thirty nine / fifty two



009A portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2014

Mia: takes the lead role in this house as chief active play specialist!

Joseph: so I’m not playing by the one portrait rule this week, but I really couldn’t choose! The first photo just makes me laugh…Joe is posing for the camera, but is so dishevelled/dirty/sitting on his baby walker. The second is him in his favourite place; the playhouse in the garden…he loves to sit underneath it, in the gravel and mud, and play with the plant pots and garden tools…happy for hours!

Joining in with Jodi and the other lovely bloggers at Practising Simplicity for the 52 portraits project.

Highlights from Thame Food Festival


We started the weekend with a lovely visit to nearby Thame for the annual food festival. I do love food festivals and have been know to drag family members as far afield as Abergavenny to attend them! Surprisingly though, I have never visited the Thame fest before. It was fantastic; so many different stalls, with a really wide variety of food to try or take home. One of my favourites, and Mia’s, is churros, so we started off here, whilst Andrew and Joe queued for Japanese dumplings!


Followed by a vanilla macaron that tasted just like good ice cream



Off-duty chefs!


Beautiful borlottis from Sandy Lane Farm


Jam jars of flowers decorated so many of the stalls


There’s no beating the cinnamon sugar-chocolate sauce combo


Eaten in style…pink sparkly ballet shoes and cat ears optional


Sandy Lane Farm’s magnificent looking display of veggies




The most amazing pale green squashes


Admiring the beautiful aubergines, mini pumpkins and kale


My choice of macaron, earl grey flavour


Our stylish transport to and from the festival


The front!

20140927_173451I love the taste of English apples at this time of year


Photogenic beans!

thirty eight / fifty two


20140922_125157A portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2014

Mia: has perfect eyesight, but trying frames on is always fun!

Joseph: has a similar attitude to packaging

Joining in with Jodi and the other lovely bloggers at Practising Simplicity for the 52 portraits project.

Celebrating autumn

Autumn child - Tea & ToastArdemonia

Today we had the first suggestion that summer might be coming to an end. Here, in the south-east of the country, we haven’t had rain for weeks, and then all of a sudden it rained all day! Mia’s school playground flooded, I had to hunt out welly boots from the back of the cupboard, and a scarf to wear with my t-shirt. But, I am not complaining…whilst I adore summer, and the carefree nature of bare feet, long days, eating and cooking outside…I always feel excited about autumn.

There is a tree directly outside my bedroom window which is surrounded by a circle of  golden and red leaves. The small veg patch in my garden has the last beetroots, tomatoes and herbs of the summer growing. In the mornings it has a delicate covering of spider webs.

I think the hunter-gather nesting instinct sets in for me at this time of year. I love to go foraging for wild fruit in the local countryside…I feel the need to collect everything, even rosehips and elderberries. I have tried making these into syrup and cordial in previous years, with very limited success! We have enjoyed blackberries from the garden, mirabelle plums from the nearby Wittenham Clumps and last weekend we even went potato picking at a local farm!

I have been adding some lovely, inspiring autumnal images to my Pinterest board too…pop over and take a look!


Picking our own…potatoes









Recently I noticed that our local farm shop was running a pick your own potatoes weekend. The potato picking also seemed to involve a tractor-trailer ride…Joe loves tractor rides more than anything, so we had to go! Plus, I reckoned I could use the 10kg sack of potatoes…somehow.

We had a wonderful time digging in the mud, racing Mia and Joe around in the wheelbarrows, and finding the potatoes in the sandy soil. Once we had finished digging potatoes, the farmer allowed Mia and Joe to sit in the tractor. He seemed pretty amused by how muddy they were by this point. Hopefully muddiness doesn’t matter too much when riding in a tractor! I am really not the kind of parent to stop them enjoying the dirt, and they loved it.

On the trailer ride back, we spotted a field of pumpkins, all ripening in the warm sun. Next month they will be available for picking too…I cannot wait!