Thursday, 18 August 2011

It's been a while.................

Near Dale, Pembrokeshire

since I posted!

Stackpole, Pembrokeshire

Hello my friends, I hope you are all well and rested and enjoying your summer (what summer?) holidays!

Its good to be back!

Bosherston Lily Ponds at Stackpole

Apologies to all my regular friends and new visitors who have popped over to visit over the last few weeks and found only a stale three week old post!

Bosherston Lily ponds

I haven't posted for a bit as we were away on holiday last week, and what with getting ready for it the week before on top of the usual "stuff", and unpacking this week when we got back.............the time has just gone and I cannot believe its three weeks since I last posted!!!

Logan on the beach near Dale

We have had a lovely relaxing week in Pembrokeshire with plenty of fresh air and excercise, heading for the various coasts every day (south, west and north Pembrokeshire coasts all easily accesible)

OK folks, I should warn you at this point that there will be quite a few holiday snaps coming up - to avoid these, fast forward to near the end for the winner of the Giveaway, and a recipe for Chocochini Cake ( aka chocolate courgette cake!) - now aren't I a kind and thoughtful person to spare you ???!!!!

Beach near Dale - you can just see me in the distance beachcombing

we pottered on virtually deserted beaches

Herbrandston Beach, accessed from the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, just before the heavens opened and we got drenched to the skin!

walked along the cliff tops and headlands,

View of Lydstep Haven from Lydstep cliff top

walked along stretches of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, 

Pembrokeshire Coastal Path near Skrinkle

Sailing at Dale

and strolled around towns and villages.

 Pembroke castle
 Overlooking the beach at West Angle bay

 Harbour at lower Fishguard

 Freshwater West beach - this was a favourite with surfers and body boarders

West Angle bay

 View of Freshwater West with the enormous sand dunes behind

Some days it did get a little warmer than this, but not many!

Bella and Logan on the lily pond walk

view from Herbrandston beach, Pembrokeshire

It is like autumn here today.

Cold, grey and windy, although here in Kent we have been spared the rain so far.

The Lily Ponds again! After a mile and half over narrow bridges and alongside the ponds you get to Broad Haven beach. Walking back the other side is only 3/4 mile and no bridges. All part of Stackpole National trust land.

The weather is often disappointing by the time you get to the "proper" holidays in late July and August, when the children are free of lessons, and with high expectations for some sunny weeks ahead.

All too often even the warmer days are hazy and cloudy, and the evenings are shorter as the nights draw in.

At the end of Bosherston Lily Ponds you find Broad Haven beach (the sea is in the background, the beach proper you cannot see) - there's Bella and Logan by the water in the foreground

I much prefer those unexpected hot days earlier in the year in May and June, with hot mornings, unbelievably azure blue skies for most of the day, and long, warm, balmy evenings.

Anyhow, here we are in late August.

And I have a delayed announcement of the winner of the Giveaway which ended a few days before we went on holiday.

After scattering the names on the floor and scooping them up in a playful manner to entice Logan to pick one..........

He quickly obliged and ran off downstairs with one, and just before he chewed it I managed to grab it!

blurry action shot of Logan with winning entry!

And the winner is.......................

Me and Tilly too!

Congratulations Lesley!

There is another journal cover to choose from now, made from a lovely red vintage french provencal fabric (which actually matches the bookmark included in the giveaway) lined with red gingham, with an integral East of India ribbon bookmark.

So have a look at the pics below Lesley, then please email me with your address and let me know your preferred option.

journal cover

I've just started to gather together the giveaway goodies, and there will be a few little extras in there for Lesley.

The vegetable garden is being very productive at the moment with loads of climbing french beans and dwarf french beans, and finally the runner beans - yay!!

Still lots of courgettes too - I cut 4 littlies this morning, and a big old boy who had got missed.

We decided to make the big guy into a chocolate courgette cake this morning, although my daughter has given it a much more fun name - Chocochini Cake!

This is because we decided the word "zucchini" was more appetising and appealing than "courgette", and indeed they are grown from the Italian Zucchini seed I picked up from our local nursery man who is Italian, so it is quite right and proper that we call it this.

As a treat for your bearing with me, I shall share the recipe for Chocochini cake!

Bella found the recipe online at

Best Chocolate Courgette Cake (proper title)
Chocochini Cake (our title)

250g plain flour
375g caster sugar
65g cocoa powder
2 tsps bicarb of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
4 eggs
350ml vegetable oil (we only used 100ml extra virgin olive oil as mixture was already quite sloppy)
340g grated courgette (remove some of the water using kitchen paper)
90g chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 180c.
Grease and flour (we baselined) 20cm x 30cm tin (we used 20 x 20).
In a large bowl stir together dry ingredients (we sieved the flour and cocoa), then add the eggs, courgettes and oil mixing well. Stir in the nuts.
Bake for 50 to 60 mins in pre-heated oven or until cooked.
Either top with sieved icing sugar or your favourite icing.


There is no way you would know there is courgette in this cake.

The cake is deliciously moist and dense, and I do recommend trying this recipe if you have a glut of courgettes, or its worth buying some specially to make it.


  1. welcome back !!!! you have been missed my friend

    LOVED seeing little logan !!!!
    great pictures

    give logan a hug from teddy and me

    we will be back soon
    kary and teddy

  2. Hi Gill,

    Welcome back! Glad to see you had a lovely holiday. If your other photo's of Pembrokeshire will be as good as today's I don't mind seeing some more at all!! Is that your daughter on the photo? She looks beautiful.

