Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Climbing, cycling and cashews


And just like that half term is over and they're all off back to the place of education and enlightenment.  This part of the school year always seems to gallop uncontrollably towards December and You-Know-What.  I'm bracing myself.

It was a good week off.  So good that the littlest boy didn't want to go back to school.  He is just like me, I never did either.  We went out and wandered around and looked at the sea and the sky and did some climbing and walking.




We rode our bikes out and round the local deer park.  It must have been fifteen miles, and I'm always amazed at how well the littlest boy does.  His legs have to go at twice the speed of mine but he doesn't give up.  The middle boy channels Bradley Wiggins and disappears into the horizon.  I really love cycling round the countryside, the only drawback is its tricky to take photos.  I daren't stop, they'd leave me behind.  I snapped these houses when we had a brief stop for a drink and a cookie.




I've been hanging round the house today, tackling all sorts of tedious things on the to do list.  Nice to get them done though.  In the garden flocks of starlings have been feasting on the last of the grapes, along with the blackbird family.  You may remember I pinched some of the grapes that were hanging over the fence.  There are still masses left, and lots of them are a bit raisin-like now.  The birds love them.

The blueberry leaves have turned their usual stunning pinkish red.  I wonder if the dye could be extracted.  It's such an intense colour.


In the kitchen I made the lemon meringue pie, and then ate most of it myself as everyone else found it too lemony.  No photos, you know how I always forget.

I did snap a picture of these though.


Harissa cashews.  I put a couple of spoonfuls of harissa paste in a container with shoyu (soya sauce, but not one with anything sweet in it, just soya beans, wheat and salt, something like Kikkoman).  I blended it all together, threw in two packets of cashews, put the lid on and shook everything up.  Then I left it for a couple of hours.  I spread them out on baking paper on a baking sheet and put them in a low oven (around 140C) for an hour or so until they were dry.  They're delicious, I can't stop eating them in fact.

The main local firework display was on Saturday.  One of the best places to watch is from the top of the allotment site, as it happens.  We took some hot chocolate and got our chairs out of the shed and we were set.  The boys loved it, and saw several of their friends there.  It's not half spooky down at the bottom of the site after dark though.  I forgot the shed key when I took the chairs back afterwards so I had to make two trips.  By the end I was a bit jittery.  All of those whispering, tapping plants and shadows moving in the gloom.  Things were reaching out and touching my hair.  There are goblins down there you know.





I was really hoping to get to the allotment today.  There's a lot to be done there, but it was so wet I didn't bother.  I have high hopes for tomorrow though.  Sunshine is coming.  Look out weeds, your days are numbered.

Wishing you all a good 5th of November.

33 comments:

  1. You got some great shots of the fireworks. Those cashews sound delicious. I love any kind of nuts, plain or seasoned. I could eat nuts every day. Actually, I probably should eat them more often. They're certainly healthier than a lot of the other snacks I eat. I love seeing those houses on your bike route; they're so different from houses where I live and they really interest me. I hope you have a good 5th and that everyone settles back into school easily.

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  2. Once again ....beautiful pictures that make me wish I was there! LOL

    Why were there fireworks? That last photo is stunning!

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  3. What a neat place to ride your bikes.. are there deer there? I also love those houses.. lucky people that get to live in them. I'm all impressed with the new house of a fellow blogger, Hen House, it's called "The Old Vicarage" -- so cool! I bet your lemon pie was delish! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  4. What a great way to take in the fireworks!! And riding around in the country on your bikes sounds perfect to me! Lovely shots CJ!! That green door is stunning! And thanks for the suggestions on my space....I have been racking my brain over it! Here is to embracing November before December sneaks in!! Nicole xo

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  5. Those cashews look really good! We have lots of blueberry fields near us and the leaves are the same deep red colour. I always wonder the same thing when I see a beautiful colour when I'm outdoors - would it be possible to capture it as a dye? I think you were very brave to go back to the allotment site and lock up. In the dark. :-)

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  6. I really envy you your safe place to cycle - there seems to be nothing like that round these parts. Those cashews look delish - definitely one to try. Happy November 5th! x

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  7. The cashews look delicious - I'm thinking that they might be good for the upcoming, umm, winter celebrations. It's my first day back working at school after half term today, though the children went back on Monday. Can't say I'm looking forward to it either!

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  8. Lovely pictures! Those leaves are such a beautiful colour, I didn't know that they did that! Great fireworks pictures :)

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  9. Wonderful autumnal fun, lovely pictures! I love the Pumpkin Witch, have to borrow that idea next year!!! Those cashews look all kinds of scrummy too, fancy those right now! :)

    Katie x

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  10. Oh those nuts ! They look absolutely delicious -0 just may have to give those a try.
    Happy Guy Fawkes !
    Kate x

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  11. The main bonfire here was last Saturday, but there's fireworks going off all week, much to Archie's annoyance. He hates this time of year as he's so frightened of all the bangs, even during the day we have to drag him out of the house for his walk, and if he hears anything remotely like a bang on our travels, he turns round and pulls to go home. You got some great photos of the fireworks, and the cashews sound delicious.

