Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Friars Crag & Calfclose Bay Walk, Keswick

Rob, Brock and I had another day out in Keswick. We seem to keep ending up there recently because there are so many places that welcome dogs, which is useful in hot weather.

The walk is 3.5 miles long and is very flat, with just a few muddy sections - fine for walking shoes/boots. There are some magnificent views of Derwentwater and the attractive bays and islands around the lake, with the backdrop of mountains. [Please click on the photos to see a larger version.]

This boulder of Borrowdale volcanic rock was split and carved 
by Peter Randall-Page to commemorate the National Trust's centenary in 1995. 
It is partially covered by water when the lake is fuller.

We drove a way out of Keswick on the Windermere road to have lunch at a pub called The Kings Head. We sat outside in a shady spot on the terrace area with Brock, and had our lunch: a bog standard cheese sandwich and chips, followed by sticky toffee pudding for Rob; jacket potato and cheese followed by ice cream for me, with two drinks the bill came to just over £27. The other vegetarian choices were:- a lentil and root vegetable hot pot (£12), or a pasta dish - both a bit too heavy for a sunny day, lunchtime meal. Both of the staff serving were friendly and nice, but the food was very average, so I wouldn't rush back.

 Smiling, despite an empty glass...
Brock looking longingly at a chip

Friday, July 26, 2013

PotFest in The Park 2013

We had our annual day out to PotFest at Hutton in The Forest today. Despite the forecast for heavy rain, it was hot and sunny!

We started off with a walk around the grounds and the walled gardens.

Then it was time for a quick ice cream before looking at the competition pieces. The theme this year was 'All At Sea'.

The three I voted for were:-

Some other images from the day...

We bought a side plate and dinner plate to add to our slowly growing collection of pieces by Sigi and Charlotte Boehmer of Germany.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Purple Mangetout

I tried out a new variety of mangetout this year, called 'Mangetout Shiraz' from Thompson & Morgan. I sowed them outside in our small, raised bed, in May or June, and we have been harvesting them daily for the last couple of weeks. The colour of the flowers and pods is beautiful and makes them easy to spot amongst the green leaves.

The purple colour becomes a dark green mixed with purple when they are cooked. We have eaten them blanched, cooled and added to salad; steamed as a side vegetable with butter; and added to pasta for the last 2 - 3 minutes of cooking and served with pesto: delicious! They would also be great in stir fries.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Walk in Coombe Woods, Armathwaite, Cumbria

Rob, Brock and I had a lovely walk in the woodlands and countryside around the village of Armathwaite in Cumbria today.

The walk is 3.7 miles long and there are some slight uphill climbs, but I would class it as easy going. Click here for a version of the walk.

[Please click on the photos to see a larger version.]

 Towering honeysuckle plant in Coombe Woods
 A view of farmland from the lane in the second stage of the walk

 A patchwork of fields with Bramble flowers in the foreground

Ploughman's lunch at the Fox and Pheasant, back in Armathwaite

The walk was most enjoyable on this warm day. Lunch at the pub was excellent, with a friendly landlord, ice cold lagers and plenty of food. Brock was given a bowl of cold water.

A photo of Brock taken in June: he's had a haircut since then!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Black and White Stripes No 2 - Textile Art Wall Hanging

 I have just finished sewing my latest wall hanging. This one was made by cutting and piecing strips of black, white and cream fabric (including new and repurposed fabrics). The long stripy strips were then cut into squares.

Some of the squares were cut and resewn into new squares with stripes at right angles. The resulting twelve squares were arranged into a pleasing configuration before being sewn together.

Then the piece was layered with thin cotton wadding and a backing before being hand quilted with cotton threads in ecru and black.

 Detail of the reverse

Finally a hanging sleeve, wooden dowel and a card label are added to the reverse.

Reverse of piece showing hanging sleeve

My inspiration for the piece was the work of the Gees Bend quilters, whose amazing quilts are like modernist art.

Black and White Stripes #2 is available for sale in my Etsy shop, priced at £60 + shipping.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Visit to Glasgow

Rob and I went for a day trip to Glasgow on Monday.

Morning coffee was in the Costa cafe in Waterstones.

Lunch was at Saramago in the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Sauchiehall Street. We had a really delicious mezze platter, with beer for me and fruity cider for Rob.

The platter consisted of roast pepper houmous, baba ghanoush, rocket and seed salad, roast red peppers with capers, enormous marinated olives, dolmades, carrot, coriander and cumin seed salad, griddled aubergines and flatbread. The menu is all vegetarian. With so much choice, we will return another day to try something else. The bill came to £23.25.

After that, we browsed the shops in Sauchiehall Street, with Paperchase being my favourite, for cute stationery items and gifts. John Lewis is also a good place to browse, for clothing and haberdashery.

In the afternoon we went to the Glasgow Musuem of Modern Art to look at the Niki de Saint Phalle exhibition. Her colourful resin sculptures are wonderful.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Garlic Harvest

I harvested our garlic crop this afternoon, and was pleased with the quantity and quality, despite the adverse weather conditions this year.

It seems to be one of the easiest vegetables to grow. I plant the single cloves in late September and harvest in June or July. That's it!

This amount was grown in two small 4 feet square beds and should keep us going for the best part of a year.


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