Sunday, 28 April 2013


George and Tom came down for a couple of days, and it was actually nice weather.

They are heading back to Oz shortly, so it was good to see them, but a bit sad as well, they will be gone now till Christmas. George left me her car to look after again, I’ll have to try and keep the battery charged up this time!

We went out for a meal to Bistro 46, as usual Chris surpassed himself, except for running out of Bays Gold, we had to drink Topsail instead; which was no real hardship.

Next day, I cooked a fry-up, including the excellent Pork and Marmite sausages from Totnes Good Food market, and local Organic bacon From Well Hung Meat.

and then we went to Paignton, where we played Crazy Golf (George’s request)

and wandered along the beach eating chips, watching people being dive bombed by hungry seagulls. I then brought them back to Kent on my way to work. We let Tom win; (Honest!) but hopefully we will restore English pride with the Cricket this summer.

With some trepidation, at Naomi’s wedding I asked Tom to proof read my book, and tell me if he found any major grammar or plot issues, before I published it. I told him to be totally honest about it, (I WAS a bit happy at the time) before I made a fool of myself by publishing rubbish.

He said that he was going to start a couple of times, but actually started in the car on the way to Kent. It went very quiet as he was reading, and I felt myself getting more and more worried.

Eventually (and I do like the Aussie honesty) he said to me “I thought I was going to have to tell you it was S**t, but it’s actually pretty good.”  That was a relief, because even though I know that not everyone will like it, it’s still my baby! And coming from an Aussie; that’s next to high praise. George even read it, and she’s no fan of fiction, preferring biography.

Work was quiet, only three jobs, but I did get a good picture of a front coming through, spot the impending rain!


I have orders for about twenty jars of Marmalade, there is no Seville orange left, but I will be making Ruby Grapefruit later in May. Tracy also wants sourdough next time we are on shift together, and I’ve also been asked for mint sauce. Busy Busy.

It’s a bit colder today (Sunday) but a very nice sunrise over St Mary’s Graveyard as I took the dogs round.

My second batch of dandelion wine is now under way, and I racked the Rhubarb into bottles this morning. It has cleared beautifully, and has a rose tint, I can’t wait for Christmas!
I also made fruit compote (Blackberries and Rhubarb) for dessert tonight with Yogurt
 And I have fruit blossom as well

Sorry; they are a bit blurred. 

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Back to what passes for Normal

Well the weddings over, and what a good day we had. Despite the SNOW the day before and the rain on the day, it stopped in time for photos. That’s two of my daughters sorted, just my Georgina to go! Only Joking! As father of the bride, I was in the fortunate position of being brought beer for most of the evening, which was nice, I will get round to thanking everyone for making it such a great day, just as soon as I can. In the meantime here are a few of the unofficial pictures.


The happy couple went to Singapore and Bali for their honeymoon, of course when I heard about the plane crash in Bali, I thought OH NO, but they were already there.

So now we can try to return to normality, or at least as close as it gets (define normal anyway, our normality seems to consist of lurching from one crisis to another.) in our little corner of paradise, I must get on and update you all with my latest exploits.


Winter seems to be slowly releasing its grip and the Potatoes and Broad Beans that I planted out in Feb, during the one promising day we had, have just started showing above ground. As it was a nice day yesterday, I planted my second early potatoes out, and some cress and salad leaves, also carrots and peas. The tomato seeds that I sowed in the propagator are coming up as well, so perhaps spring is really here.
Tomatoes (In there somewhere)

A brave Potato

Broad Beans

Salad Leaves

Of course that means that the weeds are thriving, you can tell the difference between a weed and a plant easily. Pull it up; if it comes back it’s a weed.

We have had a dandelion explosion in the last week, and over the course of a dog walk and an hours foraging I picked enough for 9 litres of wine (4 litres of flower heads)
Half my pickings

I’m using my Grandmother Wynn’s recipe for this; basically add the flowers to 4.5 litres (a gallon) of boiling water with a cut up orange and lemon. Leave to soak for 48 hours. Strain, add 3lb sugar, 1 tsp. yeast and stir until dissolved. Put it in a demijohn with an airlock in a cool warm place until it stops bubbling. Bottle and leave for 6 months. And that’s it – as you drink it spare a thought for the tax you’re not paying.
The rest, soaking.


 I had a first last Friday, I have been driving since 1978, and got my first parking ticket, in slightly controversial circumstances. I paid as usual and stuck the ticket to my windscreen as usual. When we returned to the car, after a very nice lunch, the ticket had fallen off the glass and was lying on the dashboard. For this I have been charged £ 50, reduced to £25 if I pay up in 14 days. I have appealed and will keep you posted.

Beware the non sticky ticket!


Those of you who glance at my Bread Blog, will know that I have been supplying a Wholefood shop in Brixham with Sourdough and Soda bread for a while now. And that I took samples around to a café, on the recommendation of a friend.

To my relief, they liked the stuff, and gave me an order, also they commissioned a small order for testing the waters, which I am glad to say worked out well. So I now have an alternative income stream, which hopefully I can develop.

And my First novel should be published on Kindle by the end of the month, I am just waiting for my proof-readers to finish off, once I have corrected the manuscript off we go.

I have the cover design back,

to fill you in, the book is a science fiction tale set in the future, I’m not telling you too much more than that, but here is the blurb from the back cover.

Dave Travise is an interplanetary trader with a past. Trying to forget, whilst being constantly reminded is no way to live, but sometimes letting go is just too painful. And the “Freefall” is his past, so that’s part of the problem.

So when excitement comes back into his life, in the shape of a dead girl and a stolen disc, his world turns upside down. Events take control of his life, and before he knows how, he’s at the centre of a Galaxy-wide conspiracy, chasing the answers that explain the past and may hold the key to the future.

With the truth to reveal, he’s pursued by those who want it kept secret, the story goes from the civilised centre to the edge of exploration. A cast of pirates, smugglers and legendary explorers all play their part in a story that’s older than all of us.

If that’s got your interest, stay tuned for an update on the publication details.


And finally, here’s a bit of a recipe, for herb crusted potatoes. These go well with sausages, or chicken.

Simply cut the potato into chunks and boil for about 5 minutes. Let them steam dry then toss in olive oil and dried mixed herbs. Bake for around 40 minutes in a 200 degree oven (180 degrees fan), turning a couple of times.