Edible incredible

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Last night we were having roast veg as part of our dinner. So Kim popped out to the vegetable garden to dig up a few carrots and parsnips. As it happens, we only needed one parsnip.


Making the most of Saturday sunshine

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Last Saturday we awoke to a beautiful sunny morning, so we packed the dogs in the pickup and headed 10 miles east to the coast. Which to our relief was pleasantly bereft of tourists, and even the tide was doing its bit by being out.

It’s a lovely walk across the fields from Newton down to Football Hole, our favourite little cove on this stretch of the shoreline, with its clean, sandy beach and plenty of rock pools.

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And on such a warm, sunny morning, what more could a Hitch ask for than his ball to be thrown endlessly into the sea?

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Then once we’d had enough of the surf, there was time for a saunter further up the coast before heading home for a well-earned cuppa. Perfect!

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Visitors and vibes

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Last weekend we welcomed Kim’s sister Kerry and best friend Ali to Beanley Wood Cottage. It was to be, I had been informed, a few days of girlie bonding and Reiki attunement. But mainly the latter. So as you might imagine, I kept a very low profile indeed. Which included spending a few hours on Saturday afternoon at the very first Eglingham Village Fete.

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Despite the rotten weather there were some fantastically talented musicians and a wonderful atmosphere to be enjoyed. As well as a pretty decent turnout, given just how soggy and windy the day turned out to be.

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I’m hoping this might become something of a regular fixture in the village as it was a great effort by the organisers and I certainly met a few locals I’d never come across before. Plus a couple of reprobates I know only too well.

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Meanwhile, back at BWC, it was wonderful to have Kerry hanging out with us for a few days more. Come back soon!

Well earned

And finally, we had a knock on the door the other morning and there he was – Sir Ted of Talbot – our inimitable neighbour from the days we lived in Sale Moor, Manchester. How I forgot to take a photograph while he was here is beyond me. I can only apologise. Come and visit us again, Sir Ted. Even if it’s just for the photo opportunity. I won’t be so rubbish next time.

The nights are drawing in

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Right now you can feel autumn beginning to nudge summer gently out of the way at Beanley Wood Cottage. The evenings are coming sooner and sooner, and there’s condensation on the windows each morning. We even had a delivery of coal this morning, so it must be getting to that time of year again. But there’s an undoubted beauty about the onset of autumn – especially with a full moon creeping up silently over the woods behind the house.

This summer’s project

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I genuinely live in hope that one day in the not-too-distant future I’ll actually be able to spend my weekends and other (supposedly) spare time relaxing and taking in what we have achieved here at Beanley Wood Cottage. Until then, however, there is, seemingly, ¬†always another challenge we’ve come up with, another idea about how we might improve the place, to contend with. And this summer, that challenge has been to make more of an area of lawn to the front of the house by transforming it into a 6 o’clock spot that we can really enjoy. (FYI a 6 o’clock spot is somewhere you can sit out in the last of the afternoon sunshine and enjoy watching the sun go down while sipping on something rather lovely.)

So, back in early springtime we started preparing the site by measuring out the ground and planning what needed doing.

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Then, once Kim and I had finally agreed on everything, it was time to get the groundwork underway.

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And it never ceases to amaze me just how much soil can come out of such a small area of ground.

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But that’s okay, because after our trusty builder Bill Howard had done his stuff, it was time to start back-filling.

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Was it knackering? Well, some day in the future someone with a metal detector may well find the spade I broke while doing all the digging – and then buried in situ.

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Once the levelling of the ground was finished, it was time to lay the turf we’d ordered.

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And having barrowed a metric tonne of turf from the roadside to the lawn, for a while there I thought we might have ordered way, way too much.

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But in the end, we had just one surplus roll. And with lots of watering every day, the new grass is looking fit, healthy and almost ready for a trim already.

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Next project, please.

Cirrus and citrus

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Yesterday evening we were treated to some rather lovely, delicate cirrus clouds meandering overhead at Beanley Wood Cottage. And underneath them was Kim, sitting out on the new patio area we’ve created at the front of the house, with a G&T in hand (including the obligatory slice of lime and chunks of homegrown cucumber).

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This is now the official ‘BWC 6 o’clock Spot’ as it’s where the late-afternoon summer sun can best be enjoyed as we watch it sinking slowly over the Cheviot Hills. A bit of turf and some general landscaping TLC to finish the job off and I think this could well become one of our favourite little places here. Cheers!