Thursday, 13 July 2017

floorboard envy!

At the beginning of July we were up near Oxford for a wedding and had a bit of spare time to do some exploring in-between all the eating, drinking and dancing (go Jonathan!).
Its stunning country side, with the Chilton hill as a back drop, and lots of idyllic villages.
I think our favourite was Long Crendon, beautiful thatched cottages, lots of wattle and daub, and hollyhocks every where!  Most importantly for me it had the feeling of a proper community,
a post office, butchers, florist, tea shop, pubs etc. 
Definitely not a dormitory village.

But the highlight for me was finding the Courthouse,
they think it dates from the fourteenth century,
and it was purchased in 1900 for £400 by the National Trust,
making it one of the first buildings in their care. 
The upstairs, the old court room is open on selective days, and we were lucky.

There is a lovely local history exhibition, but what got me were the floor boards, they were stunning!

The shapes of the boards were all uneven, you could almost, see the shape of the trees they had come from, and the soft silky sheen to them, from thousands of feet over hundreds of years, I wanted to take off my shoes to feel them properly, but politeness prevailed.  These boards had character, life, beauty, every thing that their laminated distant cousins in my kitchen lack, I want those boards!!!!

Monday, 10 July 2017

anticipating a glorious glut!

Sorry for the pause in posting, its been a hectic few weeks, weddings, birthdays, funerals....
But I am here!
The other thing that has kept me from the computer has been the garden, Chris has been very busy on the terrace second from the top.  It was a patio with currant bushes down one side and rhubarb and apples down the other, slowly over the years we have been lifting the odd paving stone to make a veg bed.  Well this year we have gone #@$?!! it and we have lifted the lot! 
I say we, I should in all honesty say he, as my role was more supervisory.....
The whole terrace is now dedicated to veg,
we have four raised beds with bark chipping paths in between.
And vegetables coming out of our ears!  
Golden and candie striped beets, striped and globe courgettes, kalettes,
spinach beets, chard, lettuce, two types of pumkin, rocket, herb,
beans, peas, broad beans and borlottis.
Not to mention the soft fruit...

kalettes

borlottis

peas

broad beans

The toms in the hanging basket at the other end of the garden aren't doing badly either,
this year we have planted Tumblers (at the front of the photo) and Tumbling Toms,
the TTs are definitely better, as they are still flowering, so will have a longer crop.

Well my shopping bill has shrunk
and our consumption of veg dishes has risen,
we are getting very imaginative, green pancakes - using pureed beet leaves in the batter last week, and last night courgette and feta fritters, yum! 
But it doesn't look like we are the only ones enjoying feasting in the garden!!!!!