Tag Archives: The Pig Near Bath

The Week That Was, Life’s Rich Tapestry

Kaffe Fassett's Rich Tapestry,Rocking Dog

Kaffe Fassett’s Rich Tapestry

Life has been a rich tapestry of differing threads since my last post. There has been a trip to Bath and a lovely meet up with son, daughter in law and sparkling new little Freddie. Apart from the delight of a new baby to cuddle, how rewarding it is to watch your children parent. After coffee and cake and a well meaning mother in law .. “you need to rest”, (I really wasn’t asking for a Victorian six week lying in period…honest!) I took my leave. “Makery” Roman blind instructions picked up, I chanced upon Kaffe Fassett and Candace Bahouth’s exhibition “A Celebration of Flowers” at the Victoria Art Gallery. It was spectacularly colourful and temptingly tactile. There was patchwork, mad mosaic, needlepoint and painting. Eye poppingly inspirational.

I finished my second Rocking Dog patchwork quilt of the year earlier in the week and it will be shortly leaving the kennel to grace and warm another bed. The blind is indeed next in the queue and then a back up of other makes ranging from quilts, a certain wedding coat and Rocking Dog prototypes. The unused overlocker is looking forlorn and needs some dedicated time to make it feel loved and needed. It really is the elephant in the workroom!

The weekend was glorious so with Andyman away playing his flaming bagpipes on the Isle of Man a friend and I spontaneously took ourselves to The Pig near Bath. We had a relaxing afternoon in the garden eating wood fired flatbread and posh choc ice. It was one of those blissful English summer days and was completed by the inevitable meander around the delightful kitchen garden.

A large mountain of ironing, admin’ and a half hearted attempt at cleaning were the more mundane bits of the week, a domestic tapestry!

Flowers were picked for a bright 88 year old neighbour and somehow we ended up reading snake poems by DH Lawrence and Sylvia Plath. We also talked about the frustrations of age related failing faculties. Unfortunately I know you won’t be reading this Molly, but you are AMAZING! Interested and Interesting, together with being a fount of knowledge on “Time-Team”!

Stem ginger scones were baked and given. How delicious they are served with apricot conserve and clotted cream. Not much else to report on the cooking front.

I have been trying to tie up my WW1 Flower Show table for 14th July. My brain is rather full. I know i’m slightly barking as i’m signing present day forms etc.. with a 1918 date. Oops! This week I have been researching eggs and how they were collected for wounded soldiers. There was a National Campaign set up by Frederick Carl, editor of “Poultry World” who classed eggs as as a superfood for the wounded. Even pre-war many families kept a few hens, but now the campaign encouraged hen owners to donate an egg or two for ailing soldiers. Children in particular were encouraged to get involved with the egg campaign and the eggs were often collected together on school premises. In November 1914 a target of 20,000 eggs a week was set to send to the wounded in Boulogne. By August 1915 over a million eggs were received for overseas. This figure didn’t include those eggs that had been sent directly to local hospitals. In the course of the war 32 million eggs had been sent to hospitals in France and Belgium.

Many of the eggs arrived with the soldiers complete with decoration, patriotic messages and names & addresses. This sometimes led to pen pal correspondence and even a wedding! I started researching eggs because in the local parish magazines of the Great War period there were poultry husbandry meetings held at the village hall. I wanted to ascertain the relevance and importance of such meetings.

So indeed there will be a display of WW1 inspired decorated eggs on my Flower Show table.

Today I am visiting my last soldiers grave in Trealaw Cemetery the Rhondda, Wales. Driver John Noble Winter of the Royal Field Artillery died from wounds 17th April 1916. Born in Winterbourne, Gloucestershire by the 1901 census he is 19 years old and working as a coal hewer. Untangling a short life is a brain boggling investigative tapestry. Later today The Remember Me Project will have laid the last poppy on British soil and number 45 of the 53 Whiteshill Memorial names. We Will Remember Them.

I hope your weekend is filled with threads of wonderful things, creating your own rich and diverse life tapestry.

Love Rocking Dog x

PS. Our bath, yes that old chestnut, is on its way! Currently it is out in the ocean after a port of call in Kuwait. Rather like Parcel Force you can track its movements using Vessel Finder, very exotic! It will eventually head up the Suez Canal, it’s taking provenance to the extreme… but then I always love a good story!