    Happy evening,

    Madelief x

  3. Hello Gill:
    All of these pictures bring back so many happy memories of time spent in Pembrokeshire many years ago. What is so appealing is the fact that, as you point out, so much of the coastline, with its lovely beaches and coves, remains completely unspoilt. As for the lily ponds, they are, of course, amazing, but we were never there to see them in flower. Welcome back!!

  4. Hi Gill, it looks like you had a fabulous holiday, your cake looks and sounds fantastic! Congratulations to Lesley for winning your lovely giveaway. I'm having a giveaway on my blog at the moment if you fancied dropping over. Em x

  5. Welcome back :o)

    What a fantastic post! Thankyou so much for sharing. I do love to see other parts of the country, just in case I never get there myself ;o)

    I love that photo of Logan (near the top). He is such a sweetie.

    Mmmm that chocochini cake looks divine, and maybe one I have to try out ;o)

    Congratulations to Me & Tilly Too, winning your lovely giveaway.

    We've had oodles and oodles of rain here in East Dorset today, honestly what with the thunder and lightening, i thought it was going to turn into a monsoon!

    Have a great weekend Gill, and take care,
    Donna xx

  6. We have missed you! Glad you are back. What an absolutely beautiful part of the world you vacationed in! (I will have to go look up Pembrokeshire on the map.) Congrats to Lesley on winning your giveaway! The chocolate zucchini cake looks so moist and thick. I love that sort of cake. I have been looking for something to make and take to the new neighbors that just moved in down the block... and this may be it!

  7. Lovely posting. Seeing those long sandy beaches makes me hanker after the ones in North Wales which are very similar and crowd free! Enjoy the rest of Summer - it's bucketing down here today!

  8. Hi again! It looks like you had a lovely holiday. The lily pond is gorgeous and it's difficult to imagine it's almost by the beach.
    Thanks for posting the choc cake recipe. It looks great and I must remember it when I have zucchini in the garden. It's starting to feel like the end of winter here so I'll get into the garden :)

  9. Thank you, thank you, thank you, how fantastic, I'm so excited. What a wonderful giveaway to win, thank you Gill and to Logan for pulling my name out. That's made my day and night, seeing as it's nearly 11pm. I love the new red journal but I'd really like the blue flowery journal please Gill. Thank you again, will send you an email tomorrow. Lesley x

  10. Welcome back Gill!
    There was no way I was skipping your photographs, what absolutely stunning scenery, it looks so beautiful!
    Thanks for sharing your recipe, isn't funny how there's always one courgette you seem to miss until it's the size of a marrow. The same thing happpened to me last week! :)
    Vivienne x

  11. Hi Gilly, Pembrokeshire looks like a wonderful and relaxing seaside community! I love all the beach photos! Love seeing your Bella, she's lovely, & Logan romping on the beach! Looks like a fun time was had by all!

    Welcome back to blog word! Sorry you missed my 1st blogversary give-away!

  12. Welcome back! Fabulous photos - what a summery delight. Lovely to look at especially as we are having a freezing old time here at the moment. We actually had snow here this week which is totally unheard of. Brrrr. Have a fab weekend. PS: I can't wait to have a go at the cake recipe. I figure you can definitely eat lots of it if it contains vegies!!

  13. No fast forwarding from me...loved those beautiful photos. Glad you had a lovely break.
    I have a recipe for courgette cake but it doesn't look half as good as yours, I'm going to be trying that Chocochini cake!
    jooles x

  14. It is interesting to see bits of Pembrokeshire that are new to me (apart from Fishguard Harbour). I usually stay with friends on the end of Mynydd Preseli, above Llanychaer, so can see the ferries going in and out of Gwdig

  15. Great seeing your pics today,as we've spent a lovely holiday in the same area,and did all those walks and beaches too! Sorry the weather wasn't better for you.
    We can't leave a piece of paper on the table,Bella grabs it and runs off with it...the same with tissues and napkins too! :0)

  16. Congrats to Lesly on the win!
    Love the holiday photos, completely stunning scenery and so deserted!
    GLad you all enjoyed your time away.
    Thnaks for the cake recipe too. Fab new name
    Lisa x

  17. Welcome back Gill! Your photos show such a peaceful unspoilt place - lovely beaches and coves and the lily ponds are amazing. And the cake recipe looks delicious - definitely one I will try! Congratulations to Lesley on winning your fab journal giveaway!
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Helen x

  18. Glad to have you holiday photos were amazing!!!
    congrats to the winner and your cake looks heavenly and I like your name better!

  19. Fabulous photos, it looks like you enjoyed a wonderful holiday. It's a shame that the weather doesn't always cooperate, we had a mixture of sun and rain on our fortnight away. Congratulations to Lesley on winning your super giveaway, what a fantastic prize. I think Bella has come up with the perfect name for the cake, Chocochini suits it perfectly.

  20. What wonderful scenery, those lily pads look so pretty. You were lucky to have deserted beaches, even in the winter the Cornish beaches are busy!
    Our courgettes have been rubbish, rotting from the flower end before they have fully grown, so I'll have to buy some to make the yummy cake.
    Thanks for entering my giveaway, I have been quite overwhelmed by the response.
    Becky x

  21. So you were on holiday....nice and fresh it seemed....not like here in Italy ...really too hot 37°... I also have a recipe tucked away for chocolate courgette muffins....I shall have to try it. ciao and nice to have you back. ....Alison

  22. Hi Gill, loved the Pembrokeshire photos! We have stayed round there for family holidays lots of times, and I love it. Looks like Logan had a happy time too!
    Jane xx

  23. Warm welcome back, Gill, your pictures show a great time. looks like you have spend a wonderful holiday!
    Love for a happy Sunday xxx

  24. I do like the lily pond and all the summer views!


Thanks for visiting and for taking the time to leave a comment - I love to read them!
Gill x