Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Right Back to Work

After a lovely weekend away staying in THE most gorgeous cottage and location we are back home and right back to work as usual.

I fell in love with every bit of the cottage but this larder/scullery was just the most lovely little space, how I would love to live in a cottage like this all the time, and use this larder to store all my home made preserves and the foods picked from the veggie patch.

  I have taken photos of the cottage interior from virtually every angle, inside the old oven (cobwebs and all), the bathroom room, you name it I photographed it, but I know there is nothing worse than being made to pore over other peoples holiday snaps so I have limited the pictures to just a couple.

I have to show you this, a posh version of a Pound Shop do you think .... 'The Famous £1.20 & Above' shop, there were a few of these in towns around us.  This one is in Aberaeron. 

Suky peeping around her Dad's leg while he was looking over the harbour wall at New Quay.

Our neighbours in the field.  We woke up each day to the sound of the lambs calling to their Mums and vice versa.

Our other neighbour was Llanerchaeron House, just a few hundred yards from our cottage and visible over the hedge in the garden. and we spent a happy few hours there on Sunday afternoon.

And they could see us through their window too  :-)

The best part of Llanerchaeron House is the servants quarters and behind the scenes areas.  Absolutely fascinating, Lovely Hubby asked me to put the kettle on .... anything to oblige!!

Their larder was even more impressive than our cottages.

But the weekend whizzed by and before we knew it we were cleaning the cottage and setting off for home.  We stopped for lunch in Betws y Coed on the way back, just to prolong that holiday feeling a little bit more.  With Suky sat under the table 'talking' to the Chow Chow sat under the next table.  we tucked into salmon, with baby new potatoes and buttered cabbage.  Yummy, but there was a reason for a good lunch we knew the minute we got back we would be in the thick of the latest work.

And we got home to this .... the trench dug at the front of the house almost right across, and traffic lights stopping people either side of our property so they don't get too close to the work while it is going on and don't fall into the trench at night.   

I hope we're not annoying the neighbours too much, but it does have the added advantage that traffic is going much slower and will be safer for folk pulling out of the campsite and Mary's B&B further along the road while the lights are in place.

A panoramic shot taken at the end of the working day yesterday,  Already by this morning the trench is going right across the entrance to our property and we are waiting for the concrete to be delivered that will fill it.  There is no access in or out for any of us this way, we have parked the cars in the paddock and will have to use the other gate for a couple of days until this part of the work is finished.

I'm off now I have some potatoes to plant, it's going to be all go this week, planting and transpanting, I'll get you some photos and bore you with those instead of holiday snaps ;-)

Sue xx

Sunday, 19 April 2015

My Birthday Treat

Today is my birthday, I'll not tell you my age but I'll give you a clue ... it starts with a five and ends with a five (and there's nothing in the middle).

We've been away for the weekend as a special treat, (we still are away ... the posts of the last couple of days and this one are being published automatically), we left on Friday and will be back home on Monday.  The Jacks are in kennels and Suky is with us, loving the one to one time as usual. We have family house sitting, so everything is safe and secure at home, and we can relax.

We are staying in what Lovely Hubby has christened 'The Hobbit House', isn't it lovely.  He told me to book anything I wanted to for my birthday and I chose this.

It's real name is Pontbrenmydyr and it's a National Trust cottage near Ceredigion in West Wales on the edge of Llanerchaeron parkland, and while we stay there we have complete access to the grounds and Llanerchaeron house free of charge, which being National Trust members we would have had anyway.

It looks nice and cosy, these pictures are from the booking site.

My kind of kitchen :-)

Looks lovely!

Simple but lovely.

I'll take some more pictures while we are there and compare them to these.  I just hope we don't come back with too many bumps we've been warned the doorways are low .... so if my memory starts to go I'll blame the bumps to my head acquired on my birthday weekend and not my new grand old age ;-)

Back soon.

Sue xx

Friday, 17 April 2015

The Twice Daily Doggy (and Cat) Walk

I had a couple of comments about Ginger joining in on our the twice daily doggy walks around the paddock the other day, and then an email asking if there were any more pictures of this .... so here you are, a whole post about that nights walk.  There were more pictures :-)

First I step out of the conservatory door and gather together the troops,  Mavis was sat in the sunshine on the mat, but seems to be stood waiting under the bench now ...

... Suky appears from underneath the washing, we'll bring that in when we get back it's lovely and dry.

We walk past the house, across the drive,  Sulky 'walks the plank' past the polytunnel  and we pass through the still gateless posts to the paddock  and meander along past the trailers.  As usual I stop to check that no little creature has fell into the paddling pool that sits full of rainwater, there are stones and a strip of wood in place as islands and a ramp should some unfortunate critter take a tumble and fall into the water.

 Suky is trotting by me,  Mavis is on her extendable lead as usual at full stretch ... wanting to be the first to discover anything out of the ordinary.  Ginger has run ahead, lolloping along the fence line like the sleek ginger streak of feline energy that he is.  I spot Rosy on the hillside and call her name, with a bark she lets us know she's coming, and she runs round the fence to join us.