Mad Mosaic,Rocking Dog

Mad Mosaic

Kaffe's Patches,Rocking Dog

Kaffe’s Patches

My Patches,Rocking Dog

My Patches

Food Tapestry,Rocking Dog

Food Tapestry

Posh Choc' Ice,Rocking Dog

Posh Choc’ Ice

On Its Way!,Rocking Dog

On Its Way!

Flower Gift,Rocking Dog

Flower Gift

Bakers Dozen,Rocking Dog

Bakers Dozen

Baked Gift,Rocking Dog

Baked Gift

Flower Show,Rocking Dog

Flower Show

Egg Research,Rocking Dog

Egg Research

Brain Space,Rocking Dog

Brain Space

My Week Defined By Vegetables

Chelsea Potatoes,Rocking Dog

Chelsea Potatoes

Indeed last week was rather dominated by all that was vegetable.

MONDAY. A relaxing lunch with friend at The Pig near Bath. As ever it was gorgeous to have a wander around the walled kitchen garden after eating some delicious plates of food. There is something rather special about a garden in winter. The stillness, quiet, and the silent anticipation of shoots and leaves forcing their way through frost crested earth.

TUESDAY. I went on a Social Media course at the M Shed, Bristol. Discussing the merits and problems of different social media platforms I felt somehow rather disillusioned. However, I feel I have a better understanding of feed, engagement, traffic etc… but i’m still a slumbering pumpkin!

WEDNESDAY. I participated in a healthy eating session with a small group of young adult carers. They were great, and we cooked enthusiastically together. Chicken and vegetable wraps together with vegetable laden pizzas were cooked and eaten together. Instead of feeling like a slumbering pumpkin I definitely felt more like a dinosaur trying to explain the concept of seasonal food! It went a bit like this “as a child growing up in the 60’s we only saw strawberries at the start of June through to the start of August, and then we didn’t see them until the following year”. It was quite a revelation to them, as was the tip to “peel” root ginger using a teaspoon. I aim to please….. even if I am a Tyrannosaurus!

THURSDAY. 36kg of haggis was delivered to the kennel from over the tartan border. There was the traditional offal’y variety, there was the vegetable variety, some to suit gluten free guests and of course the ceremonial chieftain haggis for the Selkirk Grace. Fridge space was rather tight with all these wee beasties taking up temporary residence.

FRIDAY. Sorrel, baby Doug and I headed out to pick up 50kg potatoes and 30kg swede. Thank you to Bob at Eastville Market for super fresh produce. I have to say though the potato type, Marfona sounded like some type of mini pill or Intrauterine Contraceptive Device! After our vegetable buying trip we headed to nearby St Werburgh’s City Farm for a coffee. Doug was fascinated by the goats, ducks, black hairy pigs and a large rook. The cafe is definitely worth a visit. We shared Beetroot, chocolate & beer cake gloriously eaten with some good cappuccino’s. We were fortified ready for the mammoth two day peeling and mashing session!

SATURDAY. 50kg potatoes peeled & mashed. Tick. 30kg swede peeled & bashed. Tick. 9 trays of brownie baked. Tick. Let the Rock Pipes Burns Night begin. It was a culinary killer. Thanks to lovely, lovely friends who pitched in to help get hot food out to the 160 paying guests. Everybody seemed to have a fabulous time. I even managed to summon up the courage to hit the stage to promote the raffle which raised an amazing £341 for Young Carer’s “Christmas in a Box”. Rock Pipes did their final set with everyone on the dance floor for an Abba medley, 500 miles and of course YMCA! Auld Lang Syne sent everyone on their way with 50 kg chappit tatties, 36kg haggis, 30kg bashed neeps and a wee dram of whisky in their tummies.

SUNDAY. I woke up feeling as if every bone in my body had been broken and then had been reset really badly! How can vegetables do that?! I’m simply too old for this catering malarkey.

So yes, that was the week that was. After a day of washing up yesterday I am trying to be kind to myself and to let my burnt and chapped hands recover. Still on a vegetable theme I have some lovely vintage fabric titled “Sweetcorn” to be made into a blind for Sorrel & Pete. Some quiet therapeutic sewing should get my aching bones sorted.

A million thanks to my lovely girls who were magnificent in the kitchen and to all those who helped without asking. I have some truly gorgeous friends. Thank you.

PS I picked up a great tip from Sorrel (old dogs really can learn new tricks!) To strip Thyme of it’s leaves poke the woody stalk through a hole in a wire sieve. Pull the stalk and voila the leaves are left in the sieve. Have you any canny tips to pass on I wonder? Please tell all.

