Wednesday 11 August 2010

Summer's wane . . .

If it were always summertime,

how weary we should grow
of the changeless weather
and ths sun's unfading glow!
If there were always roses
blooming down the garden ways,
they would not call forth
from the heart
such words of joy and praise!
It is the expectation
of the sunshine and the flowers
that makes us welcome with delight
the summer's golden hours . . .
The waiting in the winter
and the hoping in the spring.
It's twice as sweet
because we know
that time is on the wing!
~Patience Strong

Already the nights are drawing in. They have been for almost two months now, at a few minutes a day . . . but it is only now that it is becoming really noticeable, and it seems to have happened all of a sudden!

The fields are becoming filled with the dried seed heads of a million blooms . . . ready to take their journey with the first strong wind that comes along . . . a journey to a million spots . . . waiting to capture them so that they can tuck in and sleep over the long winter which awaits, putting roots down into the earth, and springing back to life in the spring that is to come. How magical nature is . . . there is a plan and a purpose to everything, to every nuance . . .

Right now our garden is a riot of colour, filled with the pretty bobbing heads of Dahlias. They always bespeak autumn being just around the corner for me . . . I love them so. There are so very many colours and varities, each one seemingly more beautiful than the last . . . but it cannot be so, can it? They are all lovely . . . We will soon seek out more bulbs to plant in the autumn, the promise of a summer to come . . .

I do not mind the cooler nights. They mean a much easier sleep. I cannot sleep when it is hot and sticky . . . I don't think many people can, except perhaps children, but then they are exhausted from their day's travels and adventures. Mayhap that is the secret to a good sleep no matter the temperature. We all need to climb a few trees and hike a few meadows . . . and perhaps run a few races . . .

We are off on a short trip today. We had thought to go to The Lakes and see Beatrix Potter's house, but on second thought we are sure it will be uber busy because of the school holidays so we are instead going to go to a spot much closer to home called Erddig Hall in Wrexham, Wales. It is known to be one of the most widely acclaimed and historic houses in Britain! It is an 18th century house reflecting the upstairs downstairs life of a gentry family over 250 years. As a big fan of the BBC series Upstairs Downstairs, I am really looking forward to this small glimpse into a bygone era. I promise to take as many pictures as I am allowed to take! If we have time we will also go to Chirk Castle, which is nearby. Completed in 1310, Chirk is the last Welsh castle from the reign of Edward I and is still lived in today. In any case we are planning a full day of activity!

Here is a hearty breakfast splurge or a tasty light supper. Quick to make and always satisfying, I think this is one of Todd's favourite things to eat! (Not that I make it that often. It is a rare, but much welcomed treat!)

*Bacon, Egg and Cheese Toastie*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

This is a wonderful way to have your breakfast, all stacked together in one delicious pile. Every forkful brings you a taste of bacon, egg, cheese and toast, all together in one luscious mouthful! It also makes a nice light supper entree.

4 slices of thick country style white bread
12 slices of dry cure streaky bacon
8 ounces of medium cheddar cheese, cut into slices
1 TBS butter
4 large, free range eggs

This is my secret way of cooking bacon so that there is no grease on top of your stove and no messy pan to clean up afterwards. Preheat your oven to 220*C/425*F/ gas mark 7. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil wrap. Lay the bacon slices out onto the baking sheet without overlapping. Pop the pan into the heated oven and and bake for six minutes. Turn the pan around 180 degrees and bake for another four to seven minutes, depending on how crispy you like your bacon. (For this recipe you only want it medium done and not too crispy as it will be going under the grill after) Remove the bacon to a plate, lined with paper kitchen towelling to drain. I, then, blot the top with more kitchen towelling. You can then just pitch the foil wrap into the bin and you have a clean oven tray to continue on with the rest of the recipe.

Heat your grill while you make the toast. Toast the slices of bread until they are medium toasted, not really dark, as they will be then going under the grill and you don’t want too crispy a slice. Once they are toasted lay each one out onto the baking sheet and cover them with the slices of cheese equally. Divide the bacon equally amongst the sandwiches and lay it on top of the cheese.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat and pop some butter into it. When the butter is foaming, crack in the four eggs. Turn the heat down to medium and cook them slowly for a few minutes until the whites are set and the yolks are as done as you like them. If you don’t want them sunny side up you can flip them over if you like. We like them sunny side up. When they are done to your taste, turn out the heat and remove the pan to the side while you grill the toastie.

Pop the tray with the bread, cheese and bacon on it under the grill and grill until the cheese is melted and bubblling and the bacon is as crisp as you want it. It should only take four or five minutes. Remove from the oven and place a fried egg neatly on top of each. Remove to heated plates. Sprinkle each with a little seasalt and cracked black pepper and serve immediately.

Over on The English Kitchen today, there are some really scrummy Chocolate Peanut Crumble Cookies!


  1. Enjoy your holiday! But let me know when you are coming back up to the Lakes. Perhaps we can meet there.

  2. Have a wonderful time Marie. Sounds so great. I love historical buildings. I hope you can take some pictures!


  3. Wishing we were going along with you...hehehe... Enjoy your outings todays! Can't wait for photos... We love history. Wonderful toasties today, Marie... I could eat one now! Minus the bacon. ;o) Happy Day, dear friend--LOVE YOU BOTH LOTS ((BIG HUGS))

  4. I hope your day is filled with wonderful memories. My Pip has a dream that she and I run away and live in the Miss Potter house. Sounds wonderful some days.

  5. I do hope your Wednesday is a wonderful one. Historical buildings are always interesting. I love seeing how others lived and think it is good to see just what has changed over the years.

  6. Have fun! Take lots of pictures please! :)


  7. Hope you had a lovely day at Erddig, a fascinating house and garden. Go back later for the apple festival; lots of old varieties preserved.
    Look forward to your photos.

  8. I tell you, we shall be having to translate your blog from Welsh. I love to hear that spoken, don't you?

    Let's hope they allow photography. If not you might be able to pinch some photos off the internet.


  9. I hope that you had a delightful time on your outing today. John and I rarely go on a sight seeing outing.... I don't know why??? Perhaps we are too lazy?? or cheap??? or both.... oh well I love reading about yours.

    I will look forward to the pictures. Hugs, Lura


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