My Sunday Photo – Brrrrrrr but Beautiful! #MySundayPhoto


On Monday of this week we had our first frosty day of this winter – hurray!! The day was bright, beautiful and, in the fullness of time, sunny and made you really glad to be alive. Not a raindrop in sight – more hurray-ing!

My early morning walk to the pool seemed to take ages as I just HAD to keep stopping to take photos. I love the way frost delicately draws around the edges of ivy leaves, grass and along the texture of bark on trees. If anything I should have given up on the swim and just gone and filled my cameras with photos so I could have spent the rest of the, very rainy, week looking back on them and going – ahhhh perhaps I DO like Mondays – for a change!


My Sunday Photo – Like it or not, it’s coming! #MySundayPhoto


Sorry!!!! Is it too early for this?!

This week the Christmas lights were turned on in Exeter, as I suspect was the case in many parts of the country. Whilst we didn’t get to go in for the grand unveiling, we did have a trip into town last night, primarily to go and see the Christmas Market on the Cathedral Green. I was hoping to get some photos of that to share, but when we walked through the Guildhall and I saw this, I just couldn’t resist!

I am still a way away from feeling Christmassy and it does feel a little too early for me but with a display this breathtaking and “wow”-worthy, why just keep it to a short few weeks in December, why not make it now and make the most of it? I’ll definitely be going back for another look! Even Scrooge would smile – honest!!



The Best Bit of Autumn…..

In a recent blog post Sykes Cottages asked us to let them know about our favourite bit of autumn. I was quite excited at the prospect because I do love autumn above all other seasons. The smell, the feel, the crispness and crunchiness. Seeing your breath steaming out of your mouth, proving that you really are alive and kicking, and I would also argue with you that autumn is one of the best times of year to go on a UK holiday!

If the price of holidays in the summer is off-putting for you, it’s often possible to pick up something cheaper later on in the year. Whereas rain in a summer holiday puts a complete damper on everything, rain during an autumn holiday is a VERY good excuse to curl up in front of the fire with a good book, put your feet up and relax. The last autumn holiday we went on, to Cornwall, the cottage didn’t have a tv and it was WONDERFUL! We were lucky enough to have cat visitations too – here’s Holly curled up on the floor with Mippett, both of them looking very cozy and happy. Can’t see that having happened during a summer holiday!


Attractions are often open all year round these days and, unlike summer, you’re IMG_1567able to look around uninterrupted and for far longer without the pressure to move on because of the crowds. We had a lovely time looking around both St. Michael’s Mount and the Minack Theatre and were fortunate enough to call at the latter on a day a music video was being filmed, which we were more than welcome to sit and watch.

We also managed a trip to the Eden Project, which was lovely to see without the crowds and during a different season. It was in fact so quiet that the steps up to the top viewing platform were open and we had a real birds eye view. The first time we’d been able to get up there as it had been closed when we’d visited previously in the summer.

IMG_1660Even if attractions aren’t your thing, a UK holiday in the autumn can be a richly rewarding pleasure just by going for walks in the countryside with your trusty camera at your side. Here’s a selection of my favourite autumnation……


So really, what could be more beautiful than a UK autumnal holiday? Stunning scenery and snuggled up nights – it’s really my favourite bit of autumn.


If you would like to enter Sykes Cottages competition to win £400 worth of John Lewis vouchers then simply head over to  You could add your link in my comments on here too so I can have a nose at your favourite autumn thing.


Q is for …. Qué?!

Our trip to Tenerife did leave us with a few questions, so where better to air them than in our photographical alphamabetical theatre?

It started by me noticing a shop called Bazar Raquel and deciding that, when (not if) I run away to Tenerife it would be absolutely ideal to take over and have a ready made business….although perhaps amending the name to Bizarre would be more fitting.

After that these signs kept popping up and had me questioning “why?”! You can see what I mean….


I was expecting to see poultry photos rather than shoes, but I quite like it! But not as much as I like this!


Mami comes to Tenerife – who knew?! Or do they mean mummy not Miami? The sign is enough to make you very cherfull though 🙂

We booked tIMG_0623hree trips during our time from these lovely people, and their name was one of the attractions….

