Celebrating Spring – 24/4/2021

Not only is the sun making quite an impressive appearance, the birds are making the most of the light mornings to wake us up and the flowers have been incredibly beautiful … I don’t think I ever appreciated how many different varieties of daffodil – or at least what I, the complete novice and most definately not a botanist would call a daffodil – there are.

As most would expect we have been continuing our ‘normal’ life of exercise in the morning, getting out and walking as much as possible and experimenting a bit whilst cooking up what we think are pretty tasty plant based food (mostly tasty at least!!). Recently we have even managed to abandon the wellies – I’d like to say long may it last, although fear that the farm really needs some rain to get some crop grown this year.

We had been doing a little bit of a research project which was taking up a fair bit of our time as implied in my last blog. We were seriously contemplating the move across to a narrow boat from the motorhome but for those who were aware, I can confirm that we have now parked the idea – never say never as we both love the idea but we just aren’t ready for the change yet as we love our life and freedom to travel in the motorhome too much to give it up yet.

….. so maybe I will now get back to doing a little bit more sketching – it is coming along, I just haven’t done very much recently as there has been quite a lot going on. I have decided that to incentivise myself I should say my gin & tonic time is my sketch time… i.e. I can’t have a gin & tonic unless I sketch – alas I have a lovely gin & tonic in front of me that is almost finished and I am still on the computer!!. I have one to share though…. my last sketch of the boxing hares isn’t too bad, if I don’t say so myself… still lots too learn about shading though!

Until this week, there had been little movement for us apart from a quick trip out for a bit of refueling with LPG as we figured that the days are longer and there is so much sunshine we should be making the most of the electricity we are producing instead of sucking it off of the grid!!

We have expanded our social interaction slightly further than the two mums and have had two garden catch ups…. we were slightly luckier with the weather with my brother and family as the sun was shining but unfortunately visiting Keiths’ sister was definately a slightly breezier experience…albeit great to see everyone… and it was dry!!

And last Monday we headed down to the New Forest for three nights in search of wild animals and lovely walking – of which we found both!

We found a lovely, basic CL which is just towards the bottom of the M27 called Amberwood (£10 per night no electric) just inside the New Forest cattle grids. It was home from home as it was just a simple field with calves in the adjacent field… although these calves had very sharp horns – thankfully we didn’t need to go into the field to empty the waste!!

It was a lovely little site with its own small fishing lake and very friendly owners. We had two really good days walking … although had to do a little bit of errr… trespassing due to Pepper Pig – there was a footpath on the map… honest! Thankfully all uneventful but it would have been another 4 or 5 miles if we had had to backtrack by that point…

A lovely short break but amazing to see the different muscles that ached after walking and running with slightly more undulating hills… just highlights how flat the area is where we are in Berkshire that we have got used to over the last year!

Back to the food – as always appears to be the way in our lives – we have tried a few new additions to our box of tricks as follows:-

Falafels – I have been on a quest to find the best baked falafel and I think I have finally found two recipes that I really like…. and may actually combine going forwards. The Indian spiced falafels have an amazing flavour but the Baked Falafel appear to cook really well… something to do with not cooking the chickpeas first!
Aubergine dahl with flatbreads – the most amazingly comforting curry that I could eat every night!
Banana Crepes – A great pancake receipe not using any egg to bind
Indian Savoury Oats – Although it may seem odd for breakfast – amazingly full of flavour and very tasty
Shakshuka – great change for breakfast or lunch at the weekend
Moussaka – A great vegan version. I had been a little unsure but it is really hearty and full of flavour

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