Wednesday, 31 August 2016

What we spent in July and August


During the last 2 months our spending has gone a bit awry due to visitors, a trip back to the UK, our son stayed with us for a month and we had a few meals out, but the last thing we want to do when we have visitors is skimp, so needless to say we went over our challenge budget. We’ve also been making the best of what’s in the veg patch, lots of courgettes, carrots, green beans and cucumbers and we’ve still got loads of delicious new spuds to enjoy. So a warning to those coming to visit soon, you’d better like courgettes and cucumbers.

This little pile of sweet cherry tomatoes might not look much, but they are our only tomatoes so far this year. Earlier in the year, we lost our original plants to blight but a lovely friend gave us some plants that had seeded in her garden. We had no idea what we would get but we’ve got cherry, beefsteak and plum so far, they just need to turn red.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Cheese and Courgette Scones

These were delicious, straight out of the oven covered in butter. Not good for the hips but you need to be indulgent now and again. I added some chives but you could add any herbs you have or even some chilli flakes or paprika for some extra spice.

Courgette Scones

Ingredients Method
450g Self raising flour.
2tsp Baking powder.
340g Grated courgettes.
120g Butter.
150g Grated Cheddar or other hard cheese.
Approx 15tbsp milk to bind.
Grate the courgettes, pop in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and leave for 10 minutes. Put the courgettes into a tea towel and squeeze out as much liquid as you can.

Rub the butter into the flour and baking powder until you have breadcrumbs, then add the grated cheese and courgettes.

Add the milk a bit at a time and mix until you have a soft dough. Press out the dough to around 2cm thick, then use a cutter to make rounds and put on a baking sheet.

Sprinkle some cheese on the top and bake for around 15mins at 220C/425F/Gas 7.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Canoeing on the Charente

Canoeing, something we’ve meaning to do since we moved here but never got around to it, so having Josh here gave us the nudge we needed to get it booked. I love canoeing but I do seem to go round in circles, so myself and Roger opted for the double canoe as I needed to steering assistance and Josh went for the single. We chose the 2 hour trip from Réjallant to Barro, a lovely relaxing paddle for 5k down the River Charente, but next time we fancy going for the longer trip to Verteuil. On the way Josh spotted some Coypou also know as the River Rat and without scaring them to much, we managed to get close enough to take a photo.

Canoe 1
Canoe 2
Canoe 3
Canoe 4
Canoe 5
Canoe 6

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

I turned my back for a Moment…

…and this is what I picked three days on the trot, but I’d left them far to long and they were growing into marrow sized courgettes. I must pick them when they are much smaller. Even with a lot less plants than last year, I’m struggling to keep up with them, so I’ve been grating, slicing and dicing, popping them into bags ready to use for soups, pasta sauces and anything I can throw a courgette into.

Courgettes 4
Courgettes 2
Courgettes 3

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Looking Up - Looking Down

Josh took it upon himself to climb up our pine tree which is a very, very long way up. While up there he took these great photos, apart from the one of him up the tree. You can hardly see him amongst the branches, which is why I’ve marked him with an arrow. We love the views of our home and hamlet from above, a very different to prospective.

Looking Down

Looking down at our home.

Looking Up

Josh looking at us looking at him.


Panorama over the hamlet.


Obscured by branches.

Looking Down 2

Looking over our neighbours house undergoing renovation.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Building an Owl House ..

…and very posh it is too, complete with landing platform, wood shavings for the floor and a little door at the back for cleaning out the muck. We have lots of owls around at the moment, so Josh fancied building them a home with the hope that they might take up residence in the future. Following a plan from the internet but with some tweaks and some help from Dad, he came up with this owl palace. Josh made it using what we had available, leftover cladding, screws, hinges from an old cupboard door and some stain. It’s been hung it on the side of the hangar along with a camera to monitor any activity and I can see it from the kitchen. So fingers crossed we’ll see some owls moving in very soon.

Owl Box 1
Owl Box 2
Owl Box 3
Owl Box 4
Owl Box 5
Owl Box 6