Sunday, June 14, 2009

The A-Z's of a great weekend in Dorset

We just got back from a lovely weekend at Mel and Allan's in Dorset, where we enjoyed their beautiful garden, wonderful food cooked by Mel, and the pleasure of the company of the always-adorable Lucy, Ben and Theo. Since Mel is someone whom I've admired for her creativity, rather than just do a standard write-up, below are my A-Z highlights of the weekend:

The Aga, at which and in which Mel prepared several amazing meals...hanging out on the lawn with Beanie the rabbit...clucking chickens - 9 of them - and watching Blake get acquainted with something he's seen only in books...discussions about dogs, as Ben would like a border collie and Matt had one (named "Chico") for a day when he was younger...newly-laid eggs then churned into an amazing strawberry meringue...delightful fresh air...graceful, generous, and grown-up Lucy, who headed off to celebrate a friend's birthday on Sunday...Hot Cross Buns, the tune of which wafted often through the air while Ben practiced his trumpet...iced elderflower cordial to go with minted potato and green bean salad...a miniature John Deere tractor...possible disaster avoided when Lucy volunteered a soft toy kangaroo to replace Blake's Leo the lion which we'd left at home...Lemony Cricket, the seasonal ale that Matt and Allan had at the Crown, their local pub...mistake of the weekend: leaving Leo at home...no winning bottles, tombola, or raffle tickets at the Semley village fete...Oh When the Saints Go Marching In, another of the trumpet tunes to which we danced in the playroom...perfect Pimm's made by the 20-year old landlady at the Crown...taking a walk in beautiful quiet disturbed only by chattering birds and a babbling brook, allowing me to listen to a chattering and babbling Blake in his stroller...Allan hard at work at restoring a Laser sailboat...wonderful slow-roasted pork for Sunday lunch...sweet Theo being funny and cute all the time...when a city boy hits the country, there are bound to be a few "Uh-oh's", but Blake seemed to handle the perils of the country relatively well with only a slight graze to a knee...delicious Victoria sponge cake served up with tea at the fete...wickets falling during our afternoon game of lawn cricket (Ben kept score but I'm not sure who won)..."xtra cracklin' please" was Theo's mantra at lunch today (smart boy!)...brilliant yellow and orange flowers to garnish the fresh salad with lettuce from the garden...zero desire to leave on Sunday afternoon, but happy at having had a wonderful break.

As ever, pictures tell the story better, so here they are...
Shaftesbury

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