Saturday, 31 August 2013

Blackberry cordial

Finding a new blackberry spot is always very exciting to me, with a promise of picking blackberries with a friend I remembered a place not far from where we live, quiet and isolated. It was perfect.

The children played in the trees and in the tall grass while we picked and filled our baskets. After a snack and coffee we headed home with cordial making in our heads. The boys poured and stirred while I measured.

The result, a thick sweet liquid which somehow captures early autumn. We have drunken it with ice cold water and also hot on a cool evening. Both are equally divine

To make the cordial

For each pound of fruit add half a pint of water
Heat gently for 30 minutes
Strain the blackberry liquid through a fine sieve, then add the sugar (golden caster, half a pound for each pint of liquid) stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Sprinkle in 1 tea spoon citric acid per pint
Pour into sterilised bottles



On Thursday something happened, something upsetting which has really made me think about myself and the challenges of working while being a mother

How much do I put up with for a peaceful life? How far will I allow people to push me verbally? Have I gone too far trying always to do the right thing? Do I value myself as much as I thought I did?

I have been working as a waitress to bring it a bit of extra cash while I study to become a teaching assistant. The head chef it seems was quite the meanest person I have ever met and not just to me but practically anyone was, at some point in the firing line. I was full of tears on my first few shifts but held them in, was I just being a bit sensitive? I thought to myself

Most shifts were fine and came and went without drama but every now and again a situation would arise where I needed to stand up for myself, and I did, trying to deal with situations in a professional and adult way. My head was telling me that as a full time mum jobs that suit me and the hours I can commit to are hard to find so I should just cope.

This week though I was pushed too far, I could do nothing else but undo my apron and leave, I litrully could not stop myself from walking out, I said not a word in anger just left, shaking. I cried and called Barry, he was amazing telling me I should never allow people to treat me that way, he was a bit upset with me for not telling him how much had been happening before. After a cuddle and a cup of hot sweet tea I felt better

This I know for sure.

Do we as a society really support mothers working?

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Devon - Me

This past week we have been to Devon enjoying all it has to offer, we have beached, climbed Tors, jumped from rock to rock in the river, had delicious cream teas and paddled round a lake with lots of ice creams in between. Because Barry is self employed and most of his work is in the summer months the boys and I ravel in a week of him all to ourselves.

We stayed in a lovely converted barn in Broadwoodkelly, the owners could not have been more friendly bringing us freshly picked mushrooms from their garden and allowing us full use of the gardens and lake.

I think all four of us had our favourite bits of the holiday, here are mine

Rock-pooling with my little helper while the man folk went body boarding


 Kite flying




Monday, 26 August 2013


"A portrait of Asa & Jasper, once a week, every week, in 2013"
Beach boys

Asa - Shivering in a towel which belonged to my nan after body boarding in the Bude waters

Jasper - This image was captured by my husband as we relaxed on the grass next to the sea, flying kites and making memories

Joining in with Jodi


Sunday, 25 August 2013


"A portrait of Asa & Jasper, once a week, every week, in 2013"

This week as we have been away to a wifi free zone, Broadwoodkelly in Devon, It was lovely but I did miss my daily routine of reading all my favourite blogs and posting some myself. Here are last weeks photos

Asa - Mummy lets go to the park and play football. We played until we were both breathless.

Jasper - "I would like manilla please" Interval time at the circus

Joining in with the 52 project


Saturday, 24 August 2013

Tetbury Flower Show

Quill our dog won "special" in the fun dog show, we all squealed when his name was called out!
Some things in life surprise you and for me it happened a few weeks ago, Barry is part of a motorbike club for which he attends monthly meetings, takes trips and enjoys ride outs, all of which for me are a bit dull but he loves it so, I'm happy
We were invited to Tetbury flower show by the VRA club and had a brilliant day. There was something for everyone. After our picnic we wandered round and took in all there was to see, it was a truly traditional country fair with something for everyone. The boy have already made plans to enter the Lego model making competition next year and I may, if I have the guts enter the cake baking competition, we'll see

Friday, 16 August 2013

Foraging - Blackberries

For a couple of weeks now I have been searching out good blackberry spots, none were ready but nearly all the bushes we found were groaning under the weight of the yet ripened fruit. Yesterday while walking home from the park we spotted the unmistakable ebony bramble fruits on the verge near our house.

We made ice lollies and blackberry juice with them saving just enough for a crumble this evening. The ice lollies were really easy to make simply adding apple juice to the squashed berries. To make the juice we pushed the berries through a sieve then added water and a splash of apple juice for a touch of sweetness

What do you do with your blackberries?


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