywhere.

And yes, that is my dear hubby who fortunately for me loves cooking so I didn't do any at all whilst we were away! Everything inside the farmhouse was made by the very talented artist owner, Giuseppe Rossi

The little door in the top photo belongs with these ones supporting the large table.  All the doors and windows opened, making a really magical fairy world. I know that if my children were younger they would have spent hours playing with these tiny houses.

Giuseppe had stripped all the bark from this creeper, I can't imagine how long it must have taken to do.

There was lots of wildlife around us and I have never seen so many deer. Numerous times jays flew across in front of us, they were far too quick to photograph though.

Some of the wildlife I was happy to leave well alone, unlike a certain member of the family!


The bottom one is a mayfly and was very much alive unlike the poor grasshopper that was found dead. It was suggested that the snails would be good for supper but I declined that option!

 Having now retrieved all my photographs I realise just how much I have to tell you and show but boring things like shopping and cooking beckon, and I haven't even started contemplating the ever growing ironing basket!


Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Now where was I ?

Isn't it amazing that the moment I have time to sit at the computer it promptly starts playing up!  Having downloaded all the photos from the camera to the computer it now will not let me look at them and just keeps telling me there is an error on Zoom Browser.  I am seriously unimpressed and will just have to be patient until hubby comes home.  Luckily he works with computers and apart from viruses can usually sort things out. 

Fortunately, hubby's photos are accessible, so I can find something to show you.  We drove there taking four days to arrive at our final destination and passing through Belgium, (I will tell you about that another time), Luxembourg and France and Switzerland. This was where we had a picnic lunch, up in the mountains with lots of wild flowers around, and next to this pretty gurgling river.

After Switzerland it was on into Italy.  Can you see the buildings right in the middle of this picture?  That's where we were staying, an old farmhouse in a very remote location, surrounded by woodland and wonderful views, it was south of Bologna and not far from the border of Tuscany.

The farmhouse was owned by an artist and the interior was quite amazing.  However as the computer and/or Blogger now seem to be playing up with fonts changing at random and changing colour, and layout altering,  I shall give up for the moment and hopefully post more later.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Have you missed me?

Just back from holiday, and I have so much to tell you and hopefully lots of interesting photos, but it will have to wait just a little longer.  There's mountains of unpacking and washing and ironing, the garden appears to have gone mad, I can't believe how much everything has grown.  And, of course, there are 2 little pusscats who think a huge amount of fussing is called for!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

A different type of Rose

I love the scent of Rose Geraniums and having managed to successfully keep my plant over the Winter it's actually grown to a reasonable size.  So when I spotted a Rose Geranium cake recipe it sounded worth trying.  First though, you need Rose Geranium sugar, easy to do, just put some leaves in a jar with sugar.

One jar ready - but has to infuse for several days. Groan! Why when I fancy a cake does it always take extra waiting time.  I suppose the answer is that all good things are worth waiting for! 

 And the verdict - it was worth the wait! The rose scent had definitely worked it's magic in the sugar and when making the cake you put rose geranium leaves in the bottom of the tin, put the mix on top, then after cooking turn it out and peel off the leaves.  A real delicate rose flavour, it was yummy just as it was but very, very yummy with blueberries, raspberries (from the garden of course) and topped with cream!

Going Quackers

You are never too old to feed the ducks!  Well as you can see my 21 year old still enjoys it, and these ones that suddenly arrived at the sailing club are very tame.  I'm not too sure this is the best use of his lunch!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Summer Pickings

It's great when the garden starts producing crops and you can just go and harvest them.  I gathered the first of the gooseberries and raspberries on the same day.  Compared to the subsequent amounts I've been picking these look quite meagre, but they always seem extra tasty when they are the first pickings of the year.

We usually have lots of rhubarb but have hardly had any this year, I cannot remember ever having so little.  I had to resort to buying some to make my favourite jam, 'Raspberry and Rhubarb'. It's a lot less 'pippy' than Raspberry jam and not quite so sweet although you would never know there was rhubarb in it unless you were told. Normally I have to time it right to have enough raspberries but this time it was the rhubarb that was the problem and I could only pick 14 ounces. Having decided I would have to buy some I then couldn't find any in the shops but eventually located some in Waitrose, luckily reduced in price as originally it had been £3.19 for just 400g! 

I think the rhubarb shortage must be due to the lack of rain, and as ours is at the very top of the garden and not in a very accessible place I have to admit that it hasn't been watered as much as it might.  It does get forgotten about, usually until I want some!  Has anyone else had a problem with their rhubarb this year? 

Anyway, I now have six jars of jam waiting for labels.