half way

We're pretty much at the half way point in our summer holidays and despite some iffy weather, we're still having a lot of fun.

The Boy spent his eleventh birthday going away to camp so we celebrated the end of his tenth year instead, with Annie providing inspiration for one of his favourite presents. Thanks Annie!

During his absence the Model, who enjoyed rare one to one attention, was treated like a celeb

feasted like royalty

indulged in a little fashion design

was even entertained by the RAF.

All in all, despite the weather we've managed to fit in a little beach combing

a spot of gardening

necessary architectural surveillance

avoidance of the paparazzi

and a whole lot of relaxation.

It's been a goodie so far.

I'm going to take a bit of a blog break while school's out, so here's hoping you all have a wonderful Summer. See you in September!


three stages

We've been making our own dairy products for a couple of years and it's always a treat to visit Modbury Farm. They have a herd of organic Jersey cows, the prettiest things and not only do they look good but the milk and cream they produce is the best I've ever tasted. We make a pilgrimage to stock up on their raw (unpasteurised) milk and cream so we can continue our own in-house cottage industry. Nothing compares to the flavour of unpasteurised dairy and making it is a lot of fun too.

Stage 1: Yoghurt
A litre of raw milk and a sachet of kefir (only needed for the first time, add a little yoghurt to the next batch of milk instead). Mixed together, covered and put in a warm place and within a couple of days we are eating the most delicious yoghurt imaginable. A little reminiscent of French yoghurt which is smoother and slightly sweeter. ..

Stage 2: Creme fraiche
Yoghurt and double cream. A good cupful of the freshly made yoghurt stirred into a few cartons of double cream, mixed throughly, covered and put back in that warm place. In another couple of days or so this will have thickened and turned sour. Oh my goodness, this truly is nothing like the stuff bought in shops, it is completely heavenly and of this you have got to believe me ..

Stage 3: Butter
This process is ultra quick and the result beyond delicious. Sometimes we cut out the creme fraiche stage and make butter from double cream alone but making it this way gives a sourer, slightly more interesting flavour. You can read this post for a butter 'how to' if you like.

Yum, breakfast calls and my tummy's rumbling. I think you can probably guess what I'll be having today. Have a lovely weekend everyone.

PS. If you're interested in more details let me know and I'll send them on x


bournemouth pleasures

The Model and I had a girls' day out here recently. Grief it was busy, the beach was jam packed but at least the sun kept most people out of the oceanarium.

We've been here many times before, the children love it so much and I have to say it is well worth a visit. As well as a great many fish, eels, a couple of playful otters and crustacea from all around the globe, it is home to two rescue turtles, Crusoe and Friday ..

and a handful of sharks, including its own dive cage ..

interactive, silly!

Of course it's always possible their fascination for this place may have just a little to do with the large gift shop, that I have spent waaay too long waiting around in!

The golden sandy beach (where there lay many red-skinned lobster-likes) is long, clean, beautiful and is also, I'll have you know, where my divine girl proved she really can walk on water ..

As usual, there were the ubiquitous beach-side stalls selling 'tat' and, true to form, the Model wanted to buy from each one, eventually settling on a mood ring. Have you seen these things, they're a lot of fun? Hers would have us believe she is quite normal .. I won't tell you what it said about me!



I absolutely love nosing around salvages places and Dorset Reclamation didn't disappoint. There was so much to take in and such good variety too: Garden ornaments, outside furniture and gazebos, fire places, baths, loos, mirrors, windows, gates, doors, door knockers and handles, wood .. you name it, they had it!

I could very happily have taken home these two stone planters but sadly the price tags were enough to force me to walk on ..

I think I may have a selection of these when I have my Georgian rectory in the country ..

Interesting display of goods ..?

I love these staddle stones, which were originally used as supporting bases for granaries, hayricks and game larders. The stones lifted the granaries above the ground to protect the stored grain. Nowadays they are a part of our agricultural heritage and very much synonymous with the English countryside, certainly in Dorset where they are seen by the sides of roads or as traditional garden features.

Oh yes, and they had butlers' sinks too .. which is really why we went.

My new herb garden.

Have a lovely week, rumour has it it's going to be good!