Tuesday, 30 August 2016

raspberry picking

Whilst The American is in America I've been enjoying some time at home. This bank holiday weekend I took the opportunity to head home early for a few extra days, soaking up the country sunshine and catching up with friends and family. My very best friend from school is getting married this coming weekend so I decided to have her, her fiancĂ© and another friend and wedding guest to come over for a casual kitchen supper. We gossiped about the big day, caught up with all their recent adventures and sussed out the dress whilst Toban was otherwise engaged. I can't wait to see Jess walk down the aisle - she's going to be a seriously beautiful bride. 

Earlier in the day mum and I headed out to the local fruit farm to pick up some raspberries for dinner. Bathed in the golden light, Clive's Fruit Farm is a short drive away from our farm and is a hidden gem in the Worcestershire countryside. Mum and I took an empty punnet each and headed for the poly-tunnels, saying hello to the piggies and feathery friends on the way over. 

Clive's makes it very easy for fruit picking, growing all the berries on tables so you don't have to bend too much. We split up and set about finding the darkest raspberries possible, all whilst trying not to eat too many along the way. We both came back with overflowing punnet and a few sticky fingers - it's so hard to resist! 

I shall always remember one of the first times I went berry picking with mum and my brother. We had been over to Hidcote Manor in the Cotswolds and decided to pick up some juicy strawberries and raspberries for dinner. Since then I have always been a keen picker and I think I made mum take us to Hidcote every summer after.There's something very simple and pleasurable about gathering your own food - maybe that's the farmer in me. Either way, I shall be taking my children to fruit farms to gather in the seasonal produce. 

The rest of the weekend was spent down in the Surrey Hills, attending my cousin's 21st birthday party. The sun was kind and we spent a happy night dancing under the stars, watching fireworks and catching up with old friends and family. 

A perfect way to spend the bank holiday, I think. 


Monday, 15 August 2016

the wharf & greenwich

Mum is on holiday for the summer and decided to come down to London for the weekend. She picked me up from work (just like being back at school!) and we made our way to my little flat for dinner and a catch up. Friday night was balmy and we sat out feasting until late with The American.

On Saturday we decided to show mum where The American worked so hopped on the river boat to Canary Wharf. I’ve never been on the boat before but loved it! We did have to wait a long while but once we got our seats it was worth it. Zooming down the Thames provides you with a very different perspective of the city and we had great fun trying to figure out buildings and boroughs. Mum thoroughly enjoyed it and will certainly be taking this mode of transport again.

We arrived at Canary Wharf which, if you’ve never been before, is the weirdest place in London. I liken it to a film set as it’s totally different from anywhere else in London. During the week it’s heaving with blue-shirted bankers and city slickers but come the weekend it’s totally deserted. Despite this, mum found it fascinating and asked all the questions. Plus it has a John Lewis and amazing underground shopping area so she was very content.

Leaving the Wharf behind, we headed the short distance to Greenwich. How different this is from CW! We’ve been before but I can never get over how beautiful it is, it really does feel like you’re stepping back in time. We half expected to see a jolly admiral walking around but alas, he was never to be seen. We did spot a wedding though so I took a sneaky snap of the beautiful floral archway leading into the banqueting suite.

The rest of the day was spent ducking and diving into the covered market halls the pretty high street has to offer. It feels a little like a small town, and it’s certainly very easy to forget you’re in London. We loved it and will certainly be heading back again.

It’s so nice having family down to stay with us in London, not just because they feed you amply(!); I can’t wait for Dad to visit too once the harvest is gathered in.

The American is going back to America this week until the end of the month so I’ll be exploring lots whilst he’s away. Playmates are very welcome!