Table Veg',Rocking Dog

Table Veg’

Greenhouse Veg',Rocking Dog

Greenhouse Veg’

The Pigs' Pigs,Rocking Dog

The Pigs’ Pigs

Seasonal Fruit &..,Rocking Dog

Seasonal Fruit &..

Seasonal Veg',Rocking Dog

Seasonal Veg’

Veggie Cake!,Rocking Dog

Veggie Cake!

For Chappit Tatties,Rocking Dog

For Chappit Tatties

Let 'em Eat Haggis!, Rocking Dog

Let ’em Eat Haggis!

Vintage Veg' Fabric,Rocking Dog

Vintage Veg’ Fabric

Another Of My Horse Brasses Leaves The Kennel

Appropriate Token,Rocking Dog

Appropriate Token

A good while ago I bought a stash of horse brasses in a local charity shop. I expect the previous owner was simply bored of getting the Brasso out to polish them. A £5 note bought the heavy load and I had no cunning plan for them. As a notorious hoarder I knew they’d come in useful one day.

Horse brasses have ancient origins. In Roman times horses had harnesses that featured brasses, though they were in fact made from Bronze and called phalerae. In Great Britain even before the 12th century, horses had harnesses embellished with brasses. They were treated as good luck charms and in addition were a sign of status. The mid 19th century saw the height of horse brass popularity especially for Shire and parade horses. The love of embellishing harnesses continued until the demise of Dray horses.

Back to my own stash, last year a piggy brass accompanied an invite for a meal at The Pig near Bath. The envelope was appropriately made from an archived Pig menu.

Yesterday the brasses were brought out again. After eighteen months of lying empty our village pub, The White Horse has been relaunched. What could be more appropriate for the beamed hostelry than one of the brasses. However after an extensive and tasteful refurbishment I don’t expect to see my horse brass nailed to any beam soon!

I was hoping to find a brass featuring a horse or horseshoe, but alas no. A pub with a name The Rugged Staff, The Cross Keys, The Anchor, The Bull or The Stag would have been lucky. I chose a pretty star surrounded by trefoils and added ribbons and handwritten label. Voila! another brass leaves the kennel.

Wishing The White Horse every success. There doesn’t appear to be a new website yet, but publican Alison already has The Kings Arms and Port Of Call in Bristol. I think it may be just a little bit TOO easy to stroll the 200 yards up the road away from my own kitchen!

Horse Brass Stash,Rocking Dog

Horse Brass Stash

Make An Envelope,Rocking Dog

Make An Envelope

Piggy Invite,Rocking Dog

Piggy Invite

Rocking Dog 350th Blog Celebration

Piggy Pud', Rocking Dog

Piggy Pud’

Rocking Dog enjoyed a lazy afternoon at The Pig near Bath yesterday. What better way to celebrate this, my 350th Rocking Dog Blog post! After a hectic few weeks it was lovely to venture out for lunch with my longest standing friend. I have known Teri since 10th March 1980. I can be certain of the auspicious date, for it was the day we met on a train travelling to Aldershot. We were somewhat nervously about to embark on our Army Basic Training. I remember her wearing an enamel Roxy Music badge. I expect she remembers the fact that I had far too much luggage!

We started this visit to The Pig with a wander around the kitchen garden. I loved the beautiful wreath’s on the doors of The Apple Shed, treatment huts and even the chicken coop. The gardeners were busily planting cabbage plants into the damp cold soil. Kale, chard, onions, sprouts adorned the large walled plot, winters’ jewels.

A Virgin Bloody Mary and Raspberry cocktail were sipped by a roaring open fire whilst we perused the menu. We nibbled on pork crackling infused popcorn. It all felt very decadent!

We ate in the lovely conservatory and enjoyed truly yummy things and reminisced about 36 years of friendship. We ended the meal with a mint infusion taken by another roaring open fire. Perfect.

The sun was descending, and we glimpsed a transient amber-pink ribbon of sky through bare ancient beeches. Such a lovely afternoon.

I cannot believe that there have been 349 blog posts before this one. I am sometimes all too ready to throw in the towel…but here I am, still blogging for all my sins! I hope that there are posts that you are inspired by and hope you’ll keep hanging in on there for the ride! Thank you x

Teri and I decided that this is to be an annual pre Christmas meet up. It’s all too easy to get overly caught up in the mayhem that is Christmas. Breathe. Breathe and eat pork crackling infused popcorn!

