Summer holidays

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Pleased to report I’ve survived day one of the summer holidays.

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It’s lovely around here. We moved in November but I don’t feel like I’ve had time to breathe for the last six months. Ferrying the kids backwards and forward to school, unpacking a million boxes and registering with local doctors and so on seems to have taken up all the time.

It’s nice to get to the point of having moved the kids to a school around the corner, albeit not until September.

Today we discovered a ‘secret passage’ which runs along the back of several houses next to ours. Excited to find a blackberry bush ready to be picked, the weather has been so good lately that they’ve all fruited early.

img_2563I’ve been walking every day, looking at people’s window boxes and hanging baskets and beautiful doors and so on.

This area of London is super urban yet right behind the high street is a beautiful village complete with church, playing fields and loads of gorgeous old houses.

The children seem to be enjoying a chance to relax after weeks on end of me screaming “COME ON!” at them at 8am, trying to usher them into the car in time to get to school before the bell rings.

My alarm clock will be set to 7 rather than 6am on Monday, and let me tell you, that feels like a holiday.

How are you getting on? Are your kids off school yet? What plans do you have for the holidays? If not, what else is new?

Lemon cordial

A really easy recipe, more suited for Spring or Summer drinking really but very refreshing served over ice cold sparkling water.

Lemon cordial

Makes 1.2 litres

3 large unwaxed lemons
350g / 12oz caster sugar
1 litre water

Wash the lemons, then thinly pare off the rind with a vegetable peeler, being careful not to pare off too much of the bitter pith.  Put the rind in the cooking pot of a slow cooker with the sugar and water.  Cover and switch the cooker to high.

Heat for 3o minutes, then stir until the sugar has dissolved.  Cook for a further hour and a half, then leave to cool.

Halve the lemons and squeeze out the juice.  Stir into the syrup, then strain through a sieve and pour into sterilized bottles.  Store in the fridge for up to 10 days.  Serve over ice and dilute to taste (4 parts water to 1 part cordial is about right) with still or sparkling water.