Thursday, 29 September 2011

Late September in South Devon - Bigbury Bay and Burgh Island

Weather breaking records in September. Winter tends to be too long and dark, make the most of the weather and head for the beach. . Seems as if the good weather is going to last into October, at least for the first few days..

The beach we headed for yesterday morning was Bigbury Bay, across the sand is Burgh Island.
When the tide is in it covers the cause way, the only way back and forth to the Island  is then by a large sea tractor.

Burgh Island is famous for it's Art Deco Hotel. Visited by such people as Noel Coward, Edward and Mrs Simpson, Agatha Christie, the Beatles, Winston Churchill and Eisenhower.
It still stands as it did back in the 30's. I haven't been inside the hotel, but I know someone who has. They say that inside all the fixtures and fittings are still the original 1930 ones. The mirrors are starting to tell their age. Maybe that's only to be expected considering where the Hotel stands and surrounded by water twice a day.

Very impressive gates.

It's an easy walk across the sand when the tide is out. 

If you visit the Island make sure to avoid a rather large hole on the cliff top. It's one that Freya decided to leave behind as a memento of her visit. She brought some of the earth home in her paws.  Just like to warn everyone in case the rabbits get the blame for it.

In the distance is Wembury, the beach we went to last weekend.There can't be a better way to while away an afternoon than watching the world go by from this spot on a beautiful day. Plymouth is slightly further down the coast.

You never know who will pass, you might want to double click on the photo to see the dog on the surf board.

Not this one, she was too busy digging,

watching boats.

meeting new friends.

On the whole, accosting anyone who would make a fuss of her.

Mostly it was a digging

and paddling day.

Where ever you are over the next few days, make the most of the great weather.

As usual you can catch up with Freya over on THE CAT FLAP CAVALIER

Monday, 26 September 2011

The joys of no phone signal, no internet connection

After looking at a map, our destination was only a few miles down the road. No phone signal, no Internet connection, deep in a Devon valley a few miles away from glorious views over Plymouth Sound. Forget the grey sky, the sun was shining when we set out.

It was there somewhere, although there was a lots of talk about falling bits of space debris on Friday.

 If you really need a chill out weekend in late September, maybe this is the place..

 A log cabin in a wooded area near Wembury in South Devon.

 We know a certain pup that loved the whole weekend.

 I'm sure she's ready to do the whole thing again.

Loads of coastal walks.

 Rock pools,

to explore.

 The company of Jason and Karina.

We even found a Devon Long House that has been turned into a pub.

As the pub was called The Mussel, it was only right we sampled a few.

The trouble with days when your enjoying yourself, they are over far too quickly.

If you've ever driven down our back country Devon lanes and wondered why they aren't cut back, they do cut them at the end of the season..If your really lucky, you can get stuck in your car behind one of the hedge cutters while it cuts the hedges.
Long, windy narrow roads that go on for miles without a passing point, all at the speed of walking pace. Now that really is the way to travel down Devon lanes. 

Many thanks to Karina and Jason for inviting us, we had a great time.

Frank was cottage keeper for a few days, a good job of it he made too.

Many thanks for all your thoughtful comments on Soggibottom and Freya's The Cat Flap Cavalier blog.
I don't always have the chance to thank everyone, THANK YOU, we love to read every comment..

Freya has more photo's of her week over at, THE CATFLAP CAVALIER.
 As soon as she's old enough, she'll be answering her own post !

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Champagne Bubbles really do go up your nose.

Autumn might be here, at least the start of it, we still have a few sunny days down here in the South West of England.

Visiting Dartmouth there was a distinct absence of people yesterday.. We weren't on a day trip or jaunt, we have visitors at the cottage that  had never been to Dartmouth.

 A return visit too. There is nothing better than enjoying  the company of friends.

 Playing silly devils with the camera around the shops.

This is a shop I wanted to visit. The Harbour Bookshop in Dartmouth is closing down.

 It was opened in 1951 by Christopher Robin  Milne. The real Christopher Robin of Winnie the Pooh fame.

 The Internet has huge book stores, why bother going out to a book shop ?

