Walking in the World


A Taste of Italy


We couldn’t resist. The Italian Food Market came back to Rayleigh yesterday, and we wanted to soak up the feast of food, accents, and conviviality. We’ll be back in Italy in a few weeks, so we saw this as an appetizer, a little sampling to whet our appetites for the real thing.

A calzone for Jeff’s lunch, some salami and olives for our pre-pizza nibbling, and some longing glances at the torrone and pastries… Maybe I should move to Italy…

20 Nov 2016

A Taste-full Labyrinth


We spotted another labyrinth from the comforts of our living room the other day, this one a tasty invention featured on the BBC technology show Click last weekend. Apparently this chocolate labyrinth was created with a 3D printer – a tasty and appealing dessert, to our way of thinking!

I have other stories to tell, other photos to share – things that prove I do still walk out in the world, that i do leave the hermit cave on a daily basis, but I couldn’t resist showing you this little this little bit of further evidence that labyrinths really are going mainstream, and that this ancient symbol can really hold its own in our high tech world.


05 Aug 2016

Winter Gardens


Our wildlife-friendly back garden is the reason we have so many guests at this time of year. It is a wild garden… it may never win any awards from Gardener’s World, but our local critters seem to appreciate Jeff’s attentiveness and care. And I appreciate his generosity in sharing what he sees (and hears) with me. Our winter has been so mild, that we still have plenty of berries, and we are already seeing an odd crocus or two beginning to push up through the soil. It is turning colder this week, so our wild friends will be looking to supplement their diet, and Jeff will be out filling the feeders every afternoon.


And me? I am happy spending my January indoors. I am making soups and experimenting with new recipes for crackers and condiments, interspersed with other creative and/or relaxing pursuits. I have decided that this is seasonally appropriate and that my feet will venture further afield again as the days grow longer, warmer, and drier.


I treasure this inward season when slowing down happens almost automatically, and I have more time and space to attend to my soul. I love that our winter gardens can be both literal and figurative, and that we can each tend them in our own ways.

Soup Pot

11 Jan 2016

Shop Local!


We love our local shops and try to support them whenever we can. One of our seasonal traditions is to go to Rayleigh to pick up a Christmasy box of Essex apples to share over the holidays.


And while we were there, we also stopped in at Byford’s for a handmade pork and stuffing pie for Jeff:


It was Market Day today, so we wandered through, picking up gluten-free pigs-in- blankets from the Giggly Pig (that’s a first, yippee!)


and a locally made, perfect gingerbread man for me.


We shall feast well!

23 Dec 2015

Long Days


Busy. Busy. By this evening we only had enough energy left to stop in at the local  takeaway… A grilled chicken breast and salad for me and a bit of everything for Jeff. Felt pretty good to let someone else do the cooking for once.

17 Dec 2015

Christmas Coffee



We made a little holiday pilgrimage to Squires in Rayleigh this afternoon. Squires is a delightful little coffee and tea shop on the High Street that serves more interesting brews than anywhere else in the area, and does it in a delightful old building that absolutely begs you to come in for a bit of old-fashioned indulgence. (This is one link that really is worth clicking and reading!)


I’m a purist when it comes to my coffee — no lattes and capuccinos for me. I like it strong, black, and aromatic. And I don’t drink it after noon, or I’ll be up all night! So, we didn’t linger this afternoon, and instead bagged our beans and will be enjoying our special Colombian blend when we wake up Christmas morning…

14 Dec 2015



Like almost everyone, we are busy little elves these days, shopping, cleaning, wrapping, celebrating– well, you know how it is… One thing that I will freely admit is that I’ve enjoyed seeing the upswing in gluten-free Christmas treats this year. I don’t actually indulge in many (and most have way too many raisins for my liking), but I absolutely love the feeling of being included. So thank you, Tesco — a phrase I never thought you’d hear me say!

We’ve figured that gluten free offerings would hit the mainstream at some point, and with the recent appearance of telly adverts and grocery story signage, it seems to have happened. To be honest, the EU regulations for food labeling have also helped immensely.All major allergens have to be noted on food packaging, and restaurants have to fully disclose what’s in the food they serve. My life is getting so much easier, and safer!

13 Dec 2015

Stay-at-Home Sunday


We woke up to sunshine and blue skies today, with just a hint of an autumnal nip in the air…. a perfect day for doing a few garden garden jobs and working on a few projects here at home. This lovely Speckled Wood butterfly was flitting about in the garden while we were out tidying things up.


Inside, I delighted myself by making a perfect cake — two layers of high protein, gluten-free chocolate goodness iced with coffee buttercream. I’m not usually a cake baker, but I’m learning to cook with coconut flour, and I’m finding it incredibly satisfying to have a few really good grain-and-nut-free go-to recipes, and this one is definitely a winner! I then sat out in the sunny conservatory and worked on my teddy bear project. I finished my fourth bear today, which I’ll show you in due course. The more I work on these little critters, the more they seem like a really significant undertaking.

06 Sep 2015



I didn’t walk very far today, only enough to do a few errands in and around the village. Fortunately, though, my friend Emma went into London where she did a whole lot of walking… then showed up on my doorstep with these gorgeous treats from Lola’s Cupcakes, which she had hand-carried home on the train. The perfect treat — cakey, creamy goodness served with lashings of love!

04 Sep 2015

Cold Coffee!


Pinaglis has added frappucinos to their menu, and Neal was willing to go one step further and make me cold coffee over ice. Just espresso, no milk. That just isn’t really done over here, but it is my favourite drink. I guess I might be walking in that direction quite regularly now, especially while our weather is beautiful and warm like it was today!

22 Aug 2015

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