Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Allotment geekery

The strawberry patch on the allotment is being kind to us at the moment, we were able to harvest our first strawberries on Saturday and we harvested 3kg of fruit!  So what do you so when you have 3kg of strawberries and your husband can't eat raw fruit?

Make jam!  We talked about making jam last year but never got around to it which meant I had A LOT of strawberries to eat by myself, by the end of the strawberry season I was sick of them.  So MozzyMr being the thorough fella that he is researched a number of recipes from Delia, Jamie, Hugh and even the Devon Cookbook, in the end going with the one found on the bottle of pectin.  We had to make the jam in two batches because our cooking pot was too small, but overall the process was fairly straightforward.  First tastings have been good but it hasn't cooled sufficiently to tell if it will set well... I'll keep you updated, we have ten jars of the stuff so I'm off to get the toast under the grill.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Allotment geekery

Ooo check out the elephant garlic, plus the rucksack full of garlic and onions!  It has been good to get back to the allotment, whilst the weather since returning from France hasn't been amazing it has been nice to return to the plot and tackle some of those weeds.  

  1. The haul of garlic and onions, they smell amazing and I cannot wait to start cooking with them.
  2. We had two aubergines which germinated and we finally managed to get them in the ground in the polytunnel having removed the broad beans which had stopped producing beans.
  3. MozzyMr has four chili plants on the go and in the polytunnel plus one at home in our bathroom which needs to be re-potted.
  4. Basil, last year our basil just didn't work this year we're trying to stagger the planting of basil so we have a supply all year round :)

Friday, 21 June 2013

Allotment geekery

So I finally got around to making the broad bean pesto I have been wibbling on about for the past year, sadly I didn't have enough broad beans so had to mix it with petit pois...

...25g pine nuts, olive oil, juice of half a lemon, LOTS of basil, salt and pepper...

...broad beans and petit pois boiled for two minutes, chucked in and wazzed up to form...

...lovely pesto!  We had it with pasta, tomatoes, and smoked salmon it was lush (I didn't take a photo because I was starving)

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

France: a visit to the brocante

So last night it thundered and it rained, and boy was there lightning.  Today it is still raining and overcast so MoMa and I took a leisurely trip to the local brocante in Aigre, the prices were incredibly high but there were a lot of interesting bits to see:

Check out the entrance to the brocante, lots of treasures to explore...

I love this collection of cuckoo clocks, the kitsch landscapes and the picture of Jesus of course.

Check this fella out!  No idea who he is but that is one winning smile for sure!

I am undecided as to whether this is an Eiffel tower shaped pigeon cage or planter holder, either way I'm certain it would look great in my garden.

What's that you ask?  Is this a bitchin' glittery gold bath?  Damn straight and in fine condition as well :)

If ever you want cross stitch art come to France, you cannot walk down the street without tripping over some amazing examples this being one.  On Saturday there was a truly awesome flamingo cross stitch which I did give serious thought to buying but it was quite big and I wasn't sure where I would have put it...

Sunday, 16 June 2013

France: bee gif

OK so this isn't the best gif in the world, it didn't help that the flowers were bobbing about in the breeze, but you get an impression of how massive this bee is!  I have never seen an entirely black bee before but this fella was just loving the flowers next to where I was lounging reading my book, his wings are an amazing iridescent blue/black and his legs as you can see were laden with pollen.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

France: all the reds

So today MoMa, MoPa and I visited a car boot sale (where I purchased the bird tin in the bottom right corner for a bargain 5 euros), as well as a junk warehouse type place and Emmaus (a charity depot) in Angouleme.  The fox taxidermy was a snip at 20 euros, just the small matter of getting it back on the plane, surely they wouldn't mind me strapping it into the seat next to me?  (To clarify I did not purchase the fox taxidermy, but I was genuinely tempted to.)

The plants are found in and around MoMa and MoPa's house, love the succulents!  Happily I have been buying them up like they're going out of fashion over here :)

Friday, 14 June 2013

France: all the greens

Today MoMa and I visited a junk shop near their home, they had succulents galore and the lady who owned the shop generously gave me a box full to take home with me.  There were was a lot of turquoise and green which seemed to zing a lot more in the light here then they do at home.  

