Monday, 11 July 2011

Rich Pickings

Well here we are, the start of yet another week but wondering where the last one disappeared to so quickly? Some of us around the HenHouse having been taking it all in their stride.

Others have limped through the last week of school which was the predictable flurry of events such as sports day...

..and some very proud parents attending prize giving where the Munchkin received the award for his class for academic achievement.

Friday then, was time to get out once the torrential showers ceased, and have some downtime.

We headed away from London, it's surprising how you don't have to go very far to find yourself in the country. A spot of good old fashioned fruit picking was called for.

I was thinking of all those empty jam jars on my utility room shelves which needed filling. Others were being very silly indeed.

We had a lovely afternoon, I do love a spot of fruit picking. Just a shame we got carried away and ended up with 50 lbs of fruit?!

Needless to say, out came the pans and the jars on Saturday and 41 jars of jam of various fruity varieties were made. I was pretty much good for nothing by the end of Saturday!

Time to have a restful day on Sunday, then? During our visit to the Hampton Court Flower Show last week, we chatted to the folk on a stand promoting lavender and their farm in Kent just happened to be having an open weekend. Ahhhh, breathe deeply.

The fragrance in the air really was incredible. I have always wanted to see fields full of lavender; we went to a lavender farm on the Isle of Wight last Summer which was completely rubbish but this was magnificent. And I didn't even have to go to Provence!

The open day went really well as the farm was very organised and there were all sorts of activities going on, food for sale, tastings and even massages in the lavender fields.

It's a really beautiful spot.

Onwards though for this weekend there was another cause for great annual excitement, yes it was finally cherry picking day! For several years now, we have rented a cherry tree in Northiam, East Sussex. We can visit to see the blossom in Spring and then in early Summer, we get the real prize when we get to pick oodles of delicious cherries.

Someone enjoyed themself. This is surely what childhood memories are made of (hope so!)

I'm afraid I was worn out after all that jamming on Saturday and spent the first hour with a spot of relaxing crochet. It got a bit hot for that blanket though! (Mmm, do I always crochet with my head on the side?!)

This year, we took a little picnic with us which we feasted on amongst the cherry trees.

Don't be fooled that it was all hard work for the boys!

The question is, having vowed on Saturday night that I never wanted to see a jam jar ever again, just what do I do with this little lot (and this is about a third of our harvest!) I see pies and more importantly, I see the freezer!

Somewhere along the line, I managed to pull my finger out and take lots of photos of lovely things I've made in recent times and my Etsy shop has undergone a major boost. Patchwork cushions, quilts, bunting, bags, bunny teds, owls, dolly quilts, they're all there so please feel free to take a look here if you, or someone near and dear, needs and deserves a treat! You are welcome to buy direct from me if you prefer, I just find for lots of little items, it can be easier to load up Etsy (rather than my blogshop) and allow people to browse at their leisure.

P.S. I am away on hols from Friday for a week or so, as such orders and posting need to take place this week if you want your goodies in the foreseeable future. Thanks.


  1. Wow! that Lavender is amazing! Love puss's relaxed pose and the crossed backlegs.
    Have a wonderful relaxing holiday. :0)

  2. What fun you had. I used to go fruit picking with my mum when I was Munchkins age and had just as much fun! Those earrings look fun LOL!!!!!
    Will you be going to Exeter on Saturday
    Julie xxxxxxx

  3. A lovely post Hen.

    Enjoyed the magazine on sunday, again well done!

    Bet that lavender ponged a bit!!


  4. Mmmmmm, only popped home from work to get something off the computer and have been completely distracted by all those fruits and picnics. Getting quite hungry now!

  5. what a delightful post and all of that fruit is making my mouth water! Cherries are my favourite!

    Those fields of lavender look blissful.... I once went to a lavender farm where they served lavender ice cream, it was amazing!

