Saturday, 26 July 2014

FARMERS' MARKET FROLICS


We love our local farmers' market, it's our weekly treat (out of football season of course!) I love the beautiful flowers and fruit, and this week my lovely eldest son bought me two bunches of flowers as I couldn't choose between them. The boys always choose chocolate twists and eat bits off the French stick before we get home much to my annoyance! Daddy buys cider from the local organic cider producer, sausages and cheese from the cheese man. Saturday lunches are the best of the week.




PERFECT PLACES TO PADDLE




We are blessed to live in a beautiful part of the world and take for granted the pretty villages and countryside nearby. It's quite ironic that the most expensive places to live in the Cotswold's were originally built for the local mill workers and farm labourers and were remote, cold and dark to live in, and often damp - I know I've lived in one!

This week we visited the picture postcard perfect village of Lower Slaughter, where a pint of beer in the village pub cost a whopping £4.75! We cooled ourselves down by buying ice creams and having a paddle in the Slaughter Brook that meanders through the village.

p.s. the tunic that I'm wearing is my old Next uniform from when I was a Saturday girl about 20 years ago! Am quite exited that I still fit into it, but quite sad that I have a load of clothes that are now THAT OLD! At least the hat was a more recent edition from Jigsaw.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

SLEEPING UNDER THE STARS

Camping




What are your camping luxuries? Mine is a bell tent, a real fire and toasting marshmallows on sticks. 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

HOW TO MAKE A PICNIC LOAF


I made a picnic loaf this week for the school picnic, it's so simple to make and very tasty. You basically buy or make a round loaf, cut a lid at the top and then scoop out all the bread inside (which you can then use for breadcrumbs which can be frozen if not used straight away). 


To fill mine I roast aubergine, peppers and courgette in the oven at 180 degrees for half an hour, with a generous amount of olive oil and garlic. 


Then I layer inside the loaf with rocket leaves, tomato, basil and mozerella cheese. Squashing it firmly down inside.


finally adding the roast vegetables on top and gently but firmly pressing down the lid on top. You can fill it with whatever takes your fancy, even stews in winter. You then slice it up to serve and you should see all your layers as you cut generous wedges! Simple, easy and delicious, perfect for a summer picnic.

ELEVEN


My eldest was born at the height of a summer heat wave, much like the one we're having at the moment. The local fields we full of barley ready for an early harvest, where swifts screeched across the sky and beautiful blue cornflowers were in bloom. He wasn't in a hurry to come into the world, but he has been in a hurry ever since. His energy, enthusiasm, kindness and love inspire me and wear me out in equal measure but he has taught me so much. Happy birthday my eldest son x 



We woke him up at 7.22 am in the morning with a breakfast of pancakes, drizzled with maple syrup.  


Life has been so hectic recently I hardly had any time to go shopping, luckily the lovely Sarah Benton, of the Lion Street Store swung into action after I had admired some of her posts on Instagram! She photographed a picture of all the fab things in her shop that would appeal to an eleven year old boy, so I could easily choose! The presents arrived wrapped in really cool wrapping paper (below). Thank you Sarah, he loved the gifts they were perfect and it was a great way to go shopping!



The little one secretly stole the sweets and was caught eating them behind the flowers! He is turning into such a monkey.


This year the boy didn't want a birthday cake, instead he chose a pile of brownies, so the day before the younger boys and I made a mountain of 36 brownies!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL


Ever since my eldest started school I have looked forward to the summer holidays and can't wait for school to finish. This year, however, my eldest has left primary school and it feels like such a big step from the local village school to the big town secondary school five miles away that I haven't wanted the school year to end. He's loved primary school, and I've loved being part of his school life; volunteering when I can, helping with school trips and lifts to sporting events and watching him and his younger brother grow into such clever little chaps.

Big school feels like leaving the age of innocence behind as I won't be able to pop in to chat to his teacher, in fact I probably won't be able to keep up with which teacher he has for what! Big school feels quite daunting and whilst I am conscious of not saying any of this out loud so he too may worry, I am sure that wrapped up in his enthusiasm there are butterflies. One things for sure is that I need to make this a summer to remember and spend time together doing fun things.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

A SUMMER OF CHANGE


It wasn't a good idea to attempt to make forty elderflower jellies on the hottest day of the year!  

It was the year 6 leavers' party this week, and despite wonderful parties with water slides and leavers' assemblies at school, I have a heavy heart as change is coming. After this summer my eldest child will start 'big school' and the wheels of change are turning faster than I can keep up with, leaving me feeling quite emotional. Sometimes I wish I could press the pause button! 
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