I thought I’d round off the year with an a, b, c of photos from my archive:
A is for AC Cobra – a mean, sleek racing machine.
B is for Bull – a Hereford White Face, emblematic breed from my native Herefordshire.
C is for Cockerel – this is a composite image from shapes I was playing around with in Photoshop.
D is for Dragon – we found this one in a park just on the outskirts of Barcelona.
E is for Entrance – the entrance to the Boquería food market in Barcelona city centre – a mecca for all foodies.
F is for Fire engine – this one is Norwegian – they seem to use them more for clearing the streets than tackling fires.
G is for Graffiti – Barcelona has some fine examples of it.
H is for Husky – this one lives in Tromso, Norway with his 299 kennel mates – a vociferous mob but very friendly.
I is for Ikea – that well known purveyor of flat pack furniture.
J is for Jalopy – this one being put through its paces in the construction stages by my dad.
K is for Kune kune pig – this breed has gained in popularity over recent years.
L is for Lifeboat – slung overhead they make for an interesting photo.
M is for May Fair – our annual fair invades the town for three days in early May to provide fun and entertainment.
N is for Nativity – a traditional alternative in Spain to the Christmas tree – a lot of homes display a nativity scene.
O is for Origami – my son has become adept at this after a trip to Japan – as you can see, this one is a bookmark shaped like a cat’s head.
P is for Patch – a piebald horse I used to ride who is now contentedly retired.
Q is for Quoits – a very competitive game on board ship !
R is for Roulette – a rather more sedentary, but nonetheless exciting, game, played in the on board casino.
S is for Sculpture and this is a beautiful, interactive one.
T is for Tree – this one is at Shobdon Arches, Herefordshire.
U is for Ural owl – this feisty youngster lived at Kington Owl Centre, Herefordshire.
V is for Vegetable – the talented chef on our cruise ship created all sorts of beautiful vegetable animals and birds inspired by cartoon characters.
W is for Windsurfers – there are always some off Barceloneta beach in Barcelona
X is for Xmas starter – I was ready to throw in the towel trying to create this from a Gary Rhodes recipe – only 4 pages of instructions!!
Y is for Youth clinic – children learning to ride at an annual clinic in Monnington, Herefordshire.
Z is for Ziggy – this beautiful animal, owned by friends of mine, was called Ziggy Stardust – sadly no longer around, but aptly named -a prima donna!
Back in the summer I went with a friend of mine to a lunch organised by Abel and Cole, who sell organic veggie boxes full of delicious fruit and veg. The event was hosted by Herefordshire farmer, Jeremy Helme, who led us on a walk around Pool Hullock Farm to show us his crops and explain how things are done.
After the walk Jeremy invited us to sit down and enjoy a tasty lunch in the garden. It was a lovely day and we had worked up an appetite on our tour of the farm so we thoroughly enjoyed our lunch, and before we went home we were given a goodie bag of freshly picked veg to take with us.
Here’s a link to the YouTube where Jeremy explains why he farms organically.
Wibble, Wobble, Wibble, Wobble, Jelly on a Plate.
I’m always looking for different recipes to try and Raymond Blanc’s cookery programmes are very entertaining. In one of them he made a side dish based on edible flowers. He raided the beautiful vegetable garden at Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons for his ingredients.
We were inspired! We decided to create our own jelly and gathered anything edible and decorative that we could find from our own, somewhat more modest, garden!
This is the jelly we made, containing mostly geranium and nasturtium flowers and leaves, with the odd herb thrown in for good measure. Verdict? Well, to be honest, our jelly bordered on inedible! I think it was the geraniums!
But it was pretty to look at, and provided the raw material for some interesting images.
The whole jelly looked like this:
and this is a cross section through the middle.
You’ll agree the colours are beautiful – just the thing to grace the dining table.
Clever old Raymond!