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I’m not going to dare suggest that it’s too hot in England at the moment. It is utterly beautiful and I’m thoroughly enjoying all the sun and warm weather we are being blessed with. How nice is it to sit in the evenings with all the windows and doors open?
Last weekend a bit by accident we found ourselves spending the whole morning today, dog- and care-free visiting a couple of local markets. It made me realise that we are both guilty of spending too much time doing DIY and don’t make enough time to just go out and do things together.
First we went to our local farmers market at Abbey Leys where we stocked up on local raw milk, grass-fed Welsh beef mince, real bread, and a bunch of seasonal flowers from my favourite garden gate stall.
Next we decided to try out the Artisan Market in Knutsford – it was our first visit and it was fantastic. It’s a huge market with lots of craft, vintage and food stalls, the weather was fab, there was a bluegrass style band playing music, and deckchairs for people to sit and listen.
My favourite stall was a lady selling Transylvanian sweet treats called Chimney Stack Cakes. Her particularly speciality are these chimney stack cakes which are like a spiral of cakey-doughnuty-bread with different flavourings. She won us over with a sample of her cinnamon one and one made it into our shopping bag.
The past 10 days I’ve been away on a bit of a business roadtrip (I run my own small business) around the South West – visiting Somerset, Devon, Cornwall, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. Phew! It’s been wonderful but exhausting, and I hope to share a few snaps from my trip shortly.
I’m now nearly 30 weeks pregnant…which is like 6 1/2 months, which sounds much more scary than when you count it in weeks. I have been pleased to get home and rest over the pat few days, back making simple lunches and dinners and walking the dog. I missed this sight a lot, which if you follow me on Instagram you must be pretty bored of seeing by now!
This is my 29 week bump – everyone I’ve met has commented on how ‘neat’ it is. For ages I was worried/disappointed that it was so tiny compared to other women at the same stage, but I really love it and since one of my many midwives (a whole separate story) told me it’s because I’ve got a long torso, I’ve just chilled out a bit.
Since getting home I seem to be on a scrambled eggs with herbs binge, eating it almost every day for my lunch. You just can’t beat a few simple ingredients like these – organic leghorn eggs from the farm up the road, herbs from my garden, sourdough bread, and a bowl of my own grown salad leaves and edible flowers.
On our dog walk this afternoon I came across this tiny baby vole curled up on the field edge. I thought it was dead at first, but as I tried to roll it over with a stalk of grass to see what it was it moved.
Having spoken to my mum she said it might have been dragged from its nest, whatever’s happened, it seems to be in shock. I used to work at a wildlife rescue centre when I was studying in Vancouver, Canada, so I’m going to keep it warm and in the dark and just see how it fares tonight.
To get it home Mr Rigg emptied Buddy’s dog treat bag, I turned it inside out and lined with grasses from the field before coaxing it in. At home I’ve lined a small box with sawdust and hay, and Lovage kindly gave up some of his super soft bunny hair as he’s moulting like mad at the moment.
Can’t say I’m holding out much hope for the tiny thing, but we shall see.
From the beauty of Greece yesterday, to the slightly drearier shores of the UK today. This past weekend we actually got down to our allotment and planted four rows of Charlotte potatoes. We always seem a little behind on planting our potatoes, but were reassured when our local farmer told us he was only just getting his in the ground.
In the process of uncovering the soil Mr Rigg came across a frog. First he thought it was dead, turns out it was just enjoying the heat beneath the plastic that had been covering the ground (at least I think that’s what it was doing).
After an attempt to pick it up it leaped down a hole and disappeared. It made me realise there were a series of ‘tunnels’ that had been created in the soil and I wondered if this was the frog who had made them? Anyone know?
There was also a bit of time for sitting and reading – Buddy was busy on bee patrol…
This morning I have attempted to make millet porridge using millet flakes and rice milk with a hint of vanilla. I searched the internet to try and find out how to use the flakes to make porridge as most recipes I came across used the whole millet grain. There wasn’t a lot of information but it seemed to suggest double the amount of milk/water to millet flakes, so I took the suck-it-and-see approach.
It took quite a while to bubble away – I’d read 15-20 minutes, but for my little pan for one I was worried about burning it dry. Anyway, after adding a few more sloshes of the rice milk and a tiny drizzle of agave syrup for a little extra sweetness I gave up stirring and poured it into a bowl.
