Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Honey, trees and pizza

Huge storms hit the South West of France last Friday evening. Lightening, thunder and a tempest wind the likes of which we had never witnessed before.....pretty dramatic stuff. The only casualty for us was the large ash tree in the courtyard. A huge part came down, just scraping the buildings and unfortunately it's going to have to be completely taken down. What a shame but it was getting rather big and we were lucky that it didn't do more damage.

The days have been so hot here recently it has been hard to find the right time to visit the bees (bees don't like to be disturbed when its 30c + it's best just to leave hem too it)

One of the homemade frames a neighbour had lent me with the nucleus needed to be taken out, but the bees had built out from it in a weird shape to fill a space. Anyway, most of this I took out and put on the ground for the bees to rob out and reclaim but I couldn't resist taking two small pieces of honeycomb back to try some of the honey on my toast. Delicious! We won't get much honey out of these hives as they are just getting established but next year it's going to be great.

Later on Sunday we fired up the pizza oven in the garden for the first time. We used old vine stocks to get it going and the whole process worked like a dream! It was so much fun. Even my first attempt at pizza dough was yummy and the chicken cooked perfectly too.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Activity: T-shirt printing with the girls

The girls and I enjoyed an afternoon of t-shirt printing this week which was great fun. We kept the design simple and the triangles theme for both (#nofighting)

The girls were thrilled with the outcome and it kept us all out of the sweltering sun of the most current heat wave (it's 35c +)

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Vegetable garden update

It has to be said that the weeds are getting the better of me at the moment and I need to spend a morning just dedicated to tackling this. Despite this I am still getting some good produce.

Borlotti beans and cucumbers

Lots of potatoes

Onions and shallots and a basket of beetroot in the background

 Here's the beetroot washed and ready to be roasted over the next few days

Onions and shallots after being cleaned up and ready to be stored

Sunday, 21 July 2013


We have been away in Spain for a few days. We booked a little cottage not far from Girona and the beaches of North Eastern coast. The girls learnt to snorkel and had a great time searching for treasure under the water. Generally just great fun had by everyone.

Back at home now the weather is scorchingly hot (35c in the shade). On the menu tonight is BBQ Mackerel stuffed with bay and lemon. While these are cooking I have just enough time to get the hose on the vegetable garden.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Knitted baby blanket

At last a crafty post. A knitted baby blanket with a pretty fabric binding for a new baby girl our friends had this week. 

Elsewhere the kids have been making robots with Polly. The supermarket and the art shop in town had both run out of paint (clearly a lot of parents had the same idea for the holidays) so we ended up having to use fluorescent paint. Disco robots. Plus Miss B's has a huge Andy Murray photo on his tummy due to all the newspaper coverage. Very current.

In the "terrible two" corner things continue to be a nightmare  challenging. Well they don't call it terrible for nothing you know although we have managed to have some fun moments in amoungyst the tears, frustration and tantrums. Thank goodness for Postman Pat on YouTube. That ginger haired postman and his cat are single handily responsible for me keeping hold of my sanity at some of the more testing points this week.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Summer holidays are here

The children took gifts into their teachers and lunch ladies this morning. Boxes of tea cakes with hand drawn pictures.

The summertime good behaviour chart is up on the fridge. So far, so good and everyone is on track for the lucky dip prize draw we will be holding weekly on a Sunday. 

Polly, my helper for six weeks arrived from the UK. She's already a huge hit with the kids.

Hay making continues on the big field and we will be attempting to get the ancient baler working this afternoon before going to see Erika Badu at the Cognac Blues Festival this evening. 
Happy Weekend everyone.

Monday, 1 July 2013

That was June.....

Wow, I can hardly believe we are at the end of June already! The kids break up from school this week for their massive summer break (I have glue, activity books and stickers on standby). 

In other news we have a new addition to the household. Its our new ball of fluff, a kitten called Genghis. He's a Maine Coon, so will end up being a big boy (his father is enormous - see the photo below) We have always wanted one and to cut a long story short we went to buy a car the other day and ended up with a kitten too. It happens. I even share a birthday with him (and also our wedding anniversary on the same day) This was the final straw and I took it as a sign he was meant to be ours. Super cute and bag loads of mischief.

Here is a photo of the Father.

In the garden the first lot of shallots came out of the field last night and are drying on the wall. We also harvested some delicious new potatoes. Yum scrum.