Category Archives: Armathwaite show 2015

Proof that size doesn’t always matter

It was the annual Armathwaite village show today. All exhibits had to be in the hall by 10:30am so we were up early; I had sticky toffee sauce to make for my sticky toffee tray bake (recipe to follow) we had sweet peas to cut, 3 french beans, 3 tomatoes, 3 beetroot, 3 cooking apples and ‘mystery seeds’ to harvest and Phil made a few  final touches to his painting of a village scene. Our other entries included an embroidery, a Christmas decoration, 3 eggs, an abstract painting and a natural world painting. Judging commenced at 11am and we were not allowed back in until 2pm. And the results ? ……..

'Mystery seed' which turned out to be Mooli. All our others bolted and went to seed as did everyone else's in the village. All except for this little chap. Small but perfectly formed....well almost

‘Mystery seed’ which turned out to be Mooli.

I’d planted the mystery seeds at weekly intervals starting in May, some in a pot and some in the raised bed. All our others bolted and went to seed as did everyone else’s in the village. All except for this fine little chap, small but perfectly formed ….. Well almost!

French Beans

French Beans

Sticky toffee tray bake

Sticky toffee tray bake

victorian style counted 'three things' cross stitch sampler

Victorian style counted ‘three things’ cross stitch sampler.

‘Three things there are that will never come back. The arrow set forth on its destined track; the appointed hour that could not wait; and the helpful word that was spoken too late’.

'A village scene' On Armathwaite Bridge. Us and the village.

‘A village scene’ On Armathwaite Bridge. Us and the village.

Phil: This painting had wanted to be brought into the world for some time. Having nothing new to display and making a bit of time, something has to give. I bought a canvas on Wednesday and started to sketch the elements to be incorporated into the design. The outline composition is based on a painting by Marc Chagall entitled ‘I and the village’. Vitebsk of Chagall’s work is substituted by our village of Armathwaite. My proposal of marriage took place on Armathwaite bridge (see ring finger). The church above us is where the wedding took place and the pub in which the reception took place across the bridge ‘The Fox and Pheasant ‘ are all represented. The summerhouse was just a dream at the time and we only had Rigsby (our Border Terrier). The painting spans a longer timeframe and includes Shackleton who can be seen gripping Rigs by the throat (only playing). Glad the judge liked it, it’s just down to personal preferences.


She had apparently been troubled by the extra finger but had been assured that it must have been deliberate (see Chagall’s ‘self portrait with seven fingers’). To do something with seven fingers is a Yiddish folk expression ‘mit alle zibn finger’, which means doing something to your best ability.

John Foster cup for 'mystery seed' and Best in Show Trophy for embroidery.

John Foster cup and medal  for ‘mystery seed’ and Best in Show Trophy and medal for embroidery.


Seeds of change

What's growing in 2015

What’s growing in 2015

We have had poor results from previous efforts in the raised beds, mostly due to chicken damage. We’ve cracked that issue as the silkies can’t fly. Hopefully these seeds will provide us with good things to eat and some prize-winning specimens for the Armathwaite show later in the year. I’ve soaked the sweet pea seeds overnight and these were the first to be planted on Sunday along with the the leeks. We have gone for slightly unusual varieties such as red sprouts, purple beans and golden beetroot. The beetroot is advertised as a no-waste variety; the leaves and stems can be treated as a spinach substitute, the beets don’t bleed so aren’t messy to prepare in the kitchen and they can be grated on salads or cooked. We have also picked up the ‘mystery seeds’ for the Armathwaite show and after a little Internet research we think we know what they are. We’re keeping you all guessing for now !