Rome

We decided to book a trip to Rome at short notice, as Lucy’s job mean no holiday for a while during the summer. We spent three nights away during the week, in the most beautiful rooftop apartment in the historic centre of the city.

Neither of us had ever been to Rome, and we were blown away by its beauty and atmosphere. You can literally feel the history as you walk though the tight-knit streets.

We went on a brilliant bike tour, which i think is probably the best way to see a city. It holds the perfect middle ground between travelling too fast to really notice anything, and too slow to get around properly.

It really is unbelievable how old much of the architecture of Rome is. As an example:

Pantheon: Built by Hadrian himself in 117 AD
Castel Sant’Angelo (the fortress): Completed 139 AD, converted to the fortress you see today in 400 AD.
Colosseum: 80 AD

You get the idea. The place is old!

The city felt totally unthreatening, even at night, and most of our time here was spent wandering the backstreets finding beautiful little restaurants and cafes. Bars general serve the good stuff, such as Leffe Brune, and we he’d one of two very nice cocktails, including Aperol Spritz’s of course!

The Shepherd’s Hut

The ‘tiny house movement‘ is something I’ve been interested in recently, and it’s about completely rethinking the traditional paradigm that surrounds home owning.  Call me a hippie for thinking it’s a great idea but I hear you can build a seriously luxurious tiny home for less than £40,000.

Last weekend Lucy was scouring Airbnb for a nice place for us to spend the weekend, and managed to find The Shepherd’s Hut at Rushlake Green in East Sussex, which happens to qualify as a tiny house! Our hosts, Ian and Isabel, were ridiculously accommodating and made us feel extremely welcome.  I can only attempt to explain how beautiful this place was. The garden was surrounded by meadows, and had it’s own private forest with a stream running right through the middle of it. The crystal water was home to black trout trying to swim up-stream. We discovered grass snakes rustling in the leaves left over from autumn. There were birds singing from all directions. Spring growth and wild flowers completely brought the place to life. It has to be seen to be appreciated.

One of the highlights was stumbling across a perfectly undisturbed bluebell forest on our long walk back from a local pub lunch. I don’t think I’ve seen a more perfect arrangement of bluebells in my life. Unfortunately the camera I borrowed had run out of battery by the time we had found the place.

 

Salty Peppers, BBQ vibes!

So simple and so good! Great as a starter or healthy snack. Credit to my sister for showing me this. The best kind of peppers for this recipe are the small, long type, as you can hold them by the stalk and munch away.

Ingredients

  • Two packs of small green peppers, no chopping required (If you can only get bell peppers, just snap the seed pods out and chop into big chunks before cooking).
  • Good oil for frying e.g. coconut or nut oil
  • Salt to taste

Method

  • Pan on maximum heat – get it really hot!
  • Add the oil and let it heat through for a minute
  • Chuck in your peppers and try to resist turning them! For the best “BBQ grill” effect, you almost want the skin to burn.
  • Once they’re nice and charred, add salt to taste.
  • Serve in a big bowl and enjoy.

Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup

I’ve decided to start recording when things go well and posting them as recipes to be used again. So the first recipe for my blog is this sweet potato soup. Great with the fresh turmeric but not essential!

Souper good!

Ingredients

1 onion
1 bulb garlic
1 thumb sized knob ginger
1 small piece fresh turmeric (size of a garlic clove)
1 red pepper
2 sweet potatoe
1 veggie stock cube
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 dash of hot pepper sauce

Method

  • Put a soup pan on a low/medium heat with some oil in it.
  • Remove the skin from the ginger, garlic, onion and turmeric and blend in a food processor until a chunky paste is formed.
  • Empty contents into pan to cook through slowly. (Keep an eye on the heat, you don’t want it to burn)
  • Stick the kettle on.
  • Chop the red pepper and sweet potatoes into fairly small pieces and add to the pan. Don’t peel the potatoes.
  • Add your boiling water from the kettle to fully submerge the potatoes and chuck in your stock cube.
  • Give a thorough stir, cover your pan and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Check potatoes are soft before adding the peanut butter and hot pepper sauce.
  • Blend and serve!

 

Road Trippin’

Once the season had finished in Morzine, a couple of the staff vans had to be taken back to the UK to be serviced, and the Treeline team were nice enough to let us make a road trip of it!

We gave ourselves three days to get back and stayed in a beautiful Air B&B the first night. It was an old french house in a rural village, and it happened to be my birthday that day, so we had the best little dinner and I even got cake, which I’m sure I ate too much of.

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For the second night we stayed at Alice’s mums beautiful french house, which you can stay in for a chilled break with wine and a warm fire. We had a great walk in the surrounding forests and at a beautiful lake. I got a second birthday cake and we sat round the fire with more wine and fun.

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I wish the trip could have been longer, but it was such a good way to end our season.

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South America

Looking back at this trip, I realise how much we saw. Columbia provided so many unique settings and experiences. I can only thank the twins for letting me tag along as designated health and safety officer.

Interestingly, we have no pictures of our trip into the columbian Sierra Nevada to the Lost City, due to camera and memory card misplacements/theft. But I actually quite like the fact that the lost city of the Wiwa people is still lost as far as our images are concerned.

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