You know those amazing lifestyle blogs where the author lives in the countryside, makes creative, wholesome food and is artsy and crafty to boot? My mother-in-law could write one of those blogs. Maureen and Brian have the whole ‘Good Life’ thing going on and it’s been wonderful staying with them and seeing them bustling about making, baking, tending, knitting, digging and organising things.
We’ve always had fantastic food whenever we’ve been over for dinner, but the stuff that’s coming out of that kitchen is properly award winning. And all healthy, natural stuff too. The first day we arrived she was cooking falafels. Falafels! From scratch! Not only that but she made some flat breads to go with them. it would never occur to me to make those things. I can barely be bothered to make the bed in the morning, let alone tricky-looking Middle Eastern food.
At breakfast the next day she produced her own homemade marmalade from the cupboard, to go with the homemade toasted bread. It was delicious – just the right amount of bitter tanginess and sweet orange. I could go on for hours about all the soups, fishcakes, flapjacks, fish pies, lemon tarts, hummus and baba ganoush that we’ve been treated to in the short time we’ve been here, but who needs all that drool on their keyboard? Not me.
And as if that wasn’t enough, she’s a master at quilting and stitching – anything arty, in fact. There are beautiful quilts, cushion covers and photography dotted all over the house. And then there’s Brian, who keeps a small number of chickens, pigs and the occasional goose in a field across the road. His sausages are legendary amongst the lucky friends and family that get to taste them. And the livestock are treated with such care that the guys at the abattoir once joked that they were surprised their transport didn’t have sofas and a TV in the back!
There’s more besides – an allotment of veggies, their involvement in village life, the walking group, the beautiful garden and a thirst for world travel. A lot of people aspire to this lifestyle. I’ll have to keep badgering Maureen to start that blog.