I’m sure they’d attract even more customers if they exchanged the G for a B though!

We did begin to wonder whether there was perhaps a corrupt signwriter locally who was charging everyone extra for unwanted and needless lettering? Or someone with a Spanish/English Dictionary which had a few pages missing? But then I thought perhaps a more reasonable explanation was that it pulled in naive or nosy foreigners who came along to point out the mistakes in their signage who were then hooked, found some rare item that they just COULDN’T live without and another sale was made there and then to someone who might not have called in other than to point out the spelling error?! Interesting concept – might try it myself one day!

It does seem however that, no matter how much the islanders bend over to make the English feel at home, they don’t share one of the obsessions we have over here…..


True to their signage though, we didn’t see a single garden gnome the whole time we were there!

This is the sign which really made us laugh though – both the description of boat rental being “very funny” and “very stable and safe” when three of the boats show are actually airborne was enough to keep us chuckling, if not enough to have us going down to the harbour to book up!


A-Z Foodie Challenge – F is for Flour UPDATE!

I missed a whole section out of my previous post, so I’d like to put that right as well as adding photos that Frances has let me have for her delicious looking creation using flour.

For my birthday this year my best friend Katherine bought me some “unusual” presents, one of which being a very classy egg separator….


I won’t insult your intelligence by describing how it works but I just wanted to let Katherine know, despite her assurances that IIMG_2094 could just put it on eBay unused, I have used it and very helpful it was too! The first egg I used can’t have been too fresh as the yolk broke and became “bogey-fied” but second attempt, with a fresh box of eggs, worked perfectly and was indeed very helpful as I’m a bit squeamish about eggs (one of those childhood things that I won’t explain). Thank you very much Katherine!

So, from one section of cobblers to another – courtesy of Frances! Her flour recipe looks amazing and I’ve asked her for the recipe.

Frances says “It’s carrot and butternut squash casserole, slow cooked for 4 hours.  It’s topped off with Stilton cobblers which I browned off in the oven for 10 minutess at the end. Delicious and I’ve now made it 3 times!”


Linda’s gone for the sweet option for flour with some delicious looking Oaty Cranberry Cookies. Check out her blog post for the recipe and let me know if you have a go at making them!


UPDATE! October in the Garden

Hmmm, well, we’ve actually been away in Tenerife for 2 weeks during October so there probably isn’t a lot to tell you!

Runner beans and sunflowers are no more. Carrots are all pulled and eaten (YUM!) and it’s looking a bit bare out there. Apart, that is, for weeds! They’ve done very nicely in our absence and have pretty much taken over every bare spoIMG_2437t of soil, and joined in and overtaken everything that we had left in the flower border. Still, that’ll give us something to do in the upcoming weeks won’t it?!

The grass had grown massively while we were away but thankfully today has been dry and Kev managed to get out there and get it cut and the edges strimmed, so at least part of the garden looks like someone might at least vaguely care for it.

The pansies I planted for pots in front of the house and to take the place of the sweetpeas in the garden have survived in our absence and are looking pretty good. Some food and they should come on in leaps and bounds I hope.

Kev is, however, stood at the bottom of the garden in my next photo looking a bit puzzled and annoyed. We had assumed that everything would be fairly safe in our absence, given the late time of year, but no, here he is calling me to come and have a look at the bottom of the garden at the purple sprouting broccoli and cabbage….

IMG_2433Which have been completely munched again by caterpillars! I was so surprised! I thought that problem was over and done with (and SEE what I mean by all those flippin’ weeds?!).  Given the lateness in the year, I’m not sure how they will survive. They had been coming along nicely again having been chomped on once but can they do it again?

IMG_2435Fortunately, depending on your taste, it looks like we’ll be having a Christmas full of sprouts though as they are coming along very well indeed. Hurray, or boo if you’re my dad!!

Anyway, as that’s all a bit gloomy I thought I’d leave you with a montage of photos to show how my garden will look when I run away to live in Tenerife!