Sunday, 20 July 2014


Last week I was given a fantastic thank you present from one of my schools. They keep chickens and grow vegetables in the playground and had a bumper crop that week. I don't know if it was real or just the idea of eating home grown food, but it all tasted ten times better than supermarket stuff!

I need to find out what variety of potatoes the red ones are because they were gorgeous. The skins were almost like a plastic transparent film that flaked off and they were fuscia pink underneath. Any ideas? 

The beetroots were much prettier than supermarket ones and tasted stronger. I roasted them with carrot and sweet potato. Yum!

Today, I turned my attention to the peas and broad beans. Here is the recipe for my summer salad with grilled trout. Hands down the tastiest lunch I've had in months!


Serves 1 (but if served with bread or new potatoes could feed two with an extra piece of fish)


  • 1 large fillet of trout
  • 2-3 Parma ham
  • Handful Broad Beans, double podded (see tips and tweaks)
  • Handful Fresh Peas, podded
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 100g Asparagus tips
  • Handful pea shoots
  • knob of butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the grill to medium and place a frying pan on the hob on a medium heat. Wrap the trout in the Parma ham and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Grill for 10 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time.

2. Meanwhile melt the knob of butter in the frying pan and add the asparagus. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then add the spring onions, peas and broad beans. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes.

3. Scatter the plate with the pea shoots, top with the vegetables and the trout.


The first time I encountered broad beans I double podded them without blanching them first. It took ages and I was almost crying with frustration by the end. Then I tried eating them with the skins on. Bleurgh! No need! First, pod them and then add the beans to a pan of boiling water for 1 minute. Plunge into a bowl of cold water to stop them cooking further. Take one and make a tiny incision with your finger nail through the outer skin, squeeze and the bright green bean will pop out. Watch out, they do sometimes fly out quite quickly!

Happy Experimenting!


A few months ago I travelled up to York for my brother's wedding and whilst there he gave me a tour of his latest archaeological training dig location. If, like me, you can't quite bring yourself to pay £10-15 to see York Minster perhaps All Saints Church is for you! Although small it has a lovely tiled floor that has been painstakingly reconstructed and some stunning medieval stained glass. A bonus is that the dig is sometimes open to the public and the best finds are on display in the church!

The tiles were copied from ones found on site and were made in Bulgaria, the only place they could find the techniques involved still being used. The result is beautiful. Here you can see an original tile that was recently found on the archaeological dig at the church.

The colours in the stained glass are wonderful and I'm tempted to start redecorating my house (despite only just finishing) in rich blood red, royal blue and golden yellow!

The window above depicts the apocalypse including stars falling, everybody dead and the world on fire. Charming!

For more history see their website (All Saints Church North Street) and for all you time team geeks check out the archaeological dig twitter feed (Archaeology Live Twitter). Some of their most exciting finds are on view at the moment.

Saturday, 12 July 2014


I should probably start trying harder with my titles! They are rather matter of fact. I should try being whimsical or witty but I'm not sure I'm either of those things. I only come up with naff ones like 'Racy Lace' (which would attract people interested in VERY different things) or 'Embrace Embroidery'. Ugh. If you have a better title for this post please comment and I'll change it to the best suggestion!

I thought I would share some of my growing lace and embroidery (and crochet and linen etc.) collection. The majority was bought when I was 15 at auction. It has since been stuck in a box at the bottom of the wardrobe. I can't bear having it hidden away any more so have chosen a few to put around the house. My house is starting to look more and more like my great grandmother's but hey, she probably had great taste.

A little crumpled and delicate but my sister says if a pin the doilies out on a board (like they do when making them?) it'll straighten it out.  

My FAVOURITE is the pansies :)


Friday, 11 July 2014


Life has been totally crazy recently hence the lack of posts. End of summer term always tends to consume what little time left over. I have been meaning to share these three items for a while. I definitely would NOT consider myself girly in any way, but I seem to be gradually turning my bedroom into a pink boudoir! Next post I will have painted it soft pink and bought a mirrored dressing table complete with feather boa flung over the top and Martini glass on the side. I've always wanted one of those fantastic vintage gauzy dressing gowns and slip on high-heeled slippers. They even make rollers look glamorous! Okay, perhaps I am secretly a little girly :)

So, first we have a thirties pink glass lamp shade. After falling in love with my blue one (Latest Finds II) I couldn't help getting another. Then comes the slightly crazy bedside cabinet. I was assured that a crazy person has not attacked it with spray gold paint and this is how it would've been originally. I've got used to it and now quite like the gold.

Finally, one of my all time favourite items in the whole world. This has been my bedside lamp since I was about fourteen and had pride of place in my beautiful childhood home. A home I miss like mad now so this is even more precious. The only thing I haven't managed to do is find a fitting lampshade for this glorious base. That's next on my list.

Oh how I love you lamp!