31 August 2011

At last I have some time to get back to my computer   We took our friends to Vienna airport yesterday on their way back to Australia.  We've had a lovely two weeks which consisted of re-visiting old haunts, some beautiful English/Welsh countryside, some horrible west country weather, some near tropical weather in CZ, a long journey to and from the UK, a brilliant weekend with friends, then a week with our friends from Oz in our home in the Czech Republic, which they've never seen.    But it is good to get back to you all.  
I know you all want to see the fabrics and books that I bought, but I haven't taken any photos yet, so you will have to  make do with the holiday tour - short and sweet because that's probably about all people can stand of other peoples holiday photos.  I know, I have sat through a two hour trip down the side of a French mountain in the dark, where all I could see was a snow bank at the side of the road in the car headlights.   Why did they think we would be excited by it?

So here are the highlights

We had two days staying near Mevagissey.  This pretty little fishing village has been the scene of many of our holiday, both separately and together.  Gordon was a Venture scout and camped at the same farm for around 20 years.   I was invited on a couple of occassions, one of which I got totally destroyed on tequila slammers and spend the night being frog marched round Cornish lanes to sober up!   Needless to say we visited old haunts, ate fish and chips and cream teas, and dipped our toes in the sea.  We visited the lost Gardens of Heligan

The Eden Project

And the mist came down.

Then we went to Lynmouth in Devon, where it rained, but we saw the sea

And Bath, where it also rained.   I have no photos here, but we had dinner at a Vegetarian Restaurant called Demeuths.  If you are ever in Bath, I recommend you try it.  We're not vegetarians, and my husband is a confirmed carnivore, but even he loves eating there.  We met friends who are vegans, and are used to making do when they go our for a meal, but here they have a choice of food.   It's a bit pricey, but worth it.

We then went on to Ledbury to stay with friends, cruised past our old house in Hereford, surprised old neighbours, and eventually finding our way to a converted sheep barn near Newtown in Wales.   We were meeting up with 11 other friends, and it was the first time in 6 years that we have all been together in one place.   I don't have many decent photos, but this was the dinner table laid ready for dinner on the Friday night.

This has to be the most impressive place I have ever stayed.   It felt really decadent, but shared between 13, it was actually quite reasonably priced. Each of the 8 bedroons were en-suite, had oak floor boards, beams, and four poster beds, or old iron framed beds.   The kitchen had everything we needed, in volume.
Most of the rest of the photos I took were mainly blurred - probably due to the alcohol intake!  

And whilst he guys played golf, we visited Powys Castle.    Again, the gardens were impressive, and well worth a visit if you're into gardens.  I took loads of pictures of flowers which I'm going to make into a mosaic, now that I've learnt how to do it!

And when we got back home we were treated to 35 + degrees temperatures.   Nice as this is, it did stop us from getting out walking, and sightseeing.   But it was good to catch up.  

Back to reality now, trying to deal with our own body weight in tomatoes, beetroot, potatoes and onions.   You pay dearly for almost three weeks away.  And then as if I wasn't busy enough, I signed up to my first swap (thanks Sarah)  with Cindy at fluffy sheep quilting.   I'm sure it'll be OK!  And next week, I have a new assistant starting work with me, who will eventually take over most of my work, allowing me to spend more time at home.  Hoorah!   In the meantime, I'll catch up with all your blogs slowly over the next few days.

Good to be back.

24 August 2011

Hello peeps

We're back home after a great weeks holiday in the UK, although it was a bit on the wet side.   A few days in Devon & Cornwall, then Bath, then Herefordshire, where we used to live, then a  get together with friends in a fantastic house in mid wales.  I've got loads of photos and stories, but they'll have to wait a bit.  We have returned with our friends who now live in Australia, and they'll be with us for a week, so I'm not likely to have much time to write up some posts, or even catch up with yours.   But I will return, honest!!

Off now to enjoy some sunshine, catching up on news and stories, and very definitely a few bottles glasses of wine.  The weather here is HOT, already 30 degrees at 10 o'clock in the morning.  Apparently it was 41 in the town square on Monday.   Not sure I could cope with that very well - will have to find a pool somewhere.


05 August 2011

Favourite things Friday

Anyone who has read this blog before will not I'm not much of a cook.  I don't like it and I'm no good at it.  A baking session leaves me stressed out and totally exhausted, and back ache from stading up soooo long.  But, and it's a big but, I do enjoy cooking with my own produce, and there's a lot of it about at the moment.  This is just the tomatoes!   I always grow too many.  When I'm sewing the seeds, I put one in a pot, plus another in case the first doesn't germinated.  And they all do.  Having grown them, I am totally unable to despatch any unwanted to the compost bin.   You can't give them away here, because everyone grows them.  As a result I always plant too many and end up with this many tomatoes.  But in my defense, we throw very few away.

There's a few split ones here, because it was very dry then rained  a lot.  But they're all good.  Some have gone into passata, but some have been turned into Tomato Jam. 

I have made tomato jam for a few years now, but none has ever set before.  This one though, set a treat and is also delicious.   I made it from this recipe.

I also made some Marrow and Ginger Jam, which again is delicious

Here they all are happily getting along together!

Now I know that the labels are pathetic.  But let's face it, I'v never made anything worthy of a nice label before, so I don't have any twee little fruity, jammy labels.  I'm going to make another batch of tomato jam at the weekend, so I promise I'll try harder.

And lastly look at what my neighbour gave be straight off his tree and still warm from the sun

Now that I'm on a roll with the cooking,  what do you think I should make with these?

For other Friday Favourites pop on over to Shay at Quilting In My Pyjamas.

03 August 2011

Recommendations please!

As I will be going to the UK this month in the car, we have space to bring loads of things back.  Top of the list is fabric, of course, but second is books.  (Well OK books are probably third behind PG Tips T Bags)(Or maybe 4th behind salad cream) (Or maybe.. no I need to stop there).  I am putting together a nice big order from Amazon, to be sent to a friends house.  There are already a few books on it but I would really love recommendations from you.  Categories are:

Quilting books with designs for beautiful modern quilts that I can follow.
Quilt books that will give me inspiration to design my own.
Quilt books that will teach me/help me to use colour
Crochet books - small gifts and things for babies/children
Recipe books for using up gluts of produce in the garden.
Any other good books that you think I really really must have and can't possibly live without.

I may even slip in a Kindle too, when no-one is looking!