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.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

June 2017

June disappeared in the blink of an eye, we had a full diary but mostly of the mundane. We did manage a trip to the beach during the hot spell. We like to leave it until early evening, it's much quieter and more comfortable for Mortimer travelling. He was quite put out about having to get in the car but perked up when he realised where we were. His reading skills have obviously improved recently.

Old Hunstanton Beach Cafe
Mortimer's normal behaviour is to run in and out of the sea, splashing about and rolling in damp sand. This time he just went in and stood there, eventually just mooching about in the water. The sea was lovely and it really helped cool him down. I loved this family who still had their dog on a lead.


Despite it being quite late on a Sunday evening the temperature was still in the late 80's and people were making the most of it - Andrew & Mortimer included.


I will miss Hunstanton beach when we move - there is a beautiful quality to the light and I never tire of taking photographs.


Hunstanton beach

Salads were the only food we wanted to eat and in an effort to move away from lettuce I tried a Yotan Ottolenghi recipe for watermelon, feta and olive - it was perfect in the heat.

Watermelon & feta salad
June is Mortimer's birthday month and so we had the obligatory birthday photograph, there is certainly a tad more white this year.

Mortimer age seven
The last two weeks was a final push to finish the house - and we did it! The final weekend was hideous as I found myself cleaning windows with a toothbrush :-(
We've chosen an estate agent and  the photographer has been - he also does pet photography and he has some great shots 
I was a little nervous as he used a drone to take some aerial photographs and flew it over the neighbours field. The neighbour with a shotgun who shoots pigeons... but he did a good job (the photographer not the neighbour!).


So does any one want to buy a house in the country?