Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Busy Bee

Well I for one have certainly been a busy bee over the last couple of weeks, explaining the lack of posting and commenting going on.

All of a sudden all of the plums and courgettes and beans and carrots and raspberries and pretty much everything else are ready and not just waiting, but demanding to be picked and eaten/cooked/preserved.

So I've been trotting back and forth to the garden and allotment with basketfuls of produce, being eyed suspiciously by people in the street. First up were the courgettes, which I made into delicious soup, with some parmesan and stock.

Next was the mammoth and seemingly never ending task of picking plums. James' parents have four plum trees but no time to do anything with them. So we have been picking and jam-making and selling them. Incidentally I one first prize in the jam class at the village show, which was hilarious as it was pretty much the first time I had made jam on my own, and there were about 10 other entries from the local doyennes (is that the right word?) of preserving.

We are also in plentiful supply of other vegetables, and are eating them roasted with herbs
from the garden and plenty of oil almost every day.

I had a brief but unsuccessful foray into cordial making. I had seen a recipe for lavender cordial here and thought I'd try it out. I ended up not with the glossy, orange nectar that the photo shows, but some grey-purple liquid (not syrupy) that tasted like lavender, but not like cordial. BUT this was all me and not the recipe, because I left it in the pan once it had boiled because I didn't have a bottle on hand. So I think it ended up stewing and going yucky. Must do better.

As mentioned previously, I have also been super busy getting things together for our stall at the Bath Vintage and Antiques fair this Sunday (Green Park Station if anyone is in the area). I will do a post about all the beauties I have found and things I have made separately because I think people reading this will lose the will to live otherwise. Anyway, I had been fabric shopping to Phasepatch and bought some lovely fabric. (Their website only shows their patchwork fabric but they sell a lot of other cottons and things as well in the shop, and the couple who own the shop are the nicest people ever, and I just love it!) Totally should have ironed these fabrics before I took the pictures but hey ho.

Last but not least I went to watch James and his friend Matt play cricket in Bathampton. It was a lovely afternoon, I took my camera (but not my knitting, definitely would have if I knew how long the game was going to go on) and took a few pictures. I was a long way away so they're a little blurry.

All in all a lovely couple of weeks!

Monday, 8 August 2011

We've All Been on a Summer Holiday...

Last week I went on the Eurostar from St Pancras to Avignon in the South of France. The sun shone (most of the time), we ate too much bread and cheese and drank too much wine, and generally had a fantastic time.
One of the best shops in the town is 'Lou en Provence', which sells beautiful throws, cushions, and other lovely things for the home. I dangerously paid by card and had to cycle back to the campsite with a rather full basket. These were some of the delights on offer...

We went during the Avignon Festival, which is an annual theatre festival and all the theatres in town put on the same programme of plays all day every day. The entire town is full of actors doing impromptu street shows to advertise their play, and every available surface is plastered with posters and placquards.

I've not put the photos in a very good order, so here's another of the French Maison shop

More theatre posters. We went to watch 'Lavita' which was a mime about a couple's life from teenagers to old age. It was great and everybody loved it.

These are the classic holiday snaps, the Palais du Pape and the Pont d'Avignon.

We had a great time, and a good rest. Highly recommended! We are now working very hard on our new venture, a vintage and antiques stall specialising in homeware and craft. This means lots of sewing and hunting for vintage china for me. The market is at the Bath V&A in Green Park on the 31st of every month for anyone in the area!

Hope everyone else is enjoying some time off this summer