Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Holiday at Home





Hello! Thank you for all your comments on my last cooking post. It fascinates me so much, how different countries cook so differently in style or method, honestly I love it. I don't think at all that one way is better than another though, I think they all have their place and it would be so boring if we all ate the same food all the time. I definitely want to have another go at meatloaf, in a tin perhaps this time, and I quite regularly dream about the chocolate roll with hot fudge sauce - I can see that becoming a family favourite. 

We are two weeks into the school holidays here, and have had a really rather lovely time of it. I was so unsure what this summer would look like, with the social distancing and new rules and regulations, but we've still managed to do nice things, we just haven't gone very far. Luckily the weather has mostly been amazing with hardly any rain at all, and a few really warm, beach days too.


We've had a few walks along our favourite bit of local coast, around Langstone in Chichester harbour. It's so pretty here, I like to come whenever we can. It has a couple of pubs with excellent beer gardens - these places were catering for outside dining long before covid came along - so it's a nice place to go with friends on a warm day. Some of our oldest and best friends from Yorkshire were able to come down and stay with us last weekend and it was just wonderful to see them again.































We wandered around Southsea one wet Monday morning. Between the random shop opening hours and Covid 19, not a lot was open but it was still nice to be somewhere different and have lunch in a little cafe.
































After not being able to eat out for so long, we have been making up for it. It's been so nice to go out for breakfast in Chichester and then wander around Waterstones afterwards. Or go over to a nearby shopping centre to get some summer things for the kids then eat in Wagamama afterwards. (Bella always campaigns heavily to eat in Wagamama, it's her favourite place. She always orders ramen, says it's her number one favourite dinner ever, then tells us it's not the same as the ramen she had in New York last summer....)

































We all bought a few new books. I bought Everything I Know About Love and The Salt Path as they are book club choices, and I thought I may as well buy them now. By the way, I am currently re-reading Behind The Scenes At The Museum for my August book club and I am absolutely loving it. It's so much better than I remembered. The Shirley Jackson book, Life Among the Savages, was an impulse buy, one of the delights of being able to browse in a bookshop rather than buy online. Likewise Little Library Year, which I spotted in the cookery section. It's a beautiful book; a year of seasonal recipes all inspired by the author's love of literature and food. One of my favourite parts of any book is when they talk about what they're cooking or eating, so this is right up my street.





























The start of our school holidays always involves a fair amount of cleaning. I spent a full day deep cleaning the kitchen and roped in a couple of little helpers.


Then, for just a few hours, you have that glow that comes from a scrubbed oven. fingerprint-free cupboard fronts and a freshly cleaned out fridge. It's the best.


A fair bit of nesting and rearranging also occurs at this time, as I move things around and generally faff with pictures and ornaments. It makes me happy.


You may notice a new addition to the family gallery wall above; my lockdown sampler is back from the framers. 


I'm so glad I paid to have it framed professionally - they did a much better job than I ever could have.

My sister Anna and I had lunch out recently at a local tea rooms (I told you we're making up for lost time!) and I had fresh crab sandwiches which were amazing. Then we stopped off at a nearby farm shop where as usual I got carried away and bought fruit, vegetables, plants, cakes and about a kilogram of yogurt coated raisins, something I love. But best of all were the cherries and nectarines. 


We had a really wonderful day at the beach last Friday. The weather was scorching and I went with my other sister, Katy, (Anna was on holiday or we would have dragged her along too) and her children. We went down early with a picnic lunch and it was scorching hot, really nice.


The sea was cold and clear and beautiful and the children had to be dragged out of the water.


I bought myself a new swim suit recently, from Batoko, a company who make all their swim suits from recycled plastic. I think it's the best swim suit I've ever had, it's so comfortable and is cut really well. The older I get, the less I care about how I look in a swim suit. No-one cares - surely there's nicer stuff at the beach to look at than other people, like...the sea? - and I feel it's really important to show Bella and Angus that I am happy and confident in my slightly wobbly 42 year old body, because for the most part I am. 


The garden isn't looking it's best, I won't lie. A combination of lack of rain and the fact that it's August means that it's all looking a bit parched and dusty out there. When John cut the grass the other day it seemed like it was more dust than grass cuttings.


There are little pockets of loveliness here and there though, like my roses and sweet peas, which have finally woken up and started to grow and bloom.


I'm on daily tomato watch and there are loads of them. I am very excited for possibly not one but two salads! There may even be enough for a jar of chutney.


17 comments:

  1. Beatiful picture and post,your children are similar to you ,you look well and fantastic,happy holidays,greetings from anna

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  2. Love your holiday at home vibes, Gillian. I read The Salt Path last summer (in Ibiza... sigh). I really enjoyed it and got a lot from it. Also, admiring your sweat peas, body positivity and nesting verve. Good luck with your new ventures in September xo

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  3. How beautiful your home always looks. Glad your summer is going well, it sounds as though there has been lots of fun for all. The swimsuit is fabulous, I love that it's made from recycle plastic, how brilliant. CJ xx

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  4. Looks idyllic. How wonderful to be able to get out and about in the sunshine. So good for the soul. We are back in a strict lockdown here in Melbourne Australia for six weeks. We even have a curfew - amazing. We have had 247 deaths now in Australia and Melbourne covid infection numbers are increasing and our premier can no longer risk any more deaths. Hard on everyone but so fortunate we have internet, books, quilting and cross stitch to keep us busy. I'm fortunate I can still work. take care.

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  5. Love your arrangement of paintings.

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  6. So beautiful your lockdown sampler!! And cherries make my day...but the best of all, your family enjoying the sea🌊
    The weather is perfect!!

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  7. Good to see you do enjoy the holiday together. Pick those Lathyrus, the more you pick the more flowers they give. I plant them every year so my house is filled with flowers, and that wonderful scent.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I swear I could smell the sea air and salt water in your beach pictures! I so want to be there, but here in our part of the US the virus is still surging so we'll have to wait. But thanks for the vicarious pleasure.

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  9. The Salt Path was my favourite read of last year, and I'm already itching to read it again, I do like to sink back into a book I've loved before. Oh to be in Waterstones again, I have really missed it, but I fear I may spend too much on my first visit.

    Your photos are magical and I love your new swimsuit, and your attitude to wearing it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. My meatloaf is fabulous, loved by all. Please do not cook your meatloaf in a tin, eeew. And do not put ketchup on top, just serve it on the side. If you email me, I will send you my recipe, as I assume it shouldn't be put here. The recipe w a few changes also makes the BEST Italian meatballs ever, so it's a twofer. [2 for one].

    lizzy

    lizzzz.d@gmail.com.

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  11. I'm so jealous that you can get to Langstone. I love it there - I grew up nearby and we used to go there most evenings to walk the dog. Thank goodness for your lovely photos so at least I can enjoy it vicariously!

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  12. Your son's dinosaur shirt is something my son would have loved at that age! :)

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  13. love the sampler, what a pretty place to spend time in - I would like a holiday there. I think your kitchen looks immaculate. Little library book looks interesting. thanks for sharing.

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