Friday, 31 August 2012

Roughing it!

Arrr ooooh ummm.......
It's taken almost a week to get back into the swing of everyday living following our third camping expedition this year.
We started off back in April with a glamping trip to Dorset in one of those truly fabulouso large canvas tents with wooden floorboards, 3 divine bedrooms, vintage everythings and a flush loo! July took us to Suffolk to share a super dooper week at our annual home educators Summer festival with lots of lovely friends. On that occasion we resided in our lovely 'bell tent' with cool canvas walls and all the mod comping cons.
Well this last trip was to North Devon and we roughed it! Well not completely, we did take a tent (rather old and fragile) and a cooker, plus camp beds etc, but nothing posh, just the very essential basics. That's all you need. I do love the freedom and liberation that comes with having very little, it airs the creative side of my soul and gives me a jolly good rest from the clutter and chaos of life in the real world. Dreaming again!!!!!!
 This was to be a beach holiday of sorts, not sunbathing and surfing but sandcastles and rock pools. It was  a little overcast on this particular day but all had a jolly good time!
 Ripples in the sand......
 The perfect view!
 All patriotic even in the harbour...
 Small boy climbs a very steep ladder to show me a starfish he has found...he ended up rescuing many :-)
 A ship wreck., the perfect place to become pirates!
 My crochet cushion cover that gained lots of attention and has actually been finished!
 Jenny dog came too, soaking up the warmth of the sand and the sea air!
Pretty boats in the harbour with the tide out. Much interest resulted.

We spent a week camping in a farmers field with no entertainment or commercialism on site, only loos and showers. The North Devon coast provided much entertainment for little money should you wish. It was exactly what we needed. We visited the pretty little village of Clovelly with its donkeys and cobbled streets, the cliff railway in Linton, the old harbour in Ilfracombe and many bays along the way. The children collected jewels on the beach, how many of us remember doing that? Such fun times are lost these days for many. There are still priceless adventures to be had if only you look and remember.....xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Friday, 17 August 2012

Mud for the soul.....

It's that lovely time of year again......harvest, the period of time when we can all be thankful that the sun has shined and that the rain has fallen in adequate amounts to produce the crops that will be cut, dried and stored to last us through the year to come. I suppose living in the country I am more aware of this period of time then those who do not see, hear and smell it on an annual basis. You only have to drive out of town on a dry day to see the dust clouds rising and the farmers hard at work. It must be tough being a farmer at this time of year (or farmer's wife even), to have to work day and night without much of a break to get the work done. Do we give a thought to this at all when we consume our daily bread or munch our cereal products? I suspect not. The supermarket has detached us from having much awareness of our food. How many of us know what foods are in season and where foods are grown? It's all there and available for us to buy without much thought.

Tuesday we heard the roaring of the combine in the fields and just had to take a hike to find it and experience for ourselves the climax of the farmers year. We do it every year and it does have a certain excitement about it. The farmers wait until we've had a dry period and then work like mad to get the crop in.
The whole process is really well planned. The combine drives up and down the field until his hold is full then a tractor and corn cart run along side, at which point a long arm moves sideways from the combine and deposits its load into the cart. The cart then drives off to empty its load in large bays where it will be stored and then dried in huge driers and then stored again for use throughout the year.
I love it!!!
On this occasion barley was being harvested, I haven't noticed oats near to us but the wheat is still out there so harvest is still in the early days.
Life in the country is always so exciting, so much to see and do and always ever changing with the seasons and the weather. Our walk back from the field was packed with entertainment too.
Firstly there was the 'treasure field'.......
Look at all those precious gems left behind in times past but rich in interest and fuel for the imagination of young and old alike. There is a lot of broken pottery and old bones in one field. It was probably used as an old bottle dump before rubbish collection. We've found quite a few of these dumping grounds in our time and they are all packed with interesting things.
Then there was the joys of the common puddle....!
Check out those little ladies who thoroughly enjoyed stomping around and launching great dollops of mud at everyone. I had to get them to roll on the grass to coax the main of it off before coming inside, they also stripped off and hosed themselves down.
I was thinking about the modern child and how prim and proper we often expect them to be and then I felt really saddened by the whole thought. Why should it matter that they completely plaster themselves in thick oozy mud? Well it shouldn't, it's just us who feel slightly annoyed by the work involved in cleaning their clothes and the prospect of mud that may be tracked into our homes. So much can be learnt through such frolicking and it's fun too!
So go out there and let them play, join in yourselves....go on it's fun!!!!