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  12. Wonderful pictures, especially the first one! And so spectacular fireworks!

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  13. Hi, cashews are probably my favourite nuts...must try that. We have our local fireworks display this weekend, looking forward to it xx

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  14. The firework photos are fab, especially the purple squiggles. I'd have been the same up the allotment in the dark, ooh spooky! Those cashews look good, I wonder if they count towards your five a day?

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  15. Another enjoyable post and lovely pictures, especially the first one with those cosmos. I like cashew nuts so these look, and sound, delicious. What a good way to watch the fireworks, and that last picture looks rather spectacular.
    I did a bit of plotting today but the ground is well soggy. Flighty xx

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  16. Wow those cashews look amazing!! I wouldn't be able to stop eating them. Glad you had a good half term week we did too. I'm worried to see that there are less than 50 days until you know what. Eeek. We're planning fireworks for tomorrow in the garden as our local display starts too late for the girls (8.30pm on a school night is too late for my girls at the minute, LittleR is in bed before 7 as she's exhausted!!)) The pictures of the fireworks are fabulous. I was stunned at the colour of my blueberry's leaves, although they've fallen now. Yours are beautiful, I believe the blueberry's leaves to be 'properly Autumnal'. Have a great week xx

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  17. Sounds like a perfect half term break and I love your firework photos.

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  18. I always cried before going back to school, too. And I believe you about the goblins! I'm glad you all enjoyed your time together. What a nice time of year to have a break! I think I'll have to give those cashews a try. I love anything with soy sauce! Especially after it's been cooked! Although I've never heard of harissa before.

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  19. You need a video camera strapped to your helmet. The last firework looks like a flower. I didn't want to go back to school either and I was the teacher. Children used to ask me - do we have to have an holiday and I replied - we do we really do.

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  20. Hey CJ,
    You need a go pro camera apparently. Marc is trying to persuade me that we need one in our life. I'm not so sure. Apart from the cost, I'm not sure the world is ready for shots of me in a wet suit attempting to body board..
    Olly didn't want to go back to school, until I reminded him that it was yoga on Mondays. The boy loves it.
    We are hoping to get to the allotment this weekend. We have been summoned by the man. I think we need to strim our pathways. I'm bracing myself for a telling off.
    Leanne xx

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  21. gorgeous fireworks photos.

    my littlest didn't want to go back to school either, he got his wish, but perhaps not quite what he'd hoped for, he had his appendix out instead.........

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  22. I love your blog posts titles, they are fun and original. And your fireworks photos are fab. We are going to our local display tomorrow night, I'll be taking my camera with me of course! Those harissa cashews look seriously good. I could happily chomp my way through a bowl of those with a beer, yum. xx

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  23. Wow, your firework pictures are fantastic!!!!! The cashews sound delicious too, I love cashews, but these sound even nicer than they would normally be. I think that all of the grapes have gone in our garden now too, the blackbirds had a wonderful time feasting on them though!! xx

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  24. I hope to cycle in the countryside with my son some day. It looks lovely.

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  25. Why would you want to go back to school when your mom takes you exploring on such fun bike rides? Looks like a great time! I hope your day was sunny and relaxing so that you could get to the allotment. It's starting to turn windy and cold here. I'm not liking where we're headed:) Hope you're having a good day, CJ:)

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  26. I could never bike with my family, when my boys were younger they trained for triathlons and could leave me in the dust by age 7. I gave up after that. Love your pictures.
    Meredith

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  27. Ha! My Little Man didn't want to go back either. Bless him - he's actually really hard to say no to. Those cashews sound absolutely wonderful - I may do them as a snack at Christmas time!! Yum! J9 x

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  28. I've always meant to make Harissa Cashews and just never bothered - well,my dear you have forced my hand ;) x

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  29. Ooh those nuts ... yum!

    You get a gorgeous dye from blueberries, but I've not heard of anyone using the leaves ... I'll check all my own dye books though. But I'm 99% certain you wouldn't get red from them, it would be a dark tan at best. In fact the leaves are more likely to give a useful colour when green. They do make a great herbal tea, that I know :)

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    1. Oops, that should say 'old' dye books.

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  30. A lovely autumnal post. Those cashews sound gorgeous. My husband isn't a fan of nuts but they're so good for you perhaps they are a sneaky way of getting him to eat them. ;) The leaves of blueberries are gorgeous. I press them and make crafty things with them. They're useful because they're smaller than most autumn coloured leaves. I find my plot creepy at night and it's not helped by the fact that someone used to sleep up there. Love the fireworks pics. :)

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  31. Harissa cashews sound delicious, must give those a try and your fireworks photos are great. Have a good weekend CJ xx

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