Posts tagged Something for the Diary

September is all about... harvests, back to school, the return of porridge for breakfast, collecting pine cones, apples with everything, leaves turning colour, blackberries and crisp early mornings.

Something to eat: I've posted a recipe for rhubarb pudding before, but why not try a seasonal variation and bake a blackberry and apple pudding? Add a teaspoon of cinnamon and you will taste the new season with every spoonful.

Something to visit: Make the most of the British countryside and explore somewhere new for free from the 11th to the 14th of September. Heritage Open Days offer the chance to visit manor houses, churches, museums and more all over the country. If you're in Lincolnshire try the National Trust's Belton House or the medieval Gainsborough Old Hall.

Something to make: Pompoms! Make as part of a new world record attempt at The Handmade Fair taking place at Hampton Court Palace. You could also try your hand at food decoration, paper craft, yarning and upcycling. If you can't make it (like me), why not try an autumn wreath to hang on your front door instead? Check back later in the month for a tutorial.

Something to celebrate: The Autumn Equinox. Rejoice in the knowledge that we've made it through three-quarters of the year by visiting Stonehenge on the 22nd/23rd to see the sunrise above the stones. At this moment the day and night are equal in length and winter nights lie ahead bringing with them a loss of the early autumn heat that lingered as a memory of summer. If you can't make it to Wiltshire, follow tradition by drinking dandelion and burdock to cleanse the blood or have a second harvest celebration as the last of the crops are stored away.

Something to take part in: If you're no queen of preserves (that title goes to Pam Corbin), then learn how to make the most of the harvest month and take a course. The clever folk at River Cottage have come up with an online preserving course for those of us too busy to travel around, and at £20 it's much more affordable than a full day course. Clean your cupboards and they'll soon be full of jams, jellies and chutneys.

Something a bit different: Pack a picnic and a jumper and blow away the cobwebs with a visit to the beach. Who says that sea and sand have to remain summer's domain? If you go between the 19th and 22nd of the month then you could also do your bit for the environment by taking part in the Great British Beach Clean; find out more here.


April is all about... new life and fresh beginnings, eggs (both chocolate and chicken), alfresco breakfasts, morning dew, raindrops and listening to the dawn chorus.

Something to eat: Easter tends to call for a roast dinner, so what better than a leg of lamb with baby potatoes and garlic crème fraîche, followed by profiteroles and lemon curd ice cream. Head over here for the recipes.

Something to visit: A whole host of National Trust properties that are offering Easter egg trails alongside Cadbury this month. This website offers you the chance to search for events in your area, and with over 300 there's bound to be something going on near you!

Something to make: A wreath for Spring. Be inspired by these ideas, or have a look at my Autumn wreath tutorial to guide you through the basics. Bringing nature into the home is something that I am really trying to do more of this year, and wreaths are a great way to mark the changing of the seasons.

Something to celebrate: Shakespeare would have been 451 years old this month. Why not read a play or sonnet in his memory? Or if you're in the area, join in the birthday celebrations in Stratford-Upon-Avon that include a parade featuring a 3 metre wide horse drawn birthday cake, workshops, readings and street theatre.

Something a bit different: Every been to an event based entirely on fire? Inspired by a traditional Gaelic celebration, Beltane Fire Festival in Edinburgh takes place on the final day of the month and sparks the beginnings of summer with a procession led by the Green Man and the May Queen, which is followed by lighting an enormous bonfire. Head over here for more information.


March is all about… buds unfurling, dancing daffodils, hanging washing out on a bright and sunny afternoon, spring cleaning and lighter evenings.

Something to eat: For those of you trying to stick with your healthy eating resolutions made in January, or if you simply want a bit more energy to wake you from those afternoon slumps, try these almond and chia energy balls from Ella.

Something to visit: If you're in or around Lincolnshire on the 29th of March head to Countryside Lincs, a family day out with local producers, crafters, farmers and businesses all in one place. You can try your hand at sausage making, meet Lincoln Longwool sheep or be entertained by falconry demonstrations. Tickets are on sale now here, or you can purchase them on the gate on the day.

Something to make: Your own tea! We consume so many cups of the stuff every day, why not try your own herbal variety? For a huge list of links to recipes head over here, or if you want something very simple try this ginger tea recipe here.

