Recent Posts

Bonkers About Conkers:   Playground  Games

Bonkers About Conkers:   Playground  Games

Today’s children probably own more toys and games than those from any preceding generation, but I can’t help thinking that they are missing out on good old fashioned fun and games. In the age before children owned mobile phones, I-pads and games consoles children used […]

Natural Sleep Solutions

Natural Sleep Solutions

When you wake from a good night’s sleep the world seems a little brighter and you feel able to tackle the day ahead.   Most of would agree that there are few things that feel worse than feeling exhausted but unable to sleep. Around one in […]

The Story of Cakes – it’s as much about memories as recipes 

The Story of Cakes – it’s as much about memories as recipes 

Cakes are one of the most familiar and extraordinary objects of the Western world. There is nothing quite like cake – indeed no wedding or children’s party would be complete without it. Cake can come in many shapes and sizes and indeed there is heated […]

How to Renovate a Scottish Mansion.

How to Renovate a Scottish Mansion.

For me re-decorating the lounge is always a major undertaking; it’s not so much the effort of painting and wallpapering that fills me with dread, but all the disruption the cleaning, clearing and re-organising. It is fair to say that I always enjoy choosing a […]

The Joy of Fermentation:  Kombucha

The Joy of Fermentation:  Kombucha

Kombucha is the beverage the ancient Chinese called the “Immortal Health Elixir”. It’s been around for more than 2,000 years and whilst this drink comes with a long list of potential health benefits, I must confess that on first sight it is a little scary. […]

Caramel Masterclass

Caramel Masterclass

Making caramel is one of those processes that is as enlivening as it is frightening – you really do need concentrated nerves of steel.    The thought of molten sugar alchemy can motivate anxiety and whilst spluttering volcanic sugar is something to inspire uneasiness; once you […]

The History of the Royal Nut: the Walnut

The History of the Royal Nut: the Walnut

Dating back to 7000  BC the Walnut has a long and regal history. It is the Romans who are credited with introducing and spreading the graceful walnut tree throughout most of Europe. The name English Walnut is somewhat confusing, with its other name the Persian […]

Cider and Scandal in the Village of Brockweir

Cider and Scandal in the Village of Brockweir

The Medieval village of Brockweir is a pretty and charming place steeped in history and it is understandably popular with tourists, but beneath its sleepy village façade lays a history of debauchery, monastic brewing and redemption.  One Sunday afternoon I set off to discover the […]

Are you Sitting Comfortably?  Then Let’s Remember Radio and Television Classics from Childhood.

Are you Sitting Comfortably?  Then Let’s Remember Radio and Television Classics from Childhood.

The news that one of three original Humpty toys created for BBC children’s programme, Play School was sold at auction in Oxford for £6,250 got me thinking about television and radio classics from childhood. Generations grew up with Playschool as it ran for more than […]

Kitsch Contraptions and Kitchen Wizardry – A look at kitchen gadgets from the 60’s and 70’s

Kitsch Contraptions and Kitchen Wizardry – A look at kitchen gadgets from the 60’s and 70’s

  The 1960’s and 1970’s saw food transforming from a feast for the stomach into a feast for the eyes and with this came a host of unusual recipes and accompanying kitchen implements. The perfect companion for the modern housewife was a hoard of labour […]