It looks ok, although it reminds me of wallpaper paste. It has a slightly bitter note in the middle of tasting which then disappears. The texture I imagine is a bit like eating wallpaper paste, but then again I have no idea if I’ve cooked it correctly. I’m not sure I’m a convert, but as my breakfast’s recently have consisted of a small carton of chocolate rice milk I thought I should attempt at some other breakfasts on this new way of eating I’m following.
I must say, the new way, which I will share more about one of these days, is doing wonders for me – body and skin – so I can’t diss it. Anyone else make millet porridge with millet flakes? Any tips or advice would be much appreciated as I now have a bag of the stuff! Perhaps I’ll try quinoa next time as I know I already like it.
Oh, and as promised – I came across this picture of a mummy partridge and her babies that my parents took on my camera when I was staying with them last weekend – so cute!!
Today we have been trying to finish off our wedding invitations, but we also managed to go for a lovely long walk along the canal and lanes near our house. It was pretty nippy but beautiful crisp blue skies.
Scenes from our walk…
A gorgeous horse caught in the sunlight…
The canal all frozen over…
A cute tiny cottage…
Seeds in the hedge twinkly with frost…
Now it’s time to huddle up by a cosy log fire and keep warm. Hope everyone else has had a happy weekend.
I thought it was about time for some wildlife pics after all this talk of food and eating and recipes!
Aren’t they so sweet? I discovered these teeny tiny caterpillars on my nasturtiums this evening – I don’t mind them chomping on the leaves as there are so many and I do so love butterflies in my garden.
I love how they all huddle together…
I especially like this picture, not only because of this rogue caterpillar who was brave enough to leave the huddle and explore the leaf, but also because you can just see three tiny yellow eggs clinging to the underside of the leaf – on the right in the picture.
Aren’t these babies adorable?! My mom works at the primary school in the village where they live, and they have chickens – and at the moment chicks! They are sooooo sweet and I sooooo want chickens. But I’m not allowed at the moment – boo hoo!
More lovely photographs taken with the little sisters snazzy camera. I might have to steal it!
Today on our way out we came across a tiny lapwing chick stood in the middle of a very busy road – two of his siblings sadly squashed beyond recognition. I immediately stopped and jumped out and managed to catch the tiny chick as it hid in the grass on the verge.
I could see its parents wheeling overhead calling for their chicks, so I attempted to leave the chick in a field hoping the parents would find it. But there were so many busy roads around that I decided that the best chance we could give the chick was to take it to a local wildlife rescue centre.
Thankfully the chick seemed quite a tough little thing and apart from peeping all the way to the rescue centre it seemed in fighting condition. We left it in the hands of Lower Moss Wood – an educational nature reserve and wildlife hospital outside of Knutsford.
We wish the chick lots of luck and hope that it survives. I have its patient number at the wildlife hospital so hope to call back in a couple of weeks and find out if it made it through.
A big thanks to all the dedicated volunteers who run wildlife rescue centres. I was lucky enough to work at the Wildlife Rescue Association of British Columbia whilst I was studying there for a year. It was an inspirational place with incredible people.
Some pictures from my time at the rescue in Canada…
Tonight we enjoyed a picnic dinner at our allotment after an hour or two of raised bed construction. This is what we managed to achieve – one half of my new herb bed:
We ate Majorcan new potatoes boiled then smothered hot in goat’s butter and lots of salt and pepper … grilled blackened sausages from Little Heath Farm in Dunham Massey dunked in Wilkin & Son’s tomato ketchup …
sliced tomatoes sprinkled liberally with salt and garnished with torn basil leaves (totally unseasonal but irresistable as the weather starts to warm) …
and slices of coffee coloured seeded bread from Red House Farm smeared with Oxford Blue cheese …
Sitting on an old rug looking out over our allotment eating good grub – what a blissful way to spend a weekday evening. Buddy peered down at us from the boot of the car, his nose twitching as the smell of sausages wafted up his nostrils.
Two little robins hopped around the allotments, perched on the spade…
then a tub of chicken manure pellets…
and finally an orange plastic bottle balanced atop a bamboo cane…