Autumnal bliss – making the most of lockdown – 18/11/2020

It may be cold …. but you can’t deny that it is beautiful when there are clear blue skies and just a touch of frost on the grass …. makes the squidyness worth it on the other days I guess!

We were lucky enough to do one final trip out at the end of October just before lockdown hit and make the most of a couple of nights at Hurley Campsite again. We had planned to go to the Hand and Flowers with Jo, Mike and Ella but with all the lockdown noise we decided that it was best to postpone although we had already paid for the campsite so thought we shouldn’t waste it!

Our field at the farm was saturated and we had thought that we may need some help getting off as another motorhome was tractored off a couple of days before. Thankfully with a little bit of welly, good traction control and naturally good driving, we escaped without causing too much damage to the field although we were concerned about coming back.

The campsite at Hurley was fairly empty and as we knew that the likliehood would be that the field would be pretty wet when we booked it back in September, we had booked an all singing, all dancing RV pitch… large, easy access and most importantly – hard standing…. just as well considering the torrential rain that fell that afternoon – there is a reason why the site shuts at the end October – it is only a stones throw from the river Thames!

We were fine though and managed to get a couple of lovely walks in, bumping into the television crew for Midsummers Murders who were filming in Hurley Village and taking advantage of a sneaky 7 course tasting menu at Sindhu – Atul Kotchars restaurant at the Compleat Angler in Marlow – delicious!

The meal was excellent and the setting is absolutely stunning looking out over the weir – well in normal times it would be a weir but at the moment it is a slight bump in the river as the levels as so high. The heavens opened whilst we were eating but thankfully it dried off for our walk back to the campsite, enabling the food to go down.

We only planned to stay at Hurley for the couple of nights to meet up with Jo and Mike so on the Thursday we were due to go back to our squidgy field. Uncertain of our ability to get out again we called the farm and offered to go elsewhere for a week as we were due to head off up to Melton Mowbray the following week, however they persuaded us to come back with the promise of a discussion around hard standing!

Then lockdown hit…. Melton Mowbray was cancelled, although we will book ourselves back in again hopefully in the new year as the campsites (and other British businesses) need our support more than ever.

Life isn’t too different for us really apart from not being to meet family and friends but we can still get out and walk, run and enjoy the beautiful autumnal colours and the amazing funghi that are popping up all over the place.

We are embracing the UK weather and have invested in new exercise matts that enable us to continue to do our HIIT training the wet field or inside and are suffiently grippy (obviously we wouldn’t be outside if it is pouring it down) and most importantly…. wellies! Not just any wellies but Mud Boots…. so warm and comfy – even I haven’t had any blisters!

We managed to get a few people over before lockdown for meals which was good and naturally, we have been playing with more new recipes …. including a new creation ‘pumpkin gingernut pots’ which I did for halloween – thankfully we had a back up chocolate brownie for Steve!!

It is fair to say that we have been making a fair few pies recently…. very autumnal! New recipes since my last blog are as follows:-
Steak and Kidney Pie – no steak and the only kidney were beans but it was pretty tasty and full of flavour
Chocolate Chilli Pie – a bit like having a vegan chilli in a pie, quite rich and full of flavour
Pumpkin Gingernut Pots – a concuction involving a gingernut base with a pumpkin pie on top. If you don’t like egg custard tarts its not for you but otherwise pretty tasty!
Mushroom and Parsnip Rosti – Deliciously flavoursom but may be an overdose on fibre for some!
Mushroom, Squash and Chestnut Pie – A lovely well balanced pie full of flavour as it has a bit of goats cheese and apricots as well
Sweet Mincemeat – My first attempt at making it but it tasted good when it went into the jars… we need the pie test though!
Creamy Brocolli Pie – light and creamy mix, really tasty.
Fishless Pie – why it is called this, I don’t know but a lovely mix of mushrooms, leak, spinach and seaweed.
Cannelini and Beetroot Pate – a really nice, flavoursom pate to go in sandwiches or to just have as a dip

So we plan to stay put for now … well we can’t move far and getting out the field is pretty difficult. We are hopefull that they will start on the hard standing soon but we have another 9 days or so until we have to get out to refill the gas so we aren’t in a hurry (and they can’t build it under us!!)
We have had an additional solar panel fitted which we can move around to make the most of the sun – all we need is a bit more of it it!

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