31 August 2021


My kitchen is imbued with the sweet aroma of plums and apples cooking.  

this afternoon's picking from the garden

The garden has produced another bumper crop of apples and plums, far more than we can ever eat. Last year we made wine but this year we decided to do something different and bought ourselves a dehydrator. You can of course dry fruit and vegetables in the oven but this machine is especially designed for the purpose and can accommodate several racks at the same time. 


Right now we have apples, plums and tomatoes drying, yesterday we experimented with courgette and beetroot crisps. They make a delightful snack, something I can eat without feeling guilty about the number of calories! (Paul has been in charge of slicing the apples and courgettes, I have now been banned from using the mandoline after taking the tip of my finger off. “Go careful with that, it’s very sharp – oops, too late!”)

apple crisps, dried tomatoes and plum slices

The apple crisps are delicious, lightly seasoned with cinnamon and the dried plums are slightly chewy with an intense flavour. If we get the drying process right the produce should last for up to six months. So no apple or plum wine this year but we do have a bucket of elderberry juice fermenting away. 



11 August 2021

I'm Still Here



my trusty steed

I’m still here! I am reading everyone's blogs but not always finding time to comment. 

Not too sure about lazy days of summer, the days just seem to fly by. If the weather is fine we try to get out on our bicycles in the morning. By the time we get back and shower, have coffee and do a few chores it is lunch time and half the day has gone. Now that the loft gym is up and running there is no excuse for missing our daily exercise if it’s raining. The upshot of all this cycling is that we have lost weight and got a lot fitter over the last few weeks.

With the gym loft completed we are on to our next project. At the moment our sitting room is very English traditional with a deep pile cream carpet and fake coal fireplace. Cream carpets are just not a practical choice when it comes to dogs with muddy paws and humans who like to throw their wine around. We have decided therefore to replace the carpet with a wooden floor. We intend to remove the fireplace and surround and have a more contemporary look with a ‘hole in the wall’ log effect fire. Quite a radical change to the room really.