I N   W H I C H   T H E   D O G S   D O N ‘ T   M I N D   T H E   R A I N   O N E   B I T .

‘Let’s take the dogs for a nice walk tomorrow morning’, I’d said to Mum, on Monday afternoon. ‘The weather’s been so nice today, and it’ll be beautiful up at the lake!’

Ha. Tuesday morning dawned grey and overcast, and the sky grew more and more ominous as the hours wore on.

By the time we had both dogs packed up in the back of the car (which lasted all of about three seconds, as Miss Elsie likes to squeeze between the seats and ‘sneak’ onto the lap of whoever’s riding in the front passenger seat), our wellies stowed in the boot, and were on our way up to the lake, the heavens had opened and the first drops of rain were falling on my windscreen.

The rainstorm was in full swing as we reached the lake, but, as any fellow dog owner will know, the needs of our favourite four-pawed companions came before our own, and so out the car and down towards the water we trudged.

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Not, I’m glad to say, without a quick pitstop at the cafe for an egg roll and a flat white a-piece.

A hot egg roll, it turns out, is exactly what’s needed to act as fortification ahead of a walk in pouring rain and driving winds. Teddy admired it with longing eyes, but didn’t get so much as a scrap…

It’s pretty hard to resist a face like this though!…

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Warmed and full-bellied, the four of us made our way out from the cover of the seating area and down towards the path around the lake.

It was Elsie’s first visit to the big lake, and I didn’t expect her to be too keen on the water itself as she’s always been to nervous to do more than dip her toes in the edge of the ponds near where we live.

She decided though, despite this being one of the coldest and wettest dog walks we’d ever been on, that it was time to live up to the reputation all springer spaniels have as being completely obsessed with water, and went bounding off down into the shallows and just started swimming right away!

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It took Teddy a fair few attempts to pluck up the courage to actually start swimming instead of just paddling when he was Elsie’s age, but Elsie went in all guns blazing. It was completely adorable, especially given she’s definitely much more timid than Ted on the whole in most other things!

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We didn’t make it anywhere near to doing the full four and a half mile circuit of the lake, since Elsie’s legs aren’t up to it yet.

And to be honest, it was a blessed relief to need to keep our walk fairly short, since by the time we got back to the car all four of us were pretty chilly and soaked to the skin.


I sometimes hear stories of dogs who take one look at the rain and refuse to be walked until the bad weather clears up. Do they really exist, or is that just an urban legend?


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T H E   O U T – O F – D O O R S   B L A N K E T . . .

Well hello, and happy Tuesday! Are you happy and well? I hope you’re happy and well. <3

~ ~ ~

I don’t know how it feels to you, but for me it seems as though November’s flying past at a rate of knots.

I blinked once and the leaves were just beginning to turn a hundred shades of copper, again and those leaves were swirling through the air, then blinked a third time to find myself walking through crunching piles of orange and rust.


We seem to be sliding into winter so rapidly that I’m not sure I’m ready for it.

I’m yet to give Christmas even a second thought, and keep on forgetting that sun at this time of year might shine brightly but packs little punch, and so have been leaving the house wearing far too few layers.

The season’s been kind to us though, so far.

I’m just loving these beautifully bright, sunny days, and that the nights drawing in earlier and earlier makes lighting spice-scented candles by four in the afternoon more than acceptable.

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I’m loving too getting to dig out my winter wardrobe, and scouring Pinterest for seasonal dressing inspiration.

I mean, summer’s great and all, but once you’ve seen worn one floaty dresses you’ve kind of worn them all, and for me there’s nothing better than getting to bundle up in cosy layers ready to head out into the cold.

Speaking of which, this tartan cape is the newest addition to my wardrobe, and I couldn’t love it more. I’m as excited to snuggle up in it on the sofa whilst drinking cocoa as I am keen to wear it out on frosty dog walks.

It feels a little more bold and daring than most of the rest of my wardrobe, and yet at the same time it’s essentially a blanket you can wear outside of the house which makes it perhaps the least bold and daring clothing item of all! And the wool itself is so soft and feels so very expensive, which makes the price (<£100!) a happy surprise!

Pretty perfect as a Christmas treat, don’t you think?

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 Cape || Trousers || Jumper || Boots


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S U R P R I S E   S L O E S .

