Foraging on a Cornish Beach

When my eldest was only three I booked myself and her on an afternoon foraging course. It was a wild early spring day and we donned our hats and coats and met on a beach with a group of like minded (and brave) people. Of course she was the only child there, but she loved our special day. I had a six month old baby at home and this was our grown up important time together. She was so interested, asked appropriate questions and was the only one out of the whole group who volunteered to eat freshly picked nettles. I don’t know if she was brave or naive at this point but the group leader was slightly worried as she was so young and didn’t let her.

We often find things on our beach wanders together and say, “hey we tried this on our foraging day” Unfortunately the day also scared me slightly with tales of nasty ends for certain foragers who ate the wrong thing! So we have never actually foraged for our supper, but I have always been keen to learn more. I like to think if my life had panned out slightly differently I would have been a herbalist or a ” good life” type growing and cooking only my own produce. But i didn’t and I never will, but I had my afternoon of foraging wonder and I hope to  have some more one day.

Which brings me onto the present. I went to the empty beach again today and had a wonderful family morning watching the clouds and the waves and the seagulls. The wind was not so biting and the little Fleur didn’t turn blue. We were joined in the afternoon by some friends when all of a sudden a chef from the nearby beach restaurant came running out of the kitchen holding a small silver pan and ran the length of the beach. I was quite excited, she was going to forage, right here on this beach and cook up her finds for the customers in the restaurant. She ran to the far headland, got out her knife and carefully cut something off a large rock, filled her pan with it and sprinted back. The whole process took no more than ten minutes, but it made my day. I have no idea what she found, but that wasn’t the point, It stirred my interest again, got me thinking again. It also made me marvel once more about this area we live in, how wonderful for a chef to pelt across the beach during a busy lunch time rush to grab a bit of seaweed (I am guessing here, don’t quote me)

So my dreams of living off the land have been stirred, but I quite like the idea of having lunch again at the restaurant in the very near future as my first stop to this way of life.

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Tasty green leaves….. ????

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maybe this is the one you boiled like a green veg???

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Tremenheere- A Cornish garden of dreams

For a few days I have had a vision. The vision was to load up the girls and the husband in the car with a picnic ( of course, it seems this is all I do at present) and spend the day in a beautiful garden, sketching flowers,  naming them, sitting in the sun and enjoying some peace and tranquillity. So today was the free day this mission was going to happen, I didn’t care that the husband awoke with a shocking hangover, I also didn’t care it was hammering down with rain. I got up at 7am, I made a picnic, and said in a braver voice than I was feeling, ” it doesn’t matter we have raincoats”

Due to the delicate nature of the husbands head he was quick to get on-line and find the nearest garden to our house he could and came up with “Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens” He also said the rain is passing and the sun will come out.

I can only describe this corner of Cornwall as a dream. Yes it helped that the sun was shining and the garden was just ours for most of the morning, but it was incredible. It was a place of two halves, an idealistic wood festooned with wild flowers and fallen trees, a stream, but more than that as there were modern bridges and raised walkways, little benches in sunny corners, sheltered from any winds. The other side is more structured, more graphical, cacti and bamboo’s, treehouses, a sky gazing room. I felt like I was in a version of the Eden project on a smaller scale and no crowds.

The flower girls had a lovely time we spent hours finding flowers, looking them up and then drawing them, Fleurs drawing skills have moved on in the last few months and the crazy scribbles have been replaced with proper drawings. The Bluebell girl was in her element, this is her kind of day. At present her school are studying flowers, plants and insects and she is thrilled with everyday she goes in, especially days when she gets to work with the school gardener. I thought this would be a nice extension to the school work we could do together, and the crazy one had fun too.

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The little hand holding her signature flower

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The woods

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Drawing’s from today.

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Drawings from today

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Us four

We ate our lunch like a five course meal stopping every twenty minutes on yet another little bench to eat a bit more and ended up back at the cafe for a home made lemonade and a wedge of cake. As a last moment of fun to end the perfect day out the husband said ” okay we have one more special treat something you love to do that’s really fun! ‘ this was to be rolling down a massive grass bank, even though the grass was soaking wet, they would love it! I knew immediately what he was referring to, but the little one looked up at him her eyes shinning and said ” YIPEE!!!!!! we get to watch some TV! ” Can you believe kids sometimes?, and really is TV that special? Or do I forbid it too often in preference of playing and being outside and therefore its become the golden jackpot, the lottery win of childhood, I don’t know, however the rolling was good fun and Cbeebies was quickly forgotten.

Empty Beaches

Today we hit our local beach, like true beach professionals my friend and I and our two little ones arrived at 9.30am. The beach looked stunning, really amazing the tide was going out leaving a smear of golden sand on the headland corner, the sun was shinning and the beach was empty. But it was freezing, the wind had a bite to it and we were wrapped up in our jumpers and our coats. The children had fun sliding down sand mounds on body boards and making sand castles and like crazy people we stayed put, with our picnics for FIVE hours!!! Us Mums having a gossip and a coffee and our toddlers toddling about! The crazy Fleur girl insisted on wearing her wet suit with bare legs for the large part of the day, she turned a light shade of blue, but refused all offers of a coat or jumper for hours ( a true Brit! ) and finally it was time for the school run so we packed up our things and left. I was exhausted and have wind burn on my cheeks and potential frost bite on my fingers! But we both looked at ‘our’ near empty beach and agreed today was a wonderful day and we are lucky to be here and part of it, and who needs warmth anyhow, its over-rated!IMG_0572

The first ‘lost’ tooth

There have been lots of giggles and excitement in our house this last week. The flower fairy’s ( my girls ) have been getting on so well. Fleur, the mischievous 3 year old, has a wonderful sense of humour and its catching, Bluebell her older sister comes across to most as quite a deep thoughtful studious type, but mixed with a certain character the Bluebell girl comes alive. This week we have heard giggles from the bedroom, hysteric’s at bath time and bordering craziness at bedtime.  Their eyes have been shining with love and excitement and my heart has been in turn filled with love and pride.

