I’ve spent the afternoon playing the girls new favourite game, barspa, she’s apparently practicing ready for her future career when she opens her barspa chain.

From what I can tell it seems to be a chain of private membership bars designed to be so amazing that once you’ve sat in your pod, yes pod, a huge hanging perspex sideless bubble padded out with cushions like clouds, which hold your body in floaty comfort with easy to reach drink holder. Then an array of staff carry out spa treatments, fetch a large selection of fabulous nibbles and top ups to your glass are endless.

Well I’m all for entrepreneurial ambition in the young, especially as it means I’ve spent the afternoon lay down having my feet massaged whilst eating crisps and being regularly offered gin.

I win at parenting.

50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4

I’ve been handed this by the girl…

It’s a very carefully cut out list of all the things the National Trust think a child should have done before they are 11 3/4 years old. It’s new place is on the front of our fridge and we are under strict instructions that as parents it is our duty to ensure they complete it. Now we’ve already nailed quite a few of these but as a little refresher and as a huge chunk of this list is entirely free to do I’m thinking we’ll give them all another go after all it’s ages since I rolled down a big hill or played on a rope swing.



So what exactly is on the list, well, this….

  1. climb a tree
  2. roll down a really big hill
  3. camp out in the wild
  4. build a den
  5. skim a stone
  6. run around in the rain
  7. fly a kite
  8. catch a fish with a net
  9. eat an apple straight from the tree
  10. play conkers
  11. throw some snow
  12. hunt for treasure on the beach
  13. make a mud pie
  14. dam a stream
  15. go sledging
  16. bury someone in the sand
  17. set up a snail race
  18. balance on a fallen tree
  19. swing on a rope
  20. make a mud slide
  21. eat blackberries growing in the wild
  22. take a look inside a tree
  23. visit an island
  24. feel like you’re flying in the wind
  25. make a grass trumpet
  26. hunt for fossils and bones
  27. watch the sun wake up
  28. climb a huge hill
  29. get behind a waterfall
  30. feed a bird from your hand
  31. hunt for bugs
  32. find some frogspawn
  33. catch a butterfly in a net
  34. track wild animals
  35. discover what’s in a pond
  36. call an owl
  37. check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool
  38. bring up a butterfly
  39. catch a crab
  40. go on a nature walk at night
  41. plant it, grow it, eat it
  42. go wild swimming
  43. go rafting
  44. light a fire without matches
  45. find your way with a map and compass
  46. try bouldering
  47. cook on a campfire
  48. try abseiling
  49. find a geocache
  50. canoe down a river

Your child can sign up to the 50 Things to do site with the National Trust here. They email loads of tips and ideas for getting your children back outdoors! 


a huge sausage sandwich

I like sausages, I like sandwiches and I like big comforting dinners and feeling autumnal and this gorgeous feast meets all those needs.

what you need:

  • sausages (as many as you like)
  • a sourdough loaf – (homemade or shop bought)
  • a couple of punnets of tomatoes, I like using different types & colours
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 red onions
  • 2 finely chopped chillies seeds included
  • a drizzle of olive oil, a drizzle of blackstrap molasses, salt & pepper to taste.



what to do:

  • pop sausages in a large roasting tin – throw in the tomatoes, chopped or whole depending on size, whole cloves of unpeeled garlic, roughly chopped onions and finely chopped chilles, drizzle the whole lot with olive oil, two tablespoons of blackstrap molasses and a good sprinkle of salt and pepper – mix well with your hands.
  • roast in the oven on 200C for around 30-40 minutes until sausages are cooked through and the tomatoes and onions have turned into a lovely soft squishy sauce.
  • whilst the sausages are cooking – hollow out your sourdough bread (save the bread you scoop out)
  • once cooked tip sausages and all the squishy juices into the sourdough bread & serve.

to serve:

This is perfect on it’s own but for personal preference I like it with apple cider and a warm coleslaw with crispy sourdough croutons

Warm coleslaw

what you need:

  • a medium sized red cabbage – cut into shreds
  • a large onion – sliced
  • 4 large carrots – cut into thin batons
  • 2 apples – sliced into batons or thin wedges
  • tsp of dark muscovado sugar, drizzle of olive oil

What to do:

  • using the saved sourdough bread – rip into small chunks and quickly fry with a drizzle of olive oil until crisp (you can do this in the oven – large tray, 200C drizzle with oil – bake for 10-15 minutes)
  • put the sourdough croutons to one side
  • add a drizzle of olive oil to a large frying pan or wok – add the cabbage, onion, carrot and apples – stir fry over a hot heat for 5-10 minutes – sprinkle on the sugar – cook for another minute.
  • tip into a large bowl – add the croutons – mix well – eat.

I’m back

I’ve had a huge break from blogging, deleted every blog, half hearted books and scrap of writing I’d ever written for no real reason other than I felt like it.  Today I decided I missed it, I missed writing down all the things I think about and I missed the relaxation that writing brings. More importantly I missed having a place to write about gorgeous things to eat. So for now I’m definitely back.