Welcome to family, friends and visitors. Here you will find interesting (hopefully) pictures of my part of the world, news of our household and probably, long ramblings about anything that catches my interest.

Saturday, 31 August 2013


After a quick shopping trip into town our afternoon was spent down at Rockham Beach enjoying the lovely sunny day.
Peter and I occasionally climb down the steep wooden staircase to this beach in the course of our cliff walks but it has been a long time since we spent several hours enjoying a beach and lazing in the sun. 

While Sam was splashing around in the water Kate, Alex and I walked along the beach until we got caught by an unexpectedly high wave. Milo was allowed to run off the lead and had a great time playing with a lurcher. It was funny to watch the lurcher speeding along on its long legs and then slow down to let Milo catch up. Neither of them was too keen on getting caught by the waves and they would scramble wildly to get out of the water.
We had taken tea, coffee and cake to enjoy on the beach and now Peter is making chips and Southern fried chicken with barbecue beans for supper though I,ll stick to a salad.

Friday, 30 August 2013


It was kind of grey this morning but we still decided to go out for a walk around Morte Point. By the time we got to the car park soft rain/low cloud was all around but we were not deterred. I put on my pack-a-mac (yesterday I left it in the car) and we strode out for a British walk. In between the brief showers it was quite warm and humid and we even got to see one seal below the cliff.
We stopped at our usual bench for coffee, tea and fruit bread and watched the rough seas breaking on the rocks. Most refreshing.
Once we rounded the headland we could see the clouds rolling in over the hills.
Arriving home there was just time for some home-made soup, bread, cheese and hummus before the rest of the party went to collect Alex from Barnstaple train station. The rain is now getting heavier and we are looking forward to a roast lamb dinner.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Light Showers.

Today we went for a walk from Hunter's Inn to Heddon's Mouth. We drove there along the cliffs of Trentishoe Down, then down the steeps sides of a wooded valley. We were lucky enough to find a spot to park along the road avoiding having to pay at the NT car park. From there it was a pleasant amble along the wooded valley though we did run into several showers of light drizzle. In between the showers it was still warm so we steadfastly ignored the rain. 
Down at the beach we crossed the stone ridge and found ourselves a spot to sit and have a cuppa. 

There were occasional patches of blue in the sky and we could just make out Wales across the sea.
I love rounded stones and yet again came away with a pocketful of stones for the garden. It was lovely to see several family groups finding things to do on the beach that involved only natural objects. Towers were being built, stone pictures made on some of the bigger slabs and impromptu targets being built and aimed at. 
Milo was allowed to run off the lead and spent quite a while playing in the breaking waves.
There was a bit more rain as we walked back up the valley but by the time we returned to the car the sun was shining once more.
Back home the postman had been and left several parcels for me; the sheet music from The Hobbit and a box of 22 white china handles from China which I have now put on all the kitchen cupboards. 

Wednesday, 28 August 2013


The day started a little hazy but then brightened up to a hot, sunny day. But this morning we had condensation on the inside of our bedroom window. A sure sign that autumn is not far away.
Peter and I both went into town this morning. He had to take the Rav in for its MOT which it passed without any extra expense and I had some last minute food shopping to do.  Back home I started a blackcurrant and apple crumble. I had forgotten just how long it takes to top and tail every little blackcurrant. Thank goodness the rest are going to be made into jam. As our friends are not arriving until later on I still had time to cut 2 pieces of wood to go behind the mirrors. I used a hand saw as the electric fret saw needs a blade and the circular saw is too vicious for careful cutting along lines. That's one more step done. Dinner is in the oven, the place is tidy and the cats are wondering why they haven't been fed yet.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013


It's been warm and hazy today. Not so many butterflies around but plenty of bumble bees as the first of the sedum flowers open. 
We've friends arriving tomorrow so I've spent the day on housework and cooking. 
I went over to Bowden Farm for another meeting to plan our strategy to oppose the appeal for planning permission for a 61m turbine on the next farm. I came away with a stack of letters to post, 6 eggs and after I dropped 2 of my neighbours off, some courgettes and a vegetable spaghetti-squash to try for the first time.