You can just about make her out in front of Ginger, already way up the hill, when she runs she's like a Jack Russell shaped whippet, the speed is amazing.

"Come on" Ginger seems to be saying to me "stop that snapping with the camera, lets walk."

 He runs ahead flitting this way and that, backwards and forwards over the paddock.  The field might only be around two acres but the dogs and Ginger cover it many times over in the course of a walk.

I stop to get a couple of photos ... 

...and they turn this way and that, not sure why the walk has slowed.

Mavis decides to catch up with Rosy and they head off together.  

The sky looks magnificent, setting the house and the hillside off a treat.  Such crisp colours develop at this time of year, if you miss a day you miss a treat.  I always take the time to notice ... what is the point of living somewhere so beautiful if you don't take the time to stand and stare.

Suky and Ginger are behind us, I turn to see what they are up to, it appears Suky is daring Ginger to pounce on her ....

... but his attention is elsewhere and she passes with no game.

He seems to realise he has missed something and looks around.

But Suky is now lower down the slope sniffing at something she has discovered, and any game is far from her mind.  There is a charp crunching noise as Mavis discovers a nut left by a squirrel and takes great pleasure in crunching through the tough shell, she rarely eats the nuts they contain but likes the challenge of the crunch.

While we are on the hill I also take the time to listen, standing on the hill you see so much then when you focus on the sounds instead you hear so much.  Red Kites circling overhead with their unmistakable cry, the rooks squawking and squabbling in the trees, the sweet sound of the birdsong, the boys are singing well this year, enticing the girls to pair up with them and build nests.  Suddenly there is the sound of ball on bat and excited children's shouts, the children on the campsite are having a game of cricket, they can now that the Easter holidaymakers have gone home as there is room between the caravans and tents for games and the younger children are making the most of it.  

Nearer to us there is the sound of a ewe calling her lamb closer to her, and the answering call as it does it's mothers bidding.  At this time of night they settle down in their little family groups, and the bright grass of the field is dotted with puddles of woolly bodies cosying up to each other ready for the chilly night ahead.

We pass 'the buoy on the hill', a landmark around these parts, we've been asked a few times if we live in the house with the buoy!   It was tied to the tree by the boys who used to live here and no doubt it will stay there for a long time as I have no intention of climbing the tree to untie it.  Maybe a shot with Lovely Hubby's air rifle will bring it down.  Unbeknown to both of us until the first time I picked up his gun I am a crack shot, you name it and I can hit it.  A pretty useless talent I thought as I could no more kill anything with it than run a marathon.  But maybe one day I will 'bring down the buoy'.

The walk is coming to an end but suddenly movement in the undergrowth catches the attention of the Jacks, they snuffle in the grass at the fence and listen, alert to the noises of what is surely a rabbit moving cautiously back to its burrow to avoid the dogs it can smell.  You might be safe for now Mr Bunny, but if you keep eating my flowers I will have to send these furry troops to sort you out.

We head back to the house, I fetch in the washing and the dogs settle down to an evenings snoozing.  Ginger usually stays out longer, loving the dusk as it falls and no doubt chasing rabbits as they make their way home.

I hope you enjoyed your walk with us, it happens at least twice a day, ...the dogs do get other walks but they love this daily patrol of their territory, knowing what is happening on 'their hill' means they sleep their doggy sleep with only happy dreams of rabbit hunts and exciting smells.

Sue xx

Thursday, 16 April 2015

I Shouldn't Be Eating This .......

I followed a recipe the other day, a nice simple recipe .... just three tablespoons of Coconut Oil and two tablespoons of sugar, mix together and decant into a little tub.

Just like this.

The only thing is I shouldn't be eating it ..... because it's face scrub!!

It works a treat, just rub it all over your face in a circular motion and then rinse off.  It's worth rubbing your hands together a bit as well as it's a wonderful exfoliator for hardworking gardeners hands too and leaves them feeling and looking lovely and soft.  The only thing is I licked my lips and found out how absolutely wonderful it tastes  .... so I licked them again, and again  :-)

A sweet treat for my face my hands and my tastebuds.

Sue xx

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Getting Your Head Bitten Off

The new Almond trees at the far end of the paddock are full of blossom, looking so pretty and miraculously all the blossom has survived through the gale force winds and frosty mornings of the past few days.

What has not survived and is looking horribly sad and stunted is this poor Tulip, and in this case it's not the wind or frost to blame.

Image result for parrot tulips
Google Images picture.

It was one of these lovely Parrot Tulips  .....

... as were it's friends.

Luckily we got to see and very briefly enjoy the first one at it's best the day before the rabbits found them.  I went back to take a photo of it but the stunted little remains were all that was left by the next day.

Now that the bl**dy fluffy bunnies have eaten all the tulips that were in flower, the little sods are starting on the daffodils ... I hope they get tummyache.

Ravaged beyond help.

One left ... it'll be gone by tomorrow.

Did any of you spot the tail in the first picture, yes it was Ginger, joining us on the doggy walk last night after tea.  I always think lush green grass sets of his colouring wonderfully.  He's a handsome and wonderfully happy chappy at the moment.

Sue xx