Thursday, 30 August 2007

lets go fly a kite...

Flying Jenny's kite on bank holiday Monday, the simple things in life are always the best!

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Thursday, 16 August 2007

cant wait to meet Prudence!

We have just booked our 2008 summer holiday (already!) a road trip in Prudence, a VW camper van (picture above) with snail trail

Monday, 13 August 2007

did you see last night?

The famous Perseid meteor shower which has been observed for about 2000 years, with the first known information on these meteors coming from the Far East. The shower is visible from mid-July each year, with the greatest activity between August 8 and 14, peaking about August 12. During the peak, the rate of meteors reaches 60 or more per hour. To experience the shower in its full, one should observe in the dark of a clear moonless night, from a point far outside any large cities, where stars are not dimmed by light pollution. The Perseids have a broad peak, so the shower is visible for several nights. On any given night, activity starts slowly in the evening but picks up by 11 p.m., when the radiant gets reasonably high in the sky. The meteor rate increases steadily through the night as the radiant rises higher, peaking just before the sky starts to get light, roughly 1½ to 2 hours before sunrise.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

very happy campers...

Pictured above is a very happy four year old camper with homemade bow and arrow and feather headdress in the Forest of Dean. Below are two even more happy campers eating chocolate and courgette muffins!

Recipe for yummy chocolate and courgette muffins...

Preparation 15 minutes. Cooking 35 minutes

All sorts of good things can be tucked into a batch of muffins, in this case, dark chocolate and cherries for flavour and courgettes for a light, moist texture. Improvise muffin cases with 15cm x 15cm squares of baking parchment.

Makes 12 muffins: 170g good dark chocolate, about 70% cocoa solids 200g plain white flour 1 tsp baking powder ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda 110g caster sugar finely grated zest of 1 orange 100g dried cherries, roughly chopped 225g courgettes, finely grated 2 medium eggs 175ml mild olive oil or sunflower oil

1 Heat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven) gas mark 4 and line the cups of a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases or squares of non-stick baking parchment.
2 Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of hot water, stirring until smooth with a spatula that can later be used to scrape every last drop of chocolate into the muffin mixture. Keep warm.
3 Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Mix in the caster sugar, orange zest and dried cherries, followed by the grated courgettes.
4 In a bowl or blender, whisk together the eggs and oil. Stir this mixture into the dry ingredients, followed by the warm, melted chocolate.
5 Divide the mixture between the prepared muffin cases and bake for about 35 minutes or until they are well risen and a skewer inserted gently into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
6 Allow to cool on a wire rack.
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