For easily a good four or so years now, Jason and I have been desperate to make some sloe gin. The whole time we’ve lived in together, in fact!

There’s something about the idea of infusing your own alcohol at home with hedgerow bounty that’s always appealed to me, not to mention the fact that, aside from mulled wine, it’s our favourite alcoholic drink during the winter months.

Where to find sloes was always the problem we had…or so we thought.

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What I realised this weekend, however, was that there’s a sloe berry bush so close to our house, we can actually see it from our front bedroom windows.

I spotted it early on Sunday morning whilst out on the green with Teddy and my friend Jo (who’d stayed at ours the night before, following the little Halloween and RWC final get together Jason and I hosted) and after double checking that my eyes were not deceiving me, ran back to the house and proclaimed to Jason that sloe gin making was to happen that very afternoon!

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We picked them later that same day, in the middle of some of the thickest fog we’ve ever seen.

It had settled low over the pond an hour or so before sunset, and clung to cobwebs and my hair alike. In fact, I’m writing this a full 24 hours later and the fog’s yet to lift.

I think it’s just magic and so very beautiful, don’t you?

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We gathered some 800 grams of berries, burst the skin of each one in turn with a thin skewer and shook them up with about half their weight in caster sugar, before pouring in around a litre and a half of gin.

The gin is actually some that we had leftover from the wedding, and call me sentimental, but I like to think that the timing of using finally noticing the sloe berries that’ve been on our doorstep all this time, ready for us to make up a batch of ‘wedding sloe gin’ is too perfect for words.

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In other news, today is now Tuesday and I’m off to spend a couple of days in London (the very antithesis of this weekend and its quiet countryside activities!).

I’ll be Snapchatting my way through a few press previews, so do add me (I’m ‘ciderwithrosieb’!) if you’d like to follow along!


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S L O W   D O W N .

My alarm went off at 8.30 on Saturday morning, and I drove to Heathrow feeling more than a little bleary-eyed after having accidentally (but happily!) spent every evening since Jason went away to the Highlands on Wednesday catching up with friends over dinners and drinks.

We decided that our weekend needed to make up for having spent most of the week apart, but between the Saturday catnaps, the tidying and organising that always comes after a trip away, and the errands we each had to run, it felt as though we barely saw each other for the first half of our weekend.

And so, it fell to Sunday to make up for lost time…


We started with coffee, freshly ground and served with warm, frothy milk. I’ve found recently that oat milk makes the best foam- I’ve even managed to nail one of those fancy latte art ‘hearts’ once or twice, which is absurdly happy-making!

The winter sunlight streams in though the kitchen window first thing in the morning, and makes the pond outside look like a sheet of glass.

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Next came breakfast, both hearty and healthy all at once.

We’re in love with green smoothies at the moment (usually frozen mango and pineapple, then a ripe banana, a handful of kale, and splash of coconut water), and, of course, bowls of nourishing oats topped off with raspberry jam.

It took me years to fall in love with porridge, but now I wouldn’t be without it. There’s nothing like waking up to dew-tipped grass, and having your breath curl like smoke on the air as you stand watching the dog stretch his legs outside, in the knowledge that a pan full of oats is thickening on the hob whilst you wait.

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With bellies full and coats and scarves piled on, what next to do but head outside?

We picked up my sister on our way over to the woods not far from where my Mum lives, and spent an hour tramping up and down the hills and through the bracken with Teddy dancing along in front of us. All that was missing was some hot chocolate

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S O U P   +   B R E A D .

Lunch came in the form of ribollita soup, with my current favourite snack served alongside it- sourdough rye toast with hummus and homemade tapenade! The combination of the creamy hummus and rich, salty tapenade is just heaven. I’ve gone through a whole jar of olives in three days…


Our final stop of the day was at the lake, with family. We headed up about an hour or so before sunset, so that I could shoot some maternity photos for my sister-and-brother in law, who are expecting their first baby in January. <3

Oh, and I should explain that this shoot is why I’ve been pinning lots of maternity and baby photos on Pinterest lately- for inspiration! I’ve had a few questions about whether I’ve been hinting at something recently, and I can promise you that that’s not the case!

We caught the most beautiful light, and finished the shoot down by the waters’ edge just as the sun dipped over the treeline. The results were some of my favourite photos I’ve taken in a long time.

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Tell me, how was your weekend?

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