Thursday, 31 May 2012

The 2012 Olympic torch visits our Shire

The London 2012 Olympics came to our Shire yesterday - or rather the torch did & what a day of excitement it was!

We decided to gather at the iconic ironbridge to see it pass so I popped down early morning after my school run to have a peaceful walk & take some photos.

Ironbridge ready for the Olympic torch ...
Lots of bunting was out already, shops had made loads of effort to put great displays on for the Olympic torch & the Jubilee weekend & there was an air of expectation about.
Ironbridge ready for the torch

The iconic Ironbridge has stood since 1779 & it was fitting that the torch would pass over it after after having been through much wenlock - the birthplace of the Modern Olympics.

When we arrived in the afternoon, the scene was one of great expection & excitement - the Olympic banners fluttered colourfully on the bridge ...

Olympic torch, Ironbridge, Shropshire

A sea of people were out in the sunshine

Olympic torch, Ironbridge, Shropshire

Homes & shops along the warfage were resplendent in their colours

A real carnival atmosphere was about with everyone flying the flag - a wonderful community spirit was evident

The torch is accompanied by numerous sponsor vehicles

The local torch bearer came through carrying the torch, his face glowing with pride

Olympic torch, Ironbridge, Shropshire #081 Lyndon Flavell

Ironbridge is also home to the merrythought bears - world famous handmade bears which are often seen in high end London stores, dressed in their display costumes. The bears at their Ironbridge factory & shop had on their finest outfits ...

Merrythought bear, Ironbridge, Shropshire Olympic torch, Ironbridge, Shropshire

I just had enough time to stop at  queenies cupcakery for some treats to take home

Olympic torch, Ironbridge, Shropshire

What a fabulous way to get whole communities together & everyone to support the London 2012 Olympics.

I had a wonderful day - I hope you have enjoyed it with me ...
Dee ~♥~

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Lemon Trifle

We are a family that likes lemony things - a hint of citrus zest on baked chicken, a carafe of ice cold water with lemon & lime slices on the table, lemon & lime curd, lemon drizzle cake .....

Daughter was browsing through my 'The Kitchen Diaries' by Nigel Slater when she found a lemon trifle recipe that she thought we should try for a weekend pudding.

Fortunately, we had Limoncello liqueur so all we needed was some cake instead of the sponge fingers; cue for me to whip up a Victoria Sponge to use instead.

Rounds cut from the freshly baked Victoria Sponge into pretty bowls

Essential ingredient - a subtle hint of Limoncello liqueur

A mixture of cream & crème fraîche for the topping

All ready to be chilled for pudding

Fabulous Lemon trifle

It certainly was a fabulous lemon trifle.
Do you have a favourite trifle? Would it be sweet or would you be tempted by something lemony? Share your thoughts & inspirations for summer puddings ....

and per request, a closer look at the pink pitcher / jug for Susy of The Feathered Nest  it certainly looks vintage Susy, a great charity / thrift shop find with no markings underneath but the pattern is raised which adds a lovely texture to it.

I am always pleased to have feedback & comments - it makes my blogging day ...
Dee ~♥~

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Long Mynd on the Shropshire Hills

Our county, Shropshire is popular with walkers & ramblers because we have some impressive hills & walks.

Long Mynd, Shropshire Hills, Church Stretton

The pretty South Shropshire town of  church stretton is dwarfed by the surrounding hills & is commonly known as 'little Switzerland' because the hills are often dusted with snow in winter.

A steep road leads from Church Stretton up to the top of Long Mynd - a single lane type road with passing spaces for vehicles; the ones going down generally give way to those edging their way up ...

The view from the top is breathtaking -  from the view point looking way down

my wondering star daughter taking in the fresh air & cool breeze

I hope you have enjoyed the view from the top with me,
Dee ~♥~

Monday, 28 May 2012

A sunny weekend is perfect for ....

... outdoor eating ♥

Our weather is too good to spend indoors so we settled for a relaxing bbq in the garden

Simple table setting under the IKEA net to keep away insects.

Simple food is best - spicy corn with butter - wrapped in foil on the bbq to cook; spicy chicken wings; carrot & pineapple salad; beetroot; garlic & herb share-bread & ice cold drinks

Finished off with sharp lemon trifles

Perfect evening in the garden. Hope your weekend was as relaxing; I always look forward to all the lovely comments
Dee ~♥~

Friday, 25 May 2012

Time to get the outdoors ready for summer ...

At long last, the sun seems set to shine on us. The warmth & brightness just energises everyone & all the hibernating neighbours are suddenly out mowing lawns & firing up their bbq's.

I suddenly realised that I am not quite ready for all this action, rather my garden is not 'summer ready' to welcome friends & family in to it so that has been my purpose.

Warmer weather means more outdoors cooking & once I pulled back the protective cover of the bbq I had that sinking feeling that I had covered it without a final clean ... you know that feeling that comes from a messy task you put off?

Yes - the job we all least like but if we are going to see any outdoor meals this summer ....

Next task was to spruce up the actual bbq - more scrubbing but somehow it did not seem too tedious in the sunshine outdoors.

Time to throw open the garden shed / summerhouse where we spend lots of time.  We have not really used it much all winter other than to open & air it in brighter weather.

As soon as I started to sweep I noticed .....

It appears that we had a winter visitor who nibbled away on the throws & collected some to nest with. Fortunately the cushions were not damaged so a quick sweep turned into clearing out the whole shed for a thorough clean. No sign of the mouse or field mouse fortunately.

While rearranging the wicker furniture I wondered if it was time for a colour change - the pinks have been there for over a year now & perhaps it is time for a change.

I realised I needed to put some bunting back up - what colour?
What do you think? What would you do?

The final preparation of the day was to air the outdoors IKEA net that keeps away all those annoying insects. It is meant to fit over the large outdoor parasol but it is equally useful looped in the tree to catch up on work at the butlers table ....

With our weekend weather set to remain hot I think my garden is ready; is yours?

Thanks for stopping by, have a great weekend whatever you do ....
Dee ~♥~

Thursday, 24 May 2012

A sea of yellow rapeseed

The week has passed way too quickly & I have neglected my blog. 

At long last, we have had some very welcome sunshine in our Shire & that has meant that I have been catching up on outdoor things as well as my part-time work.

The long grey winter has given way to wonderful COLOUR in the form of rapeseed / canola fields.

Farm fence & gate, Shropshire
The intensity of colour is absolutely stunning - so vibrant in the sun that you are almost dazzled by the colour ...
Rape seed fields, Shropshire
Rapeseed, Shropshire

Rapeseed Shropshire

We visited Lilleshall Abbey with a brooding sky behind - how lovely is this?
Lilleshall Abbey, Shropshire
Lilleshall Abbey, Shropshire

The warmer weather brings out other things as well ... photographed by my daughter StacySparkle (her photos are simply lovely for a 17 year old I think .... )
{Hello Little spider}

I hope your week is as bright & colourful as mine has been, look in again soon, your comments are always appreciated

Dee ♥