Sunday, 29 September 2013

a weekend at home

After an intense lacrosse tournament (the girls are only 11 but certainly know how to lob a ball across a pitch) they all packed up their weekend bags and left for a jolly away with mummy and daddy. I too sought the comfort of home and caught the first train possible. Listening to Fleetwood Mac all the way home I was getting ever more excited to soak up the Worcestershire rays and countryside. My first port of call was to give mum the low down on how the job was going and find dad out on the farm with the dogs.

After a good nights sleep the dogs and I went for a walk this morning. Armed with a container I picked some plump blackberries and sloes. I wasn't entirely sure what I was going to do with them but just look at how beautiful they were in today's sun! 


        That's Callie, not a berry- she's almost as delicious though! 




Having gone off the idea of a crumble and not entirely sure how to make sloe gin, I settled for a blackberry and sloe jelly. It's in the process of dribbling through a preserving cloth at the moment, and it is very possible I have done it wrong, but it has been good fun to make- pictures of the final product will follow. That's if it's worked of course... But here are a few to whet your appetite in the mean time.



After a hearty lunch (Mum cooked up a storm and produced a roast) we went on a mother-daughter trip to a cute little garden centre to replace a fig tree that got caught during the snowy winter. I realize this sounds very boring and middle aged but this is the nicest garden centre ever! Perhaps it was just the glorious sunshine that put me in this mood though...




It's basically an old farmyard site (naturally the farmer girl side of me loves this) and it still uses the big old barn as a shed for some of the plants. It also has a potting shed which was presumably an old dairy, if my eyes read correctly. 



Mum found her fig and a few other plants. We umm-ed and arr-ed over a lemon tree however we decided the very un-Mediterraneanness of England was probably not ideal for our little citrus friend. Perhaps when I have my own house I'll keep one in my orangery (yes, that's now on the property criteria too..). 

The garden centre can be found in Guarlford, just south of the picturesque Malvern Hills. It's a family run nursery and almost definitely doesn't 'do' technology, let alone Facebook or Twitter. So I suggest you pop in the car one day and have a little drive and discover this hidden gem for yourself! 


My weekend is nearly over but I still have plenty planned for tomorrow before my train departs. Keep an eye out for a delicious Autumn Apple Cake and to see if my Blackberry and Sloe jelly actually becomes jelatinous over night.. I'm not holding my breath. Oops.



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