Thursday 24 April 2014

You can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl

I almost feel this post doesn't need words, the pictures seem to do most of the work for me. But I'll tell you what it's all about.Our friends from Finland were over for a flying visit, so we met up. The setting was Ashover in rural Derbyshire. A traditional Georgian country pub lunch, followed by a traditional country walk. It's a quintessential English village with a small shop, a Post office and a couple of pubs. The country girl in me would happily live there.

Back home, we luxuriated in the sunshine. It's such a lovely time of the year to be out in the garden. Every day you see developments, a shoot sticking up here, a flower unfurling its petals there.

Apple blossom. Rosemary and potato bread. Home grown leaves for a green salad.

This one is a Pasque flower. Such a fantastic colour combination, the purple and orange.

We're doing our utmost to cover that huge fence we put up this time last year. Clematis Montana. A joy in April.

Car boot treasures. These will go in pots on the patio. It's still a bit too early because of the danger of frost, but I am itching to get them out there.

I like my garden to be full to overflowing. It's my way of bringing the countryside to me.

Which are you, a country bumpkin or a city slicker?

Monday 7 April 2014

Girls just wanna have fun!

The weeks are flying by, the clocks have gone back and here we are in April. The months of this year have been a bit of a blur, and so was this weekend, as reflected in these photos.

On Friday night I went out to my friend's house for dinner. She had rediscovered her pile of vinyl and invited us to play DJ. We had a merry time and before you could say granny jamming we were up out of our seats busting our finest moves.

1960's Hawaiian dress with train by Alice Polynesia Fashions. The girls examined it thoroughly, whilst repeating like a mantra, 'sewing bee, sewing bee'. Not on this occasion.
My dance partner was the exotically named Monsieur Sauvignon Blanc. Very sophisticated in person, but left me with a terrible virus the next day. Serves me right for messing with glamorous foreigners, eh?

In the morning we had to get up at the crack of dawn to sort out our finances. After such a virtuous enterprise, a girl deserves brunch, so off we pootled to this rather amazing little place, Kiosk just a mile up the road.
It's a shipping container, 8ft x 20ft which has been transformed into a little cafe. They serve food through the day and on certain nights. I heard someone ask their friend what kind of fare it was, and she replied, 'think Ottolenghi'. That sounds about right. I had the most delicious portobello mushroom marinated in garlic lemon and cinammon, singed with herbs and spices served on toast with a middle eastern egg (cooked with turmeric and ras el hanout in case you were wondering). It was heavenly.

I took home a Portuguese tart for later. ;) Because I never learn.

Anyway, all this talk of food and glamorous foreigners has reminded me. Have you seen this blog? Swoon. Which part to covet most, the food, the lifestyle or the amazing beauty of the lady herself? You tell me.

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Let them eat fresh vegetables!

I know what you're thinking. Anyone with rainbow fingernails must lead a VERY glamorous life.

And you'd be right. Mais oui. I wouldn't lie to you, would I?
A pair of Pinnochios lurking in the undergrowth. There's a clue there.

So, instead of thinking that these little jobs I do are menial, I prefer to daydream, a la Marie Antoinette. She frolicked at Le Petit Hameau, I plant seeds in the greenhouse.
This is the top of the garden, the working part where we have the shed, the compost heap, the greenhouse and the vegetable beds.

Of course, I don't want her fate. I read her biography years ago and it seems she was dealt rather a sorry hand. From being sent by an ambitious mother to a foreign court with no friends, to marrying a husband who wasn't interested in her for a long time, to being the victim of fraud and eventually a hate figure for an entire nation before finally losing her head. Forget the fancy frocks, that's no dream existence.

Qu'ils mangent de la brioche! Let them eat cake! Although widely attributed to her, she didn't actually say it.
Purple sprouting broccoli, our first crop. It melts in the mouth

Looks like we're going to be eating sweetcorn and courgettes
No fancy frocks for me today, it's a pair of vintage overalls and a wool cardi, 50p each at the jumble on Saturday. I'm no Madame Deficit!