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Thursday, 20 July 2017

Take Three Thursday: Sweet Peas

I am today joining Mary Lou with her Take Three Thursday choosing three photos with a theme in common. The sweet peas are now coming on nicely. The ones in the main garden are flowering profusely.

The ones in our garden are always behind. Their position is not so sunny but the ones in the pot are coming on well.

So today I have chosen 3 pictures of the beautiful blooms.

You will have to imagine the scent as you walk past them. Hmmm gorgeous!

Wednesday, 19 July 2017


When I took Monty for a walk this afternoon gues who decided to come along?

It is not unusual for the cats to follow but today Socks saw me getting ready to go for a walk and shot out of the house to follow. He then kept rolling on the ground in my pathway!

We walked along by one of the barley fields which is nearly ready to harvest.

Someone was having great fun in the barley.

Luckily he wasn't interested in the hedgerow.

Then it was time for a play in the grass.

One thing was for sure Socks was not going to come and have his photo with the hens!

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Flower Art in Sidmouth

During our visit to Sidmouth we took a walk around a couple of parks. Blackmore Park is the old grounds of a house that has been demolished. Like last year there are a couple of flower tableaux. This  'Nessie' who has roamed a long way from Scotland.

I rather like his face.

Then in the next part. A Wind in the Willows tableau. 

As well as toad there are other characters.

The others are hidden around the garden.

This donkey was also by the bowling green.

There is a tranquil conservatory with a Passion flower growing across the whole of the roof.

The whole of Sidmouth is an array of flowers and the Connaught Gardens that I mentioned yesterday are a mixture of formal and more casual planting. I took very few pictures of these mainly I think because I was too busy drinking tea and ice cream eating! 
I did however take one of the wildflower planting that was superbly colourful.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Day Trip

A lot of you may recall that I help with a lunch club for the elderly once a month. The money that we raise from this is put towards a trip out in July for the members and helpers. A popular destination all round is Sidmouth and we returned there again this year. The day was dull but not raining and amongst other things we enjoyed a walk along the front.

We stopped as last year at the lifeboat station and bought some Christmas cards. Let's not forget that it's only 5 months away! 
One of the most interesting sections of the seafront is the east end where the path is carved into the cliff.

This boat looked somewhat neglected or perhaps just secured against floating away.

Steps have been made to climb to the top of the cliff to access the Connaught Gardens.

Best perhaps not to look back down.

The climb is worth it for the view.

Note the lone swimmer!

The climb is also worth it for the clock tower tea rooms.

It is set in Connaught Gardens and includes many different outlooks on the coast.

Something else of note was this plaque which was one of many around the town.

This one I thought would be an interesting possibility for No. 21 A Plaque in the Summer Photography Scavenger Hunt. Just in case you can't read it here is a close up.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Sweet Williams

I have a few Sweet William plants left in my garden from last year. They make a great splash of colour particularly in a corner of the garden under the greengage tree where very little grows.

Which is your favourite?

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Peach Cobbler

Last week  I posted the peach jam I had made with a surplus of peaches. My sister said that a popular dish where she is in the States is Peach Cobbler. I still had a good number left so started to research the possibility. I looked up a few recipes online but decided to convert my tried and tested gooseberry cobbler recipe from Delia Smith's Summer Collection. I have made a few fruit cobblers but never tried peach.
The peaches were  so ripe that the skin was easy to remove with the dunk in boiling water followed by cold water method. Then I sliced them into the dish.

I added some soft brown sugar and lemon juice. 

Then some freshly squeezed orange juice.

These additions were part of a Jamie Oliver recipe. He suggested baking the fruit for 20 minutes before adding the topping. I skipped this as I felt that they would cook enough in the time that the scone mixture was cooking. I did add a few boysenberries that I had picked in the garden.

The scone mixture is plopped on top with a teaspoon of demerara sugar sprinkled on top. I decided to add a half teaspoon of cinnamon to the sugar before sprinkling.

The finished result was tasty but a little juicy. Another time I would not add so much lemon and orange juice maybe just some zest. It seemed to go down okay anyway.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Understanding the Food we Eat

On Wednesday I had the opportunity again to join in an event designed to help bring children closer to the food they eat. This is a biennial event for key stage 2 children to learn more of the process of plough to plate. Over 80 classes of children are brought out from their schools in Bristol and North Somerset to the North Somerset showground which is set up for the day as a hands on educational farm. Each class is led by a volunteer steward around the various events. This is the third time that I have taken on this role.
My class this time came from Weston Super Mare and our first visit was to the mocked up farm with real farm animals for the children to see and touch. It included a demonstration of milking by a farmer who certainly missed his vocation as a comedian!

Always one of the great attractions are the newly hatched chicks in the chicken and egg workshop.

A talk from a real butcher with real meat carcasses is something that goes down well with nearly all the children. Only a few are too squeamish to sit through it.

Another great favourite is the sheep show where dancing sheep entertain large numbers of the children.

The day totally covers all aspects of farming from the ploughing of the ground to the moment the food reaches their plate. This year there were demonstrations of ploughing from horse drawn to mechanically drawn.

It is a tiring day for all the youngsters with a lot of walking and a lot to do. I think there is no doubt that many of the children get a great deal from it. One child last time actually froze when he went to step off the bus because he had never been in a field. There are opportunities for children to brush and groom dogs, touch meat, feel wool make bread. The list is almost endless.
All the volunteers are equally exhausted at the end of the day. I for one was glad to get home and put my feet up!