In search of elderflower near Cheriton, Hampshire

Every year around this time, Tiff and I make a few batches of elderflower cordial to drink over the summer.

Elderflower seemingly pops up everywhere in late May and early June. Yet we always struggle to find any in a good spot – on a public right of way, easily accessible (not too high up!) and away from traffic fumes.

One reason for this is that the elder tree is inconspicuous for most of the year – only when it’s in blossom or in fruit is it easy to find.… Read more

A sunny evening stroll around Shaftesbury, Dorset

On Sunday evening, we stopped off for a short while in Shaftesbury on the Dorset/Wiltshire border to take Tilly for a little walk.

We parked in the town’s main car park as the day’s last tourists were jumping on their chartered coaches to head home. Then we made our way through the town, which was bathed in long shadows caused by the rapidly decending sun.… Read more

The Village Freehouse pub, Salisbury

Last Saturday, I met up with some friends for a day out (aka pub crawl) in Salisbury.

Jamie and I arrived at the train station first. Rather than wait for everyone else there, we decided to head for our first pub.

We had a little bit of time to kill because it wasn’t quite opening time. Instead of heading into the city centre we went looking for the Village Freehouse pub, which is in the opposite direction.… Read more

Hampshire ales at the Southampton Beer Festival 2015

Last night, Smudger and I made a relatively impromtu visit to the Southampton Beer Festival at the Guildhall (or “O2 Guildhall Southampton” to give it its proper name).

Last year, we went to the Saturday daytime session and ended up doing a pub crawl back to Bitterne Triangle where we finished the day in style in the curry house. This time, with a christening to go to on Sunday, I persuaded Smudge that we should do the Friday night session.… Read more

Hiring a beach hut in Charmouth, Dorset

My mum decided that she didn’t want a big party for her 60th birthday. So we decided to hire a beach hut in Charmouth in east Dorset for the day on the Whitsun bank holiday Monday.

Tiff and I had been to the Common People festival in Southampton on the Saturday, so we decided to get up relatively early to drive down to Charmouth on Monday morning, rather than stay at my parent’s house in Sherborne and go from there.… Read more