Friday, 30 September 2016

Collecting grass

Our grass is being collected but the breeze means a fair amount seems to be missing it's target trailer! There is also a small strip in the middle of the field which seems to have been left producing a mohican effect!


Yesterday was a day spent gardening in very strong winds, but at least this morning it all looks considerably neater. It's the time of year when everything starts to sprawl about and refuses to stay where it's supposed to. My dahlias are doing really well at last and will hopefully be plentiful for harvest arrangements in church.


There was a really autumnal feeling this morning as I walked over very wet grass to pick my raspberries. Yesterday was very windy but now it is still. Our grass in the field has been cut and last night, in the dark, they came and 'twizzled' it into rows.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Jam today and definitely jam tomorrow!

I've made quite a lot of jam from our fruit this year, but when I came to label it today there was rather more than I'd imagined: 19 large and 5 small jars of damson, 6 large and 5 small jars of strawberry and 9 large jars of blackcurrant (and this is without including what we've already consumed!)

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Amazing sunset

Tonight we had a truly spectacular sunset here, with the clouds glowing orange before the sun went down. I ran up the lane to take more photos of this wonderful sky.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Damson crumble

I've been making lots of jars of damson jam this week as the trees are just starting to drop the first of their fruit, much to the delight of the pheasant who sits on the grass below. I thought it would be fun to make a damson crumble keeping the fruit nicely sharp, my crumble topping included oats and almonds. I consulted Delia Smith's Cookery Course (my go to book for checking things) and she says leave the stones in for the diners to remove: Joe and I each got 24, whilst Dave found 27 in his portion. It made for a very quiet meal!!

Friday, 23 September 2016


I went with the WI to Lichfield where we had a very interesting guided tour of the city. Now I need to go back with more time to explore.


Never mind looking at Glamping options, what I really fell in love with at the show were the Alpacas on the Alpaca Alliance stand. They were so sweet and make a sort of chirrupy snuffling noise. When I lifted up the camera one of them came and stood right in front of me - definitely posing. I have to laugh as one of our local farmers asked us very early on if we planned on keeping alpacas as apparently that's 'what townies do when they move to the country', well now I can see why!

Thursday, 22 September 2016


We had a day out at The Glamping Show in Stoneleigh, it was very interesting and there were a lot of options for accommodation ranging from a basic camp bed with canvas surround to a shepherd's huts with built in en-suites. Definitely food for thought ...

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Our front garden

The flower bed at the front of the house is still full of flowers, bees and butterflies all enjoying the unseasonal warmth that has followed the misty mornings.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Morning mist

This morning we had an amazing mist which was filling the field opposite and drifting along the lane. Everywhere was dripping wet and the lawn was hosting a slug-fest!

Thursday, 15 September 2016

We plough the fields

'We plough the fields and scatter the good seed on the land', well not us personally but that's what is happening all around us this week, with tractors working late into the evening and alarming me by squeezing up our lane and between our stone gate posts. The weather is extraordinary, very hot but also overcast and humid.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Farewell to summer

We have what will probably be our last family BBQ of the summer. It is a rare chance for us all to be together and it's good to be able to make the most of it.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

A huge storm

We had a huge storm. Originally we thought we would miss it but just before supper the sky went black and we had very heavy rain, followed by thunder and lightning and then an impressive double rainbow which came right down in the field opposite ... now if only one of the sheep had obliged me by positioning itself there it would have made a great photo, but sensibly they went down the other end of the field for shelter.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Horn Dancing

We went to watch the Abbots Bromley horn dance. Although cloudy it was a dry, warm day. We joined the dancers around 11am and followed them on to Blithfield Hall where they have their lunch. It is fun to be part of such a long standing tradition, this year one of the dancers was celebrating his own personal 50 year involvement!

Sunday, 11 September 2016


The front garden is full of self seeded dill, this one is growing artistically if a little in the way in front of the door to the plant room (where it obviously thinks it would be right at home).

A season of mists

This morning there was mist across the valley which cleared swiftly to blue skies and sun (after all yesterdays cloud and rain). The farmer has been ploughing and autumn has definitely arrived.

Friday, 9 September 2016


The warm weather means I have a fantastic crop of autumn raspberries. I've been picking some each day for my breakfast but today's haul is destined for the freezer and for trifles in the future. If I get enough I'll make some jam. The damson's though are still a little too firm to pick.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016


Yes Dave now feels it's time to extend his skills to roofing. Despite my many protestations that this is not where I think he should be he decides to go for it anyway. After trips to buy reclaimed Staffordshire blue tiles and a variety of ladder and gutter fixings work is now underway (while I keep my fingers firmly crossed and my phone close!)

More sheep

The sheep in the field opposite are joined by their friends - I love that they all ran over to baa hello. These sheep are enjoying a leisurely life at the moment, they take a prolonged siesta for most of the afternoon before a wander around at supper time. The grass in the mild damp air is growing fast so they have plenty to feast on.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Granola time

September is our busiest B&B month so far and I spend a happy time in the kitchen making a lemon drizzle cake, melting moment biscuits, muesli and granola which is full of lovely things including pecans, hazlenuts, raisins, cranberries, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

Saturday, 3 September 2016


The low morning light catching the dahlias, the heavy dew on the grass, yes I have to admit that autumn is fast approaching! The weather is humid at the moment and the garden is struggling against mildew.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

A day out

We took advantage of a sunny day for a trip out into the Peak District proper. We went up to Hartington and had a wander and a picnic, before stopping off at The Old Cheese Shop for some local Tissington cheese. The drive back along the A515 provides a wonderful vista of small fields and stone walls.