Sunday, 24 August 2014

late summer break

I'm back .... after after an unscheduled blogging break, due to a flurry of late summer hols activity which saw mr digandweed and me visiting mr fudge in the west country and then weekending in London.

We joined mr fudge and his crew for a trip along the Gloucester and Sharpness canal to Gloucester docks where we discovered a number of beautiful tall ships ready for the filming of Tim Burton's new film Alice Through the Looking Glass. No sign though of Johnny Depp....
We visited the lovely city of Bath and...

..  glimpsed a beautiful sunset in the seaside town of Clevedon.


And had a great weekend in London.
And so the summer hols draw to a close and September is almost here.
Almost more than January, the month of September, seems to signal to me a new start. 
It is forever associated with the beginning of the school year. A feeling which has stayed with me from school, through university and even when I was teaching.
This year that feeling of anticipation is greater than ever. For months now excitement has been growing chez fenland lottie, for we have some very exciting news.
 In a very few weeks from now mr digandweed and I are to be grandparents for the first time!
Lovely daughter number 1 and her husband are expecting their first child in mid October and I cannot tell you how thrilled we are!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

the great british bake off

 The Great British Bake Off started again last week and like thousands of others I was glued to it ; carried along with the ups and downs, sympathising with Claire and urging on young Martha.

It is a thoroughly nice competition. The worst that can happen is a withering glance from Paul or a look of slight disappointment from Mary... and  besides, we know it will all end with hugs and kisses all round.
Inspired, I made my own batch of cakes this week -
mini coffee and walnut muffins.
The recipe is from our other doyenne of baking - Delia and is in her Summer Collection book.

Meanwhile, I am eagerly awaiting next week's programme. Will you be watching too?

Saturday, 2 August 2014

lately on the lottie ... and elsewhere

Lavender are fantastic plants; tough, hardy, reliable and great for attracting bees and butterflies, not to mention the pretty flowers, beautiful fragrance and culinary uses.
Every garden or allotment should have one ...or more!
Hidcote is my favourite amongst the lavenders for its neat, bushy habit, so when I saw them at the local garden centre for a very good price, I snapped up two and have planted them in pots on the lottie.

  I nipped down to the allotment earlier, dodging the thunderstorms, for some general tidying up.
I cut back and cleared the strawberry bed, weeded other areas and gathered more plums, which against all the odds has turned into a bumper crop of the most delicious fruit -
sweet, juicy with flesh like honey so, so much better than the imported peaches etc which often have all the taste and allure of damp cotton wool.

I also spied amongst a jungle of leaves some baby butternut squash - variety Hunter grown from seed back in the spring.

And in our garden, some late summer colour, looking fresh and revived after the morning rain.

Meanwhile, last week, hot on the heels of the Tour de France, our little market town was host to another cycle race,  the Circuit of the Fens.
The 134 mile race is part of the British Cycling Grand Prix series and featured about 140 leading riders.
The weather was very hot as the cyclists battled it out along the flat, sunbaked Fen roads before completing several laps of the town centre.
All very exciting!