I like book shops, I love to browse and read before I buy. As much as I love the Internet and how it's made the whole world a lot smaller, it's played a great part in this shops demise. I will miss book shops that are closing just like The Harbour Bookshop because of the Internet.

  Thankfully, some things still stay the same, the taste of real French Champagne for one.

Good friends another.

What ever your up to this weekend, have a great time. Champagne bubbles really do go up your nose. Not that Freya would know.

Freya is out and about on her blog. You can find her at The Cat Flap Cavalier.
She has her own photo's to show you. Here is one that I thought you might like to see on Soggibottom.

Our window seat seems to be full again.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Other things to do with chillies and peppers - end of season chutney.

We don't eat chillies, we grow them for their colour. There are other things to do with chillies rather than cook with them, they give instant colour to our cottage kitchen .

No good trying to peek through our kitchen window as I haven't found a place to put them yet.

There are some windows you just can't help look into.

Mark and Becca were at Soggibottom last weekend, we decided to go to Cockington Court to walk off a long lunch. 

The earliest part of this Manor House is Medieval, there has been a building here since the 10th century but the exact age of the Court is unknown. Most of the early construction is concealed by subsequent changes and alterations.
A sad looking ghost is said to haunt Cockington Court, thought to be Sir Henry Cary, a staunch Royalist during the Civil War who was knighted by Charles 1st.

 The war left him a ruined man. To pay fines imposed by Oliver Cromwell after the war, he was forced to sell his ancestral home.

No ghosts when we were there over the weekend, none that we could see at least. Cockington Court seems to have been taken over by a craft centre since our last visit.  A very interesting craft centre I add.

The grounds around the house are a dog walkers paradise. Especially good if the dog in question is a young pup that needs constant attention.

Well, most of the time she has constant attention.

I never gave a recipe on soggibottom's last post.for the tomato chutney I had made.
Thanks Miss Kodee  for reminding me.

This is a quick and easy way to use up all the unripened tomato's, use up a couple of stray onions, you can even add a few chillies or peppers. You can use red, yellow, green tomato's. In fact all that is left at the end of the season that will spoil if left sitting around.

2 lb. red or green  -  I mixed red, green and yellow tomato's.
8 oz  dark sugar, you can use white sugar if you prefer. .
A good teaspoon of dried ginger, or freshly grated ginger
!/2 pint of Malt (dark) vinegar
I teaspoon of pickling spice
1 rounded teaspoon of mustard powder
A couple of large finely chopped onions
2 Large cooking apples peeled and cored.
8 oz sultanas
1/2 teaspoon of salt and a 1/4 teaspoon of pepper,  give your pepper grinder a real treat and use it for more than just a few turns.
A couple of de seeded chillies or red peppers.I wear gloves for this job.

Put the onion and peppers into a saucepan with 2 - 3 tablespoons of vinegar and simmer gently until soft.
Add the chopped apples, sliced tomatoes, spices, salt pepper, mustard, ginger and sultanas.
Simmer gently until all the mixture is quite soft, stirring from time to time.
Add the vinegar and the sugar.
When the sugar has dissolved boil steadily until the chutney is a thick consistency.
Put the hot chutney into warmed jars and seal down.

It's always best to use aluminum saucepans when making chutney.
Don't attempt to cut down on the quantity of sugar or vinegar in a chutney recipe as this is the preservative.
Don't put in all the vinegar at once, put in about 1/4 of the vinegar, then add the rest gradually during cooking.
Cook the chutney with the lid off the pan so it thickens, stir from time to time.
Use pure malt vinegar, white vinegar can be used for light coloured chutneys.
It's not advisable to put hot chutney straight into cold glass jars. Warm your jars first. 
Never put metal tops directly next to the chutney otherwise the vinegar in the chutney will spoil both taste and colour, it will also make the lid rust and be very difficult to remove. You can buy special pickling jars or instead put a round of waxed paper on to the chutney.

Store in a cool dry place, preferably in the dark to keep well.
If you never grew tomato's this year, it's never too late to get started on your vegetable patch for next year.

I know of a certain pup that is an expert at digging.

It might take a while to get her to distinguish between weeds and plants.

I'm sure she will get the hang of it eventually.

You can find more of Freya's antic's on her blog The Cat flap Cavalier