Right well must be off I'm heading out to make the most of the sun whilst I'm here.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

London naked bike ride

Whilst pottering about the London Transport Museum the London Naked Bike Ride shimmied on by, not sure I fancy giving the Boris Bikes a wipe down after this event.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

London Transport Museum

Last weekend we visited family folks in London and had a touristy day visiting the London Transport Museum.  MozzyMr and I had wanted to see the poster exhibition Poster Art 150 and it did not disappoint I photographed almost every poster.

Absolutely love this!  If this had been a poster available to buy I would have happily spent a lot to ensure it was on my wall at home!  Alas it was not for sale.

This had long been one of my favourite Underground posters so I was chuffed to see the real thing.

How had I never seen these before?  Such a shame this sort of advertising can't happen on the new tube trains :/

I love seeing collections like this, if I had been the person who had lost the Moomin troll in the centre of this picture I would have been GUTTED.  Apparently other lost property have included an urn full of ashes and a boat.  Hang on.. a boat??

One of my favourite posters in the exhibition, quite possibly because it reminded me of those first trips to London I took with my family and being fascinated by the Underground.

It is beyond odd that this should be another of my favourite posters.  I HATE snails, I wouldn't tire of punching them in their little faces if only it didn't involve actually touching them but strangely I love this poster.  I love the pencil texture of the illustration, the repetition and humour.

A classic poster, apologies for the strange angle of the photo, if I had one criticism of the exhibition I would say that it was crammed into too small a space without taking into consideration people viewing the posters.  But hey they had limited space what can you do?

This was the viewpoint of MozzyMr who being a screen printer was checking out the technique.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Life lately

1 and 2. Getting to the studio and finally doing some work... and actually enjoying it!  I have some time off now so will be showing my face at the studio more :)
3. Getting a little lick and some attention from the lovely little Mewster.
4. FINALLY having weather warm enough to wear these little beauties, they've been sat in the wardrobe waiting for their debut for months!
5. Strawberries, strawberries, strawberries!  I hope I never stop being amazed by how we can actually grow food, it seriously blows my mind.
6. Ahh cat paintings at the car boot, I didn't buy this one and I regret that now.
7 and 8. A visit to the Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth, these ladies were so cute although I suspect they were not interested in us but our ice creams :/
9. Amazing colour combination.

1 and 2. Adding plants to our home is my new obsession, I absolutely love finding a fantastic planter at the car boot sale and filling it with amazing looking plants.
3. A gift from a colleague for looking after her cat, I love this mug it's perfect for cheery hot chocolates on days when work is just being rubbish.
4. Taking a lunch break and getting outside, finding a hideaway and just enjoying the break.
5. A pocket full of broad beans freshly picked at the allotment and taken on an adventure to London to give to family.
6 and 7. A visit to the London Transport Museum!  (More photos to follow.)
8. My first portrait!  Drawn by my 7 year old niece, that girl has talent, I suspect we may have another artist in the family?
9. The car journey home, I'm so happy MozzyMr can drive now, I reclined the passenger seat, grabbed a pillow and caught some zzz's following an exhausting weekend.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Allotment geekery

Oh my days!  I hope everyone likes jam because our strawberry patch is growing and growing and we are going to have so much fruit.  I can't wait!  We've been saving jars for months, unlike last year we're going to make jam and preserve as much as we can for winter.

My lavender is coming along nicely and smells amazing, the bees love it.  It seems it loves it's position because it was a third of this size a year ago.

At last I seem to be getting the hang of carrots!  I have them in a raised bed one half of which is doing really well but on the other half a cat/cats keep digging at it which is just so frustrating, I suppose I should view this year as a practice run and I'll know better what I'm doing next year.

Chopping at mega grass that has built up on the quarter of the plot that we took over earlier in the year, this little fella jumped out.  A year ago this would have freaked me out entirely but now I love them, they eat slugs and snails and that is just fine by me.

Hmm not sure if you can read the labels on this panoramic overview of the plot, but you get an idea of what we're doing :)

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Car boot sale finds

A sibling for 'orrible green log'

Another planter, bit of an odd one but love it with the muppety plant :)

Pans!  I love them MozzyMr doesn't :(

Marigolds, red cabbage and butternut squashes (to replace the ones eaten by slugs on the allotment.

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