With Sam back at work, and being unemployed myself, I have had almost two full weeks on my own. Even though I am able to drive around on my own now without screaming and swearing (most of the time) I have mostly stayed around the house. It has been a good bonding time for me and the little cottage, it's starting to feel like my own now. It has also been a great time to be out exploring my surroundings--and oh what a joy that's been!
I started off last week by painting the bathroom. There is still some work to be done in that funny little room, but it's work I look forward to.
I was sick with a stomach flu or food poisoning or cat scratch fever or something last week for 3 days, which was annoying because I haven't been stay-in-bed sick for about 10 years and it just had to strike during a time when I was so excited to be out and about. But by the weekend I was back in action, and went berry picking with my mother in law. Sam and his brother and dad went to play golf, and my m-i-l went along to forage the course. Holy moly did we ever, may arms were sore the next day. We walked along with the men from hole to hole and picked like crazy, each of us exclaiming over how many berries there were. We came away with purple hands and pounds and pounds of berries. We also picked pounds of sloes wich were used to make sloe gin (will be ready in time for Christmas). This whole berry thing is new to me, but there are millions all around so I'm getting loads of practice--it's very addicting. I keep hearing that there are an unusual amount this year, which I am thankful for because it's been so much fun. I have made 3 blackberry crumbles, blackberry and sloe jam, and sloe gin--it's been fun to learn how! And of course the best part, the part that puts a sly grin on my face, is that it's all for FREE!
These are some berries I picked on a short walk around the village.
One of the yummy crumbles about to go in the oven.
Like I said before, I have gone for lots of walks. The weather has been so nice! It's wonderful to discover new walks and paths and little places to sit and read--I've also found some GREAT pic-nic spots:) On my walk yesterday I met an sweet older couple from the village (who told me of some other "lovely" routes) who asked me to "call 'round for tea" which I think is so great! Totally melted my heart. I wanted to follow them home then and there!
This nice view is from up the hill above our village--which you can see in the right of the photo. Such a great spot to sit and take in the magic. You can actually see almost to Bristol up the coast on a clear day, and all the way to Minehead and North Hill to the left. Also, there's Cardiff, Wales across the estuary there...
In other news, we've had our new wood-burning fire place delivered, and hopefully it will be installed really soon. These are commonly used in houses here as opposed to open fires because they generate so much heat. We should be able to heat our entire house with this little stove, and we can even cook on top of in the event of a power outage. I plan to put a kettle on top so I'm ready for when visitors call 'round for tea:)
Not much else to add to this update except that I am enjoying learning about life in the country--the English countryside at that. It's all so exciting and new. Oh, I did have a meeting at the college in town and it looks like I will probably be working there in the next couple of weeks which is great news. Fingers crossed! I am now going to go sit on our deck in the sunshine, listen to the stream trickling by and peel a bunch of apples that we picked over the weekend. They will be boiled, frozen and saved for future apple pies and apple butter! YUM!