Friday, 14 September 2012

'Come Dine With Me' in Salisbury...

All the gang in my front room on the last night!

The day, or rather the week, of reckoning is here!
After months of waiting, our Salisbury 'Come Dine With Me' is due to be shown during the week starting September 24th. It is such a strange feeling seeing my name in the Channel 4 TV listings.

Actually, I didn't cook this- I'm not allowed to show you yet!

Last weekend we had a lively gathering of my fellow Diners. We have stayed friends and are all sharing feelings of excitement tinged with apprehension about finally seeing the show.
It was a long and exhausting week of filming and we really have no idea how many of our more outrageous antics were captured on camera... and which of them have been selected to appear on the show!
At the moment I feel very pleased that I took part in such an unexpected adventure.
I can still remember desperately cleaning, de-cluttering and tidying my house and the pleasure I felt when it all looked exactly as I wanted

I remember the trepidation about the weather. My garden was looking at it's best and I wanted a sunny evening so everybody could have drinks outside.

But above all, I remember the laughter and the sheer fun of working with the humorous and incredibly professional television crews.

 I'm also incredibly lucky to have met and made some lovely new friends.
And as to the chaos and the mess created

I tidied it up in the end!

So roll on 24th of September. Look out for pig racing, moustaches, music, jiggly bosoms and some really amazing meals...
If my blog suddenly goes silent, you will guess that it was all too embarrassing, and I have left the country!

ps. I've just added two new photographs- the gang and the crew, which were taken by Natasha

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Late Summer Artisan Fair this Sunday!

I am happy this sunny morning, as I'm beginning to gather and sort for this Sunday's Artisan Fair. There is a special enjoyment to having a stall at a fair run by friends. This little fair is growing and each time I am surprised and delighted by what I discover there. 
It is to be held on Sunday 16th in the village hall at Middle Woodford, opening at 11.00 am and finishing at 4.00 pm. We are lucky in that the valley is a beautiful one, the village hall has a quirky charm and... there's a car park across the road!
Before I give all the exciting details of the fair and the other stall-holders, I'll just show a few of the pieces I have been putting together...

A pretty little collection of plates, cup and saucer

Just a few of my beloved books...

A pair of 1950's curtains- I love the rose fabric!

My favourite advert

I have a selection of sweet little baby clothes, brought from a Brocante market in Paris

The detailed embroidery on this bib is lovely
and many more new bits and pieces I haven't even had time to photograph yet!

However... I'm most definitely not the only person there, so with thanks to Camelia and her blog Artisan Fairs, here are the details of the other stall holders and the fair-

The Artisan Friends gathering together include:

Beulah's Vintage Attic, joining us for the first time with their kitchenalia, vintage inspired clothing and accessories. See web-site for details

Camelia with vintage linens, handmade lovelies, vintage objects, haberdashery & gardenalia.

Caroline with her handmade jewellery, using semi-precious stones & more recent quirky pieces.

Elaine Mairis who has shabby chic, pretty antique & vintage items (furniture, fabric & ornaments) for interior decor.

John Gustard with his lovely collection of art He will be doing quick portraits in Conté Crayon at the Summer Fair. We are hoping he will be able to run some more workshops with The Artisans in the future.

Kiss the Book, Jane the English Booklady, with her lovely books, kitchenalia and lovely decorative objects. Her blog has won an award.
Sky Blue- Anne Marie with her own design Sky Blue hand knitted and handmade items, incorporating vintage fabrics, as well as a selection of other vintage pieces.

Tanya Wadey with handmade rabbits, hair slides & broachs. She will be joined by Imogen and her lovely Limited Edition Lino-cut prints, produced entirely by hand.

John & Sue's delicious vintage inspired cakes & teas are available all day and they will introduce their preserves and homemade produce.

If you are out for
lunch with family or friends, in need of inspiration or just curious, you will be made most welcome.

You may wish to combine a day out with Friends & a little inspiration.

Gardener's among you will appreciate Heale Garden

For lunch, The Bridge Wheatsheaf open for lunch (you may need to book beforehand).

Together we look forward to welcoming you to make the best of a late Summer's day at the Village Hall, Middle Woodford, Wiltshire, SP4 6NG,


We are all excited and looking forward to a good day for all.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Flying the nest!

Earlier this summer my White Hen (actually named Madame Pompadour), went broody. I decided to let her sit but had nearly given up hope, when one morning I heard faint peeping sounds coming from beneath her large feathery bottom and..

This is what I found!

There were still more brown eggs waiting

But we decided to move them and the Mother to a smaller pen to in order keep them safe

Our cat Mali was a most interested spectator!

After two more days another chick arrived-

And that completed the family!
As both the chicks are charcoal grey we think that the true Mother was actually Big Black Hen but Madame loves her babies and protects them ferociously!
They are growing rapidly and last weekend we moved the family back into the main hen area, just shutting them away in the smaller pen at nights.
Last night however, I was a little late going to catch and put them to bed. Now you remember I have told of my hens' unusual habit of roosting in our apple tree ( whatever the weather) ?

Well, Madame has taught her chicks the family skill...

'Duck is on the leaft up-side-down and Grouse is safely tucked in

It was the most charming and funny sight I have seen in a long time- How on earth they managed to hop, flap and scramble up there I don't know-

But this morning they were back down in the run safe and sound and loudly demanding their breakfast!
We have had many fine nests of beautiful eggs before-

But their contents have never given us such pleasure!