Thursday, 28 August 2014


Greetings everyone.
I have been absent for a few weeks as we have been on a last minute family holiday to Kefalonia and it has taken me a while to get back into the swing of things. The holiday was lovely, although we seemed to leave the UK in Summer and, only a week later, return to find that it's suddenly Autumn. After temperatures of around 38 degrees, it suddenly seems very cold!

The holiday was marred by the death of a very dear friend 2 days before departure, but the girls had a great time and I was able to cross 4 (yes, count them!) new things off my 50 list:
1) Visit Kefalonia

2) Visit Ithaka.

3) Sea kayaking.

4) Try ouzo! Definitely an acquired taste.

I was also hoping to add 'drive a speed boat' to my list, but on the day we had booked it L was unwell, so I stayed with her at the hotel and R&E went off for the afternoon. Maybe next time for this one. I could at this point add 'hitch-hiking' to my list - our hotel was on a steep hill and whilst accompanying a rather wobbly L back from the beach, we stopped to catch our breath. I jokingly said that we should hitch a lift back up, whilst making the standard gesture with my thumb - blow me, a car actually stopped. Muttering "Never, ever do this on your own", we got in. It was an ex-pat English couple and they very kindly dropped us at the top of the hill. Inadvertent hitch-hiking it may have been, but it was still a first for me.

Sea kayaking was my personal highlight, especially when we were paddling along with an huge turtle swimming beside us. We hired double kayaks and spent 6 hours paddling around the coast, stopping for fruit and then a picnic lunch on a deserted beach (it was only accessible from the sea). I was with R and I'm not sure I was particularly helpful with the paddling - he seemed to do much better when I was resting and not "getting in the way". Apparently, the kayaks are otherwise known as 'divorce boats'! The same could be said for E, although she had the advantage of going with L who rows for her college and consequently has the arm muscles!

Back home and it's definitely autumnal.

I had hoped to make rowan jelly for the first time but the berries had all disappeared from our tree whilst we were away (the blackbirds are rather partial). I did, however, make Elderberry jelly from our newly discovered Elder tree (remember the cordial?). There weren't many berries remaining there either, just enough to make 3/4 of a pot. It tasted fine but I had setting issues - the wrinkle test proved positive and it was practically setting in the pan but, bizarrely, remained slightly runny when potted. I'm not sure what I did wrong and I can't be bothered to reheat it for such a small quantity, so runny it shall remain.

Just a few last pictures to remind me of our holiday:

Anyway, that's all for the moment. Enjoy the last week of the Summer holidays.
Toodle Pip for now. x


  1. beautiful holiday pictures, sounds a lovely break. And yes, where did summer disappear to so suddenly?!!! Hoping for a late reprieve in September...

  2. Your holiday looks amazing! That sea, just gorgeous. It really sounds like you made the most of it. Yes, it is very autumnal here all of a sudden. You've reminded me that I need to pick some blackberries and make some jelly before they're all gone. x

  3. Oh that sounds like a wonderful holiday, Greece is somewhere I'd love to visit. The idea of paddling to a deserted beach for lunch is blissful. I took all three of mine in a canoe a while back, just a very short trip around the local wildfowl and wetlands reserve. It was absolute hell, so I completely understand the "divorce boat" reference. The jelly looks good, I'm envying you your jelly strainer, I'm going to try some with pears today, and after a major incident with blackcurrants I'm a bit nervous about the straining part. I love the look of your garden - all that green against those bricks, beautiful. CJ xx