Monday, 20 August 2012

A kitchen garden to dream of.

My mum works as a gardener at Roche Court, 'The New Art Centre' in Winterslow, Wiltshire. The gardens are wide expanses of grass bordered by eclectic flower beds overflowing with colour, sculptures dotted here and there providing modernity and contrast to the country garden.
My favourite bit, though, is the walled garden. Gated and hidden away from the rest of the garden, the little walled square is home to rampant roses climbing up the walls and big clumps of overgrown tarragon and other herbs. The highlight are the greenhouses. Two enormous glass structures filled with everything from old terracotta seedling pots to large shrub pots, trowels and bags of compost. Along the side of one greenhouse is a raised vegetable patch, everything organised in neet rows.
At the moment I'm taking cuttings of all the herbs in my garden ready for when I go back to London and I dream of a huge greenhouse and organised vegetable patches. Maybe one day.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

S is for Summer and Sandcastles

Summer is when you built sandcastles. Damn right, we built a sandcastle. And by George, it's beautiful.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

I love stones.

So I'm pretty much a self confessed stone lover. Holidays are a danger zone, especially seaside ones, where I tend to pick up and pocket more stones than is probably legally permitted (see bulging pockets of top picture). When we went to Wales it was all about the slate and the basalt. Fantastic craggy beaches got me hot under the collar. In Ireland, Shane and Marianna, who kindly gave us a bed in Sligo (thank you very much), saw a different side of me when let loose on a stony beach in the beginnings of a storm. I have never seen stones like that (see bottom picture). Amazing! I carried that whacking great big boulder in my rucksack through Belfast, almost triggering an angry hunger induced domestic, thankfully averted by cheap and greasy heavenly pizza from StarPizza. Hooray for StarPizza! I decided to put it in the hold luggage and only take the little pebbles (not really that little but relatively little) in my hand luggage. Just as well seeing as I got stopped and had my bag searched at the airport, the nice security lady going through all my stuff before incredulously asking if I had stones in my bag. I then proceded to unpack my haul and show her rather proudly if slightly anxiously, worried she might take them away. One of them was almost too big but all got through in the end. Not my fault they look like plastic explosives on the x-ray... Anyway, they're safe and sound at home with my fast growing brood. I'm going to have to start labelling them soon.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Cliffs, pebbles and seals - a week in Pembrokeshire.

Alun, his parents and myself went to stay in Fishguard in Pembrokeshire for a week, walking along the cliff tops and stuffing my pockets with pebbles from the long beaches.

I fell in love with the area and kept picturing myself getting up to go and check my lobster pots in a little sea kayak and filling one of the little white cottages in the tiny cove ports with the grey slabs of stone rife in the area and pieces of driftwood turning the fire in wintertime slightly green as the salt catches.
Alun and I went swimming in the sea, too! It's one of the favourite things, feeling all your body prickle as the cold water touches it. Completely exhilarating.
One of the highlights was a fantastic little fish restaurant, The Shed, tiny and tucked away in a little harbour. The menu is small, the dishes simple but full of flavour and perfectly executed. Bookings are essential and if you're in the know you can even ask for a lobster to be caught by the chef in the morning before your meal. What's not to love?

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Friday, 3 August 2012

I won a hammock!

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So way back at the end of May I entered a competition held by the fantastic design blog Design Hunter. In order to enter you had to leave a comment with your intentions for the Urbana hammock to be given away. I left a comment talking about Alun's birthday and how I had intended to take him wild camping. It was a random draw and I was picked!
In the end the camping trip fell through, it seemed that we've rather filled up our time and I couldn't wait to hang it up and try it out anyway. Nonie came over for the morning, bringing fresh bread and almond croissants from the market and the sun was shining. The hammock comfortably fit the two of us, the fabric thick and sturdy cotton, the colours vibrant and summery.
This is a rather belated post but I would like to say thanks to Design Hunter and to Urbana. Thank you!