Spring Clean

I am a predictable creature, every April the desire for spring cleaning begins and by the third week a juice cleanse begins. No exceptions this year, the green juice detox began yesterday, three days of juicing and minimal eating, I am allowed oat-bran porridge with dates and rice milk and a soup with a home-made veggie stock base. Day Two is always the hardest, I am tired and lethargic today but looking forward to being bright and energetic in a few days time. All the leafy greens are collected fresh from our garden, there is dandelion leaf, sorrel, land cress and two types of kale. They make a very intensive green-ness and both my liver and spleen are very happy about it.

A Perfect Afternoon Tea

Black Sesame Shortbread and Matcha Green Tea

Some days, come mid-afternoon, a girl just needs a pick-me-up. So, as a well deserved break from the challenges of mid-year assessment, I enjoyed a very lovely homemade black sesame shortbread biscuit (send a request if you’d like the recipe) and a glass of the most wonderfully green Japanese matcha tea. It provided all the momentum required to get me to the end of my daily marking target without any tantrums. Oh matcha, what a wonder….

Spring Clean

Spring greens for spring cleaning
I have found myself with a strong desire for spring cleaning this week, I love when this feeling arrives, it means the winter is truly over. So in the last week of glorious sunshine I have washed all my winter woollies, overhauled and tidied my loft studio (its warm enough to go up there again) and started juicing and eating foraged greens from my garden. My world is cleansed inside and out. Very pleasing.

Sussex Apples

A weekend apple fair in Sussex, a celebration of history, locale and abundance. Shown above, top left first, Mareda, Wadhurst Pippin, Mannington’s Pearmain, Sussex Mother, Edmund Jupp and Bossom. Also featured on the day [but not pictured] were Alfriston, Duck’s Bill, Golden Pippin, Knobbly Russet, Crawley Reinette and Tinsley Quince. My grandfather was an apple man, such a sight would have made him glad.


There is quite a focus on food and growing in our house at the moment. I have finished teaching for the moment and I have turned my attention to all things edible. My first undertaking of the season was to make my own elderflower cordial. Elderflower cordial is one of my favourite things and the flowers themselves are so beautiful. I collected the flowers from trees in my local park, steeped them with sugar, water and lemon for a few days and produced the most delightfully perfumed cordial. As always, homemade tastes much much better than shop bought; we are loving the brew.




Sometimes there is no denying the pleasure of an excellent cup of tea. I took myself on an outing this week to the local Victorian tea room and was provided with the most perfect cup of Japanese Green Sencha. It was delicate and light, with a slight floral overtone and beautifully served in green porcelain. It was such a treat.


After yesterday’s dusting, today we are blessed with winter sunshine, two in the afternoon and the snow is just starting to melt. We have our little Chappie happily burning and our home feels cosy. I made cinnamon porridge for breakfast and I am now drinking green tea. Could ‘wintery-ness’ be any lovelier?


What a perfect Sunday it has been, friends came for lunch, we roasted vegetables, stuffed pumpkins, and slow cooked leeks with cream and seeded mustard. For dessert I baked yet another upside-down cake with pears from our tree. Delightful. After lunch there was sewing and a garden tour in the autumn sunshine. I am looking forward to another busy week of lecturing.


Autumn is in the air, wind, rain and cooling temperatures. Last night saw me snuggled on the sofa under a quilt, thinking about apple crumble. Very telling. The beans and cucumbers have begun to turn yellow, the holly is growing berries and our lovely pumpkin has ripened beautifully. I have just planted out new spring onions and leeks in an attempt to keep the garden productive, but there is no doubt the change is upon us.