We made BreakFest a success. For those of you not paying attention, we have started a new tradition: an annual festival of breakfast foods. We just thought breakfast was so great it deserved to be celebrated.


Friday night we started with a great big fry-up. Sausages, bacon, black pudding and eggs from our friendly local butcher in Tod Market, halloumi (not traditional, really, but so worthy of a place, and vegetarians need a good option), beans, mushrooms and grilled tomatoes. God it was amazing.


An excellent beginning.


Saturday morning was greeted with brioche french toast smothered in raspberry, blueberry and cherry sauce and whipped cream.


Lord but it was glorious.


We did go for a bit of a walk at that point, to try to shift some of that carb energy, but we were very soon back at it with Catie and Simon’s home-smoked salmon and buck’s fizz on the deck.


…Followed with some baked goodies and coffee…


By this time we were struggling to stay upright.


But there was more to be eaten. Saturday evening’s meal was American home fries, with the carrot, garlic and greens that show up my east coast origin (and meant we could shoehorn some greens in there somewhere.)


There was a colossal amount of washing up involved, but I did hardly any of it, which was nice.


And this morning we have just been picking at the leftovers and thinking of how to do this even better next year. More physical activity between courses I think…


(Thanks to Chef John for the awesome blueberry muffin and pecan coffee cake recipes:  I am going to be making a lot more of his stuff.)

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Storm Gareth

Storms terrify me now. They never used to, but when you build a house and have only your own previously overconfident self to blame if anything goes wrong, it turns every gust of wind into a terrifying spectre of potential catastrophe. I don’t quite know what I’m afraid of. The house is not going to blow down; a highly educated and qualified person designed the frame to withstand more wind load than England can throw at us. And the roof is probably sound. Probably. I guess trees are frightening. We are surrounded by loads of them, all well and truly tall enough to take out this house if they fell in the right direction. But none of them are in danger of falling, that I know of.

Probably it’s the fact that I have no insurance.

Yeah, that’s what it is.

I haven’t checked but I’m pretty sure nobody would insure this place, as it’s so unusual. And anyway I couldn’t afford it right now. When we can afford it, I’m inclined to just keep a separate account, called “insurance” and put some money in it every month for use if we ever need it. I shall think on it as soon as I’m earning a living.

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Actual, Tangible Progress


I’ve made a thing! It’s the frame for a curved front wall for a bench seat in the shower.

It required thinking and planning and a bit of research and measuring and cutting and rebating and I did it! This is significant progress. A few months ago there’s no way my brain would have survived this, I would have ended up under a duvet watching cat videos. Again.

So you never know, might be worth checking back here now and again in case this new trend keeps up.

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A Little Spring Goes A Long Way

Don’t quote me and don’t get excited, but I’ve been almost, well…  well lately.

Like, I have got a few things done in the house and made a few enquiries about getting help from other people with some other things, which was beyond my capacity during the Bad Shit that my mental state has been.

So, updates include:

I foraged for some snowdrop bulbs, along a public footpath where they had got crowded and needed splitting. I split and replanted them to spread further, and snaffled a few for my own garden.

These are not them. But they are beautiful and were part of the inspiration.


I have also been using the unseasonably warm and sunny weather to ride that wave of gardening inspiration that can mean only one thing… ebay.

Got a massive haul of paving slabs for almost nothing, and Anthony (the Blessed Saint Anthony) helped me move them in his gargantuan van.


They will pave a bit of the lower garden on which I am going to build a long, low shed full of bays for things like topsoil, manure, bark chippings, tools, bags of grit, etc. All this is going to streamline the process of gardening so much we will get a lot more done.

And inside the house there has been a bit of progress too, though I haven’t taken pictures because it’s really not that interesting to look at yet. But Andrew and Daisy came round and Andrew applied his considerable genius to constructing an actual base for an actual shower cubicle in my actual bathroom. So that’s one step closer to having the first shower in my ownership since 2013 or so…

Anyway, more spring please.

Meanwhile, if you miss me, go check out my other blog,


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A Little Update On Everything


Here it is, a fabulously shiny and glinting winter day with snow sticking to every branch and blade of grass and the sun shining gorgeously through my front windows. But for the deer picking its way across the garden and the cup of cocoa I ought to have in my hands, this is really very like the fantasy version in the beginning, before it all went… real.


This morning we woke to my favourite kind of snow (besides three feet of it, but we never get that, so I don’t count it) and out I went with my camera to document the moment.


The sun rose in the glorious blue sky catch all the white detail.


I just don’t get why anybody doesn’t like snow.


Even with all the detritus in the way of the gardening, you can see that it is and will be a monumentally beautiful place. I really am lucky, and more importantly, I feel lucky lately.


Maybe it’s living a full year now in the gloriously south-facing house instead of the one in the shadowiest bit of the garden.


Though there are parts of that cabin I miss. We never really go in the outdoor kitchen anymore. In summer I shall make a point of it.


I can see just where I need to shore up the insulation and airtightness for next year.


Although it is tolerably warm most of the time. If you dress for it. And have a hot water bottle. Actually, with the sun shining, it’s a full-on 19 degrees in here. I love the greenhouse effect.


And when I finish the ceilings, get some proper, sealing doors and get some thick curtains hung for overnight window insulation, I think it will perform just fine, even in the coldest bits of winter. I’m pretty pleased with that.


I mean, bring on spring and gin-on-the-terrace weather, but if it has to be winter, this is not a bad situation to be in. I’ll go make that cup of cocoa. Someone bring me a deer for the garden.



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