Tuesday, 28 February 2017


It's Shrove Tuesday today so we have to have pancakes for supper tonight served with lemon and caster sugar. This was my final one with almost enough batter left to cover the pan.

Partridge pair

We haven't seen our partridge for ages but suddenly the pair of them are back and if they are really nibbling on the dock leaves they are especially welcome! Maybe now the hares will return too.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Storm Ewan

I really hate this ridiculous business of naming our 'storms'. Yes at this time of year it's windy (very if like us you live on a hill) and cold and sometimes there's snow. Today we had hail and sleet first which made pretty patterns against the windows, then actual snow (much more on the distant hills of the Peak District) and finally a rainbow.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

It's warmer indoors

My geranium takes a look out of the bathroom window at the sleet and snow and decides it's quite happy in the big bathroom thank you. It is peppermint scented and so I love running my fingers across the leaves. In the kitchen I have its much smaller lemon scented companion.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Makers Market

The pretty garden shed from Ox Eye Daisy
On the fourth Saturday of the month Uttoxeter holds a 'Makers Market'. I love the flowers which are so cleverly displayed, they make spring seem just around the corner. This month there were pretty white grape hyacinths, I now need to buy some nice vintage terracotta pots!

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Weathering the storm

Well we survived the latest gales. A few more tiles have slipped from the barn roof and the tassels have been blown from the hazels but otherwise we are OK. The sheep stood in the field as hail battered down but then once it stopped I could see them all shaking themselves dry again. At the end of the day the sky cleared and the sun shone through the clouds - too distracting when you are trying to cook supper and take photographs!

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

The generous gardener

I did some light pruning of my newly planted roses and took the final bloom from my generous gardener. I've posed it here (actually in a bud vase) with my deep pink cyclamen.

Mrs Pheasant

At lunch time she was literally tip toeing across the garden, probably trying to avoid the loudly strutting males who I had heard earlier!

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Hellebores and bulbs

My pretty hellebore was a gift from a neighbour, planted last summer, and now flowering beautifully. Elsewhere even more snowdrops have appeared (I had trouble starting them off but now they seem happy) and beneath last year's foliage I found my bulbs are well up and no doubt glad to have a little more space and light.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Cutting the grass

We've been gardening like mad and Dave decided that the lawn had grown enough for its first cut. Elsewhere I cut back old foliage (hoping the mild weather lasts for a while) and weeded.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Cream Tea

Today after a huge amount of gardening I decided we deserved a cream tea! Actually the scones (made by me) were left over from a WI event I was tasked with organising and it would have been a tragedy to waste them.

Mr and Mrs

Mr and Mrs Bullfinch are very welcome to plight their troth in my garden, I'd just prefer that they didn't seal the deal with a feast of damson buds! I'm sure the hawthorn would taste as nice.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Valentine's Day

I love my pretty card 'from an admirer' and wonder if I could use it to inspire some embroidery. We went to visit Bakewell as it's a while since we've been there and came across this bridge. I'm married to someone who would see this as a huge waste of a padlock!

Monday, 13 February 2017


An amazing red sun this morning despite it being a chilly start. It rises behind the sheep field, so as always I do a quick head count to check no one is stuck in the brambles: their favourite way to work at being a sheep (four legs looking for a way to finish themselves off)!

Friday, 10 February 2017


This is the hull of an upturned boat on the beach at Portland. I love the blend of weathered colours and they are very much the palette that we have used here at Hill Farm: the terracotta, cream, dark brown and greyish blue.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Happy days at the seaside

It was lovely to be able to spend a few days down in Dorset visiting my sister who lives on Portland. We stopped for coffee at Quiddles Cafe Beach Bar and despite the freezing wind enjoyed a brisk walk looking down the length of Chesil Beach. I do miss being near the sea.

Monday, 6 February 2017


I planted quite a lot of snowdrop bulbs when we first arrived and it's lovely to see them start to spread (albeit slowly). I noticed them first looking out from the bedroom window as they seem to have appeared from the grass as if by magic. I love to have a few in a tiny vase by the bed but as yet there aren't really enough to do this.

Pink sky

Last night the sky turned a glorious pink as the sun set. It was a bright and sunny day so I was surprised to wake in the night to freezing fog again, although I could also see stars.

Spring cheer

A bunch of daffodils arranged in my lovely Emma Bridgewater 'Hill Farm' mug brighten up my kitchen table. The daffodils were bought, but in aid of charity, so I don't feel guilty that I haven't grown them!

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Room 2

We had guests come and stay this weekend. They were amazingly lucky with the weather as there was sunshine on both days. I love to see it streaming in through the windows and after a very gloomy January it really lifts my spirits.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Spring is heading our way

Today we had sunshine and clear blue skies. The air was full of birdsong and suddenly spring doesn't seem so far away.


I love baking and enjoy making cakes for our guests, WI, church events and of course for us. If I had to pick a favourite it would be coffee walnut cake so I was delighted that this was what our weekend guests fancied too!

Fighting pheasants

The male pheasants were sparring for ages in the garden today. They engage in a face off, make lots of noise and occasionally peck at each other. The women were nowhere to be seen.

Friday, 3 February 2017


Catkins on our hazel definitely say spring is coming. I picked a few from further down the field (and more tightly in bud) to arrange with daffodils to make a pretty arrangement for guests coming to stay this weekend.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

St Peter and St Blaise

St Blaise wall painting
Wall Painting, All Saints Church, Kingston
Today was a very special day for our village church. On the eve of the feast of St Blaise our church was dedicated, in a beautiful service led by the Bishop of Repton, to both St Peter and St Blaise. Apparently prior to the reformation the church had been known as St Blaise, but post reformation it became St Peter's, now we have both names which seems fitting for this very special place.

While checking some facts on the internet I was fascinated to find a photograph of this 14th century wall painting of St Blaise which is in All Saints Church in Kingston upon Thames. The co-incidence is that this is where I lived, many years ago, when I first left home.

More birds

Looking out across the field I saw a tree full of what turned out to be pigeons. Elsewhere the Fieldfares are back although they ate all the berries three months ago!

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

We're back

After a few months away the Fieldfares have returned, but they took all the berries on their last visit to Hill Farm and so now they sit looking rather dejected in the bushes calling to eachother.