The Bluebell girl has had a wobbly tooth for weeks, this is the first one. She has been gagging for it to fall out, and tonight it did, hubby noticed the gap during supper, but it must have been swallowed as it was never found. At first poor little Bluebell was devastated, but Papa to the rescue with some soothing words and the bubble of excitement came back. She is a nature child and a fantasist, she loves fairies and mermaids, flowers and fairytales. Her games are incredible and her imagination runs wild. This is the moment I as her mother have been waiting for, this I can run with. I have been researching fairy doors ( the entry point to the bedroom of course, for weeks! ) and remembering all the things my Mum did for me when I was small. She will of course inherit the very same fairy I had had a girl ‘Twinkle teeth’, tonight she will receive the note rolled and tied with pink ribbon, the box to put the next tooth in so that doesn’t get lost, the door will magically appear in her bedroom tonight and a pound coin wrapped in silver foil ( its Twinkle teeths signature statement! She has been doing this for years! ) So my blog that was planned for tonight has been put on hold, because tonight was all about the laughter and the tooth. However the Fleur girl and i had a beautiful day and the Wild Garlic covering the grass verges on the side of the country lanes is so very pretty. Thats the vision of Cornwall I would like to leave with you tonight! !!

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The silver tooth box and the wrapped coin

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The fairy door!

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Teeny tiny notes

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tied with a pink ribbon!

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The precious gap! Age 5 and 11 months

So the story begins

Well here I am, writing my first ever blog! ( well my first ever one about me, I have written blogs for work, but thats different, thats work)

I decided weeks ago i wanted to write a blog, its the 21century form of a diary isnt it? but a diary that the whole world can read, if they choose to! how strange and why oh why would anyone want to do this?

Well my story is this; I basically realised that I was using my facebook account to jot down my memories; funny things my children said and did, experiences that we have had as a family, etc etc. For the last year I have been mumbling to my husband, I must print out my whole last three years of facebooking, its my memories!! That sentence alone made me feel quite sad, and I decided blogging my life was the way forward.

So I sit here in my office in Cornwall. Upstairs are my two children,( hopefully asleep)  one is 3 years and 5 months and the other will be 6 in a few weeks. My 5 nearly six year old will definitely be asleep, my three year old, well who knows, she’s different from the other one, unpredictable and a bit wild.  Both are totally gorgeous and i love them to bits.

I really do love life, I have a great job, it allows me to work from home most of the time, and when I am on location my lovely Mum has my girls. This makes me happy and I feel like I am a stay at home Mum, but I actually do have my own business, its almost feels like a secret.

My hubby and I live in Cornwall that we have decided is the most beautiful place in the world ( for us anyway) if I look out of my window I can see the turquoise sea. I never fail to not appreciate this.

My life is focused on my kids, my mission is to give them the most rewarding childhood ever, the childhood dreams are made of. This is not about showering money on them or spoiling them rotten, its about bringing up children that will love life, enjoy life and appreciated this planet we live on. I hope that my girls will grow up to be women that will make (if not a very small) difference. I hope they will love and be loved, but most of all I hope they will have fun. Life has its up’s and it has its downs, but I can truly say that my life so far has been rich in experiences, its been really fun, and I have laughed….. a lot. Sometimes at the wrong things and at the wrong times, but that’s life too isn’t it?

I hope that blogs last the stretch of time, technology moves so fast doesn’t it?  A mere ten years ago, I travelled the world with my husband for almost a year, the internet was just really hitting off to the masses and internet cafes had sprung up everywhere, well nearly everywhere. I dutifully wrote a diary whenever I could, emailed it over to my Mum who in turn dutifully printed it off onto her BT telephone printer. Upon my return she gave me the copies, I was still so full of the memories of my trip, I didn’t need to re-read them then, but a few years later when I went too, the ink had faded and the paper curled and half my memories were lost. I couldn’t even tell you where those diaries entries are now.

I may print these blogs out once I really get going, as these memories are the ones I am building for my children, so that they know just how very cool their childhood was!

So enjoy my journey, we spend our days knocking around the beaches of Cornwall, we find wild flowers and look them in our little book, we draw and paint, all the time it seems, we have lots of impromptu picnics, even in the bitter cold depths of winter. We dance on the sand, we play music really really loud.  But we also (of course!) do the everyday things, the little playgroups, singing in the library, coffees out, and of course school; that’s another blog for another day!

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So this is us, on a beach in the town we live in!

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Just after one of our many winter picnics! Not bad for Feb eh ?

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The flower girls! Filling my world with laughter

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An afternoon at a stone circle, one of our special places in Cornwall