Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Half term hols.

What a strange time this has been: a week or so of problems for friends and family which have taken the shine off of much that we have done and yet, perversely, has also made Dave and I take a long, hard look at the good things in our lives and feel thankful for them. I haven't felt like blogging, indeed I have only felt like doing what I always do when things are a bit grim - being at home, losing myself in work and being wth the children. Normality I guess. Still, life seems to be going back to where it was and here I am again, so let's have a cup of soothing mint tea made from the patch just outside our kitchen window and I will fill you in on the nicer things that have taken place.

The weather has been mostly dull and wet, yet in between we have had the most glorious, hot sunshine. Dave took advantage of this to take the children for one of our favourite walks from Mawnan Old Church through the fields down to Parson's Beach. Unfortunately, he didn't take the camera so this will mean little to most of you (though maybe Diana and Elizabethd may know it). I will have to do a trip myself to show you the beauty of the path that winds down to the sea through the most gorgeous uppy-downy fields bordered with brambles where we pick for sustenance and jam and sheer gluttony! On this occasion the older children ran on ahead where Sam led them into the sea while Dave, Isabella and Matzen picked elderflowers for cordial. Of course, once Isabella realised there was water to be had she was drenched! Here are the gorgeous, frothy flowers waiting to have sugar and water added...

and here is Dave's precious lemon - yes, THE lemon he has been growing for the past few years outside our bedroom window which Isabella walked up to and picked earlier in the week, handing it to him with about as much interest as if it were a rotten tomato! Poor Dave. And I didn't even think to take a decent photo of it!

and here is the sludgy mess which became the most lovely, fragrant cordial. Delicious.

Dave has been going through something of a cooking frenzy and has been making wonderful, soft loaves of bread which has to be one of the best comfort foods ever (as was the meal consisting of fried mashed potato, eggs and fried bread I served up for us last night - haven't eaten that sort of food for years and boy it was good!).

Work has been pleasingly busy with a new wholesale order for my Summer Days beach bags and quite a few new contacts which I haven't sought out. This always makes me happy as I must be doing something right for them to come across my work. The orders have been very steady with a range of my products being selected and an increase in feedback which I love. I have some new ideas for my website which I will share later in the week as I want to make the changes first, but essentially it will all remain the same with some tweaks to make it better!

Bye for now xx


  1. So sorry to hear that life has been a bit traumatic for you and I do hope that things have improved now.

    Lovely pictures and blog as always. So good to hear that your business is doing so well.

    Oh dear felt for Dave with the off hand picking of his long growing lemon . . .

  2. Very relieved to see you as I was quite bothered that you had been absent for a while.
    Elderflower cordial, what bliss! Our lovely friends who came to visit brought me a dozen bottles, as needless to say, you cant get it here.

  3. Thanks for the comment!
    hope life sttles somewhat for you.
    re; elderflower cordial, there was a mini series on the BBC (I think) quite a few years ago called love on a branch line - the main character gives a description of the best time to pick elderflowers to make champagne - it was such a passionate wonderful description I still think of it whenever I see anything to do with elderflowers, something along the lines of 'they are ready to pick when the bee's are lazy and drunk with pollen'


  4. You must be about three weeks ahead of us here for you to be able to pick elderflowers. I also love gooseberry and elderflower jam. Good to know that the business is going strong too!

  5. Walking the dogs this morning i could smell the elderflowers and I thought I must get on and made some cordial, and your blog has given me that extra push.
    I hope things are now settled down.
    Love Blossom

  6. Hello Pipany,
    It's grand to have you back and to see how creatively busy you have been, despite having other distractions.

    I have never tasted elderflower cordial, and thank you for the introduction.

    That loaf of bread ... yum. I so agree with you about the power of certain comfort foods.

    Congratulations on the continuing success of your business! xo

  7. Elderflowers already! Lucky you. I buy elderflower and pear cordial from Sainsbury's but would love to make my own.

  8. Very sorry indeed to hear that you've had a tough patch but how good are you not to moan about it (like yours truly who moans for Britain) but instead to do what I'm always telling people to do (practice what you preach, Jane!!) and focus on the good.
    very very lovely - your elderflowers and The Lemon and the walk and fabulous news about the orders (see, people with great taste and discernment). Hope the good continues to get better and the bad, well, vanishes in a puff of sea mist.

  9. Lovely as ever to read your blogs, Pipany. And the photos - gorgeous calendulas AND a speckled hen! Just looking at that alone makes me go all warm and fuzzy!

    Glad you've had time for some nice stuff, so know where you're coming from there - the walk sounds great and elderflower cordial - v jealous! Fried Mash - my fave!!!


  10. Hello Pipany, hope the ups and downs even out for you....great you see all the good bits you're blessed with. I don't know that walk to Parson's Beach, I need to get out more! You've reminded me too that I must make some cordial, I say that every year and haven't managed it yet!! A big hug coming your way from a few miles down the road xx Diana

  11. Sorry to hear things have been miserable, I do hope they are on the mend now. The Elderflower cordial looks yummy, I keep meaning to walk along the lane and into the fields here too, as its out everywhere, and its not so good once its past the first flush.

    Your were correct in guessing it was a David Austen English Rose; its done really well for me after a slow start, smells as good as it looks too.

    Zoë xx

  12. This was a lovely post Pipany, i really enjoyed it. Your immediate family life always seems so blessed and happy, you all just seem so happy together, and not in a sickeningly pretentious way either like some of the other blogs i read!
    Wish i could taste the cordial, elderflower is one of my favorites, first tasted at the monkey sanctuary in Looe!

    Lindsay X

  13. I've never had elderflower cordial , I'll have to search out a recipe as it sound lovely.
    Lisa x

  14. hope things are improving after a sticky spell... lovely blog (well, lovely last three I've just caught up on) and I'm amazed at how far ahead your garden is than mine. And our elderflowers are weeks away yet. (And just for the record, no fleas!!!)

  15. Absolutely, focus on the positive and what soothing pics you do include. x

  16. Just had to tell you that I took the last of the lavender bags to London to give to my friend as a thank-you for putting me up. She was entranced by them and even more so when I told her your lavender is home-grown and how very lovely you there's a little bit of Pipany and Cornwall brightening up a tired London lawyer's life in Islington!
    Do hope the sun shines on you soon.....if you ever want to pm/email for a moan, feel free. jxxxx

  17. You do sound down, but when talking about your favourite things, your family and your work, the old you shines through again, so keep thinking of all the good things and whatever the current bad is, I hope it passes quickly. xx (and, go on, give us the elderflower cordial recipe! A friend, a graphic artist, drew me one once, it was glorious. I should have framed it, instead I put it somewhere safe and have never seen it since)

  18. Hi Pipany
    I come to your blog via Pebbledash's. I just couldn't resist commenting on Dave and the childrens walk down to Parson's Beach. The first time I did that walk I think I was about five and now you can add a four behind the five and I am still trotting along that way.
    I hope life is kind to you again soon and your cordial sounds lovely, you have inspired me to have a go.

    Have a happy day.


  19. Hi! glad I have found you -I have been looking on your old blog and wondered why you hadn't posted for a while - Duh! Do so enjoy reading about you and yours, I have tagged you - if you have time and energy to take part, we would love to hear more from you.
    I've started with elderflower champagne, pick again tomorrow for elderflower cordial - so scrummy!
    Take care X Vicky x