Tuesday morning Pitch and Stitch - 10.00am to 1.00pm

Tuesday morning Pitch and Stitch - 10.00am to 1.00pm
This hanging from Annie Downs' Hatched and Patched book should be in every caravan as a cushion or decoration!

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

A Short Tale of Two Quiches

Very much looking forward to the Yoko Saito Day with Lynne tomorrow.  I'm also enjoying the change to summer lunches, which means salads and ham and cheese and rolls instead of soup.  This afternoon, as well as preparing the individual trifles we have, I decided to make a couple of quiches with bacon and asparagus and using the goats cheese Coco brought us from France.

Yes, you did read correctly; a couple of quiches.  So why a photo of just one quiche?  They were cooling on the side and......Reuben ate one - and it was the best one.  He's in BIG trouble.

On the bright side, there was a lot of creativity at Pitch and Stitch this morning with Sandra basting her quilt for Olivia

the front is so bright and pretty and I loved the back:

and Anthea finished her beautiful bag which has been very tricky but worth all the work, I think.

A light lunch for us tomorrow then!

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Three Signs that Summer's Here!

The three following things that have occurred over the weekend mean that it is officially summer - hooray!

First of all a pan of Elderflower Cordial is waiting in the larder to be bottled up tomorrow.

Secondly......the sheep have been freed of their winter coats!

We finally had a few hours of dry weather yesterday afternoon so we drove all 250 sheep and their lambs into the barn.  They have to be dry, and have empty bellies when they are shorn (they drop dead during shearing if they are full).

The caravanners had hardly any sleep because of all the bleating, but they didn't seem to mind.

Then Tom and the Kiwi shearing with him arrived this morning at 7.00 and set up all their equipment - which includes a radio blaring out rock music.

Then they set to work

As each sheep was shorn Jonathan and Coco rolled up the fleeces

and packed them into the bags

 George kept the sheep moving along to have their turn, and sending their lambs out the other way

It's such hard, hot work

But worth it when you see the sheep all looking cool and happy in the field

So that was that - by midday Tom and Kiwi were on their way to the next farm, and 250 sheep and a farmer were feeling pretty good about life!

The third sign of Summer was what I saw in the grass when I took the dogs out

a lonesome little glow worm!  Hopefully there will be a gang of them soon.


Friday, 17 June 2016

Sky Arcs and Hirondelles

All these localised storms are causing us a lot of stress!  The sheep should have been sheared a while ago now, but every time we've arranged for the shearers to come, we have had rain storms and have had to postpone.  Ideally the sheep would be dry by the evening, we could get them in to overnight in the barn (they need to be shorn on empty stomachs) and then get the shearers over the next day.

The latest plan was to have them over tomorrow, but we have had showers off and on all day, so it's not going to happen.

The silver lining in all these showers are the rainbows, which I love.  And because we have Corentin over here from France, I know the French for rainbow is l'arc de ciel; our name for it is probably prettier.  I do like the French for Swallow though - Hirondelle!  - and I'm pleased to report that we have baby swallows in the front porch.

There was a marvellous double rainbow this evening, so I ran outside to take a photo:

it was too big to take with my camera, but then I noticed I could take a "panorama picture by consecutive 3 shots or less" - so I gave it a go:

Hmmm, something not quite right there - so I had another go:

Bit of practise needed, I think!

The flowers and greenery in the wet, evening sunlight looked beautiful

But my lovely roses have really taken a battering

Still, it's watering all the plants I planted out earlier this week, so it's not all bad.

Monday, 13 June 2016

A Week in Cornwall - Part Two - Inspiration

Well, I had meant to write this post the middle of last week but I've been so busy I haven't had time - which is annoying because it means that instead of staying in a Cornwall state of mind I've returned to the usual muddle of my life.  However, the last week has been excellent, with great workshops, a brilliant time at Garstonbury (the bi-annual East Garston Music Festival), Sunday up to London to pick up our young French friend Coco, weaning my lambs, and all the usual stuff.

Anyway, as I gathered together the photos of all the things that inspired me in Cornwall, the 'Cornwall state of Mind' returned and I'm feeling very positive.

Obviously you can't help being inspired by the lovely, relaxed feel and the beauty of it all,

but the thing that inspired me most was our visit to Looe (or St George's Island), and the story of Eyelyn and Babs Atkins, two middle-aged ladies

who decided to leave their careers and comfortable lives behind in Surrey and buy the island in 1976!  They have since died but I am really enjoying reading their book

about the big adventure!  It hasn't inspired me to buy an island, but it does make you think about getting on and doing whatever you want!

I discovered, in Lostwithiel, a little shop called 2 Quay Street which was full of new and old sewing patterns, fabric, crochet, bits and bobs and the nice things we like to look at!

I loved it and the summery feel to it made me buy a lot of summery fat quarters and encouraged me to push on with my crochet blanket - actually, I didn't need much encouragement because I find crochet a pleasure to do and it grows so quickly, but it made me feel like I was doing the right thing!

Well - that picture makes the colours look really dark and dreary - it's much prettier in real life!

Then we discovered Cartwheels Craft Centre in Penhawger Farm, Merrymeet, Liskeard, Cornwall, PL14 3LW - a set up very much like ours at Lorne Hill Farm although the premises were much, much bigger.  I had a lovely look around and a long chat with the owners.  Very annoyingly I can't find the flyer they gave me but it's worth taking a look at the website.  They also have what looks like lovely accommodation on site so it would be a wonderful location for a crafty retreat!

Anyway, got to dash off now to watch the Sewing Bee but my final little Cornish lesson was not to sweat about weeds too much - beautiful walls in the West Country look so pretty and are pretty much left to themselves:

and are so beautiful!

Saturday, 4 June 2016

A Week in Cornwall - Part One: Relaxation

We have had such a lovely week in Cornwall; it was warm and sunny every day - which never happens when we go away!  We had a leisurely breakfast in the garden, and then decided what to do for the day.

Of course, we found it difficult to figure out where things were, so spent quite a lot of time driving up roads like this:

and this:

and this:

but then suddenly you were looking at this:

The beaches were really crowded because it was half term, so we tended not to spend too much time on them.

We were really happy to visit Tregondale Farm, where our new bull came from, and Mervyn Rowe and his daughter-in-Law Helen showed us all round.  What an idyllic spot

and how great to see Tregondale Dynamic's family!

Another highlight was the Hidden Gardens of Helligan, which just made you so keen to make your own garden as productive

and to perhaps throw together a mud sculpture!
or be more adventurous with my pots:

We loved looking round Lanhydrock house and gardens

but the highlight had to be the visit to Looe Island,  also known as St George's Island.

Who wouldn't want to live in this little house,

and spend your days looking out to sea,

or trying to spot the seals as they bobbed up to breathe

and watching the gulls feeding their chicks

What a life!