Monday, April 01, 2013

What we did this weekend.

It always is such a build up to people coming to stay. I remember as a child it seemed to take for EVER when you had to wait for a friend or relative, Christmas or a birthday. As an adult, however, life seems to just push it all past so unbelievably quickly.

My sister has been and gone already. We had a lovely weekend with her, although the children were somewhat explosive for some reason. I don't know if they had been feeling the build up, or that we have suddenly got space again after four months of all living in the kitchen, or that Master Beehive the younger is, for the first time in six weeks, not on crutches or in a sling and was able to run and get outside. Whatever the reason there did seem to be a lot of volume, a lot of mediation and a lot of tears, however, we all still had so much fun!

We began by making hot cross buns and biscuits on Thursday:

Good Friday brought Dido and Aeneas to our home, two white sussex hens to add to the flock.

On Saturday we went for a hike and Easter egg hunt at the local herb centre whilst Mr Beehive went on a sausage making course*

Sunday we cooked two amazing legs of lamb on the barbecue, went on a huge hike and came back for lime marscapone cheescake or rhubarb and ginger crumble: yum, yum!

Today we have been to a Country Fayre which would have been a heap of fun if it hadn't been so hideously cold. We were wrapped up to within an inch of total movement restriction, but we still couldn't stand still for very long to watch the dog arena or the pony and trap racing. We didn't stay long, but saw some of the chainsaw woodwork and the Little Miss was taken by the blacksmithing and glass blowing.

This afternoon I have begun making a couple of mosaics. 
We have cleared a lot of one of our back walls which was over run by 'Mile-a-minute'. I have to confess, I'm not sure this is the horticultural name for this, but it is what we have called it as you cut it and it is back within the day.  However, cutting it back so profusely has left us with a rather nasty breeze block wall. Our neighbour behind is responsible for a fence which was on top of the wall but was rotting and falling over due to the weight of ivy from his side. He has now spent the last three weeks replacing it and it looks lovely. The wall, on the other hand, looks like a bad scar. So the gekko mosaic is going to hang on the wall during the summer months to add some colour until the grape vine we planted last summer gets going (...if it gets going!). The other mosaic is a housewarming gift for a friend.
This is not finished. All the board will be mosaic. Greens and blues outside of the gekko

House warming gift for a friend.

Talking of summer, well, that's not so much of a sentence starter as a need to talk about summer. The cold, bitter, biting wind here is not relenting and it feels like we are never going to see a Spring. Normally by now my cherry blossom is flowering, this year it seems to still be in hibernation. Instead, to warm ourselves internally, LMB and I have booked ourselves to go to Camp Bestival in August, we are off to Italy for a couple of weeks as a family, staying in an old, medieval, walled city near Florence and my sister has asked us all to join her and her family in the Pyrenees NEXT summer (yes, I know) for her 40th, so we have booked a huge gite with a pool and will spend the next 15 or so months basking in the future sun from this holiday.

* I must briefly explain the sausage making course. We are going to try a pig share scheme this year. Some friends of ours and ourselves are going halves on a Gloucestershire Old Spot piglet that we are going to 'choose' next weekend. This will be raised free range and organically throughout the summer by a farmer in Somerset. We will then choose how we wish to receive the cuts of meat and our pig will be butchered for us to pick up in September and freezer for the year. It may seem a bit heavy for some of you reading this, but we feel that it is important for the children to learn where the meat comes from rather than just seeing it as some vacuum packed piece from the supermarket. We also want to eat good quality meat that has had a good life and enjoyed its life and the end is as humane as possible. I suppose after growing our own veg, having not eaten a supermarket egg for the last two years, producing our own cider, this is the next step.
Incidently, the cider has now been bottled. This weekend we tried it for the first time. Oh. My. Goodness!
I am very impressed. Our cider is graded: five star, four star and three star. The three star is good, but the five star...I can see us moving to making much, much more next year as it has been warmly received this weekend by my brother in law and my dad! What with the pork and the cider, I feel a meal in the making!

A Scrumping we will go!

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