Something to celebrate: The Spring equinox falls this year on March 20th, and is widely heralded as a time of rebirth. Why not revisit your resolutions and think about what you want to achieve as the spring and summer months arrive? I'll be planning out the garden and veg patch and can't wait to get started planting seeds in our polytunnel.

Something a bit different: Learn the essentials of bread making and you'll be set for life. There are so many courses available, but if you're in Lincolnshire try Manor House Stables where you'll learn how to make loaves and rolls, as well as pizza that you'll eat for lunch!


February is all about… the end of winter, vast numbers of pancakes, the start of lent and being thankful for love.

Something to eat: Pancakes! Every time my mum asked me what I wanted to eat as a child I would reply pancakes. They were for special occasions only, and I remember savouring every last bite and always wanting just one more. Today I eat them as I have always done with a sprinkling of sugar and far too much lemon juice. Want a fool-proof recipe? You can never go wrong with Delia.

Something to visit: For those with children or those who work in education, February means half-term. Check out fun activities or places to visit in your area with the National Trust - perfect for making the most of the great outdoors as spring unfurls.

Something to make: DIY chalkboard mugs are the perfect way to show a loved one you care, or to have a little fun with during the office tea break. Check out this easy tutorial here.

Something to celebrate: Valentine's Day. Love it or loathe it, celebrate it or boycott it, it's definitely here to stay, and it explodes onto our radar in the middle of this month. Dan and I don't usually go out for dinner or have a traditional Valentine's date as such, but we do like to try and spend it together, appreciating each other's company and taking a step back to be thankful for what we have.

Something a bit different: Start Valentine's Day as you mean to go on and give alphabet dating a try. Simply plan a date based on each letter of the alphabet - this could be bi-weekly, monthly, or however often you choose.


January is all about... fresh starts, cold mornings, making marmalade, emerging life and feeling grateful for the new year.

Something to eat: Whether you make your own marmalade or not, adding it to a sticky, greedy pudding is the perfect thing for a cold Sunday afternoon after a long wintry walk. Try this recipe.

Something to visit: A farmers' market. Kick start those healthy eating resolutions and buy fresh and local.

Something to make: Plans for the garden or veg patch. Or if you've neither of these, plans for the year in general. January is a great time to get organised for the year ahead; I'll be buying my seeds from here and planning out what produce to grow.

Something to celebrate: Burns Night.  The annual celebration of the Scottish poet takes place on Sunday 25th January; it's a time to join together after the revelry of Christmas and toast good health with a good measure of Scottish whisky. Bagpipes and other traditional tunes accompany a Scottish feast which of course includes haggis. Find out more here.

Something a bit different: Start a photo diary. Last year my resolution was to take more photographs and I certainly achieved that. Why not go one step further and take a photograph every day?


December is all about… carolling by candlelight, spending time with loved ones, the evocative smell of a Norway spruce, turkey and roast potato sandwiches and a long Boxing Day walk.

Something to eat: Other than the quintessential Christmas dinner, December is the month to try out a clementine cake or add cranberries to mincemeat. If you're looking for different ways to serve sprouts, try them wok-fried with ginger, in a soup with chestnuts and chorizo, or creamed with bacon. Delicious.

Something to visit: Visiting a National Trust property is magical whatever time of year you go, but Christmas seems to hold something special. Head over here to find out what's going on in your area - you can even visit Father Christmas at some properties!

Something to make: Christmas cards. I've tried linocut snowflakes and black and white photos, but this year I'll be trying out something a bit different; I'll be using words to inspire my homemade Christmas cards.

Something to celebrate: Christmas! Time to laugh, smile and be thankful for the year gone by and those you love.

Something to take part in: Welcome back light into the world and celebrate the winter solstice on December 21st. The focus remains firmly focused on Christmas at this time of year, but noting and reflecting on the shortest day is also an opportunity to feast and revel in this turning point of the seasons, and the triumph of light over darkness once more.

Something a bit different: We've all heard of (and have probably sampled) something mulled at this time of the year, but have you ever tried wassail? Traditionally, the act of wassailing is to sing carols with neighbours and loved ones while sharing a drink, and there are many variants of the latter. My favourite is the spiced cider (recipe here), which wassailers would have prepared, then soaked pieces of bread or toast with it to bury by the roots of trees to assure a good harvest the following year.