Antler Wreath, Rocking Dog

Antler Wreath

Fork To Plate,Rocking Dog

Fork To Plate

Fireside Drinks,Rocking Dog

Fireside Drinks

Stockholm Gingerbread,Rocking Dog

Stockholm Gingerbread

Pig Gingerbread,Rocking Dog

Pig Gingerbread

Pretty Eggs,Rocking Dog

Pretty Eggs

Pretty Pear,Rocking Dog

Pretty Pear

Twinkly Pig,Rocking Dog

Twinkly Pig

Sunset At The Pig,Rocking Dog

Sunset At The Pig

Top Ten New Year Resolutions

Anyone For A Dip In The Neighbours Pool?, Rocking Dog

Anyone For A Dip In The Neighbours Pool?

I didn’t make any resolutions -I know just how futile it is! In the Family section (love it) of Saturday’s Guardian they printed The Top 10 modern New Year resolutions (OVO Energy Survey 2014). Surprisingly, slimming down to a size 10 was not one of them, nor getting fit by swimming in the neighbours pool.

The Top 10 are as follows:-
1. Declutter the house. Mmmmm- I can but try on that one
2. Save More Money. Andyman bought me a well equipped tool bag for Christmas, maybe I can fit the new toilet and basin, and while i’m about it tile the floor.
3. Try new places instead of relying on the same old bars/restaurants. Guilty as charged my lord!
4. Read more books. Very thick Nordic Cook Book awaits me, and then as a result of reading the tome no doubt a house move to Sweden.
5. Redecorate house/room. Our house is like the Forth Rail Bridge but crumblier. We keep Farrow & Ball shareholders happy.
6. Take Up new hobby. I want to write a R4 play based on my mother in law. Yes really.
7. Sell old stuff I don’t need. Strange but true, we have a bed we need to sell under the new bed we have recently bought.
8. Visit five new places I have never been. UK Hit list- Derek Jarman’s garden Dungeness, St Ives, Rye, Alnwick, Virginia Woolf’s Monk’s House.
9. Vow to be positive. OK that is until I witness rudeness,fly-tipping/littering, Donald Trump, my daughter being repeatedly gazumped by buy to let investors , Z lister celebrities & so called reality shows, together with sexism, racism or homophobia (back to Donald Trump again!). Grrrrr!
10. Stop complaining as much. Who me?!

I hope if you have made resolutions that you’ll be successful in achieving whatever goal you have set yourself. Now… I better go and find that tool bag…!

Yep! Love The Pig, Rocking Dog

Yep! Love The Pig

Decluttered... Honest!, Rocking Dog

Decluttered… Honest!

Bedtime Scandi' Tome, Rocking Dog

Bedtime Scandi’ Tome

Sell Old Stuff, Rocking Dog

Sell Old Stuff

Redecorate, Rocking Dog

Redecorate

Glass Half Full, Rocking Dog

Glass Half Full

Belated Anniversary Lunch With Andyman

Sunbathed "Pig", Rocking Dog

Sunbathed “Pig”

Andyman and I enjoyed a belated anniversary lunch date at “The Pig” near Bath yesterday. It was lovely to return to the hotel for delicious food, gorgeous interiors, wonderful kitchen garden… and the extensive wine list! So a really quick run through what we ate (Food crit’s are SO boring!) Garden herb infused oil with sourdough, Venison carpaccio, Lyme Bay potted crab with egg mayonnaise soldiers, Roast Beef and trimmings x2, Apple crumble with thyme ice cream, Lemon and verbena mascarpone terrine with candied beetroot and beetroot syrup, coffee. It was all truly yummy. Conversation unsurprisingly centred around our lovely brood and the wonderful spring day beyond our table.

The date ended with the now inevitable wander around the kitchen garden. Greenhouses beckoned to be peeked into, blossoms cried out to be smelt, and plant labels begged to be scrutinised. I truly love the fork to plate ethos. We ended our stroll with watching the eggs being collected from The Pig hens. Palest blue, nut brown, speckled and rust these freshly laid ouef’s were worthy of being given spectacular names on a Farrow and Ball paint chart!

It was a lovely afternoon, Thank you Mr F!

Unctuous Oil, Rocking Dog

Unctuous Oil

Good Pud', Rocking Dog

Good Pud’

Pig Footwear, Rocking Dog

Pig Footwear

Springtime Thrones,Rocking Dog

Springtime Thrones

Pig Hens, Rocking Dog

Pig Hens

Hen To Plate, Rocking Dog

Hen To Plate