  6. Just as I've finished reading about your gorgeous cottage I got your comment about my summer house! I loved the article by the way, the whole house looked fabulous. My word you do fit a lot into a weekend, the cherry picking looked sublime, my mouth is watering at the thought of cherry pie! We too are limping towards the end of term, we don't finish until next thursday. Roll on summer hols, enjoy your break xx

  7. Big 'Well Done' to the Munchkin! The lavender must ave been terrific and all that fruit! gosh you are good making such a lot of jam and now cherries to deal with. There's cherry picking going ona round here at present, I must see f anyone does a rent a tree scheme, it sounds a great.

  8. looks like you had a great time!
    love your work :)

  9. What a lovely weekend you've had!! I love the idea of renting a cherry tree!!

    S x

  10. Ahhh... fruit! I have not been fruit picking since I was a kid - need to get back into it. Your jam looks yummy!!

  11. 41 j a r s !!! Lucky you!
    The photos are really great and my feeling is that childhood memories are made of little creative moments such as the ones you had with your family!

  12. enjoy your hols after all that hard work

  13. You are a Jam Making Queen! Have a lovely holiday, Best Wishes, Gillian

  14. We rented a cherry tree from there too isn't it great it was a wonderful present for my mum.

  15. Many congratulations to the Munchkin on doing ever so well! That lavender field looks lovely. Love the berry earrings!

  16. You did have a productive weekend!
    We picked our Northiam cherries on Saturday - nearly 40lbs from one tree. So I am busy preparing them for a cherry clafoutis and cherry brandy - stoning one for the pot and one for me!!! (They are so delicious eaten fresh). The lavender farm is lovely - I missed it this year, but it is where I get my dried lavender from.
    Have a lovely holiday.

  17. OH hen what a great post, I love the fruitie earrings!
    Have a lovely holiday

  18. Hen, you have really captured summertime with this post.

    Please give that bright boy aka Munchkin, huge congratulations on his prize! Bravo!


  19. What a busy weekend.... lovely summer photo's :) x

  20. you have been busy. I love the photo of your cat!! the lavender looks beautiful x

  21. I would suggest you make brandied cherries with your crop - very quick & easy to do & taste better the longer you keep them.


  22. It looks very hot where you are, but it also looks like family life from the 30's, or something like that, which is rather wonderful Hen! My Mum used to go Hop picking in her holidays, along with lots of other families in Kent, so your post makes me think of my Mum's hop picking - wonderful! Vanessa xxxx

  23. What a lovely weekend you had. You always post such gorgeous pictures. I loved the magazine article too.

  24. Well I feel quite exhausted reading your blog you have been so busy, but you truly captured a Larking weekend! and I am sure he will always remember such fun times!Have a great holiday.

  25. felt like I could SMELL that lavendar when I looked at the pictures! Gorgeous! Enjoy your holiday...

  26. Che bella la tua vita......è stato un piacere seguire la tua giornata e le cose belle che hai fatto.....ciao

  27. Yes, this is what childhood memories are made of; mine were certainly interwoven with fruitpicking in the Garden of England and watching my mother making up pots and POTS of jam.

    I love the photographs of your handmade goodies; the little rabbits make me smile as I had one a little like those when I was a little girl and I loved it.

    Have a fantastic holiday. I hope the sun shines for you and your family.

  28. I used to follow you, then problems with my computer and all my favourite blogs were lost. Then, thanks to buying H&A I was reminded of you and where to find you. Lovely to catch up... love the article and your cottage, and still love all your 'stuff'. I shall follow again now.
    I made blackcurrant jam the other weekend, got seven jars from two small plants, and now have to make raspberry jam, though am waiting until I get a jelly bag, get rid of the pesky pips.
    Take care,

  29. I love the photo of you with your son, you look so proud! I've just been flicking through the 'Vintage Issue' in the supermarket and was admiring the lovely, bright, interesting kitchen and then realised it was your home featured. Your home looks fabulous and they've shot it beautifully x

  30. What a lovely post Hen, absolutely idyllic :) You certainly have been busy, but in the most enjoyable way :) xxxx

  31. Looks like a fun busy time! What a gorgeous kitty!

    Happy blogoversary :)

  32. Looks like you've made some gorgeous bunting there but I couldn't see it in your shop, Lucey x

  33. You folks are having way too much fun! I would be content to simply be your cat.


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