Saturday, 4 August 2012

Schools out......when was it in?

The home has been a haven of activity today, so much going on, everybody busy all day, it's been wonderful!

I woke with a cold today, the first one in a very long time. Arrr where did that come from? I do not know....time to remember all of the natural ways to shift it. Mmmm the list is long:
*Garlic, works a treat as has antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties
*Echinacea, tastes gross so best taken with something flavoured
*Honey and lemon, hot of course, always hits the spot
but right now..... hot Ribena is what I desire!
Hope something works, rather hate not being able to taste my food and have managed to burn Small boys sausages at dinner as I couldn't smell them cooking (can't say that bothered me as I cannot stand the smell, although he was thoroughly disappointed!).

Began our creative day by making some lovely moisturising face cream. My face cream seems to have disappeared since our return from camping last week and the last little squeeze from an old tube that still hangs around, has just about dried up. Popping to the shop would of course be the easy option and solution here but wasn't to be the case today. No, the ingredients were there in a box under the bed so out they came and to work I began.
OK, to make one 60ml jar of lovely jubbly moisture cream you need:

About 100g of Apricot butter/Shea butter of cocoa butter (the latter two would need melting)
About 25ml Almond oil
30 (or so) drops of essential oil. I used lavender oil as it has healing properties.

Pop them all into a bowl and mix like mad until they have all creamed together. The mixture should resemble light fluffy, slightly frothed cream. Then spoon your mixture carefully into a jar...ta's that easy!
All ready to use and lasts for 6 months too so lots of time for pampering xxxxxx
I created this recipe myself, but there are many other simple ones just waiting to be tried and tested in this little book........ 

'The holistic beauty book' by Star Khechara.

 **They are lovely to make for yourself but also to give as presents :-))) **

Meanwhile, Miss P worked away firstly at creating a bank (no credit available today) and secondly, creating paper dolls (her and her friends have a website somewhere on the World Wide Web - check out 'Stardolls' on google to find it!) 

Small boy washed the dishes following a baking blitz and excitedly announced that he had found BUBBLES in a bottle. I have to say I could see what he was excited about, they looked like jewels sparkling away in there. So glad that he notices the simple things in life that we often take for granted!

Then the 'little ladies' made magazines....such an industrious lot!

This afternoon my lovely sissy and her man came to join in the fun and we ambled off for a walk around the village pleasure garden. I could not believe that I hadn't mentioned it to them before. Well that was a well kept secret I'll say. We are so lucky to have such lovely adventurous places on our doorstep, so many beautiful things to see and explore....I'll share some of them with you.....
Reeds growing in the lake....

Thistles growing wild.......

An avenue of trees........

Sheer bliss........!

Beautiful I know, but even more lovely in real life.
Thanks for joining me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 2 August 2012

A circus with a difference

Du dada! De dede....!
Into the big top and here we go........!

It's circus time again, an amazing and inspirational part of Summer for our family. But this is no ordinary circus, this is Gifford's Circus an exquisite arrangement of fabulously crafted, vintage inspired costumes and scenery, put to foot tapping/stomping musical finery. I have not come across anything like it, this family of entertainers are like no other I have seen before.
Several friends raved about Gifford's some years ago and I was put off by the cost of the tickets. It is not a cheap day out, however, it is one that it so spectacular that it is worth the cost by far.

This year the purse strings have been tugged more then ever and I made the decision that Gifford's needed a rest from my credit card payment for a season. However, when a dear friend offered to take Miss P as part of her daughters birthday present and after a brief viewing of the circus waggons passing me by one day, I changed my decision and booked away!

Isn't that just so beautiful! All of their caravans and waggons are painted in these colours and can be seen being towed from destination to destination in Oxfordshire during the Summer months.

 Somewhere not too deep within me is a person rather deeply drawn to costumes like these. I could almost see myself parading in such finery on a daily basis......yes, I sense your heads shaking, that's why it's only an 'almost'!
The acrobats were incredible this year as always!
But it's definitely the costumes, the smell of candyfloss, the old pipe organ and those beautiful waggons that do it for me.
What traditions keep Summer alive for you?
Enjoy! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx