Friday, October 4, 2013

Succulent September

Ok, I couldn't stay away.  I have blogitus, blog disease, blog spots.  

Delicious, mellow autumn fruitiness
Last month I was mostly:

Enjoying things beginning with 'm'

Mozart and Mendelssohn


Watching films
Studying cows
Feeling very vintage
Wearing brogues
Frantically wiping spider's webs off my face
Running away from Daddy longlegs (ffffrrrrrrttttttt....)
Having bad hair
Buying new slippers
Watching 'Strictly' and 'Downton Abbey'
Eating meatballs

Sorry, did I mention meatballs again?  I could eat them every day.  Basil, our friend and fellow Jamie Oliver fan, stayed one night and we had meatballs, yum - I think we scored it 8/10.  She enjoys us experimenting on her with a new recipe and then scrawling comments all over the recipe book (in pen!) whilst we are busy preparing the pudding.  It has now become a tradition to go head to head with the Radio Times quiz after dinner and if we are still feeling perky, even the Radio Times crossword. Steady.....

Jamie Oliver (the God) - Lamb meatballs, chopped salad and harissa yoghurt

Favourite film of September -
I adore French films, I adore Kirstin Scott Thomas (she kills me with her French speaking, waistcoat and tie in this!) and I love psychological dramas so this film at the Arts Centre was a must.  It was slightly creepy but very funny. 
Dans la maison (film).jpg

Germain (Fabrice Luchini) and Jeanne (Kristin Scott Thomas) in In the House

We decided one day to investigate the vintage market in the Royal Arcade, Boscombe.  It was a beautiful, Victorian building.  Very sad that the massive chain stores on the high street draw more shoppers and it was half empty. A ghostly reminder of a more romantic, sophisticated way of shopping.

I could have spent a fortune on silk scarves, bags and other vintage goodies.

Whilst in Boscombe we found this lovely cafe...  A mysterious lady wearing bright red lipstick and 1940's garb (including a gorgeous knitted waistcoat) was reading at a low table at the front of the bookshop.   Who was she? 

Vintage + books + cafe = deep sigh

Outside The Crooked Book, Boscombe, Dorset

Vintage cookware at The Crooked Book, Boscombe, Dorset

The only downside to this time of year - very large spiders

Vibrant colours

Rosehips, Rowan, Sloes and Elderberries

So much to do in the garden - all that good weather has turned it in to a jungle

But still plenty of colour in the garden


We are enjoying the fruits of our labours

I always thought that this pink furry stuff was a type of flower but I recently found out what these funky coloured, tufted balls really are.  They are caused by a kind of wasp (called a gall wasp) puncturing the leaf of dog and field roses and laying eggs.  These eggs then form larvae which creeps in to the leaf tissue until the whole thing swells in to this pink moss like gall.  In the middle ages they used it to induce sleep by placing it under pillows.

I want a cardy this colour

Old Man's Beard


We took an afternoon off work one Wednesday to visit the Manor House at Stratford Tony which was open for the National Garden Scheme.  We drive past this house all the time so it was great to have a nose!  It has a 5 acre garden.  It was beautiful with lots of areas of interest.  I particularly liked the vegetable garden with raised beds, potting shed and greenhouse.  Such a shame the weather was grey.

The Manor House, Stratford Tony

I snuck in to the greenhouse to take a photo of these yellow gourds

We've been picking blackberries and adding them to apple crumble and custard 

There are so many this year - I need a bigger freezer!

No bungalow bake off at the moment as I haven't had time but Sarah did make these rolls which were delicious with home made minestrone soup.  I like the way you make the rolls and stick them together so that when they're cooked you can tear them off in a rustic, macho way and dip them in yer soup!

Ale bread rolls

I'm still taking photos of sunsets

One morning we received 38 new visitors in the field behind the bungalow.  Devon Red cows, including babies (ah...).  They are very interested in our ducks!  I can't believe that they know when the farm manager is coming to feed them.  It's quite a noise - but I love it.  I like to sit in my old chair and watch their tails swishing.  It reminds me of being a kid and watching Bonanza or High Chaparral.  I always wanted to be a cowgirl.....yeeeeee haaaa.

It's still very mild and the perfect temperature for walks

These flowers have been planted along the edge of a field

A pictorial nature table

Gorgeous girls

Big Dog is unimpressed with the cows

The peppers are ripening

Shop bought cucumber doesn't have any flavour compared to these beauties

Our tomatoes are finally starting to ripen + new curtains at last

I've been walking in mist, fog, rain, the dark - all of them together.  I love it!  I imagine I'm Cathy in Wuthering Heights struggling across the moors in the wind and rain, my hair whipping my face.

Lots of spooky, misty mornings

I hate the thorns on Pyracantha - but that colour is so juicy

I treated myself to some new slippers. When they arrived at the office my colleague Sarah tried them on and decided to buy a pair too.  We stole the idea from our friend and ex-colleague Sioban who has several pairs. They are the cosiest thing I have ever worn.  It's like wearing two sheep on your feet!  

Sheepskin Slippers - Bootees

We wore them to Sioban's for dinner last night to surprise her.

And here we are comparing slippers.....

Now I'm worried. 

I'm off to do a bit of bungee jumping.....


  1. Welcome back, beautiful photo's as always. Where are you jumping from, Salisbury Cathedral ? See you soon. xxx whoops!!!!

  2. ha ha I knew you wouldn't be able to stay away !
    I have to go to that vintage market - I too need scarves and bags and glittery vintage things so I can pretend I really am in the 1920's. Especially as Downton has gone a bit dodge this series...
    Sorry about the pen on the J.O. books (o no I'm not really !) - looking forward to our next RT quiz.
    See you soon
    x basil