Monday, 26 August 2013


Every time I walk up the stairs the scent from these lilies (from Vytas' bouquet) fills the air.
It's been a day of cloudless blue skies and the temperature in the sheltered sun-trap by the house went up to 48C. The garden is filled with butterflies and at times I have been walking through a cloud of butterflies. One landed on my arm, spread its wings and looked like a living tattoo. 
Peter and I worked together to put up the first part of the frame and the central mirror in my summer house. Even with only one section of mirror it already looked so different giving the illusion of a garden beyond the building. Peter and I don't work together too well but some of it was a 2-man job and I needed him to make sure the electric socket and bare wires that happened to be in the way, were safe. The other two mirrors are glass only so I'll have to put up some flat wood to glue them on. After that it was time to cut the grass while Peter prepared a barbecue.
Gemma who has her own photographic studio came over to take some photos of me and Peter, what a thoughtful birthday present that was. We had a barbecue first and it was good to catch up before posing for some natural pictures of us laughing together. Gemma took some photos outside and some in the kitchen. It's amazing how you can still take digital pictures in low light and Peter enjoyed comparing how things have changed since the days when he worked in photographic studios.

Sunday, 25 August 2013


I discovered why the leaves on one of my tomato plants were full of holes. There were a couple of green caterpillars including this one munching his way through one of the fruit. Considering how few fruit there are it was very annoying.
It has been another lovely sunny day so at last we were able to go down to Barricane Beach for an al fresco curry. We weren't expecting it to be quite so crowded but this is still summer holiday time. 
Fortunately we were able to sit at one of the 4 tables and didn't have to take our plates and sit on the sand. The meal was a selection of chicken and vegetable dishes served with rice and poppadums. The curry was quite mild but very tasty and of course there is nothing like eating with a view of the sea. One of the nice things about this place is that they use china plates and mugs. I don't like drinking from a plastic or paper cup and paper plates are just ............. for kids. Peter brought himself some wine from home, a lot of people had brought bottles of wine or glasses of beer. 
After we had eaten we had a stroll on the beach then went up and sat on a bench on top of the cliff. It was so peaceful watching the waves while a warm wind blew and the sun shone down from a cloudless sky.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Sunny & Windy.

This morning we went for a walk around Morte Point. It was very windy and mostly sunny so good conditions for walking.
There are still lots of holiday-makers around and the seals put on their usual show for them. 
These two were lazing about in the gully and just after I took this picture they had a bit of a fight.
Back in the village we stopped at the village hall to look at the craft fair. There wasn't a lot there and most things were quite twee and not really my taste. When I looked over the wall of the car park I got a new view of Morthoe. The field in the centre has allotments. I wouldn't mind growing my vegetables there. We didn't have our usual coffee stop because we had run out of milk at home. Our big chest freezer is so full there hasn't been room to keep much milk and as I'm not going into town very often during the summer it's been easy to forget the milk. We called in at Tesco's on the way home and did some shopping and when we got home I re-arranged the freezer so there was room to put in 5 bottles of milk. It's useful having a big freezer so that when we see good bargains in the reduced section we have room to keep them. At the moment there are a lot of containers of frozen blackcurrants waiting to be made into jam so that will free up a lot of space. I also gave the garden furniture yet another coat of oil and cut some of the wood for for my summer house project.
I put on the headphones to listen to the radio last night and I swear Peter snored even louder than usual. I heartlessly gave him a few sharp pokes and the snoring died down to a level where I could ignore it. At the moment because my hips force me to sleep on my back it's not a problem going to sleep with the headphones on.

Friday, 23 August 2013


Gosh, I don't feel as if I'm 57. It's true what they say, most people feel like they are still in their twenties and I'm no exception. Today has been really lovely. Maybe not weather-wise but I've had so many greetings and messages in one form or another. Peter got up at his usual time and then gave me the nicest surprise me by saying that today is part of his holiday and he didn't need to go to work. Apart from chocolates and an orchid he had got me a new clock radio. Not only was the old one beginning to keep loosing the tuning and needed adjusting several times in the evening but the new one has a socket for headphones. Peter always snores for an hour or more when he falls asleep which I find really annoying even though it isn't his fault.  He has tried so many different methods to stop snoring and even had a painful operation but nothing has ever helped. All my doctor said was that we should sleep in different rooms!!! I'm hoping that with the big headphones he also got me I won't be disturbed so much.
A bit later on I had another nice surprise in the form of a lovely bunch of flowers from Vytas and Sally. There were so many flowers in this big bouquet that  I now have 4 vases of flowers around the place.
We drove down to Barricane Beach hoping for a walk on the sands but it started raining as we set off and got heavier and heavier. Peter braved the rain to go down and check when they were doing the Sri Lankan curry nights. Obviously not today but they will be doing them on Saturday and Sunday so we'll aim to get there tomorrow. I can think of nothing nicer than eating a meal outside down at the edge of the beach. And then we drank coffee in the car looking at the pouring rain before joining all the soggy holiday makers on the road home.
Back home I did do one little job, filling some gaps in the worktop with wood filler but for the rest of the time I've been taking things easy though I've refrained from scoffing all my chocolates and will eat just a few truffles each evening. .  

