Tuesday, 3 October 2017

September

We've been in a bubble this month. With our house sold and a French house bought we've just been jogging along quietly. Until exchange of contracts (still waiting) we don't like to disrupt anything in the house in case we have to go back on the market. We've done some planning for the interior of the Correze house and barn, Andrew has been reading up on French electrics and plumbing (which has been the cause of a few sleepless nights). I've been sorting through my boxes of hoarded fabrics and Ebaying like crazy.

It's been nice to have visitors too although when we've been out and about we've had the odd 'will this be the last time...' moment. The first, and probably only time was a trip to Castle Rising Castle, a 12th century castle with huge surrounding earthworks. It's a lovely place to wander around and they allow dogs in as well although we decided that Mortimer and spiral staircases would not be a brilliant combination.

Castle Rising Castle




Autumn is probably my favourite season, I love the soft, golden light and warmth that doesn't sap. I usually have my camera tucked in a pocket to take some shots.

Autumn at Nelson House
As well as the weather, I love Autumn for the food. Much as I enjoy salads and the soft summer fruit it's nice to get back to soup and comfort food (much needed at the moment). Cooking is my 'go to' activity for relieving stress so I've returned to some favourite recipe books and tried out some new dishes. 



Andrew also made me a special dish for breakfast last Sunday. During our very brief house hunting trip to France I had 'pain perdu' for the first time. Also know as French toast, lost bread or eggy toast it was something that Andrew would sometimes have as a child but had passed me by. The version we had, as a dessert, was made with brioche and delicious and I was promised some on our return. We had several false starts but eventually it was served last week. He used a version by Mimi Thorisson, in her 'A kitchen in France' book and it was delicious and a great treat.



And that was September. I'm sure that October is not going to be as gentle a month but hopefully there will be some movement.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Summer

This summer has been a whirlwind, nine weekends in a row where we've either had guests or house viewers, or in some cases both (we have some very tolerant friends!) or we've been away from home.
One of the highlights was a long weekend in Bristol for a family gathering. Andrew's uncle (and godfather) Rodney lives in the centre of the city and this time we took the opportunity of an extended stay, quite rightly thinking it may be our only break this year. We had a wonderful time exploring the city, which seemed a place where your eyes were always drawn upwards.

Stunning Bristolian architecture
One of many ships masts

Rooftop detail


A hint of Bristol's maritime history
A model of The Matthew in St. Mary's Radcliffe

We never saw him again...

I don't know what your summer has been like but everything here seems to have come early. I took this photograph of blackberries mid-July and we had our first crumble at the end of the month.
 
Blackberries in July
 

Wild greengage (bullace)
 Apart from blackberries, the hedge opposite our house has a wild plum and a wild greengage. Technically I don't think that they're 'wild' but probably trees from old orchards that have reverted to their original rootstock. Everyone picks the red ones but ignores the greengage which makes a delicious jam (as does the plum!)

 


You may remember that a swarm of bees arrived earlier this year taking advantage of an empty hive. As they were new I left them alone but the visit of a beekeeping friend prompted an inspection - boy have they been busy! I had to take out some honey and improvise some extra frames to give them more space. My next inspection, two weeks later, proved that it was the right thing to do. They needed more space for brood, not having any spare brrod frames I had to slot in some honey frames and as you can see they have taken full advantage and built their own extension.


Bee extension

It looks like I wasn't the only one in the area who needed to improvise. We took some friends to Peckover House in Wisbech, where they also keep bees. If you look closely at the hive in the middle it seems to be made out of random polysterene nuc boxes and spare supers.



We baby sat Milton for a few days, it seemed only fair as he entertained Mortimer when we went to Bristol. They get on very well together and it's certainly a case of 'me & mini-me'!


Oh! and we went to France and bought a house! Fingers crossed it all goes through OK.
Our house in Correze

View from the garden.