Thursday, 24 April 2014


Its weird weather today, sun then thick sea mist/fog than beautiful sun again.
But last week we had continuous sun, stunning.  I had the Tuesday morning off and needed to go to the printers in the north of the island, so afterwards headed over to
 Rousse Headland for a walk with my friends dog.
Looking out over Le Grand Havre towards Vale Church.
Every where you looked was blanketed in buttercups, there is something about seeing wild flowers en mass (like bluebell woods) that just lifts your spirit!

Rousse Tower

This fortification was built towards the end of the 1700's as part of a chain of towers to protect the island from the French during the Napoleonic wars.
Strangely the stone used for the gun platform is from Purbeck in Dorset, would love to know why they felt they needed to use that, rather than our local granite, which is very strong and hard.
I mean it was being exported to London to build the Strand and the steps of St Paul's Cathedral....

Lining up the sights

such a clear day, and on the sky line I could even make out the outline of Victoria Tower (that I visited earlier in the year)which is at the top of town.

These chaps are now the towers only residences
. The tower is open to the public, but frustratingly I was there three days to early...... 

Then a dog walk round the peaceful Baie de Port Grat,
past bucket loads of cow parsley, that has such a beautiful scent at the moment.

and then a well deserved coffee at Rousse café, I was very good and resisted all the beautiful homemade cakes she had on offer, even the Lamingtons,
which I thought would have remind Joey the Aussie sheep dog of home!

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Happy Easter

Last weekend when we were enjoying our walk round St Saviours, we meet this lovely family.
I don't think I need to say anything, just enjoy!
Happy Easter

Friday, 18 April 2014

They may be hot and cross, but I was cool and happy!

Its Good Friday and that means hot cross buns!!!!
And last night I decided to make my own, and for such a traditional and religious recipe,
there is only one person to turn to St Delia.
 And so by the time Chris got home the dough was resting for its first rising session.
Then after an hour, they were rolled into 12 (not very even) balls,
and left to rise again, this time over night.

Then this morning just before 7, the oven was on and I made up the mix for the crosses, this time using a recipe from the telegraph last Sunday, rather than Delias plain flour and water. 
This was roughly piped across the buns and in the oven they went.
 15 mins to wait, just enough time to make the sugar glaze and the coffee.  

Ta da!
Must admit to feeling rather proud and smug with my self.......

Its a beautiful but chilly (well it is still April) morning, so wrapped up well, we headed up to the top of the garden to have a very civilised and delicious breakfast in the sun shine.
Though we did both think the crosses were a bit to sweet,
so maybe St Delia was right all along, again!

Right and now off to work.....

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Spring time in St Saviours

A day off, and the sun is shining and its beautiful outside. 
So we headed out to the country side for a big walk with our friends dog, Joey.
Getting out into the green lanes is stunning, but for me at the moment,
 its the smell of the cow parsley that just makes me know Spring has definitely arrived.
The Blackthorn or May blossom

Mother-in-laws tongue fern (something to do with its end wiping round......)

And here's what I was looking for, I am working on a little project at the moment
 and so needed photos of our glorious cows.

And of that I will tell you more later!

Really very pleased with this photo

The hedgerows absolutely laden with wild flowers, pink campion, vetch, buttercups, celedines,

native bluebells (not the Spanish ones)

And the last of the elegant violets.
Good bye Winter, I do love a change in season, its so invigorating and refreshing
Hello spring!!!!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

St Apollines

Out on the west coast, just back from Perrelle is the very simple but I think,
 beautiful chapel of St Apollines. 
Its first recorded in a document in 1392 as a chantry chapel, and is constructed mainly of Cobo granite, but interestingly also granite from Caen and the Chausey Islands (french islands south of Jersey).  
Strange to think that that stone had been imported in to Guernsey when so much was quarried here?

St Apolline is the patron saint of Dentists and is the only church/chapel dedicated to her in the British Isles

But the real treat happens when you step in side.
There are the most stunning medieval wall paintings, one of only two examples in Guernsey.
And the most impressive are on the south wall and depict the Last Supper, and strangely this is not a common theme for churches in either England or France. They are faded and patchy but I feel that makes them more beautiful 

It has been through its ups and downs, as it had been a Catholic Chapel, during the Reformation it was used as a cowshed and it stayed that way for hundreds of years. 
 It wasn't until 1873 the Lieutenant Bailiff persuaded the States of Guernsey to by it for £120 and it became our first ever Ancient Monument.
Its had some dodgy restoration with cement in the 1920s which has caused damp problems,  it has now been replaced with lime mortar so it can breath, so its future is looking bright. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

give nettles some love!

A few days late I know, but its been a busy week, its the end of term, the kids are going back to Sark and Chris's birthday this week, so chaos is in control of this house hold!
But on Mothering Sunday we had Chris's parents round for lunch, a traditional roast leg of lamb (yum) followed by a tiramisu (double yummy), but its the starter I wanted to share with you.

Up by the Pepper Pot ( a navigational marker above Fermain Bay) on Saturday,
 we collected a carrier bag full of young nettle shoots.  
Back home I rinsed them well, all the time wearing my marigolds!  So attractive!

The leaves were then pulled from the stems and blanched before being plunged into iced water to keep the gorgeous dark green colour, actually come to think of it its the same colour as my old school uniform......
Oh and its sitting on 'Food for Free' by Richard Mabey, a bible for foraging and where I got this recipe from. A brilliant read and definitely worth getting your hands on.

Then I drained and pureed the leaves, and got on with the soup.
Fry one onion in butter till golden, then add two peeled and chopped potatoes, followed by the puree and cook off for 5 mins.  Then add 2 pints of stock, and cook till the potatoes are soft, then blend if you desire a smooth elegant soup!

Serve with a grating of nutmeg and some Guernsey cream (did you know you cant get Guernsey single cream, it doesn't exist, the milk is so rich, so for us cream is always double)

Served with Chris's bread sticks with walnuts in it.
And my in-laws loved it, it was delicious, I have made it before with autumn nettles, by now its only ever Spring one.  Do try it, its yummy and a great conversation started.
So go on give those nettles some love!!!