Thursday, 22 August 2013


We've been blessed with a bonus summer day today. And with the wind blowing it was a good day for hanging out the washing. I managed to find lots of jobs to do outside and plenty got done from weeding and cutting back to picking the last of the blackcurrants. I still found time to simply sit and read because who knows if we'll get any more of this wonderful weather.
At the end of the day I caught the last of the sun up at the scree garden before going in to iron the bedding I'd washed earlier. When I remade the bed the bedroom had that warm feeling from the day's sun which went well with the smell of freshly ironed sheets. (I'm trying not to think of the winter when the chill hits you when you go into the bedroom.) 

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Sun & Showers.

My emotions took a hammer blow this morning when I had a delivery of some of Linas' belongings that I had asked to be sent over from Belfast. I was expecting them to arrive tomorrow and it was a bit of a shock when the delivery man knocked on the door. So it hasn't been a very happy day.
I thought I'd put up some pictures of the kitchen while it is relatively tidy. I am going to try very hard to keep the counters clear even though I am not a naturally tidy person. I'll have to wait a while for the new cupboard handles to arrive. Peter thinks they will be too much of a contrast against the wood but they'll look better than the scruffy handles we've got now.
It has been a day of sudden showers and very hot spells with the temperature going up to 35C in the shelter of our valley. I spent some time reading up by the scree garden but the ants started to swarm and were everywhere. Lots of butterflies too when the sun was shining. 

Tuesday, 20 August 2013


The day was looking so good that I was up by 7.00. However by the time the washing was ready to hang on the line and I had done all the usual household jobs it went very grey and I'm sure I felt a drop or two of rain. But the rain held off and the weather got better and better until by the late afternoon there was hardly a cloud to be seen in the sky.
My first outdoor job of the day was to oil the garden furniture. I'm very fond of my eBay purchase and I'm going to give them as much oil as possible before putting them away for the winter. 
And then it was time to pick blackcurrants, accompanied by many wasps. I've already got several tubs of frozen blackcurrants  and there are still plenty more to pick.
After that the weather was perfect for sitting up by the scree garden with a book and a cup of tea. I gave myself a long lunch break but then as the weather was also perfect for mowing I got out the mower and cut all the grass. I didn't strim this time because even though it makes sense to take advantage of the electric cable it is too tiring for poor old me. Off soon for another anti-turbine meeting.

Monday, 19 August 2013


I've been busy finishing off in the kitchen in the afternoon but in the morning I had to go into town to visit the Post Office, library etc. I got everything ready including the rubbish and the recycling to leave at the top of the hill and then as I opened the car door I saw that the footwell was full of water. I took out the floor mat and then sponged up the water as best I could but the fitted carpet was soaking. Luckily my hoover is also a carpet washer and I could use it to suck out all the water. I must have not closed the door properly and let the rain in while the car has been sitting there all week. I was worried that the water might have affected the engine or the wiring but it started all right. Now the car will be damp and musty for ages.
I had a long trawl on eBay looking for new handles for the kitchen cupboards because the cheap brass coated ones on them at the moment are all rubbed away and tarnished. In the end I found some plain white china ones which were reasonably priced. Also I had decided that it was really about time I fixed the hinge on one of the kitchen cupboards which has been broken for as long as I can remember. As it's a small high up cupboard that I hardly ever use I just never bothered. I took the original hinge with me to town, first calling at the dump to see if there were any cupboard doors in the wood skips that might have a hinge but no luck there. Instead I bought 2, they only come in 2's, which were nearest in size because naturally hinges from 25 years ago came in different sizes. I had to drill all the holes but I got it fitted and now the door closes properly instead of hanging at a slant.
My final job in the kitchen was to sort out my set of old white jugs which were holding an amazing amount of stuff; pens, pencils, scissors, rulers, 6 nit combs?, and anything else that could be shoved in them. Now that I've cleared out all the junk and pens that don't work the jugs look much better. There are a few cupboards that I would like to empty, wash and sort the contents but I'll wait for a rainy day to do that.